We had a great meeting on July 8th learning about the ELCA Welcoming Congregations Network of AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities). The welcoming network was initiated by the Southwest California Synod in response to a declaration signed by ELCA bishops of the companion synods with the church in El Salvador. It has now expanded through the AMMPARO strategy to other ELCA synods and congregations. For a brief explanation of what AMMPARO is and how it began, click here.
Welcoming Congregations make four commitments:
• welcome and minister to migrants and identify a contact person in the congregation who has the language skills necessary for basic communication;
• physically accompany migrants as they make new lives in local communities;
• pray for justice for migrants; and
• advocate for public policy that will positively impact the current immigration crisis – including working in partnership with the ELCA Washington Office and Lutheran Immigration and
Refugee Service on immigration reform.
Welcoming congregations will be invited to:
• attend occasional meetings of the Welcoming Congregations Network or AMMPARO group in
your synod for mutual support, fellowship and training; and
• participate in national AMMPARO network conference calls to be updated on the current
situation of the migration of children and families and receive policy updates.
As misinformation about legal immigration abounds, it is helpful to have access to factual resources to get an accurate view. Below you will find an Infographic used by AMMPARO that illustrates the legal immigration process.