ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth’s Eaton’s recent statement addressing President’ Trump’s Executive Order banning refugees from some countries is in line with our church’s tradition of advocating for the welcome and kind treatment of immigrants and refugees. Since 1939 the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has been a champion for refugees from around the world.
Many other faith leaders have spoken out on this:
- LWF signs statement with ecumenical partners on US Presidential Executive Order on Refugees
- More than 2,000 Religious Leaders Sign Letter Supporting Refugee Resettlement
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Denounces Trump Administration’s Executive Actions on Refugee Resettlement
- Letter from Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
These challenging times provide opportunities for congregational members and leaders to review, study and discuss scripture and Lutheran understanding of how people of faith use their citizenship to live out their faith in the world.
A good place to start is the 1991 ELCA Social Statement “Church in Society”.
The ELCA has many resources on the issues of Immigration:
- 1998 ELCA Immigration Social Message
- 2011 Churchwide Assembly Social Policy Resolution
- 2014 ELCA Conference of Bishops’ Statement on Immigration
- 2015 Letter from Iowa Bishops to Governor Branstad about welcoming refugee
Here are more resources for engaging as citizens in the world:
To contact your Senators:
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111 Russell Senate Office Building
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Good morning. My name is___. I am a constituent from (City). I am calling because I would like the Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman to ___, because (briefly state your reasons).
If you are speaking to an assistant conclude with “I appreciate you conveying my thoughts to the Senator/Congressperson.” They may ask for your phone number and address.
Be polite and brief. You can follow up with a letter outlining a more detailed rationale for your position.
Current wisdom seems to be that calls and letters get a better response than emails. But emails are also counted.