Bishop Alan M. Gates issued the following message on June 14 to the diocesan community:
The current reality facing immigrant families weighs heavily on many hearts right now, particularly as more stringent policy around federal immigration law enforcement results in the cruel separation of parents and children seeking safety in the U.S.
On Tuesday of this week, I and Bishop Gayle Harris, together with our retired bishops suffragan Barbara Harris and Bud Cederholm, and many of you, were gathered by Episcopal City Mission for its annual celebration, an uplifting occasion for focusing our hearts and minds on how prophetic partnerships might draw us into prayerful, justice-making action. We in the church often talk about our stewardship of money and creation, but how is it that we also are called to be good stewards of power?
Is the vulnerability of the immigrant families in our midst a call for such stewardship? It is for me. If it is for you, there are ways to partner with others and take action.
Locally, Episcopal City Mission is urging concerned people of faith to contact their state legislators (find them here) and Governor Baker (617-725-4005) right away about including basic protections for immigrants in the 2019 state budget. A vote is pending, so a call today will help make a difference. The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) Web site provides more information at www.miracoalition.org. Episcopal City Mission welcomes inquiries about other ways to join its efforts, from accompaniment to advocacy: Contact Natalie Finstad, Director of Programs and Engagement, at email@example.com.
Nationally, our Episcopal Church has a longstanding position of affirming the universal right to seek asylum and the need to protect vulnerable people. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry last week signed an interfaith statement expressing concern over the increase in family separations. That statement is available here, along with more information from the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations and its Episcopal Public Policy Network.
Let us pray that the Spirit never cease to move our hearts. Let us pray that, having moved our hearts, that same Spirit will move us to action.
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates