Dear colleagues and friends,
We know that many of you join us in being concerned about the urgent humanitarian need at our border and in our communities as thousands of refugee children flee violence and instability, seeking a safe haven here in the U.S.
Photos of overcrowded facilities and political grandstanding on the issue have captivated the media, but the national conversation has yet to reflect our faith values and our commitment to compassion and caring for children. Too many of these children are scared and alone, desperate for someone to accompany them and care for them as they seek a future that will be brighter than their past.
We hope you will join us for an Interfaith Weekend of Compassion and Prayer for Unaccompanied Migrant Children, July 18-20, from sunset to sunset.
This coming Monday, July 14, we will have a resource packet ready for you online that will include worship guides in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim tradition that you can draw from for language for liturgies, prayers, bulletin inserts or announcements, as we join together in prayer for these refugee children and their families. We will also send along materials that speak to the plight of these children.
During this interfaith weekend of compassion and prayer, we hope you and your community of faith will also join us in a letter-writing campaign to inject a much-needed dose of compassion into the national conversation and to send a message to these children that they are not forgotten.
Writing letters to the migrant children can be a great activity for small groups, Sunday School classes, coffee hours, Vacation Bible Schools, and for individual parishioners to work on from their homes and with their families. The website www.TheyareChildren.com will go live on Monday, July 14th with additional information on submitting your own letter, drawing, or photo to a child and holding them in prayer.
We are also inviting you to be ready to join us in reaching out to congressional leaders and calling upon them to rise above politics and respond to this humanitarian crisis with compassion and respect for the rights of these vulnerable ones in our midst. The resource packet will include information to help us do so.
I hope you’ll join us in sending love and support to these children in need and helping us to move away from a polarized and hostile narrative to a narrative of compassion and justice that reflects our faith values.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church
Bishop J. Jon Bruno
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
President, Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders