Faith leaders’ statement on family separation
FAITH LEADERS’ STATEMENT ON FAMILY SEPARATION
Recently, the U.S. Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the wellbeing of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news.
We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.
As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.
His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Diocesan Legate and Director of the Ecumenical Office
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
Mr. Azhar Azeez
Islamic Society of North America
The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton, PA
Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President
United Church of Christ
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. David Guthrie
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Southern Province
Mr. Glen Guyton
Mennonite Church USA
The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Union for Reform Judaism
Mr. Anwar Khan
Islamic Relief USA
The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Northern Province
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
The Rev. Don Poest
Interim General Secretary
The Rev. Eddy Alemán
Candidate for General Secretary
Reformed Church in America
Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III
Presiding Bishop, The 8th Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
The Rev. Phil Tom
International Council of Community Churches
Senior Bishop McKinley Young
Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Resources for Vital Congregations
GBHEM Leadership Resources
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at email@example.com.