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Few issues have dominated the nation's political or social agenda more than immigration and the families and individuals who come to our shores from other lands.

While some may question the legal right of immigrants – documented or not – to reside in the U.S., and others may see the economic benefits of adding willing laborers to the work force, the church has always answered to a higher authority. When a lawyer asked Jesus, 'Who is my neighbor,' the answer was straightforward and excluded no one: the one who shows mercy. (Luke 10:29-37) Compelled by their faith and ancient scripture to welcome all people as neighbors, church people have introduced in their communities creative and effective immigrations ministries.

Across the country, city and state councils of churches are implementing exciting ministries and are seeking additional support and ideas to enhance their support of neighbors who are sometimes dismissed as 'aliens.'

Among the recent immigration reform initiatives of the ecumenical faith community are these:

  • March 2010 in Washington, DC:  The annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days, attended by more than 700 Christians from across the nation, featured immigration as a keynote topic for its sessions.

  • During Advocacy Days, a Sunday afternoon immigration reform rally of tens of thousands of persons -- including members of NCC/CWS congregations -- gathered on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building to send a message to Congress and the President: "The time to fix our broken immigration system is now." 

  • These have been followed by a series of interfaith gatherings called "Isaiah 58 Summer" in dozens of cities nationwide.

  • In addition, congregations who want to build a worship experience around the topic of immigration now have a hymn, "Abraham Journeyed to a New Country," available on this website.

This website, the product of the NCC/CWS Immigration Task Force, is intended as an ecumenical clearing house of statements and best practices from the member communions of NCC and CWS and regional councils of churches across the U.S.  Many of our neighbors have urgent needs, and many ministry suggestions are offered here with the hope they will work as well in your neighborhood.

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary, National Council of Churches


David Leslie, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Portland, Oregon (chair)
Minerva Carcaño, Bishop of the United Methodist Church, Phoenix, Arizona
José Luis Casal, General Missioner for the Presbyterian Church USA in Midland, Texas
Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, New York City
Wesley "Pat" Pattillo, NCC Program Director for Justice, Advocacy and Communication, New York City
Jennifer Riggs, Director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Indianapolis, Indiana
Joseph Roberson, Associate Deputy for Operations, Church World Service, New York City
Jim Ryan, Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches, Denver, Colorado
Jen Smyers, Associate for Immigration and Refugee Policy, Church World Service, Washington, DC




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