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take action now

The following article is from GLOBAL CITIZEN. It is a call to action, asking for the signing of a letter to the President to reverse his executive order for extreme vetting. This is a simple way to take immediate action that reflects the moral values we hold as people of faith.

Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order to Ban Refugees

The United States has just slammed its doors on the world’s most vulnerable.

On January 27th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, implementing extreme vetting of refugees who enter the country.

It suspends the entire US refugee program for 120 days as new “extreme vetting” rules are developed, even though America already has the toughest vetting program for refugees in the world.

It halves America’s refugee intake to a maximum of 50,000 annually, with a complete ban on admitting refugees from war-torn Syria.

It stops seven predominantly Muslim nationalities – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – from even visiting America. This includes dual-nationals, green card holders, and most visa-holders.

As Global Citizens, we know that opposing viewpoints are a vital part of any robust political discussion. We work with all sides of politics to ensure that governments continue play a leading role in ending extreme poverty.

However, there are basic values that weave the fabric of the American Democracy – like not discriminating on the basis of religion and nationality.

This policy crosses that line.

Refugees are the most vulnerable fellow citizens on our planet, fleeing unimaginable horrors of conflict, persecution and disaster.

These are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.

We, as global citizens, stand proudly as supporters of refugee communities and vulnerable populations, regardless of religion or national origin.

We must call President Trump out on his actions and ensure that refugees can have place to call home.

a joy I find nowhere else

It’s almost 5:00pm and I am on my way home from India and Nicaragua. I am feeling a little ragged around the edges, but it will definitely be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I am currently in Atlanta. My flight gets into RDU after 9:00. By the time I get my car and get on the road it will probably be around midnight before I see Lynchburg. Since we left the hotel just a little after 5am that makes for yet another long day, but nothing a good night’s sleep won’t take care of.

I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time in Bangalore. But, the time in Nicaragua was like a cure for all that ails me. Being back in the field brings a joy I can find no where else. It makes all the stress of long flights a long layovers bearable.

I’ll be glad to get home…but the truth is that I would far rather still be in the mountains of Nicaragua working to change the lives of the least of these among us.

First Broad Street UMC

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to the next-door neighbor. — Mother Teresa

This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in the annual Mission Celebration at First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. They’re a group of folks that would bring a smile to Mother Teresa’s face.

I had been a workshop leader at last year’s Celebration so I was excited to have the opportunity to join the congregation once again. Last year’s event was so thoroughly impressive I couldn’t imagine it could be better this year. I was wrong. This year’s Mission Celebration was even better than last year’s.

Hundred of folks interested, engaged and excited about mission opportunities spent Friday afternoon through Sunday in workshops, seminars and presentations describing all the mission work in which the First Broad Street United Methodist Church is actively involved.

I spoke several times during the weekend. The church was filled with displays of mission and ministry and there were several large rooms of fair-trade crafts from church mission partners both abroad and here in the US.

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration was the Stop Hunger meal packaging event where everyone joined together to package over 20,000 meals in only 90 minutes. Everyone was overwhelmed at the ease of accomplishing such a feat and touched at the impact their effort would make on behalf of hungry school kids in Haiti. I am sure that more meals will be packaged at next year’s Celebration.

The members of First Broad Street United Methodist Church understand that they have the power to change the world. The congregation is actively involved in dozens of missions. They are working in numerous locations in their own city of Kingsport. But they are also touching lives through their mission outreach in other areas of Tennessee, North Carolina and in the far corners of the world such as South Sudan.

First Broad Street United Methodist Church gets it. They aren’t satisfied with just writing checks. They have a heart for missions that’s as big as the world and they are spreading God’s love everywhere they go.

 

 

prayer for comprehension

Today is yet another perfect day that You have made for us. Thank you for such a glorious creation. Help us take the time to properly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and the perfection of the world You have formed.

Forgive us for the brazen contempt with which we treat such magnificence and splendor. Forgive us for our lack of caring and our refusal to be good stewards of this gift that sustains the entire human family. Forgive us for our willful wastefulness. Open our eyes that we might see the world as a home that we are wantonly destroying.

Grant us the grace necessary to pull our family together. Help us treat one another with the same love and respect we all seek and deserve. Allow us to fully comprehend that we are all connected, that all creation is one.

And then empower us to start cleaning house. Let each of us do whatever is in our power to make our perfect planet a place of sublime beauty, free of all the ugly and far too visible signs of misuse and lacking of caring. Help each of us walk far more gently and grant us the grace to treat our planet with the respect and reverence such a gift deserves. Amen