Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bishop park addresses the impact of migrating children and the United Methodist Home for Children

“When a person from another country resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress them. The person from another country who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the person from another country as yourself…”   (Leviticus 19:33-34)

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”   (Matthew 25:40)

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, Healer of our brokenness, and Hope of the world!

The recent influx of unaccompanied children in tens of thousands from impoverished countries with dangerous environments in Central America evokes a passionate reaction. People raise serious concerns and express strong opinions about the surge of the migrant children. The current situation impacts us locally, as well as nationally. The United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg has been approved to receive an Urgent and Compelling Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service to provide temporary shelter services to the migrating children beginning August, 2014.

The Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church has enjoyed a long and collegial association with the United Methodist Home for Children. Thousands of lives have been impacted for good through its dedication to the welfare of children and youth. The Home seeks to preserve its history and mission by a commitment to providing a safe and caring environment for any children who, through no fault of their own, are in desperate need for help. In support of the Home’s response to the needs of the migrant children, I call upon the United Methodists of the Susquehanna Conference to offer our prayers and care for the children while explorations are being made for their future. Please know that the response made by the Home was a humanitarian one according to its historic mission. Without regard to political perspectives, there is already an outpouring of support from many persons across our area as a show of commitment and compassion for these children in such dire need. Their plight is our immediate concern as we are blessed to support those providing safety and nurture at the United Methodist Home for Children.

In solidarity with other faith communities, I would like to remind the brothers and sisters in Christ of the biblical mandate to care for the children who cannot defend for themselves, with compassion and the Christian spirit of hospitality. They are God’s children entrusted to us at the time of their most critical need for hope and healing, as well as survival. May God protect, preserve, and guide their future for such a time as this.

With You in Christ’s Ministry,

Jeremiah Park

Resident Bishop
Harrisburg Area
The United Methodist Church

Links to related stories:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/07/childrens_home_in_mechanicsbur.html
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/07/immigrant_children_unaccompani.html#incart_river
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/border-crisis-resources-for-a-faithful-response

CONTACT: Gerald F. Wolgemuth, Director of Communications
Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church
303 Mulberry Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Office: 717-766-7441
Cellular: 717-903-5881
Email: jerry@susumc.org
Website: susumc.org

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