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Unaccompanied childrenWomen uplift unaccompanied children issue

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Delegates of the Ninth Triennial Convention of Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have committed the women’s organization to pray for guidance and direction in the current humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children entering the United States.

With 318 to 30 votes in favor, delegates of the convention approved a resolution that also encourages ELCA congregations to be places of hospitality and to share its action with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government to “welcome children who are seeking refuge from violence” and to “treat these children with compassion.”

According to the resolution, children arriving in the United States are leaving their home countries to seek protection from drug and sex trafficking, gang violence, political upheaval, labor, hunger and poverty and other risk factors rendering children vulnerable.

Speaking in favor of the resolution Nancy Giddings, a delegate from the synodical women’s organization of the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod and one of the resolution’s sponsors, said it “is being presented at a time when action is needed.”

“This resolution calls us to actions that we, as women of faith, are familiar with—prayer, education, being an advocate and hospitality,” Giddings told the convention. “It also calls for a step that some of us are not as familiar with—to go home and contact our representatives in Washington. The most important thing that we need to remember is that while some countries are claiming that the children do not belong to them, these children are all God's children, loved and treasured by God. The women of this organization should be there for the children because God will be there for the children.”

Sonja Hoffman, a delegate from the synodical women’s organization of the ELCA Oregon Synod and another sponsor of the resolution, also spoke in favor of it. “The children of our world are one of our most valuable resources and the future for our peace in our world. Unfortunately, they are the ones who suffer the most from war, poverty and discrimination. Through resolutions like this and by the grace of God, we are able to and must demonstrate compassion, understanding, hope, hospitality and justice to the vulnerable children crossing our borders.”

No delegates spoke in opposition of the resolution.

Provided by the ELCA News Service