Members of Riverside Community Church, United Church of Christ (UCC), have voted to become an “Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.”

The vote, which took place in a congregational meeting on June 4, came after a lengthy process of education, discussion and discernment, according to Rev. Vicky Stifter. “Church members gathered over the course of several months to pray, reflect on scripture, learn about immigration law and listen to the stories of our neighbors,” said Stifter. “Again and again, we heard stories of immense fear and injustice.”

In the Immigrant Welcoming Declaration, church members declare in part “…we are moved by our faith and consciences to stand together with our documented and undocumented immigrant brothers and sisters and their families.” Specifically, the congregation commits to deepen its connection to immigrants, educate itself about immigration law and policy, and advocate for just and humane immigration reform. Riverside members also commit to accompany and support people at immigration-related hearings, and to offer physical sanctuary to those at imminent risk of deportation.

Riverside is located at Fourth and State Streets in downtown Hood River. Worship services are held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For further information, see riversideucc.com.

To learn more about the United Church of Christ and its global mission, see www.ucc.org.

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