On December 3 leaders from various faith traditions conducted a news conference at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City to urge elected officials to warmly welcome – not fearfully turn away – thoroughly vetted refugees fleeing wars in Syria and other nations.
“The families of Syria have seen their homeland torn apart by a kind of terror and violence that few of us can imagine. In the face of such suffering, God’s call to us today is what it always has been: to welcome the stranger, and to show grace and hospitality to fellow children of God who have lost everything,” said Rev. Daniel Hilty, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City. “God invites us to be part of the solution to the refugee crisis, by demonstrating our highest ideals of compassion and understanding – to be out best selves, both as Missourian and as (for many of us) people of faith.”
The new conference was organized by the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation. Leaders were involved from the Disciples of Christ, Church World Service, Columbia Friends, the Missouri Catholic Conference and the Baptist Church.