Over the last few days there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the executive order banning refugees from
seven countries. Within this context, many of our fellow churches are requesting ways they can offer sanctuary to immigrants within our communities.
I know this issue is complex, and I believe we, as the church, and as United Methodists, must pay close attention to how we respond in these days. I encourage churches and clergy who wish to offer sanctuary to contact our District Superintendents for guidance and resources.
Currently, the United Methodist Immigration Task Force (UMITF) is working across our connection to support Sanctuary Cities that are opposing the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The UMITF also is supporting the Bridge Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation that would allow young persons who are eligible for temporary relief from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to stay in the U.S.
As we move through the coming days, please pray deeply for God’s guidance. Moreover, may we gain courage in knowing God does indeed call us to speak out for justice, especially for the poor in our midst.
In times like these, let us remember the mission of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences to discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world one neighborhood at a time.
To be sure, we are living in a hurting world, but I am certain that hundreds of passionate congregants across our two conferences will share the love of Christ to those who are overcome by confusion and fear.