Who Is My Neighbor?

Read about the Colorado Compact

ccompact

The Colorado Compact is an effort to convene and promote a reasonable conversation on immigration in Colorado that could lead to real and lasting federal reform. The Compact brings together leaders and community members of diverse backgrounds and politics who are committed to fostering a more rational and collaborative approach to immigration policy than exists today. We believe that the growing consequences of a broken immigration system must be addressed in a bipartisan effort that considers the principles outlined in this Compact.

FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY
Immigration policy is a federal issue between the U.S. government and other countries. We urge the Colorado congressional delegation to work to enact immigration policy at the federal level that improves our immigration system, keeps our communities safe, and protects our borders.

STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY
Colorado is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. Our immigration system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses while protecting the interests of workers. This includes a visa system that is both responsive and effective at meeting the demands of our economy. It should also acknowledge the beneficial economic contributions immigrants make as workers, taxpayers, and consumers.

ENSURING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY
We believe that maintaining the safety and security of the United States is an utmost priority. Our immigration system must ensure the protection of our communities and national borders.

FAMILY
Strong families are critical to developing successful individuals and cohesive communities. Our immigration policies, where possible, should prioritize keeping close families together in order to ensure the most supportive home environments for all children across our state.

EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT
We support a law enforcement strategy that focuses on public safety, targets serious crime, and safeguards witnesses and victims. We further urge a reasonable and predictable regulatory environment that considers the interests of, and unintended consequences to businesses, workers, and consumers. Furthermore, the broader reform effort should eventually include a way to accurately, reliably, and affordably determine who is permitted to work, ensuring an adequate labor force for a growing economy.

A COMMONSENSE APPROACH
Immigrants are part of our communities across Colorado. We must adopt a commonsense approach to this reality that reflects our values and recognizes the critical role immigration has played in our nation’s history and economy. Our immigration policies must provide a sensible path forward for immigrants who are here without legal status, are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society and culture.

To read the diverse signers and to sign yourself, go to www.coloradocompact.com.

 

Sunday School DVD Curriculum

Who Is My Neighbor?  A Faith Discussion on Immigration On the DVD you will find four one-hour sessions, with segments of filmed interviews and actual facts and figures on immigration interspersed with class activities and discussion. The curriculum is scripture/faith based. This is an outstanding, professionally filmed with solid theology, piece that does not require extensive previous knowledge on the part of the leader. It helps us to bring into tension our role as a U.S. citizen and our faith view point on this issue of immigration as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor. When asked, “Who is our neighbor?”, he responded with the parable of the good Samaritan making the outsider Samaritan the hero of the story. He basically was saying, “If you have to ask, ‘Who is my neighbor?’, then your neighborhood is too small.” For we who call ourselves Christian, what ever stance we take on immigration issues, we must take our position through the faith filter, “Does this stance reflect my love of neighbor?”

The sessions are:

  • “We are all strangers in the land of Egypt”
  • “What does the Lord require of you?”
  • “Perfect love casts out fear”
  • The Good Samaritan: Who is my neighbor?”

Those organizations that funded the project are:

  • Presbytery of Plains and Peaks
  • United Methodist Church
    • Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries
    • General Board of Church and Society
    • United Methodist Committee on Relief
    • General Board Global Ministries Hispanic Ministries
  • Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado,
  • First Plymouth Church Foundation, Denver Colorado,
  • Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and
  • the Iliff School of Theology

The team leader in the production committee was Danielle Short, American Friends Service Committee. Film producer was Denver Film and Digital.

To order your copy of the DVD curriculum, please click below. If you have questions, please call Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan at 303-825-4910.

Once you receive the DVD, you have the permission of the Colorado Council of Churches to CLICK HERE to access, download and print your copy of the 69 page study guide and supporting documents. If you have questions, please call Adrian Miller at 303-825-4910.

Committment of Respect The Colorado Council of Churches and several of its partner organizations sent a Commitment of Respect to all the candidates running for the state legislature asking them to sign.

As a candidate to represent the people of Colorado, I believe that regarding matters where we are not of one mind, our humble respect for each other and all of God’s children can draw us together to be of one heart. Therefore, as I take positions and enter into dialogue on the issue of immigration, I commit that the tone of my discourse and the choice of my words will reflect the respect I have for the sacred humanity of those about whom I am speaking and with whom I may disagree.

Colorado Interfaith Pledge on Immigration

A broad interfaith coalition is asking all Coloradans of faith to sign on to recognizing the sacred humanity of all immigrants and to work towards just, workable and humane immigration reform.

You may go online to “sign” the pledge at www.coloradoimmigrant.org/pledge.

Do we care what Jesus says?

A theological reflection on immigration Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan Council Executive A congregation was divided over whether or not to welcome some new immigrants into their congregation. Everyone knew that most of the new arrivals were undocumented. In the midst of their struggle they decided to turn to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For several weeks they studied how Jesus included the children, the women, the Samaritans, the rich, the poor. He seemed to always include those whom others found reason to exclude. Finally, one young woman in her frustration stood up and said, “I don’t care what Jesus says, I don’t want those people in my church.” It seems to me that for those who call themselves Christian, for those who claim to follow Jesus, the primary bottom line question on the issue of immigration is not a question of legality; the bottom line is, “Do we care what Jesus says?” When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied to love God and the second is to love our neighbor. When asked, “Who is my neighbor?” he responded by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan in which Jesus made the excluded Samaritan the hero, while the two religious faithful, concerned about legality, walked by on the other side. Jesus was saying that everyone, even Samaritans, are your neighbors. I am not going to take a position on raids, or breaking up families, or path to citizenship, or guest worker programs, or in-state tuition, or health services or K-12 education. What I am saying is for those of us who call ourselves Christians, we must examine those issues through our spiritual lens and make sure our positions reflect our love of neighbor. Jesus said, “Love God and love your neighbor.” The question is, when we are dealing with the issue of immigration, “do we care what Jesus says?”