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For instance, here is a review by Eric Miller, who was also a speaker at Jubilee this year. It is very, very well done. I think if you read some of this stuff and come to grasp it well, it will truly be a game-changer, as they say. The Biblical notion of vocation can fund a meaningful and transformative view of the role of work; such a vision for the dignity and influence of work must be more seriously explored in our faith communities. And one of the big things that matters is our sense of calling, our vocation, our work.

God bless those who are going in to ministry, but what about those going in to chemistry? Why, when we affirm labor at all in church, is it so typically uninspiring and not very robust?

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Did you know that there is a pre-conference gathering each year for adults called Jubilee Professional where faith-based workers, entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders from the world of Pittsburgh corporations, start-ups, non-profits, and leadership consultancies gather to reflect on the same themes as the CCO student gathering?

Every town should be as fortunate as Pittsburgh, having an organization like Serving Leaders. My few moments on their stage, with their business and civic leaders, was a thrill; moments like that remind Beth and I of some of our more grandiose hopes and dreams for our bookish mission. You go, Jubilee Pro! Amy spoke at Jubilee Pro and addressed nearly a quarter of the Jubby kids as well.

That he is an architect who designs baseball stadiums like the wonderful PNC Park is pretty cool. Kudos to Rev. Nelson for writing in conversation with guys like Greusel. And thanks to Greusel for coming to Jubilee to speak with undergrads and architect students! What a gift for such students to converse with such a mentor. So I love the book by Nelson Work Matters , and commend it to you. But Kingdom Callings , by Amy Sherman, is particularly apropos for this Jubilee take-away point that we are to serve God in our work and that that may mean doing more than just showing up and being morally good and professionally admirable, with a nice willingness to talk about faith.

Kingdom Callings is a visionary—dare I say audacious —book which holds up other models, other strategies, if you will, of how to be faithful in the work-world. That is, when Wall Street for instance prospers but does so in ways that do not illustrate a profound commitment to the common good, it makes sense that folks feel resentful; it is understandable, I think to be uneasy about the success of our neighbors if their financial gain comes at the expense of norms and values that we know to be vital for the social fabric.

Sherman inspires us to relate our faith and Biblical understandings to the work-world and to our callings as culture makers and then she ratchets up the challenge by pondering the implications of this Proverb. Are we stewarding our vocations, leveraging our influences in ways that are just and help the cause of local flourishing? Has your pastor asked you about that, ever? Pastors: is your city happy about the success of the business folk of your congregation? Do the social entrepreneurs and reformers and visionaries of your city feel supported by your church as they fight the good fight, day by day?

And, not incidentally, do the poor of your neighborho od feel blessed by the success of your more middle class members? I am not kidding: this is the Jubilee vision par excellence —relating faith and life, yes, bringing Christian principles to bear in the work-world and academy and marketplace, yes, but doing it in a way that brings service and goodness—virtuous human flourishing—to the social fabric and even to the needy and hurting.

Nobody combines this reformational worldview perspective with common good missional service like Jubilee, and nobody has explored this as seriously for callings and careers as has Ms Sherman. Buy a couple of Kingdom Callings , please! A third take-away idea from Jubilee is that disciple-making ministry must be relational as we network folks with helpful communities of growth and service.

Which includes realizing that reading is a spiritual discipline and that leaders must be life-long learners. Jubilee is zany and fun and big and loud. Even the kids get worn out, and we oldsters smac the sides of heads after midnight when our ears are ringing. There were several graduate schools represented and mission agencies and summer opportunities for students, from working in Christian camping to serving in urban missions to options for leadership development in places like the Ocean City Beach Project.

This is an event that works hard to network people, to dream big, to get kids thinking about their lives and their choices and their affiliations. Here is a question that frames the first part of this take-away: are you helping those whom you mentor especially the young to think about their whole lives with passion and purpose?

Pastor's Note | Grace United Methodist Church

Of course we need to run Bible studies and help people learn the basics of Christian growth. And we need to invite them into the bigger story of God. But alongside the proclamation of this worldviewish c-f-r-r narrative and the centrality of thinking about work as a vocation and holy calling, the CCO and Jubilee models what I want to call missional intentionality. I wonder how many pastors invite young adults to work at a summer camp, or suggest that they attend a conference, or network them with a discipleship opportunity, or introduce them to people who can help them on the next leg of their journey?

If you see a good article on facebook, do you share it with somebody who needs that information?

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If you are spiritually guiding a younger believer, do you invite them to plan ways they can use their gifts in choosing a major, then invite them to think about short-term mission projects that use their talents and gifts? Do you help find for them opportunities to plug in to service organizations?

Just for one small instance of this relational ministry model, I wonder if congregational leaders follow up after somebody takes on a Compassion child, making sure the community celebrates this new relationship and obligation? I hope those who did not only are affirmed in their college fellowship groups but that their home churches are invited in to follow up on the story.

And, now, for the second part of this take away point—drum roll, please—the CCO and Jubilee are right to do this by using books. In this information age or inventive age, as Doug Pagitt describes our era in a book by that title most Christians are simply going to have to rethink some things, study some new stuff, bone up on their Bible and theology, and learn from the ways others are articulating our Christian callings.

It seems to me a mark of either shallowness or hubris to think you can live this Kingdom vision thing in a complicated world without being dri ven to serious study and learning and prayer, too, for that matter. Look, friends, this Jubilee vision, wide-as-life discipleship, in-the-world-but-not-of-it posture of culturally-reforming Christ-honoring, Kingdom callings is no simple matter.

Jamie Smith put it bluntly Friday night when he said it just might get you killed. So, surprise, surprise, I hope people buy books, form study groups, commit to re-considering and re-learning things, entertaining new ideas, and move forward with new hope of transforming discipleship in fresh and faithful ways. Semper reformans, semper reformanda and all that, you know. I rejoice that many congregations from many quarters are doing good, good stuff. But it is true that these squares of paper and ink are, in fact, tools for our work, ammunition for the battle, bread for the journey. CCO really gets this call to the reformation of thinking and the necessarily habit of Christian reading.

It has from its earliest days told their staff to read widely, to study deeply, and to use books as they disciple and mentor students. There was a CCO bookseller before me, and I trust there will be one after me. They know that readers become leaders. Students loved David at Jubilee, by the way, as he invited them to consider why so many of their peers walk away from church and faith and what they might do about it.

It just blows me away to consider that one of the truths uncovered in the research that David did and that is explained in this book is how many high school students going off to college express interest in science-related majors and how many of them report that their church or youth group has never once in their memory offered any affirmation of the sciences. So, CCO helps these students who are coming to realize that there is much Christian learning to do and that it is exciting to explore ideas in light of the gospel.

Many want to rise to the occasion when we tell them that the word disciple in the Bible means learner. Life-long learners are needed, now more than ever. Does your church foster an ethos of learning, of reading, of study? Do they get excited when Romans or 2 Timothy comes around in the lectionary? Books and reading matters for those committed to the Jubilee vision and for those who mentor others in Kingdom discipleship. Just as the apostle Paul ordered books near the end of his life see 2 Timothy CCO staff buy books for their students. It was a joy watching some of them walk students around the book tables, asking us to help suggest a book for this or that major, this or that interest, this or that topic.

How humbling to be invited into this face-to-face ministry! Again, this is a huge take-away for me: I want to be more intentional about doing relational ministry and, naturally, think that books are necessary tools to enhance that. Do you, dear reader, invest in those around you, giving away books, sharing enthusiasm for authors, inviting people to lectures, classes, book clubs and reading groups, coming alongside others as they seek to think and learn in faithful ways?

Is reading central to your vision of discipleship? Do you pass on books to others, share our BookNotes reviews, help your friends and church members join the conversations about the relationship of faith and the modern world? We stand ready to continue to serve CCO students and Jubilee participants and everybody else looking in on this movement as we carry forward this conversation and nurture a lifestyle of learning for Kingdom service. We hope our many friends and customers in their own places and ministry settings, seek out good books for good learning.

Colossians insists doxologically that all that matters everything! Thanks for letting us play a role in your on-going faithfulness. We are immensely grateful and eager to serve in this way. We hope that you, like we, are inspired when thinking of the good work of the CCO and the vibrant witness of the Jubilee conference. As one Jewish-minded friend wrote at the end: next year in Jerusalem. See ya in Pittsburgh, February !

With every order you get a free book. The main chapters are by Cal DeWitt, a fine and esteemed environmental scholar who has spoken at Jubilee in the past, and then there are three chapters in response by three other thoughtful leaders. We will offer this one absolutely free to anyone who orders a book from this column. Here are a few more books that we featured at Jubilee, just a random batch that show the breadth of interesting topics and good reading available for those wanting a Kingdom perspective, living into the ways of God in all of life.

One freebie per order, though…. He was talking about how although the possibilities for gadgets and gizmos is rooted in the good creation order, such things can come back to haunt us. This is theologically meaty, written by a former engineer who is fluent in serious philosophy and astute cultural discernment. In this one, Ehrmann tells of how caring coaching can transform players into better people.

Sounds like a Jubilee-type book! Highly recommended. She made an important documentary about factory farms. This is written by her boss, and is a very moving, reasonable argument. But this new work is as good as it gets, offering serious, mature reflections on four key practices that allow our congregations and fellowships to be more authentic communities.

And we have some on urban design, new urbanism, stuff for architects and planners. This is foundational for any, ruminations on how to embody our discipleship amidst the cityscape. I know some churches have film nights and such, but many need some insight about mature, Christian approaches. Glad they had a workshop on this at Jubilee, done by Greg Veltman.

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There is intuitive wisdom needed and great joy to be found. So true. Here ya go. This is a collection of some of the talks given at a program Eric runs in New York, that hosts some of the best spokespeople for Christian thinking in the world today. Highly recommended, especially at this discounted price! This is a huge, huge theme with younger adults as it should be with all of us —God with us.

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Jethani is a good writer, a creative thinker, a helpful guide allowing us to reject less than fully faithful assumptions about our walk with God. Wright, one would think this assessable book would be a must-read. It explores the theme of the Kingdom of God and helps explain so, so much of what we are about. Love it. The cover is classy, if a tad dark, but the book is upbeat and informative. You may know Marcus as a key leader in the helpful High Callings blog. He spoke at Jubilee, but not about poetry, so we have a stack of these.

Worth every dime; they make lovely little gifts, and is worthy of repeated readings. The implications are heavy: Christians ought not to too easily identify with either American political party, and must work hard to be discerning about ideological assumptions that do not comport with a balanced, Biblical perspective. Sad, though, because this is a gem of a book, a treasure chest full of specific ideas, using all our senses. Very impressive, with great ideas about how to relate faith and health care.

The Jubilee speaker for education majors this year works in a underfunded city school, and knows first hand the challenges and rewards of this. I say read anything Kozol writes. Here is one of his most popular, searing as it is. Here, the passionate Baptist preacher names is as sin, and shows how only the cross of Christ and the deep doctrines of justification can provide a gospel-centered answer to this American quandary. This can help, a great go-to resource.

Get a few now while they are on sale! This collection brings new pieces and important voices to this big question, one that is pressing for any discipline: how does faith color and shape and inform our task?

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Does the vocation of being a historian get worked out differently if one holds to basic Christian convictions about things? Making these kinds of scholarly books available to young students is a good witness, we believe, and we hope that those going on to advanced studies will recall having at least seen this sort of integrated Christian scholarship at the Jubilee book display.

Kudos to these fine friends, gentlemen and scholars. And sometimes, happily, one discovers an author with helpful content and an artful style, whose books offer a wonderful confluence of vision and voice, of content and character. And then, sometimes, you find out that that person is, well, a bore. Or at least a boring presenter. Yep, it happens. It will be held over at Living Word Community Church, a thriving congregation near us which allows us to use their cool Coffee Bar and Art Gallery from time to time.

We really value their partnership with us. We are delighted to invite you to listen to Margot sometime shortly after in their very nice space. You can get directions here. Beth and I were really, truly moved by it and struck by its insight and how very well-written it was. And a human-scale, wise-cracking one, at that. Unsqueezed , again, wades through some pretty hefty hoo-hoo given the way sex and beauty and gender roles are so fraught with terrible distortion and the cause of great confusion these days.

And, as the subtitle suggests, it is—yes, it is—fun and clever and really, really interesting. It is written for women, but it seems to me that men could really benefit from listening in to this candid conversation among their sisters. This book helps the reader understand the Biblical foundations for a fast, one that pleases God and is also sensible to follow in regard to amounts of food or drink to partake during an extended fast.

Was expecting a guide for a journey to help design and grow through a 40 day fast. Instead you must know all about fasting and have decisions made before starting this book. If you have fasted before and know what your fasting choice is, then this book is for you. It is not a guide and doesn't help you learn about fasting.

One person found this helpful. Have only scanned this book at this point, but I can say it is in one important way what Christianity ought to be about. Unfortunately, this topic and this sort of information work their way into sermons infrequently at best, even in alternative churches. Thanks to Chris Seay for operationalizing Matthew See all 33 reviews. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. DPReview Digital Photography. In addition to this present interdependence, Mexico and the United States have been bound historically by spiritual connections. Our common faith in Jesus Christ moves us to search for ways that favor a spirit of solidarity. It is a faith that transcends borders and bids us to overcome all forms of discrimination and violence so that we may build relationships that are just and loving. Under the light of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the littlest of her children, who were as powerless as most migrants are today, our continent's past and present receive new meaning.

It was St. Juan Diego whom our Mother asked to build a temple so in it she could show her love, compassion, aid, and defense to all her children, especially the least among them. In his landmark encyclical Pacem in Terris , Blessed Pope John XXIII expands the right to migrate as well as the right to not have to migrate: "Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own country; and, when there are just reasons for it, the right to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.

For more powerful nations, a stronger obligation exists. The Church also has recognized the plight of refugees and asylum seekers who flee persecution. The right to asylum must never be denied when people's lives are truly threatened in their homeland. Pope John Paul II also addresses the more controversial topic of undocumented migration and the undocumented migrant. In his message for World Migration Day, he notes that such migrants are used by developed nations as a source of labor.

Ultimately, the pope says, elimination of global underdevelopment is the antidote to illegal immigration.

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Both of our episcopal conferences have echoed the rich tradition of church teachings with regard to migration. Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland. All persons have the right to find in their own countries the economic, political, and social opportunities to live in dignity and achieve a full life through the use of their God-given gifts. In this context, work that provides a just, living wage is a basic human need.

Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families. The Church recognizes that all the goods of the earth belong to all people. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right. Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders. The Church recognizes the right of sovereign nations to control their territories but rejects such control when it is exerted merely for the purpose of acquiring additional wealth.

More powerful economic nations, which have the ability to protect and feed their residents, have a stronger obligation to accommodate migration flows. Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection. Those who flee wars and persecution should be protected by the global community. This requires, at a minimum, that migrants have a right to claim refugee status without incarceration and to have their claims fully considered by a competent authority. The human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected. Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity that should be respected.

Often they are subject to punitive laws and harsh treatment from enforcement officers from both receiving and transit countries. Government policies that respect the basic human rights of the undocumented are necessary. The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good.

It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. These teachings complement each other. While the sovereign state may impose reasonable limits on immigration, the common good is not served when the basic human rights of the individual are violated. In the current condition of the world, in which global poverty and persecution are rampant, the presumption is that persons must migrate in order to support and protect themselves and that nations who are able to receive them should do so whenever possible.

It is through this lens that we assess the current migration reality between the United States and Mexico. We commend church communities that have established migrant shelters that provide appropriate pastoral and social services to migrants. We encourage Catholics and all people of good will to work with the community to address the causes of undocumented migration and to protect the human rights of all migrants. We call on the local church to help newcomers integrate in ways that are respectful, that celebrate their cultures, and that are responsive to their social needs, leading to a mutual enrichment of the local church.

We ask that special attention be given to migrant and immigrant children and youth as they straddle two cultures, especially to give them opportunities for leadership and service in the community and to encourage vocations among them. The Church on both sides of the border must dedicate resources to provide pastoral care for migrants who are detained or incarcerated.

The presence of the Church within detention facilities and jails is an essential way of addressing the human rights violations that migrants may face when they are apprehended. We encourage local dioceses to sponsor pertinent social services for migrants and immigrants, particularly affordable legal services. In many rural dioceses, the primary site of pastoral outreach for farm workers is the migrant camp, usually at a significant distance from the parish church.

In this context we encourage local parishioners to be prepared as home missionaries and the migrants themselves to be prepared as catechists and outreach workers. The one ancestral homeland of the Tohono O'odham nation that stretches across the United States and Mexico has no border. Neither does the homeland of the Yaqui nation. Tribal members' rights to travel freely throughout the land they have inhabited for one thousand years should be respected. They should be able to visit family members and participate in religious and cultural celebrations, observances, and other community events without harassment or multiple identity checks in both Mexico and the United States.

Migrants should be met with a hospitable and welcoming attitude which can encourage them to become part of the Church's life, always with due regard for their freedom and their specific cultural identity. Cooperation between the dioceses from which they come and those in which they settle, also through specific pastoral structures provided for in the legislation and praxis of the Church, has proved extremely beneficial to this end. In this way the most adequate and complete pastoral care possible can be ensured.

The Church in America must be constantly concerned to provide for the effective evangelization of those recent arrivals who do not yet know Christ. The United States and Mexico share a special relationship that requires focused attention upon joint concerns. The realities of migration between both nations require comprehensive policy responses implemented in unison by both countries. The current relationship is weakened by inconsistent and divergent policies that are not coordinated and, in many cases, address only the symptoms of the migration phenomenon and not its root causes.

Now is the time for both the United States and Mexico to confront the reality of globalization and to work toward a globalization of solidarity. We call upon both governments to cooperate and to jointly enact policies that will create a generous, legal flow of migrants between both nations.

It is now time to harmonize policies on the movement of people, particularly in a way that respects the human dignity of the migrant and recognizes the social consequences of globalization. With these goals in mind, we offer several policy recommendations for both nations to consider that address the root causes of migration, legal avenues for migration, and humane law enforcement.

These recommendations focus upon both U. Addressing the Root Causes of Migration As we have stated, persons should have the opportunity to remain in their homeland to support and to find full lives for themselves and their families. This is the ideal situation for which the world and both countries must strive: one in which migration flows are driven by choice, not necessity. Paramount to achieving this goal is the need to develop the economies of sending nations, including Mexico.

Only a long-term effort that adjusts economic inequalities between the United States and Mexico will provide Mexican workers with employment opportunities that will allow them to remain at home and to support themselves and their families. The Church has consistently singled out economic inequality between nations as a global disorder that must be addressed. Within the United States-Mexico relationship, we have witnessed the application of economic policies that do not adequately take into account the welfare of individual proprietors who struggle to survive.

Both nations should reconsider the impact of economic and trade agreements on persons who work hard at making a living through individual enterprises. The creation of employment opportunities in Mexico would help to reduce poverty and would mitigate the incentive for many migrants to look for employment in the United States. The implementation of economic policies in Mexico that create living-wage jobs is vital, especially for Mexican citizens without advanced skills.

Targeted development projects in Mexican municipalities and rural areas that traditionally have had the highest rates of emigration are necessary. Projects and resources particularly should be targeted to the Mexican agricultural sector and small businesses. As border regions are the focal point of the migration phenomenon, resources also should be directed toward communities on the United States-Mexico border.

Such additional resources would augment existing efforts by border residents to aid migrants in meeting their most basic needs. We urge the initiation of joint border development projects that would help build up the economies of these areas so that border residents may continue to work and live cooperatively. Church leaders should work with both communities on the U. Creating Legal Avenues for Migration With both the United States and Mexico experiencing economic, social, and cultural integration on an unprecedented scale, it is important that both governments formally acknowledge this reality by enacting reforms in the immigration systems of both countries.

Family-Based Immigration As pastors, we are troubled by how the current amalgamation of immigration laws, policies, and actions pursued by both governments often impedes family unity. While the majority of Mexican migrants enter the United States to find work, many cross the border to join family members. The U. This cap, along with processing delays, has resulted in unacceptable waiting times for the legal reunification of a husband and wife, or of a parent and child. For example, the spouse or child of a Mexican-born legal permanent resident can wait approximately eight years to obtain a visa to join loved ones in the United States.

Spouses and parents thus face a difficult decision: either honor their moral commitment to family and migrate to the United States without proper documentation, or wait in the system and face indefinite separation from loved ones. This is an unacceptable choice, and a policy that encourages undocumented migration. In order to ensure that families remain together, reform of the U. A new framework must be established that will give Mexican families more opportunities to legally reunite with their loved ones in the United States.

Family unity also is weakened when the children of immigrants are left unprotected. In the United States, birthright citizenship should be maintained as an important principle in U. In Mexico, some children are being denied birth certificates and consequent Mexican nationality due to their parents' undocumented status. As the Mexican Constitution ensures and Article 68 of the National Law of Population codifies, such children have the right and protection to be documented at birth.

Otherwise, their access to health, education, and other basic services may be denied later in life. Moreover, the right to an identity and nationality are enshrined in international covenants. Legalization of the Undocumented Approximately Each year, an estimated , Mexican migrants enter the United States without authorization, working in such industries as agriculture, service, entertainment, and construction. A broad legalization program of the undocumented would benefit not only the migrants but also both nations. Making legal the large number of undocumented workers from many nations who are in the United States would help to stabilize the labor market in the United States, to preserve family unity, and to improve the standard of living in immigrant communities.

Moreover, migrant workers, many of whom have established roots in their communities, will continue to contribute to the U. Legalization also would maintain the flow of remittances to Mexico and would give Mexicans safe and legal passage back to Mexico, if necessary. In addition, such legalization would promote national security by reducing fear in immigrant communities and by encouraging undocumented persons to become participating members of society. Legalization represents sound public policy and should be featured in any migration agreement between the United States and Mexico.

In order to ensure fairness for all nationalities, the U. Congress should enact a legalization program for immigrants regardless of their country of origin. In the case of Mexico, the legalization programs that the Mexican National Migration Institute have executed provide a good beginning. The benefits of legalization have been evident to the migrants themselves, since they may now work with the protection of their basic labor rights; and to the government, which can now gain a more realistic picture of the population present in the country.

We hope that future programs will provide more publicity and information to the public, will increase the number of and better train those who administer them, and will decrease the cost to the applicant, which in the past has disadvantaged those with lesser means. In the context of the United States-Mexico bilateral relationship, the United States needs Mexican laborers to maintain a healthy economy and should make a special effort to provide legal avenues for Mexican workers to obtain in the United States jobs that provide a living wage and appropriate benefits and labor protections.

A system that is transparent and that protects the rights of workers should be formulated. Visa costs of the program should remain affordable for all who wish to participate. Reform in worker programs must be coupled with a broad-based legalization program. Mexican workers who labor in the United States send large portions of their wages, which they have earned by the sweat of their brows, back to their families in Mexico. These funds are an important source of support for many families in Mexico. Perhaps a more efficient means can be devised for sending funds to Mexico that would result in more of the money reaching those in need.

Furthermore, arrangements could be made with the organizations that process these remittances to channel some of their earnings from the fees to support community development efforts in Mexico, such as road construction, sewers, health clinics, and so on. Such an approach could be further expanded by making arrangements with the U. More problematic is the reform of U. The first U. The current program, which allows more than thirty thousand workers to enter the United States each year, is marked by a lack of enforcement of worker protections and by insufficient wages and benefits to support a family.

Nevertheless, we recognize that, as an alternative to undocumented migration, an efficient legal pathway must be established that protects the basic labor rights of foreign-born workers. In order to prevent future abuse of workers, any new temporary worker program must afford Mexican and other foreign workers wage levels and employment benefits that are sufficient to support a family in dignity; must include worker protections and job portability that U.

It must employ strong enforcement mechanisms to protect workers' rights and give workers the option to become lawful permanent residents after a specific amount of time. In addition, the United States and Mexico should conclude a Social Security agreement that allows workers to accrue benefits for work performed during participation in the program. A properly constructed worker program would reduce the number of undocumented persons migrating from Mexico to the United States, lessening the calls for border enforcement and the demand for the services of unscrupulous smugglers.

Moreover, in order to honor the labor rights of foreign-born workers, the United States should sign the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which lays out principles for the protection of the labor and human rights of migrant workers. As explained above, the Catholic Church recognizes the right and responsibility of sovereign nations to control their borders and to ensure the security interests of their citizens. Therefore, we accept the legitimate role of the U.

We do not accept, however, some of the policies and tactics that our governments have employed to meet this shared responsibility. The men and women of the law enforcement agencies charged with maintaining the United States-Mexico border have difficult jobs that require long hours in sometimes extreme conditions. Unfortunately, the enforcement policies that they implement have had the effect of undermining the human dignity of migrants and creating a confrontational and violent relationship between enforcement officers and migrants.

Steps must be taken to create an environment in which force is used only in the most necessary circumstances, and only to the extent needed, to protect the physical well-being of both the enforcement officer and the migrant. This requires not only a review and reform of enforcement tactics, but also, more importantly, a reshaping of the enforcement policies of both nations. In , the U. According to an August report by the U. General Accounting Office GAO , the primary discernible effect of the enforcement strategy has been to divert migrants away from the largest concentration of enforcement resources, most typically to remote regions of the southwestern United States.

During the same period, the number of undocumented persons in the United States has more than doubled, from four million in to more than eight million in Jose Luis Hernandez Aguirre tried desperately to find work in the maquiladora plants near Mexicali but was unable to do so. With a wife and two children, ages one and seven, Jose needed to find a job that would put food on the table. Joined by his brother Jaime and several others, the group headed for the United States with hope. After one day, brother Jaime called and reported to the family and Jose's sister, Sonia, that Jose was lost.

Jaime could not make the trek in the desert, but Jose wanted to continue on the journey. He had to find a job for his family. Four days later, Jose's body was found in the desert. His sister Sonia borrowed a truck to retrieve Jose's remains. Upon her return, she encountered another group of migrants heading to the United States. In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere.

As a sacrament of unity and thus a sign and a binding force for the whole human race, the Church is the place where illegal immigrants are also recognized and accepted as brothers and sisters. It is the task of the various Dioceses actively to ensure that these people, who are obliged to live outside the safety net of civil society, may find a sense of brotherhood in the Christian community. Solidarity means taking responsibility for those in trouble.