Posts in Immigration
Pastor Mateo Chavez in Minnesota for worship and events

Our very own Mateo Chavez, pastor of San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church in Tucson, AZ, will be at Oak Grove Lutheran Church, in Richfield MN, this Sunday. At worship and dinner, Pastor Chavez will be preaching and sharing stories about ministry and work with immigrants and asylum seekers at the Nogales border crossing.

Pastor Chavez is a board member of Cruzando Fronteras, a collaborative border ministry between Episcopal, Lutheran, and Anglican communities on of borders with Mexico, Latin America, and elsewhere.

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Urge Congress to uphold access to asylum and fair immigration policies today

Click here to take action to secure funding for humane and just immigration system. Use your voice as funding decisions are made.

The ELCA AMMPARO strategy is a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA to accompany people who are forced to flee their communities seeking protection from suffering or violence. As church together we work toward just and humane policies affecting migrants in and outside the United States.

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Responding to our sorrow with action

Recent news stories of appalling conditions at immigrant detention centers and of deep human sorrow on our country’s southern border have many of us desperate to be part of change.

Lutherans have a deep-rooted history in refugee and immigrant issues. One of every six Lutherans in the world was a refugee or displaced person after WWII. The God-given dignity in all people and value of family unity have been cornerstones of ELCA faith-based advocacy, and we understand that many immigrants, as well as their families, are both afraid and confused by recent developments. Here are some ways Lutherans have acted and can continue to respond.

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In the News: Refugees, community groups come together to celebrate World Refugee Day

Tanque Verde Lutheran Church and Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest got a mention in this Tucson.com article. “Refugees and community resource groups in Tucson celebrated the day with live music, food and children’s games and activities. Community groups also provided information for refugees as they integrate into the Tucson community.”

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Congratulations to Servant of Christ Award Winners!

Congrats to New Spirit Lutheran Church, Tucson, and All Saints Lutheran Church, Phoenix!

Recipients of the Servant of Christ Award from Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, they have truly shown the love of our Savior and embodied the mission of Lutheran Social Services—showing kindness, doing justice, and serving those in need.

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Finding a bright path through chaos

Crisis and urgency bordering on chaos are common themes of most news outlets’ headlines. Violence, climate change, hunger, migration… Are we faced with hopeless situations as the headlines seem to indicate? Absolutely not.

Addressing crises of the world may be urgent but must be expediently tactical. God has gifted us with many tools to help us navigate toward viable solutions. The Talanoa Dialogue process is one such tool.

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It Was a Good Day: A letter from a volunteer

Dear Friends, 

A Homeland Security bus pulled up and out walked 30 people, most from Guatemala and a few from Honduras. Volunteers met them outside and welcomed them. As you can imagine, they were quiet but some offered big smiles. Once all were assembled, an orientation was given. Shortly after orientation, phone calls were made to sponsors so travel arrangements could be made for the last leg of their journey.

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Second Chances: A Migrant Story

In 2013, Juan began the journey to the United States, spurred by extreme poverty and lack of opportunities in El Salvador. He attempted to get on “La Bestia” (The Beast) – a network oftrains used by migrants to travel towards the U.S. border. During his attempt to climb aboard, his legs were trapped by the wheels of the train, causing him to lose both his legs. He almost died.

A block from Juan’s home is Our Redeemer, a congregation of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church (ILS). The pastor, Francisco Aguilar, heard about Juan’s story. Read the full story »

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World Refugee Day: An Invitation to Follow

Nearly 69 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes by violence, poverty, war, discrimination and marginalization, natural disasters and the effects of climate change. This year, for World Refugee Day, Lutheran Disaster Response will add our church’s voice to the conversation to build awareness around global migration.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter next week as we explore what is happening both domestically and internationally around global migration and how our church, through Lutheran Disaster Response, other ELCA ministries, and partners, are walking with our neighbors on the move.

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Together in Welcome: A letter encouraging accompanying refugees and migrants

A letter from Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of LIRS. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The gospels recount the story of Jesus as a migrant, in need of welcome and reception. And Jesus identifies with every wanderer, every displaced person, every refugee, asylum seeker and migrant, when he tells the crowd, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35). Since 1939, LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) has led the Lutheran movement to welcome vulnerable migrants and refugees in America. Meanwhile, as part of the AMMPARO strategy, the ELCA has committed to offering accompaniment to migrants in their communities. 

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ELCA presiding bishop, faith leaders issue statement on children in detention

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over the well-being of children who cross the U.S. border seeking safety from danger and threats in their home countries.

“Children coming to our nation for safety and protection are dying at our southern border while in U.S. detention. As U.S. religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, we are united in our concern for the well-being of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives.” Read the full statement »

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Asylum seekers facing humanitarian crisis needs your help

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest is urgently asking for churches to host groups of 30-100 migrants on a regularly scheduled basis, or to support churches that are doing this work through volunteers, in-kind, or financial support. With temperatures over 100, migrant families released by ICE and the Border Patrol are often left at "transportation hubs" that are sometimes nothing more than a barren, gravel pit next to the Greyhound bus station with no water, no restrooms, and little shade.

Read more about this humanitarian crisis or view this flier with contact info if you'd like to help.

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Seismic storm: In the boat together with Jesus beside us

Our advocacy in light of disasters intensified by climate change brought together a group of faith and community leaders for an event hosted in Washington, D.C. by ELCA Advocacy in the spring of 2019. The challenge may be seismic, but the Rev. Amy E. Reumann offered insight and guidance on contemporary issues and scriptural and church resources, preparing us to care in this storm.

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