Tired and thirsty, Jesus stopped at a well and asked a Samaritan woman, “Give me a drink.” (John 4:4-26) Today, that same question is asked by millions of children crying out for clean drinking water across the face of our planet. Because of the fact that 10% of the world’s population lacks a regular supply of usable water and access to clean water and sanitation is becoming an increasing problem, in 1992 the United Nations established March 22 as “World Water Day”. While many of our ecumenical mission partners help bring water to countries suffering from draught, we Christians need to lend our voices to the cause of access to clean water for our children and families right here in Flint, Michigan. Read more.
As a nation, we recognize the need for children to be protected and valued. We would never allow a toddler to drive themselves. We would not dream of asking an infant to care for their own medical needs. So why are we currently asking children as young as 3 years old to represent themselves in immigration court?
Right now, many children seeking asylum in the United States are forced to represent themselves in court without a lawyer to avoid deportation back to their countries of origin. These children have fled violence, persecution and extreme poverty. For them to be treated as criminals and without proper legal representation is unconscionable. Read the full alert and see how you can support The Fair Day in Court Act.
Background: This Wednesday, March 16th, the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee plans to discuss and consider a vote on H.R. 4731, called “The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act”. It would: drastically reduce and cap refugee admissions; place refugees under continual surveillance after they have arrived; create new procedures that would significantly and potentially indefinitely delay resettlement for many refugees whose lives are in danger, including but not limited to Central Americans, Syrians and Iraqis; allow state and local governments who “disapprove” of refugees to veto resettlement in their localities. Read the full alert at.
PLEASE JOIN OUR WEBINAR WITH ECUMENICAL FAITH PARTNERS ON:”Our Faith Response to Border Militarization and Central American Asylum Seekers” — MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1st,4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
In this webinar, we will provide updates on what is happening in the U.S. and Mexican southern border regions and discuss strategy to reform our approach to border policy to ensure that the rights of migrants and communities are protected. Speakers/Facilitator will include: Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples of Christ; Jenny Johnson, Policy Advisor for the Southern Border Communities Coalition/Church World Service; and Shaina Aber, Policy Director, National Advocacy Office, Jesuit Conference. To join this webinar, RSVP Link here,Call in Number: (641) 715-3670 and Code: 104402. for visual: http://join.me/faith4immigration
For updates on Central American children and mothers targeted in recent ICE raids, and border concerns read the full alert.
Disciples have worked with the National Farm Worker Ministry for over forty years to promote farm worker justice. One key farm worker led partner in our efforts has been the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)–with their remarkably successful “Fair Food Program.”
At General Assembly last summer, HUNDREDS OF DISCIPLES joined a march to encourage WENDY’S corporation to join the top fast food companies of Taco Bell, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King, and others to SIGN ON to the Fair Food Program. Wendy’s participation is a request we’ve repeated for YEARS– through high-level letters, calls, marches, and meetings. Our most recent letter was the one signed by nearly 200 Disciples and friends, and sent to Mr. Emil Brolick, CEO of Wendy’s, following our General Assembly.
BUT YOU CAN HELP US CHANGE THAT TODAY by joining farm worker supporters, faith leaders, and thousands of college students around the country for a CALL-IN-DAY to the office of Wendy’s Board Chair, Nelson Peltz!! Mr. Peltz is also the CEO of Trian Partners investment firm, which is the restaurant’s largest shareholder, and owns nearly a quarter of Wendy’s shares. Read full Alert and see how you can help.
Disciples, Please Join with the Refugee Council, USA, & Our Faith Partners to Protect Refugees & the US Refugee Program NOW!!
The U.S. Senate plans to vote Wednesday, January 20th on H.R. 4038, “The American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act,” which would grind to a halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
This bill was passed by the House of Representatives in November, so it is critical that it not pass the Senate. Such proposals and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them are morally against who we are as a nation. It is critical that Senators hear from their constituents NOW.
Call your Senators TODAY & EVERY DAY leading up to the vote: Urge them to vote NO to H.R. 4038 and any legislation that would stop, pause or defund the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. 1-866-940-2439 Read more.
The Obama administration is conducting raids to deport Central American families.
YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED: Call the White House TODAY!
Background: While communities around the country were gathering for worship on Christmas Eve, media outlets reported that the Department of Homeland Security is beginning raids to deport Central American children and adults who entered the United States seeking asylum and have had a final order of removal since January 1, 2014. This includes children and families who lost their asylum cases because they were unable to find adequate legal counsel, as well as individuals who were given deportation orders in absentia or through rapid fast court processes (sometimes called “rocket dockets”) that are meant to expedite trials but in reality deny due process. Read more.
(The link to the resource Remembering Jesus’ Escape, Building Solidarity with Fleeing Families in the January 8th “ICE Raids Alert” has been updated. You will find that updated resource at: Epiphany/Understanding Family Detention)
THIS WEEK, it is critical to keep demonstrating the readiness of Disciples of Christ to “BUILD A HOSPITALITY HIGHWAY” across North America! See this link to an article from last Saturday’s Interfaith Welcome Refugees event in Falls Church, Va., which highlights the partnership of First Christian Church with the Dar Al-Hajrah Islamic Center nearby. Read Alert.
Background: THIS WEEK, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are working on an “Omnibus” appropriations bill that will likely include provisions to stop, pause and defund the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This funding bill is being drafted as a number of Governors are attempting to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 4038, The American Security against Foreign Enemies Act, which would grind to a halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. These actions and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them are morally reprehensible and go against who we are as a nation. It is critical that public officials hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are being made in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state governments that will drastically impact the lives of refugees. Read the full alert.
“We must go out and stand tall in this time of crisis to send a counter message to messages of hate. And we must push back immediately against efforts aimed at resenting Syrian resettlement, and undermining the U.S. refugee program.”
Erol Kekic, Immigration and Refugee Program
Director, Church World Service
In the aftermath of France’s tragic attacks from “ISIS” and expressed ongoing threats, our hearts are broken and our prayers are deep. Yet we are also sad because we are experiencing pushback against refugees like never before. Most certainly, security for our own homeland is absolutely essential-and we continue to advocate for ongoing support for vigilant security screening of any refugees who enter our nation. We know this closing of hearts comes at the same time Disciples from across the U.S. are donating to help Syrian and other refugees, and are offering Welcome Weekend events to build awareness of refugee needs. Read Alert.
Your faith voice is urgently needed: Tell Congress & Your Governor to WELCOME SYRIAN REFUGEES. As Disciples and others across the United States are donating to help Syrian refugees abroad, providing Refugee Hospitality Kits to new refugees, and volunteering to welcome refugees in their communities, a number of Governors recently announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees. This is morally reprehensible and goes against everything for which the United States stands. Some Members of Congress have even introduced legislation that would stop refugee resettlement altogether. It is critical for officials to hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are being made that will drastically impact the lives of Syrian refugees and refugee resettlement in the U.S. Please take action today! Read Alert.
Background on Syrian Refugee Crisis — Talking Points About Refugees in Your Conversations with Church, Family, & Neighbors.
THIS FRIDAY, November 20 th, will mark one year since President Obama took executive action to announce immigration relief which could have offered temporary assistance and healing to 4-5 million undocumented immigrants and their families. Since nearly the time of the announcement, implementation of key provisions of the President’s relief, such as extended DACA and DAPA, have been blocked by the courts. Read the Alert.
CALL IN DAYS TO COUNTER ANTI-IMMIGRANT LEGISLATION TODAY AND TOMORROW!!
Recent anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media and on the campaign trail has led to efforts to STRIKE OUT AGAINST 300+ CITIES who have established policies that do NOT require local police officers to act as immigration agents. Join us in telling Congress to respect the efforts of local law enforcement to build trust and protect all members of our communities. Read the Alert.
Disciples Women, Hispanic Ministries, and other faith leaders & advocates have worked throughout this year to CLOSE FAMILY DETENTION CENTERS. THIS WEEK, ACT TO END FAMILY DETENTION NOW! Read the Alert.
Congratulations for the difference you are already making in ensuring our nation’s compassionate response to Syrian refugees! Now, WE NEED CLERGY AND OTHER FAITH LEADERS TO SIGN ON TO THIS FAITH LEADERS LETTER http://bit.ly/WelcomeAllRefugees IMMEDIATELY to support Syrian refugees!! Read the Alert.
The Obama Administration requested that Judge Dolly Gee EXTEND the time by which they need to send a response to her court’s July 24th ruling. In response, Judge Gee has NOW extended the time by which the Obama administration must respond to her ruling to THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 6TH. Many view this as a discouraging sign that the administration could be preparing to appeal the Judge’s decision. However, it gives us additional time to communicate our hopes to the White House, as well!!
As you may recall from our alert late last week, the Judge stated that the U.S. use of family detention centers is a violation of the previous “Flores Settlement” from 1997. The judge called for the parents and children to be released from the family centers now being used in Dilley, Karnes, and Berks to house the mothers and children who have fled horrific violence in the Northern Triangle Region of Central America–(unless they can be shown to be a flight risk or threat to national security).
PLEASE, with this unexpected extension of time, will you take time to contact, or to re-contact the administration ONCE MORE before the end of this THURSDAY! For more information
Dear Disciples Friends,
Since returning from General Assembly a week ago, much has happened related to immigrant detention! So many of you have been advocating for MONTHS to END FAMILY DETENTION of the mothers and children who came to the U.S. last year fleeing violence in Central America. Sadly, thousands have been placed in family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, and in Berks, Pennsylvania after arrival. Throughout the past year, Disciples have prayed, written cards, held vigils, sent Bibles, and raised your voices through legislative visits to end family detention.
Then, just last Friday, Judge Dolly Gee of California issued her long-awaited ruling on family detention; stating that the U.S. use of family detention centers is a violation of the previous “Flores Settlement” from 1997, and calling for the parents and children to be released from today’s family centers in Dilley, Karnes, and Berks (unless they can be shown to be a flight risk or threat to national security). In response, Dr. Sharon Watkins made a statement on Monday of this week to urge the administration to not appeal the judge’s ruling. Read excerpts from Dr. Watkins’ statement, and learn what you can do to help the mothers and children, here. (in Spanish)
As you have no doubt heard through most recent news, the White House revealed yesterday afternoon that President Obama will announce at 8 p.m. ET TONIGHT his plans for Executive Actions to fix some elements of our nation’s broken immigration system. It was gratifying to hear this news immediately following return yesterday outside the White House with farm workers who have traveled across the country this week to offer a “Thanksgiving invitation” to urge the President to take such action. They testified as the faces of immigrants-like those pictured here–who grow our food, improve our economy, and have invested for so many years in U.S. communities. Read more.
Today and tomorrow, hundreds of faith leaders and immigrant rights activists are gathering at the White House to protest President Obama’s deportation policies. These advocates, including Disciples clergy Lyndon Rogers of Texas and Hector Hernandez of Indiana, and layleader Maria Zamarripa and youth Cindy Lopez from Alabama are traveling from across the country to join local Disciples leaders from the Christian Church Capital Area and our Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries office to urge the President to halt his immigration enforcement machine that has deported more immigrants than any previous administration. Read more.
TODAY, we need clergy and faith leaders to sign-on to stop deportation. People of faith are speaking up and supporting an end to deportations. Join the Clergy and faith leaders sign-on letter. This Thursday we need YOU to call Rep. Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner and urge them to provide solutions to our broken immigration system now! Read more.
This month, the administration named a refugee resettlement goal that is the historically lowest number ever (only 30,000)–despite the highest number of global refugees than…Read more >