Dear Friends in Christ,
As we enter a new church year amid world tumult and fear, it’s from our faith commitments made in our Baptismal covenant as a nation of immigrants and refugees (over 40 percent of us can track our ancestry through Ellis Island), we must not be changed by terrorists. If because of ISIS, we pass laws restricting refugees, if we impede compassion, if we impinge civil liberties like after 9/11, then ISIS will win. Now is the time for our nation to rally around her core values so eloquently stated in our first piece of American scripture, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These immortal words echo holy words from the apostle, Paul, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:28).
This is who we are as a Christian people. This is who we are as citizens of the United Sates. We take risks for those who suffer. We are descendants of the Good Samaritan and Martin of Tours, Francis of Assisi, and Mother Teresa. Our fathers and mothers gave to the Red Cross, created the Marshall Plan, rebuilt Europe, adopted orphans from was torn countries, helped rebuild New Orleans, and we will be there when tragedy strikes again. Now is the time for us to be touched by the better angels of our nature. Now is the time to remember who and whose we are. Now it is time to love and not fear. That is the only thing that will heal our broken world.