+“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
—Leviticus 19: 33-34
Founded as a mission of the United Methodist Church, El Pueblo is a branch of Seashore Mission, Inc., and our commitment to welcoming the stranger is deeply rooted in our faith. Throughout the Bible, God calls upon His people to take care of the most vulnerable among them, including the resident alien, and He expects us to do the same.
• Human Dignity: We recognize and affirm the inherent worth of every individual.
• Social Justice: We believe people have the right to be treated fairly and a duty to participate in society, seeking the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
• Moral Responsibility: We will respond with action and passion to the needs and injustices we see in our community and in the world.
• Solidarity: We will engage together in the struggles of our neighbors and bring about a just society
• Empowerment: We believe immigrants should be equipped with the tools to exercise self-determination and become agents of change in order to take their rightful place in the community.
The Christian tradition has long placed an emphasis on offering compassion and refuge to the needy and oppressed and those in a foreign land. Below are several recent statements made by faith leaders which express our values with regard to immigration:
- United Methodist Church, Book of Resolutions: Welcoming the Migrant to the U.S., (http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/welcoming-the-migrant-to-the-us)
- UMW statments on immigration justice, (http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/immigrationon)
- Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform, (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm)
- Interfaith Platform on Humane Immigration Reform, (http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/documents/washingtonoffice/immigration/studyguides/handout6.4.pdf)
Bible verses that motivate us to serve our brothers and sisters who are immigrants include:
- Exodus 23: 9 — “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
- Matthew 25: 34-36 — “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’”
- Numbers 15: 15 — “For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
- Ezekiel 47: 21-23 — “So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God.”
- Hebrews 13: 2 — “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
In accordance with the United Methodist Church’s motto Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, the staff of El Pueblo is committed to serving all those in need, regardless of their religious affiliation and identity.