January 27th, 2017. Holocaust Remembrance Day and the day that President Trump signed the Refugee Ban. President Trump banned the entrance of both refugees and citizens from 7 predominately Muslim countries. Needless to say, thousands of people are speaking up, and so are many different organizations.
As an active member of the United Methodist Church, with Iowa as my home Annual conference, I have to say that the news struck me somewhat harder than I expected. John Wesley proclaimed that the world was his parish, and as someone who follows the ways of Wesley, I cannot reach part of my parish. It breaks my heart.
Two United Methodist communities have issued statements on where we as United Methodists stand with the ban.
The United Methodist Women (UMW) released a statement on January 25 stating, "United Methodist Women takes to heart Jesus' commandment to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Throughout our 150-year history, we have carried this out by extending God's love to women, men, youth and children around the world, including immigrants and refugees."
The General Board of Church and Society released a similar statement on January 26th. They called lawmakers to work for "just and compassionate migration policies that affirm the worth, dignity, and inherent values and rights of all persons regardless of nationality or legal status." This calling is the same as what our Book of Resolutions (rule book if you will) #3281.
Bishop Laurie Haller, the current bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference, in a blog post on January 23 asked of us, members of the United Methodist Church, what we dare to do.
"Dare we as United Methodists and all people of faith covenant to support President Trump and his administration by our prayers and encouragement as well as by serving as their conscience? Dare we share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny with people around the world and with creation itself? Dare we work for the day when our nation and world will look like God’s reign, where the poor will go first with the eight richest men bringing up the rear, those earning minimum wage will sit at the places of honor as well as have their wages increased, and those who are rejected because of their skin color, immigration status, or sexual orientation/gender identity are welcomed with open arms? Dare we move from praying, “God, make our country great again; America first!” to “God, use us as your servants to make every corner of our world safe and whole again”?"
We, as United Methodists and of people of all faiths need to covenant to support President Trump and all of his administration in both prayer and encouragement. We need to share the shame heart, home, and destiny with people around the entire world. I answer Bishop Laurie's call, putting first all the people of God's Church.
Reba McEntire this week released her new single. It has gained the attention of many and made its rounds on social media. We need to give this world back to God. Because without him, we are nothing.
Take a minute, listen to her words. Take a moment, think about what you can do. Take a moment, and pray for our leaders. Let us be the conscience of the state once again.