In June 2018 we voted to become an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation. Our Immigrant Welcoming declaration reads:
Immigrant Welcoming Congregation Declaration of
Lake Oswego United Church of Christ
We are followers of Jesus, who welcomes everyone and treats everyone with dignity and compassion.
As members and friends of Lake Oswego United Church of Christ , we are called by our God to work to create a world where there are no longer strangers, responding in word and action whenever lives are made vulnerable or injustice occurs.
In these days, we are moved by our faith and consciences to stand together with immigrants and their families.
This requires that we build relationships across barriers, educate ourselves, advocate for human rights and accompany our immigrant neighbors in times of need.
Therefore, hereby, we declare ourselves an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation and commit to the following:
Deepen the connection between immigrant and nonimmigrant members and families within Lake Oswego UCC and throughout the broader community.
We will renew our study of the sacred stories of migration and hospitality, injustice and hope which already exist in our own tradition.
We will welcome and listen to the first-hand stories of immigrants and their families in our community who have experienced injustice.
We will continue to build relationships through worship and other activities (service projects, community events).
Educate ourselves and our community about immigration-related issues
We will educate ourselves about issues facing immigrants in our society (e.g., profiling, wage theft), and about legislation targeting immigration policy reform.
We will educate ourselves about the root causes of migration and immigration.
We will avail ourselves of resources from and support organizations that work for immigrant justice/immigration policy reform.
We will collaborate with organizations that work for immigrant justice to offer public forums on immigration-related issues for the wider community.
Advocate for a fair and humane immigration system
We will actively and publicly work for comprehensive and just immigration reform in all levels of government consistent with the policies and social teachings of the United Church of Christ.
We will support the position of the United Church of Christ and other faith-based organizations calling for an end to programs that separate families or erode trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities.
We will be a compassionate and persistent voice for justice for our immigrant siblings and their families.
We will use our voice as a church community as well as provide opportunities for individual members to add their voices to resolutions, petitions, and public forums addressing unjust immigration related practices and policies.
We will use our privilege to amplify and walk alongside those in the immigrant community already working for justice and reform.
Accompany and support immigrants and their families at their request when facing immigration-related hearings and meetings or seeking change in their immigration status
We will accompany immigrants at their request to immigration hearings and meetings related to immigration status to provide witness and support.
We will provide hospitality and tangible support for immigrants and their families going through immigration-related proceedings (e.g., meals; transportation to and from appointments, etc.)
We will support congregations that offer physical sanctuary to immigrants at imminent risk for deportation as a declared sanctuary church.
We will seek ways to provide financial support when appropriate to immigrants and their families facing financial hardship because of immigration-related proceedings and issues.
We will host, or co-host with other immigrant justice organizations educational programs as needed.
We will consider the call to offer temporary short-term physical sanctuary to immigrants at imminent risk for deportation as a declared Immigrant Welcoming Congregation, considering such requests on a case by case basis, after appropriate investigation, and approval of our church council.