This year, WPLC is reflecting on “Our Migration Stories” throughout Advent as we lead up to becoming an “AMMPARO immigrant-welcoming congregation” at the end of December.
Our Christian faith is full of migrant stories: Abraham became an immigrant due to famine. Joseph was a foreigner who saves many Egyptians from hunger. Hagar is a foreigner working as a household laborer whom God sees and to whom God responds.
During Advent we especially remember God’s migration to humankind in the form of Jesus and Jesus’ own migrant journey as a refugee.
We join into the hopeful expectation for what is about to be born- for the transformative love, joy, and peace that Christ’s arrival brings in the world and in us. As we reflect on “Our Migration Stories” during Advent, we have the chance reflect on the stories of immigrants in our communities and actively await and explore the possibilities for a more just and loving world for all people.
In 2017, WPLC voted to become an “Immigrant-Welcoming Congregation,” and last year, considered joining the AMMPARO immigrant-welcoming congregation through the AMMPARO network of the ELCA. AMMPARO stands for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities.
This Advent season, we’ll have the chance to embody the AMMPARO immigrant principles, and lay a foundation for future immigrant-welcoming ministries at WPLC, before officially becoming an “AMMPARO immigrant-welcoming congregation” on December 20, 2020.
The four principles that we will live out during this Advent season include:
- Spiritually and pastorally accompany migrants
- Pray for migrant children and families
- Participate in ELCA advocacy
- Physically accompany migrants as needed to medical, legal and pastoral resources
write letters to detained immigrants
Write a letter to an immigrant in detention in partnership with the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI).
RSVP to “Justice First (Sunday)” on December 6th at 11am, for a discussion Ali Smith, Program Director from ICDI exploring the impact of writing letters to immigrants in detention.
International migrants day
Join us for joint bilingual (English/Spanish) worship with Iglesia Luterana de la Trinidad on December 13, where we will bless the letters and cards we have written to immigrants in detention centers (see above), pray for individuals receiving our letters as well as all immigrants in detention, and commemorate International Migrant’s Day.
be a nativity host
WPLC’s communal nativity- the “Migrating Holy Family”- will be trekking all over Chicago in order to reach its final destination back at the church.
Build community, re-enact the migrant journey of the Holy Family, pray, and advocate for migrants by signing up for a few days that you will host WPLC’s communal nativity in your home.
As Nativity Host, you will:
- Display the Migrating Holy Family in your home for 4-7 days
- Use the Prayer and Action Guide to reflect on “Our Migration Stories” (optional)
- Take a picture with the nativity and make a note in our Online Community Journal (optional)
- Sanitize before physically drop off the migrating Holy Family with the following hosts (we will try to accommodate all limitations in transportation).
Sign up to be a Nativity Host and help the Holy Family on their journey!
Participate in WPLC’s “Third Sunday Teachings” during Advent looking at migration stories in the Bible on November 15th and December 20th.
protect the health of detained immigrants
People locked up in immigration detention are extremely vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 disease due to the track record of fatally flawed medical care in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) custody. Read about the #FreeThemAll: campaign and Urge the Chicago ICE Field Director to prevent the spread of COVID in Chicago Detention Centers.
Expand the welcome for refugees
On the evening of Sept. 30, the Trump Administration announced its new annual refugee admissions goal: a ceiling of 15,000 refugees, which is the lowest target in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Join with 243 bishops and other rostered ministers to call for resettlement of 95,000 refugees, the historic norm. Urge Congress to welcome more refugees in 2021.
Contribute to a collaborative list of resources for immigrants by emailing Vicar Bethany (firstname.lastname@example.org) information about medical, legal, and pastoral resources that could be included in this list. Please be sure to include the name of the organization, services offered, and the contact person of the organization.