February 13, 2013

Faith leaders hold Ash Wed. services outside of senate hearing

Calling for repentance of broken immigration system

WASHINGTON, DC -- Diverse clergy from the Franciscan Action Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, Church World Service and the United Church of Christ held an Ash Wednesday Service across the street from the Hart Senate office building today, where the Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on immigration just an hour later. This traditional service included the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross on the forehead.

Rev. Michael Livingston, former President of the National Council of Churches, who helped conduct the service, said “We have not respected immigrants in our midst as the brothers and sisters they are. Now is the time to reform our immigration system to bring families together, to treat workers with fair wages and just working conditions.  Let's create a pathway to citizenship for the 11,000,000 people who given their blood, sweat and tears for the same American Dream that our fore bearers dreamed because all of us are created in the image of God.”

After the service Fr. Jacek Orzechowski of the Franciscan Action Network said “On this Ash Wednesday of 2013 we call upon our nation to repent for the sin of this unjust and broken immigration system and to allow our immigrant brothers and sisters to come out of the shadows and onto a path of full citizenship.   This is a moral thing to do, and it reflects our Christian values.  The time for a full integration and inclusion is now.“

Rev. Noel Andersen, CWS Ecumenical Relations staff, helped organize the event commenting, “Today’s service represented a symbolic action for people of faith who are committed to further the growing movement for commonsense immigration reform. As CWS continues to serve immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth, now is the time we extend the DREAM for citizenship to all 11,000,000.”

Contact Rev. Noel Andersen at 510-334-0431, nandersen@churchworldservice.org