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Immigration and the Bible

Steps You Can Take to Welcome Immigrants

By United Methodist Women Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative

The United Methodist Women’s Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative has actively engaged members in study and action since 2006. The initiative draws on our biblical understandings of God’s reign, where all God’s children, created in God’s image, are valued and welcome at the table and where Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves becomes reality. Here are some ways you can take action:


  • Host a local unit or district United Methodist Women program.      
  • Encourage your conference mission team to do a workshop at a School of Mission.           
  • Make immigration a focus of your annual meeting.  
  • Create table displays on immigration at any United Methodist Women event.        
  • Write articles on immigration for your conference United Methodist Women newsletter or website.
  • Hold a film screening (such as of the film Made in LA) as an educational event on immigration.
  • Attend a seminar on immigration through the United Methodist Seminar Program in New York or Washington, D.C. Contact Jay Godfrey at jgodfrey@unitedmethodistwomen.org.
  • Seek partners. Find out who is advocating for racial justice and immigrant rights in your community. Attend events of other organizations related to immigration.

Spiritual Growth


Welcoming Immigrants       

  • Work at district and conference levels to address needs and concerns of United Methodist Women members who are immigrants and fully include them. 
  • Provide language interpretation at United Methodist Women meetings to welcome immigrant United Methodist Women sisters.
  • Provide volunteer services for immigrants in the community.
  • Distribute “Know Your Rights” information to immigrants, available at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/act/immigration/archives/studyaction/?i=22237.
  • Support a United Methodist Women national mission institution that serves immigrants. See February 2012 issue of response or visit www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/give/nmimap.  
  • Provide material aid to families impacted by immigration laws.
  • Support Justice for Our Neighbors through volunteer, material or financial support. See: www.umcor.org or Contact Alice Mar at amar@gbgm-umc.org.
  • Visit immigrants in detention (prison ministry). See: www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/act/alerts/item/index.cfm?id=508.
  • Provide emergency support to immigrant families facing detention and deportation (bond, accompaniment to ICE, child care, access to legal aid, etc.).      
  • Participate in community efforts to welcome immigrants.    
  • Supported refugee resettlement in your community. Contact Naomi Madsen, UMCOR, at nmadsen@umcor.org.                        


United Methodist Women Resources

Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome
2012 United Methodist Women spiritual growth study by Joan M. Maruskin
Book and leader’s guide available from the Mission Resource Center: www.missionresourcecenter.org or call 1-800-305-9857

United Methodist Women Social Network Immigration Page

United Methodist Women Facebook Immigration Page

United Methodist Women Program Book
Available from the Mission Resource Center: www.missionresourcecenter.org or call 1-800-305-9857

response magazine
Subscribe to response magazine at: www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/response/subscribe

United Methodist Women News
To subscribe to this free quarterly newsletter, visit www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/news/umw-news

Reading Program Books

Made in LA film and toolkit
Click to download a print-friendly PDF versionwww.unitedmethodistwomen.org/media/pdf/madeinlastudy.pdf

Public Witness Toolkit
Click to download a print-friendly PDF versionwww.unitedmethodistwomen.org/media/pdf/immigrantrightswitnesstoolkit.pdf

United Methodist Women e-mails for action on immigrant rights
Sign up for occasional action e-mails: Sophony Lamour, slamour@unitedmethodistwomen.org.

United Methodist Women Legislative Action Alerts

For more information, contact United Methodist Women executive for community action Carol Barton at cbarton@unitedmethodistwomen.org or call 212-682-3633 ext. 3104.                               

Last Updated: 04/08/2014

© 2014 United Methodist Women