Episcopalians keep up the prayer, pressure over immigration

KGW8 in Oregon reports on a prayer service outside a federal prison housing ICE detainees this past Sunday:

Sunday’s action was just the latest in a week which included lawsuits to force the government to relent.

Sunday, the tool was prayer.

“Prayer pressure is primary reality for me. And its what makes me feel this is worth doing,” said retired Episcopal priest Christopher Laing as he waited for the service to begin.

Ministers from several denominations, both Christian and non-Christian, gathered with their members.

For many, it was an obvious choice.

“The best place we could have church is where people are suffering, where people are facing oppression,” said Rev. Elizabeth Durant of the First Congregational Church located in downtown Portland. “And there are 123 men in this prison behind me that are not prisoners, they are people seeking asylum.”

The Portland-area leader of the Methodist church felt an extra responsibility to attend, to let the world know the U.S. Attorney General is wrong.

“Because Jeff Sessions is a United Methodist, it was important for us to make a statement against his actions, which are contrary to Methodist teaching,” said Erin Martin.

The service included prayers, sermons and singing.

Several people waved their arms and held signs out for those on the other side of the fence and razor wire.

Read more and find video of the service at KGW8.com

The prayers and public witness continue less than two weeks before General Convention’s planned prayer service outside an ICE detention center in Taylor, Texas, about forty minutes away from the Episcopal Church’s triennial meeting in Austin.

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