This is an open letter that is being sent to those holding leadership positions in the Colorado General Assembly. It concerns a resolution to denounce the recent executive order on immigration signed by President Trump. PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS!
February 8, 2017
CHRISTIAN FAITH LEADERS URGE COLORADO STATE SENATE TO RE-OPEN DEBATE ON HJR17-1013
As Christians and as leaders of churches in Colorado, we grieve the action of President Trump to temporarily halt refugee resettlement programs for 120 days, to restrict the legal travel of green card holders, and to ban Syrian refugees indefinitely.
We cannot support an immigration policy based on the exclusion of persons from Muslim majority nations. While we acknowledge the need for national security, we do not support fear and anxiety as a foundation for immigration policy. We are compelled by Christ to offer hospitality to the stranger, food to the hungry, shelter to the refugee, and compassion to all displaced individuals.
For years, many of our congregations have worked with compassion and energy to resettle asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in Colorado. We want to continue increasing these ministries. The current ban will have the opposite effect, drastically impacting the important work of our local resettlement agencies.
We were greatly encouraged when the Colorado House of Representatives passed HJR17-1013 which urged President Trump to rescind the Executive Order he signed on Friday, January 27, 2017: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. Disappointingly, the Colorado State Senate held a legislative hearing on HJR17-1013 earlier today in a committee meeting without giving adequate notice to the public. The decision to indefinitely postpone the resolution denied Coloradans a chance to testify on behalf of the resolution. We call on the Colorado State Senate to reconsider HJR17-1013 by either holding another legislative committee hearing that gives the public ample opportunity to testify on this issue of critical importance, or by robustly debating this resolution before the full senate.
Let us work together to create communities of respect and relief for the world’s 65 million displaced persons – including over 21 million refugees – who have experienced the war, hatred and loss of family, community and vocation. Let us welcome them in the spirit of our Lord Jesus who came so that all may have life – and have it abundantly.
Rev. Sue Artt, Conference Minister, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ
Rev. Hollis Booker
Bishop Jim Gonia, Rocky Mountain Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bishop Karen Oliveto, Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, United Methodist Church
The Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, Episcopal Diocese of Colorado
Rev. Dean Phelps, Interim Executive Regional Minister, Central Rocky Mountain Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Vickie Samland, Western Plains District Representative, Church of the Brethren
Rev. Thomas C. Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor, Presbytery of Denver
Steve Van Ostran, D. Min., Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ
The Board of Directors of the Colorado Council of Churches