"Many of us are concerned about the direction of public policy regarding immigration and refugees and wonder if there is anything we can do. A first step is to seek guidance from our Episcopal leaders. On January 25 our Presiding Bishop issued a statement http://
episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ ens/2017/01/25/presiding- bishop-other-episcopal- leaders-call-on-trump-to- maintain-refugee-resettlement- efforts/ saying "We ask that refugees from all countries receive consideration to come to the U.S. and not to ban those who come from countries most in need of our assistance." On January 31, Bishop Budde's said "Scripture could not be clearer: we are called to welcome the stranger." http://myemail. constantcontact.com/Bishop- Budde-s-Statement-on-Refugee- Resettlement-and-Immigration- Restrictions.html?soid= 1108352395623&aid=j8ywl2f4NFs statement.
We can do more than agree with these sentiments. We can take action ourselves by coordinating with the Episcopal Public Policy Network, which organizes the Episcopal Church's national advocacy efforts. You can sign up to receive their alerts here: http://advocacy.
The group has an established and active refugee advocacy program. For several years, the network has encouraged members to speak out on refugee issues and has provided them with webinars, scripts for calling members of Congress and sample letters and an automatic way to have those letters submitted. One current relevant advocacy item is a script for calling your 2 senators and 1 representative. The key message in this script is: I am strongly opposed to President Trump's announcements to stop the resettlement of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen; pause the refugee resettlement program entirely; and reduce the number of refugees we welcome. Here's the link: http://advocacy.
Another refugee initiative is a sample letter urging members of Congress to speak out "in support of our nation's admirable tradition of welcome." Here's the link: http://advocacy.
episcopalchurch.org/app/write- a-letter?10&engagementId= 260973
I urge all of you to take advantage of these advocacy opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the many immigrants and refugees who experiencing hardship in a difficult time.
Please join us for the next meeting of St. Dunstan's economic justice group, informally known as the Justice League of St. Dunstan's. We'll be meeting for about an hour at the church starting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday March 13.