Oklahoma Conference of Churches opposes placement of immigrant children at Fort Sill



June 2019

To The Editor: 


The way in which we treat refugees, immigrants, and visitors is a matter of faith. Care of “the stranger” and the ministry of hospitality are central to the activity of the people of God. Immigration laws and policies must uphold the human dignity of every person, as every person embodies value and worth in the eyes of God. We strongly oppose the separation of immigrant children from their families and loved ones, and further oppose the placement of these children at Ft. Sill Army Post in Lawton, OK.

We are alarmed at the notion that the separation of children is so prominent additional housing is necessary at a U.S. military installation. As faith leaders in Oklahoma, we stand opposed to this practice and call upon our government officials to correct course immediately, and stop separating vulnerable families.

Additionally, we are keenly aware of the history of internment at Ft. Sill Army Post. Beginning with the Apache people and including Japanese Americans during World War II. We cannot stand silent as this history is repeated with innocent children who will, no doubt, incur trauma and life-altering consequences at this harmful experience.

We call on the members of our constituent churches to reach out to their elected officials to express opposition to such a decision and to pray for the government of this nation; to reflect on biblical texts dealing with immigrants and refugees (e.g., Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 24:17-21; Isaiah 1:17; Matthew 25:34-40; Ephesians 2:11-13; and Hebrews 13:2); and to do all they can in their own local communities to build bridges of love and understanding between diverse religious and cultural groups within our society. We especially call on everyone to stand against all acts of hatred, violence, and discrimination and to stand withthose who are discriminated against.

Sincerely, 

The Rev. Shannon M. Fleck
Executive Director
Oklahoma Conference of Churches

The Rev. Dale Assink
Regional Minister, Synod of the Heartland Reformed Church in America

The Rev. Dr. Bobby Best
Bishop, Ninth Episcopal District Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Tim Blodgett
*General Presbyter
Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery Presbyterian Church, USA

The Rev. Dr. B. Gordon Edwards
*Executive Presbyter Cimarron Presbytery Presbyterian Church, USA 

Dr. Edith Guffey
Conference Minister Kansas-Oklahoma Conference United Church of Christ

Bishop Mildred B. Hines
Bishop, Southwestern Delta Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

The Rev. Pamela Holt
Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma

The Most Rev. David Konderla
Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward J. Konieczny
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma

The Rev. Heidi Regier Kreider
Conference Minister, Western District Conference
Mennonite Church USA 

Rex Friend
Religious Society of Friends

The Rev. Michael Girlinghouse
Bishop, Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Graham
Coordinator, Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma 

The Rev. Calvin Miller
State President
Progressive Oklahoma Baptist State
Convention

The Rt. Rev. Michael L. Mitchell
Presiding Bishop, Twelfth Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. James G. Nunn
Bishop, Oklahoma Conference of the
United Methodist Church and the Oklahoma
Indian Missionary Conference

The Rev. Vernon Sansom
*Stated Clerk
Red River Presbytery, Cumberland Presbyterian Church

The Rev. Robert Wise
Archbishop, Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches



OCC Communion Leaders (Oklahoma Conference of Churches)

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