Let’s stand with Bishop Dyck

More than 30 persons, including two United Methodist bishops, the head of United Methodist Women and the director of Civil & Human Rights at the General Board of Church & Society, were arrested on Presidents' Day during a pray-in in front of the White House.

Thursday, March 27, I will stand with United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck who expects to be arrested in Chicago protesting the two million deportations of undocumented persons by the Obama administration in only five years.

We will stand up, pray and tell President Obama not one more deportation.

Then, the weekend of April 4-6, we will stand up, pray and tell President Obama not one more deportation until just, humane immigration reform is enacted.

United Methodist leaders are leading, now it's time for us to do our part!

Bishop Sally Dyck, episcopal leader of the Northern Illinois Conference will stand beside U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and many other people in an act of civil disobedience to protest these deportations that are tearing families apart, and causing people to live in constant fear and uncertainty.

Call the White House

To support our United Methodist bishop, I encourage you to call the White House March 27 at (888) 907-2053. Share the following message:

Hi, my name is__________, and I am standing with United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck who is choosing to be arrested today in protest of 2 million deportations. I ask President Obama to stop the deportations until just, humane immigration reform is passed.

But let's do more: Let's get ready for April 4-6. You can show the administration that our primary passion right now is to end mass deportations and the splitting of thousands of families.

What to do

Here is what you and your congregation can do:

  1. Plan a prayer vigil. Involve your congregation and invite members of your community by posting your vigil on the website of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). Post your event so that others in your area can attend. It would be great to start listing United Methodist events there. If you have any problems, let me know at bmefford@umc-gbcs.org.
  2. If you aren't able to host a prayer vigil, then take some time in your worship the weekend of April 4-6. Read some of the tragic deportation stories. Pray for the families this policy has torn apart. Pray for healing for the families and for courage for the president to do the right thing.

    We are being careful with the stories because families are afraid. If you send a message to let me know your congregation is participating, I will send you the stories in an email attachment. Send it to bmefford@umc-gbcs.org.

  3. I hope your task force or Rapid Response Team, or congregation or United Methodist Women's circle will consider sponsoring the April 4-6 weekend. When the page opens, click on "Become an Endorser."

Show up in force

Let's have United Methodist teams and congregations show up in force.

Whether you host a vigil, take some time in your worship service, or attend a larger event associated with NDLON, please let me know at bmefford@umc-gbcs.org. The more congregations that take part and that I can tell the White House about, the more President Obama will realize that the public supports ending this barbaric practice.

Let's stand with Bishop Dyck and stand for justice. Pledge your support now!.

Let's keep building the movement.

Editor's note: Bill Mefford directs Civil & Human Rights program at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society.


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