Sisters and Brothers,
Last Sunday after worship we held an unscheduled meeting with our Latino brothers and sisters. Our goal was to share a few announcements and to share some information Br. Ray, Joshua, Kyle and I learned while attended a panel presentation regarding immigration. What we heard in that presentation was alarming.
In our discussion on Sunday we quickly realized that there is a significant amount of angst and worry among our own Latino brothers and sisters. So the decision was made to postpone our Spiritual Discipline class so that we could continue the conversation. (The Examine class will be presented this week.)
Many of our sisters and brothers are worried about the safety of their families and friends. And they have every right to be worried. In case you haven't heard, ICE agents in some areas are using "generic" (less than legal?) warrants to dupe immigrants into allowing them entry into their homes. This of course ends up in their arrest and deportation.
Immigrants do have legal rights. They can refuse to allow police and ICE agents entry if they do not have a legal, signed (by a judge) warrant. Using legal-looking documents to "trick" folks who might not understand their rights is frightening. Imagine how unnerving it would be to have police banging at your door demanding entrance. They show you what looks like a legal warrant that you cannot read. Once you let them in, they arrest you and carry you off to jail.
We have committed ourselves to be a place that welcomes all. As I have said for nearly five years, welcome is more than just a nice slogan. Welcome includes a commitment from the heart.
It requires sacrifice. We are being called to something important. We are engaged in ushering in the reign of God where all God's children are loved.
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