This year the ELCA's Southwest California Synod voted to become a 'Sanctuary synod.' The Synod describes what that means saying "the congregations of our Synod will commit to pray for immigrants and refugees among us and will strive to be places of radical welcome, refuge, and protection” and "that we will work to protect the dignity, safety, and basic human needs of all immigrants and refugees among us, even by resisting policies that seek to turn away and harm the stranger.” (see here)
They are not the only Evangelical Lutheran Church in Amercia synod to become a "Sanctuary Synod." The ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly passed “Amended Resolution 2017-2 Regarding Sanctuary Synod.” In the Resolution we find that the Sierra Pacific Synod "pledges to resist by advocacy, protest, and nonparticipation those policy proposals that target and seek to deport millions of undocumented immigrants..." (see here)
Last year the ELCA Oregon Synod announced "Oregon Lutherans Declare themselves a Sanctuary Church." The synod writes, "This past weekend official representatives of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to make their church the first 'Sanctuary Synod' in the nation. This action encourages each of the 115 ELCA congregations and ministries throughout the state to 'become Sanctuary churches ready to protect refugees and undocumented sisters and brothers from arrest and deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.' (see here)
The ELCA's New England Synod voted this year to become a "Sanctuary Synod." (see here)
The Central States Synod of the ELCA is looking at becoming a "Sanctuary Synod" and will likely make a decision on it next year. (see here) I have no doubt many others will follow.
ELCA Synods and ELCA churches declaring themselves to be places of sanctuary to illegal immigrants need to look carefully at what that means because they could very well be braking the law. ELCA Bishop Rick Jaech of the Southwestern Washington Synod warns his Synod "...no country today, including the United States, provides legal permission for a church to deny entrance to a legal authority looking for someone who is suspected of having committed an illegal act. Therefore, a congregation that is considering whether to give shelter to a person who is at risk of deportation should first consult with an attorney to research all of the specific legal considerations." (see here)
6/21/2017 11:28:39 pm
Someone should tell the ELCA that the trespassers are mostly right-to-lifers and advocates of heterosexual marriage only. Require these congregations and synods to give them voting memberships, and paid employment with medical coverage, to give them justification for a visa. Require their "naked and unashamed" members to marry these trespassers, to give them justification for a green card. Anything less would be hypocritical.
6/23/2017 06:58:06 am
Resolution declaring the ELCA a no-sanctuary-for-God's-preborn-creations denomination passes by a wide margin.
6/25/2017 08:07:40 am
Just wait until the government finds s reason to pull their tax exempt status. Everything they take in is taxable income and all contributors will lose a tax deduction. Then we will see how committed they are to their stand.
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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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