Episcopal Bishop Hirschfeld: Response to Immigration Crises

Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,

Our God has little use for national boundaries or borders, especially when they are used to condone hatred, cruelty, or to limit God’s mercy and love.  How do we know this? Because the Bible tells us so. Clearly.  This year we are reading the Gospel of Mark in our Sunday cycle of readings.  There, in chapter 7, we find the compelling and disturbing story of how Jesus himself thought he would limit mercy based on ethnic and religious identity.  And then even Jesus reversed himself.  Once when he traveled across the border to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a “foreign” woman pleaded for him to exorcise a demon from her daughter.  At first Jesus refused, citing that he needed to take care of his own first. Whether he was serious about this claim or simply testing the faith of the unnamed Syro-Phoenician woman is a matter for debate.  I rather like the interpretation that he actually changed his mind at the woman’s urgent and heartfelt plea to God’s mercy and love, regardless of borders.  As St. Augustine once said about the interpretation of the Bible, if your interpretation of scripture is a choice between wider hope, faith and love on the one hand, or leads you, on the other hand, to limit God’s mercy, choose the former. This is what Jesus chose. As a result he healed the girl, immediately, indicating that God’s love and compassion knows no bounds.  And the girl was returned to her mother.

God is free to decide to be compassionate at any time God wants.  And so are our elected officials.

I invite you, therefore, to join me in contacting your elected congressional deputation in urging the President to show more compassion at our southern border, to stop the brutal practice of separating children from their parents, immediately.  Below are links to the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations that can greatly facilitate your reaching out to our Senators and Representative:

Yours Faithfully in the God of Love and Justice,


The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld

Take Action

Write Congress to stop family separation, defend access to asylum! If you’ve already reached out, get in touch with 5 friends NOW and encourage them to speak out too.

Be an Informed Advocate

Learn more about immigration issues through these educational resources from the Office of Government Relations: