News and Views

A Call to Action for United Methodists in Response to the Plight of Migrants

Posted by Guest Author on

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus. On behalf of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force we share with you a deep concern for migrants. You have seen the deplorable conditions under which migrant children and families are being detained in the US right now. We cannot be silent in this hour. The voice and actions of The United Methodist Church must be heard and experienced in this moment.

We give God thanks for United Methodists who are providing compassionate care to migrants at the border. Border Conferences have established relief centers for migrants. United Methodists from other regions of the country continue to support migrants seeking asylum with their time, talent and treasures. United Methodist congregations across the country have opened their doors to provide sanctuary for those immigrants whose lives would be endangered if they were to be deported to their home countries. UMCOR has been a partner in assisting this connectional work. The General Board of Church and Society has led us faithfully in our advocacy work in support of justice for the migrant and the immigrant. United Methodist Women have also been a strong voice in advocating for the rights of immigrant children and families.

Let’s continue to do this good and faithful work. Join us in these actions:

Give to the Advance # 3022144 for Migration. Go to UMCOR – Global Migration for further information.

Join the General Board of Church and Society in our United Methodist advocacy work alongside migrants. Speak out to end child detention by sending drawings and letters from United Methodists of all ages to Congress and the White House.

Encourage your UMW unit to join the action plan set forth at the United Methodist Women website.

We ask that you also speak up in support of persons in Sanctuary and the churches supporting them. In the past week, we have become aware of the Trump Administration’s most recent attack on immigrants who are living in Sanctuary in congregations, among them United Methodist congregations, as they seek to fight for justice in their deportation cases. The federal government is issuing fines of up to $500,000 to these immigrants in Sanctuary. This is an egregiously punitive tactic causing great fear and anxiety to immigrant brothers and sisters who are already deeply burdened by the stress of their circumstances.

Support United Methodist Sanctuary congregations and the immigrants in Sanctuary by praying for them and by sending them a postcard expressing such support. At the end of this letter is the list of multiple United Methodist Sanctuary churches and those immigrant friends whom they are hosting.

Take this moment to act. It will make a difference in these challenging times in the lives of suffering immigrants and the brave churches who are ministering to them. May the words of Paul to Timothy strengthen us all……

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice,
but rather a spirit of power and of
love and of self-discipline.
II Timothy 2:7

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Chair
UM Immigration Task Force

Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary
General Board of Church and Society

Thomas Kemper, General Secretary
General Board of Global Ministries

Harriett J. Olson, General Secretary/CEO
United Methodist Women

Person in Sanctuary Name of Faith Congregation Address Phone Faith Leader Annual Conference Date of Entry Into Sanctuary
Debora Barrios-Vasquez St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church 263 West 86th Street New York, NY 10024 (212) 362-3179 Rev. K Karpen New York 6/4/18
Maria Chavalan Sut Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church 1901 Thomson Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 (434) 296-6976 Pastor Isaac Collins Virginia 10/1/18
Francisca Lino Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church 2716 West Division Street, Chicago IL 60622 (773) 782-8464 Pastor Jacobita Cortes Northern Illinois 8/23/17
Nelson Pinos First and Summerfield United Methodist Church 425 College Street New Haven CT 06511 (203) 624-2521 Pastor Vicki Flippin New York 11/30/17
Suyapa Reyes and 4 Children, Jennifer, Yeimi, Jeison, & Junior First United Methodist Church of Germantown 6001 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia PA 19144 (215) 438-3677 Rev. Bob Coombe Eastern Pennsylvania 8/28/18
Avelina Romero Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church 2716 West Division Street, Chicago IL 60622 (773) 782-8464 Pastor Jacobita Cortes Northern Illinois 7/5/19
Ded Rranxburgaj Central United Methodist Church 23 East Adams Ave. Detroit MI 48226 (313) 965-5422 Rev. Jill Hardt Zundel Michigan 1/17/18
Rosa Sabido Mancos United Methodist Church 470 West Grand Ave. Mancos, CO 81328 (970) 533-7460 Pastor Craig Paschal Mountain Sky 6/2/17
Clive & Oneita Thompson and 2 Children, Christine & Timmy First United Methodist Church of Germantown 6001 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia PA 19144 (215) 438-3677 Rev. Bob Coombe Eastern Pennsylvania 8/28/18
Araceli Velasquez Park Hill United Methodist Church and Temple Micah Synagogue 5209 Montview Blvd. Denver, CO 80207 (303) 322-1867 Rev. Nathan Adams and Rabbi Adam Morris Mountain Sky 8/8/17
Wilson Jul 11, 2019 8:09am

And while you're at it, why not take some time to convince your Democrat Party to fix the laws and provide the humanitarian needs that are truly needed at the border. The party's continual blockage of anything Trump should be a call to the UMC's heart of compassion to reverse their opposition. What say you, UMC?

John Wesley Jul 15, 2019 6:24am

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience."

This "sanctuary" given to illegal aliens is against US law and continues to harm those that desire to enter our country legally. Please end these politically motivated schemes.

Charles Wesley Jul 15, 2019 10:24am

It seems strange for someone to invoke John Wesley's name and then quote Romans 13 out of context, in order to imply that following the absolute letter of the law is what John Wesley would have wanted. It's especially interesting given that John Wesley was Famously for the abolition of slavery and detested things like runaway slaves laws. Pretending that John Wesley would have wielded Romans 13 in such a heavy-handed way, without consideration of justice, or righteousness, or social holiness, betrays a lack of concern for Wesley's thoughts, and simply a desire to wield tradition as a bludgeon against people you disagree with. Which is especially disgusting here, where the usage is meant to promote thinly veiled xenophobia.

Wilson Jul 15, 2019 2:56pm

Before claiming Romans 13 is out of context, I lovingly suggest that the context be studied in the light of the commentaries. Paul said to obey the government very clearly, even if that government is non-Christian. "Runaway slave laws" are not the issue here. Not even close. Tangential asides muddy the topic. Stay on point. Romans 13 is rather clear. Further, nothing in history has demonstrated that both Wesleys were not loyal subjects to the King, English Law and to the Anglican Church, particularly during the Revolutionary War. Our own UMC is resisting current law and that it appears to be media imaging, not real facts.

Ken Jul 16, 2019 3:12pm

After the recent decisions by the leaders in the B-W conference I am beginning to think I belong to the wrong denomination. I wish to belong to one that honors and obeys the rules set forth by duly elected political and religious leaders. If our church leaders aren't going to adhere to the Methodist book of discipline, or follow laws set forth by Congress, then I can no longer call myself a Methodist. I believe in the rule of law.

What is next for this group to attract more people and money, are they going to allow gambling and alcohol on church properties?

If they are so concerned about innocent children being killed maybe they should be protesting abortions that kill thousands of kids yearly vice the 4 along the border. What about the hundreds of people killed in Baltimore every year. Where is the out cry from religious leaders regarding this. What solutions has the B-W conference initiated? I guess they are too busy protecting non-citizens to care about U.S. citizens.