Lutherans and immigration

I am reading a fascinating book right now titled They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration by Stephen Bouman and Ralston Deffenbaugh…

…I have yet to finish the book but I will be done shortly.  It’s a short book and a quick read.  It is also an eye opening book.  I hope to have more insights for you soon but in the mean time, here are some thoughts and highlights that have jumped out to me.

–We are all descendants of immigrants.  How often do you actually think about that?

–Scriptures command us to welcome the widow, orphan and the stranger.  How often do we do THAT?

–Our immigration system is indeed broken.  I do not have the answer, but something needs to be done.  Families are being torn apart.

–Since 9/11 it has become “okay” to discriminate against immigrants all in the name of national security.

–I need to readjust some of my attitudes and pray for my brothers and sisters who are simply here to make a better life for them and their families.

Like I said I do not have the answer to the problem of our broken immigration system, but as Christians how are we called to respond to these brothers and sisters in Christ?  Maybe our first order of business is to pray for our national leaders that they may actually figure something out so all people are treated with respect and dignity.

More to come later…

God bless!


7 thoughts on “Lutherans and immigration

  1. I will be interested to read what you might have to say about immigrant pastors founding Lutheran churches in the US. I read once about a Lutheran pastor sent to Texas or somewhere in the southwest to minister to the Lutherans in that area who were spread far and wide. I didn’t get the impression that the Lutherans made any point of also ministering to other types of people in the area. But if this is true, it accounts for the ‘chaplaincy pastor’ mind set that Lutherans tend to have.

    Someone in our extended family did some pretty good research about a parish in Silesia (German speaking people within what is now Poland) and how they had issues with the state church, so they worshiped in their homes and then emigrated to Wisconsin, founding a church in Sheboygan county.

    1. heartofapastor

      Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has had a long history of helping immigrates. And we are seeing more and more mission congregations serving a specific group of people (i.e Hispanic).

      I don’t quite understand your comment — “it accounts for the chaplaincy pastor mind set that Lutheran tend to have”. Some congregations have a chaplaincy mind set but I am not sure how this relates to immigration. Could you elaborate?

      Thanks much.

  2. heartofapastor

    UPDATE FROM MY READING — “What would it mean today if we called illegal aliens sisters and brothers, sons and daughters?” (pg. 78) A wild idea?…not so much considering Galatians 3:28.

  3. heartofapastor

    UPDATE FROM MY READING — Chapter 7 has lots of encouraging stories of various congregations around this country doing ministry among and with immigrants. Challenging but very rewarding.

  4. Eric, I just finished reading this book as well and will post on it as well. I really like how they deal with policy, but also our mission to share the gospel with every one — regardless of race, class, etc AND immigration status. The first priority is to share the gospel.

    1. heartofapastor

      I am on continuing education this week so I plan to post more about this book. I will be looking for your thoughts.

  5. I love reading this exchange on our recently published book, “They Are Us.”

    We are very pleased with the reception it has received. I am hearing of congregations, synods and other groups who plan to use it for “group reading & discussion” this fall. If you are interested in this, we have a sliding scale discount for bulk purchases of this and most other AF-published books.

    Blessings to you as you read and, especially, as you server our sisters & brothers!
    Beth Lewis, President & CEO
    Augsburg Fortress

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