For many Americans, the holiday season that starts with Thanksgiving and culminates in the New Year celebration is a time of joy spent with family and friends. As we enter the holidays, I urge you to take action to support the millions of migrants and refugees for whom this season will be less than joyful because they are detained for immigration reasons, fear deportation, or are separated from their loved ones.
This holiday season here at LIRS, we are asking you and others across the country to join us and use the season of Advent and Christmas (November 25, 2013 – January 5, 2014) as an opportunity to reach out to migrants and refugees in your congregation and community by breaking bread and sharing the joys of the season in neighborly love.
The LIRS Holiday Season for Immigrant Justice Toolkit offers a number of opportunities to take advantage of this critical moment by educating fellow congregants on the important contributions immigrants make to our country, by bearing witness to God’s love for all people through the creation of a welcoming community, and by taking action in support of compassionate immigration reform.
The Holiday Season Toolkit includes multiple actions, such as:
- Engaging your congregation through prayer vigils and a “Stand for Welcome Sunday”
- Organizing a “Breaking Bread and Building Bridges” event
- Contacting your elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Writing a letter to the editor
- Making your support for immigration reform visible
At Lutherans, we have been responding to God’s call to welcome the sojourner through ministries of service and justice for 75 years. Our roots as an immigrant church further spur many of us to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees. For the sake of those we walk with, we must keep pressure on the House of Representatives to show the same type of leadership demonstrated in the Senate and pass a bill that includes a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, improves the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, keeps families together, includes humane and just enforcement of laws, and better protects U.S. citizen and migrant workers.
Please check out our Holiday Season for Immigrant Justice Toolkit and take action in your community! Contact National Grassroots Director, Folabi Olagbaju at email@example.com or (202) 626-7931 if you would like support for any of the activities outlined above and to keep us posted on your plans!
Image credit: The White House