For more than a century the Episcopal Church has been engaged in the ministry of welcoming immigrants, walking with them as they begin their new lives in our communities and advocating for immigration policies that protect families from separation, offer meaningful access to citizenship, and respect the dignity of every human being.
In response to recent news about family separation, the Episcopal Church invites you to take part on Thursday, June 21st, in an all-day vigil on the longest day of the year, in recognition of the fact that any day children are separated from their parents is too long. The day will begin with Morning Prayers at 8 a.m. as we gather with interfaith leaders to pray and reflect until shortly after sunset at 9 p.m. From 12 p.m. -1 p.m. EDT we will host an hour-long virtual vigil on Facebook Live. Both the vigil and virtual vigil will be a space for prayer, reflection, education and action on immigration issues and asylum. Religious leaders from a variety of traditions and denominations will speak, and Members of Congress will also be present to share in prayer and worship.
“We are holding this vigil to condemn family separation and to pray for all parents and children who are currently being detained,” explained Rebecca Linder Blachly, director of the Episcopal Church’s office of government relations. “While tomorrow we will be focused on the recent separations of families at the border, we must also remember the millions of families who have been torn apart by violence and persecution in the global refugee crisis. We chose to hold this vigil on June 21 – the longest day of the year – because every day that family members are separated is too long. We will join together with interfaith partners to pray together for an end to this crisis, and to ask all governments to develop humane policies towards migrants.
“We continue to encourage Episcopalians and all people of faith to call on the U.S. Congress to end harsh and harmful immigration policies and to pass bipartisan, comprehensive reform that recognizes the dignity of every person.”
Ways to participate:
- Join us in Washington, D.C. for the June 21 Vigil from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. at the United Methodist Building Chapel, 100 Maryland Ave. NE Washington, DC.
- Participate in the virtual vigil via Facebook Live
- Submit prayers via email or social media to be read at the vigil, or attend in person if you’re in D.C.
- Engage on Social Media with #KeepFamiliesTogether
- Share educational resources and the action alert from the Episcopal Public Policy Network (@TheEPPN)
- Start a vigil of your own in your parish
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry joins other faith leaders in a statement on family separation at our borders
Reclaiming Jesus: “Suffer Little Children: The separation of immigrant children from their parents is not biblical” and Reclaiming Jesus video.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s AM Joy appearance Topic: “Sessions misuses bible to justify separating children from migrant parents”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell Topic: “Religious leaders: Call Trump’s family separation for what it is – sin”