Jun  2018 21
Statement on Family Separations from the ATS Meeting in Denver

Friends of Phillips,

Please see the statement drafted and approved by deans and presidents of three groups the Association of Theological Schools. I am grateful for and resonate with the statement. It is a statement I endorse and that is consistent with the values of Phillips Seminary.

Unfortunately, after examination of the ATS bylaws and procedures, and then after some debate during a business session, there was not a fitting process in the peer association of the ATS for affirming this document, as a body, and some school representatives are not authorized to speak for their schools. However, those of us who endorse it and can speak for our schools are doing so. Please share as you see fit.

Gary Peluso-Verdend

President of Phillips Theological Seminary

STATEMENT:

"[Pharaoh's daughter] saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him." —Exodus 2:5

A child crossed a river, against the law, as his mother sought desperately to protect his life. On the other side, Pharaoh's daughter saw the child, heard his cry, and was moved to act. She enacted what God would later do-"for I have heard the cry of my people ... and I have come to deliver them."

Gathered in Denver, Colorado, for the 100th Biennial of the Association of Theological Schools, as leaders of our schools and communities we call on the United States administration to immediately stop the immoral practice of separating families as part of immigration enforcement, dedicate the needed resources to reunite those who have already been separated , and pu rsue humane policies that reflect our values and protect the dignity of all. Together with millions of member s of our widely diverse denominational traditions, we have heard the cries of child ren at the US/Mexico border and call for immediate action .

We are committed, as our predecessors have been when acting at their best over the 100 years of our association, to engage the theological questions of our day. Central to this task is the careful reading of Scripture that avoids the past justification of state sanctioned atrocities.

On this World Refugee Day, we remember that Jesus and his family were themselves refugees, and aware that many of our schools were founded in response to the cries of and by the agency of generations of immigrants, we call on our elected leaders to lead with courage and grace rather than with fear.

This statement comes with the full support of the Latino/a Presidents and Deans, the African American Presidents and Deans, and the Asian Descent Presidents and Deans for consideration by the whole body of ATS .



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