“Cursed is the one who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:19)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Do you know what it feels like to be rejected – not for anything you’ve done, but because of fear of your skin color, religious faith, orientation, or national origin?
I have…and it doesn’t feel good. Rejection makes you feel unworthy, lonely, and angry.
It’s even worse if you’re rejected by a nation that likes to pride itself for providing safe harbor for refugees. When you and your family are desperately trying to escape violence, war, poverty, and oppression, and a country rejects you, it makes you feel like you’re just a worthless piece of refuse that can be thrown or shipped away. You and your family have been rejected because of what others have done who look like you, and your life just doesn’t seem to matter that much to alter the equation of injustice.
One of the driving forces in my ministry is to lead by word and example the Gospel, the “good news” of Jesus Christ, that God loves you – not the bad news that the world rejects you because of who you are.
There’s simply too much fear and hate that’s driving much of our national agenda now, and those emotions are the opposite of Christian faith and the values of our nation.
As your bishop, I stand with thousands of Christian leaders opposing the executive order by President Trump to ban refugees from some predominantly Muslim countries. For more background on this ill-advised policy please read the statement from The Episcopal Church’s President of the House of Deputies.
That’s why I’m asking you to join me this Saturday, February 4, 9:00 AM for a “March for Refugees.” We’ll begin at Old St. Paul’s Church, 233 North Charles Street, Baltimore, march up Charles Street to the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 East University Parkway. At 11:00 AM we’ll have a service of prayer, music and testimony ending by Noon. Further details are below.
If you can’t march Saturday, you can still act by “praying with your hands.” Write or call your elected representatives in Congress and President Trump. Tell them your thoughts about our nation’s stance against those seeking refuge. Be sure to stress your values as a follower of Christ. How to contact them and a sample letter or script are on the Episcopal Church website.
Let’s stop the hate. As Christians, let’s stand up to fear, bigotry, and injustice. Clergy, wear your collars. Parishioners, bring your signs and singing voices. Let’s walk, speak out, and pray for refugees – the “strangers” in our world whom the Bible tells us to receive as Christ himself.
The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
Episcopal Bishop of Maryland
MARCH FOR REFUGEES
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
February 4, 2017
Starting at St. Paul’s Church, 233 Charles Street (corner of East Saratoga) and ending at the Cathedral of the Incarnation (4 E. University Parkway).To carpool to the start, meet at the Cathedral at 8:30 AM. To return to parked cars downtown, the Charm City Circulator leaves 33rd Street and St. Paul Street for free after 9:00 AM.
Parking is available at the St. Paul Place garage. From St. Paul Street, enter the garage through the alley just past Saratoga and the Embassy Suite hotel or from Saratoga Street enter behind the church. Take elevator to Level 2 (Charles Street side) and use the pedestrian walkway to Charles Street. Turn right and enter the church to validate inside (one dollar for all day).
The march route is up Charles Street for 3 miles. We will walk on the sidewalks.