Give public declaration of physical, spiritual, moral, and financial support.
Many of our congregations proudly display the message “All are welcomed,” or another “There will be no outcasts.” Have you ever wondered what this means, really means? In other words, when Jesus says “Feed my sheep,” does he literally mean, provide food to those who are hungry? To those who must choose between paying the rent, keeping the electricity on, or feeding their families? Or when the Episcopal Church says “There will be no outcasts,” do we really mean to include those who have over-stayed their visas to work the fields, clean hotel rooms, or construct buildings and are thus categorized as “undocumented aliens?” I hope so!
For our public statements to be meaningful, we need to be specific and be prepared to let our actions speak loudly. In earlier articles of this Sanctuary series, we have suggested educating ourselves on issues of citizenship, creating safe places for all, supporting efforts of agencies that can educate our brothers and sisters in fear of deportation about their rights, and collaborating with those agencies who have the expertise to assist with obtaining legal status. But congregations can also offer assistance in other ways:
We are called to do no less.
If you have any questions or contributions, please email me at DeaconNancy@diosanjoaquin.org.