DEACON'S DIALOGUE, THE REV. PORTIA SWEET-
Matthew 19:13-15 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
I am greatly troubled by the plight, condition, treatment and root cause(s) of the thousands of children crossing our southern national border. I hope most of you are also troubled. My email and Facebook pages are filled with messages and reports of responses from our church leaders and from the deacons in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Regardless of your political views on immigration, these are human beings, created by God, and in each one we can see the face of Christ. St. John Chrysostom said, “If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the door, you will not find him in the chalice. These children and mothers are begging for life, for reason to have hope, for justice and peace.
Our bishops have stated their concerns and are calling us to respond through donations, prayer, volunteering and by writing to government officials to express our views. The Presiding Bishop said the following:
“The Episcopal Church believes we have a responsibility to all our neighbors, particularly the strangers and sojourners around us. Episcopalians are responding with prayers and concern, and asking how to help. I urge you to remember these people and their difficult and dangerous position in your prayers – today, this coming Sunday, and continuing until we find a just resolution. The Episcopal Church has established an account to receive financial contributions to assist Episcopal Migration Ministries in this work. For details, please contact EMM@episcopalchurch.org”
Several cities in the Diocese of West Texas have been particularly hard hit. St. John’s, McAllen and Christ Church, Laredo are doing much to reach these individuals held in crowded detention centers with basic human needs. Some deacons from our diocese are personally volunteering through St. John’s the week of August 4.
You may support this effort through the funds established by that diocese.
You may donate online at Donate online at: http://tinyurl.com/l2px4p5 or make checks out to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, noted for Emergency Relief, and the World Mission Department will make sure these funds reach those in need. Mail to: Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, P.O. Box 6885, San Antonio, TX 78209.
Other needs will likely arise as this does not appear to be a short-term situation.
Call St. John's, McAllen (956-687-6191) and Christ Church, Laredo (956-723-5714) for further information.
“God never asks us to do something for which he will not equip us. With every call there comes a promise: I will be with you. I will do this work in you and through you. Abide in me” Br. David Vryhof, SSJE