Love your Neighbor

Rapid deportation often leads to deportation of the wrong people. (Australian Broadcast)

On Sunday we will watch this short video giving the story of a person wrongfully deported and discuss the parable of the “Good Samaritan” from Luke’s Gospel. What would Jesus have us do when our neighbors are being mistreated by our own government?

The presentation from this day’s class (10/13/2019) is now available online.

Welcoming the Foreigner

This morning’s presentation, “Welcoming the Foreigner” is now online. You can view it here.

We read the 1 Kings account of Solomon’s dedication of the first temple to YHWH in Jerusalem, and considered what that text implies regarding what it is to be church for immigrants today. I thank all of you who attended.

Welcoming the Foreigner

Tomorrow morning we will read 1 Kings 8:41-43 and discuss what we can do as a church to welcome the foreigner. We will watch the short film (3+ minutes) “The Inn Without Borders / La Posada Sin Fronteras” and contemplate what it means to be church for the undocumented immigrant.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): What will become of these young people?

Video by The Atlantic, Feb 3, 2017

On September 29 we will discuss the plight of DACA recipients in light of what Ancient Israel’s legal tradition had to say about treatment of foreigners within Israel’s borders. Should those same principles apply now? What would be different if they did?

Two texts will frame our discussion, both from the book of Leviticus: 19:33-34 and 24:22.

The Syro-Ephaimite War and Legislating Evil

Map: the Syro-Ephraimite War

I have updated the presentation from this morning’s class (September 22, 2019). You can view it by going to the class schedule page and clicking on the word “Presentation” to the right of today’s date, or by clicking here.

Returning Asylum Seekers to Juarez, Mexico: Is this consistent with American Law? Is it morally defensible?

On September 11, 2019, the Washington Post published a video about the new policy to return asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for a judgment on their asylum claims. Many see this as a clear violation of US law, and court challenges are ongoing.

We will discuss this issue in class on October 6 in the session entitled “Welcoming the Stranger”.

Presentation from Week 1: Who is the Stranger / Foreigner

Neighbors stop ICE from arresting a member of their community

I have posted the presentation from this morning’s class to the website. You can view it here. You will be able to get the presentation from each week’s class by going to the class schedule after class. Look in the right hand column for the word “Presentation”.

If you would like to read the testimony of Stacey Farley, one of the people who helped stop ICE from capturing her neighbors in the video we saw this morning, you can find her account here. She narrated her experience to Celia Darrough who wrote it up as an article at Bustle.com: “I Joined A Human Chain To Stop ICE From Taking My Neighbors & I’d Do It Again.”

Launch Sunday September 8

Photo of launch by John Kraus

On September 8, 2019 people interested in adult classes at Binkley will meet together in the sanctuary to hear about the class choices. Our class will not meet that day, but information about it will be provided for all who attend the event in the sanctuary.

Jesus Deported: The Foreigner in the Bible and in Today’s Political Climate

I have just posted a page describing the class I will be teaching this fall at Binkley Church, Chapel Hill, NC. If you are in the area, we would love to have you join us.

I will be posting a class schedule later, and throughout the semester I will post related materials to support what the class is doing.

Added Aug. 31, 2019: The class schedule is now live.

Jim Sommerville on Politics from the Pulpit

Jim Sommerville, Pastor of First Baptist Richmond
Jim Sommerville, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Richmond

On October 16 Jim Sommerville, pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church, published a blog post entitled, “My Political Agenda.” He may  as well have called it “My Ethical Agenda” because the thrust of the post is a justification of preaching the ethics of the gospel, acknowledging current ethical issues yet not endorsing any particular political party. This is a pressing issue in our current political environment. What should the role of local pastors be in political debate? How does one distinguish between political commentary and preaching the requirements of the gospel?

I recommend Pastor Sommerville’s blog for any who are concerned about this issue.

Read the post from Jim Sommerville’s blog.

Pastor Sommerville’s blog post was one of the documents discussed in this morning’s class at Binkley. I regret that I was unable to attend that discussion. If you did attend, please feel free to comment here.