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We receive it as a gift and embrace it, rather than treating it as a threat or a problem to be solved 1 Corinthians We respect and honor the diversity of histories, traditions, cultures, languages and experiences among us in the ELCA and in the larger Christian community of faith. We seek full participation of all in the life and work of this church and will strenuously avoid the culture of any one group becoming the norm for all in the ELCA.

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And we strive to address the ways that racism, sexism, classism and other forms of injustice limit participation and harm people, communities and the whole body of Christ. Christ has freed us from sin and death, even from ourselves, so that we can live as ministers of reconciliation in loving and generous service of our neighbors 2 Corinthians Freed by the transformative life of Christ, we support ELCA members as they give themselves freely in transforming service with the neighbor.

Through a wide range of daily vocations and ministries, we nurture faith, build alliances and gather resources for a healed, reconciled and just world. We discover and explore our vocations in relation to God through education and moral deliberation. We bear witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ through dialogue and collaboration with ecumenical partners and with other faiths. We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace.

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Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person--questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God's work in Christ's name for the life of the world. Virgin Islands At a time of rapid change driven by technology, globalization, and demographics, there are many Americans who are directing their fears toward immigrants, believing that they are changing the culture and values of the United States.

We have seen how these fears translate into harmful policies: our politicians are promising to wall off our borders and threatening to deport undocumented immigrants who had been granted protection because they arrived in the United States as children. While each successive wave of immigration adds to the unique blend of cultures that define the United States of America, it is wrong to believe that immigrants pose any threat to American values.

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These immigrants, for whom the reality of oppression or lack of freedom is a not so distant memory, come not to undermine our values, but to embrace them. What better reaffirmation exists for the strength of our values than the validation we receive daily from people seeking to immigrate here? It is true that America does not look like what it did in the past.

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What has remained constant is our values — a common belief in liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. This is how, out of many, we become one. Our diversity also contributes to our economic vitality. Instead of weakening our values and democracy as some may claim, immigrants enrich and revitalize our institutions and beliefs. While people may arrive as Mexicans, Russians, Ethiopians, or Chinese, over time they and their families become Americans.

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The Chinese Exclusion Act, the Immigration Act, or quota-based laws restricting immigration from certain parts of the world, are just a few examples of reactionary policies that gained wide support in the past. Today we are living through a resurgence of these sentiments. At a time of rapid change driven by technology, globalization, and demographics, there are many Americans who are directing their fears toward immigrants, believing that they are changing the culture and values of the United States. We have seen how these fears translate into harmful policies: our politicians are promising to wall off our borders and threatening to deport undocumented immigrants who had been granted protection because they arrived in the United States as children.

While each successive wave of immigration adds to the unique blend of cultures that define the United States of America, it is wrong to believe that immigrants pose any threat to American values.

These immigrants, for whom the reality of oppression or lack of freedom is a not so distant memory, come not to undermine our values, but to embrace them. What better reaffirmation exists for the strength of our values than the validation we receive daily from people seeking to immigrate here? It is true that America does not look like what it did in the past.

What has remained constant is our values — a common belief in liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. This is how, out of many, we become one. Our diversity also contributes to our economic vitality.