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Immigration Study Guide: Week Six

Seeking Solutions

Goals

  • To visualize what a just immigration policy would look like from a Unitarian Universalist (UU) perspective
  • To plan next steps of participation in the social witness process

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a broad understanding of immigration from a faith-based perspective, and from our UU tradition
  • Consider ways in which we can achieve a policy on immigration that is in keeping with Unitarian Universalist principles

Handouts for Week Six

  1. 6.1 We Are One (PDF, 5 pages), by UUA President, Rev. Peter Morales
  2. 6.2 Chronological Summary of UUA Statements on Immigration (PDF)
  3. 6.3 Liberation Theology (PDF, 11 pages)
  4. 6.4 Interfaith Platform on Humane Immigration Reform (PDF, 13 pages)
  5. 6.5 Who Is My Neighbor? (PDF)

Workshop-at-a-Glance

5” Chalice Lighting and Opening Reading

10” Check-in

15” Activity 1: Theology of Immigration

15” Activity 2: Principles of Immigration Reform

20” Activity 3: Who Are Our Neighbors?

10” Next Steps

10” Debrief

5” Closing

Chalice Lighting and Opening Reading

Mi Tribu/ My Tribe, by Alberto Blanco (Translation by James Nolan)

Check-in

Participants are invited to share where they are spiritually/emotionally with respect to the class.

Facilitators should bring plenty of newsprint paper for all four exercises below:

Activity 1: Theology of Immigration

Based on the readings and one’s own personal experiences/reflections, what are the theological/spiritual principles underlying a just approach to immigration? Do not go into specifics about policy here. We're talking about broad principles—for example, in the Jewish and Christian traditions adherents are called to welcome their neighbors.

Activity 2: Principles of Immigration Reform

Translating your theological/spiritual principles into public policy, what does the U.S. need to do with regards to immigration? If you need guidance, use the Interfaith Platform as a model, but feel free to adjust to better fit your principles from Activity 1.

Activity 3: Who Are Our Neighbors?

Participants share their research findings regarding immigrant communities in the area. If one or two groups come up repeatedly amongst the participants, that might indicate the group has a significant presence in the community.

Activity 4: Next Steps

This is the time to think about next steps. Is further study of some of the issue that have come up in order? Additional resources are available in Section II of the study guide that could help initiate another class or a covenant group. And/or perhaps people would like to pursue forming partnerships with an immigrant community in the neighborhood. And/or perhaps people would like to advocate for immigration reform. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) provides resources for advocacy, which are also in Section II of the study guide.

Debrief

Participants are invited to share anything that strongly moved them during the session.

Closing Reading and Extinguishing the Chalice

Go out into the highways and byways of America, your new country. Give the people... something of your new vision. You may possess only a small light, but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men. Give them, not hell, but hope and courage. Do not push them deeper into their theological despair, but preach the kindness and everlasting love of God.

—John Murray, Universalist minister

Homework for the Weeks Beyond

To be determined by participants of this curriculum.

Further Study

To explore the topics covered in this session, as well as related topics, see the resources listed in section II.F (PDF, 7 pages) of the study guide.

For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

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