AMMPARO Ministry Initiative of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

The ELCA AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities) initiative is a holistic, whole church commitment to accompany children today and in the future. ELCA adopted AMMPARO at its 2016 Churchwide Assembly in response to witnessing the enormous suffering of children who are forced to flee their Central American communities due to complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities. The ELCA, through its synods’ companion partnerships in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, is well-positioned to help ensure that these vulnerable children are protected. Synods throughout the ELCA are partners in this ministry, creating ministry opportunities based on their local contexts. 

The Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, has engaged in the AMMPARO ministry since late 2016.

Some current ministries include:

  • Partnering with local and national organizations in relationship with migrant minors and their families
  • Accompanying ‘Welcoming Congregations’ and local AMMPARO Network congregations and individuals
  • Coordinating and leading border immersion visits for congregations and individuals
  • Sharing the story of migrant minors through
    • Adult forums / Temple Talks / Sermons
    • Webinars
    • A Migrant Journey (virtual Confirmation and/or adult education interactive experience)
    • Book and Bible studies
  • Connecting congregations and individuals with local and national resources
  • Accompanying synod congregations in their local ministry initiatives
  • Providing essential supplies for refugee children in faith-based borderland shelters
  • Advocating for just, Gospel-focused local, state, and national policies and initiatives  

All individuals and congregations in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod are welcome to engage in this life-giving ministry. For information on local ministry and resources, visit or contact Kathy Chatelaine, Assistant to the Bishop for Global Ministry.

For general information on ELCA AMMPARO, visit

Stories from the Border

Part I: Visiting the Borderlands

Stories from the Border

Part II: Ministry in the U.S./México Borderlands

Stories from the Border

Part III: Border Ministry in Southeastern Minnesota


ELCA AMMPARO: Impacting Lives

ELCA AMMPARO: A Wholistic Approach to Migration

Have you thought about the language you use when you talk about the undocumented people in the US? The previous administration started using the word ‘illegal’ to describe human beings, not an action or a status. Unfortunately, it became a word popularly used even in pro-immigrant circles. The ELCA has created a new resource around language.

Read: Words Create Worlds

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