August 29, 2016
Immigrant and Farm Worker Rights Updates!
A friend posted on Facebook today that her child, after her first day of school, asked as she got home: "Can I go back tomorrow?" As families around the country and world are returning again to school and moving towards a new season, we remember how our sacred scriptures call us continually to also have the spirit of my friend's child. God hopes for us to be eager to "go back tomorrow" to JUSTICE!
As Hosea says in 12:8, "By the help of God, RETURN, hold fast to love and justice!" Isaiah likewise reminded the Israelites in Isaiah 56:1 that they would find community restoration only when they "return to justice, and do what is right!"
Therefore, Refugee & Immigration Ministries heartily invites you to "return to justice" with us in this coming season, by engaging in the ways below to honor and strengthen the rights of immigrants and farm workers:
COMMUNITY NAVIGATORS TRAINING WEBINAR, AUGUST 31, 7:30 P.M. EASTERN
Register to Join the Community Navigators webinar training THIS Wednesday in Spanish language! A "navigator" is one who uses their awareness to help guide and direct the route of travelers against dangers, and to keep them going safely towards a destination. "Community Navigators" is a term used around the country for church and community persons trained especially to assist immigrants in helping them receive needed support and resources to support their families and goals. RIM is delighted to join together with Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel to offer trainings in Spanish and English to train Disciples across the church to support immigrants in their areas!
The first training webinar will be in Spanish language, and will be held on August 31st at 7:30 p.m. Topics will focus this webinar on "What is a Community Navigator, How to Avoid Unauthorized Practice of Law, and Immigrant Advocacy Updates". Please go here for more information. Also, be sure to register here.
Also, mark your calendars now for the first ENGLISH language training, which will be held at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13th. Register here for the September 13th webinar.
This webinar will also focus on "What is a Community Navigator, How to Avoid Unauthorized Practice of Law, and Immigrant Advocacy Updates".
DIAPERS IN DETENTION ACTIONS, SUPPORT FOR CENTRAL AMERICAN MOMS AND KIDS
On August 29th thru September 1st-and all through September!-we invite you to join in actions and events to support mothers and children who fled violence in Central America, and are currently being held in family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, and in Berks County, Pennsylvania. You're invited to JOIN AN ACTIVITY already being planned in the cities of Houston, San Antonio, Omaha, Boston, Baltimore, and Corpus Christi. Go here to read details for each location. If you're interested to help plan a September event in Phoenix, contact: email@example.com. If you are not near one of these locations, pick up a baby shower card at a local store, write a message that says "As a person of faith, I ask you to end family detention. No more diapers in detention!" and send it to: Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528. Before you drop it in the mailbox, take a picture of it and tag it on social media with #DiapersInDetention to spread the word about this issue. Also, consider hosting a card writing gathering with your church or friends. Take pictures of the cards, and post on social media with the hashtag #DiapersInDetention. "Learn how you could join in an area event or send an email to your local ICE office here.
Click here for further information.
DISCIPLES AND NATIONAL FARM WORKER MINISTRY
This past weekend, RIM's Director joined ecumenical partners to tour and visit with farm workers in Dudley, NC (in rural Eastern, N.C.), and to celebrate our 45 year heritage in supporting farm workers at the Board Meeting and Benefit Dinner for the National Farm Worker Ministry in Raleigh, N.C. Special thanks to our N.C. Regional Staff, Rev. Valerie Melvin, who joined the benefit dinner to hear directly from a farm worker's voice about challenges, and improvements made through help by "FLOC", the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, with which NFWM and Disciples partner for justice! Go here
to learn more about our work with FLOC to improve the lives of farm workers with tobacco and other crops there and in Ohio!
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was a founding member of the National Farm Worker Ministry organization, and Disciples continue to engage in partnership with many faith communities through NFWM to support farm workers around the country! See articles below on current boycott campaigns to assist farm workers, with which we are also partnering with NFWM to support!
BOYCOTTS AGAINST WENDY'S AND DRISCOLL/SAKUMA BERRIES TO SUPPORT FARM WORKER RIGHTS
For many years (and including in a justice event during our last year's General Assembly in Columbus), Disciples have urged Wendy's leadership to join the "Fair Food Program." As Wendy's has continued to resist, Disciples joined other denominations in May to support the boycott, and continues to partner with NFWM in its boycott efforts, as well. Contact our office at: firstname.lastname@example.org for postcards and other information to sha
re with your congregation! Likewise, Disciples and
NFWM partners continue to meet with Familias Unidas in the Northwest about best ways to strengthen berry workers and their boycott against Driscoll's berries and Sakuma berry farms. Go here for additional information and resources for your community.
SUPPORT JOSE JUAN MORENO, NOW IN SANCTUARY PROTECTION INSIDE OUR UNIVERSITY CHURCH CHICAGO
Recent messages and videos of encouragement sent from youth and adults attending this summer's national Hispanic Assembly uplifted the heart of Jose Juan Moreno, who remains in "sanctuary" protection, living each hour since April 15th inside the church grounds of University Church Chicago (just steps away from our Disciples Divinity House!) "My heart felt so happy to hear those messages. Please keep praying for me" responded Jose Juan to the messages he received. See youth video here. Please go here to sign a letter in his support, and to download a template for your church to send a letter in support of his release, as well. Also, please consider making your own video message of encouragement to Jose Juan, and email your video or YouTube link to: email@example.com. We'll be sure Jose Juan receives it!
HISPANIC ASSEMBLY PARTICIPANTS HELP URGE RECONSIDERATION OF DACA+/DACA DECISION
Thirty three churches and faith organizations gathered at Hispanic Assembly in Coral Gables, Florida, on July 14-16 and signed a letter to join dozens of other national and state immigrant rights and faith organizations to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to request a rehearing of the Supreme Court's tied 4-4 "DACA+/DAPA" decision from late June, which left the President's Executive Actions to provide relief to millions of young immigrants and immigrants with legal citizen children blocked and in legal limbo. Already on the following Monday (July 18th), the leaders received a victory--when the Administration DID ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case whenever the existing Supreme Court judge vacancy on the court is appointed! CONGRATULATIONS on Disciples faith voices used to help accomplish this successful next step!! See an article from American Immigration Council about the July 18th request and additional background information about DACA/DAPA here.
SEND YOUR IMMIGRANT STORIES AND PHOTOS OF "OUR DISCIPLES FAMILIES" FOR SHARING AT AND BEFORE THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY!
Who ARE we, as diverse populations of Disciples immigrant communities?? We are committed to gathering stories to show and share WHO we are as immigrant and refugee background Disciples!! We invite you to SEND PHOTOS AND STORIES from your Disciples family. Especially sought are stories of Disciples DREAMERS, potentially eligible DACA+ and DAPA leaders, and undocumented immigrants from ALL backgrounds. Please share both your leadership successes and struggles. Stories only need be 1-2 paragraphs long, and may be provided in English or Spanish, and photos should be of high quality to be enlarged. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details! For a sample of how your stories might be compiled go to.
REMEMBER FARM WORKERS WHO GROW OUR FOOD THIS THANKSGIVING!!
We encourage your congregation and family to remember those who grow the food EVERY DAY-and including for our Thanksgiving feast! As we approach the holidays ahead, see our "Who Is Behind the Platter?" resource here
use prayers like these in "The Cries of the Harvesters"
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OCEANSIDE, CA. HOSTS THE "EL CAMINO DEL INMIGRANTE"
On August 24th, First Christian provided dinner, and hosted a night of stories, testimonies, prayer and worship for pilgrims participating in the 11 day/150 mile march from the border of Mexico at Tijuana to Los Angeles. The event raises awareness of the deep needs to reform US immigration laws, and is organized through the Christian Community Development Association, with support from Bread for the World, World Relief, and other organizations. THANK YOU to First Christian Oceanside for your hospitality and faithfulness in welcoming and supporting justice for immigrant families!!
Go here to read the wonderful accounts of FCC Oceanside's feeding and hospitality with the walkers who stayed at the church on August 24th!
HOPING TO VOTE, AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO VOTE, THIS FALL?
Even persons of the same faith may never agree politically, but many claim our calling to "return to justice" also invites us to engage in helping to shape values in our day to day society-including through voting!! Some states have area and state elections early in the Fall, and the Presidential and General Elections are on November 8th!! One site that shares easy to search information to find out about all the
deadlines in your own state
for information on who is eligible to register, and how!!
RIM'S DIRECTOR, REV. DR. SHARON STANLEY-REA TRAVELS FREQUENTLY, AND IS EAGER TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CONGREGATION'S OUTREACH WITH REFUGEE & IMMIGRATION MINISTRIES!!
Call us to schedule a time for preaching and/or speaking related to immigrant, farm worker, and refugee themes and action opportunities! Travel reimbursements help us to continue to reach more churches. Contact Sharon with your requests at: email@example.com or 202-957-7826. During the Fall, Rev. Stanley-Rea is already scheduled for ministry visits with: DHM/DM Ministry Planning in Cleveland (Sept. 20-21), Global Ministries Middle East Trip (Sept. 24-Oct. 7), CCCA Regional Meeting in W.Va. (Oct. 14-16), Illinois meetings and CWS Members' Meeting (Oct. 21-28), Strasburg, VA. (Nov. 6), DHM Board in D.C. (Nov. 8-10), Lynchburg, VA. (Nov. 13). Please let us know how we can connect with your congregations!
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea Five Thomas Circle, N.W.
(202) 957-7826 (Cell)
Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Disciples Home Missions
Refugee & Immigration Ministries is a ministry of Disciples Home Missions in Partnership with the Christian Church Capital Area and the Disciples Center for Public Witness