Beginning Sept. 28, about 50 United Methodists will represent the denomination in New York during eight days of activities calling attention to the issue of global migration.
The events, associated with the People’s Action on Global Migration, Development and Human Rights, coincide with the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development scheduled Oct.3-4 at the U.N. General Assembly.
United Methodist Women is part of the New York City host committee for the People’s Action activities, which include worship services, workshops, film screenings and community visits. Many of the events will take place at the Church Center for the United Nations.
The United Methodist delegation includes 13 representatives from outside the United States, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, who will participate in both the People’s Global Action events and the U.N. high-level dialogue.
Those representatives also will partner with an ecumenical delegation to explore future collaborations and networking. Iowa Area Bishop Julius C. Trimble, who leads the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration, will be part of the delegation.
Other United Methodist delegates include members of the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration, United Methodist Women, clergy, denominational staff and interns and ecumenical partners.
The first U.N.-sponsored dialogue on international migration, in 2006, created a permanent Global Forum on Migration and Development, which has since met annually.
Concerns raised by churches over this year’s high-level dialogue include the failure of governments and the international community to meet the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals in ways that are “truly transformative” of their societies. Protection of human rights for migrants and refugees remains an ongoing issue.
Among the side events before the Oct. 3-4 high-level dialogue is a daylong ecumenical event, “The Other Is My Neighbor,” Oct. 1, hosted by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society at the Church Center for the United Nations. The event marks the fourth international consultation of Churches Witnessing with Migrants.
The launch of a book about global migration with the same title, published by the World Council of Churches, is part of the Oct. 1 event, said the Rev. Liberato Bautista, who directs Church and Society’s U.N. office.
Other specific United Methodist-related events include:
• An informal dinner for delegates and guests, followed by a 7:30 p.m. public performance of Manos Indocumentadas (Undocumented Hands), a Cantata for Choir, Soloists and Instrumental Ensemble, at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Manhattan
• Worship at local United Methodist churches on Sept. 29
• A 5 p.m. rally at Foley Square in lower Manhattan and march across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of migrant human rights on Oct. 2.