Immigration

Commending the "Reclaiming Jesus" Statement

Dear Friends,

I am writing this as a pastoral and prophetic word as one who is called to lead our community in our common witness to proclaim the Gospel in season and out and to encourage our members to raise up their important voice in pursuit of becoming a vital part of the Beloved Community.

For some time now, I have been searching for the best words to express a helpful and coherent response to the dangerous and polarizing rhetoric that has run rampant in our country and culture…

Immigration Advocacy Fund Established

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.

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.

Sanctuary Training and Network Developing

We also investigated the important role that our own complicity in systems of oppression present, and the need for majority-white communities in mainline congregations to engage in significant pre-discernment and power analysis before beginning Sanctuary in all its forms.  Communities who are directly affected by policing, anti-immigrant, religious and racial bias need to be given primary voice in all conversations and actions we engage as people of faith.

Breaking Bread in Brokenness to Immigrants

PIM, one of the 1,001 Worshiping Communities and partially funded by the Synod’s Innovation Fund is a ministry of many love stories like this one. The stories of people who come and go, caught up in a system that ignores their humanity. PIM calls them into community with Christ, so that even as they move from detention centers to holding cells to prisons, they know that they are not alone.

O Come, Emanuel in Los Moriches, Long Island

My wife and I minister to a growing community with many immigrants who are coming to Long Island. One young woman we met told us that she was paying $400 for a trip to the Human Resources Office in Manhattan to seek political asylum. Multiple trips at $400 for refugees fleeing persecution! These are not wealthy people. So, we were able to step in and help with transportation and providing a safe community for this young woman, who was also expecting a child. Then in September, when the child was coming, my wife Miriam accompanied the young woman to the hospital. She was there for the delivery of the child—a moment that is like none other.

Synod-Wide Networks on Immigration and Congregational Assessments Set Forth

The Synod Commission, in its September meeting, approved the formation of two new networks: The Immigration Action Network and the New Beginnings Network.