DREAM Sabbath Sunday Toolkit Available

August 18, 2011

Churches are encouraged to participate in interfaith observance between Sept. 16 and Oct. 9.

By Wayne Rhodes, Editor, Faith in Action
 
The United Methodist Council of Bishops' Committee on Immigration, the United Methodist Interagency Immigration Task Force, and the General Board of Church and Society are encouraging congregations to observe a DREAM Sabbath.
 
The interfaith observance will enlist churches, synagogues, and mosques across the country to dedicate time to a conversation about the Development, Relief & Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, during or around their regular weekly worship service. The DREAM Act bill gives 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.
 
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is organizing the campaign with support from United We Dream. The observance is being developed in cooperation with Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., a longtime proponent of the bipartisan legislation (pioneered by Durbin and Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah).
 
Raise awareness to injustice
 
The sponsors hope to have many "DREAM" students speak at local churches during the observance to assist faith leaders in educating and mobilizing their congregations.
 
A free downloadable toolkit is available to help congregations participate in the DREAM Sabbath on a Sunday between September 16 and October 9. The DREAM Sabbath packet includes planning resources, sacred readings, reflections, links to videos, and sample bulletin inserts.
 
Congregations should feel free to adapt materials to their own needs, and are encouraged to share the toolkit with others.
 
When planning a DREAM Sabbath you are encouraged to consider inviting a DREAM Act student to tell his or her own story.
 
The packet is available at DREAM Sabbath Toolkit (PDF, 1.80 MB). Resources in the toolkit include:
  • Stories of DREAM Act students
  • Sermon stories or sermon starters
  • Bulletin inserts
  • Myths and facts sheets
  • DREAM Act and immigration education materials
  • Theological reflections
  • Links to online videos from faith leaders
Choose a Sunday
 
Congregations may pick a Sunday between Sept. 16 and Oct. 9 for their DREAM Act Sabbath. Churches are urged to Sign up for a Sunday on line, to ensure that sponsors and others in their area are aware of the congregation's participation.
 
For more information contact Bill Mefford (bmefford@umc-gbcs.org), director of Civil and Human Rights at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, 202.488.5657.