Bishop Statement


Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA


Bishop Steven Delzer
January 31, 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

With regard to how we as the people of God relate to immigrants and refugees, Scripture is very clear:
  • The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:34
  • You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice...Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. - Deuteronomy 24:17-18
  • Jesus said: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me . . . Just as you did it to one of the least of these members of my family, you did it to me." - Matthew 25:35 & 40
When we were confirmed or joined an ELCA congregation, we were asked: "Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:
to live among God's faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper,
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
to serve ALL PEOPLE, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace in ALL THE EARTH?"
And we responded: "I do, and I ask God to help me."
It's time for us to heed the word of God and make good on that promise.

To help with that, I invite you to read the following messages: 
  • From Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (link)
  • From Minnesota Council of Churches (link
  • From World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, and The Lutheran World Federation (link
  • From Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (link
  • From Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (link
Please join me in prayer and action on behalf of immigrants and refugees:
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth; so that, in your good time, every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Bishop Steven Delzer
Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, 1001 14th Street NW, Suite 300, Rochester, MN 55901
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