Not sure how to respond to the anxiety and uncertainty around US immigration and refugee policies?
Trinity Wall Street and the Diocese of Virginia have recently collected resources to help Episcopalians address these important issues of justice and fulfill the scriptural commands to hospitality for the stranger.
Responding to the federal administration’s plan to withdraw legal status for refugees from El Salvador, bishops Shannon S. Johnston and Susan Goff of Virginia remind their diocese that these aren’t strangers at all, but neighbors, friends and fellow Episcopalians;
“The Salvadoran men, women and children affected by this decision are not “other;” they are not all strangers to us. Instead, many hundreds are fellow Episcopalians, members of at least seven congregations in our Diocese. What happens to them affects us profoundly, because they are our brothers and sisters.
To our Salvadoran members and friends, we your Bishops say that we stand with you. We honor the commitments you have made to our civic and church communities as you have raised families, worked hard, paid taxes and contributed positively to our society. And we promise that we will take whatever political actions we can to reverse this decision for your sake, as well as for the sake of the Haitian, Nicaraguan and Sudanese immigrants who have already lost protected status.”
They have invited church members to join them in this effort and provided resources to aid in understanding and addressing the issue.
Resources from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition
Trinity Church Wall Street has compiled an online primer for those seeking information and answers about U.S. immigration policies, current issues, and ways to help those at risk of deportation.
Lectures and panel discussions are available for use by parishes and small groups are available on demand at trinitywallstreet.org/undocumented. These cover the immigrant experience, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), temporary protected status, and the sanctuary movement.
Featured speakers include the Very Rev. Dr. Michael Battle of The General Theological Seminary; Laura Lemus, National Urban Fellow at Baruch College and DACA recipient; Lacy Broemel, Office of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church; Dr. Jihad Alharash, physician and Syrian immigrant; and Amaha Kassa of African Communities Together (ACT).
In addition, The Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, Interfaith Center of New York, in conversation with Jose Chapa, Rural & Migrant Ministry, the Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, New Sanctuary Coalition, and Ms. Broemel discusses what churches can do
Technical and legal definitions are also available, along with stories of what other communities are doing and referrals to partners in the Episcopal Church and secular organizations working to create a safe space for asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants.