SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The United Methodist Church Diocese of Los Angeles, which includes Santa Barbara, organized a weekend of prayer and compassion.

It included a letter writing campaign to challenge the government on immigration.

During his sermon at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara on Sunday, Reverend Mark Richardson talked about the immigrant children crossing the United States border.

He asked people to write letters telling Congress to let immigrant children fleeing violence in their home countries stay in the United States by demanding Congress reject rollbacks to the 'Trafficking Victims Protection Act.'

Richardson said, "Many of these children that are coming truly are refugees. They find themselves in a situation where they really can't stay where they are and they need to find a place of safety and for whatever reason they start heading toward our country."

"If there are children or adults in need, you have to approach it from a humanitarian way first." said Richardson.  

Parishoners were given two letters. One explaining how to contact Congress. The other letter explained how to write a letter to immigrant children in detention centers across the country.

Barbara Hamilton of Santa Barbara said, ""I was so impressed that pastor had two letters ready for us so we could write directly to the children or directly to Congress people to express our opinion about the children."

There are hundreds of children currently staying at the Naval Base in Port Hueneme.

To write a letter to an immigrant child click here