By Rev. Huberto Pimentel, National Pastor, Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries
San Diego, Calif. (July 21, 2014) — On July 21 a delegation representing the Obra Hispana (National Hispanic Pastor – Huberto Pimentel,), DOM-Pueblo a Pueblo/People to People (Lorna Hernandez), Christian Theological Seminary (Hector Hernandez), Casa de Oracion of San Diego (Rev. Xose Escamilla, Sofía Dueñas and María Rodríguez), Rev. Lyndon Rogers (Pastor in Austin, TX), Arlene Pimentel (Disciples Women’s Ministry), a New Church start, Rev. Cheri Metier from University Christian Church in San Diego, CA, and Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley (DHM – Refugee and Immigration Services) visited the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice in San Diego County.
Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director, shared the center’s mission statement – to educate, and mobilize religious and faith communities to raise awareness and support actions to sustain workers’ lives with dignity, improving wages, benefits, access to quality health care, working conditions and a voice on the job.
Coskey shared the agony and pain of the mothers from Honduras where the gangs are killing their sons whether they join gangs or not. The mothers feel they don’t have a choice other than to send their children to face a dangerous path north.
Elizabeth Maldonado Robinson, program director, talked about media portrayals that encourage a negative view of immigrants and how the center provides stories about how immigrants contribute positively to our society. Their programs are focused on welcoming the immigrants with respect and dignity. The presence of more border patrols militarizes the communities surrounding the fence. Instead, the center advocates for a better infrastructure to make the border more accessible for commuting workers while keeping all neighborhoods safe at the border.
Local pastors and congregations are called to engage with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to pray for them and to make them more sensitive to the vulnerable crossing the borders. Churches can supply the basic needs for the immigrants such as diapers, shoes, underwear, soap, body lotion but also volunteer their own homes or provide centers for orientation.
San Diego, Calif. (July 19, 2014) Several participants at the Obra Hispana made time to witness at the border. About 25 Disciples – both lay and clergy, local and general ministry staff – took time on Saturday to travel to the border with Mexico where they prayed on behalf of Central American children arriving at the border. Pastor Huberto Pimentel, prayed and commissioned them. The assembly met July 16 to 19 at Iglesia Casa de Oración in San Diego, California.