Living in a Hurting World: Offering Prayers for Refugees

Over the last few days there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the executive order banning refugees from seven countries. Within this context, many of our fellow churches are requesting ways they can offer sanctuary to immigrants within our communities.

I know this issue is complex, and I believe we, as the church, and as United Methodists, must pay close attention to how we respond in these days. I encourage churches and clergy who wish to offer sanctuary to contact our District Superintendents for guidance and resources.

Currently, the United Methodist Immigration Task Force (UMITF) is working across our connection to support Sanctuary Cities that are opposing the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The UMITF also is supporting the Bridge Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation that would allow young persons who are eligible for temporary relief from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to stay in the U.S.

As we move through the coming days, please pray deeply for God’s guidance. Moreover, may we gain courage in knowing God does indeed call us to speak out for justice, especially for the poor in our midst.

In times like these, let us remember the mission of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences to discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world one neighborhood at a time.

To be sure, we are living in a hurting world, but I am certain that hundreds of passionate congregants across our two conferences will share the love of Christ to those who are overcome by confusion and fear.

7 Comments on “Living in a Hurting World: Offering Prayers for Refugees”

  1. Don Morris says:

    Just a simple question from reading the Bible. Why did Jerusalem have a wall? Also why did they rebuild it so fast?

  2. Sandy says:


  3. ESA says:

    While I support helping all in need, I cannot support Sanctuary Cities ignorning the law of the land and not dealing with people who are not here legally, especially those who are here and continue to break our laws. I will not go into the politics all of this encompasses, but I do not feel the UMC should openly support any sort of defiance when the safety our our country needs to also be considered. I’ve been a Methodist all of my life and am quite concerned with the direction our church seems to be heading theologically (or not).

    • davemc12546 says:

      Just keep your eyes on Jesus … he’s the way, the truth and the life … and he’s always leaned toward the poor, the overlooked, the outcasts, the rejected, etc. Oh, and don’t forget he, too, was a refugee at a very young age. Compassion and justice sometimes must override unjust laws … at least that’s one take on Gospel directives. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

  4. Rebecca Waldrop says:

    Thank you, Bishop McAlilly, for this statement and call to compassion. As many United Methodists, I have been heart broken in the face of the recent ban and the hardships it has placed on the most vulnerable men, women and children. Putting in limbo those who have lost their homes and are seeking safety and new lives here in our country. I am praying for them and for guidance as to how I can personally respond. I am proud of the statements coming from the Council of Bishops, Bishop Ough, and now, yourself.