Saturday, October 25, 2014

Immigration reform service seeks wisdom, justice

Posted on July 14, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 14, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.

ELKHART — More than 100 community members met Sunday, July 14, to learn about immigration reform and pray for the country’s leaders as they continue to work toward resolving an issue with significant implications locally.

The special service was organized by several area pastors and was held at Prairie Street Mennonite Church from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Nelson Kraybill, pastor of Prairie Street Mennonite, said those in attendance, much like the group of pastors organizing the event, stretched over several denominations.

The service was highlighted by three individuals who shared their stories of immigration, the prejudices they’ve encountered and the warm reception they’ve received from others, particularly in a faith setting.

The service highlighted scriptures that spoke to “care for the sojourner and the foreigner,” Kraybill noted.

Prayer also played a significant role in Sunday afternoon’s service.

“We were praying for justice and wisdom and more than anything we wanted to give a window of passion and understanding to why people immigrate,” Kraybill said.

He explained there are many voices to be heard on the political and legislative topics surrounding immigration, but this event served to demonstrate a desire for justice, no matter what politics accompany the issue.

Kraybill said those in attendance offered prayers for legislators and politicians who will be making important decisions in the future regarding the issue of immigration.

The central theme of their petitions was justice.

“We didn’t have a specific political agenda,” Kraybill explained. “We wanted to show the compassion, the love and the hospitality we believe Jesus calls us to.”