2017 resolution to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference
After a year of study, the delegates at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Conference voted to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference. You can download the resolution here: Immigrant Welcoming Conference Resolution. This resolution calls on our congregations and on us to become active “Immigrant Welcoming Congregations and Communities”.
Immigration Working Group
The Immigration Working Group (IWG) is a group of Wisconsin Conference clergy and lay leaders who are concerned about immigration justice. 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. The IWG connects monthly (usually on the second Tuesday of the month at 1pm) via Zoom, maintains an email list, and sponsors/produces informative online webinars and workshops.
To learn more about how to get involved with the Immigration Working Group, email Lisa Hart, Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation and Justice Ministries.
The Immigration Working Group is connected with the National Collaborative on Immigration (sign up to be part of the Collaboration here) through Refugee and Migration Ministries of the United Church of Christ.
The IWG is committed to promoting the purchase of Fair Trade products such as coffee by congregations in the Wisconsin Conference. (For example: Just Coffee/Café Justo, a grower-owned coffee cooperative; coffee is grown in southern Chiapas and roasted in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. Café Justo’s mssion is to deliver high quality, organic, enviromentally conscious cofee to customers at a price that is fair and just and thereby provide incentive for people to remain on their family farms.) We are hoping to help congregations and individuals connect the dots between human migration and climate change, and how buying fair trade can make a difference.
Recordings (all approximately 90 minutes in length) may be accessed here:
“Stories from the Border” webinars:
These informative webinars, presented by the Immigration Working Group and McFarland UCC’s Not In Our Name campaign, feature reports from Rev. Randy Mayer of Good Shepherd UCC in Sahuarita, Arizona, and Linda Zuba, an attorney from Rockford, IIlinois, active in immigration advocacy. Noel Andersen, the UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants’ Rights, and Katie Adams, Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues in the UCC’s Washington D.C. office, offer updates on the work being done by the United Church of Christ on the issue of immigration justice. Access the recording of the June 25th webinar, “Stories from the Border”, here and the recording of the September 29th, “More Stories from the Border” here.
It doesn’t matter if your congregation is large or small, urban or rural, rich or poor. Congregations of any size, in any location, and with a range of financial resources can help their members and their community understand that loving our neighbors means all our neighbors.
In the fall of 2022, the IWG created “Wisconsin Conference UCC Immigration justice resource contacts”, a spreadsheet of people at Wisconsin congregations/organizations who are willing to talk to others about the immigration justice work they are doing or have done. Each listing includes the name and location of the congregation or organization, a very brief description of the work that congregation or organization is doing, the name of one or more point people who are involved with the work, and contact information for those people. Access this resource here to add or edit information or to look for resource people. We encourage people to add information to this resource!
Watch the workshop on Immigrant Welcoming Congregations (Summer, 2020)
The Immigration Working Group put together a workshop, “Immigrant-Welcoming Wisconsin: Living Out the Resolution”, to address how congregations are living out our resolution to be an Immigrant Welcoming Conference, with ideas on how churches might get involved in their communities or at our southern border. Watch the workshop here.
Reach out to immigrants in your community. Give them a chance to tell their stories. Listen to what they need.
Educate yourself, your congregation, and interested members of your community about immigration justice
Work with local or regional partners
Whenever possible, partner with immigrant communities and with organizations with expertise in the area of immigration justice. Working with partners speeds up the learning curve, helps you to find experts, and demonstrates that we want to provide what people truly need, not just what we think they need. Partners are more likely to know local needs. Partner organizations will vary from region to region and may include:
Donate to local, regional, or national organizations that support immigration justice