Immigration Reform News 2014: Evangelical Leaders to Highlight Biblical Call to Immigration Reform in D.C.
By Michelle McErlain, Crossmap On April 25, 2014
Evangelical leaders across the country, from Texas, Atlanta, Grand Rapids, California, Colorado, South Carolina, and Jacksonville fly to D.C. for press conference Thursday, April 24, on highlighting the biblical call to welcome stranger and urge the Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.
There is a trip of #Pray4Reform on April 29 to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.
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There are some important quotes from the pastors:
Ken Hall, Senior Pastor, Lilburn First Baptist Church, Lilburn:
"Being the pastor of a church with 16 language and cultural congregations, I have seen firsthand how a lack of immigration reform has caused great difficulties, hardships and challenges for both families and churches. Something must be done and it needs to be done quickly."
David Park, Senior Pastor, Open Table Community, EFCA, Chamblee:
"Cultivating a heart for immigrants in our church has had some wonderful side effects: hospitality and kindness mean more (Matt. 25); diversity in the body makes the Gospel more credible (Acts 11); and ultimately, relationships with the immigrants in our midst add vitality to our stories of faith in action (James 2)."
Jacci Busch, Pastor, McBain Christian Reformed Church, McBain:
"I live in a farming community that hires quite a few immigrant workers. The farmers and other employers want to do what's right by their employees, and many immigrants desire to do what's right as well. Both sides often feel trapped by the laws of our country."
Daren Penwell, Pastor, Bailey Christian Church, Bailey:
"Since I minister in the fruit ride area of West Michigan, I come into regular contact with those impacted by immigration issues. I minister to families who must wrestle with the practical implications of one or both parents who are undocumented and for whom the challenges of documentation are daunting and may even first involve a dangerous journey back home. Balancing border safety, national budgetary concerns and, more importantly, the fact that real people made in the image of God with real families are involved seems overwhelming. But I believe commonsense solutions can and must be developed and articulated for the benefit of our nation, as well as for the many who simply want to work hard to supply for the needs of their families."
Pastor Tim Celek, Lead Pastor, The Crossing Church, Costa Mesa:
"My goal has been to encourage people to support public policy that is consistent with the Bible. I have been wrestling with immigration myself over the years. I've wondered: Am I going to stand up for these people, am I going to stand up with these people? It's not a political issue, it's not an economic issue. There are many times in the Scriptures where we as people are to encourage the alien among us and we are to show hospitality to the strangers among us. It's good in our church to see our people embrace all people."
Pastor Jonathan Villalobos, Lead Pastor, Bethany Inner-City Church, Fresno:
"We have been enriched by the variety of people who have come to our community. In our school district, we have 170 languages. Many people have problems because of our broken immigration system. I've seen families exploited and victimized by human trafficking. We need reform that will bring comfort, peace and unity to our families. It's time for action. It's time for our Congress to legislate."
Related articles: Colorado Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform