OKUMC Migrant Initiative
All of us have heard the headlines these last few months:
“Immigrants Detained at Southern Boarder, Families Separated”
“Migrants Seeking Asylum Detained”
“Government Struggles to Reunite Immigrant Families”
We’ve heard the debates, maybe even engaged in them, and wrestled with the opinions on both sides of the issue but still wonder… what would Jesus do with this debate? What is the most Christ centered response? How should my church respond? How should I respond? What is the United Methodist stance on Immigration?
This year at Annual Conference we approved a resolution (see attached PDF) outlining our stance and response as Oklahoma United Methodists to the Immigration and Refugee Crisis. In this resolution, we not only outline the overall United Methodist response to the crisis, but we also formed a task force, called the OKUMC Migrant Initiative, charged with the responsibility of educating, facilitating and advocating for the most Christ-like response from all our churches to the issue at hand.
Today, the OKUMC Migrant Initiative is actively working to accomplish it’s goals by:
- Providing quality resources, curriculum and worship materials to help congregations understand all sides of the issue from a Christ-centered perspective.
- Developing local church workshops led by task force members to help facilitate discussion and understanding within a congregation, cluster or district
- Connect congregations with organizations actively providing support and sponsorship to refugee and asylum seekers
In an effort to help you jump start the discussion in light of the headlines, we are providing you links to some of the initial curriculum resources we find to be most effective in understanding the how we should respond. Please download these and consider starting a study with your congregation, it will be worth it!
- Radical Hospitality: Responding to the Issue of Immigration (Mennonite Church)
- Hospitality and the Stranger: Welcoming the Company of the Divine (The Work of the People)
- Immigration is a Moral Issue (UUA)
Follow us on Facebook to discover more resources and opportunities to work with this task force. If you are interested in serving on this task force, please contact Becky Pierson (email@example.com).
Immigration Reform, Crisis and Response can be some of the most divisive words in our communities today. We pray you can utilize these resources to start a Christ centered conversation in your communities. As Oklahoma United Methodists, we are called to center ourselves on Christ and respond so that He is seen through us. Our goal as the OKUMC Migrant Initiative is to help you discern this Christ centered response to welcoming the stranger in our midst. If you would like to join us in this task, contact Rev. Becky Pierson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will add you to our team.
Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom of God.
Grace and peace,
Oklahoma United Methodist Migrant Initiative Team
Rev. Becky Pierson, Team Leader