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November 15, 2018

Bishop Hagiya’s Call for Support and Compassion with Asylum Seekers and Refugees

For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  – Deuteronomy 10:18-19

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In addition to The Council of Bishops’ strong, prophetic joint statement with the Methodist Church of Mexico, the United Methodist Mission in Honduras, and the Methodist Church of El Salvador recently made in support of a compassionate response to the exodus of asylum seekers and refugees who are fleeing the violence and life threatening poverty in Central America and seeking safety and survival for their families, I want to share with you some specific ways you, your congregation, and others can engage in ongoing ministries of mercy and justice for asylum seekers and refugees here in our California-Pacific Conference:

1) SUPPORT OR PARTICIPATE IN THE “SAFE HARBORS NETWORK” ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST MINISTRY CENTER (SAN DIEGO, CA):

Safe Harbors Network is a coalition of congregations, charities and individuals who are able and willing to provide emergency shelter and support for asylum seekers for periods of time from 2 weeks to 2 months. With the pending arrival of the Caravan and the increase of Asylum seekers being released from detention centers and on to the streets, Safe Harbors is in great need of growing its network.

Click here for more info on supporting the network or contact Rev. Bill Jenkins (bill.jenkins@cox.net)

2) SUPPORT OUR BORDER MINISTRIES NETWORK OF MISSIONS AND MINISTRIES & THE MIGRANT MINISTRY PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN CAL-PAC UMC AND THE METHODIST CHURCH OF MEXICO

The primary job of Border Ministries are the concerns of humanitarian help and a holistic approach to the migrants at the border. The California-Pacific Conference is working in coordination with the Conferencia Anual del Noroeste  de Iglesia Metodista de Mexico supporting the efforts of the ministries related with migrants.

Learn more about our work in these stories:

There are two ways to help:

  1. Click here to donate financially to help the purchase of immediate needs (ie. baby food, etc.)
  2. To go to the US/Mexico border and/or make another kind of contribution (sleeping bags, etc), please first contact Rev. Joel Hortiales (jhortiales@calpacumc.org, (626) 568-7375) and you will receive a response within 36 to 48 hours with instructions on how to proceed

3) SUPPORT OR PARTICIPATE IN THE “CAL-PAC YOU ARE NOT ALONE/NO ESTAN SOLOS PROGRAM For REFUGEE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

This program extends God’s welcoming, healing embrace to the thousands of unaccompanied refugee children and youth, asylum seekers (and their families) who have made the perilous journey through our growing network of Immigrant Welcoming Congregations, our District Welcome Centers our Cal-Pac Neighborhood Immigration Clinics, the Justice for our Neighbors Center at El Centro UMC, our Campus Ministries and our “No Estan Solos” Camps and Retreats.

Click here for more info on supporting the program or contact David J. Jaimes (jaimesd23@gmail.com)

As we approach a season of Thanksgiving in our country, let us see this moment as a time in which we extend Biblically-rooted, Methodist hospitality to those who come from afar.

I want to commit into your heart these words from the joint statement mentioned above:

Above all, we call upon our congregations to be agents of God’s mercy toward the migrant.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop