There has never been a more urgent time to be present in Washington DC.
Beloved members of our communities are being rounded up by ICE and sent back to countries they have not seen in decades. Young people who have only known this country as their home are being threatened with deportation.
Refugee resettlement agencies in the United States are preparing to shutter dozens of offices across the country. We hear news from our partners of the tragic plight of Sudanese migrants forced in to slavery in Libya as well as the ongoing situation of Syrian refugees. And the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the agency serving Palestinian refugees who have languished in limbo for 70 years, is facing deep cuts that threaten the well-being of many of those refugees.
At a time of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, when there is so much need around the world and in our own country, the policies and priorities of the current administration are only serving to increase the suffering of our brothers and sisters at home and abroad.
As a Christian nation we have lost our bearings. The bible calls us to love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10: 17-20), and Jesus tells us “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mathew 25: 34-40.)
I am writing to invite you to A World Uprooted: Advocacy Training Weekend April 20-23. Now, more than ever, is the time to come to Washington, DC to raise your voice for the uprooted – for the internally displaced, the migrants, and the refugees. Your voice has never been more necessary.
On April 20th, come to Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day and join with others in the Presbyterian community to learn what the PC(USA) is doing to address the current crisis. Learn how you and your church can get involved. Stay for Ecumenical Advocacy Days April 20-23 and join the ecumenical community for a weekend of workshops and plenaries culminating with a lobby day on Capitol Hill.
Please join us to learn, pray and act for the uprooted in our world and to build community to sustain us in our struggle. I hope to see you here in a few months, and together we will raise our voices to speak truth to power!
In His name,
Rev. Jimmie Hawkins
Director, Office of Public Witness