For our July Newsletter, I thought it would be appropriate to include this important
pastoral newsletter found on the UCC website, UCC.org. As a minister, I do not preach
politics from the pulpit, but I do feel it is important for us as Christians to allow our voice
to be heard in government decisions. We, as a people, are affected by these decisions.
Condemning the unconscionable assertion that migrant children should be separated
from their parents because of ‘orderly and lawful processes that protect the weak and
lawful,’ — a Biblical statement used to justify U.S. immigration policies — United Church of
Christ National Leadership has issued this pastoral letter, urging the people of the
denomination’s almost 5,000 congregations to take action now! First, by contacting their
Congressional representatives, and then by providing funds to keep families together. Money
to be used to support the people sleeping in the streets at the borders of this country, or
those parents and children separated upon entry!
“Still, when God saw the trouble they were in and heard their cries for help,
God remembered God’s Covenant with them, and, immense with love, took them by
the hand. God poured out God’s mercy on them while their captors looked on,
Psalm 106:44-47 (MSG)
Friends, once again we stand at the brink of a moral precipice in our society and the
question before us is will we choose to act in covenant with God on behalf of God’s people
or will we sacrifice our soul. The United Church of Christ has long been a supporter of
migrant families seeking refuge within our borders from intolerable and unsafe living
conditions in their homelands. As people of God committed to the sacredness of all
creation and the sanctity of every life, we are compelled to heed the cries of families now
being violently torn apart at our borders for political expediency and profitability. Such
violent acts are unnecessarily punitive and place at risk the physical, emotional,
psychological, spiritual, and developmental stability of hundreds of families who now find
themselves separated, caged, and commodified in a strange land.
All of our sacred texts, no matter the faith, identify the disregard of the humanity of
the vulnerable as sin.
And God hears the cries of God’s people. The plight of black and brown migrant
families whose children are ripped from their care cannot be the policy of a civilized land.
We’ve been here before. Our nation’s history bears witness to a legacy of lost love. We
separated the children of Native people from their families. We separated the children of
enslaved people from their families. We separated the children of Japanese people from
their families. Many of these families were never made whole again. This legacy of white
supremacist ideology is idolatrous and leaves an indelible mark of evil that can only be
redeemed by a conscious act of spiritual repentance and repair.
We must resist the evil of dehumanization enacted upon the vulnerable among us.
The United Church of Christ strongly condemns the dismantling of families, the
criminalization of the quest for freedom, and the caging of those whose only crime is to
seek shelter from harm. How we treat those who seek shelter in our midst is a direct
reflection of how we treat God. We call upon our 5,000 member churches to write letters to
your representatives in Congress as an act of worship this month. Remind Congress there
is a law that supersedes partisanship and political bantering, and that is the sanctity of all
people of God.
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries
The Rev. James Moos, Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries
The Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ