Loving Our Neighbors

Welcoming the Stranger

We live in an era of deep tensions in our country around issues of race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration. Fear of “the stranger” has been increasing, whether the perceived stranger is native-born, a new arrival or just looks “different” from the traditional majority. This leads to inhumane, fear-based policies and violence against people of color, immigrants and refugees. Worldwide, the number of refugees and displaced people is higher now than at any other time in human history. People experiencing or fleeing violence seek safety and security, but the paths they take to escape their situations are often dangerous or blocked.

 

As Christians we have a common identity as children of a loving creator who became vulnerable as Emmanuel, God with us. And we have a duty to treat all people in need as we would treat Christ among us: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).

We encourage you to join us in advocacy and to engage with the following organizations:

AMMPARO

The ELCA’s AMMPARO program is a holistic strategy focused on using the church’s connections within Central America, Mexico and the U.S. to uphold and guarantee the protection and safety of children in the region. AMMPARO stands for “Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities.”  In Spanish, the word “amparo” with one “m” means “shelter” or “protection.” The program is based on three guiding principles: Accompaniment, Awareness Building and Advocacy.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)

For more than 80 years, the LIRS has provided welcome for migrants and refugees. Their mission statement reads, "As a witness to God's love for all people, we state with and advocate for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice."

ELCA Advocacy

Connect with our national ELCA network to advocate for just and compassionate immigration policy that reflects our Christian faith.

Anti-Racism

Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota is firmly committed to the work of anti-racism. Systemic racism intersects with all of society and public policy. Redlining, incarceration, gentrification, and the racial wealth gap have contributed and continue to contribute to poverty, housing inequity, and food insecurity. BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by the burning of fossil fuels and subsequent health crises. 

Use the following resources to learn more and engage in the work of anti-racism:

ELCA Racial Justice Ministries

Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, a social statement of the ELCA.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass provides credible, accessible data about communities across Minnesota. Their racial equity resource directory offers information about education, organizations, and advocacy centered on race and racial equity in Minnesota.