MISHAWAKA – Bethel is hosting a Midwest Immigration Summit to discuss the nation’s rising tensions on the topic of immigration and the religious and legislative concerns therein. The summit will happen on Tuesday, Mar. 10, in the Everest-Rohrer Rotunda from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will cover the topic of immigration in America and how it relates to the cultural, legislative and religious milieu of the country. The speakers at the summit are coming from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The summit is one of four total happening around the country; Bethel is the only host in the Midwest.
“We host the event because Law & Grace uncomfortably co-mingle in the legislation of immigration policy,” President Chenoweth wrote. “Because for the church, our ‘nation of laws’ exists in context of a special fondness Jesus shows for special populations such as the foreigner, widow, orphan, and oppressed.”
Chenoweth also hopes that the summit encourages individuals to engage with politics from a biblical perspective.
“Surveys show that most evangelicals get their views on immigration from the news rather than the Bible,” Chenoweth wrote. “Therefore, this event directs our attention toward the actual status of our laws, the experience of immigrants, and what Biblical precepts mean for our students and communities.”
The summit will include the following speakers: Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of Church Mobilization at World Relief, at 2 p.m.; Jill Stoltzfus, executive director of the Association for a More Just Society, at 3 p.m.; and a panel at 4 p.m. with Bethel representatives Sam Ojwang, an MBA student; Anna Letens, a 2019 graduate; Alfonso Flores, a current junior; Sebastian Alonso, a current sophomore; and Dineli Presteguin, a current freshman.
This Bethel panel will be asked questions and mediated by Bethel’s Dr. Kent Eby, the director of the Intercultural Studies Program. Dr. Eby has a Ph.D. on perspective transformation, and he was also the vice president for international relations at St. Petersburg Christian University in Russia. As a lecturer and a full-time missionary there, Dr. Eby has had plenty of prior experience when it comes to conversations such as these. Check-in is at 1:30 p.m. and a break for a light meal takes place at 5 p.m.
Registration for the event closes on Mar. 3; registering for the summit is free, but the maximum capacity for attendees is 100. Any hopeful attendees with questions about the content should direct them to Chirstin Rine at firstname.lastname@example.org; questions about content should be directed to Kristy Bridegroom, the director of conference services at Bethel, at Kristy.Bridegroom@BethelUniversity.edu.