Dear Fellow Children of Christ across the Mountain Sky Conference,
Earlier this week, Bishop Karen Oliveto sent out a powerful response to disturbing reports of children being separated from their parents and placed in detention centers. Read her response here
On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order to end the policy of forcibly separating children from their parents. However, there is much work to be done surrounding immigration in our country. As Christians, we must continue to work to ensure all people know they are part of God’s—and our—family.
We know many of you are already deep in preparations for worship this coming Sunday. However, as your Mountain Sky Conference Immigration Task Force, we ask you to consider incorporating the prayer below into your worship services. It is a simple prayer that reminds us that we are all part of God’s family, and that we are called to love and care for one another. It is our hope that the prayer will serve as a simple way for many of our faith communities to either start a conversation around immigration or continue those conversations and the work already underway.
On June 30, there will be nation-wide rallies that you and your faith community can join. Find a rally near you: act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/
Watch for information in next week’s newsletter and social media about more actions you and your congregation can take.
We close our thoughts with the words and charge Bishop Oliveto gave in her response:
“May [we] respond as faithful followers of Jesus, who calls us to create Beloved Community—that place of love, compassion, connection, and justice for all of God’s children.”
Grace and peace,
Mountain Sky Conference Immigration Task Force:
Rev. Nathan Adams, Park Hill UMC, Denver, CO
Rev. Tyler Amundson, Shiloh UMC, Billings, MT
Rev. Denise Bender, Sacred Stones Ministry, Denver, CO
Rev. John Daniels, First UMC, Missoula, MT
Laurie Day, Director of Community and Congregational Engagement, Mountain Sky Conference
Rev. Youngsook Kang, Superintendent of Leadership Development and Director of Connectional Ministries, Mountain Sky Conference
Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, First UMC, Salt Lake City, UT
Rev. Betty Nguyen, Congregational Resource Minister, Denver, CO
Rev. Deborah Schmidt, Retired, Missoula, MT
Jana Staton, Lay Member, First UMC, Missoula, MT
A Prayer: Keep Families Together
Loving God of us all,
Because you love and provide for all people,
Your family is vast and inclusive.
Your grace is moving and present in the lives of all people.
It knows no boundaries, barriers, or walls.
It extends to all people
as it binds us all to one another and to You.
We mourn that in our country children,
the ones Your son invited without qualification to come to him,
have been separated from their earthly parents and family.
You teach us in scripture time and time again
that this is not how you want us to treat one another.
For indeed you teach us to love one another as we love ourselves.
The separation of families is not a reflection of your love
that we are called to share with the world
nor what we desire for our own families.
So, help us, individually, as faith communities,
as the newly formed Mountain Sky Conference, and beyond,
to pray and work without ceasing to indeed
make your kin-dom a reality on earth as it is in heaven.
Help us to honor and care for children and families
continually drawing the circle of Your family wider
to include all people
no matter where they called or call home,
no matter what language they may speak,
no matter what their family might look like.
Remind us and our country’s leaders
that indeed you ultimately are the ruler and provider of us all.
Remind us that you care for each and every one of us equally
and without reservation.
Help us to do the same
and to try again when we fail to do so.
After all, we know that we are all members—together—of your family. Amen.
Share or print this prayer here
Order ending family separations welcomed
The Social Community: Rights of Immigrants
Faith and Facts Card — Immigration to the U.S.
Immigration to the U.S