In the past week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been very active in our State, taking over 200 people away from their families, many of them snatched while at work, many of them unexpectedly leaving their children at day care and school, all of them leaving bereaved communities in limbo. Each person taken, each family member forcibly abandoned, and people all over our state are both traumatized and grieving, unaware of how to proceed with life.
Even though these people taken by ICE have overstayed visas or crossed the border without inspection, they were all of them facing realities in their home countries which to them were worth the risk of both their life and livelihood. The Christian virtues of hospitality, charity, and justice would call us to extend arms of love to all of those who have been abducted and left behind.
At this time, when fears like the caged walls of a detention camp close in around us, we feel the impulse and urge of the Holy Spirit to do something. Frantic, unable to do much, we do that which Christians have always done. We call out to God. We remember. We lament.
We call out to God, that we would have the strength to carry-on for another day, knowing that the Spirit, which guided our brothers and sisters through the many kinds of immigrant trails to get to the place they are now, is with us. We remember all of the atrocities that have been committed in recent times against our immigrant neighbors: families ripped apart, little children caged in abandoned storefronts like animals, lawmakers degrading and dehumanizing people they’ve never met. And we lament, one of the most potent and powerful witnesses in our Christian arsenal, joining voices together and crying about what is bad and broken.
On the day when we have seen the “HK on J,” with a coalition of people marching for justice at our state capital, we prepare for another integral part of the movement towards justice, as we prepare for prayer tomorrow. The Hispanic and Latino Committee of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Bishop’s Task Force on Immigration invite you to a prayer vigil tomorrow night at 7:00pm at Asbury UMC in Durham, NC.
Please follow this link and sign up with your interest or intention: