Disciples talk about their personal experiences with immigration. Families tell the real stories of life on the border, family separation, and ministry. Share these videos with your congregation.
Thoughts on the border with Rev. Xosé Escamilla
“Manny suffered sadness.”
“You work in Cuba… for nothing.”
“She came asking for help.”
“Seeing their dad arrested was hard.”
“All his life is here.”
Determined U.S. citizen works on graduating
“We are called ‘a thousand uses’.”
“We want to serve this country…”
“Separation is like divorce.”
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.
December 23, 2013 — As many around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas, it’s common to consider what messages the Christmas story holds for us in our daily lives. What does it mean to make room for strangers? For members at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Christian Church the call to extend hospitality is clear, and they have taken action.
“We’re living out our theology,” says the Rev. Richard Sturm, and elder at “The Park,” as the church is known. “This is something we’re meant to live out right now. Not some biblical mandate for some day in the future.”
CWS helped the congregation to host immigration clinics. Church volunteers welcome immigrants and collect basic information at intake interviews before immigration attorneys from CWS meet with them to determine if there is a way to solve some of the problems they’re facing with their status.
“These clinics are a small way of engaging hospitality as a biblical mandate,” Sturm says. “It makes me feel like we’re not postponing living faithfully. It feels like there’s a purpose. They’re a small but meaningful way for us to engage.”
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