For Immediate Release
October 11, 2019
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We continue to watch with increasing distress the unfolding immigration crisis taking place along our southern border. And while much of the debate centers on the states of Texas and New Mexico, the reality is that immigration policy impacts the lives of many thousands of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers throughout our South Central Jurisdiction. Many of our communities are blessed with the gifts and contributions of first-generation, nonwhite, foreign-born populations.
Christian teaching tells us that realities that forcibly displace and dehumanize people must spur us to practical concern and action. Our actions must be more than just words and prayers, but rather care that hospitably tends to their wounds, needs, fears and hopes. As bishops of The United Methodist Church, we call on all people of goodwill to pray for and work toward:
Ending policies that separate families;
Ensuring compassionate care for the health and welfare of children;
Providing safe and humane care for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence in their native countries;
A common solution that respects, cares for and offers tangible assistance to those immigrants and asylum seekers who are living in fear, hurting and homeless;
Working with officials in other countries to address root causes of violence and poverty, which threaten the health and safety of their citizens and force our sisters and brothers to flee their countries of origin.
Amid economic and national security concerns, we ask all who follow Christ to remember that our Savior was himself a homeless refugee fleeing violence (Matthew 2:13-14). As God’s people of hope and light in the world, let us not succumb to the fear that hardens hearts; rather, transcend fear with love and generosity so that all people are cared for with compassion.
May the peace of Christ be with you and the immigrant and refugee children and families in our midst who are suffering in hope.
Yours in Christ,
The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops
W. Earl Bledsoe
Robert Farr, SCJ president
James G. Nunn
Ruben Saenz, Jr.
Bruce P. Blake
Charles N. Crutchfield
Robert E. Hayes
Woodrow J. Hearn
Janice Riggle Huie
William W. Hutchinson
Joel N. Martinez
Albert F. Mutti
Alfred L. Norris
John W. Russell
Dan E. Solomon
D. Max Whitfield
Richard B. Wilke
Joe A. Wilson