We Choose Welcome is an awareness campaign of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which is an expression of personal and corporate commitment to welcome refugees and immigrants into our communities. The phrase stems from a statement made by former Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Gradye Parsons, in which he urged us to “Choose Welcome, Not Fear.”
To welcome others is a central value of the Christian faith, shared by most of the world’s religions. The call to welcome the stranger is so common in the Bible that one must wonder if it is so oft repeated because of its importance, or because we are so quick to disregard it. In this time of great global and domestic conflict, perhaps both are true.
- In the midst of fear of terrorism and radicalism, we choose to welcome those who flee from terror and tyranny.
- In the midst of hate speeches and hate crimes, we choose to welcome those who are rejected because of their skin color or their foreign dress.
- In the midst of anxiety about our own economic prosperity, we choose to welcome those who come from distant lands to labor in our fields and our warehouses.
- In the midst of political debates which seek to divide us between those who are born here and those who are not, we choose welcome, a welcome for all children of God, proclaiming one household.
We are pleased to make We Choose Welcome signs available for use in your church yard, your home, and around your community. May they serve as an outward expression of the welcome you already practice and as a daily reminder to live up to our common mission to welcome the stranger.
We know there is much work to be done to create a welcoming political and social climate for refugees in the U.S., and that the scale of the problem can be daunting. By building relationships across cultures and lifting our voices in the public square, we can make good on the promise that our welcome signs proclaim.
➡ Click here to read and download a new resource guide from the Office of Public Witness to help congregations build and deepen relationships with refugee community members and to advocate with them. This guide also includes resources for building cross-faith relationships with Muslim communities based in mutual respect.
➡ Click here to send a message to your U.S. legislators in support of refugees.
Signs are available to download in printable PDF and JPG formats. Bring the file of your choice to your local store that prints yard signs (e.g. Kinko’s, Office Depot, Staples, etc.) and proudly display your sign. We recommend printing 24″ × 18″ signs.
Share your photos and stories of welcome with us! Use the hashtag #WeChooseWelcome on your social media posts and/or email PDA@pcusa.org.
Print a sign
PDF: opens in a new browser tab; click download. | JPG: opens in a pop-up window; right-click to save image.
This project is brought to you by —
- Presbyterian Office of Public Witness
- Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
- Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
- Office of Immigration Issues
The languages chosen for these signs are based on the greatest populations of refugees resettled in the United States and their native languages. If there is a language you would like that is not listed here, please email PDA@pcusa.org and if there is significant interest, we will consider creating a sign in that language.