“Witnessing” – A Pastoral Letter from the Conference Minister

Greetings to you all!

Each day brings new attacks on immigrant neighbors. The scope and breadth of the challenge is staggering. Many churches and communities around the country are seeking to respond as we see children separated from parents and families detained in over-crowded detention facilities.

On September 24-26, I am joining other Conference Ministers from around the UCC and traveling to Washington DC to advocate on behalf of compassionate immigration.

I am inviting you to assist me in bringing forward the concerns of our churches in the Southeast Conference. This can be done in two ways:

Firstly, I am looking for information about what churches are currently doing to respond to the immigration situation or experiences people have had. Although we have highlighted some stories in recent Conference Connections, I am inviting information from other churches. I only need a few sentences from churches that can be used in a longer letter written jointly by Conference Ministers. The letter is seeking to present things that are happening in various geographic parts of the UCC. Such examples could include providing food/shelter for immigrants; financially supporting others that are providing assistance; letter-writing campaigns; declaring your church as a sanctuary church, etc.  Again – this does not need to be a long article. These should be emailed to me by Sept. 2, 2019 (cburch@secucc.org).

Secondly, you are invited to join in a letter-writing campaign in connection with this visit to congregational offices. Letters make a difference!  We want to urge Congress to end family and child detention, family separation and the funding for these immoral practices.  You can send your letter personally, or use the Justice and Peace Action Network to send in an email (https://p2a.co/dXTfOSg). To look up your member of Congress go to https://p2a.co/Nmw4YqN. Anyone can do this! Letters can include drawings from children, personal stories, etc.

Send in your letter to the UCC DC Office at:

United Church of Christ, Washington D.C. Office
℅ Suanne Breen
100 Maryland Ave, NE
Suite 330
Washington, DC 20002

The deadline for these letters is September 20, 2019. I will then deliver the letters to the members of congress when I am in Washington.

Here is a Sample Letter Text that can be used:

I am writing as a constituent and person of faith and am continually saddened and troubled by the administration’s ongoing attacks on our immigrant neighbors. As you work on funding legislation, I ask that you no longer fund the immoral immigration and deportation policies being implemented now and instead invest in programs that uplift family unity, address the root causes of forced migration, and prioritize human needs by respecting the rights and dignity of every person.

Lastly, I invite your prayers: for those who are seeking a better/safer life for their families and therefore wanting to come to the United States; those who are seeking to assist them; those who have responsibility for making policies; those who must carry out the policies; those who are seeking to change policies, and those who may feel powerless to make a difference but are committed to showing God’s love to all of God’s children.

Blessings, Char