Volunteers Needed to Accompany an
Immigrant Family or Individual
In response to the majority of notes posted in the "Actions To Be Taken" section of the "Wall display" in the church sanctuary, our Justice and Mercy team has been putting together the following action plan regarding the refugee crisis.
We propose that our church work with Rev. Deborah Lee's "Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity" in assisting an immigrant family or individual. This will entail developing an "Accompaniment Team" of 4-5 committed individuals, and a team leader, who will be trained and supported by Rev. Lee's program in assisting an immigrant family or individual.
More on this subject will be forthcoming, but we encourage church members to pray and consider being a part of this effort. Our hope is to work jointly on this project with Temple B'nai Tikvah, with whom OCC has developed a faith connection. If interested, contact Rev. Jim Brommers Bergquist. There will also be committee representatives at Fellowship Hour in weeks to come.
Minutes of the Special Meeting
of the Orinda Community Church
Sunday, March 26, 2017, After Worship
After today’s worship service, members of the congregation met in the sanctuary for a special meeting of the congregation which was requested and noticed in accordance with OCC Bylaws. Moderator Gail Mead called the meeting to order at 11:10 a.m.
Gail provided background for today’s meeting seeking to vote on the Immigrant Welcoming Church proposal. In 2016, the Northern California-Nevada Conference of the UCC voted to become an “Immigrant Welcoming Conference” and the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration called on all its members and congregations to become active “immigrant welcoming congregations and communities.”
Based on this, our church started looking at this issue. Mercy and Justice spearheads this effort and has worked hard this past year to pursue actions we can take to welcome immigrants. It hopes to put together an accompaniment team to help accompany, advocate, or research services that can meet immigrant needs (e.g., find housing, accompany them to appointments, register for school, etc.). Gail mentioned she was very proud of the church and what we’ve done. Becoming an immigrant welcoming congregation is a chance for us to live within our faith; a concrete way of showing our support for all individuals.
Today, we are not voting to be a sanctuary church or to harbor immigrants. We vote on whether to become an immigrant welcoming church. If we vote in favor of this, we will change our open and affirming statement to add the words “immigrant status.” The NCNC recommended people make this public change.
Gail asked if anyone wished to make a statement regarding the proposal. Vangie Abriel spoke in favor of the proposal. She mentioned there are people for whom home is no longer a viable place to stay. Fleeing and becoming an immigrant is better than remaining in a dangerous situation. It is part of our mission to welcome them.
We then voted and the resolution passed unanimously.
Gail adjourned the meeting at 11:20 a.m.