To The People of St. Michael’s Church, Coolidge:

The following is a statement by our Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, which expresses the position of the Episcopal Church on the current immigration practice of taking children away from their parents at our borders. The Reverends Bob Flaherty, Carol Hosler, and I feel the need to share this with you as it also expresses our feelings on this issue.

 “No matter your position on the immigration crisis, Americans don't take children away from their parents! And Christians don't abuse the stranger in our midst. The Bible is clear on this. You can find it in many passages, such as Jeremiah 22:3-5 -- "Do no wrong or violence to the alien." Or more strongly, Deuteronomy 27:19 -- "Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien...of justice." And yet in this so called Christian country, if the Holy Family turned up at the border, Joseph and Mary would be sent packing, and the baby Jesus would be placed in a holding cell.

It is hard for me to believe that a country which has always welcome those "huddled masses yearning to breathe free," could resort to such tactics against children. It is even harder for me to believe that anyone professing to be a Christian would condone what amounts to tactics designed simply to instill fear. So what can we do? We can start with the proverbial “contact your Congressperson” and insist that we stop such practices immediately. We can include those suffering in our daily prayers at home, and our weekly prayers at church. We can make a donation to Episcopal Migration Ministries, who has many people on the ground helping to try to make life easier for those who have lost their families.

I can safely say that this cruel behavior has grieved my heart more than any other action of our country's leadership. I am sure it must grieve the heart of Jesus. This is not who we are as a nation, or as the people of God. We can't complacently sit by while parents are weeping for their children. This has to stop now.”

Our own Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, had this to say: “This is not America. We do not separate families from children. It is going to take people in the pews. This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It is a humanitarian issue. We need to be heard loud and clear on this one. Concern for the stranger, the person, is a core obligation of why we are. It is time for the sensible center of America’s believers to make their voices heard.”

 

The Reverend Philip W. Stowell, Vicar

The Reverend Dr. Robert Flaherty, Assistant

The Reverend Carol Hosler, former Vicar 

              


  
 
A MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR 
  
 
Dear Friends and Parishioners, 

     The famous Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, who died in 1961, believed that the first half of a person's life, broadly speaking, is dedicated to the task of separating ourselves from our families, our parents, those who have been near and dear to us in our childhood, indeed, even from ourselves, and to establishing our identity, establishing our independence. In the second half of life, however, we spend most of our time reclaiming those attributes which we left behind. Jung was right, I think. For most of us spend so much of our time establishing ourselves and our identity, that we often leave behind that which is most precious to us, and allow little time to find it again.  Our mission in life, as individuals, as a community, as followers of the Lord's Christ, is to continually be reclaiming, cherishing, honoring, exulting in, those connections, those relationships in life, whereby we are bound together.

   We gather together in this place which we call St. Michael’s Church week after week, in the conviction that God's presence, His power, His love, His healing, is something we experience in the company of one another. We see, or rather we ought to see, other people in our lives, not as men and women to lean upon, not as men and women to control, but as equal partners in this human enterprise in which we are all engaged. We experience and come to know God in the company of other people. We recall the words of the Lord's Christ, when he said, "Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." As we meet our brothers and sisters in their joy, in their opulence, in their pain, in their privation, in their difficulty, we know that in and through them we find the living Christ. That is why our church community is so important.

     So, I urge you to be present with us not only during the fall season, but every Sunday after that. Join with your Christian brothers and sisters as we develop and cherish those relationships in life in which we bind ourselves to one another, and, most importantly, come to find the living Christ, active and alive, and leading us ever onward in the building up of God's kingdom here on earth, on the path that leads to eternal life.
 
Faithfully,
The Reverend Philip W. Stowell