Strangers and Sojourners

A central tenant of the Christian faith is hospitality and care for the stranger. So, in our nation’s present time of discord and divide, it is no surprise that Gordon students, faculty and staff have rallied across political and denominational differences to launch several initiatives and conversations on standing with the strangers and sojourners in our midst.

Dean of Student Engagement Nick Rowe will lead a forum on February 20 from 5–6:30 p.m. entitled “For You Yourselves Were Foreigners in Egypt: A Faculty Panel on DACA and Other Immigration Matters.” Featured speakers Drs. Dan Darko, Mark Gedney and Ruth Melkonian-Hoover aim to inform community response as students discern the philosophical, political and theological implications of recent executive actions. This event is open to the public.

Students in the Social Justice Initiative will host a series on immigration next month—featuring Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief, for a March 29 Chapel address on “Our Opportunity for Public Faithfulness,” and Lisa Sharon Harper, chief church engagement officer at Sojourners, for a special Convocation presentation on March 31. Both events are open to the public.

Students are in the midst of organizing a time to share about refugee experiences. Likewise, the Chapel Office is hosting a spiritual life group around the book Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephan Bauman, executive director of a philanthropic foundation serving the least resourced and accessible places of the world.

The Gordon College Student Association, in conjunction with Student Life, will welcome an immigration expert next month to train students and staff on state and federal laws concerning civil rights, questions of legality and potential changes to the DACA program—even as Gordon continues its long, proud history of educating students from diverse geographical, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

These efforts and many more may be best summarized in the words of World Relief CEO and Gordon Trustee Tim Breene, who recently wrote, “Let us not compromise our compassion. It is what makes us human. And it is the way of Jesus.”