Episcopal Church expands its stand with refugees, immigrants and the undocumented

Country-wide groundswell of moral, sacred resistance expands

Trinity Episcopal Church and Iglesia Episcopal de la Trinidad of Los Angeles pose with signs to show their support for immigrants and refugees. Their signs read “Stand with Refugees. #GreaterAs1.” Photo: Trinity Episcopal Church via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] Even before President Donald Trump upended a major part of U.S. immigration policy, many Episcopalians were recommitting to support refugees and finding new ways to extend their advocacy. And those efforts are expanding.

The Diocese of Los Angeles overwhelmingly approved sanctuary status in early December after an impassioned plea by the Rev. Nancy Frausto.

“At 8 years old, I crossed the border with my mother and brother. I have stayed in this country, living in the shadows for most of my life,” said Frausto, a priest who serves both Trinity and St. Mary’s churches in Los Angeles.

“It was the church (that) gave me hope,” she said. “I am one of over 700,000 DACA  (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. It is such a scary position to be in right now. I could lose my work permit and be deported back to a country I do not know.”

The Rev. Francisco Garcia, rector of Holy Faith Church in Inglewood, said that at least 50 congregations have expressed interest in and requested information about a sanctuary designation or how to support the vulnerable.

During a Jan. 18 webinar, Garcia, who co-chairs the sanctuary task force Episcopal Sacred Resistance – Los Angeles, said the effort comes straight out of the baptismal promise to resist evil – in all forms including racism, sexism, homophobism, Islamophobia and any institutionalized structures targeting the vulnerable.

Holy Faith Episcopal Church in the Los Angeles-area community of Inglewood has long been involved in immigrant justice work. Photo: Diocese of Los Angeles via Facebook

Garcia was joined by the Rev. Canon Jaime Edwards-Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Hollywood and task force co-chair, and United Church of Christ pastor Noel Andersen, grassroots coordinator for immigrants’ rights with Church World Service. Andersen said the number of sanctuary congregations, representing a broad range of faith traditions, has nearly doubled nationally, to about 800, in recent months.

Acton said sacred resistance can take many forms, depending on local context. “There is no cookie cutter model. … Sanctuary will be different for different congregations.”

Garcia said that the work of sanctuary extends “to stand with anyone who is under attack” to be aligned with the Baptismal Covenant to persevere in resisting evil … and “all systemic evils that oppress others.”

Andersen said that in other instances, activists have trained as rapid-response volunteers in a kind of “Sanctuary on the Streets” preparation to respond immediately when notified of a deportation raid, often in the middle of the night. “In Philadelphia, it’s been very successful.”

“We have seen when allies show up to a raid, it can deter” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from proceeding with the deportation process, he said. “They don’t want to be seen deporting people.”

Exploring next steps to protect refugees, undocumented persons

While protestors were gathering at airports Jan. 28, including nearby Newark International Airport, Diocese of Newark convention delegates overwhelmingly supported a plea from a group of 24 laity and clergy for the diocese to study the sanctuary church movement. The group called for Newark Episcopalians to explore what others are doing and to begin to engage in immigrant justice as a diocese, as congregations and as individuals.

Membership in local churches includes both immigrants and the undocumented who are at increased risk of deportation, the Rev. J. Brent Bates, rector of Grace Church, Newark, told the convention. “It doesn’t matter who we voted for,” Bates said. “We believe the Holy Scriptures tell us we are to respect and to treat with respect the alien, because we too were once aliens in a foreign land.”

Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith applauded the effort. “This has been framed as a political issue,” he said. “I don’t see it that way at all. It is a moral issue and we need to be a moral voice in the world.”

 

Among Episcopal congregations reacting to the changes in U.S. immigration policies is St. Mark’s Church in New Canaan, Connecticut. On Jan. 29 it helped launch a community-wide refugee resettlement program through “neighbor-to-neighbor work and community gathering,” according to the church website. St. Mark’s is the first sponsor of the program that began with more than 100 local mothers organizing on Facebook.

Next steps: education, discernment, local connection

Lacy Broemel, a refugee and immigration policy analyst with the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations in Washington, D.C., said that becoming a sanctuary diocese or congregation involves legal, theological and material consideration as well as individual discernment.

For example, Broemel said hosting an undocumented person to protect them from deportation in a parish building would require such considerations as: “Does your church have a shower, a bed, a way to provide them food and clothing during the time they will be in sanctuary?”

“If your congregation cannot provide physical protection to have someone living in the parish, there are other ways to stand with the undocumented,” she said.

Members of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles proclaim their solidarity with Muslim immigrants. Photo: Diocese of Los Angeles via Facebook

A church could offer legal clinics, ‘know your rights’ workshops, advocacy training or language classes, said Broemel, whose office is offering webinars on advocacy.

UCC Pastor Andersen agreed. He said food, clothing, legal fees and other kinds of support are always needed, especially in fighting deportation cases.

An estimated 11 million undocumented persons live in the United States. During a Nov. 13 “60 Minutes” interview, Trump vowed to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and to immediately deport or incarcerate some 2 to 3 million undocumented persons he called criminals. These vows have prompted activists to intensify organizing efforts, Andersen said.

In some cases, Broemel said, advocacy could include simply talking about concerns for the undocumented with local, state and federal governmental officials, and neighbors and friends, holding vigils, and registering for legislative and policy updates from the Episcopal Public Policy Network.

EPPN on Jan. 31 announced a “2×4 Fight for Refugees” campaign, challenging Episcopalians to call national, state and local elected officials at least four times in the next two months to voice opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

A resource for congregations interested in providing sanctuary is Sanctuary Not Deportation.

The local connection is vital, Andersen said. Congregations need to become aware, educated and discern how they may participate.

“It’s always transformational for the church and the families” impacted, he said. “The family is astounded by the love and welcome they are given. It is something formational for person going into sanctuary.”

With so much uncertainty, activists must be fully prepared, he said.

Speaking out against Trump’s actions

Bishops, clergy and laity are urging reconsideration of Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order, which halts refugee resettlement for 120 days and bars Syrians from being resettled in the United States for an unspecified amount of time.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on Jan. 25 urged Trump to reconsider his then-anticipated order on immigration, calling refugee resettlement “God’s work.”

Curry added: “We ask that we continue to accept as many refugees as we have in the past, recognizing the need is greater than ever. We ask that refugees from all countries receive consideration to come to the U.S. and not to ban those who come from countries most in need of our assistance.”

House of Deputies President Gay Jennings said Jan. 31 that she was “particularly horrified by the ban on refugees signed by President Trump on Friday evening.”

“It is quite simply an act of malice, particularly toward our Muslim sisters and brothers, and Christians must oppose it loudly and with strength. Many of you are doing so, and I am grateful for the statements and sermons I have seen and the photos in my Facebook feed of Episcopalians gathered at airports and other protest sites to express our church’s commitment to welcoming the stranger.”

The Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), has said that the rationale given for taking the action was “to make us safe. Yet, isolating ourselves from the world does not make us safer, it only isolates us. Being afraid of those who differ from us does not make us wise, or even prudent; it only traps us in an echo chamber of suspicion and anger, and stops us cold from loving as Christ loved.”

Episcopal News Service has posted a number of responses here.

Stevenson said that EMM will continue to minister to those who have fled their homes because of persecution, violence, or war. “Through our network of affiliates across this country, and with the help of the wider Episcopal Church, we will welcome these men, women and children who did not choose to become refugees. In partnership with the other resettlement agencies, we will work with our government and local communities to provide a place of welcome.

“We can make a difference in these days. We can save lives. We can answer the cry of the persecuted, and the call of God.”

– The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. 

Comments

  1. Jennifer Rich says:

    Thank you for being the church with a conscience and fulfilling God’s mission on earth. That’s why I’m in an Episcopalian!

    • Kilty Maoris says:

      Please stop using the phrase Episcopalians surge forth against President Trump to support democrat ideals. There are relatively few Episcopalians who are running into the streets to support much of anything except hate for our president and for killing the unborn. You will find a few misguided women out here yelling and screaming obscenities along with a bunch of people who can’t read.
      I think it is time for those of us who still believe in the Bibles teachings as rules and not suggestions have no desire to march in the streets like common prostitutes. Take care of those in need in our own communities and after all of that is accomplished take care of others outside our nation. We are not required by the Bible nor the Tenents of the church to place ourselves in danger to ourselves. When we can see evidence that all the children in the U.S. have been well educated, housed and fed then we can be concerned about people who refused to take responsibility for their own status and that of their country. I applaud all our much maligned President Trump has done in such a short time. If anyone can bring American back it is he and God is on his side and ours.

      • ‘America First’ parallels the same tenets proclaimed by the Nazi’s when they moved politically to take over Germany. They constantly called their citizens to self-absorption – better than those they defined as sub-human so these could be exploited, abused and used – those whose bodies were even used to produce soap for those calling for their country to be attended to ‘first’ – ignoring all the Bible calls us to because it is that which calls us away from attention to self. Jesus spent a great deal of time in the streets and in the Temples in protest – like a ‘common prostitute’. In fact, the crucifixion came shortly after Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple. Isn’t that Jesus calling you to extreme protest ignoring self? Donald Trump – with his record of abusing women, having participated in soft porn films, adultery against three women, refusing to rent his apartments or sell his condo’s to Blacks, and so many other sins which are listed wherever you turn – is not exactly who I could see as having God on his side. I would also seriously be concerned about exactly what it is you want American brought back to – slavery? Jim Crowism? Refusing women the right to vote and denying them jobs for which they were qualified – except when men were called to war? and etc.? Brought back to a time when WASP was advantaged in America and everyone else struggling? There were times of change – maybe that’s what you meant – like Reconstruction, The Black Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement – during which time those “..common prostitutes” were out marching in the streets? The need to be better than, in your comment, is so consuming it blinds you to your own sin and to the sin of others. When you turn around and call sin – goodness from God; and the call to follow the Bible which you call acting like common prostitutes, I hate to think of the condition of your soul and will pray for you constantly – and for those like you who have confused god with God. I have no doubt that Trump follows and has god on his side – but God is not anywhere near what he is doing. Godless is what I see – and parts of the Bible, which are very clearly calling all of us to – ‘let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an ever flowing stream’ has no part in Trump’s world, or from your comments, from your world either. Of those ten sentences in the Bible – the 10 commandments, Trump has broken all of them and there has been no call from him for redemption, reconciliation or anything even close. He is now alienating and moving against his own family because they have served their purpose. And this is the man you see as having God on his side?

      • Dean Hensel says:

        For someone casting several stones, what are you actually doing to improve the lives of others? Just asking … or do you also live in a glass house, and void of all sin?

    • Jaan Sass says:

      This so wrong. Under the last president Visas were being denied to minority groups who were being afflicted with genocide by radical Shia and Sunni Muslims. Instead, the last President chose to ignore the plight of these populations that were decimated across the middle east. Instead, the last president chose to take the oppressors of these minority groups. This in the face of a number advocacy groups that were trying to get these people out before they killed executed raped etc. This stuff is available on every major news source including CNN. We should not be helping those who support militant islam which is another form of Fascism. The first groups we should be helping are the minorities who cannot defend themselves against the proponents of radical Islam. Jesus calls us to defend the least of these not the politically convenient.

  2. Doug Desper says:

    I get it. We’re in perilous times when violence has reached a fevered pitch. Only foolish people ignore the chaos that is in Germany and elsewhere in Europe which is caused by the influx of refugees who are mingled in with a larger migration that is often violent and chaotic. It’s right to ask questions and set limits. We must. We cannot be the world’s police force, nor can we be the world’s foster parent. There’s much undone and troubled among our own citizenry that cries out for attention. Set limits, but always remember that PEOPLE are our most important concern, even when we have to respond as they don’t want. I say, err on the side of caution but don’t leave any possible option of compassion unturned.

    I have a friend who is a Muslim and she is very devout. I have learned a lot by listening including how to ask for Halal food for Muslim friends when I order for them at Kentucky Fried Chicken. We talk from time to time about some differences between Islam and Christianity. We don’t seek to convert one another, and we recognize the distinctions that can’t be brushed away. When talking we seek to know challenges that our beliefs bring upon us. She once said, “You Christians see God as your reliable, understanding friend, but you often are not much of a friend to God in return.”
    OUCH! One thing about Najeeha: she’s cursed with working eyes. She was perplexed by Christians who rely on God as a friend (“the Man upstairs”) and yet are very casual about the depth of their return response to God. Is Najeeha right? Do we Christians sometimes reduce God to the easily available One who is undeserving of a meaningful return response?

    Islam challenges its followers to think about what is due to God – what God’s honor requires.
    In the thoughts and actions of its misguided followers the giving of honor to God has sometimes been horrific through terrorist acts. However, for Najeeha and others, who fled as refugees from such people in Pakistan, the word “jihad” means a daily struggle to tame oneself self to honor God above all. Bullets, bombs, and war not included, allowed, or considered.

    Our answer to Najeeha’s encounters with disappointing Christians isn’t found by showing more casual Christians who mishandle God’s embrace. Instead the answer is found by returning to the words that we say that we value.

    On Sunday, February 5th the Lord will say in Matthew’s Gospel, “whoever does them (His commands) and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven”. And Jesus Himself summed up these commands as …. Love God With Everything – Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.

    The return embrace as a friend to God is seen in a Christian’s love, time, effort, compassion, treasure, talent, voice, and action. These reveal “all those who live the words they pray.” (Hymn 517) Just as Jesus watches in anticipation so do all of the wondering and weary Najeehas of His world.

    • “The chaos in Germany” has been drastically over-stated. Did the German government take on more than they should have in a short period of time? Yes. Are we managing now? Yes. Are there parts of my city, Nürnberg (Nuremberg) that I’m afraid of going into now? Absolutely not.

      Both the Protestant (Lutheran – our host parish) and Catholic Churches here see caring for refugees as a core part of their missions as Christians. I’m very happy that my own church has taken emphatic action, too.

      • Bill Louis says:

        Just wondering: How many of the Christians that fret over allowing unvetted refugees into our country would be willing to sign a contract to take some into your homes and be responsible for them much like like foster care for children. The contract would specify you would support them financially and ensure they show up for court appearances etc. In the event they “disappear” then you will pay the costs for the DHS to find them. Also you would be responsible for any destruction or mayhem as well, Any hands… anybody?

  3. Kilty Maoris says:

    Please stop using the phrase Episcopalians surge forth against President Trump to support democrat ideals. There are relatively few Episcopalians who are running into the streets to support much of anything except hate for our president and for killing the unborn. You will find a few misguided women out here yelling and screaming obscenities along with a bunch of people who can’t read.
    I think it is time for those of us who still believe in the Bibles teachings as rules and not suggestions have no desire to march in the streets like common prostitutes. Take care of those in need in our own communities and after all of that is accomplished take care of others outside our nation. We are not required by the Bible nor the Tenents of the church to place ourselves in danger to ourselves. When we can see evidence that all the children in the U.S. have been well educated, housed and fed then we can be concerned about people who refused to take responsibility for their own status and that of their country. I applaud all our much maligned President Trump has done in such a short time. If anyone can bring American back it is he and God is on his side and ours.

    • This is your second posting saying the same thing. This one at 5am and another at 5:02am.

    • Bill Louis says:

      Kitty, you are not alone. I don’t know where some of these people get there information from. I am in awe of Marceline’s delusional ranting and lack of facts. Hitler, Jim Crowism, participation in porn, really! It makes me ill to see how they try to justify their rants with Scripture. I can’t understand why people wouldn’t want to take the time to find out who we are allowing into our country. Take a look at what is going on in Germany, France, Sweeden and the Netherlands ever since they’ve allowed “refugees’ into their country. Attacking Christians, stabbings, rapes, groping women, riots, total disrespect and disregard for women’s rights, the list goes on and on. Why aren’t they concerned with that? I’ve about had it with the Episcopal Corporation’s Left leaning agenda.

  4. Dianne Aid says:

    Sanctuary is deeply rooted in our Faith Tradition in the Hebrew Scriptures (cities set aside for those being persecuted). Mary and Joseph took Sanctuary in Egypt with the infant Jesus. Historically Christians have been at the center of movements like the Undeground Railroad.

    The Episcopal Church is international and includes Dioceses in Latin America and the Caribbean from which refugees (both documented and un-documented come from). Migration is part of human history and survival. Europeans came to what now is the United States – that story did not turn out too well for people that were already here – and thankfully the Episcopal Church (and other denominations) are at the heart of healing, and yes, wd have a long way to go.

    Many years ago, I would not miss church on a Sunday morning. One day I was invited to accompany my farmworker friends on a May Day march. I decided to go. Reflecting on the day, I realized I had experienced an incarnational liturgy of prosession, singing, praying, hearing Gospel words in tne testimonies and sharing a meal. The marches today serve the same purpose that the Civil Rights marches served – gathering for purpose and with pride proclaiming a community which deserves dignity and peace.
    I am so grateful for the many Episcopalians who marched a few weeks ago, and for those whi went to Standing Rock.

    Carry on!

  5. Kathy and mike medovich says:

    My husband and I were involved with refugee settlement from Bosnia years ago, and have lasting friendships…they are productive citizens…a wonderful experience…. AND they are NOT terrorists…..

  6. The Reverend Canon Susan Russell says:

    Grateful for this piece and for the work and witness of The Episcopal Church standing up and speaking out on behalf of the most vulnerable and marginalized. And thank you particularly for framing the issue for what it is — a moral issue — as opposed to what it is not — a partisan issue.

    Jesus did not say “inasmuch as you supported the right political party.” Jesus said “inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these.” If we are truly the Jesus Movement we can do no less.

    • Jaan Sass says:

      you are wrong sir by saying what you said instead of having real dialogue you have made your stance a partisan issue. Are you supporting the minorities first who are being killed off by Muslim groups across the middle east. Are you taking in first the Yezidi’s, Assyrians, Copts and others who were long before Islam existed. The majority populations are the individuals who are the oppressors. The Least of these the ones who cannot themselves deserve are immediate help. Muslims should be last since most of what they are facing is economic and is caused by their religious leaders in the middle east.
      the best we can do is save the minorities and great safe zones in the middle east. I proudly stand against your hypocrisy and lack of understanding of the situation on the ground in the middle east. Talk to Canon White of Iraq or any of the leaders of the Anglican Communion in the Third World. I guess according to you these guys are followers of Satan I ashamed of the stupidity that comes out of the mouth are Church leaders. May God forgive us.

  7. Lisa Ann Mauro says:

    As an Episcopalian I am in agreement with our POTUS. We elected him to help keep the US safe. Most of us (and Episcopalians) don’t want to live in a third world nation. Our Vets go without and some are homeless. We have great crime ridden cities (Chicago) and drugs/heroin is rampant. Too many US citizens are living in poverty. Let’s keep our hard earned tax dollars to help our own. The President has great ideas and plans and he has been handed 47 trillion debt from the previous POTUS. I’d saddened that I’ve seen on some other sites hateful things against Pres. Trump. When I say I voted for him and stand w/my country, I was told I can not be a Christian. Why is it that those who tell us to be tolerant are the least tolerant. God bless Pres. Trump and the USA!!

    • “our own” include our neighbors, which includes the undocumented members of my parish, and likely your parish. Of course you can be a Christian and have voted for Trump. This isn’t a political issue. It is a moral issue.

      • Mike Geibel says:

        Dear Mr. Bates:
        The sanctuary resolution by the LA Diocese called out “Trump” by name along with the word “hate” and issued that resolution shortly after the election. The timing is absolutely political. Refusing to report illegal aliens who commit crimes against citizens to federal authorities cannot be rationalized on “moral” grounds. That is what the EO requires. As to the sanctuary Church, the delegates have voted, and it is my turn to vote as a parishioner–with my feet. I have ended my membership in the Episcopal Church.

  8. Catherine Cheek says:

    Remember, our Lord and Savior, is the most famous refugee of all time. I am so happy to be an Episcopalian Christian. We stand for justice and human dignity, we put into action, what Christ told us to do in the Gospels, which includes immigrants and refugees.

    Although I do respect the office of the President of the United States, I cannot support Trump. He stands against everything in which I believe. I don’t care for the man, but I do pray for him. Trump is still a child of God.

    Like most of the country, I feel fear for what will happen in our future. Hearing and seeing our president display acts of Hitler is frightening. I hope all of you are praying for our country, and for the immigrants and refugees. Each and every human being is a child of our loving God. Please keep this in mind, as we deal with the turmoil in our country, and it’s affect on the rest of the world. And read through the Baptismal Covenant on occasion. We need to reflect on it and what it truly means, and we need to pray.

    • mike geibel says:

      Dear Ms. Cheek:
      ” Hearing and seeing our president display acts of Hitler is frightening.”

      Hitler’s para-military supporters were the Brownshirts, who started riots and rampaged through streets committing acts of violence to support his political agenda of intimidation and repression of free speech. I think I saw some of those Brownshirts at the recent riot at UC Berkley–only they were dressed in black with masks over their faces and were burning American flags.

      I appreciate that it is difficult not to react emotionally with words of hyperbole and slander on divisive political issues, but rhetoric which consists of name-calling, and church resolutions that call for disregard of our federal laws, are not conducive to finding a path to citizenship for deserving families and refugees that will also protect our citizens and respect the rule of law. Please read the EO–it does not call for rounding up illegal aliens, putting them in camps, or mass deportations. It requires state and local police to detain and report a person who has committed a serious crime against citizens to federal authorities if that person is in this country illegally.

      I am no fan of Trump, the man, but that does not mean his stance on immigration reform is immoral or un-Christian, or that withholding federal grant money is not a good idea.

      Churches need to stay out of politics, whether they are right-wing fundamentalist churches or the left-wing Episcopal Church. Immigration is a divisive political issue and announcing leftist “one world/open border” political positions under the mantle of being “Episcopalians” will polarize congregations and may empty some pews. I am under no illusions about changing the extremist mind-set of Episcopal leaders so I have left the Church. Other disaffected Episcopalians who are not yet ready to abandon ship might want to consider suspending their pledges.

  9. Terry Francis says:

    Marceline Donaldson, while I didn’t vote for Trump and don’t agree with everything Kitty said, I find your reply to her outrageous. It was self-righteous, condescending, insulting, judgmental, shall I go on? She confused God with god? Really? Many would say progressives like yourself have made the same mistake in regards to God madam. The biggest piece of nonsense was when you implied she and people like her wanted the country to return to, what was it? Jim Crow? Slavery? Refusing women the right to vote? Are you serious?? People like Kitty are merely referring to returning to a country that has secure borders, lower taxes, fewer regulations, etc. While Trump may not be the most likable person to occupy the WH, there are no parallels between his administration and Hitler’s Nazi regime. None. Zero. A total fantasy. Last I checked, there are no concentration camps popping up anywhere in the country so far. And finally Marceline, don’t worry about the condition of Kitty’s soul. Worry about your own soul, because unless it is perfect in the eyes of God you don’t need to worry about others. Bty, where is this evidence that Trump was in soft porn? That’s a new one!

  10. Marion Franks says:

    can we find out where the church stands on the families of those who lost loved ones to illegal immigrants? are they offering anything?

  11. susan zimmerman says:

    …see if you can find some of the larger mosques in this country who might offer a memorial service for those who have been killed by some of the crazy Muslim extremists…i think if a day was picked by the leading Muslim leaders to hold a Muslim memorial all over this country people might begin to hold a bit more respect…to show that they really do not agree w/the crazys…something of an ecumenical service might even be more interesting.

    • Lisa Ann Mauro says:

      Thank you Terry – beautifully said. I am saddened that most parishioner (who didn’t vote for our POTUS) are suggesting that “we” should not call ourselves Christians. It seems like my Episcopal denomination has turned it’s back on the middle class working people who pay taxes and barely get by. They claim that this is a moral issue. What about a fiscal issue? Life is not black and white. It can mostly be grey. Therefore, did they expect all of us to go along with the left/Dem candidate? Are we who voted and support Pres. Trump supposed to flee our Church? I again will say – I am truly saddened that we are made to feel sinners. Shame on them – Clergy and others. God can only judge!

  12. F William Thewalt says:

    I am saddened that the Episcopal Church that I joined over 45 years ago has shifted its focus so politically. There is virtually no cause, especially if it is leftist, progressive or liberal that it will not support. The church I joined back then did not send marchers in the streets to protest and wreak havoc, did not make knee jerk reaction to every “liberal” cause, and did not even think of protesting government except letter writing. I long for the return of civility where I can once again be comfortable in the pew.

  13. Ronald Davin says:

    Time for the Church to get away from the Presidential bashing and take an interest in what happened to the kids who were forced to flee Aleppo. Are they being provided for, did they flee the city only to starve to death ? Regardless of what the President is is not doing, what is the Church doing to help the basic needs of these people where they are ?

  14. I am a servant of God, a brother in Christ, a Republican Free Immigrationist and an Episcopalian in Metuchen, NJ. In 1986, I wrote a song to recapture the spirit of this country and this people. You may find it a more positive path for your thoughts. It is called “A Home for All”. See my link for a more recent performance.

  15. Dr. William A. Flint, MDiv, PhD says:

    Radical Islam is a treat both to mainstream Islam and Christianity. There is no sin in wanting to halt those coming from countries who have lost control of their populations until the US State Department can properly vet and determine whether one meets the requirements to come into this country. Most European Countries have strong immigration policies. Some require immigrants to have jobs and at least 30 to 45 thousand deposited in government escrow accounts, also 2 to 3 citizen sponsors to insure the immigrant family does not need state aid. Most of these countries do not offer aid to immigrants. By far, the USA is much more accommodating. 90 to 180 days is not much to ask, we could be like Germany or Canada.

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