REFLECT
What a joy it is to share these reflections from ECM's immigration actions and Karen Sargent, my colleague at Boston University. Karen's wisdom reminds us of our call to take action outside the walls of the church- to cultivate a "yes, and" theology. This is a theology that demands our active seeking out of those who are marginalized in our world and manifesting a resounding YES, AND! YES to love of neighbor, AND action on that neighbor's behalf. In a society insistent on saying no, ECM and our partners and constituents are committed to saying yes! We'll say yes at the Immigrant Lobby Day! We'll say yes to drivers licenses for all immigrants in Massachusetts. We'll say yes to our undocumented neighbors and we'll say yes to God's urgent call for us to strive for justice and peace among all people. As you read this month's newsletter and learn about the ways that our communities can continue to show up for immigrant rights, may you move into action. Be encouraged by the God of "yes, and." 

-Hazel Monae Johnson, Manager of Leadership Development at ECM

The God of the "Yes, and"
BY KAREN SARGENT

There is always something more to be created. American society thrives off of the "Scarcity Myth," which states that if more resources are given - to immigrants, to refugees, to the poor, the homeless, the marginalized - there won't be enough for the "rest of us." It seems to me that the idea that there is always enough to go around and that there is more to be created is a radical act of resistance in a society that consistently says "no."

I think that God exists in the creativity and space of the response "Yes, and."

Although it's in the name, it bears repeating that the steps outside the Cathedral are the centerpiece of the Ministry of the Steps. It is here that multiple groups intersect: those who work in local business, Bostonians who have lived in the neighborhood for decades, tourists just passing through for a brief period of time, and people who are homeless who consider the Common their home. The Ministry provides activities where all of these vastly different groups of people can connect with each other for a brief period of time and discover that maybe - just maybe - they might have more in common than they think.

...

Here is what I am learning: Our baptismal covenant asks if we will "Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves," and if we will "Strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being."

We respond that we will, with God's help.

Yes, we will - and.

And then we dive into our own discomfort of the unknown. And then we stand up and face a world that says that there is never enough of anything to go around.

...

This is why I consider the Ministry of the Steps to be an extension of my faith and my commitment to the Baptismal Covenant. God doesn't deserve to be only contained within a building: God deserves to be lived and experienced out in the beauty of creation, from forests to villages to concrete jungles. There is something so beautiful about taking the Church outside to the people because it responds with an overwhelming yes, and instead of resigning itself to the idea that building relationships with everyone is impossible or that only certain people deserve to have access to the love of God.

Image Description: Protestors and cameras surround as 18 Jews stand in two rows in front of the Suffolk County House of Corrections. A line of police stand behind them.
ACT

Preparing for ICE Raids: A Letter To Clergy

The Very Rev. Amy McCreath wrote the following in a Facebook post last week. Please share these resources in your networks.


Dear clergy colleagues,

As you've heard, the Trump administration has announced that ICE raids on families will begin tomorrow. There has been no public statement about ICE showing up at churches, but it has happened before. One never quite knows what will actually happen or where, but in the spirit of "Be Prepared," here is some advice and information I've assembled today, in part from clergy in cities where the administration has *officially* threatened ICE raids, and in part from leaders at the teach-in on immigrant and refugee rights today at the cathedral in Boston. 

Please pass on to others as you see best. This list is being offered by me in my role as a colleague, not by the diocese or another official entity:
  1. If the church doors are wide open, the space is considered public and all are welcome, so ICE agents can come in. You do have the option of closing the doors after the service starts and stationing someone near the doors so that they can tell agents they cannot come in without a warrant.
  2. If agents do come in, document, document document. Make clear, verbally and on film, that services are going on and that you do not consent to their entrance. Film, get names, badge numbers, etc. Call the media and your bishop, and tell the agents you are doing so.
  3. People who have immigration documents (like a green card, work ID, VISA, or stay of removal) should be carrying those documents with them. If ICE agents do not "believe" those documents (which has been happening in Chicago) use white privilege and or clergy privilege to step in to those confrontations and assert your parishoners rights. It's been effective in some cases. 
  4. In Massachusetts, if you or a parishioner need or want advice, they can call Laura Rotolo at the ACLU- 7814756005 or the ACLU office - 6174823170.  

Let us pray for all those whose lives, status, and livelihood are threatened in these times,

Amy


Image Description: a drawing of a personified Statue of Liberty embracing a woman of color who is wearing a headscarf.
Immigrant Rights Lobby Day
When our neighbors' families are under attack, what do we do? 

STAND UP, FIGHT BACK

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
11:00am  - 2:00pm
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street, Boston

Join the Coalition for Social Justice for Immigrant's Rights Lobby Day. Volunteers will be speaking to our legislators about the importance of the following bills and their impact on our immigrant neighbor's lives
Check out the links for more information and fact sheets about the bills. 

Meet us in Boston or join a carpool by contacting Maria at  beebeefortes@yahoo.com or at 508-415-8385.

Follow the event on Facebook for more educational resources and information prior to the event!
Action for Immigrant Lives
During this time of heightened national attention on the struggle of migrants, there are countless ways to get engaged in the fight for immigrant justice in your local community. Click here for an overview of action opportunities compiled by Action for Immigrant Lives.  Click here for an overview of action opportunities compiled by Action for Immigrant Lives.
Image Description: the Driving Families Forward logo, a cartoon of a car and a stick figure family of four.
Make Calls with Driving Families Forward

Driving Families Forward is the coalition working to pass the Work and Family Mobility Act - which would secure Drivers Licenses for all immigrants in MA.

We need you to call your legislators and express your support for the bill! We are using HubDialer to maximize the impact of our calls.
 
Here are instructions on how to utilize and log into the HubDialer system, along with a script to guide your conversations. Please contact Crisayda (978-590-1700) if you have any questions.
 
Next,  we have officially launched a Driving Families Forward coalition petition as well as a letter campaign to let legislators know that it's time to pass the Work and Family Mobility Act! We are trying to get as many petition signers as we can, as well as send consistent emails out to legislators in support of the Act, so please feel free to share both far and wide across your networks.
LEARN & SHARE RESOURCES
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

It is important for both allies and people most impacted by the assaults on immigrants to understand the rights of undocumented immigrants and others at risk of detention & deportation.


MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Mijente has put together the following Resources for Healing and Resilience in Latinx Communities.

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Give to our local bond fund who are bailing people out across MA: BIJAN

BIJAN leader Marius spoke at ECM' s Annual Celebration.