The United Methodist Church's position on immigration is documented in several places in the Book of Discipline's Social Principles and is further documented in the United Methodist Book of Resolutions. These official positions are voted on by members of the General Conference, which meets every four years. Members of General Conference are elected by the annual conferences in the United States and Central Conferences outside the United States to attend this legislative assembly.
Just, humane immigration reform is one of the Legislative Priorities for the General Board of Church and Society, the denominational agency charged with carrying out the Social Principles through advocacy and education.
GBCS works with various coalitions on comprehensive immigration reform. The Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform is made up of business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, with some labor organizations, with immigrants, advocacy groups and with a number of faith groups.
GBCS is advocating for comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will provide a path to citizenship, protect workers, reunite families, restore the rule of law and enhance security.
The General Board of Church and Society offers two ways for congregations to get involved:
For more information contact Sandy Sypherd, chair of the Great Plains Immigration Rapid Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Paret, Great Plains Peace with Justice coordinator at email@example.com.
Great Plains Area Bishop Scott Jones joined another church leader and two business leaders in a roundtable discussion for Bibles, Badges and Business (BBB) on immigration reform in Omaha in August 2013.
BBB is a national organization that aims to create an alliance among faith, law enforcement and business leaders across the country. Immigration laws affect – and are affected by – each of these areas. This roundtable discussion opened up a conversation about what comprehensive immigration reform means for members of the church and for businesses – specifically in Lincoln and Omaha.
Videos from the event:
Bishop Jones has also partnered with the ecumenical community in Kansas to lobby the Kansas Legislature for just immigration reform.
Church World Service (www.churchworldservice.org) offers a number of resources on issues related to immigration and refugees. The following resources from Church World Service are available for use as small group studies or discussion starters on the topic of immigration.
NEW YORK (UMNS) — A new resource from United Methodist Women on immigration includes Bible studies, worship, programs, hymns and prayers, church policy, articles and resources on controversial issues, a resource list, action ideas and articles linking immigration to other UMW social action priorities.
Faith leaders struggle to bring message of hope to migrants: A small group of United Methodists waded into the cold Pacific Ocean to kneel and pray that the border wall separating the United States and Mexico would topple. They were part of a group of more than 300 faith leaders who marched to the wall on International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, in a “moral call for migrant justice.” Read more in this article from UM News on December 11, 2018.
If you are interested in connecting with others in our conference on the issue of immigration, please contact one of the following persons: