Everyone wants immigration reform. But we stand a divided country, ready to come to blows over the prescription for our broken system. Even within the church, hostile opinions leave us wondering what the "Christian position" on immigration ought to be. Could it be that all of us in the United States desperately need both a restructuring of laws and a restructuring of the heart?
What if we saw ourselves as strangers, considered our own status as immigrants, and reframed the whole conversation about borders in terms of the upside down kingdom? Maybe what we need is not just immigration reform, but an immigration reformation. What if, instead of remaining ignorant, silent, fearful, or a resounding gong, the church took up this movement from the perspective of our citizenship in Jesus' kingdom?
The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins’ conference will seek to explore the hard questions on every side of this debate. We will not pretend the answers are easy for families who feel their jobs are threatened by immigration or for children brought to the country illegally who know no other home. But we will consider that behind every argument for one form or another of immigration reform, there is a story, a person, a family, and a community. The human component of immigration must shape our response in light of Jesus' compassionate work. We will ask what role the church should play in immigration and what difference it makes to look at this issue through a biblical lens.
Come to this event on April 27, 2013 at Multnomah University for a primer on the most pressing immigration issues facing the US today and a unique look at the church's role in engaging this struggle with compassion and truth.