Wednesday at ELCA churchwide assembly was a busy and productive day of local and global witness. We heard from global partners from Canada, Bishop Susan Johnson, and Nigeria, Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus, who also serves as LWF President.
We spent the lunch hour in public witness as we processed to a prayer vigil at the Milwaukee office of Homeland Security/ICE. We prayed for just and bipartisan reform to our immigration system. For an end to family separation and against declining refugee admissions. We did this in partnership with the work of the AAMPARO initiative (accompanying children in the immigration process) and LIRS. I was proud of our church taking this public action.
We also voted to approve a memorial making the ELCA the first “sanctuary” denomination. This dramatic statement follows our action in saying that people and how to support them in the realities of our immigration system are our priority. Resources will be developed to assist communities in how to be supportive of and educate themselves on ways they can provide support for individuals in need of care and support. I will in the near future prepare documentation and clarity on this statement on what it does and does not mean for our congregations.
We ended the day celebrating the successful conclusion of the ELCA campaign and our colleges and universities. My spouse, a regent of Texas Lutheran University, helped host new President of TLU Debbie Cottrell. I was so grateful to see the interest in our Texas ELCA University. A full and important day. #NTNL #InMissionTogether #ELCACWA2019