Proposal: Orinda Community Church to become an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation
For the Orinda Community Church to
1. declare itself an “Immigrant Welcoming Church,” and
2. encourage the development of policies and activities within the church and its community
that are dedicated to facilitating respectful welcome and inclusion of all immigrants in our
3. continue OCC’s support for compassionate and common‐sense immigration reform, and
4. revise our Open and Affirming Statement to include a reference to immigration status.
As a denomination, the United Church of Christ has been involved in broadening the circle of inclusion,
from abolition of slavery to full inclusion of our LGBTQ family and, more recently, the plight of
immigrants. As early as 1981, the UCC General Synod issued the pronouncement, “Justice in
Immigration.” At its 2013 Annual Meeting, the Northern California‐Nevada Conference of the UCC
approved a resolution calling for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and, in 2016, voted to become
an “Immigrant Welcoming Conference.” Last year also, the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration
called on all its members and congregation to become active “immigrant Welcoming Congregations and
Communities” as part of UCC’s continuing effort to be a prophetic voice to humanize the immigrant in
the United States and normalize migration as a global human right.
When an immigrant resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the immigrant. The immigrant
who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the immigrant as yourself,
for you were an immigrant in the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19: 33‐34)
The scriptures call us to welcome strangers in our land and to love them as we love ourselves.
Thousands of refugees and migrants come from throughout the world to the United States seeking
safety, security, freedom, and opportunity. Instead of welcome, immigrants have difficulty adjusting to
life in a new country, dealing with a new language, culture shock, and sense of loss and isolation. They
may also be subjected to raids and deportation and their families torn apart. Is this how we follow the
teachings of Jesus who said, “When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty,
you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger you welcomed me,” (Matthew 25:35)?
Resolution to be Voted:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Orinda Community Church declares itself an “Immigrant
Welcoming Congregation” and encourages the development of policies and activities within OCC that
are dedicated to facilitating respectful welcome and inclusion of all immigrants in our midst. OCC also
revises its Open and Affirming Statement to include a reference to immigration status.
Recommendations for Implementation:
1. Declaration of OCC as an “Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.”
2. Continuing education within the congregation and the Orinda community about immigration.
3. Develop face‐to‐face relationships with immigrants.
4. Designation a portion of OCC’s mission spending for local immigration programs.
5. Examine the potential of immigration reform at the legislative level.
6. Consider whether OCC can and should become a “sanctuary” church.
No additional funds are requested to be allocated.
Karen Sanford firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Mead 925‐254‐5202 home