Bishop Hutterer: God Please Bless America


Every year, the President of the United States determines the number of refugees that can be admitted to the country. This is called the Presidential Determination, and is set in early October for the upcoming year.  

Since taking office, the current administration has decreased refugee arrivals by about 75%. 

This October, administration officials will reportedly propose the number of refugees allowed into the United States in 2020 be set to zero. 

A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. There are over 25 million refugees worldwide, over half of whom are children. Refugee resettlement is a legal last resort for people who have no place else to go. 

Lutherans have been deeply involved with refugee resettlement for over 80 years. As people of faith, it is our covenant with God which demands we welcome the stranger as one of our own. 

If no refugees are admitted to the United States next year, there will be devastating results globally and here in our Synod. A few examples: 

  • A father, awaiting the arrival of his adult autistic daughter from a dangerous refugee camp in Rwanda, will have to wait one more year to hear of any progress on her case.  

  • A family in Burma, already screened and processed for arrival, will be told their hope for a new life is over.  

  • Refugee resettlement agencies will be stretched even thinner and may be forced to eliminate services for refugees already starting new lives in the United States. 

America is known as a melting pot, and it’s difficult to witness the erosion of this cornerstone principle.  

Please join me in a prayer of celebration for this nation and all that it has given us. Let us give thanks that our forefathers dreamed of a nation that would be a light unto other nations—a beacon of goodness, peace, and freedom. May we be instruments of God’s peace to others and a refuge to those in danger. Amen. 

Here are some things that you can do: 

  • Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest is organizing legislative visits with representatives that will meet. Sign up to attend a meeting that is scheduled in your district. 

  • Fill out this electronic form by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to let your elected representative know you support refugee resettlement. 

  • Register to vote and stay informed on issues that matter to you. 


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA