Episcopal priests and delegates gathered on November 3, 2018 at the 233rd Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, and unanimously passed the resolution: Seeking Immigrant Justice through Accompaniment, Advocacy, and Direct Action. This resolution seeks to challenge any immigration law, policy, or practice that is inconsistent with our biblical mandate not only to not “wrong or oppress a resident stranger " (Exodus 22:21), but also to love the stranger in our midst (Deuteronomy 10:19), and to affirm our conviction that love does no harm to a neighbor and that love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).
The resolution states:
The example of Jesus calls us to assist our immigrant siblings who are facing the risk/consequences of deportation through our diverse gifts and talents that God has graced us with so that we may be the hands of Christ in the world. Furthermore, we have the opportunity to work together with our local organizations and legal funds in order to act effectively and in solidarity.
As people of faith and followers of Christ we cannot stand by silently and passively as we witness the victimization and harm inflicted upon our immigrant siblings This resolution puts our faith into action by standing in solidarity with those targeted for deportation due to immigration status or some perceived status of difference or barred from entry to this country, as we work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors and accompany our immigrant siblings to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.
We are grateful to the submitters: The Rev. Dr. Lisa Fortuna, The Very Rev. Amy McCreath, The Rev. Dr. Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa, The Rev. Dr. Joel Almonó, Mr. David Bresnahan, The Rev. Tim Crellin, The Rev. Ennis Duffis, The Rev. Arrington Chambliss, Mrs. Celeste Finn, Mrs. Isabel Garcia, The Rev. Miriam Gelfer, The Rev. Edgar A. Gutiérrez-Duarte, The Rev. Nathan W. Ives, Mrs. Sadia Jiminian, The Rev. Edwin Johnson, Mrs. Brenda Lavafta, The Rev. Dn. Dr. Michael Melendez, The Rev. Dn Lori Mills Curran, Ms. Beverly Merz, The Rev. Dn Ema Rosero, The Rev. Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Mrs. Wendolyn Squires. We are also grateful for those who powerfully spoke to the urgency for accompaniment and solidarity at Convention: Suyapa Pérez (whose testimony is below), the Reverend Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, the Reverend Joseph Mumita, and those who prepared to speak, Roz Nazarro and Pam Chester from Epiphany Winchester. You can enjoy listening to Pam Chester's testimony below.
Episcopal City Mission joins Reverend Canon Jean Baptiste and the Diocesan Immigration Task Force to support parishes to find a way to be engaged in immigrant accompaniment or immigrant justice in their locality. If you are a parish leader interested in exploring ways to be engaged in immigrant justice work in your locality, please contact Carly Margolis at email@example.com.