Fortress Press

They Are Us, Second Edition: Lutherans and Immigration

They Are Us, Second Edition

Lutherans and Immigration

Stephen P. Bouman (Author), Ralston Deffenbaugh (Author), Martin E. Marty (Foreword by)

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Although written from a Lutheran religious tradition, the invitation and reach of They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration, Second Edition is broad and inclusive. It includes all who are in touch with their own immigrant forebears and who share deeply spiritual hopes for our communal life. Authors Stephen Bouman and Ralston Deffenbaugh observe that ten years after they wrote the first edition of this book, immigration is an even more contentious issue in society and the church, and immigrants are much more vulnerable, mistreated, and blamed than ever before.

They Are Us encourages congregations to engage in the public space with grace and to offer hospitality in an often-alien world. The authors propose that the church, at every level, from local to national to global, work to transform our present polarization and fear and lead to real change. They envision a community that offers a haven for every refugee, a job for every migrant, a home for every immigrant--a vision that is profoundly biblical and deeply faithful.

Through stories of crisis and hope, They Are Us helps Christian communities understand themselves and their ministries as part of God's narrative of love and hospitality for the little, the lost, the last, and the least. These stories show there is no greater power to unite our divided, angry, and fearful church and society than the presence of the crucified and risen Christ among us.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506464213
  • eBook ISBN 9781506464220
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 234
  • Publication Date November 3, 2020

Endorsements

"This updated second edition of They Are Us takes us into the formation of the ELCA AMMPARO Initiative (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities), which helps us see the faces of the children and families from Central America and other places seeking our welcome, and shows us how we can become involved. As one who sees the gifts that immigrants and refugees bring to all of us, this book speaks to my heart."
Reverend Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"The second edition of They Are Us could not be more timely. Through many heart-rending immigrant stories as well as poignant data on immigration issues globally and in the US, Bouman and Deffenbaugh call the church and all people of good will into the responsibility and joy of welcoming the stranger."
Reverend Doctor Martin Junge, General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation
"Faith communities are familiar with God's call to 'welcome the stranger.' The authors direct the church back to its ancient first love of accompanying strangers in the name of Christ and seeking justice on their behalf, as an inspiration and guide to orient the church's ministry today."
Reverend Amy E. Reumann, Director of Advocacy, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"As the ongoing global refugee crisis shows no signs of abating and climate crisis-induced migration increases, we are at a perilous crossroads that will determine whether 'radical hospitality' will unify faith communities and be reflected in US immigration policy. An all-encompassing welcome, in our hearts and in our homes, reflects Stephen Bouman's and Ralston Deffenbaugh's position that immigrants have inherent humanity."
Ms. Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
"If your conscience is nudging you away from the fear and judgment that keeps our system broken and our hearts hardened, then delve into They Are Us. It will stir your soul, challenge your faith, remind you about God's longing for radical hospitality, and give you the tools to realize it in your community."
Reverend Margaret G. Payne, Retired Bishop of the New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"In a time when immigration topics are so complex and even divisive, Stephen Bouman and Ralston Deffenbaugh are clear in this second edition of They Are Us that Lutherans have always welcomed the stranger because of our Christian call to action. The vivid and descriptive stories in this book show the constant need for advocacy and compassionate work among asylum seekers."
Reverend Pedro M. Suarez, Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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