Rev. Noel Andersen will receive the President’s Award at the National Council of Church’s annual Christian Unity Gathering, which is being held at the Holiday Inn Hampton-Newport News in Hampton, Virginia on Monday, October 14.
Rev. Andersen is the Grassroots Coordinator for Church World Service (CWS), a position shared with the United Church of Christ (UCC), where he has developed a national network of faith communities taking action in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. He was instrumental in creating a Refugee Leadership Development for Social Change project at CWS helping train hundreds of refugees in community organizing. He has worked tirelessly with Dreamers, asylum-seekers, and migrants as well as with faith and community leaders to not only give voice to the issues impacting them but to make sure they are able to speak their own truth and tell their own stories to those in Congress and the Trump administration.
Rev. Andersen has worked for a number of non-profit organizations in Central America and on the U.S.- Mexico border focusing on community development, education and community organizing. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is the lead organizer for the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration and works to ensure that CWS is engaging faith communities in the growing Sanctuary Movement’s prophetic resistance to deportation policies.
“While Noel served Good Shepherd UCC in Sahuarita as associate pastor he brought the skills of an organizer to the ministry of the local church. Noel continues to be an integral part of border ministry in the Southwest Conference. And he is one of our key collaborators as we seek to be a resource for the wider church’s ministries of advocacy and prophetic witness. I am personally grateful for Noel’s life and ministry. His contributions to the Southwest Conference, the United Church of Christ, and the Church Universal are deep and lasting. On behalf of the Southwest Conference, I extend our heartfelt congratulations as he is honored by the National Council of Churches.” – Rev. Bill Lyons, Southwest Conference Minister
“The tireless contributions of Rev. Noel Andersen to the faithful witness of the United Church of Christ as our Immigration Minister. As we seek to live out the gospel as an immigrant welcoming denomination through advocacy, action, and sanctuary, Noel’s has been invaluable. Noel centers the voices of those in pain and leads us, denominationally, in the faithful witness of accompaniment. Whether that is on the front-lines of direct engagement, speaking truth in power against unjust policies or actions, leading the United Church of Christ in compassionate pilgrimages to the borders of our nation to serve those whose lives are under threat, standing with us at Standing Rock, or urging political engagement to ensure the voices of Christians who believe that the gospel commands us to love our neighbors and welcome the stranger are heard in the halls of Congress, Noel is a fierce advocate and leader of the church. During General Synod 2019, Noel led the entire church in a suspension of the business session to protest at a local detention center to protest the actions of ICE. We join with the National Council of Churches in celebration of Noel for this well-deserved recognition. It is an honor to serve with him.” – Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Associate General Minister, Justice & Local Church Ministries, The United Church of Christ
Rev. Noel Andersen holds UCC ministerial standing in the Southwest Conference.