Message from Bishop Gronberg
Bishop Gronberg continues to join Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services calling on our state leadership to find humane and truly Texas responses to the plight of migrants at our border.
These allegations of cruelty continue a pattern of unjust responses to the needs of our neighbors. We can and must do better. To learn more please read the statement from LIRS and learn more about how we as Lutherans can respond for constructive engagement of this crisis.
LIRS Condemns Texas Governor Abbot’s Inhumane Border Deterrence Tactics
According to concerns raised by a Texas state trooper deployed as part of Governor Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, inhumane practices directed by state authorities have led to harm and mistreatment of vulnerable migrants seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to the email sent to supervisors, Texas troopers were ordered to thrust defenseless children and nursing infants back into the Rio Grande, a pregnant woman having a miscarriage was found caught in razor wire strung by the state of Texas, and a four-year-old girl passed out from heat exhaustion after she tried to go through razor wire and was pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers. The trooper also expressed his opposition to the state’s alleged policy of denying access to water amid scorching heat. Additionally, Texas authorities have recently deployed a wall of deterrence buoys that have pushed asylum seekers towards more treacherous areas of the river, increasing the risk of drownings.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) unequivocally condemns these actions as cruel, inhumane, and unnecessary. The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of LIRS, the nation’s largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable immigrant groups:
“These new accounts expose a heart-wrenching lack of regard for the sanctity of human dignity as Governor Abbott ratchets up rogue border security efforts. The thought of asylum seekers having to flee violence and persecution, pass through a hotbed of dangerous jungle terrain and exploitation, only to make it to the golden doors of the United States and find them covered in razor wire is reprehensible.
These actions betray the very essence of who we are as a nation of refuge for those fleeing for their lives. Desperate children and families seeking safety are not cause for existential panic and draconian experiments in deterrence. These tactics further reveal the deeply flawed logic at the core of such inhumane deterrence policies – namely, that asylum seekers would flee across thousands of miles to reach the US border, sustained solely on their hopes and dreams of a better life, and suddenly decide to turn heel and head home because of improvised buoys and razor wire. This is not an abstract thought experiment: at least 853 migrants died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022, making it the deadliest year ever on record.
These reported incidents, vivid in their portrayal of mistreatment and harm inflicted upon the most vulnerable, strike at the very core of our shared values. Governor Abbott must swiftly put an end to the policies that have created an atmosphere of suffering, fear, and despair for those who have already endured unimaginable hardships. The world is watching, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure that both Texas and the United States remain a beacon of humanity, not symbols of callous indifference.”
NT-NL Youth Gathering Information
The National Youth Gathering will be taking place next summer, July 16-20, in New Orleans! Registration opens on September 15th. At that time the total registration cost is $375, with $150 required during registration. The Briarwood Legacy Foundation has approved a grant to help our NTNL Youth attend the Gathering!
The first 200 people that register from our synod will have the balance of their registration fee, $225, paid for. In addition, the Foundation will match up to $300 of fundraising dollars per person. This includes adults (1 adult for every 5 youth registered). That is $525 per person! Make plans now to have your registration ready to go on September 15th to ensure funding from the Foundation. More details to come on how to let us know when you are registered and secure the balance of your funds.
As in 2018, there will be a Bishop’s Group for congregations with 3 or less young people. They will come together to form one group – led by Bishop Gronberg and a team of adult leaders. You may register for the Bishop’s Group by emailing Janelle Miller. The Bishop’s Group plans to register this group on September 15th.
Featured Resources for July
Produced by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission and the National Council of Churches. This documentary explores the role of the Lutheran church in the American Indian civil rights movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Learn more here: https://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/6321
Where in the world is?
Across a context as wide and different as NT-NL, the reality of Covid-19 is very different. As such, NT-NL synod staff are doing more in-person Sunday visits for worship and occasional meetings. However, as good stewards of time and travel dollars, we will be utilizing online meeting formats into our new hybrid future. Given the rise of breakthrough infections and in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will choose to wear masks as is deemed appropriate unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Jul 19-30th: Family Vacation
Aug 20th: Christ-Dallas
Aug 26th: Central-Dallas
Sep 10th: Bethel-Avoca Confirmation
Sep 17th: Redeemer-Greenville Fellowship Hall Dedication
Sep 25th: King of Glory-Dallas 65th Anniversary
Sep 26-30th: Conference of Bishops
Jul. 25: First call pastors check-in, Zoom Aug. 3: Transitional/Interim pastors check-in, Zoom
Aug 5: Candidacy committee
Aug. 19-26: Vacation
Aug 27: Covenant, Temple
Sep 7: Transitional/Interim Pastors, Zoom
Sep 9: PLMA
Sep 17: New Hope, Keller
Sep 23: COW Conference Gathering
Sep 24: Grace, Slaton 100th Anniversary
Sep 25-27: Tri-Synodical First Call Pastors Retreat, Gonzales, TX
Jun. 1-Aug. 31: On Sabbatical
With the ever-changing guidelines and recommendations in our world right now, as we maintain physical distance in social solidarity, please keep in mind these events may be moved online, postponed, or cancelled:
- Jul 25: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- Jul 27: Cultivating Compassion Session 7: The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Online
- Aug 3: Transitional Pastors Meeting, Zoom
- Aug 12: Public Witness Team, Shepherd of Life, Arlington & Zoom
- Aug 22: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- Aug 24: Cultivating Compassion Session 8: See No Stranger, Online
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
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