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A Call for Help Welcoming our Neighbors on Monday

Clergy, people, and friends of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee,

I write to ask your help.

On Tuesday of this week, I gathered with about 100 other faith leaders in the community to hear reports from those who work each day with our local Latino community.  As expected, we heard about the consequences of these ICE raids and the environment of fear and anxiety they have unleashed among those of this specific and targeted community. Individuals removed in these sweeping initiatives have left families without emotional, financial and relational stability.  Intended or not, the consequences have been out of proportion to the problem they were hoping by some to solve.  They have certainly not been in keeping with the love that Christ has called us to show our neighbor.

We cannot fix all the problems these overzealous raids have caused, but we can at least address some of them.  As part of the Church across our area, I invite you to join me in caring for the youngest and least able to defend themselves from the fallout created by these ICE raids, specifically with an act of solidarity this Monday.

It’s short notice, but if you have time on Monday, I ask you to consider this suggestion:

I invite our Episcopal Community and your faith communities to join me and many others at one of the recommended school sites where there is a larger Latino presence.  One recommendation was to have posters size signs with messages in Spanish or English to welcome the children.  Here are some suggested signs.

  1. Welcome, I’m happy to see you! / ¡Bienvenido, estoy feliz de verte!
  2. Every student is welcome / Todo estudiante es bienvenido
  3. We love our students / Amamos a nuestros estudiantes

Below are the suggested schools and start times.  Please click on the image to view a larger copy of the list of schools.

I am grateful for your considering this witness to the radical love of Jesus at this time.

Faithfully,

The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson

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