Welcoming the Stranger | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2018

Welcoming the Stranger

By Jeremy Steele

Immigration is an issue that is repeatedly in the news in our current moment in American history. From headlines about travel bans to children being separated from their families as they try to migrate to America, our students are inundated with opinions on this topic. But the perspectives we offer on this issue go deeper than any politician’s rhetoric or even any current crisis. It reaches deep into our sacred history and calls us to consider it in both practical and spiritual terms. That is why we are excited to be able to distribute a digital version of Welcoming the Stranger by Cindy Click.

Here’s how Welcoming the Stranger describes its purpose:

The goal of Welcoming the Stranger:A Youth Study on Migration is to offer youth ages 12 through 19 a Christian perspective on migration, emigration and immigration and our faithful responsibility to treat all people well. This study, written for leaders, will engage youth in the movement of people to new locations throughout history. Contexts of the study of migration, emigration and immigration include the Bible, ancient and modern history and the present.

Most students have either moved or have been affected by someone else’s relocation; most can trace their family tree to ancescors who were immigrants from another country to the United States. Youth today live in an information- saturated world in which conflict and hostility arise over the immigration status of people in their schools, neighborhoods and cities. They will learn to listen, study and develop their own perspectives rather than simply adopt the views of others.

Welcoming the Stranger has leaders guides to offer up to ten hours of programming around the issue. This resource first published by United Methodist Women is a powerful tool to help you dive into this profound issue with your students. We are proud to partner with them to offer it to you in downloadable form to use in your groups for free.

Welcoming the Stranger Youth Study.

When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at JeremyWords.com.