The Launching of the Colorado Compact (December 9th)
Dec 10, 2012 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
Sunday afternoon, December 9th, I took part of the launching of the Colorado Compact. This was a public press conference, which happened at the University of Denver. This effort brought together leaders from the business, law enforcement, and faith communities, along with a large number of politicians (Senators Bennett and Udall, Governor Hickenlooper and former Governor Ritter, Rep. Ed Pearlmutter, former Energy Secretary Federico Peña, and others). There also were several evangelical leaders there: Will Stoller-Lee (head of the Fuller Seminary Extension in Colorado Springs), Tom Melton (pastor at Greenwood Community Church), and Michelle Warren (local director of the Evangelical Immigration Table). Patty Kupfer, who is with America's Voice, and who worked to bring the faith communities into this effort, also was there.
I had the privilege of being one of the original signatories. I signed on behalf of the NHCLC (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference) and also represented Denver Seminary, as our president Mark Young was out of town. For the website, go to www.coloradocompact.com.
Here is Michelle Warren’s press release:
Michelle Warren (720-472-0871)
Evangelical Immigration Table
Local Evangelical Leader Support Shown for the Colorado Compact
Immigration reform gains momentum among Colorado evangelical leaders
Denver — The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of evangelical leaders that is advancing a cohesive immigration reform message and strategy on the national level, showed strong support for the Colorado Compact launch at the University of Denver today. The Colorado Compact is an effort to foster a more civil conversation around immigration that can result in real and lasting federal reform making clear the need for immediate action. The Compact highlights diverse voices that have come together to address a serious problem in a bipartisan and constructive manner. Its nearly one hundred signers include leaders from faith, law enforcement, business, agriculture and the Latino and advocacy communities. Seven of the 15 faith signatories of the Compact are also signatories of the Evangelical Immigration Table who are demonstrating their willingness to collaborate on behalf on immigration reform legislation.
The Evangelical Immigration Table, which launched in June 2012, is a group of over 150 national evangelical leaders from across the country who are responding to the moral, economic and political crisis that our broken immigration system has created. This broad coalition of evangelicals is coming together from diverse political and theological spectrums to unite on this issue. Today’s signatory representation of Colorado evangelical leaders who readily signed and support the Colorado Compact speaks to the movement that is occurring in evangelical circles all across the country. There is a new dialogue among evangelicals regarding the need to have a compassionate, biblical response to the often politically polarizing conversation about immigration.
While the press has been buzzing about the Hispanic vote and immigration reform as a top issue in the coming months, they don’t know that immigrant and non-immigrant Christians are uniting on the topic of immigration reform as a common ground issue; united not only by their common faith convictions but also from relationships. Before they think about their country of origin, they think about the God they both serve.
Colorado has been strategically working alongside the Evangelical Immigration Table at the national level to increase its evangelical leader engagement on this issue as well as educate their congregations on behalf of immigration theology and compassionate engagement. Today’s broad support by local evangelicals points to the gaining momentum that is being made as a result of this effort.
Several EIT signatories attended the event. Full quotes are below, and each can be contacted through Michelle Warren (listed above).
“I believe it is crucial that we in the Christian community encourage our country's leaders to lead in this area.” Pastor Tom Melton, Greenwood Community Church, Greenwood Village
“I am encouraged to see evangelical leaders coming together around the issue of immigration, asking that both parties find a just and equitable solution to the immigration crisis -one that protects families and offers hope. The scriptures are very clear that we are to love the alien and the stranger - as Christians we have no option but to find a better way.” Pastor Nick Lillo, Waterstone Community Church, Littleton
"Many of us have grown tired of the strident and divisive tone of the political debate in our country, but the Colorado Compact is a promising initiative to break through the current stalemate and produce a lasting bipartisan solution to the broken immigration system. Those of us in the evangelical community are also working to broaden support for this issue by creating opportunities for dialogue and understanding. There is a rich tradition in the Bible that emphasizes hospitality, both in terms of how we welcome the stranger and immigrant, and also how we engage in discussion with those who start from a different point of view. Our churches and our community desperately need this refreshing approach.” Will Stoller-Lee, Director, Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado, Colorado Springs