I-176 Resolution from the floor regarding the refugee crisis

BE IT RESOLVED that this 176th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri commend the work of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s refugee resettlement service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, in responding to the refugee crisis in the Middle East, and recommend to all Diocesan congregations the resources of The Episcopal Public Policy Network as they seek to advocate for refugees;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention encourages prayer for all of those whose lives have been affected by terrorism, including refugees fleeing Syria;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention supports the work of the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice and other branches of the United States Government in screening refugees hoping to resettle here;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention urge public officials to resist politicizing the acceptance of refugees of any national identity, race, or religion;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention ask all Americans to rely on our deeply held common values of freedom, liberty, and justice for all as we continue today the tradition of welcoming those fleeing persecution and seeking freedom in this nation of immigrants;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention urge the Bishop of Missouri to appoint a diocesan liaison to Episcopal Migration Ministries and begin a process of discernment about growing our ministries to refugees and migrants; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this convention urge all congregations to explore and, as possible, commit to partnerships with refugee resettlement agencies such as The International Institute of St. Louis in providing both resources and welcoming, loving community for refugees among us.

 

Rationale:

In the words of our new Presiding Bishop: “We welcome the stranger. We love our neighbor. The Episcopal Church has long been committed to resettling refugees in our own communities fleeing violence and persecution.” As followers of Jesus, we find the story of migrants and refugees at the heart of our scriptures. Several times in the Bible God’s people are commanded to “welcome the stranger among you.” We encourage Episcopalians to contact their elected officials to discourage knee-jerk reactions out of fear that could place a heavier burden on refugees trying to escape situations of terror.

[This Resolution was passed by the 176th meeting of the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri on November 21, 2015. The resolution will be officially released in the published minutes of convention as released from Secretary of Convention the Rev. Dr. Marc D. Smith, available around the second week of December 2015. This resolution was presented from the floor by the Rev. Michael Angell, Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, and the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. ]

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