Over the last 25 years, North Carolina has gone through some tremendous demographic shifts, bringing tremendous new ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity to both its large cities and small towns. In the midst of these remarkable changes, FaithAction International House believes each individual, each congregation, each community has a crucial question to answer: Will we fear one another as strangers or embrace one another as neighbors? A few years ago, FaithAction International House developed the Stranger to Neighbor Congregations initiative to help Christians (and many other religious congregations) go on a heart and mind journey from fearing newcomers as strangers to embracing them as neighbors. Congregations are often on the front lines of cultural and spiritual change, and given all of the concerning conflict and unnecessary suffering around immigration recently, FaithAction International House recognized the importance of congregations taking this timely journey for the wellbeing of their entire communities. The S2N Congregations initiative provides theologically and culturally diverse congregations with: in-depth education on immigration and diversity, meaningful exchanges between congregants and newcomers, service and social justice alongside their newest neighbors, and opportunities to share transformative stories of how strangers becoming neighbors benefits the entire community. This project involves strengthening and expanding the Stranger to Neighbor Congregations initiative to 50 faith communities in North Carolina and across the country.
Stranger to Neighbor Congregations
Jose Bernal Munoz