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Welcoming the Stranger Ideas & Resources

Share worship space

This is one of the easiest ways to welcome the stranger among us.

It will be necessary for the two parties to discuss fully the conditions of usage.  Worship times, availability of space, rental (?) and other factors need to be agreed upon.  Contact your District Field Outreach Minister to get the name of a church near you which has done this successfully.

Offer ESL Classes

 English/Second Language classes are a common need.  These can be taught by volunteers with textbooks and a little experience in a language. 

WIC Clinic

(Women, Infants, and Children Nutritional Program) Des Moines West provides space for a WIC Clinic.  Space may be needed for other government sponsored events, such as anger management and abuse problems.

Worship together

Perry First has a bilingual worship service (in this case Spanish and English).  The hope when the program was initiated, was to eventually unite the two groups for worship and to have the church administration shared by both groups.  According to Rev. Paul Burrow (bilingual pastor), “At present we do not have enough members in the Hispanic congregation that can also manage English to do more than have a Hispanic representative on the Staff Parish Relations Committee.  The Spanish-speakers are full members of the church and in the past, they have served on various committees and taken responsibility for the administration of the church.”  (

Trinity Las Americas UMC is the result of the merger on December 11, 2016 of Trinity UMC, a historic congregation founded in the 1880s, and Las Americas Comunidad de Fe, a Latino faith community begun around 1996. The two congregations have worshiped together in a bilingual service since 2007. Through the years various configurations of committees and councils were experimented with although financially and within the denomination they were separate entities until the merger. An English Language Learners program was begun in 2002 and continues today. Through the years we have had many programs for each group - English speakers and Spanish speakers, but also many bilingual programs and activities.  (

North Liberty UMC also offers a bilingual worship service.  (