Presbyterians Today

OCT 2018

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JUSTICE FOR GOD'S WORLD | Vernon S. Broyles III OCTOBER Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay Coming in NovemberDecember Depression and the church Christmas is not always the most wonderful time of the year for those su•ering from depression• See how congregations are providing safe spaces to heal and find hope• Blessed are the peacemakers Discover how mission workers are bringing the good news that peace can be possible — even in turbulent communities• Children and giving Presbyterians Today shares how children can become cheerful givers• Also Hunger in rural communities… how to have tough conversations… Presbyterians Today's †‡ˆ‰ Advent Devotional• Customer Service Order or renew a subscription 800-558-1669 Purchase extra copies or a past issue 800-533-4371 Change of address pcusa.org/changeaddress Reprint permission and subscription problems 800-728-7228, ext. 5627 Email us General: today@pcusa.org Editor: editor@pcusa.org A nation of immigrants All people and all faiths are welcomed non-white asylum-seekers make the words by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty seem like a joke: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, "There is no 'ne print on the Statue of Liberty. America must remain open to people of all faiths and backgrounds." What shall we say to this? Must we not, as fol- lowers of Jesus Christ, respond to those who have —ed, through danger and hardship, seeking asylum among us? The exaggerated claims that so many of these people are criminals or that we do not have the resources to process them or that they have not pre- sented themselves in the proper manner are all fabrica- tions or avoidance mechanisms. Ironically, there is not a single American, including those who are refusing to offer shelter and hospitality to those who come to our borders, whose own presence in the U.S. cannot be traced directly back to immigrants who came — often under great duress — to 'nd shelter and a new home on our shores. If the voice of the faith community in our nation of immigrants matters, now is the time for it to be heard. Vernon S Broyles III is a volunteer for public witness in the PC(USA)'s O•ce of the General Assembly A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamenta- tion, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more. — Matthew 2:18 T here is no agony like the pain of a parent separated from their children. It is, in fact, the outcry of the Lord, recorded in Jeremiah 31:15–17, over the loss of the Lord's beloved children. They have gone away, and the Lord calls out of the divine pain of separation. That cry is heard again across Palestine, as King Herod goes on a rampage, having heard from the Magi that a new "king of the Jews" is to be born. He orders the slaughter of all of the children 2 years old and younger to quash the threat. How is it possible that now, in the United States, this kind of anguished cry of parents separated from their children should be heard among us? How is it that in the name of "the law," children are taken from their parents and carried off to be warehoused in prison facilities or in hastily constructed military com- pounds reminiscent of those used for the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II? Who could have possibly thought that such an outrage could be justi'ed by a "zero tolerance" edict from those in power, or, even more outrageously, be defended by the warped use of Scripture? We are a sick nation — the opioid crisis, the rising cases of suicide, the racism that drives so much police brutality in our cities — and now, the willingness of our courts to justify the barring of non-Christian, ( )

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