Posted on : Monday April 8, 2013

Flags of the WorldBy Michael Mattar

SILVER SPRING, Md.–Current statistic shows that over eleven million illegal immigrants reside in the U.S. These illegal immigrants are here to stay! Congress is working on a bill to grant path to legalize these immigrant’s citizenship. Because of the influx of immigrants (as they become more visible) once this bill passes, Embrace Silver Spring decided to sponsor an immigration awareness conference to educate and provide resources to pastors. Their goal is to educate pastors who currently have immigrant church members, will potentially get immigrant church members, and would like to intentionally evangelize the immigrant community.

The “For Such a Time As This” Immigration Awareness Conference will be held Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Viers Mill Baptist Church, 12221 Viers Mill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906.

Below is additional information on the upcoming conference:

Conference Objectives:

  • To educate and create awareness to the local church in assisting the growing immigration population in Montgomery County and beyond, through compassionate concern and intentional servant evangelism.
  • Our Christian Mandate: “Why Should We Care Biblically?”
  • Immigration Overview: “Life, Liberty and the Law: Local Ministry Connection”
  • Civic Awareness: “Moving Beyond ESL (English Second Language)—Preparing for Citizenship”

Our presenters are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) and World Relief. World Relief is the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, is a faith-based international relief and development organization committed to serving the most vulnerable populations through the local church. World Relief currently works on five continents, in some of the most impoverished areas of the world. In the United States, World Relief focuses on serving the foreign-born, including providing immigrant legal services to refugees, asylees, parolees, victims of trafficking and other vulnerable immigrants in twenty-four cities around the country.

We are very excited to announce this upcoming conference.  This will be a great opportunity to learn how we might further serve our immigrant communities through intentional servant evangelism.

Registration check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. (coffee, juice, water and donuts will be served) and the conference will begin at 10:00 a.m., with lunch at noon, and the conference ending at 2:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. Early registration cost $10, due no later than May 31. Late registration cost $15, after May 31. (Cost includes food and distributed materials) To register by mail use this form, by e-mail send to:; by phone, call the MBA office at (301) 740-7144.

Payment can be mailed in advance or can be paid at time of registration check-in. To register a group of people, please contact the MBA Office at (301) 740-7144 to make special arrangements. Checks should be made payable and sent to: Montgomery Baptist Association 901 Russell Avenue, Suite 202, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Designate your check to “Immigration Awareness Conference.”

Embrace Silver Spring is committed to connecting pastors with resources that can empower them to help their respective immigrant communities in advocating for justice on behalf of the poor and oppressed, based on biblical truths and on the example of Jesus.  Scripture constantly emphasizes the importance of showing compassion (Matthew 25:31-46), seeking justice (Isaiah 58:1-14), defending what is right (Proverbs 31:8), and showing mercy (Micah 6:8).

The TEAM of Embrace Silver Spring seeks to follow the example of Christ, who intervenes on our behalf to God, as our advocate.  As Christians, we are called to be Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing Christ to the world and speaking on His behalf.  For this reason, we also defend those who are oppressed, weak and who do not have a voice of their own, whether in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or the US, just as Christ defends us.

Michael Mattar is missionary to language churches in Montgomery Baptist Association, and the founding pastor of Hope Fellowship Church in Sterling, Va.