By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications
Delegates of the 217th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC voted unanimously in favor of sponsoring a General Synod resolution that will call on all settings of the United Church of Christ to enter into covenants promising to welcome immigrants.
The Annual Meeting voted in favor of a draft of the resolution, to be submitted to the biennial meeting of the denomination being held in 2017. It authorized the Board of Directors to vote to sponsor the final version of the resolution - which is still being drafted by representatives from a number of Conferences that also plan to sponsor it - once it is in its final form.
The draft resolution calls on Synod to "encourage the development of policies dedicated to facilitating the respectful welcome and inclusion of all immigrants into the United States and calls on congregations, associations and Conferences to become active 'Immigrant Welcoming Congregations and Communities.'"
"This resolution is different from past Synod actions," said The Rev. Dawn Adams of First Congregational Church in Brimfield. "Previous resolutions have called on the government for action. This resolution calls on us to do the work."
"The Scriptures call on us to love our neighbors, to welcome strangers ... not just in word, but in action," she said.
View the resolution here.