This updated letter, now with 46 signatures and a still wider representation of congregations and denominations!
It was first shared with the public at the ecumenical/multi-ethnic worship service, that was held a College Mennonite Church.
Thank you again for the part you play in bringing the good news of Gods reconciliation to our community.
December 3, 2006
We are pastors and leaders in different congregations, representing different denominations, with differences in theology. But we are united in our love for Christ, our concern for the community of Goshen, and our heightened distress over the plight of recent immigrants in our midst. In the past months, we have heard from our Hispanic brothers and sisters of a sharp increase in fear, harassment, and perceived targeting by others in the community. These splits in the fabric of our community concern us greatly.
As people guided by the Holy Bible, we believe God calls us to treat the stranger who sojourns among us as the native, to love the stranger as our self (Leviticus 19:34); and to welcome the stranger, because in doing so we welcome Jesus (Matthew 25:35).
We do not condone illegal activity, but neither do we condone lack of charity, compassion and welcome toward entire ethnic groups.
We trust that all civic-minded members of the community, including our public officials, share our desire for a safe, diverse, and harmonious city. The participation of city leaders, such as the mayor and police chief, in the Community Dialogue meetings and other forums has been particularly helpful. We call on all members of the community, in this time of increased tension, to build trust, offer kindness, and outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10).
Neil Amstutz, Pastor/Team Leader
Deron Brill Bergstresser, Co-Pastor
Kay Bontrager-Singer, Co-Pastor
Jane Stoltzfus Buller, Pastor
Kevin Farmwald, Pastor
Firman Gingerich, Pastor
Rev. Alan L. Griffin, Pastor
Jose Luis Gutíerrez, Pastor
David Helmuth, Overseer
Samuel Hernández, Pastor
Rev. Clair Hochstetler, Chaplain
Kristen Hoober, Pastor
Kim Huffman, Sr. Minister
Nancy Kauffmann, Conference Minister
Douglas Kaufman, Pastor
Lois Kaufmann, Co-Pastor
Anita Yoder Kehr, Pastor
Pastor John von Lackum
Dean Linsenmeyer, Lead Pastor
Brenda Meyer, Pastor
Victor Mojica, Pastor
José Ortiz, Pastor
Brenda Sawatzky Paetkau, Pastor
Captain Jason Pollom, Corps Officer
Duane Schafer, Pastor
Tina Schlabach, Pastor of Care
Dan Schrock, Pastor,
Troy Scott, Senior Pastor
Karl S. Shelly, Co-Pastor
Mel L. Shetler, Pastor
Ben W. Shirk, Pastor
Bob Shreiner, Coordinator of Pastoral Care
Steve Slagel, Pastor
Rev. Christopher L. Smith, Pastor
Klaudia Smucker, Pastor
Rev. Ron Spyker
Tim Stair, Minister of Outreach
David Swartley, Director of Parish Services
Steve Thomas, Pastor
Jorge Vielman, Pastor
Tim Waits, Pastor
James H. Waltner, Overseer
Rosemary Widmer, Pastor
Mary Lehman Yoder, Co-Pastor