Perhaps you’ve noticed that the blogs are a bit short this summer? I think I’ve mentioned it before but, in case you haven’t checked in lately, I’m enrolled in CPE and find that my time and focus has been consumed by this experience. However, I think it’s vital that we keep the blog going each week so that we don’t lose the rhythm of our work. You might be guessing that I’m preparing you for a short blog…and I am but I think it’s very important!
We have spent the last couple of weeks looking at the crisis of unattended children traveling to our country and our need for immigration reform. On July 10th our Presiding Bishop Katharine issued a statement:
The influx of vulnerable people from Central America, including unaccompanied minors as well as mothers with children, continues to challenge the United States to respond compassionately. Like Sudanese or Syrian refugees, these people are fleeing hunger, violence, and the fear of rape, murder, and enslavement. The violence in Central America has escalated significantly in recent months, particularly as a result of gangs and trafficking in drugs and human beings. These people are literally fleeing for their lives.
The United States has a checkered history in responding to refugee crises. We shut our eyes and ears, as well as our ports, during the crimes against Jews and other vulnerable persons in the midst of the Second World War. We have been more welcoming to Sudanese youths looking for survival in the last 20 years.
The Episcopal Church believes we have a responsibility to all our neighbors, particularly the strangers and sojourners around us. We have been resettling refugees since 1939. Today, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and Episcopal Relief & Development are working with churches and dioceses in areas where these Central American women and children are being served.
Episcopalians are responding with prayers and concern, and asking how to help. I urge you to remember these people and their difficult and dangerous position in your prayers – today, this coming Sunday, and continuing until we find a just resolution. The Episcopal Church has established an account to receive financial contributions to assist Episcopal Migration Ministries in this work. For details, please contact EMM@episcopalchurch.org
I would also encourage you to contact your legislators, and ask them to support an appropriate humanitarian response to this crisis. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, and as a Church, we are asking the United States government to support such a response, grounded in justice and the fundamental dignity of every human being. Our Office of Government Relations is submitting detailed testimony to a United States Senate hearing today, as that chamber prepares to consider a budget request from the President.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
You can also check out how you can help here at the Migration Ministries website – http://episcopalmm.org/how_you_can_help/latest_child_migrants.aspx
And here’s a great link for a video telling the story of how one community is supporting their refugee children – http://vimeo.com/39661884 Your community can do this, too!!
Let us pray:
Almighty and merciful God, whose Son became a
refugee and had no place to call his own;
Look with mercy on those today who are fleeing from
danger, those who are homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
Inspire generosity and compassion in all our
And guide the nations of the world towards
that day when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of
justice and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
– Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council