3rd Annual Border Ministries Summit
The Third Annual Border Ministries Summit met November Nov. 20-21. Hosted by the Diocese of San Diego and co-sponsored by Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Office of Global Partnerships of the Episcopal Church, the Zoom event brought together immigration advocates and those providing direct service to immigrants on both sides of the border. Despite the COVID-imposed restrictions of a Zoom conference, the presentations by Bishops south of the border, presentations and facilitation by the Global Immersion Project, and the first person accounts of the struggles of migrants made it a memorable, powerful event. Bishop David led a group of EDSJ participants to the event.
The several bishops who participated in the conference issued a joint statement arising from the conference that captures a sense of the event and provides pointed challenge to the church. Please read it carefully and share it widely.
As bishops of the Anglican Communion in the Americas participating in the Borderlands Summit 2020 we offer the following statement.
As teachers of the faith, we remind the church that the Bible is full of stories of immigrants, exiles, and refugees and consistently God is with them. We invite the church to study the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Ruth and Naomi, the exile, and note the location and direction of God’s presence. We invite the church to study the New Testament from the perspective of immigration. We note that the word of God immigrated into our reality in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Before he could walk and talk his parents were forced to flee their home to protect his life. The presence of God in Jesus is not about dividing people but removing the barriers between people.
Regardless of our different national political situations and views, we can agree we now face a migration crisis.
As leaders of the church we are committed to participating in God’s restorative work in the world.
As keynote speaker Jon Huckins reminded us, privilege is an ability to walk away from the experience and brokenness of others. We call upon our church not to exercise our privilege to walk away, but to follow Jesus’ teaching to step towards those who cannot walk away. We commit to meet them where they are and accompany them where they are going, in practical and effective ways.
We commit to four key spiritual practices of everyday peacemaking:
· To see - to see the humanity, dignity, and image of God in everyone;
· To immerse - to step out of comfort into reality - to move toward the pain and brokenness with tools to heal and transform, not to win or destroy;
· To contend - to participate with God in making real the kingdom of God by standing up to the practices and systems which threaten others, to contend for others in ways which are costly to us, and to leverage our resources for systemic change.
· To restore - to celebrate the big and small ways God is restoring our broken world.
Specifically we commit our dioceses to the following actions and we invite the wider church to join us.
· We will listen to the stories of actual immigrants - not to hear about them but to hear from them directly.
· We will offer not our charity but our solidarity, building relationships with migrants and their families, strengthening our relationships between our dioceses, and building networks of support and resources all up and down the Americas.
· We will advocate for policies that embrace immigrants as human beings and beloved children of God - helping them work, live and flourish, and for economic relief in the face of storms, political unrest, the drug trade, human trafficking and poverty.
We give thanks for the journey that we are undertaking together, for the new relationships we are forming, and for the work that lies ahead, knowing that Christ walks with us and redeems all suffering.
We place our hope in the risen Christ who leads us into the joy of His kingdom. Issued on the Feast of Christ the King 2020.
· The Most Rev. Julio Murray Thompson – Primate of Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America and Bishop of Panama
· The Most Rev. Enrique Trevino Cruz, Presiding Bishop of Mexico and Bishop of Cuernavaca
· The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen – Bishop of Honduras
· The Rt. Rev. David Alvarado – Bishop of El Salvador
· The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook – Bishop of San Diego
· The Rt. Rev. Diane Bruce – Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles
· The Rt. Rev. Ricardo Gomez Osnaya – Bishop of Western Mexico
· The Rt. Rev. Michael Hunn – Bishop of Rio Grande
· The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall – Bishop of Arizona
· The Rt. Rev. David Rice – Bishop of San Joaquin
· The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel – Bishop of Olympia
· The Rt. Rev. Silvestre Romero – Bishop of Guatemala
· The Rt. Rev. John Taylor – Bishop of Los Angeles