"The Border: A Double Sonnet" by Alberto Ríos

Born in Nogales, Arizona in 1952, Alberto Ríos is the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona. He currently serves as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. (Source: poets.org)  We are grateful to Dax Crocker, Lead Organizer at Episcopal City Mission, for drawing our attention to this poem.

"The Border: A Double Sonnet"

The border is a line that birds cannot see.
The border is a beautiful piece of paper folded carelessly in half.
The border is where flint first met steel, starting a century of fires.
The border is a belt that is too tight, holding things up but making it hard to 
The border is a rusted hinge that does not bend.
The border is the blood clot in the river's vein.
The border says stop to the wind, but the wind speaks another language, and keeps going.
The border is a brand, the "Double-X" of barbed wire scarred into the skin of so many.
The border has always been a welcome stopping place but is now a stop sign, always red.
The border is a jump rope still there even after the game is finished.
The border is a real crack in an imaginary dam.
The border used to be an actual place, but now, it is the act of a thousand imaginations.
The border, the word border , sounds like order , but in this place they do not rhyme.
The border is a handshake that becomes a squeezing contest.
The border smells like cars at noon and wood smoke in the evening.
The border is the place between the two pages in a book where the spine is bent too far.
The border is two men in love with the same woman.
The border is an equation in search of an equals sign.
The border is the location of the factory where lightning and thunder are made.
The border is "NoNo" The Clown, who can't make anyone laugh.
The border is a locked door that has been promoted.
The border is a moat but without a castle on either side.
The border has become Checkpoint Chale .
The border is a place of plans constantly broken and repaired and broken.
The border is mighty, but even the parting of the seas created a path, not a barrier.
The border is a big, neat, clean, clear black line on a map that does not exist.
The border is the line in new bifocals: below, small things get bigger; above, nothing changes.
The border is a skunk with a white line down its back.

Take Action
Support Driver's Licenses for All

Here in Massachusetts, statewide support is building for "An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility." The Bill, when passed, will secure licenses for all immigrants, regardless of immigration status. The Bill is currently in the Transportation CommitteeRead the ECM Blog Post on Drivers Licenses to learn more about how to support the passage of this bill.

Solidarity Actions for Drivers Licenses:
Leaders from Movimento Cosecha are organizing a Walk for Licenses from Framingham to the State House in Boston over the course of four days this weekend, April 26-29. There are many ways you can support the Walk -- and build public support for Drivers Licenses for All:
  • Join the walk -- whether for one day or all 
  • Participate in the rally at the State House on Monday, April 29
  • Donate food/money/other resources to support those who will be walking for four days and staying in Churches along the route
  • Contact: Dylan (617) 694-3803
Statement from the Cosecha organizers:
It is high time that the immigrant and undocumented community get to drive without fear in the state of Massachusetts.

We are demanding licenses for everyone. Undocumented immigrants are forced to drive without licenses. Every time we take our children to schools and hospitals or every time we drive to work we run the risk of being detained by the police and being deported.

We are tired of unfair tickets, we are tired of having to go to court and we are tired of the danger that at any moment we could be separated from our families. In Massachusetts, driving is not a luxury, it's a necessity and that's why we'll walk this April 26 from Framingham to the state house on Monday, April 29 and demand licenses once and for all. Licenses Yes, Promises No!
Image description: The words "La Gran Caminata Para Licencias De Conducir" ("The great walk for driver's licenses") An image of a road overlaid with a red line outlining the stops on the walk - Framingham, Walthan, Somerville, and the State House in Boston. Also overlaid are the Cosecha logo and an image of a driver's license where the photo is an immigrant with their fist in the air.
Immigration Accompaniment and Advocacy

ECM is collaborating with the Canon for Immigration & Multicultural Ministries to support parishes across the Diocese to act for immigrant justice. There are three ways to act:

(1) Accompaniment - provide transportation, allyship, and spiritual and material support for immigrants navigating the immigration and criminal justice system
  • Boston - Join the Beyond Network: bit.ly/joinbijan
  • Burlington - Join the Burlington Cluster: Contact: Pam Chester, pgachester@gmail.com and 617-484-6088
  • Metrowest - Join the Metrowest Immigration Solidarity Network: Contact: framcompaneras@gmail.com

(2) Advocacy - advocate in your community for the passage of the Safe Communities Act and Driver's Licenses for undocumented immigrants For more information about how to be involved in these campaigns, contact Carly@episcopalcitymission.org .

(3) Activism - attend a Prayer Vigil at South Bay Detention Center, Sunday April 28th at 2:00 pm - Vigil to support the men detained by ICE. 
Recent News from ECM
Close-up image of the collages created by youth in the Las Fronteras program.
Reflection on Mission Trips and White Privilege in Episcopal Youth Program

This week, Jocelin Thomas, Program Coordinator at ECM, shares her reflections on the Las Fronteras Youth Program, which invites youth to explore faith values through service learning in Massachusetts and a trip to the borderlands between Sonora, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona. 
"These are the hopes I hold for the youth preparing to journey to Las Fronteras. I hope the trainings we've done on storytelling and resonating have prepared them to listen with open ears and an open heart. I hope the exercises we've done on unpacking their privilege has prepared them to check their privilege and humble themselves. I hope the exposure we've given them of community organizing work happening in Massachusetts has planted seeds that grow into continued engagement with local justice work after their trip. I hope the spiritual practices and discussions we've led them through allow them to feel grounded as they prepare to travel, explore, and learn." Read Jocelin's full reflections here.
A flyer for an event on April 24, which shows a young person speaking at a microphone and reads, "The Letter from the Birmingham Jail: A Public Reading in Boston, Part II" Down Home Delivery, 2 Bowdoin St. Boston, MA, Wed, April 24, 6:00 PM
Reflections on Holy Week and Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

On Tuesday, April 16th, hundreds gathered in Downtown Boston to hear faith leaders, youth organizers, public figures, and community members read Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" on the 55th anniversary of its publication.

The Rev. Liz Steinhauser reflected, "The news can be discouraging, and the winds of ongoing injustice can push us off balance. Even the church can sometimes feel, as Dr. King put it, like 'a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.' But there is hope! Organized religion can and should 'recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church...and join as active partners in the struggle for freedom.' For those of us who call ourselves Christian, those words, read aloud on a public plaza, felt like a steady support. I felt a new energy for myself and sense of possibility for our city and country."

ECM is Hiring!
ECM is hiring for four positions! Join our team in this urgent moment in our country and exciting time in our organization's life.

Episcopal City Mission (ECM) is looking for a committed, energetic and high-performing organizer to work with our lead organizer, developing our leadership base across Episcopal communities in Massachusetts and organizing teams to take justice-based action.

Click here for a full job description

Episcopal City Mission (ECM) is looking for a committed, energetic and high-performing team member to manage all aspects of ECM's grants programs: Burgess Urban Fund, Parish Partnerships, Wider Community Partnerships and Amos Fund from publicizing availability to evaluation and follow up with grantees.

Episcopal City Mission (ECM) is looking for a committed, energetic and high-performing team member to incorporate leadership development into all aspects of ECM's engagement opportunities in Massachusetts.

Episcopal City Mission (ECM) is looking for a committed, energetic and high-performing team member develop and implement strong strategic communications. 

ECM Partners
Feature: The Bridge Counseling Center at St. Peter's Episcopal in Dartmouth 
The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing is located at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Dartmouth. The Bridge strives to provide clients with an opportunity to make lasting changes in their lives. Our mission is to help individuals, families, teens and children experience emotional, psychological and spiritual wellness.  
A photo of the Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing, a large white building with a rainbow flag flying outside.
Areas of Specialty in Counseling at Bridge: Grief Counseling, Navigating Sexuality, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Parenting Support, Women's Issues, Wellness Strategies, ADHD, Anger Management, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Spirituality and Others.
Grief Support Groups: Loss of Spouse/Partner, Adult Child, Parent (for adults), Loved One due to Addiction, Children & Teten Bereavement Programs, and Other groups offered throughout the year.
Meditation / Mindfulness: Weekly Meditation / Mindfulness Group: Every Thursday from 10:00-11:00AM and Occasional Evening Meditation / Mindfulness Programs - call for schedule.
The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing
351 Elm Street
Dartmouth, MA 02748
Phone: 508.997.0903
FAX: 774.202.6940
Email: thebridgedartmouth@gmail.com
Appointments Currently Available. Most major insurances accepted for counseling services for children, teens and adults. 
Safe Communities Meetings on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities is a growing association of citizens from across the Cape concerned about the local impact of the anti-immigrant actions taken by federal, state, and local governments. With a declared purpose of working for justice, fairness, and human rights on behalf of all members of our communities, their primary focus is the safety and well-being of all who reside, visit, and work on the Cape.

Attend a town meeting to demonstrate your support for local resolutions to defend immigrant rights on Cape Cod!

Harwich Article 51, Harwich Community Center - Monday, May 6th, 7:00 p.m.

Mashpee Article 33Mashpee High School - Monday, May 6th, 7:00 p.m.

Orleans Article 61, Nauset Middle School - Monday, May 13th, 6:00 p.m.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sometimes town meetings run into multiple nights.  The dates here are dates town meetings begin. Some of these votes may not be taken on the first night, it depends on their order on the Warrant.
Coming Soon at ECM
JUNE 11, 2019 from 5:30 - 8:30 P.M. at BOSTON UNIVERSITY

This year's Annual Celebration will focus on the importance of finding hope in the now, through acting for change in a place rather than focusing on a lofty intangible hope that will manifest in the future.  The featured speaker is Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at Iliff School of Theology, scholar-activist, author, and ordained Baptist minister. His books include  Embracing Hopelessness  and  The U.S. Immigration Crisis: Towards and Ethics of Place .

This special event is free for all to attend. As ECM's annual fundraiser, we invite you, your parish or your organization to become an event sponsor. 

To become a sponsor for the 2019 Annual Celebration, click here!
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Visits - April 26, 2019
The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be visiting Massachusetts beginning on April 26th. Please view the list of events and download promotional materials here .
Praxis Groups: Studying the work of Miguel De La Torre
Praxis is a community of faith-rooted leaders who believe God calls us all to build liberating and joyful communities. To this end, we have dedicated ourselves to dismantling oppressive cultures of racial and economic injustice, such as white supremacy and individualism, by challenging dominant systems of power.

Praxis members meet monthly in small groups to both reflect on how they are called to lead and to commit to practicing courageous leadership in their various communities. This spring, Praxis groups will be studying the work of Miguel De La Torre. If you are interested in learning more about Praxis contact Dan Gelbtuch: Dan@EpiscopalCityMission.Org.