Presence: Immigration Action Network comes out of the many ways leaders, congregations and presbyteries throughout the Synod are engaged in immigration issues.
The main foci of the Network is to:
- To gather leaders from throughout the Synod for an annual synod-wide learning event around immigration issues;
- To communicate other opportunities for learning, training and organizing around presence and justice on immigration issues;
- To share resources available at many levels in local communities, from regional partners, and from the national church for organizing, learning, worship, and action;
- To broker relationships on the many ways local leaders and communities can engage issues of immigration, advocate for justice, and be present to immigrant communities. There are many Presbyterians and other partner organizations already engaged in different aspects of justice and advocacy which can be easily joined and have impactful results.
As it were, immigration action and advocacy has been a significant part of the history of
Presbyterianism in our region for its over 300 years, both in the way our tradition arrived to the
United States and in the way many leaders and congregations have sought to be welcoming
(and sometimes otherwise) to new groups of migrants. More recently, several congregations
and presbyteries have been active in issues of immigration advocacy, action and hospitality.
That passion led several leaders to begin thinking what would a gathering of look like.
In the late part of 2015, a group of leaders from the presbyteries of Hudson River and Elizabeth,
together with leaders from the Stony Point Center, began plans for a gathering of leaders
involved in immigration action. Plans were set underway, and a gathering was called for April
2016 sponsored by the Synod of the Northeast, the Office of Immigration Issues (Office of the
General Assembly) and the Stony Point Center. Leaders from the presbyteries of Elizabeth,
Genesee Valley, Hudson River, New Brunswick, New York City, and Philadelphia gathered for
three days in an event that included a review of Presbyterian history with immigration issues, a
visit to the site of First Friends of NJ/NY, a crash course on community organizing for advocacy,
and guided conversations regarding our shared passions around these issues.
Connect with Presence: Immigration Action
Want to learn more? Write to Sarah Henkel.