Prayers plead for immigrant justice
More than 300 years separated the simple meal of venison, corn and shellfish from Saturday night’s potluck of pizza, pecan pie and bowls of chile.
But the first Thanksgiving was on the minds of those who gathered at Jubilee Family Church.
“I think about that Thanksgiving,” said the Rev. Hans Weston, pastor of Jubilee. “The language barrier, the cultural barriers, but they were setting all that aside and coming together.”
So, Saturday evening, members of about five area evangelical congregations gathered in Come to the Table, an event conceived to shed light on issues surrounding immigration in the United States and “address injustices in immigration law,” said Michelle Warren of Open Door Fellowship in Denver, who helped organize the dinner.
“As Christians, there’s significance in breaking bread together,” Warren said. “The Bible teaches us about God’s love for the migrant and the need to welcome the stranger, so we got together and said let’s practice what we preach.”
Weston acknowledged that while evangelical congregations often are perceived as very conservative, “I don’t think of (immigration) as a liberal or conservative issue. It’s an issue of justice, it’s an issue of human rights. I believe when we have injustices we should stand up as a people and do something about it.”
Those who attended Saturday’s dinner were encouraged to pray for justice and fairness in the issues related to immigration and, if they were so inspired, to contact their elected leaders to be mindful of human dignity and family unity as they address immigration reform.
“We can do a lot through prayer,” said the Rev. Joe Guajardo of Iglesia Roca Eterna. “We’re asking God to give wisdom to those in leadership. Many families are hurting, many families are in need. From the Bible’s perspective, we need to love one another, befriend the stranger. We’re putting into practice what we read in the Bible.”
Guajardo acknowledged that for a church body to take on what has traditionally been a political issue may seem like a radical act, “but we’re just trying to do the best job at what we can do, which is pray.”