I do not have the final copy of the Immigration memorial but from Norman Wilson I got this and below it is a cut-pasted copy of the memorial BEFORE it was changed as follows (from Norman Wilson):
n I do not have the wording of the amendment they made to the action step of the fourth principle entitled “The Submission Principle.” I think it was an appropriate clarification, strengthening the idea of submitting to the laws of the land unless they are contrary to God’s word as considered by the church body (or something like that).
n The only other amendment to the memorial was in the action step of the first principle entitled “The Creation Principle,” as follows: the word “gender” was inserted after “…class, nationality,” so that it would read “…regardless of race, class, nationality, gender, or legal status.”
n The vote was 307 in favor and 12 against.
3 POSITION STATEMENT ON IMMIGRATION
7 The Wesleyan Church is inspired by a God-given vision of equipping and empowering believers,
8 leaders and churches for “Fulfilling the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment.”
9 Focused on this vision, our mission is to exalt Jesus Christ by…
10 · Evangelizing the lost;
11 · Discipling the believers;
12 · Equipping the Church; and
13 · Ministering to society.
14 This vision and mission are nourished by “spiritual DNA” from The Wesleyan Church’s origins in
15 historic Methodism and the American holiness and revival movements. We proudly claim our place among
16 an earnest corps of disciples God is raising up to spread hope and holiness everywhere, proclaiming full
17 salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
18 Early strategies, from circuit-riding preachers, protracted meetings and camp meetings, to the
19 Underground Railroad and the abolition of slavery, reveal the success of our forebears in balancing
20 passionate evangelism and discipleship with godly concern for social reform. These have long since yielded
21 to new ministry methods, necessitated by changing times and circumstances. Like our forebears, God calls
22 us today to engage in promoting both personal holiness and social holiness. New issues of justice,
23 compassion, and human need require us to respond boldly and wisely.
24 Immigration is a contemporary issue that beckons Wesleyans to act as agents of Spirit-filled
25 outreach and compassion
in North American society. The
26 nations made up of immigrants and their descendants. Men, women and their families seeking a better way
27 of life, religious freedom, political asylum, opportunity to pursue great dreams and experience new
28 beginnings have contributed to the prosperity and diversity that make our nations strong.
29 According to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics, as of January 1,
30 2006, there were 17.6 million legally resident immigrants and an estimated 11.6 million unauthorized
31 immigrants in the
32 aliens among the unauthorized population. Data from Statistics Canada based on 2006 census figures
33 showed the proportion of the Canadian population born outside the country was at its highest ratio in 75
34 years—some 6.2 million foreign-born persons now represent 22.2% of
35 just five years ago).
36 Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (Luke ). God
37 is blessing The Wesleyan Church in many ways to be a voice and force for the gospel among immigrant
38 persons. We celebrate the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity of the North American Wesleyan family.
39 We yearn for denominational demographics to reflect the cultural mosaic of American and Canadian society
40 as a visible testimony of the success of our commitment to make disciples of all peoples. Ten years ago,
41 133 out of 1,671 Wesleyan congregations in the
42 White. In 2007, 221 out of 1,691 churches were non-White—a 66% increase. By far, the fastest growing
43 segment of the North American Church in the last decade has been Hispanics and Latinos. Many of our
44 newest Wesleyans are recent immigrants.
45 We are grateful for the steady leadership of Wesleyan districts and local churches that are setting
46 the pace for dynamic ministries of evangelism, church growth, church multiplication and ministries of
47 compassion that include newcomers and strangers as our neighbors. Yet, we recognize there is much more
48 that we can and must do as Christ’s messengers of hope and as examples of holy living.
1 God is mindful of all people and concerned for their needs. Many immigrants face serious
2 hardships—family separation and loneliness, financial distress, language barriers, exploitation, prejudice or
3 racism, personal safety issues, social isolation, lack of food or shelter, problems adapting or assimilating into
4 a new culture, insecurity and fear (especially for those who do not have proper documentation). More
5 urgently, they are persons in need of the grace of God and the knowledge of Christ that leads to salvation.
6 The Church as “the body of Christ” is the ongoing incarnation of His love and life. We represent Him
7 when we give “cups of cold water in Jesus’ name” to persons who have fled countries of origin in which they
8 suffered persecution, poverty, or political oppression. We model His compassion when we offer charity and
9 hospitality to strangers He sovereignly brings to our shores to offer talents, skills and labor that can
10 contribute positively to our society. We are His servants when we aid newcomers and their families in
11 dealing with the enormous challenges they face in assimilating into North American society—such as
12 language learning, friendship building, finding medical care, making economic adjustments, and meeting
13 legal requirements. While respecting those whom God has ordained to govern and protect society and
14 submitting to their authority (so long as it does not violate the laws of God), we are the Lord’s voice to speak
15 out prophetically against injustice and unrighteousness towards the weak. We must treat all persons with
16 dignity, including those who have entered the country illegally or who entered legally but are now out of
17 status with immigration authorities.
18 The responsibility of the Body of Christ to bear His message and to minister to all people rests in the
19 hands of individual believers and congregations. As we wrestle with and respond to the challenges of
20 immigration in our local communities and lands, we do so in full awareness that, as citizens of the Kingdom
21 of God, we ourselves are strangers and sojourners in the world in which we presently dwell. Therefore,
22 Wesleyans everywhere are called to recognize and respond to the purposes of God among all peoples within
23 their spheres of influence and to accomplish the redemptive and restorative purposes of Jesus Christ on their
24 behalf. Trusting in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, we embrace the following eight biblical
25 principles to inform and guide The
27 Kingdom Values Regarding Christians and Immigration:
28 Eight Biblical Principles to Guide Wesleyan Responses
30 1. The Creation Principle: All persons are created equal and are of equal worth in their Creator’s eyes.
31 Each individual possesses fundamental rights to live and be respected as a human person of intrinsic worth
32 and dignity. These rights are derived from one’s creation in the image of God and from the vicarious death
33 of Jesus Christ for all humanity.
35 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea
36 and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the
37 ground. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he
38 created them. 28God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and
39 subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on
40 the ground." (Genesis 1:26-28)
42 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
43 (Galatians )
45 Action Step: Understanding that all are made in the image of God, as Wesleyans we will seek to treat all
46 people humanely and with dignity, regardless of race, class, nationality, or legal status.
1 2. The Great Commandment Principle: Christ commands us to love God with all our heart and soul and
2 mind and our neighbors as ourselves. This commandment sums up the entire Law and the Prophets,
3 requiring us to live in perfect love with God and our neighbor, which is holiness. We are to love our neighbor
4 unconditionally regardless of race, class, nationality or legal status in our land.
6 37Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
7 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
8 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40)
10 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
12 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and
13 self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
15 The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you
16 did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
18 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet
19 hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love
20 God, whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:8, 20)
22 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.
23 (1 Peter -16)
25 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we will give of ourselves in wholehearted love to others without intolerance,
26 judgment, favoritism or disrespect, and in spite of who they are or what they have done to live among us.
28 3. The Sovereignty Principle: God is sovereignly at work to establish His kingdom in heaven and on
29 earth. He determines the times and places where the peoples of the nations should live so that people will
30 seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him. No one can ultimately succeed in thwarting God’s
31 work. God can bring good from the fallen intentions and actions of humanity and save many lives. Our
32 responsibility as His people is to recognize His hand at work and cooperate with Him in ways that build up
33 His kingdom in heaven and on earth.
34 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined
35 the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek
36 him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 “For in him we
37 live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” (Acts
39 9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation,
40 tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white
41 robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation
42 belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11All the angels were standing around the
43 throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne
44 and worshiped God, 12saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and
45 strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelation 7:9-12)
1 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and
2 the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)
4 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of
5 many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
7 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we view immigration as an aspect of God’s larger plan to bring salvation to
8 the world. Immigration can be used through God’s wisdom to introduce many to Jesus who might not
9 otherwise hear the gospel message.
11 4. The Submission Principle: Christians possess dual citizenship, one heavenly and the other earthly.
12 Christians should respect and submit to the laws of the land, except when they are in contradiction to biblical
13 principles. When there is a conflict between the heavenly and earthly citizenships as to specific claims,
14 Christians have a moral duty and right to seek a change in the law and to act so as to maintain a clear
15 conscience before God.
17 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God
18 has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels
19 against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on
20 themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be
21 free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's
22 servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is
23 God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit
24 to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why
25 you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone
26 what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor,
27 then honor. (Romans 13:1-7)
29 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that
30 one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it. (Matthew 8:9)
32 “Caesar's,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.”
33 (Matthew 22:21)
35 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the
36 supreme authority. (1 Peter 2:13)
38 16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend
39 ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to
40 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to
41 know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-
44 19But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than
45 God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
47 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29)
1 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we will exercise awareness of the laws as they pertain to immigration and will
2 endeavor to obey them, unless they are contrary to God’s Word. We support the rights of those who engage
3 in civil disobedience against harsh and unjust laws, policies and measures on the basis of biblical principles.
5 5. The Hospitality Principle: Christ’s love compels us to be kind and compassionate and to offer
6 hospitality, especially to those in need, including strangers, widows, orphans, aliens and immigrants
7 regardless of their legal status.
8 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30In reply Jesus said: "A
9 man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of
10 his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same
11 road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the
12 place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man
13 was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil
14 and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day
15 he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I
16 will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor
17 to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on
18 him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37)
19 18He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
20 19And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)
22 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the
23 Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
25 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you
26 the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)
28 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9)
30 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
32 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their
33 distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
35 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we will encourage one another to engage in acts of kindness and compassion
36 (e.g., providing food, shelter, clothing, and other resources) toward immigrants who are in need regardless of
37 their immigration status (documented or undocumented).
39 6. The Great Commission Principle: Jesus Christ brings Good News and has commissioned us to make
40 disciples of all peoples, including citizens and aliens alike. We are called to follow His example and carry on
41 His ministry, declaring Good News to the poor, proclaiming freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the
42 blind, release to the oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor.
44 18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has
45 sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
46 19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)
1 19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
2 and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with
3 you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
5 1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the
6 people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees
7 brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher,
8 this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now
9 what do you say?" 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But
10 Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he
11 straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
12 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time,
13 the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and
14 asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither
15 do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:1-11)
17 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the
18 harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:37-38)
20 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we will unashamedly engage in both evangelizing and discipling immigrants
21 in our communities, training and appointing immigrant persons as pastors, lay leaders and workers, with
22 respect for applicable employment laws as we do.
24 7. The Grace Principle: All have sinned and deserve God’s judgment and punishment. Yet, He is a
25 merciful God and seeks to reconcile us to Himself by grace. God’s grace is a model for our own human
26 relationships, compelling us to respond with grace to those who have sinned. We are called to seek
27 reconciliation wherever possible, by standing against extreme and harsh measures and calling for
28 appropriately balanced measures that restore one to a right relationship with God and with one’s neighbors.
30 1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself,
31 or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
32 (Galatians 6:1-2)
34 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish
35 but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
37 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our
38 righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
40 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's
41 grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
43 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from
44 God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was
45 reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us
46 the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his
47 appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin
48 to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
1 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I
2 was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after
3 me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see
4 you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and
5 invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
6 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you
7 did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire
8 prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and
9 you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did
10 not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when
11 did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
12 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for
13 me.’ 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:35-46)
15 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we will show Gods grace by accepting those less fortunate than us. We will
16 seek to have a welcoming heart to those that are strangers in our land, showing them acts of kindness and
17 doing our part to understand other people’s cultures to better serve them through Gods love.
19 8. The Justice Principle: God’s people are called to seek justice for all persons proactively by calling for
20 just, fair, reasonable, and humane laws and serving as advocates and defenders for those who are
21 powerless, disenfranchised, and marginalized. Special attention ought to be given to protect the welfare of
22 children and innocent dependents of foreigners, regardless of their legal status.
24 33 When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. 34 The alien living with you must be treated
25 as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were
26 (Leviticus -34)
28 3Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 4 Rescue the
29 weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalms 82:3-4)
31 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat
32 the alien, denying them justice. (Ezekiel 22:29)
34 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love
35 mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
37 Action Step: As Wesleyans, we oppose and condemn all unjust and harsh laws, policies and measures
38 directed against immigrants among us, whether documented or undocumented. We will act as advocates for
39 just and humane policies for all people by all levels of government and in all parts of society.
42 COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS
43 Ronald D. Kelly, Secretary