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Click here to listen to the conversation with Bishop Trimble
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By Dr. Arthur McClanahan*
Bishop Julius C. Trimble, Iowa’s resident United Methodist Bishop, is inspired “particularly [by] our Methodist sisters and brothers in Mexico.” His reflection, after the second day of a four-day Global Migration Consultation in Freudenstadt, Germany, included an affirmation of “both our opportunity as United Methodists in Iowa, and, indeed, in the United states, to join the global witness.”
“I was hoping to make connections with persons “around the globe,” he noted and “that’s been expanded since coming here, meeting faith partners who are concerned about migration from the standpoint of both ministries of mercy and ministries of justice, people who are working in communities we see on newsreel reports about tragedy. Reports about hopeful ministries has been inspirational, to say the least!”
Bishop Trimble moderated the morning session during which there were a number of personal accounts. “Hearing about persons who were working with migrants and the journeys during which many of them risked their lives…in hopes of finding a route to other parts of the world, was a very moving.”
Bishop Felipe de Jesus Ruiz spoke about the pathways that people travel from Central America, through Mexico. He also detailed ways that churches are beginning to reach to and care for people in that journey. “One of the inspirational things about what Bishop Ruiz shared,” Bishop Trimble observed, “was the way that the Methodist Church in Mexico is going to do something. They have identified twenty congregations throughout the country that are prepared to be in ministry with those were making the trek from Central America, those persons who are in Mexico who are making their way to migrate to the United States. We have persons in Iowa who have made that journey.”
It’s meaningful to Bishop Trimble “to say that we can do something, that [there are] those who are willing to be a part of the solution, to be a part of the ministry of mercy and ministry of justice. As Bishop Ruiz said, ‘the text doesn’t suggest that we should be welcoming to the migrant. The biblical witness says, we are to welcome the migrant and the stranger among us.”
Bishop Trimble also moderated a afternoon workgroup session that focused on the issue of human trafficking. “I know that our United Methodist women are doing a good job of bringing that issue to the forefront,” he noted. “It’s a worldwide issue.”
Why was it important to accept the invitation to participate in the first-of-its-kind global consultation? “I would affirm both our opportunity as United Methodists in Iowa and, indeed in the United State, to join the global witness,” Bishop Trimble concluded.
*Rev. Dr. Arthur McClanahan is the Director of Communications for the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church.