Lynne Hybels Testifies before Senate Subcommittee

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In October, Lynne Hybels testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees.  Highlights appear below:

 

  • Our faith informs us that we were all strangers and aliens once, separated from God.  Recognizing that we are all sojourners on this land, no matter what our legal status, compels us to extend solidarity to all.

  • God repeatedly calls on His people to remember their past as sojourners and to treat aliens among them accordingly.  Leviticus 19:33-34 states: “The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

  • Jesus helped define our neighbors for us in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  He tells of an individual who encounters and serves a migrant, presumably of a different culture, in need – and Christ commands us to “go and do likewise.”

  • Immigrants who were once feared and thought to be unable to assimilate are now embraced as Americans with deep roots in this country.  Thus, we must not be driven by a spirit of fear that produces a hardness of heart, but rather we must extend grace and a welcoming spirit to the immigrants who live in our communities.

  • Immigrants are joining evangelical congregations faster than any other group of people.

  • Lynne and Bill are grieved by the fear and uncertainty dominating the lives of hundreds of wonderful undocumented immigrants in our church congregations, as well as thousands in our community.  These people touch our lives when they become clients of Willow Creek’s Care Center, which provides food and other services to low-income individuals throughout our community.  Their stories and many others reveal a broken immigration policy that does not life up to who we are as a country.

  • As a result of the broken immigration system, we have documented immigrants in our communities.  They are us.  They are our fellow evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ with the same desire and motivations that we have.

  • We see fundamental problems in our nation’s immigration system:  structural issues that perpetuate illegal immigrations, keep families separated for years and sometimes decades and inhibit immigrant integration.

  • We seek to follow the example of Jesus – who intervenes on our behalf – to be His ambassadors in the world (II Corinthians 5:20) Thus, we wish to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8).

  • In addition to standing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Willow Creek Community Church commits itself to intentionally building these relationships for the sake of our brothers and sisters who may have to return to their countries of origin.

In America, one of our greatest strengths has been our ability to unite through our differences.  Welcoming the stranger into our society can mark with distinction our national character and identity and can test our deepest truths – that we are greater because of our diversity and that we are stronger because of our willingness to treat the least among us with dignity and respect.

 

To read Lynne Hybels’ entire testimony, please access this website: 


http://blog.sojo.net/statement-of-lynne-and-bill-hybels-for-the-thursday-october-8-2009-hearing-on-faith-based-community-perspectives-on-comprehensive-immigration-reform/

Category : Current Events, Local Outreach

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