Immigration is a subject constantly in the news headlines these days, but for members of our own Marturia Presbyterian Church - a New Hampshire congregation in the midst of a growing Indonesian community (Presbytery of Northern New England) - it is more than a news topic, it is a lived reality.
For more than 20 years this congregation has known the increasingly difficult and arbitrary reality of the immigration process - asylum requests, deportation orders, visa applications, TPS, DACA and DAPA. Although the experience of this congregation and the larger Indonesian community has its particularities, this is sadly not a unique story of immigrants in the United States, many of whom we count among our numbers as witnessing and faithful Presbyterians.
Languages, cultures, and immigrant realities are among the many diversities that bless and challenge our ministry as a Synod community. In seeking to be faithful to this blessing, and to stand alongside our immigrant brothers and sisters in the midst of their challenges, the Synod Commission established an Immigration Advocacy Fund at its October 2017 meeting. In doing so, the Commission invites the whole Synod community to engage with our immigrant communities and work in collaboration with them.
The Synod Commission seeded the Immigration Advocacy Fund with $40,000 and invites presbyteries, congregations, and individuals to contribute to the fund as well. The Commission also appointed a task force to oversee and coordinate the fund, and to work with presbyteries and congregations to assist Presbyterians in our region who are navigating legal immigration processes.
The members of the task force are:
- Elder Charlie Smith (Cayuga-Syracuse)
- Rev. Jeniffer Rodríguez (Hudson River and Synod Committee on Representation)
- Rev. Amaury Tañón-Santos (Synod Networker)
To donate to the fund, click here.
For more information about the work of the task force and ways to collaborate, please contact Synod Networker, Amaury Tañón-Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org.