Immigration/Refugee issues

Recent Films Feature Migration Themes

[1] Four new films offer penetrating and personal looks into various aspects of migration, deepening our understanding of migrant worker vulnerability, environmental destruction from continued wall building, the courageous work of Dreamers, and the shocking and complex violence driving families to flee Guadalupe, Mexico. [2] The Infiltrators is the provocative and uplifting story of Dreamers who courageously […]

Children Immigration and Semantics Migration

How does the language we use to describe immigrants and migrants reflect the way in which they have been dehumanized in our society, and in fact contribute to that dehumanization? As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and looking at Scripture, there are many stories of migrants who we lift up as prophets. Pérez-Álvarez also examines the history of Mesoamerica and the fact that history has been obfuscated in favor of political gain. Invoking Galatians, he calls on Christians to put aside semantics in order to see reality and seek justice.

Loving Mercy – Doing Justice

When churches love and serve people through works of mercy, they are often treating a symptom of the disease of injustice. Salvatierra argues that in addition to loving mercy, Christians must do justice. She lifts up Faith-Rooted Organizing model as a way to engage Christians with a theology of justice that is engages a compassionate attitude with a systemic understanding of injustice. Salvatierra ends by calling on readers to become prophets proclaiming a common vision for our world, working against the cause of the illness, not just the symptoms.

Amando la Misericordia — Practicando la Justicia

En este articulo la Revda. Alexia Salvatierra nos advierte que cuando las iglesias solamente se enfocan en obras de caridad sólo están atendiendo los síntomas de nuestros problemas sociales pero no sus causas. Como pastora y activista, Salvatierra nos llama la atención a la necesidad de ir más allá de las obras de misericordia, también hay que luchar por la justicia social. Ella nos presenta el modelo de “Faith Rooted Organizing” (activismo centrado en la fe) como una alternativa cristiana a los modelos seculares de activismo. Este modelo nos permite ser inocentes como palomes y a la vez astutos como serpientes para el bienhestar de los más necesitados. Es bueno darle pescado a los hambrientos, y mucho más enseñarles a pescar, dice Salvatierra, pero también hay que quitar los muros que han construido alrededor del lago donde estan los peces. Este articulo presenta un modelo para una pastoral de activismo social evangé​lico.

Editor’s Introduction: The Plight of Immigrants and Refugees

How shall we respond to the stranger knocking at our door? What should our answer be to the plight of the refugee desperate for a safe haven or to the immigrant seeking refuge among us, fleeing violence and poverty in their home country. How shall we respond when we know that we are not totally innocent from the causes that have created the humanitarian crises consuming the Middle East, Central America, and so many African countries. And what shall we do when the stranger knocking at the door is viewed with suspicion and fear by many among our own?

By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile (Fortress Press, 2013)

Hoch, Robert P. By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013. $18.00

Editor’s Introduction

Immigration reform continues to be a major issue confronting the United States of America. This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics provides information on comprehensive immigration reform thanks to the ministry of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. In addition, the authors of the two articles explore and suggest what the church needs to do […]

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service 12/14/2013 This piece is from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and is reprinted with permission. To see it in its original form, click here. For more information about the work of this great organization, check out their website [1] An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently reside in the […]

Exploring the Role of Unconscious Bias in the Immigration Debate and the Transformative Power of the Church

Imagining Undocumented Immigrants [1] What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What images do those words elicit in your mind, and what feelings and emotions do those images evoke? Compassion? Pity? Anger? Puzzlement? Anxiety? Admiration? Indifference? Those are probably not easy questions to answer, even if you happen to be an undocumented immigrant yourself! However, […]

Beyond Hospitality

The Dilemma [1] In my last congregational ministry, prior to my election as a synod bishop, the congregation I served was standing on the brink of a crisis faced by hundreds of ELCA congregations now. We were a vibrant, growing, intergenerational, mission-driven, middle-class, white, English-speaking faith community, living and working in a mission field that […]