Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist bishops will speak to Tennessee clergy on Jan. 24 at Nashville’s Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on the situation of undocumented immigrants following a screening of a new documentary – GospelWithoutBorders.
The screening panelists will include JohnBauerschmidt, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee; JulianGordy, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-Southeastern Synod; and MelvinTalbert, retired bishop of the United Methodist Church.

RobertParham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics, will moderate the panel discussion.

Other program leaders will include JudyD. Cummings, pastor of New Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and FrankLewis, pastor of First Baptist Church of Nashville.

“Because the church values justice, equity, compassion, family unity and the humane treatment of all people, we church people are compelled to speak to the moral dimensions of our immigration laws and policies,” said Gordy.

The Lutheran bishop said, “I hope that many religious leaders in Nashville will gather to see ‘Gospel Without Borders’ and to talk together about our relationship with our immigrant neighbors.”

Rooting his involvement in the screening in the social principles of the United Methodist Church, Talbert cited a statement that said the church and society must “recognize the gifts, contributions and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.”

The event is sponsored by Clergy for Tolerance, which hosted a Nov. 30, 2011, immigration breakfast that drew some 300 faith leaders.

CFT is an interfaith coalition that works to educate and mobilize faith leaders about the issue of immigration. It played a role in 2009 to defeat an English-only referendum in Nashville.

“Gospel Without Borders” explores the issue of immigration through interviews with Christians in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa and North Carolina. Produced by EthicsDaily.com, the documentary was funded primarily by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops mailed a DVD copy of the documentary to every Catholic bishop in September 2011, encouraging them to use the documentary in their parishes.

A United Methodist Church bishop also mailed the DVD to every active Methodist bishop.

A number of goodwill Baptist organizations have distributed the DVD to their leadership, including the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, which has sponsored a number of screenings.

CFT requests registration for the two-hour event, which begins at 1:30 p.m.

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