Pastor's Reflection - 6/21/18

Immigration: such a troubling topic in recent days. It's all over the news: a zero-tolerance policy resulting not only in arrests, but with children and families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
One of the things we want to keep in mind is that many of these families are fleeing for a reason: parents are trying to save their children. The countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are facing unparalleled levels of violent crime, and are currently ranked among the five most violent nations in the world.
As United Methodists, we want to reflect upon our Social Principles as we think and pray about this difficult topic. As always, we are asked to prayerfully consider our denomination's stand on a number of topics, immigration being one of them. With that in mind, I share with you Paragraph 162H from the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline:
H) Rights of Immigrants
We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.
A big part of being in ministry with immigrant families is to pray, and of course, to "advocate for justice for all." Let's make it our priority to pray for a quick resolution to a troubling situation. And let's pray for families in crisis everywhere.
Pastor Janice

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