Today, I joined my fellow active bishops of Texas, as well as several retired bishops living in the state in calling on our state and federal officials to set aside party politics and deliver a solution for the ongoing humanitarian crisis unfolding along our southern border. We are all called, as Christians and Americans, to reach out in love to our sisters and brothers in need.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church of Rome tells us to "Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.” (Romans 12:13 CEB) As a Christ follower, we are called to welcome the stranger in these tough times. It is my hope and prayer that those who have been duly elected to serve will soon lay aside partisan bickering and come together with a solution that reflects our deeply held Christian and American values.
As I contemplate how we should be responding to the immigrants and asylum seekers along our southern border, I am reminded of President Lincoln’s timeless quote from his second inaugural address. "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds." No matter where we are on the political spectrum, may we all reach out and serve those in need.
Please see the statement from the Bishops of Texas below or click here to review it on our conference website. For more information on how you can reach out and serve, please go to ctcumc.org/immigration-response.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We greet you in the name of our Lord. Together, we have watched with anguish the unfolding immigration crisis taking place along our southern border. Across our state, United Methodist churches are reaching out with compassion and aid to those who are suffering. We also count border patrol officers and those who work with agencies serving asylum seekers as members of our churches, and we know they are doing their best to respond to an overwhelming situation.
Those seeking to enter the United States are children of God –- people for whom Christ died. We call upon government officials, regardless of political party, to seek solutions that reflect caring and compassion. Surely, in the midst of this unfolding humanitarian crisis, it is time to lay aside partisan politics and seek solutions of love, justice and mercy, which best reflect our fundamental values as Christians and Americans. As we search for a common response, may we rise above fear and divisiveness, remembering the guidance of Holy Scripture: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
As Bishops of The United Methodist Church in Texas, we call on the people of The United Methodist Church of Texas as well as all people of goodwill to pray for and work toward:
Ending cruel policies that separate families;
Ensuring compassionate care for the health and welfare of children;
Providing safe and humane care for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence in their native countries;
A common solution that respects, cares for and offers tangible assistance to those who are hurting and homeless; and
Working with officials in other countries to address root causes of violence and poverty, which threaten the health and safety of their citizens and force our sisters and brothers to flee their countries of origin.
We ask all who follow Christ as Lord to remember that our Savior was himself a homeless refugee fleeing violence. Jesus taught us, “When you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
May the Peace of Christ be with you and with the children and families who are suffering,
The United Methodist Bishops of Texas
W. Earl Bledsoe, Northwest Texas & New Mexico Episcopal Areas
Scott Jones, Houston Episcopal Area
J. Michael Lowry, Fort Worth Episcopal Area
Michael McKee, Dallas Episcopal Area
Robert Schnase, San Antonio Episcopal Area
Robert E. Hayes, Jr., Retired
Janice Riggle Huie, Retired
Joel N. Martinez, Retired
John W. Russell, Retired
Ann Sherer-Simpson, Retired
Dan E. Solomon, Retired
D. Max Whitfield, Retired
Joe A. Wilson, Retired