We hope that congregations across South Dakota will find a way to act to “Love Your Neighbor. No Exceptions” in your congregation or community. The ideas below are examples of easy, low-intensity ways to show and build ally-ship in your home congregation or hometown.
Ideas for Action
1) Using “Love Your Neighbor” materials
Yard Signs – yard signs can be ordered for free from “Love Your Neighbor” staff. Email email@example.com before July 31, 2017
Button and sticker distribution – in church, at an event (farmer’s market, county fair)
2) Fellowship & Social Events
Host a potluck dinner with another religious group or new immigrants; or host a welcome dinner for a small group of recently resettled refugees
Host a picnic of campout for new immigrants, refugees or another vulnerable group in your town
Plan a joint volunteer event. You could serve food at the Banquet soup kitchen, pack school supplies/backpacks, host a neighborhood cleanup day, or plant flowers to beautify an area of town
Open up VBS to immigrant church or group, include songs or crafts that highlight the other group’s language or culture
Host a cultural appreciation event at a religious center or school, focused on the food, music or a movie about another religion, culture or immigrant group
Host a speaker from another religion, culture or immigrant group in SD to speak about their community and answer questions – can combine with a focus on food and socializing
3) Visibility Projects
Show your support for new immigrants and refugees by putting up a “You are Welcome Here” sign in three languages for your church. Available on Amazon.
Fund/lead the creation of a mural that supports inclusion, mutual respect and kindness at a church, school or local college & university.
Use the “Love Your Neighbor” public service announcement and take photos of people in your congregation or community (again at a community event like a county fair) holding “Love Your Neighbor” signs. If you use an instant camera, you can post pictures immediately and create a collage at a county fair booth or in the front of your church. Funds from “Love Your Neighbor” can pay for both posters to hold for the pictures and film for an instant camera (or even an instant camera if you buy a cheap one.)
Take a group field trip to visit the Muslim Community Center of SD, the Jewish synagogue in Sioux Falls, a Native American church, an immigrant church, a refugee resettlement agency, the LGBT community center in Sioux Falls, or the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha. Meet with leaders and experience a worship service, or ask about the group’s work.