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Statement from the United Methodist Bishops of Texas

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent press release regarding Texas’ intention to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program , the United Methodist bishops in the state of Texas have issued the following statement. You will notice in our signing of this statement that each bishop is listed by Episcopal Area. Please know that the Fort Worth Area (of which I am the bishop) includes all of the Central Texas Conference; the Northwest Texas Area is the Northwest Texas Conference; the Houston Area includes all of the Texas Annual Conference; the Dallas Area is the North Texas Conference; and the San Antonio Area includes all of the Rio Texas Conference. -Bishop Mike Lowry As bishops of The United Methodist Church in Texas we join with other faith leaders in our state to encourage Governor Greg Abbott to seek a pathway that will affirm the worth of all humankind.   As Christians and as Texans our values are grounded in respect and hospitality toward newcomers. Those values lead us to welcome refugees to our state. We recognize that these are difficult and complex times but as Christians, we rely on Jesus Christ to overcome our fear of those who may be different.  The United Methodist Church in our Social Principles states, “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God…. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.”  We ask for God’s blessing on those who will step in to serve in the absence of our state’s participation in the resettlement effort, for they are truly being the hands and feet of Christ.  Bishop Earl Bledsoe, Northwest Texas Area Bishop Scott Jones, Houston Area Bishop Michael Lowry, Fort Worth Area Bishop Michael McKee, Dallas Area Bishop Robert Schnase, San Antonio Area