Throughout the Bible, people of faith are exhorted to show kindness to the strangers in their midst. JFON (Justice for our Neighbors) offers United Methodists a way to be faithful to the call.
JFON is a network in mission of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Annual Conferences, local congregations, and ecumenical partners. The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church initiated Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) in 1999 as a response to increasingly complex immigration regulations stemming from the far-reaching immigration law of 1996.
The events of September 11, 2001, have complicated the already difficult situation for sojourners by heightening the level of fear and distrust both in the immigrant community and in the general public which has resulted in severe repercussions for newcomers.
The main goal of JFON is to facilitate the mission of United Methodist local congregations in responding to the immigration needs of the sojourners in our midst.
The Work of Local Partners
Participating congregations operate volunteer-based immigration clinics. To initiate a JFON clinic, each congregation must provide space for a clinic and recruit at least ten committed volunteers who will be trained and supervised by a JFON immigration attorney and staff. The JFON program also offers to the local churches and community at large education for mission, outreach, and advocacy.
The JFON Program is a resource for individual congregations and for its national network of clinics. It is not a funding program. Its network includes United Methodist annual conferences, districts, congregations and ecumenical partners.
Whether migration is a response to God's call to move out of our own context to do God's work or whether it is the result of forced exile, our faith tradition calls us to extend a hospitable welcome to newcomers who live among us.
JFON clinics provides a safe haven to vulnerable immigrants who seek free legal counsel to solve their immigration problems. Clinic volunteers, recruited from United Methodist churches, other congregations, and from immigrant communities help clients prepare their information for their consultation with the JFON attorney. Volunteers serve in a variety of ways:
How You Can Be Involved
*Make check (with Advance # and "JFON" in memo line) to your local church or "Advance GCFA." For Advance credit, give to your local church treasurer to send to: Advance GCFA, PO Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068.
The Mission of JFON is:
Who Are Our Neighbors?