Refugee Resettlement from North Carolina Bishops

 

December 10, 2019 
 
Dear Members of United Methodist Churches across North Carolina, 
 
As we enter the season of Advent and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we remember that Jesus began his life fleeing persecution as a refugee in Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-18) 
 
On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that may drastically reduce, if not entirely stop, the resettlement of refugees in our state. We are deeply concerned that this executive order will prolong family separation for refugee families, create chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled, and leave refugees, former refugees, and United States citizens without supportive services. The administration has also proposed a refugee admissions goal of 18,000 refugees for this year which stands in stark contrast to the historic average goal of 95,000 refugees here in the United States. 
 
Our Christian faith calls us to extend hospitality and offer a chance for refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. As United Methodists, we are called to “provide wherever possible pastoral care and crisis intervention to refugees.” (Book of Resolutions, 3281) This proposal is contrary to Scripture which calls us to “show hospitality to strangers,” particularly those in need (Lev. 19:33-34; Matt. 25:35; Heb. 13:2). 
 
In response, we invite you to contact your Senators and Representatives to let them know that welcoming refugees is an important matter of love and justice. 
 
You might choose to use this template letter: 

Dear [elected official], 
 
I am one of your constituents and a United Methodist. My faith calls me to advocate for and welcome refugees. I call on you to do the same: stop the Administration from cutting the number of refugees the U.S. admits next year as proposed in Executive Order 13888. 
 
As a Christian, I believe that the words in Leviticus 19:33-34 present God’s vision for welcoming refugees. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” 
 
And, as a United Methodist, my church teaches that “Migrant rights are human Rights” (cf. United Methodist Church Resolution #6025 Globalization and its Impact on Human Dignity and Human Rights). The United Methodist Church reminds us “Christians do not approach the issue of migration from the perspective of tribe or nation, but from within a faith community of love and welcome” (cf. United Methodist Church Resolution #6028 Global Migration and the Quest for Justice). 
 
I urge you to reject lowering the cap of refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2020. Please return to resettling 95,000 refugees in 2020. 
 
Justice and hospitality for refugees is critical to our identity as Americans. It is also vital to my Christian faith. As a follower of Jesus, loving my neighbors calls me to take legislative action to welcome refugees. 

Thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter. 
 
With appreciation, 
[Your information] 

 
May we all embrace a Christian witness which “makes room at the inn” (Luke 2:7) for our brothers and sisters across the world. 
 
In Advent Hope, 
 
Bishop Paul L. Leeland
Western North Carolina Conference
United Methodist Church                                                                         
 
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
North Carolina Conference
United Methodist Church
 
Bishop Lawrence J. McCleskey, Retired 
Lake Junaluska, NC
 
Bishop Carlton P. Minnick, Jr., Retired
Raleigh, NC
 
Bishop William H. Willimon, Retired 
Durham, NC 
 
Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, Retired 
Lake Junaluska, NC
 
Bishop Charles N. Crutchfield, Retired 
Biltmore Lake, NC

Resources for Vital Congregations

 

CHURCH LEADERSHIP

Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources

eLEAD

Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians

DISCIPLE FORMATION:

Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations

WESLEYAN STUDIES:

Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology

REACHING PEOPLE:

Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging

RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:

Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children

GRANTS:

The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment

 

 

 

 

 

 

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