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Dear Companions in Christ:
Jesus says, "Whatever you do to one of the least of these you do it me." (Matthew 25:40) The way we treat one another is a measure of our faithfulness as followers, as disciples, of Jesus. We cannot stand idly by as we hear the cries of the children and families on our borders who are seeking lives of health, wholeness, and safety in the United States. We thus welcome the President’s Executive Order reversing his policy of separating children from their parents on the United States/Mexican border.
Current debates over immigration in our country invite us to consider, as Christians and as Americans, what it means to be a neighbor. The young man asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus told them the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). We know it well: A foreigner from Samaria reached out to care for the man beaten by the side of the road. It is a story of compassion, care, and hope.
Jesus incarnated God’s compassion, care, and hope. As apostles sent in God’s mission we are called to embody and share Jesus’ same compassion, care, and hope for others. Now is the time for us in the United States to be the Good Samaritan Jesus calls us to be -- to care for those who are beaten by the side of the road, held in detention centers, trapped in physical, emotional and psychological prisons which deny humanity and wholeness.
The Episcopal Church has taken a clear stance on welcoming our neighbors and advocating for a humane and just immigration system. Our church’s position on refugees, immigrants, Dreamers and undocumented persons, including specific actions that we can take, is found on the website of The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations here. We commend these resources and urge you to contact your elected officials to advocate for immigration reform grounded in compassion, care and hope.
Pray, speak out, and act so that we may become the neighbors that Jesus calls us to be.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan