Presented by the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, adopted by the delegates to the 121st Covenant Annual Meeting.
Biblical Basis for Our Call
We experience the Triune God as a people along the Way – seeking to follow the will of God. Abraham and Sarah, our forbearers in faith were wandering Arameans, who through faith, became a “great nation” (Deuteronomy 26:5).
While we live in a different cultural context today, we still live by God’s kingdom ethic to “love the sojourner as ourselves,” for God’s people were once sojourners in the land of Egypt (Leviticus 19:34; cf. Exodus 23:9).
We walk with Jesus who was a wandering Galilean and resident alien often without shelter or place to rest his head. As faithful Christians, we are to welcome the stranger amongst us, (Matthew 25: 35) and to extend hospitality (Romans 12:13), for we as the church are also a pilgrim people—aliens and exiles in the world (1 Peter 2:11). In so doing, we serve Christ himself.
We are called, at all times and in all places to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength as well as love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27).
With the Covenant’s great immigrant tradition, rooted in the historic movement of Swedish pietists, we share the story and journey of modern-day immigrants. We hear God’s call to stand with them, many our own brothers and sisters in our churches, at this time.
We cannot remain silent or be still at a time when our own brothers and sisters are scorned or threatened—for, as one member of the body of Christ suffers, we all suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26).
The Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church seeks to faithfully welcome both documented and undocumented immigrants with the love and peace of Christ as well as stand in solidarity as a people who bear good news in thought, word, and deed. The doors of our churches must remain open to all that would receive God’s saving Word.
We humbly repent of any action that has not followed this Christian ethic and ask forgiveness. As an assembly of churches in various contexts—rural, urban, and suburban—we will seek to respond in faithful ways that are most appropriate.
As local churches we will extend compassion, mercy, and justice to immigrants in need, as we have throughout our history. Furthermore, we will seek to find creative ways to work with immigrant worker centers, citizenship training groups, and other church and parachurch organizations in our own communities. We affirm all who live in peace and for the common good.