American Baptists Continue Immigration Reform Advocacy Efforts

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American Baptists Continue Immigration Reform Advocacy Efforts

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/16/13)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) were represented at Church World Service’s Oct. 8 Global Summit on Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Aundreia Alexander, ABHMS national coordinator of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services, marched and attended a press conference at the event. ABCUSA General Secretary A. Roy Medley recited the following prayer: “We pray for legislators whose intransigence is breaking the backs of the poor and the immigrant. Raise up within their ranks those with an uncommon heart for the common good, with vision that sees past the next election and moral courage that isn’t subservient to the next poll. Fill their hearts with compassion, and give them a belly full of courage that freedom’s bell might ring in welcome in every corner.”

The event brought together approximately 300 faith leaders, immigrants and refugees from 39 states, representing more than 18 faith traditions and 37 organizations. Presence at the event was the latest in a string of American Baptist efforts to encourage passage of humane immigration reform that keeps families together and creates a path to citizenship.

Consistently encouraging American Baptists to lend their voices by phoning senators to express support for immigration reform, ABHMS increased efforts in May—prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.B. 744)—by urging participation in Congressional in-district visits. To help individuals familiarize themselves with S.B. 744 and to learn about advocacy, ABHMS encouraged participation in Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s free online immigration reform webinars. In addition, American Baptists were encouraged to attend another day of immigration advocacy and prayer that took place in Washington, D.C., in April.

Churches have been urged to participate in the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia’s “40 Days of Fasting, Prayer, and Action for Immigration Justice.” Central Baptist Church, Wayne, Pa., participated in July, and was visited by Alexander, who led the congregation in a special litany.

ABHMS offers a number of resources to assist individuals and congregations with immigration advocacy. For more information, visit > Ministries & Programs > Justice Ministries > Immigration and Refugee Services or contact Alexander at or 1-800-222-3872, x2430.

ABHMS—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.