Betty Rendon is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Lay Minister at an ELCA church and received her Masters of Divinity from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A few days ago, she and some family members were arrested by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So far we do not have many details about the incident, except what ELCA entities are saying. It all started with a one-sided account from Betty Rendon's church. You can read it here.
Then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop began tweeting about the situation.
A letter about the situation was posted by the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from President James Nieman, Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers and Pastor to the Community Erik Christensen.
In the letter they call the United States' immigration policy "racist." Here is the quote (see below also), "This incident brings into painful focus the ongoing need to reform this country’s racist, violent, and inhumane immigration system."
Of course, ELCA Advocacy had something to say. Below is part of an email they sent (see the full email here):
ELCA partner, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commented:
"This is absolutely heartbreaking and shameful behavior on behalf of ICE officers. LIRS will pray for and advocate for the just treatment of Pastor Rendón and all those who find themselves in her position."
Some of the readers of the LIRS Facebook post commented saying, "We are becoming like a Hitler state..." "I am ashamed of our country..." "ICE equals deliberate cruelty." "ICE has no humanity....this is like the Nazi era." "We are very close to becoming a communist nation, Trumps SS is ICE. The time is near for all Americans to March on Washington!" "Abolish ICE." "Our government is looking more and more like murderous criminals." "ICE is disgraceful."
A newspaper article titled ICE allegedly arrests Racine student pastor; Vigil planned for Wednesday can be seen here.
A seminary classmate of Betty Rendon added his 2 cents:
Benjamin Stewart, a Professor & Director of Advanced Studies at LSTC tweeted that the "family was terrorized & separated":
ELCA pastor Chad McKenna writes "#AbolishICE":
From ELCA Pastor Paul Eldred:
The DE-MD Synod tweeted:
Matthew Short, the Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission at Greater Milwaukee Synod, was part of a gathering outside Betty Rendon's detention center. Below is his Facebook post about it:
More from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
5/16/2019 09:51:15 am
My brother-in-law LEGALLY IMMIGRATED to America. Rendon and her family did not. DACA is not a family anchor! Deceit and false pretenses are the "new normal" in the ELCA. I pray and give thanks for ICE for protecting our borders against illegal entry. Wherever Rendon is sent, maybe she can be a missionary, IF the ELCA still does mission work?
5/16/2019 01:18:59 pm
Notice that there is NO mention of her / their citizenship status --- that per the initial post I read: "...Once her appeals were exhausted, she was issued an order of deportation, but it was never executed..."
5/16/2019 09:43:48 pm
Sadly, you are correct Bruce. The first thing many ELCA clergy and leadership do each morning is look for the sand.
5/17/2019 05:42:58 am
Situation: ELCA pastor and family illegally in the U.S. are arrested by ICE.
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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