if held in Arizona
CPT staff members join the Iglesia Menonita Hispana (IMH) in urging the
Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) not to hold its 2013 convention in Phoenix,
Arizona. CPT will not have an
organizational presence in Phoenix if the denominational convention is held
“I am disappointed that MCUSA’s leaders are still leaning toward a
Phoenix convention despite concerns about Arizona’s recently enacted law that
creates such wide space for imposing racist discrimination. Right now we
have a priceless opportunity for U.S. Mennonites to stand with those on the margins,
to stand for justice,” says CPT Co-Director Carol Rose.
In a December 2010 letter, the IMH wrote,
“In order to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are
undocumented, we choose to stand with them and advocate on their behalf before
the church and government, and also choose to abstain from attending the 2013
convention if held in Phoenix. If the Phoenix site is chosen, we will
bless the people who will be attending the event and will continue to pray.
While we are blessing the people and the event, it does NOT mean that we
endorse the location. We would also ask that ANY staff or board member
(of any ethnicity) that would choose not to attend the convention if held in
Phoenix be allowed to do so without question.”
The letter also urges the Mennonite Church to, among other things,
“Take the lead on immigration and not to defer it to
other church organizations or entities that may be working in this area
Continue to implement ALL items under the commitments
section of the 2003 Church-wide Statement on Immigration.
Hire a person to work in conjunction with MCC
Washington Office to advocate for the passing of the Dream Act and fair,
comprehensive, just and humane immigration reform.
Provide a fund of at least $50,000 to begin work on
assisting Mennonite Church USA members who are undocumented, who do not have
the funds to start the documentation process to become citizens.
Call each church to serve as a sanctuary for the
undocumented. As people of God, we are called to love and serve our
brothers and sisters whether documented or undocumented.
Call the church to pray and act for those who
struggle as undocumented immigrants in our churches and communities.”
“My ancestors were immigrants in previous centuries, who came to North America
because of systems that oppressed them in Europe.” said Tim Nafziger
“Today, God is giving us an incredible opportunity to support this century’s
immigrants in their struggle to live in peace and unafraid. Let’s not let the
moment pass us by.”
The full text of the Iglesia Menonita Hispana’s letter is available