THE DIOCESE OF LEXINGTON
January 31, 2017
A word to the faithful,
I believe it was St. Augustine who said “the walls that separate us do not reach to heaven,” which I suppose was his way of saying walls are a human construct. Historically, I have reveled in their tearing down rather than their building up. We, as faithful followers of Jesus are in the business of reconciliation. We offer hospitality to the stranger, homes to the homeless, love to the unloved. In the Episcopal Church we have resettled refugees, those who have been jerked out of their lives by violence and oppression, and disaster. It is what we do because we follow the one who desires our love to be obvious and helpful in this world. Fear cannot be our motivator.
As a bishop I have been quite reticent over the years to sign petitions or make political statements. As a provisional bishop I do not want to overstep or start a fire that I cannot tend, but I believe in this moment shepherds can’t act like sheep. If I could imagine Jesus signing an executive order like the one recently signed I would be silent. I cannot. I believe It is time for the faithful to stand up and say no to actions that do so much harm to those who have already been so harmed. Time to say no to actions that do not by any stretch fit into the scope of the Gospel. Scripture calls us again and again to welcome the foreigner, the refugee, into our midst. This is our clear Gospel call.
My prayer is that we will continue to follow Jesus as he seeks to reconcile the world through deep and sometimes sacrificial love.
May God bless us as we try to be God’s welcoming, reconciling community.
Stand to #supportrefugees
On January 31, 2017 a “holy conversation” community forum was held at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington. This event was a conversation to more deeply understand the work of refugee resettlement and how to make a difference. This standing-room-only event was attended by hundreds of people representing the ecumenical community, the interfaith community, and the wider community. Please click here to read the Lexington Herald-Leader article about the “holy conversation” community forum.
How can you make a difference? Please click here for a list of organizations and resources provided by Allison Duvall, Manager for Church Relations & Engagement, Episcopal Migration Ministries.