Immigrant and Refugee Support Group

Immigrant and Refugee Support Group

Here are some key tasks members of this group focus on:

  • Supporting the Maranatha Indonesian UCC church in person by visiting them on the first Sunday of the month for their English service. No experience necessary. If you get to know someone with an open case you could write a letter of support for them which could help persuade the judge to decide in their favor.
  • Although membership in the Maranatha Indonesian UCC has rebounded some since the 2011 deportations people with revocable immigration statuses are feeling threatened again. Send letters of encouragement to their congregation at 18 Town Hall Rd Madbury, NH 03823.
  • Pastor Sandra says, "When you make the choice to call your Members of Congress and Senators, those calls make a difference." The persistence of a small active group is needed!
  • The public needs to know about the benefits of welcoming immigrants. You could host an educational event at your church or attend a rally.
  • The group has recently has organized to provide financial support for immigrants detained in NH. Download the fundraising letter to learn more. 

    Join the Immigrant and Refugee Support Group and learn!

    Nancy Pape
    NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group, chair

Meeting Schedule 

The next meeting of the Immigrant and Refugee Support Group will be:

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 10 AM - 12 PM at the
New Hampshire Conference Center
140 Sheep Davis Road
Pembroke, NH

Welcome the Stranger

The Immigrant and Refugee Support Group [IRSG] will update you from time to time about its success stories in helping immigrants and refugees in New Hampshire. Please feel free to copy these stories for your bulletin or newsletter.

October 2019
An African woman sought asylum and was encouraged to take an LPN course. She graduated at the top of her class and is now ready to build herself a future in America, thanks to the support of the IRSG and affiliates.

When eligible immigrants are bonded out of jail, they need a place to live and people to talk to about their future plans—sometimes in Spanish or French. This is a wonderful opportunity for members of our churches to increase their fluency in another language while welcoming the stranger to our country. To learn more about being a host, contact Nancy Pape at (603) 969-7892 or email at

September 2019
Recently 500 people from Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire marched to the Strafford County jail in support of detained refugees. While the demonstrators held a worship service outside the jail, detainees were able to see through a window and send messages to them. Said one,“ We were excited because we feel there are people fighting for us. I’ve been here for a long time so it feels like people forget us.”

August 2019
The Immigrant and Refugee Support Group (IRSG) is a ministry of the New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ that helps people who have been jailed in New Hampshire for immigration reasons. The individuals are kept in the Strafford Country jail pending their court hearings and setting bond. The IRSG offers them a commissary stipend to place phone calls and buy personal supplies and helps them with the bonding process.

Thanks to the generosity of many, the IRSG has bonded out eleven people who are now free to live and apply for a work permit while their case works through the court system. Each bonded person receives a modest monthly payment to help until a job is found.

July 16, 2019
The latest good news concerns a young man who sought asylum from Guatemala, was arrested at the Texas border and sent to jail in New Hampshire, where he sat for two years before the IRSG heard his story. He has now been bonded out of jail awaiting his hearing and has applied for a work permit. In the meantime, the IRSG found him a place to live and provides him with a modest monthly payment to tide him over until a job is found.
Your church can help support this ministry by sending contributions (payable to NHCUCC) to the conference office (NHCUCC, 140 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, NH 03275) with a memo noting this is for the IRSG Fund.  You may also donate online by entering your contribution in the Immigrant Bond and Support Fund field.

Four-Day "Solidarity Walk for Immigrant Justice" to begin August 21, 2019


Participants will walk the 40 miles from Concord to Dover over the course of these days and you are welcome to join us! The walk begins in Concord at the US District Courthouse. The walk will end at the Strafford County Jail in Dover, where ICE jails people slated for their deportation. As we walk, we will hold educational, prayerful and discussion-focused evening events open to the public.

Download a flyer for the Immigrant Solidarity Walk that can be used as a bulletin insert in your churches.

Update on the Immigrant and Refugee Support Group Bond Fund - July 2019

The NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group (IRSG) has created a bond fund to free immigrants from detention at the Strafford County jail in Dover.
Already the fund has been used many times to reunite immigrants with their families and to give them an opportunity to make strong cases for asylum and other legal remedies. The fund is getting low and your contributions are needed!
You can make a check payable to NHCUCC ( "IRSG Bond Fund" on the memo line) and send to NH Conference UCC, 140 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, NH 03275. Or you can donate online at: Indicate your gift as "other" and designate the "IRSG Bond Fund."
Your contribution is tax deductible and will make a wonderful difference in the lives of our immigrant neighbors. Thank you!

Please help us spread the word that there is still a need by using these bulletin inserts:

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