Monday, May 28, 2012

A Task for Memorial Day

Monday, May 28, 2012 -- Week of Proper 3, Year Two
John Calvin, Theologian, 1564

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 969)
Psalms 25 (morning)        //        9, 15 (evening)
Proverbs 10:1-12  
1 Timothy 1:1-17
Matthew 12:22-32

[Go to for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

A Prayer for Memorial Day
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.  Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines.  This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (Book of Common Prayer, p. 839)

On Memorial Day there is something I can think of that would be an appropriate act of solidarity with those who have sacrificed for the protection of freedom and for the security of our families.  It would be to go to the U.S. Citizenship and and Immigration Services website and offer a comment to support a proposed rule change that would allow families to stay together in this country while they petition for residency status for one of their loved ones.

Currently, if a U.S. citizen wants to petition for a parent or spouse or child to be allowed to waive the requirement for their family member who does not have legal status in this country to be able to apply for a hardship waiver, that immigrant has to leave their family in this country and risk a 3 to 10 year wait in their country of origin, hoping their application will be approved.  These things usually take years. 

Families are unwilling to let their bread-winner, or their child, go back to a country that they may have left a decade ago or more, on the chance that they will be given a wavier.  What is the family to do in the meantime?

Maria is a local mother of three children -- all citizens of the U.S.  Maria was brought here by her husband when she was seventeen.  They entered illegally in a harrowing walk through the desert.  She's been here seventeen years.  She's an upstanding neighbor and a regular parent volunteer in two local schools.  She would like to apply for legal status.  To do so, she would have to leave her three children -- 16, 12, and 10 -- in order to apply for residency.  She's now a single mother.  She can't do that. 

But there is hope.  There is a proposed policy change that could help good people like Maria.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a rule that would allow an application for a provisional waiver of the 3-to-10 year bar while remaining in the U.S.  If Maria could show that her being barred for that time would pose an extreme hardship on a U.S. citizen, she could pursue legal status without having to abandon her family or taking them to a country they do not know.

For those of us who are pro-family, this is good news.  But we need to speak up now to support the proposed rule change.  USCIS is taking comments on the rule through the end of May.  Go to to learn more.  Or to submit your own comment, to go  (note the widow only stays open for 20 minutes, so work quickly).

Hurry.  You've only got through this Thursday before the comment period closes.  Help our laws keep families together rather than separating them.  Submit your comment of support to give families like Maria a chance to stay together, a chance for a good life.

What a good thing to do on Memorial Day.  Advocate for families who wish to pursue the American Dream -- to live in freedom.  Advance the values so many have given their lives for. 

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"  (inscription on the Statue of Liberty)

Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to:

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site at this location

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Done.....Will you post this on the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Facebook page? I would, but don't know how.

On this Memorial Day, I think about all who have died, or been injured, during the many wars brought on by competing religious beliefs and by prospects of greed. Peace and Hope, Caroline

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

I'm sorry. I am illiterate when it comes to Facebook. I don't have a Facebook page of my own.


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