The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Virginia encourages the Diocese of Virginia and others to participate in the National Day of Dignity and Respect and to work for immigration reform:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I write to you today to ask you and your congregation to engage in prayer, conversation and action about immigration reform in our nation. This issue is at the heart of our faith as Christians and at the heart of our lives as Americans. Immigration reform that is just – that allows torn families to be reunited, and that offers a reasonable path to citizenship for millions who already support and strengthen our economy – is a matter of faith.
Based on this heritage of faith, we in the Diocese of Virginia adopted resolution R-9s, “Working for a Just and Humane Immigration Policy,” at our Annual Council in 2008. Among other things, we resolved to welcome strangers as a matter of Christian responsibility, to be advocates for their well-being and protection, and to call upon U.S. senators and members of Congress to pursue a just and humane immigration policy. You can read the full text of that resolution here. We as a diocese have not yet lived into this resolution. The time to do so is now.
For we now stand at a crucial crossroads as Christian Americans, as our House of Representatives considers immigration reform. I invite you, indeed I urge you, to make your voice heard on this matter. Whatever your political views, I invite you to:
Reflect and pray about what Holy Scripture says about the immigrants among us.
Talk with the clergy and lay leaders who serve our Latino, Korean and multi-ethnic congregations about the experiences of immigrants in our Diocese of Virginia congregations.
Talk with the immigrants you encounter in your daily life.
Write, text, e-mail or call your representatives to share your reflections.
Participate in activities this Saturday, Oct. 5, the National Day of Respect and Dignity, when there will be gatherings in Sterling, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg and Richmond to witness for legislation that will lead to just immigration reform. You can learn more about the day here or on Facebook, or from this flyer.
Join Bishop Gulick and me on the National Mall on Tuesday, Oct. 8, for the Camino Americano rally and concert for Immigrant Dignity and Respect. Details are here.
Learn about the life issues facing immigrants in your own community and partner with them for a better life.