Immigration / Refugees

Resolution to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference

A resolution to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference was introduced at the 2016 Annual Meeting.  The vote to begin a year of study on this topic passed with strong support at the meeting.  This kicks off a study period in which congregations are asked to engage in a study process of their choosing.  Resources to assist with the study are available below. Also the Immigration Working Group is available to provide support during the year of study.

The process calls for at least 30% of Wisconsin Conference congregations to report that they have engaged in some study.  At the annual meeting in June 2017, the vote to formally adopt the resolution will be held.

See the study materials and submission form below and on the lower right.

Immigration Working Group

The Immigration Working Group is a group of clergy and lay leaders who are concerned about issues around immigration. We are connected with the National Collaborative on Immigration through Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ. We work to stay informed about and provide support for efforts in our local congregations to support refugees and immigrants, including those who are seeking asylum in the United States of America.

The IWG has set some goals for the Conference for the coming year:

By March 1, 2017:

  • At least 66 congregations of the WCUCC will indicate to the Wisconsin Conference office that they have studied the issue of immigration and our faith. (This is what is needed in order to vote on becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Conference next June).

By the 2017 Annual Meeting:

  • 30 congregations will have voted to become Immigrant Welcoming Congregations
  • 12 congregations in the Wisconsin Conference will be actively engaged in the resettlement of refugee and asylum seeking families or individuals.



First Congregational UCC in Janesville has voted to become an immigrant welcoming congregation, after several months of study. Taking their commitment seriously, they already have plans in place to take action, and they invite other churches to join in. Read their story: Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.


  • Members of this group are available to work with congregations who are considering becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation, or who would like to know more about the process.
  • For information about how to resettle an immigrant family, please contact Bobbie Kuhn.
  • Our Hispanic Cultural Awareness Resource person is Martha Boyer.
  • A resolution to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference is being introduced at the 2016 Annual Meeting.  Read the proposed resolution and study plan here.


Here are two study guides your congregation can use to guide your discussion and study of this issue.

-Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation, United Church of Christ

-Becoming Welcoming Communities Study Guide and Session Handouts from the Wisconsin Council of Churches

Once you’ve completed your study, please be sure to complete the Immigrant Welcoming Conference congregation study response form and send it to the Conference office. The deadline for forms to be submitted is March 1, 2017.


The Sanctuary Movement and Legal Risks, from the United Church of Christ Office of General Counsel

What Scripture Says about Refugees by Rev. Laura Yurs

Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Community article from First Congregational – La Crosse

Example of an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation Statement from First Congregational UCC, Janesville

Sanctuary Not Deportation: A Faithful Witness to Building Welcoming Communities toolkit

Refugee Welcome Toolkit from Refugees Welcome

United Church of Christ immigration resources

The following two materials are from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and Refugees Welcome webinar on November 15, 2016.  These resources may be useful as your congregation studies the issue of immigration and our faith:

webinar recording

PowerPoint slides from webinar (PDF)

Oregon New Sanctuary Movement Faith and Immigration Study Guide

ESTHER Faith Communities United for Justice offers “Walk in Our Shoes” – a simulation event designed to bring community awareness to the challenges Latinos face. Flyer

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform


Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans

Interfaith Immigration Coalition

Church World Service

Derechos Humanos

Frontera de Cristo

Humane Borders

No More Deaths

Witness for Peace

Migration Policy Institute

National Immigration file

National Day Labor Organizing Network



Contact Person: Lisa Hart
Email Lisa

Family Resettlement information:
Email Bobbie Kuhn

Hispanic Cultural Awareness Resource:
Email Martha Boyer

UCC National Collaborative on Immigration – Google Group

Rev. Noel Andersen, co-coordinator of the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration
Email Noel Anderson

Refugees Welcome, a coalition of humanitarian, religious, and non-profit organizations working together to create welcoming communities for refugees.


Immigrant Welcoming Congregation

Refugee Resettlement


The Sanctuary Movement and Legal Risks, UCC Office of General Counsel

Immigrant Welcoming Conference Resolution

Immigrant Welcoming Conference congregation study response form

Refugee Welcome Toolkit from Refugees Welcome

Additional Resource List

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