Today's Issues

PC(USA) leaders mourn victims of Orlando nightclub tragedy, recommit to advocating for a just society

June 14, 2016

Louisville

We join our heavy hearts with the great multitude of those who mourn the killing and maiming of so many of our brothers and sisters at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida.

As people of the Reformed tradition, we are not naïve about the reality of evil in the world in which we live, or the capacity within us all to choose evil over good. Nor can we doubt the profound capacity to accomplish such evil deeds in a society overrun with weapons designed to kill. Even so, it is shocking when that evil is manifest in such a horrendous way.  

We applaud the courage of those touched by these killings, who even in their grief, have joined together to declare their intention to stand firm against all the forces in the nation and the world who wish them harm. We pledge our support to them and promise to work with them, as we seek to quell all the forces in our society that divide us.

It would be naïve to ignore the implications of this brutal attack for the LGBTQ community as a whole. Likewise, we would be remiss if we did not also acknowledge the fact that the attack in Orlando primarily impacted people of color, particularly the Latinx community. This provides a painful reminder that experiences of oppression are shaped by multiple social identities and lived experiences.

Facing this evil, we reaffirm the commitment of our own General Assembly to oppose all efforts to demean or exclude those in our society and our churches whose sexual orientation has made them targets of abuse and hatred.

In that regard, we stand with our friends in the Muslim community, knowing that there are those who continue to stereotype all persons of Muslim faith or identity, and who will characterize the attack as further evidence of the danger posed by such persons within our midst. We also stand also with immigrants and oppose any effort to turn this tragedy into a cynical opportunity to demonize people who seek freedom of movement.

As we share our grief for those lost and those scarred by this violence, let us renew our own mandate from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to choose love over hate in all our relationships and to “seek the peace of the city” in the living out of our faith.

Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

 

Syrian Refugee Crisis

First Presbyterian Church welcomes refugees to Elkhart and the state of Indiana. We take this position as an expression of love and concern as directed by our faith, and in obedience to God's commandments. In the 175 years of ministry, this church has welcomed and sponsored refugees. 

 

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Refugees and Our Church

First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart has provided funds, support and sponsorship to refugees from World War II. The Hungarian Revolt of 1956, and the Vietnam war.

We are called to welcome Syrian refugees to our church and community and the State of Indiana.

Resolution of the FPC Session in Support of Syrian Refugees

From the Session of the First Presbyterian Church
Elkhart, Indiana
December 8, 2015

"As believers in God's commandment to love our brothers and sisters as ourselves, and as citizens of a nation with welcome and compassion at its historical heart, we offer this statement on the current global refugee crisis:

Every refugee is a child of God. Whatever nationality, religion, or ethnicity, every refugee deserves respect and care.

While we respect and understand concerns about personal and national security, we believe the suffering and desperation of those fleeing war requires and urgent and loving response.

It is with these convictions, and in the determination to follow the teachings of Jesus, that we commit our energies, time and resources to helping all of God's children seeking refuge in these troubled times."

If you are interested in donating resources to the Presbyterian 

Disaster Relief Effort around this crisis, please click here.