Immigration and Community

Working Toward a Biblical Perspective

September 25, 2010


This conference was an opportunity for participants to engage Biblical perspectives on immigration and community, including the specific issues surrounding undocumented immigrants. Participants heard about the impact of immigration at the local level and various philosophies and possibilities of response. The conference assisted participants in exploring how churches, individuals, and community groups can increase understanding and engage in immigration ministry or advocacy.

Conference Materials


Here are some documents that were presented at the conference:

*Portions of this address are based on the material Scott Hoezee prepared for the 2010 study committee report on "The Migration of Workers" prepared for the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The full report is available in English and in Spanish.


Click here to view the schedule.


Mariano Avila was born in Mexico City, where he served as pastor of six Presbyterian churches. He has also served in the Seminary of the National Presbyterian Church as professor, academic dean, and president, and was professor of Biblical Studies at the Comunidad Teologica de Mexico. He was Academic Dean of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Estudios Teologicos (Miami, Florida), and is a member of the Academic Council of PRODOLA, the doctoral program (Ph.D.) for professors, leaders, and pastors in Latin America. For several years he was coordinator of urban ministries for community transformation and theological adviser for World Vision Mexico, and was also advisor for the Spanish ministry of CRC Publications.

Rev. Scott E. Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has served two congregations. He was the pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Michigan, from 1990-1993. Then from 1993-2005 he was the Minister of Preaching and Administration at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the spring of 2005 Scott accepted the Seminary's offer to become the first Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching. He has also been a member of the Pastor-Theologian Program sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was pastor-in-residence in the fall of 2000. He currently serves as one of three co-editors of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought.

Mark A. Grey is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa. He is also Director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. The Center is an award-winning program that provides consultation, training and publications to Iowa communities, churches, organizations, and employers as they deal with the unique challenges and opportunities associated with influxes of immigrant and refugee newcomers. Read More.

Dr. Michele Devlin is professor of public health at the University of Northern Iowa, where she is the recipient of the Richard Remington Award, the Governor's Award, the Iowa Civil Rights Award, and other local, state, and national honors for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service in the health and human rights field. Dr. Devlin is Director of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities, a model organization funded by the National Institutes of Health to improve health equity for underserved populations. She also directs Cultural Connections, a non-profit consulting organization at the University of Northern Iowa that provides training for agencies on cultural competency, tolerance, and diversity issues. Read More.