Lutheran Immigration Symposium
12/8-9/10

I’m at a gathering of some ELCA bishops, LCMS district presidents and various other agency leaders to discuss the our churchs’ faithful response to the immigration issue. Paid for by a grant, this gathering is being held at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Capitol Hill.

I was particularly delighted to meet LCMS DP David Behnke (Atlantic District), who got in some hot water for praying with non-LCMS folks at Yankee Stadium after 9/11. What a delightful person.

Goals:
1. To identify local issues and responses.
2. To become fully aware of the national issues and legislation. 3. To gather those who care for immigrants to explore possibilities for change.

There are 10.5 M refugees in this world. 80,000 are allowed into the U.S. 104,000 immigrants will come today. 99,000 on a temporary basis as workers, students, etc. 3K come permanently as refugees/workers. 2K will come unauthorized. Each year 500K are detained.

LIRS resettled refugees with 27 social service orgs. 16 of these also provide immigration legal services. In the last 71 years LIRS has welcomed over 360,000 refugees.

Linda Hartke, LIRS Director began with LIRS’ Vision and Mission, then the goals for the summit.

LIRS’ Vision: all migrants and refugees are protected, embraced and empowered in a world of just and welcoming communities.

LIRS’ Mission: Witnessing to God’s love for all people, we stand with and advocate for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice.

Michael Rinehart, bishop
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
12941 1-45 North Freeway, Suite #210
Houston, TX 77060-1243
281-873-5665
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