A strange event took place at church this past Sunday. Our guest artist and worship leader, Byron Moyer Suderman had us singing a little song that bunched together all the teaching of John Howard Yoder. The song was simply “When you Learn to Follow Jesus you will Act a Little Strange.”
So we had a table with an unusual sign inviting Mennonites to act a little strangely. For we who were known as the quiet in the land were invited to “pray and fax.” We were urged to send a prayer to our God, and to fax a message to our US senators and representative in congress on behalf of immigrants.
On second thought, this behavior wasn’t so strange. College Mennonite Church welcomes a church of Spanish speaking persons to a Sunday Morning service designed for their needs. Perhaps the idea for the “pray and fax” table originated with the Spanish speaking persons who worship with us. So it is not strange that our church is invited to pray and fax that congress persons find ways for just, fair and compassionate immigration reform in our nation and for those who wait for and work for such reform.
Also, Arca de Salvacion of Ft. Myers, FL. and College Mennonite are sister churches. The Mennonite sent word of a gathering at Arca de Salvcion on May 3 and 4 of those who are undocumented aliens or their allies and will not go to the Mennonite General Assembly at Phoenix, Arizona. So, CMC’s praying and faxing is not strange behavior, but normal and consistent with our relationship as brothers and sisters. Perhaps the idea to pray and fax sprang from this blessed relationship of sister churches.
Finally, Mennonite Church USA has joined other Christian churches in calling for the next forty days to be a time to ponder selected scriptures that relate to the treatment of aliens. College Mennonite Church is emailing daily reminders of the selected scriptures. Today’s scripture was from Exodus 12:49 “there shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.” Perhaps the idea to pray and fax sprang from our connection with Mennonite Church USA.
Or the idea may have come to our church leaders because we are learning to follow Jesus and are acting a little strangely, as we sang with Sudderman.