Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me for to such belong the kingdom of heaven.” (Luke 18: 15-16)
Recently, we have been watching with sadness the plight of thousands of children and youth who are in shelters at the U.S.-Mexico border. Can you imagine the desperation of some of the parents who have allowed their children to make this journey in the hope of a better future? The United Methodist Bishops of the Texas Annual Conferences have written a pastoral letter regarding this situation. In it they suggest that we:
Pray regularly for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and healing of these children and families, wisdom for our government officials, and peace for the countries from which these children have come.
Work with faith and community leadership to provide housing, life necessities, pastoral/spiritual care, and as stable an environment as possible for these children and families while their long-term status is being resolved.
Be attentive to seeing Christ in the faces of these children
Be alert for specific opportunities to offer ministries of compassion and care, which we will share as needs emerge.
Also, the LA Conference Bishop Cynthia Harvey suggests that we might want to join in the effort with UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) in responding in ways that do not exploit, and that maintain the dignity of the children. If you would like to help, you may give to the “U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 with a designation on the check “For Children at the Border.” If any of you want to make a donation to Algiers UMC and label it for UMCOR: Children at the Border, our Treasurer, Paul Clayton, will make sure that it goes to our Conference and on to UMCOR.
Bishop Harvey is inviting us to set our alarms and pray at 1pm every day for this crisis and for all of the people that are being impacted by it. Just even one minute of prayer for each day can bring results according to God’s will. Solutions are not easy to find in this complex situation, but I believe that love and compassion are the will of God always.
Grace and peace,