As a child of New Mexico, I know life on the border. Before my calling as Bishop, I served in the Diocese of the Rio Grande (DRG). During this time, we formed the Borderlands Ministry with the charge of facing the challenging issues facing immigrants and communities along the border of New Mexico and Texas.
The treatment of immigrants on our southern border has been widely publicized and debated. In our great country, the condition, care and treatment of immigrants should be beyond reproach. In each instance of suffering, we as a nation must seek to attain the highest ideals of liberty, humanity, and decency.
Our identity cannot be diminished by callousness or political division. Let us call to mind the words of our Declaration of Independence “that all people are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Christians in the United States are called to an even higher moral and spiritual standard. Jesus commanded that every person must be treated with dignity, empathy, and the divine requirement of love. There are no prerequisites or conditions for this commandment. We are all created in the image of God; regardless of nationality, color, or status. Our faith, hearts, and souls seek something higher than worldly divisions; we seek salvation, union, and goodness.
Now that I am on the East Coast, I know it would be foolish to make strategic pronouncements on what should happen there – the situation on the border is complex and multi-layered. Bishop Michael Hunn and the Diocese of the Rio Grande are addressing the situation and determining the most effective path forward.
We will continue our communication with Bishop Hunn and seek guidance as to how we can support their ministry. We also join Bishop Michael Curry and The Episcopal Church in providing direct assistance and relief through the Body of Christ known as the Church. I will keep you updated as to our joint efforts in our unfolding collective Christian response.
Let us walk with all those who seek to alleviate suffering. Let us work with those who compassionately comfort and care for those in need. Let us weep with those who weep. Let us share the hope of Jesus with those who despair.
Let us pray and let us seek the face of Christ in all people.