Finding one’s place in the world can be hard. So, securing somewhere to call home is a blessing. Our sacred texts call us to welcome everyone into the inn. Conflict, corruption, and climate change are displacing people worldwide.
Each year advocates from throughout the country gather in Washington DC at Ecumenical Advocacy Days. This is a space where faith-rooted advocates can worship, learn and take their messages to Capitol Hill. The theme for 2018 - A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People - confronts this harsh reality.
Together we will encourage Congress to implement just and compassionate immigration policies, while confronting root causes of forced displacement in light of U.S. policy. Deuteronomy 10:17-20 serves as part of the firm foundation of this year’s theme.
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Conflicts and wars have orphaned and widowed millions of people. Many become strangers in other lands. Our sacred text calls us to seek a just world for all. We also called to love those right in our own backyard--regardless of their citizenship status.
EAD participants will raise up the challenges facing undocumented immigrants, refugees and asylees - including conflicts, corruption and climate change, - transforming them from strangers into neighbors.
Loving all of our siblings means not denying them food and shelter. Together we will lift up the plight of those striving to realize their unique American DREAMs and champions policy that reveres family unity.
Matthew 25:34-40 is another sacred text that undergirds our theme. Through it’s lens we’ll be urging Congress to act humanely toward migrants and divert funds from deportations, detention and border militarization to serve other pressing needs.
“Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Join us as we explore paths to peace that could mean the displaced people have a home. Come to Ecumenical Advocacy Days April 20-23 (Join us next year if you can’t come this month!) and commit to learning, praying and advocating for justice for immigrants, refugees and asylees here and around the world.
Min. Jason Carson Wilson is the UCC Justice and Peace Fellow.