“For the love of God, protect immigrants.”
That was the message on the sign in front of the United Methodist Building across from the Capitol in Washington, DC, where I spent the last week at the Young Clergy Forum put on by the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). GBCS is the social justice advocacy board for the UMC that does their ministry based on the Social Principles that list the church’s teachings on social issues. They work on dismantling racism, ending gun violence, advocating for women, finding a path to citizenship for hardworking young people, and much more.
We spent Tuesday morning in the Capitol Building and learned from Chaplain Barry Black, chaplain of the US Senate. He holds regular Bible studies and prayer breakfasts with people on both sides of the aisle participating, sharing how beautiful it is to find unity in God in that division.
I know that feeling, because I preach every Sunday in a congregation that has supporters “on both sides of the aisle.” Chaplain Black didn’t have to convince me that God’s kingdom is revealed in the beautiful diversity of creation, because God’s grace makes a way in our disagreements.
I believe with all of my heart that God’s dream for the world will one day be realized, and I am grateful that my church teaches that protecting immigrants is in line with that dream. There are people on the other side of the aisle from that teaching.
If you are that person, let’s chat.
Or better yet—talk to someone you know who is on the other side of the aisle from you this week about an issue you’re passionate about.
Listen to God. Listen to your friend. And pray about what justice work God is calling you to share from your front door.