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Statement from the AME Church on the US Federal Government Shutdown
Dear AME Members:

Please find below a statement from the African Methodist Episcopal Church Council of Bishops and the Social Action Commission:

Statement from the AME Church on the US Federal Government Shutdown

The servant leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its Social Action Commission is appalled at US Federal Government shut-down. The unwillingness of the Senate and the President to fully reopen the government and negotiate on immigration reform is hurting government workers and making America unsafe.

We must raise the question, "Is immigration reform rooted in making America safe for all, or is it a facade for the politics and policies of white supremacy? "

There is no debating the fact that the Senate passed a bill that would have provided money for border security and kept the government open and working.

There is no debating that the President supported the bill. Then, far right reactionary commentators began to stir up the fires of fear, hate, and racial hatred. Fearful of losing his "Make America GreatWhite Again" base the President reneged on his word and shut down parts of the Federal Government. This action not only hurt eight hundred thousand government workers and their families but also makes endangers Americans.

When American taxpayers are told that their tax refunds may be late, that hurts.

When people are told that the TSA agents, who are paid to keep air travel safe for all, are not being paid, that's not safe.

When children, the elderly, families and those who count on federal food programs for food security are told that the money to fund those programs will soon run out, that hurts.

When government workers and their families are told by a billionaire President that people are not being paid to support the shut down because they agree with the wall, that's hurtful, untrue and unsafe for our democracy.

The House will send the Republican-controlled Senate many bills that will put the government back to work while leaving the door to authentic immigrant reform and "national security" open. We are asking all our African Methodists churches, ministries and organizations to join other voices for justice and healing by:

1. Organizing to help those who are suffering from the loss of financial resources to pay bills, mortgages and provide for the basic needs of their families. Food pantries, clothes closets, gift cards, and financial help with bills and human necessities is a powerful witness

2. Make calls and send emails to your Senators and representatives to tear down the walls of insensitivity and suffering and build bridges of healing that will help get the government back to work, fund the SNAP and WIC food programs, and make America safe for all Americans.

3. Continue to work on voter registration and education. The shut-down is a political and policy issue that people of faith will be able to weigh in on in the upcoming Presidential primaries and the next 2020 election cycle.

4. Partner with community organizations that tangibly help people hurt by the shutdown.

5. Pray that God will encourage, equip and empower African Methodism to tear down the walls of separation, hatred, racism, sexism, ageism and economic inequality.

Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, President, Council of Bishops
Bishop McKinley Young, Senior Bishop
Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, President, General Board
Bishop Frank M. Reid III, Chair, Social Action Commission
Jeffery Cooper
General Secretary/CIO
African Methodist Episcopal Church

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