United Methodists join D.C. pray-in for immigration reform

Supporters ranging from church executives to immigrants fearing deportation will join United Methodist Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Julius Trimble Feb. 17 in Washington to pray for an end to deportations. Carcaño and Trimble announced Feb. 12 that they planned to be at the prayer vigil in Lafayette Park in front of the White House and expected to be arrested.

To see Kathy L. Gilbert’s full coverage and updates throughout the day, visit http://www.umc.org/immigration. The United Methodist News Service also will be linking to updates on the UMNS Facebook page and Twitter feeds throughout today.


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  1. Billie R. Dalton

    Bishops Carcano and Trimble are showing the courage the UMC needs to show on this national delimma so that locally every church will recognize its role as a sanctuary. I am in prayer and calling congress to alter the current law to give more presence to ASPIRING CITIZENS.and those seeking to work where current American citizens cannot or will not. We need you. You are welcomed here.

  2. Rich Buckley

    Why do they expect to be arrested?

  3. Larry Hicks

    When I used to visit Mexico I was told that I had to follow Mexican law or suffer the consequences. I felt that was a reasonable request. I followed their laws. I have know problem with asking non citizens and citizens to do the same here in the United States of America.
    Larry Hicks

    1. Charles Spickard

      Bravo, Larry. At least we have one comment upholding the law of our country. We welcome all immigrants if they immigrate lawfully.

  4. Paul W.

    Sadly, the Bishops appear to be attending the same event Bill Meffords planned to attend; Bill’s blog post is linked on the main UMC page even though his views do not represent the UMC position on immigration! Once again, GBCS and UMC leaders are pushing a radical social agenda that has nothing at all to do with the UMC, i.e., open borders and an end to ALL deportations for ANY reason!

    I think most of us are really tired of publicity-seeking UMC leaders using the UMC as a bully pulpit to push their own agendas instead of supporting the official position of the UMC. Very, very sad. Why does UMNS report this without even a note that what the Bishops (and GBCS) are doing is NOT in support of official UMC policy?

    1. Heather Hahn

      The following from the North Carolina Annual Conference offers an overview on the United Methodist call for U.S. immigration reform (and what is meant by that), as approved by General Conference. http://nccumc.org/outreach/refugee-immigration/the-united-methodist-church-position-on-comprehensive-immigration-reform/

    2. Heather Hahn

      Here are additional links to resolutions approved by the 2012 General Conference:
      Welcoming the Migrant to the US http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/welcoming-the-migrant-to-the-us
      US Immigration and Family Unity http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/us-immigration-and-family-unity

      1. Mark S.

        Heather, these resolutions are often the result of special interest groups who push their particular agenda, get it approved via a consent vote containing many other items, and then claim it as a position of the UMC at large. The GBCS has been masterful at doing this for many years. Consequently, sadly, the Book of Resolutions has become little more than a place to vent for political activists.

        Immigration reform cannot take the form, as Bishop Carcano seems to want, of an open-borders policy. This would be foolhardy and lead to even more chaos.

        Why do immigrants want to come here in the first place? A big part of it are the advantages that come from the rule of law. If we did what some of the activist Bishops wanted we would, in time, destroy the reason people want to come here in ther first place.

      2. Charles Spickard

        These people are NOT “undocumented migrants”, they are criminals and should be deported for their crimes.

    3. Betsy

      Paul, You are exactly right on this. it is truly a shame that the Bishops would rather break the laws of the country and the church, rather than find a way to uphold the law of immigration into USA. All countries protect their borders and accept immigrants when they come legally. All

      1. Charles Spickard

        AMEN, BETSY.

  5. Paul W.

    Thank you for posting links to the relevant documents, Heather. This is useful for folks to see why General Conference is important.

    In all of this, the 2nd link you posted (a 2008, not 2012, resolution), is the only truly controversial document since buried deep in it are a number of partisan non-religious political positions. However, even this document does not advocate for open borders and an end to all deportations.

    1. Heather Hahn

      Thanks for the catch on the second link. It is still part of our 2012 Book of Resolutions. Resolutions, as you know but some may not, are approved by General Conference, the only body that officially can speak for the church. But is up to individual United Methodists in how they put those teachings into practice. The denomination also supports acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. “…we recognize the right of individuals to dissent when acting under the constraint of conscience and, after having exhausted all legal recourse, to resist or disobey laws that they deem to be unjust or that are discriminately enforced. Even then, respect for law should be shown by refraining from violence and by being willing to accept the costs of disobedience. …”

      1. Charles Spickard

        Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

        Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  6. Donnie

    Wow, UMC “religious leaders” engaging in yet another childish publicity stunt. Color me surprised.

  7. Paul W.

    Heather, I too support individual United Methodists participating in acts of civil disobedience when their consciences require it. What I don’t support is United Methodist employees pushing their own agendas “on the clock” using their United Methodist credentials to give the impression that what they are doing is supported by the UMC. This is wrong.

    One must always be extremely careful to clearly differentiate between one’s personal views and the official views of an organization they are affliated with. To use one’s position within an organization to push one’s own agenda is wrong. I don’t think this is too much to ask from UMC leadership.

    The bigger issue is why there seems to be no accountability within the UMC when these kind of things occur. Now, that’s a topic the UMNS should be reporting on everyday, e.g., “UMC Bishops and GBCS Misrepresent UMC Position on Immigration – Where is the Accountability?”

    1. Mark S.

      Paul, AMEN!

      1. Steven Jordan

        Completely agree

  8. Charles Spickard

    Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  9. Steven Jordan

    UMC should condemn this action by leaders of the church. Illegal immigrants need to be deported. Anyone in this country illegally needs to leave..

  10. Bob Park

    Makes me wonder who Bishop Carcano thinks she is representing. While millions of legal immigrants of the world wait in endless line, she supports the agenda of the illegal entrants, who cut the line and enjoy the largesse of US citizens, instead of being gainfully employed in their own country while waiting for legal opportunity. Instead of promoting illegal entry, we as a church should be campaigning for border control, then reform and expansion of legal immigration to enhance citizenship. Another example of misguided judgment by our leaders. A big problem with UMC.

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