Newsline Special: Call for just immigration reform; Brethren warned of email scam




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“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35b).


NEWS
1) Welcoming the stranger: A call for just immigration reform
2) Brethren are warned of email scam


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1) Welcoming the stranger: A call for just immigration reform

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is recommending to the Church of the Brethren a blogpost from Office of Peacebuilding and Policy associate Victoria Bateman. The post, dated Friday, June 15, reaffirms the longstanding stance of the Church of the Brethren on immigration, outlined in 1982 Annual Conference statement on “Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html ), and the biblical basis for extending welcome to refugees and immigrants.

Following is the full text of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy post (also online at http://blog.brethren.org/2018/welcoming-the-stranger-a-call-for-just-immigration-reform ):

A view of the 1982 Annual Conference statement on “Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html )

A view of the 1982 Annual Conference statement on “Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html )

“The Church of the Brethren has long acknowledged the Bible’s call for justice in immigration policy. Matthew 25:35 says, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me,’ reminding us that our response to ‘the least of these’ is just as important as the manner in which we would choose to treat Christ. As people of faith, it is essential that we respond to God’s call to welcome strangers, extend hospitality, and recognize the inherent dignity of each human being.

“Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible in an attempt to justify the separation of children from their parents at the border as they flee violence, poverty, and oppression in their home countries. Once separated from their parents, these children are held in detention centers. Over 500 children have been detained under this policy, putting them at risk for emotional trauma and abuse.

“This past spring, the world watched as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was rescinded, leaving hundreds of thousands of students and community members not knowing the future of their immigration status--despite having grown up in the United States. Erick, a Church of the Brethren member, shared his own story with us here: http://blog.brethren.org/2017/daca-story-erick .

“Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs, which gave legal residence to people from nations facing violence or natural disaster, have also been cut. Some TPS holders have been in the country for decades, starting families and businesses, and will be forced to return to their original country if a pathway to citizenship is not created. The Haitian Church of the Brethren in Miami, Florida has been impacted by these policies, and you can read about the March for TPS they held here: http://blog.brethren.org/2018/reflections-on-the-march-for-tps .

“The uncertainty, fear, and danger faced by immigrants impacted by these broken US immigration policies is not acceptable. Our 1982 Annual Conference statement on ‘Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States’ ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html ) calls for the United States government to adopt legislation and policies ‘which welcome and promote the welfare of immigrants and refugees,’ and ‘to bring about a general amnesty for those people who once entered the United States as “undocumented aliens” but have settled peacefully among their neighbors.’

“As people of faith, we urge the United States government to fix its broken immigration system. US policies must be compassionate and just, and recognize the importance of strong families and communities. The Bible condemns those who exploit immigrants (Ezekiel 22:7), and instead calls for us to love those who are foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19). Immigrants continue to make valuable contributions to the country, and each human being who enters the United States deserves to be treated with compassion.”

-- Find out more about the ministry of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy at www.brethren.org/peacebuilding .

2) Brethren are warned of email scam

Giving page - Church of the Brethren website

Giving page - Church of the Brethren website

Scam email messages have been received by some Church of the Brethren members recently, asking for donations to help with refugee resettlement. These are scam messages and should be deleted.

The Church of the Brethren’s legitimate email requests for funding will invite giving online at the Church of the Brethren website www.brethren.org or via the mailing of a check to the Church of the Brethren General Offices, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

The Office of Mission Advancement sends the “eBrethren” email newsletter, print letters, and occasional fundraising messages by email to encourage church members to give to Church of the Brethren ministries. These will always invite donations sent by check to the denominational offices or online giving at a secure donation site such as www.brethren.org/give (powered by GivingFuel).

Please do not ever give out bank account information or personal details in response to an email message. Legitimate email messages from the Church of the Brethren will not request such information.

If you receive a request listing any other ways to give, please delete it or forward it to our webmaster at cobweb@brethren.org so that the denominational staff can track down the fraudulent senders.

The denominational staff appreciates the generous giving and support that is received for Church of the Brethren ministries, and encourages church members to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16b).


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Newsline is the e-mail news service of the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Please send news tips and submissions to editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren, at cobnews@brethren.org . Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Tori Bateman, Jan Fischer Bachman, Traci Rabenstein, David Steele.

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