Immigration and the UMC

What does The United Methodist Church say about Immigration?

The United Methodist Church states that “at the center of Christian faithfulness to Scripture is the call we have been given to love and welcome the sojourner. We call upon all United Methodist churches to welcome newly arriving migrants in their communities, to love them as we do ourselves, to treat them as one of our native-born, to see in them the presence of the incarnated Jesus, and to show hospitality to the migrants in our midst, believing that through their presence we are receiving the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Book of Resolutions, 3281)

“We call upon all United Methodist churches to engage in the following:

  • advocate for legislation that will uphold the civil and human rights of all migrants in the United States and will provide an opportunity to attain legal status for all undocumented migrants currently in the United States, as well as for those arriving in the future;
  • begin English as a Second Language classes as part of a ministry to migrant communities and advocate for federal and state support of expanded ESL classes;
  • denounce and oppose the rise of xenophobic, racist, and violent reactions against migrants in the United States, and support all efforts to build relationships among people, instead of building walls among diverse ethnicities and cultures;
  • welcome newly arriving immigrants into our congregations;
  • oppose the building of a wall between the United States and Mexico, which the communities of both sides of the border are in opposition to;
  • call the United States government to immediately cease all arrests, detainment, and deportations of undocumented immigrants, including children, solely based upon their immigration status until a fair and comprehensive immigration reform is passed;
  • provide wherever possible pastoral care and crisis intervention to refugees and newly arrived migrants, identifying and responding compassionately to their spiritual, material, and legal needs;
  • work with civic and legal organizations to support migrant communities affected by harsh immigration laws and over-reaching national security measures;
  • support those churches that prayerfully choose to offer sanctuary to undocumented migrants facing deportation.” (Book of Resolutions, 3281)

Immigration in the United Methodist Book of Resolutions

What does the Rocky Mountain Conference say about Immigration?

In June 2011, the Rocky Mountain Conference approved the following petition at the RMC Annual Conference

Because of the fundamental value expressed in our Social Principles “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God” (Discipline ¶162), the 2011 Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church encourages each local congregation to prepare to provide critical leadership in the diverse and multi-ethnic communities of the 21st century.

Together, with God’s help and through group study, discussion and reflection, each local congregation is asked to use resources such as Who is the Neighbor?  A Faith Conversation on Immigration, Immigration: A United Methodist Perspective and Strangers in the Land  to take these action steps:

1.    EDUCATE their members, constituents and neighbors about immigration and immigrant conditions and concerns,
2.    EQUIP participants for the holy conferencing of civil discourse about a set of issues where there is profound disagreement, and
3.    EMPOWER ministry to and with the immigrants of our communities."