The United Methodist Church has long-standing statements and policies on the subject. The UMC Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions contain sections on immigration and refugees (available in the church library or online).
Recently, the UMC has published statements reiterating its stance on these subjects; some of which can be found at the following links:
The information is too lengthy for publication here; however, offered for your consideration are a few excerpts (“We”references The United Methodist Church and/or UMCOR):
- The out-migration north will not stop without long-term international political and economic solutions to improve safety, living conditions and economic opportunities in home countries. In United Methodist understanding of migration theory and practice, people first have the right to stay where they are; second, the right to move with safe passage when threatened, followed by the right to be welcomed in new places, and the right to return home with dignity. (“Global Migration and the Quest for Justice,” 2016 Book of Resolutions, #6028).
The powerful USA would do well to use its influence to encourage just, safe, economically productive and democratic societies in those lands giving rise to contemporary asylum seekers. We say this on the strength of our agency’s 78 years of work with refugees and migrants in many parts of the world. Oppressed people seek better places to live! That is a fact of history. Policies and walls do not stop them.
In the meantime, we encourage the Trump Administration to adapt to reality, to recognize the history of the U.S. as a country of diverse migrants and shape humane policies that reunite families now detained north of the border.
UMCOR and its partners will continue to assist regional and local organizations and churches, where possible, to alleviate suffering… These efforts, admittedly limited, reflect a long-standing commitment to ministry with migrants. We attempt to aid migrants as they journey, as they are released from detention; to offer legal support when and where we can. In regard to the latter, we commend National Justice for Our Neighbors which sponsors church-based, free or low-cost legal services to migrants on local levels. NJFON was established by UMCOR in 1999 and now operates under its own board of directors. We also have a strong partnership in refugee and migration issues with the ecumenical Church World Service (CWS). We are a full member of CWS and participate in its work.
Resources for ministries with migrants are available through the Global Migration Advance (#3022144). National Justice for Our Neighbors receives funding from The Advance (#901285), for the purpose of creating a welcoming community by providing immigration legal services, education and advocacy in the USA. If you are called to give, you may indicate those numbers on your gift through your Sewickley UMC giving.
The UMC’s work on migration is not limited to countries south of the USA. UMCOR and partner agencies have provided refugee aid in such places as Chios, Lebanon, and Germany, as well as Argentina and Mexico (search News at umcor.org).
Locally, 50 immigrant children are being cared for by Holy Family Institute. Following a recent Post-Gazette article, Holy Family Institute received such overwhelming responses that it is not accepting further material donations at this time. However, financial donations are welcome – see hfi-pgh.org/how-to-help- immigrant-children-at-holy-family for how to donate or for up-to-date information on the ministry to those children.
Above all else, pray for the individuals and families who find themselves at the USA border and those who remain in countries with such dire conditions that some residents risk all to try to find a better life.