Foundry United Methodist Church

Rev. Dean Snyder, Senior Minister




Statement regarding H.R. 4437

Sunday, March 5, 2006



Rev. Dean Snyder


I would like to make a comment about a matter of national concern.  This past week Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles made a prophetic witness when he announced that, if proposed anti-immigration legislation is passed by Congress, he would instruct his priests not to obey it.  This morning, I want to applaud and endorse Cardinal Mahony’s statement. 


The bill that has been passed by the House of Representatives, HR 4437, and that is now before the Senate to be considered to pass into law is considered a mean-spirited bill in many ways, but it especially impacts churches like ours by expanding the definition of “alien smuggling” to potentially feeding so-called illegal aliens in soup kitchens or providing them with a bed in a shelter.  Cardinal Roger Mahony has made it clear that one’s status with immigration will not affect whether his diocese provides food, shelter, and clothing to people who need it.


As a seminarian more than thirty years ago, I wrote my first paper in my first Old Testament course on the biblical law of the stranger or the alien in our midst.  Probably the most primal, basic teaching of Scripture is hospitality to the stranger and protection of the alien.  Knowing those who minister in Foundry’s Walk-in Mission and our outreach to the day laborers at 15th and P and in our other ministries, I am confident that Foundry Church will never deny a hungry person a sandwich because of his or her immigration status.  I am sure that we will never deny someone clothing or other forms of care that we provide because of his or her immigration status.


This Tuesday, some of our members will be joining some of the day laborers who are our friends, the day laborers at 15th and P, and the National Capitol Immigration Coalition for a witness against this bill HR 4437 at the Capitol at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  I plan to be there to support those persons in our congregation, especially who have been ministering and have become part of the community supporting the day laborers.  I plan to be there support and encourage them and encourage as many of us as are able to be there for this witness, as well.