Thursday, February 25, 2010

Christian denominations issue joint letter urging immigration reform.

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger has joined in signing a letter urging immigration reform. The letter has been signed by a number of the leaders of Christian denominations that are part of the National Council of Churches (NCC) and Church World Service (CWS).

"The issue of immigration reform is of urgent concern and this letter calls for action by our churches," said Noffsinger.

"We have had broad support from the church leadership of the initiative of the National Council of Churches/Church World Service Taskforce on Immigration Reform," NCC general secretary Michael Kinnamon wrote in a cover letter to the denominations that are taking part.

Quoting from Deuteronomy 10:19--"You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt"--the letter written on the eve of Lent calls for comprehensive immigration reform and builds on a resolution that was adopted by the 2008 General Assembly of the NCC and CWS. It claims immigration reform as a "patriotic act in the spirit of our nation’s best values and traditions."

"Today, more than 12 million immigrants living in the United States find themselves without the hope of becoming citizens, reuniting with family members, or enjoying the legal protections that most of us take for granted," the letter said. "Yet many of these people have lived and worked in our communities for years, becoming our friends and family, and often performing the daily tasks that enhance our quality of life. Unless there are major policy changes enacted by the US Congress, many of these people will continue to languish in the shadows and be subjected to abuse, discrimination, and hardships that are contrary to the Gospel values of love, unity, and the affirmation of the dignity of all people."

Through this joint letter, the denominations that are a part of the NCC are taking a stand for immigration reform alongside the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the National Hispanic Leadership Conference.

The letter also included a list of actions or witnesses that local congregations are requested to consider making in their own communities. The list includes activities such as hosting a prayer vigil or community event to pray for immigrants and call for immigration reform, dedicating a sermon or Bible study series to Christ’s teachings to welcome the stranger, and organizing church members to attend the Ecumenical Advocacy Days on the subject of immigration, which will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 19-22.

Resources for hosting a prayer vigil and other events can be found at and Information about Ecumenical Advocacy Days is at

Source: 2/25/2010 Newsline

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