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Change the Conversation: IMMIGRATION

This workshop is the first in a series focusing on issues of justice, equity and inclusion.


In Change the Conversation, attendees will learn from organizations and speakers whose work is centered around immigration and discover how individuals and churches can assist immigrants. 

Two 1-hour breakout sessions will be offered during this event. Descriptions of each breakout session can be found below.

  • In-person attendees can choose which two sessions to attend at time of registration.

  • Virtual participants will attend two breakout sessions, Spring Forest ESL and The General Board of Church and Society webinar.

When:     SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

                 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Where:   Morehead United Methodist Church
                 3214 Horse Pen Creek Road
                 Greensboro, NC 27410   

                  Virtual option via Zoom
Cost:      $25/person for virtual or in-person participation.

                 For in-person attendance, lunch provided.

Registration closes at 5pm on September 25 for in-person participants.

Registration closes at 5pm on September 29 for virtual participants.  

Breakout Sessions

World Relief

Contact: Amber Diaz Pearson


World Relief works to educate, equip, and empower the local church and community to build just and welcoming communities where refugees and other immigrants can thrive. We are motivated by God's call throughout scripture to welcome the stranger and we invite churches and the wider community to partner with us through volunteering, giving, and advocacy.


Join us in this breakout session to learn more about how we view the tangible witness of relationship-building between community members and our newest neighbors, and the vocal witness of speaking out to support them, to be key to developing a healthy narrative around immigration. We also will share resources with attendees to get started advocating for our refugees and other immigrant neighbors.

Church World Service

Contact: Madison Burke

This breakout session will highlight the NC-Immigrant Solidarity Fund (NC-ISF), a statewide, grassroots effort to support undocumented and mixed status families facing financial hardship due to a recent ICE detention & deportation, emergency, or natural disaster.

Faith Action International House

Contact: Brandon Dockery

This breakout session will feature our Stranger to Neighbor Congregations Initiative that builds transformational relationships between theologically and culturally diverse faith communities through four steps: education, exchange, faith in action, and telling the story.

Spring Forest,


Contact: Elissa Huffstetler

Learn about the ESL program at The Church at Spring Forest that is a unique partnership between three organizations. Spring Forest furnishes bus transportation as well as volunteer and financial support  (hiring translators and teachers), we rely on Pleasant Green UMC for the physical facilities, volunteers to help staff the program and administrative support and World Relief supplies us with contacts to newly arrived immigrant families. We offer classes in ESL from the most basic of learning letters and numbers for the first time to more advanced instruction in navigating social or work situations they might encounter.  Our program is also different than most since we provide childcare for the families while the parents are learning.  

NC Council

of Churches


NC Council of Churches representatives offer a workshop cultivating discussion of welcoming neighbors who are immigrating, and exploring issues of mental health that may arise related to experiences of immigration. Through the NCCC Health and Wholeness Initiative, grants may be made available to congregations called to develop ministries in this and other areas focused on wholeness for persons and communities.

The Power of Story

Contact: Rev. Alicia Rapking

“It’s not our problem, we have other issues to be concerned with.”  What can a pastor do to change this attitude in her faith community but write a comprehensive curriculum focusing on our own immigrant stories? By learning our own ancestors' stories, we begin to relate to the migrant’s painful circumstances surrounding the decision to risk everything to migrate to a place of safety. Dr. Rapking's curriculum is based upon primary research of her family's story. She invites you to discover the power of story as a tool for justice and reconciliation. 

General Board of Church and Society of the UMC

The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church (GBCS) will offer a recorded webinar that will be viewed by virtual participants and made available for viewing to in-person participants after the event. The webinar will cover:

  • What is the theology of migration and what does our faith say about welcoming the stranger?

  • Why should we care about migrants and the forced displacement of people?

  • What can we do to support migrants?  How can we influence our legislators to change unjust and inhumane policies?  

  • GBCS will share resources and a toolkit.

Event Sponsors

The vision of Neighborhood Seminary is for God’s healing, reconciling, forgiving, and liberating love to become flesh and blood and move into the neighborhood through the church.

The goal in Neighborhood Seminary is to seamlessly integrate theological and spiritual education for head, heart, and hands, so that lay people can fully participate in God's mission in the world. What is that mission? The risen Christ states it in Revelation 21:5: "Look! I am making all things new!"
H4H is a mission dedicated to making disciples of Jesus Christ who share Jesus’ compassion and calling for prophetic action on behalf of the least of these. H4H is an ecumenical and interfaith mission of hope, reimagining all people as the image of God and of sacred value.

H4H is a mission of the Church at Spring Forest, a United Methodist 
new monastic, missional faith community. Our ministries focus especially on regenerative farming, supporting refugee resettlement, contemplative and healing spirituality,  and fostering the nutritional and spiritual well-being of our neighbors.
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