Monday, December 07, 2015

"I was a stranger and you welcomed me ..."

The Diocese of Los Angeles went on record for refugees with the following resolution — adopted by an overwhelming majority at its 120th Annual Meeting in Ontario, California on December 5, 2015. Thanks go to all who scrambled to make this happen on very short notice — especially to Bishop Jon Bruno for incorporating it into his Bishop’s Address to Convention. Grateful to be part of a church working to live out the gospel call to welcome the stranger and striving to love our neighbors as ourselves. All our neighbors. All the time.

Resolution supporting Refugees

Resolved, that the One Hundred Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles rejects calls from state and national political figures to slow or halt the processing of refugees and immigrants, regardless of point of departure.
and be it further

Resolved, that the One Hundred Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles commits to act in support of refugees and immigrants by

1. Encouraging congregations within the Diocese of Los Angeles to support the work of the IRIS with financial assistance and by sponsoring refugees and immigrants in their communities, and
2. Supporting the Episcopal Church in continuing to take a strong public stand in favor of welcoming the stranger in our midst and calling for increased funding for Episcopal Migration Ministries, and
3. Challenging our Local, State and National elected officials to support, streamline and expand efforts to move refugees and immigrants through the screening process and provide a welcoming environment for these new arrivals to our nation, and
4. Instructing the Secretary of Convention to send a copy of this resolution to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and all Members of Congress who represent the areas encompassed by this Diocese.

Welcoming the stranger and treating the sojourner with love and justice are core values of our faith. Jesus himself taught that when we welcome the stranger we welcome him – and the teachings of the Church have always included admonishments to show hospitality to strangers. We see those values expressed in the ancient words of the prophets and in the recent news reports of the powerful statements by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry speaking in opposition to the backlash against Syrian Refugees in the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

This convention has the opportunity to make a powerful and time critical statement of love, justice and compassion and to offer a much needed rebuttal to the rabid rhetoric demonizing and marginalizing refugees fleeing violence in their homelands. We urge adoption of this resolution and continued support for the work of our partners in ministry: Episcopal Migration Ministries and Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service.

Submitted by The Reverend Canon J. Edwin Bacon
Rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena
on behalf of:

The Very Reverend Canon Michael Bamberger, Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre
The Reverend Canon Gary Commins, St. Luke’s, Long Beach
The Reverend Charleen Crean, All Saints, Pasadena
The Reverend John Crean, St. Patrick’s, Thousand Oaks
The Reverend Jon Dephouse, All Saints, Pasadena
The Reverend Stephen Huber, All Saints’, Beverly Hills
The Reverend Canon Lynn Jay, retired
The Reverend Zelda Kennedy, All Saints, Pasadena
The Reverend Susan Klein, St. Alban’s, Los Angeles
The Very Reverend Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz, Saint John’s La Verne
Ms Marie Mota, St. John’s, La Verne
Ms Jana Milhon-Martin, St. John’s, La Verne
The Reverend Ada Wong Nagata, Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel
The Reverend Thomas Ni, Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel
The Reverend Brian O’Rourke, St. James’, South Pasadena
The Reverend Canon Susan Russell, All Saints, Pasadena
The Reverend Canon Ed Snicienski, Church of the Ascension, Sierra Madre
The Very Reverend Sylvia Sweeney, Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont
The Reverend Kay Sylvester, St. Paul’s, Tustin
The Reverend Canon Anne Tumilty, St. James’, South Pasadena
The Reverend Barrett Van Buren, St. Johns, La Verne
Canon Jim White, All Saints Church, Pasadena
The Reverend Canon George F. Woodward III, St. Edmund’s

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