Dear First Church Family,
I’ve had a number of requests from members for information regarding what the
Presbyterian Church (USA) has said about the situation on the border and how
people might become involved.
Regarding the current situation, our Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson, has made the following statement: https://www.pcusa.org/news/2018/6/16/stated-clerk-
There is also a Commissioner’s Resolution being discussed at General Assembly
in St. Louis this week: https://www.pc-biz.org/#/search/3000471
Presbyterians have been involved in immigration at the border and around the
country for decades.
Here are some of our policy statements: http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-
A postcard to send to congress about immigration reform:
Presbyterian Border Ministry: http://fronteradecristo.org/
And a local organization whose Executive Director is a PC(USA) minister and
also an immigration lawyer: http://www.detimmigrantcenter.com/
I recognize and celebrate the diversity of our congregation in terms of political
and theological views. During crises like this, conversation often becomes
difficult yet imperative across the spectrums, especially by people of faith. I hope
that in our own lives we might grow in our ability to speak and act in both loving
ways and ways that lift up the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I also hope
that as Christians, we do not give into the despair of the world, but seek ways to
“do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”
On Sunday, we read this section from A Brief Statement of Faith as our
Affirmation of Faith:
We trust in God,
whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
Ignoring God’s commandments,
we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
accept lies as truth,
exploit neighbor and nature,
and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
We deserve God’s condemnation.
Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
We talked about Genesis 3 and the pervasiveness of sin, the ways we are held
captive by it and our response to feeling captive. As in the Garden of Eden,
after eating the forbidden fruit, our response to our feeling the weight of our
individual and collective sin can be to hide in fear of judgment, point the blame on
others, or to lash out in violent words or actions. It is tempting to do this because
it feels like a quick fix, a temporal freedom from that weight that we feel.
But Jesus shows us a new way. A way of love, even love of those we might
perceive of as our “enemies.” On the cross, Jesus exposes the injustices of the
world and suffers the depths of human pain. In his resurrection, Jesus releases
all of us from our captivity to our brokenness and frees us for new life.
Each of us are worthy of love, each of us are worthy of someone empathizing
with our pain, and each of us are worthy of new life. Even in the midst of our
collective and individual brokenness, we are worthy. Each of us.
I hope you join with me in prayer for our congregation, for our country, for our
political leaders, and especially for children caught in our collective brokenness
who are also worthy of love, empathy, and new life.