The Bishops of the five United Methodist Church Episcopal Areas in Texas along with several retired Bishops have joined together to call for non-partisan solutions to the crisis on our Southern border.
In response to outcry among members and clergy in their churches, they have co-written a letter listing concerns and asking parishioners to pray and work toward ending cruel policies that separate families, ensuring compassionate care for the health and welfare of children and finding a common solution that respects, cares for and offers tangible assistance to those who are hurting.
Book of Resolutions of The UMC
- The Social Principles, while not to be considered church law, are a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. They are a call to faithfulness and are intended to be instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit. The Social Principles are a call to all members of The United Methodist Church to a prayerful, studied dialogue of faith and practice. The Book of Resolutions contains not only the resolutions and policy statements passed by the most recent General Conference, but also all such statements still considered to represent the position of The United Methodist Church.
- Immigration to the United States
- Global Migration
Glossary of Terms
- It is important to have a clear definition of terms and issues related to immigration and groups affected by them.
We believe that there is a hunger for education and deeper understanding around immigration among many United Methodists and that having a trusted and knowledgeable group of speakers who could present to UMC groups would be very helpful.
Please reference this list of speakers, whom you are free to reach out to and inquire about speaking to your congregation, small group or Sunday School classes on the following topics:
- Basic definitions related to migration (refugee, asylee, sponsor, etc.)
- Immigration laws 101 (what are the various legal avenues for immigrating and how do they work … or not work?)
- First-person testimony about what it is like to be an immigrant
- First-hand accounts and observations of visits to the border
- Biblical witness on immigration and immigrants
- Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives
Although the president has signed an executive order rescinding the family separation policy, there is still great concern regarding the timing of the end of the practice, the fate of those children already separated from their families, and the fate of families who will now end up in detention together. Our JFON attorneys are telling us that families seeking to request asylum continue to encounter tremendous challenges, even when following legal processes for doing so. You can express your thoughts and concerns through the following links or by looking up your senators and congressional representatives online.
This tool offered by the General Board of Church and Society also can help you contact your elected officials demanding immediate change.
- Courts and Ports: In partnership with the ACLU of Texas, Texas Impact staff are leading teams of clergy and laity to the Rio Grande Valley to monitor federal criminal and immigration court proceedings and border enforcement activities on the international bridges. Participants receive training from ACLU staff and create reports that become part of the national record of this chapter in U.S. immigration.
Support United Methodist Groups
- Dallas Responds: A number of local agencies have banded together to offer a collection of volunteer resources necessary to respond to help our border cities handle the overwhelming influx of legal asylum seekers by acting as intake and respite centers, compassionate caregivers, and expediters/facilitators of their travel. The respite center is housed at Oak Lawn UMC.
- General Board of Church and Society
- Holding Institute in Laredo is a historic UM agency "building community and sustaining hope" along the border in Laredo, Texas. Holding is listed on the map of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as a member of their official relief network along the US-Mexico border. Holding currently receives asylum-seekers in precarious situations, such as pregnant women and mothers with infants. Needs at Holding include funds for medical visits and medications, phone calls and travel by bus or air (bus tickets are rivaling the cost of airline tickets). Send donations to:
Holding Institute Community Center
1102 Santa Maria Ave.
Laredo, Texas 78040
- Justice For Our Neighbors in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio are providing free and affordable legal assistance to refugees and immigrants. They also provide education to the public, and engage in advocacy with and for our immigrant neighbors. They offer citizenship days and DACA renewal clinics to aid folks in completing the required paperwork. JFON’s services are focused on family-based and humanitarian immigration law. JFON is working to accomplish the reunification of parents and children who were separated under the zero tolerance policy. Costs of providing legal representation include mileage for multiple trips to and from both detention centers and immigration court; preparation, copying, and mailing of extensive paperwork; and required continuing education, legal resources, and salaries for attorneys and staff. To explore volunteer opportunities, email Executive Director Graham Bateman.
- United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) provides funding to conferences and partner agencies working with immigrants and refugees across the globe.
Support Other Partners
- Dallas Area Interfaith is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-issue group of religious congregations, schools and other non-profits in the Dallas metropolitan area.
- Faith Forward Dallas is a diverse coalition of Dallas’ faith leaders, dedicated to service, hope and a shared vision of peace and justice for our North Texas community.
- Faith in Texas is a multi-racial, multi-faith movement developing civic leadership in faith communities for economic, racial and social justice.
- La Posada Providencia is an emergency shelter for men, women and families who flee to the United States due to political oppression, natural disaster and other life-threatening actions in their native countries.
- Refugee Services of Texas provides various services to welcome refugees who are vetted and sent by the UN to settle in Texas.
- Texas Impact and its sister organization, the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, form an interfaith network that brings faith to bear on social issues through grassroots education and policy advocacy.