Thursday, May 06, 2010

Synod Assembly Resolution for Activating Immigration Task Forces

I drafted the following resolution (appropriate edits made by our resolutions committee) for our upcoming synod assembly, and invite other synods to consider the resolution as well.

WHEREAS the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly resolved that all synods of the ELCA should create an
Immigration Task Force, but the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin has not yet formed one; and

WHEREAS a refugee resettlement sub-office for Lutheran Social Service of Wisconsin has been
established in Madison, WI; and

WHEREAS over 100 Bhutanese refugees will be resettled in Madison in 2010, and more will continue to
be resettled in Madison for the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS it is the call of the church to remember that Israel were once refugees, and it is the call of
our nation to remember that we are a nation of immigrants; as Ralston Deffenbaugh and Stephen
Bouman write in their book on They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration: "the strangers, our new
neighbors, bring immense spiritual gifts with them.... Many of our new neighbors bring vibrant faith,
love of Scripture, and deeply evangelical hearts. Immigration means spiritual re-enchantment" (5-6);
now, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Synod Assembly directs action to be taking by
the Synod Council no later than August 1st of 2010 to form such a task force, under the leadership of
synod staff, a task force chairperson, and interested task force members; and be it further

RESOLVED that the first focus of the task force will be to partner with LSS of Wisconsin and the
Madison sub-office for refugee resettlement in developing congregational co-sponsorship
committees that will co-sponsor newly arriving refugees; and be it further

RESOLVED that the task force will make use of the guiding documents of the ELCA on immigration to
develop other strategies for ministry with immigrants and refugees; and be it further

RESOLVED that all congregations of this synod be encouraged to review and consider the opportunity
to co-sponsor a refugee family; and be it further

RESOLVED that, recognizing the need for lay and volunteer driven ministry in immigration issues, and
financial resources and significant staff time that are determined to be needed shall be approved by
the Bishop and Synod Council prior to expenditure.

No comments:

Post a Comment