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Catholic Charities’ Growing Together events build on Welcoming Week’s 2022 theme: Where We Belong

COLUMBIA, MO. Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri’s Refugee Services program will host a series of events in celebration of Welcoming Week, which kicks off on September 9th and concludes the following Sunday, September 18th.

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. Launched in 2012 by Welcoming America and its members, Welcoming Week provides individuals and communities the opportunity to proclaim welcoming values through events and local initiatives that foster mutual understanding between immigrants and non-immigrants, as well as deeper belonging for all.

“For me Growing Together and Welcoming Week are both important because expressing the values of inclusion and empathy are central to what makes a community a great place to live and grow your family,” said event organizer and Community Engagement Coordinator, Valérie Berta.

“Events like these create the opportunity to celebrate the incredible diversity of the many cultures that call Columbia and mid-Missouri home,” Berta continued.

All Growing Together events will be held at Broadway Christian, 2601 W. Broadway Columbia, MO 65203 (at the amphitheater and Refugee Services’ Community Garden plot in the garden located at the back of the church building, accessible via Heather Lane) unless otherwise stated. In case of rain, events will be held inside the church. Covid measures will apply if needed.

The full schedule of events is listed below, and on our website calendar by clicking here.


Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), an entity of the Diocese of Jefferson City, responds to the needs of people in 38 counties regardless of faith, culture, or situation. This includes services in mental health, food security, health and nutrition education, disaster preparation and response, family reunification through immigration legal services, and resettlement of refugee as the local resettlement agency of mid-Missouri. For more information, visit

Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports communities building a welcoming society where every person, including immigrants, can fully contribute and shape our shared prosperity. Through the Welcoming Network of 300+ local governments and nonprofits, we work to help communities develop the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion that create an environment where everyone can truly thrive. Learn more at

Schedule of events 

  • Growing Together Kick-Off
    Broadway Christian Church Garden Amphitheater
    Friday, September 9th
    5:00 PM
    Join our Kick-Off event for Welcoming Week’s Growing Together program with a performance by Jabberwocky Studios, a Proclamation by the City of Columbia Mayor’s office, and a presentation of the week’s events, and resources, from Welcoming America.

  • Connected Communities: Visit with a Refugee Family
    Broadway Christian Church Gardens
    Saturday, September 10th
     at 2:00 PM

    Join us as we host a Syrian refugee family, who will talk about their country, culture, and food — while preparing and offering samples of their cuisine to visitors.

  • “Welcome Refugees” Webinar
    Online Event, Zoom Call
     (Click here to join our Zoom call)
    Sunday, September 11th
    2:00 PM

    Join us for our “Welcoming Refugees” webinar outlining on refugee resettlement processes, answering common questions on refugee resettlement, and more.
  • Equitable Resources: Food and Food Growing
    MU Healthcare Pavilion (Farmer’s Market)
    Monday, September 12th
    5:00 PM

    Join us and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture for a presentation on food and food growing with a finger food dinner catered by a local refugee restaurant and a City of Columbia Economic Development Department (REDI) presentation on entrepreneurship.

  • Community Panel: Welcoming and Equipping Refugees
    Broadway Christian Church Garden Amphitheater
    Wednesday, September 14th
    5:00 PM

    We’re bringing together local organizations to present their work around refugee and immigrant issues, including the Cambio Center at the University of Missouri on voter registration efforts and immigration advocacy, the English Language Learning Department at Columbia Public Schools, and the University of Missouri’s Office of International Programs.  Catholic Charities Health and Nutrition Services director Judith Mutamba will present on healthy and culturally diverse eating that reflects countries where our clients come from.

  • Online Cooking Demonstration
    Online Event, Zoom Call (Click here to join our Zoom call)
    Thursday, September 15th
    4:00 PM
    Celebrate Mexican Independence Day with us and join the owners of La Terraza Mexican Restaurant, Maria and Luis, immigrants from Mexico, who will share their talents with us in our online cooking demonstration streamed live via Zoom.

  • Closing Event: Community Potluck
    The Crossing Church, Student Center Room 315
    3615 Southland Dr. Columbia, MO 65201

    Sunday, Sept. 18th
    1:00 PM
    Join us in a community potluck as we close our Welcome Week activities. Please bring a dish that you love (and love to share!) and look forward to visiting with neighbors and newcomers.

Event Partners 

  • The Crossing Church
  • Broadway Christian Church (BCC) 
  • City of Columbia, Office of the Mayor, and City of Columbia’s Economic Development Department (REDI) 
  • Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) 
  • Jabberwocky Studios (JS) 
  • Columbia Public Schools’ ELL Department (CPS) 
  • Missouri Faith Voices (MFV) 
  • Jabberwocky Studios (JS) 
  • La Terazza Mexican Grill (LT) 
  • University of Missouri-Columbia International Programs (MU Intl.)