“The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” – Lev. 19:34 (NRSV)
In the midst of heated debate about the nature of America’s borders, of who is an American – of the very definition of America – we as the Clifton United Methodist Church faith community stand firm. We have an explicit biblical mandate to welcome and love our neighbors, no matter where they are from.
As part of this effort of communicating love to our neighbors, we are distributing “neighbor signs”, based off of an open source design from Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The signs welcome our neighbors in three language: English, Spanish, and Arabic.
We have received an overwhelming positive response, including:
– A hand-written letter from an Iraqi graduate student at UC, walking by a parishioner’s home (Linda and Jim Young) who had placed the sign in their front yard, thanking us, feeling loved and blessed.
– “The most concentrated pocket of Hispanic families in NKY live two blocks from us in Newport. I hope they see our yard sign and feel safe and supported. I’m having a hard time keeping up with local demand for these signs and I’ve never felt more solidarity in our neighborhood.” – Jeff
– An Instagram/Facebook post of our sign on Sunday garnered 60 shares (and counting) and 12,000 views – showing just how many people need and want to hear this message – and to share it.
We encourage you to get your own neighbor signs and display them prominently in your home, your business, your car – it’s a message that needs to be heard.
To get one of our printed signs:
For local inquiries, contact Jeff Scott : 217-898-8325, firstname.lastname@example.org
For inquiries outside Cincinnati, contact Nick Federinko email@example.com or the church office, 513-961-2998.
To put more signs in more yards, donations are welcome – you can also give online via PayPal at http://www.cliftonumc.com/get-involved/gifts/
You are also invited to worship with us on Sundays 9:15 AM and 11 AM – we have the signs available in the back of the sanctuary every Sunday.
To print your own sign:
The red, white, and blue design is a customization by Dave Martin at Loveland Graphix. He has graciously made available a PDF of this design for those who wish to print their own: http://files.constantcontact.com/34ae98bf001/cca72fff-e54f-450c-905a-22d3fb30c92f.pdf
Once you have a sign, take a picture and post it to Facebook.com/WelcomeYourNeighbors and connect with other welcoming folks all around the country. You can also visit Immanuel Mennonite’s website to find variations in other languages, including Somali, French, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Hindi. https://immanuelmennonite.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/welcome-sign/
Love thy neighbors!
Clifton United Methodist Church