Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wesleyan Pastors and Leaders Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Wesleyan Pastors and Leaders, this is your opportunity to add your voice to the call for comprehensive immigration reform. Recently Nazarenes and Wesleyans are joining the growing number of Evangelicals in favor of fixing the broken system, by circulating a letter asking President Obama to address the matter (see Nazarene and Wesleyan Clergy Ask for Comprehensive Immigration Reform below).

Are you surprised that Wesleyan and Nazarene pastors and leaders would take this position? Even though loud voices are expressing simplistic views against the need for reform, thoughtful followers of Christ are urged to consider the complexities of the current situation. Previous posts on this blog are a great place to begin, along with other links in the righthand column. I’m convinced that this is one of the most urgent moral issues facing the church today. Given our Wesleyan heritage, my hope and prayer is that our pastors and leaders will not hesitate to speak out with courage and clarity.

I've asked that my name be added as a signatory calling for comprehensive immigration reform. Please write me today to let me know that you would like to add your signature to this letter too.

Your brother in Christ,

Norman


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Nazarene and Wesleyan Clergy Ask for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

An Open Letter To President Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate:

As denominational leaders, pastors of churches, and lay leaders in the Nazarene and Wesleyan denominations, we express to you our deep concern over the broken immigration system facing our nation. Because of Congress’s failure to pass immigration reform in the last several years, we have seen this debate spill over into states in ways that may divide our communities, confuse enforcement procedures and contribute to the hateful rhetoric, which is currently dominating the national dialogue.

The United States is home to immigrants of all backgrounds – Hispanic, European, Haitian, African, Asian, and so many others. When immigrant families are afraid to send their children to school, go to the grocery store, talk to the police during an emergency or even answer a knock at the door, regardless of the nature of their immigration status, we must speak up. A divided, polarized, and frightened community works in complete contrast to the message of Christ’s love and reconciliation we strive to communicate in our world. It is time to re-engage the immigration reform debate in a civil and respectful manner. Solutions should be sought that integrate both rule of law and love of the immigrant.

As Evangelical leaders in the tradition of John Wesley serving a diverse spectrum of churches around the country we are united in the belief that every human being is created in the image of God. We come together in the belief that Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, and also to welcome the stranger, regardless of immigration status. We too want immigration reform that respects the rule of law while providing a path to citizenship to those who want to integrate into the larger U.S. mosaic.

Consistent with our Wesleyan heritage and commitments to minister, love, and work with all people and in particular those whom Jesus called “the least of these” we support comprehensive immigration reform. We urge our policymakers to work constructively to address the challenges and complexities of immigration. We understand that we must enforce our borders and respect the rule of law in this country. Similarly, we must also look with compassion upon the immigrants who are here, working in all walks of life and contributing to the common good. A deep respect for the laws of the land calls for obedience, but also for the evaluation of the effectiveness and humanity of our laws. We assert that comprehensive immigration reform can do both.

As Evangelical Americans, in a country as diverse as ours, we should proudly embody our history and values as a welcoming nation. We pray that our politicians come together to craft fair and humane immigration reform as soon as possible, because a crisis of immigration policy that results in divided communities and families is also a crisis of the church. We are joining a Nazarene and Wesleyans for immigration reform campaign as a sign of our commitment to common-sense immigration reform that reflects our deepest and noblest faith values of respect for the law and love of neighbor.

Sincerely,


National Leadership: * (These are individual endorsements. Institutions are named for identification purposes only, they do not reflect institutional endorsement).*

Rev. Gabriel & Jeanette Salguero
Lead Pastors, The Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene
Nazarenes and Wesleyans for Immigration Reform

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
General Superintendent
The Wesleyan Church
Fishers, IN

Dr. Jesse C. Middendorf
General Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene
Lenexa, KS

Dr. Jerry D. Porter
General Superintendent,
Church of the Nazarene
Lenexa, KS

Dr. J.K. Warrick
General Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene
Lenexa, KS

Dr. Oliver R. Phillips
Director, Mission Support USA/Canada
Church of the Nazarene
Lenexa, KS

Rev. Steve Strand
Director, Hispanic Ministries
The Wesleyan Church
Indianapolis, Indiana





District Leadership

Rev. Art Alexander
District Superintendent, Metro New York District
Church of the Nazarene
Valley Stream, NY

Dr. Roberto Hodgson District Superintendent, Southwest Latin American District Church of the Nazarene Shawnee, Kansas
Rev. Orlando R. Serrano
District Superintendent, Western Latin American District
Church of the Nazarene
Santa Fe Springs, CA

Dr. Mario J. Zani
Hispanic Ministries Coordinator, Oregon-Pacific District
Church of the Nazarene
Hillsboro, OR


Seminary and University Educators:

Dr. Ron Benefiel
President
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri

Dr. Stacey L. Barker
Associate Professor and Program Chair,
Department of Social Work Co-Director/ The Center for Responsibility and Justice
Eastern Nazarene College Quincy, Massachusetts

Deborah L. Berho, PhD
Associate Professor of Spanish
George Fox University
Newberg, OR

Dr. Roger L. Hahn
Dean of the Faculty and Professor of New Testament
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Kansas City, MO

Andy Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Kansas City, MO

Michael Lodahl
Professor of Theology & World Religions
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, California


Rev. Dr. K. Steve McCormick
Professor of Historical Theology
William M. Greathouse Chair of Wesleyan-Holiness Theology
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Kansas City, MO

Dr. Eric Severson
Associate Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director of the Center for Responsibility and Justice
Eastern Nazarene College
Quincy, MA

Dr. William L. Selvidge
Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri

Rev. Dr. Fletcher L. Tink
Executive Director/Academic Dean
Bresee Institute for Metro Ministries/City Vision College
Kansas City, MO.

Melissa Tucker
Associate Director of International Ministries
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA


Mrs. Jennie Williams
Campus Ministries Coordinator
Eastern Nazarene University
Quincy, MA

Andy Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament
Nazarene Theological Seminary
1700 East Meyer Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64131


Clergy:

Rev. Ronald A. Benjamin Senior Associate Pastor Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene
Bronx, New York

Rev. Philip R. Hamner
Senior Pastor
Overland Park Church of the Nazarene
Overland Park, KS

Rev. Reynaldo Moralez
Lead Pastor
Luz y Vida Wesleyan Church
Wichita, KS

Rev. Bruce Chandler Paul
Ordained Elder, Church of the Nazarene
San Diego, CA

Dr. Mary Rearick Paul
Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene
San Diego, CA

Rev. Dr. Samuel Vassel
Senior Pastor
Bronx Bethany Church of the Magazine
Bronx, NY

Rev. Montague Williams
Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene
Boston, MA


Lay Voices:

Samuel N. Smith, esq.,
Immigration Lawyer
Samuel N. Smith, Attorney at Law
Fairfax, VA

Roger McCrummen, esq.,
McCrummen Immigration Law Group, LLC
Kansas City, MO

Mr. Jeffrey Sykes
Layperson
Overland Park Church of the Nazarene
Overland Park, KS


University Students:

Megan Ford
Student
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA

Ricardo Solano
College Student
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA

Blake Nelson
College Student
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA

Abigail Carr
College Student
Southern Nazarene University
Oklahoma City, OK

1 comment:

Whitey Lawful said...

I am not a cleric; but i am not partial to legal or illegal immigrants. I see that argument as a rationalyzation and subterfuge. The fact is Mexicans are bringing their culture en masse and that includes Papacy.