New Jersey Pastor Promotes the Needs of Immigrants

February 11, 2004

Source: The Worldwide Faith News

On February 11, 2004 The Worldwide Faith News reported, "Concerned about a growing backlash against immigrants, a United Methodist pastor is leading a clergy effort in New Jersey to focus on discussion instead of discrimination. The Rev. Myrna Bethke, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Freehold, said the community has become increasingly polarized since local government officials shut down a 'muster' area last November where the immigrants - many without legal status - waited to be hired for a day's work. Members of the Freehold Clergy Association became concerned 'that there was no opportunity for people to sit down and talk about the issue,' Bethke told United Methodist News Service. In response, the association has scheduled a three-hour community forum on March 28 at the First Presbyterian Church."