NO BORDERS TO LOVE: IMMIGRATION JUSTICE AT M.L.U.C.
Immigration and refugee issues are deeply rooted in the social justice programs at Main Line Unitarian Church. Our moral commitment to a welcoming and compassionate congregation includes advocacy and action across borders both literal and ideological.
We support the rights of all peoples to live in safety, security and freedom, focusing locally, nationally and internationally. And, just as love knows no boundaries, we extend helping hands to the most vulnerable refugee communities with a wide range of programs, including:
- Ongoing education and dialogue to promote understanding of evolving policy, conditions and needs. All-church readings and discussions, for example, have fostered a deeper grasp of issues ranging from southern border detentions and deportations to Afghan cultural life. These offer mutually beneficial pursuits, fostering self-determination over charity.
- Advocacy and collaboration with denominational and community organizations. Members of our church were active in establishing the Nationalities Service Center (Philadelphia’s primary refugee group), providing ongoing lay leadership, congregational volunteers and support. Activities here have ranged from helping host an American Thanksgiving for immigrants to sponsoring an Afghan family.
- Financial and material support to relevant groups. MLUC Offering Outreach donations have been designated to help both Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, as well as general ESL education for the broader immigrant community, to name just a few. Additionally, members have partnered with the Nationalities Service Center and other immigrant programs to provide needed supplies.
- Direct involvement and hands-on assistance. MLUC’s most recent refugee program – sponsoring an Afghan mother, father and two young girls – demonstrates the depth of our commitment to immigrants most in need. This year we located and furnished an apartment for the family and contributed extensive direct support. In addition to financial and material donations from the congregation at large, a core of some 50 volunteers helped in virtually every aspect of their new American lives; English tutoring, schooling, medical care, job and financial mentoring, rides, legal advice, and even a baby shower are some examples.
War and other disasters will continue to provide new challenges for refugees. MLUC will continue to ask: “How can we help?”