First UMC Conroe Observes "DREAM Sabbath" and Invites Others to Participate
The United Methodist Council of Bishops’ Committee on Immigration, the United Methodist Interagency Immigration Task Force, and the General Board of Church & Society are encouraging congregations to observe a "DREAM Sabbath” to raise awareness regarding the “Dream Act” and the young people who desperately need us to help them tell Congress to pass it.
Here in the Texas Annual Conference, First UMC Conroe, home of one of our dynamic Hispanic congregations, is leading the way. On October 1, 2011 at 7 p.m., FUMC-Conroe is hosting a candlelight vigil as part of the DREAM Sabbath. All are invited to participate. Associate pastor, Rev. Scott Moore says, “This will be a religious service, not a political rally, to draw the attention of the faith community to the issue of immigration and, particularly, its effects on the younger generations.”
What is the Dream Act?
The “Dream Act” is a legislative bill, “Development, Relief & Education for Alien Minors (DREAM),” which if passed into law would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.
How would the Dream Act help immigrant young men and women?
Thousands of children came to this country with their parents and have been raised in the United States for most of their lives. The United States is the only country they know. This is their home. Yet, they currently have no path to legal status. As the President of the United Methodist Council of Bishop’s states in his letter of August 16, 2011, on behalf of the Council, “Immigrant children have been brought to this county by no choice of their own. We believe that children should not be punished for the actions of their parents. Immigrant children deserve an opportunity to legalize their status. These are young people who, like others in their generation aspire to reach their dreams of a fruitful life. We believe the God we serve would want no less for them.” These young people are some of the children of whom Jesus said, “Invite the little children to come to me and hinder them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
What can we do?
There are a variety of things you can do to help raise awareness and educate others about the DREAM Act. Sunday School Classes, UMW and UMM groups, pastors, Bibles study groups, prayer groups, can hold a Bible study class, worship or prayer service, or information opportunity. Be creative. Hold a Candlelight vigil. If nothing else, attend First UMC Conroe’s candlelight vigil and ask others to join you.. Say a prayer during your worship service and have materials available at your church information center. The ways to participate are as numerous as your creative ideas.
Where can I find resources and more information?
There are all kinds of resources available from Bible studies, prayers, real-life stories of young people who are praying for the DREAM Act to pass, scripture texts, bulletin inserts, sermons starters, reflections, and other materials that you can use. You can find these online at http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/sabbath_packet.pdf