Immigration forum coming to Columbus

Interested in learning more about immigration issues? Immigration advocate Christy Staats is extending an invitation to Ohio Mennonites to attend Ohio 2022: A New Consensus on Immigration. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, at Scarlet City Church in Columbus. Staats notes, “During Lent of 2021 I had the privilege of joining…

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Immigration Resource Team ends its work

Ohio Conference would like to express its appreciation for the work completed by the Immigration Resource Team (IRT) from 2018 to 2022. This resource team was convened to investigate, evaluate and help congregations implement the resolution on immigration which delegates affirmed in 2019. This group created a list of immigration resources as well as a biblical guide to immigration. In…

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Join the conversation about immigration

The Ohio Conference Immi­gration Resource Team has begun a series of posts about immigration on the Ohio Confer­ence Facebook page. The most recent post, dated Feb. 9, explores the concept of compas­sion as it relates to immigrants. You are invited to join the con­versation about immigration. See the team’s posts on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OhioConferenceMCUSA.

Immigration Resource List is updated

Ohio Conference Immi­gration Resource Team would like to remind everyone that there are many opportunities to share God’s love, hope, and peace. Are you looking for ideas about how you can share God’s love with immigrants? The Immigration Resource Team has updated its Immigration Resource List, which features books, websites, organizations, and films, as well as contact infor­mation for people who have…

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Webinar to focus on reason for immigration

If you are interested in learning more about the reasons why some people are migrating to Ohio, consider participating in a webinar on Nov. 4. This webinar, titled “Terror and Loss — War in Guatemala,” will feature Maria Garcia from Eastern Michigan University. She will discuss the civil war in Guatemala and how it started the migration of Mayan refugees to the…

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Scripture resource focuses on immigration

The Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team has compiled a list of scriptures related to immigration for personal and congregational use. “A Biblical Guide to Immigration” includes scriptures grouped by topic. It is intended for use in sermons and in Sunday school classes or for personal reflection.   Download the Guide

MCC offers virtual tour of borderlands

Mennonite Central Committee is offering a Virtual Borderlands Learning Tour June 28-July 2. Sessions will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. each day. This virtual learning tour is designed to engage participants with the reality of immigration from a different per­spective. The Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team is encouraging everyone to consider participating in this learning tour. See http://bit.ly/VirtualBorderlandsLearningTour for…

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Showing God’s love to immigrants:  Will you join us?

The Immigration Resource Team of Ohio Conference is aware of many immigrants seeking asylum at our southern border. We ask: “How can we here in Ohio show them God’s welcoming love?”    We remember the amazing way a dozen or so Ohio Conference churches came together to assemble 175 immigration welcome kits in the fall of 2019.  Covid-19 precautions prevent this…

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Video conversations focus on immigration

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During the month of January, Evangelical Immigration Table hosted a series of video conversations about immigration. Recordings of these con­versations are available for viewing on Evangelical Immigration Table’s website: https://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/2021convening. Topics featured were “Discipleship in Politically Polarized Times,” “The Mission on Our Doorsteps,” “Evangelical Priorities for Immigration Policy in the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress,” and “Faith, Work, Economics…

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Glimpses into an unseen world

By Dan King About a year ago, pre-pandemic, one of my Guatemalan students invited me to her quinceañera. (For those who may not know, a Hispanic girl’s 15th birthday is an occasion for a no-expenses-spared party to signify her “coming of age.”) It was to be held at her evangelical church. I arrived a few minutes late, assuming the celebration…

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Conversations to focus on immigration

Evangelical Immigration Table is launching a series of virtual conversations about immigration which are being held each Thursday in January. The first conversation, held on Jan. 7, focused on the topic “Discipleship in Politically Polarized Times.”  To learn more about this series or to register, go to https://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/2021convening.

Immigration Resource Team recommends resources

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The Ohio Conference Immi­gration Resource Team would like to remind everyone that there are many opportunities to share God’s love, hope, and peace. Are you looking for ideas about how you can share God’s love with immigrants? The Immigration Resource Team has compiled an Immigration Resource List which features books, websites, organizations, and films, as well as contact information for people…

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Online event to focus on immigration

Malone University in Canton is co-sponsoring an online event focusing on immigration on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Immigration Ohio 2020: Complex Questions and Solutions with Dignity” will feature keynote speakers Jill Stoltzfus and Ali Noorani. The event will also include panels of Ohio leaders in business, health care and immigration law, as well as pastors and…

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Immigration Resource Team recommends book

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An update from the Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team: Please keep in your prayers our many immigrant neighbors who are at greater risk of infection with COVID-19 — those in crowded detention centers, meat packing plants, etc. Consider a donation to Open Arms Hispanic Ministry or Brazo en Brazo, who are working directly with this population. Here is a must-read,…

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Engaging immigration: Some action steps

A few thoughts from the Ohio Conference Immigration Resource Team: Are you aware that a significant number of immigrants living in Ohio (and the rest of this country) face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their work in meat processing plants and other factories? Don’t forget to pray for them. There’s plenty of time left this summer for…

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Webinar to explore immigration policy effect on COVID-19 spread

Mennonite Central Committee’s webinar series on immigration continues June 16: Tuesday, June 16 at 2 p.m. EST: “MCC’s migration work in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala/El Salvador” free immigration webinar. In the continuing six-part webinar series on immigration and border realities, MCC staff and partners will discuss how U.S. policies and protocols are affecting the spread of the coronavirus among vulnerable populations in Latin…

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Hispanic families suffering more in the era of COVID-19

By Haroldo Nunes Executive Director Open Arms Hispanic Ministry Hello my sisters and brothers, I would like to start this article with a quote from Jim Wallis of Sojourners: “We believe that the ultimate test of our discipleship to Jesus Christ is how we treat the most vulnerable in society, or as Jesus refers to them in Matthew 25, ‘the…

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Christians at the Border looks at immigration through the lens of scripture

By Greg Bowman Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible, 2nd Edition (2013) by M. Daniel Carroll R. This author makes a profoundly simple — but perversely challenging — request: Christians, please base your attitudes about immigration on the clear teaching in the Bible — in both testaments — before considering cultural, economic, and legal arguments. He…

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Congregation’s ministry focuses on healing trauma

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Recently Dan King, a member of the Immigration Resource Team, shared a reflection about the experience he and his wife, Jeanette, had when they volunteered with San Antonio Mennonite Church’s ministry to immigrants. (To read Dan’s reflection, see http://bit.ly/SanAntonioService.) In 2019, San Antonio Mennonite Church received a Traditioned Innovation Award from Duke Divinity School for the congregation’s work toward healing…

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Immigration perspective — Our holiday experience in San Antonio

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By Dan King For a change in our Christmas vacation routines, my wife, Jeanette, and I decided to give two weeks as SOOP volunteers with San Antonio Mennonite Church this year. We had visited there briefly twice before and were touched in seeing the dedication of this small congregation in reaching out to immigrants in need. For five years they…

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Delegate News — Winter 2020 #2

Dear Ohio Conference Pastors and Delegates: It is now almost 10 months since we passed a resolution on immigration at our 2019 Annual Conference Assembly. Since then, our Team has been given the mandate to “…investigate, evaluate, and help congregations implement the resolution.” Toward this goal, we are asking for a few minutes of your time to complete a brief…

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Holiday card campaign supports detainees

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If your congregation is looking for a way to connect with immi­grants, consider an idea Paula Snyder Belousek shared in the lat­est issue of Ohio Mennonite Evangel: the Casa Mariposa Visita­tion Program in Arizona has a goal of collecting 3,000 cards in time for Christmas so that each person in the immigration deten­tion centers in Eloy and Florence, Arizona, receives…

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Immigration Resource Team seeks your stories

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From the Immigration Resource Team: It has been eight months since Annual Conference Assembly, when delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution on immigration. That resolution contained both individual and congregational components, along with suggestions for contacting elected representatives on state and national levels. Delegates agreed to “encourage our churches….to pray for the Spirit’s leading in seeking to minister to the needs…

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Border learning tour highlights immigration struggles

By Paula Snyder Belousek Ohio Conference Assistant Moderator At our last Annual Conference Assembly, Ohio Conference delegates passed an Immigration Resolution, and one of the components challenges members of the Conference to become better informed about the issues surrounding immigration. In response, I took the opportunity to travel to Tucson, Arizona, with other Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) leaders following the…

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Immigration event to include care kit assembly

You’re invited to share God’s love and give your support to immigrant detainees on our southern bor­der. Open Arms Hispanic Ministries invites you to come Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. for an immigration information update and MCC Immigration Detainee Care Kit assembly at Orrville Mennonite Church, 1305 W. Market St., Orrville. A representative from Mennonite Central Committee will provide…

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Immigration Resource Team seeks information

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From the Immigration Resource Team: It’s been about four months since Annual Conference Assembly 2019, when delegates passed a resolution on immigration. Time for a checkup! We’re wondering what’s happening in Ohio Conference congregations. Did delegates do a good job informing their churches about the various components of the resolution? Are churches praying regularly for the needs of immigrants and…

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MCC Central States is collecting immigration detainee care kits

In March, Ohio Conference delegates passed an immigration resolution. In part, the resolution states, “As delegates to Ohio Mennonite Conference, we commit ourselves to become better informed on the issues surrounding immigration, with a willingness to consider a variety of perspectives. Regardless of our own national origin, we will seek to reach out and build relationships with our neighbors, rooted…

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Delegate News — Winter 2019 #6

ACA summary video is now ready Thanks to all delegates who attended the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly last week! A new summary video about the 2019 ACA is now ready. You can find it at https://youtu.be/UUin9aM0oTs. Please share it with members of your congregation.   Photos of ACA and missional conference are on website Photos of ACA and the missional…

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ACA Wrap-up: Celebration, Immigration, Missional Living

In this episode of Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn take a break from podcasting. Instead, the podcast’s number one fan, Lucas Johnson of Valley View Mennonite Church in Spartansburg, Pa., takes a look back at the 2019 Missional Conference and Annual Conference Assembly (ACA) with three other ACA participants: Kevin Himes, pastor of Salem Mennonite Church…

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‘Love Crosses Borders’ planned for summer

Love is the greatest of all virtues. But what does love look like in times of cynicism and polarization? Mennonite Men is organizing “Love Crosses Borders,” an immersion experience with immigrants which will take place this summer. From July 28 to August 3 Mennonite Men will journey to Georgia and connect with Casa Alterna, a hospitality house devoted to faithful…

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