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Bishop Holston: Statement on DACA changes

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…” – Philippians 2:3-5

News of the potential for more change in United States immigration policy has thrown into uncertainty the futures of thousands of undocumented young immigrants brought to the United States as children and their families.

Bishop Holston

Paul’s word to the church at Philippi was a simple one, but one that is often drowned out today by the noise of political discourse.

As Christians in the midst of chaotic times, we recognize that people of faith have different opinions about issues of national concern. I pray we will look for opportunities for civil, thoughtful and respectful discussion with those who share our opinions and with those with whom we disagree.

It is only through being receptive to listening and actually hearing what others are saying that we can reach consensus on how to move forward in repairing our nation’s immigration policies.

As United Methodists, we must center our attention on sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the world, acting with charity, advocating for those without a voice, and working resolutely for justice.

The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church state:

“We recognize, embrace and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.”

As Paul put it, we must remember that “it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

We are called as Christians to remember who we are and whose we are, and to be witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ for the world. To be faithful in our witness to Jesus Christ, we are called to love the strangers in our midst as if they were Jesus. This is our calling and our mission – even when it feels risky and frightening to do so.

How can we do this?

  • As you go about your day, reach out to young immigrants in your community who could be affected by this change in the law. Offer them a listening ear, a word of comfort. Pray with them.
  • Seek to learn from them about their circumstances. Offer them hospitality and other expressions of care.
  • Connect with schools and universities in your community and partner with them to reach out to DACA students and other immigrant young people with love and support.

During these challenging times, pray for the courage to be faithful in our witness to Jesus Christ, the compassion to love the strangers living among us, and the strength to act when God places such opportunities in our path.

Grace and peace,

L. Jonathan Holston
Resident Bishop
South Carolina Conference
The United Methodist Church

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.umcsc.org/home/bishop-holston-statement-on-daca-changes/

1 comment

  1. philip huggins

    just as the Lord gives us rules to live by, and if we do our best to live by these rules and not try to change his rules to suit our needs, then by his grace we can enter into his house. By this same token we have rules that govern our house, and if whoever goes by these rules and doesn’t try to change them to suit their needs, then by our grace they can enter our house. The Lord doesn’t change his rules, though enough people try, we shouldn’t change ours

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