20 Parish Enrichment Activity Ideas for Immigration Sunday, MN

1. Ancestry Map: Display a large world map in the gathering space of your church. Invite parishioners to identify their country/countries of ancestry by using a pushpin or flag.

2. Explore Family History: Invite each family in your parish to bring in their oldest family photo. Ask parishioners to answer the following questions about the photo:

  • What story does the photo tell? Why is this photo special to you and/or your family?
  • Who is in the photo? How are the people related to you?
  • When was the photo taken? Who took the photo? Who kept the photo?
  • Why was the photo saved?

Photocopy the family photo and have families write stories using the above questions. Mount photos and stories on squared cardstock. Frame each picture and story on a larger piece of construction paper and invite children to illustrate the frames. Create a large quilt with all the pictures. Display the quilt in the gathering space of your church.

3. Grandparent and Grandchild Day: Host a luncheon or tea party for grandparents and grandchildren. Provide an opportunity for children to interview their grandparents and record their responses in homemade books. Children should be encouraged to ask questions about their ancestry.

4. Forum on U.S. Immigration Policy: Host a forum on immigration policy. Invite speakers from your community (business, education, faith and legislative). Examine current immigration policies in both the United States and Minnesota. Consider a variety of viewpoints on several controversial issues related to immigration, and discuss the issues in light of past, current and proposed legislation. Use the book titles listed on pages 30 and 31 of this Guide as a starting point.

5. Family Tree: Host an evening on family ancestry. Invite a speaker from your local historical society to speak about performing family history research. Please see pages 33-35 of this Guide for ancestry and genealogy resources.-

6. Catholic Social Teaching: Offer a parish education program on Catholic social teaching on immigration. Invite your diocesan social action, social concerns or social justice office to speak.

7. Sign-up for the Justice for Immigrants Campaign: Join the Justice for Immigrants campaign at http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org

8. Sign-up for the Justice for Immigrants Minnesota Campaign: Join the Justice for Immigrants Minnesota campaign at http://jfimn.org/

9. Posada: Offer a parish screening of Posada, a documentary about the plight of unaccompanied immigrant children arriving in the United States. Please see page 32 of this Guide for other DVD and video titles. For more information on Posada, visit the following link: http://posadas-project.com

10. Sponsor a Family: Help your parish sponsor a migrant or refugee family building a new life in Minnesota.

11. Supply Drive: Collect backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies for refugee and migrant school children.

12. Diocesan Resettlement Programs: Learn more about refugee resettlement efforts in your diocese. Contact your local Diocesan Resettlement Office or Catholic Charities and request a speaker.

13. Parish Service Day: Plan a parish service day, offering home repairs and skill sharing, in a neighborhood where migrants and refugees live.

14. ESL Class: Establish an English as a Second Language (ESL) class or offer a parish tutoring program for immigrants, migrants and refugees.

15. Meal: Host a weekly or monthly meal for migrant workers in your community.

16. Parish Advocacy Committee: Participate in or start a Parish Advocacy Committee, hosting monthly educational programs and legislative workshops.

17. Ethnic Food Festival: Host a parish ethnic food festival, or a multi-cultural potluck supper, to celebrate the diverse food traditions in your community. *Throughout the year, celebrate different ethnic feasts and holidays as a parish.

18. Book Study: Host a book study on one of the books listed on our website. Select Edwidge Danticat’s book, Brother, I’m Dying, and use the Discussion Guide to facilitate a study session.

19. Perform a Play: Read through, or perform, the play, Line in the Sand. The play can be downloaded from the following site: http://crs.org/dramaproject/

20. Take the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Test: Host an evening gathering to discuss immigration. At the beginning of the gathering, invite parishioners to take the USCIS Naturalization Test. However, do not tell parishioners where the test is from until after they have completed it. Discuss the test.

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