- About Us
- Our Bishop
- Bishop Waynick's Confirmation Checklist
- The Bishop's Visitation Schedule
- House of Bishops Issues Pastoral Letter on Immigration Reform
- Bishop Cate Sings --Listen Here! (Video)
- A Word to the Church: Godly Leadership in the Face of Violence
- An Easter Sermon from Bishop Waynick
- Our Mission Is Transformation
- Bishop Waynick Offers Statement on Indiana HJR3
- A Message from Bishop Waynick on Same Gender Marriage in Indiana
- Bishop Cate Attends House of Bishops Meeting in Taiwan
- Bishop Waynick Has Papal Audience
- Bishop's Ash Wednesday Reflection on a Holy Lent (2015)
- Concerning the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (2015)
- The Episcopal Church
- The Diocese
- Wednesday Mailbag
- Diocesan Convention
- Diocesan Convention 175
- Diocesan Convention 176
- Call to Convention for the 176th Diocesan Convention
- Convention Schedule - Final
- Proposed Changes to the Constitution or Canons
- Election Results
- Budget - 2016
- Reports to the 176th Diocesan Convention
- Learning Opportunities at the 176th Diocesan Convention
- Diocese of Indianapolis Holds 176th Convention October 24-26
- 177th Diocesan Convention Emphasizes “Holy Currencies”
- 178th Diocesan Convention, Part 1
- Diocesan Celebrations
- Commission on Ministry
- Constitution and Canons
- Executive Council
- History & Archives
- Mission Strategy Commission
- Standing Committee
- Office of Communication & Evangelism
- Our Bishop
- Mission & Ministries
- Campus Ministries
- Transition Ministries
- Christian Formation
- Lifelong Christian Formation
- ChurchNext - Online Christian Formation
- Speak, Lord, for Your Servants Are Listening
- Youth Ministries
- Education, Health & Relief
- Episcopal Women's Ministries
- What is Evangelism?
- Chasing the Social Networkers
- Who Locked the Gates?
- What About the “De-Churched?”
- What if Starbucks Used Church Marketing?
- Evangelism and Hospitality Consultation
- Reaching Out to Your Community
- Evangelism Role Playing
- A Hospitality Quiz
- 15 Free or Under $100 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Market Your Parish and Grow
- Talking About Your Faith---Some Exercises
- Global Missions Commission
- Lay Ministries
- Young Adult Ministries
- Deacons' Web Site
- Find a Resource
- Social Media
- Partner Dioceses
- Donate to the Dioceses of Bor and Brasilia
- Donate to South Sudan Relief Efforts
- Diocese of Bor
- Diocese of Brasilia
- Partner News
- May 2013 - Partner News and Photos
- Other Partners
- Cooperating Ministries
- News from Our Partners
- Partner Dioceses
- May 14 - Confirmation:All Diocesan
- May 17 - Confirmation:Southwest Deanery
- May 30 - Confirmation: Southeast Deanery
- Jun 06 Commission on Ministry Information Day
- Jun 20-21 - Executive Council
- Sep 17 - Fall 2015 Ember Day Gathering
- Sep 19 - Executive Council
- Sep 25 - Episcopal Women's Ministries' Fall Retreat
- Oct 23 - Diocesan Convention Part 2
- Nov 07 - Executive Council
- Dec 10 - Advent Ember Day
- Feb 2016 - Lenten Ember Day
- April 4-6, 2016 - Spring Clergy Conference
- Report a Problem or Request a Change
- Admin Help
House of Bishops Issues Pastoral Letter on Immigration Reform
House of Bishops issues Pastoral Letter along with a Theological Resource:“The Nation and the Common Good: Reflections on Immigration Reform”
[September 21, 2010] The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, has issued the following Pastoral Letter and Theological Reflection: “The Nation and the Common Good: Reflections on Immigration Reform.”
A Pastoral Letter from the House of Bishops
Phoenix, Arizona, September 21, 2010
There shall be for you and the resident alien a single statute, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you and the alien shall be alike before the Lord. You and the alien who resides with you shall have the same law and the same ordinance (Numbers 15:15-16).
So [Christ] came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:17-19).
Dear People of God,
Throughout our meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, we have reflected on the immigration crisis facing our host state, the United States, and all nations globally. A number of us visited the United States-Mexico border and saw first hand the many troubling and complex issues that face migrants, immigrants, the border patrol, local ranchers, and Christian communities seeking to minister to all of these groups. We are also mindful that similar border issues confront other nations represented in The Episcopal Church, especially countries in Europe, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and Colombia and Ecuador.
Holy Scripture teaches us that all human beings are made in the image of God, and that Jesus Christ gave his life for all people. Furthermore, both the Old and New Testaments declare the importance of hospitality to resident alien and strangers, a hospitality that rests on our common humanity. All human beings are therefore deserving of dignity and respect, as we affirm in our Baptismal Covenant (Book of Common Prayer, p.305). So our gracious welcome of immigrants, documented or undocumented, is a reflection of God’s grace poured out on us and on all. In this light:
(1) Ours is a migratory world in which many people move across borders to escape poverty, hunger, injustice and violence. We categorically reject efforts to criminalize undocumented migrants and immigrants, and deplore the separation of families and the unnecessary incarceration of undocumented workers. Since, as we are convinced, it is natural to seek gainful employment to sustain oneself and one’s family, we cannot agree that the efforts of undocumented workers to feed and shelter their households through honest labor are criminal.
(2) We profess that inhumane policies directed against undocumented persons (raids, separation of families, denial of health services) are intolerable on religious and humanitarian grounds, as is attested by the consensus of a wide range of religious bodies on this matter.
(3) We call on the government of the United States and all governments to create fair and humane immigration policies that honor the dignity of people on all sides of this issue. In the United States, we seek a reasonable path to citizenship for undocumented workers; a plan to reunite families; and a viable system for receiving temporary or seasonal guest-workers, with clearly identified points of entry. These measures would free the United States border patrol to concentrate its efforts on the apprehension of drug traffickers, terrorists, and other criminals, and not on ordinary people who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their children.
(4) We acknowledge the duty of governments to protect their people, including the securing of borders. The church has always respected this duty, which is grounded in government’s God-given duty to protect innocent people and punish wrongdoers (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
(5) We recognize that racism and bigotry impact debates over migration and immigration. The Episcopal Church is committed to the eradication of all forms of racism, and decries the use of racial profiling in the arrest of persons suspected of being undocumented.
(6) We confess our own complicit sinfulness as people who benefit from the labor of undocumented workers without recognizing our responsibility to them. We passively tolerate an economic and political system that accepts this labor from millions of undocumented workers, and which has received approximately $520 billion in social security revenue from them--revenue from which they will never benefit. Yet at the same time we treat them as a threat.
(7) We do not discount the concerns of our fellow citizens regarding the danger uncontrolled immigration poses to our safety and economic well-being. We insist, however, that these concerns be approached within the broader context of a national commitment and covenant to inclusion and fellowship across all lines for the sake of the common good.
(8) We take seriously our commitment to and responsibility for our fellow citizens, as we strive to face the spiritual, moral and economic challenges of life in all sixteen nations represented in The Episcopal Church. We call on our fellow citizens to remember that the good of a nation lies beyond its own self-interest, toward a vision of a humanity restored in Jesus Christ, for in him “you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
(9) We offer for additional study a theological resource, “The Nation and the Common Good: Reflections on Immigration Reform.”
God’s grace be with us all.