Prayer in a time of pandemic​
Loving God, throughout the Scriptures you call us to “Fear not!”, but these are troubling times for the hardiest souls. Give us courage to face the challenges of this new threat to your human family. Give us prudence, to do the necessary things to protect ourselves and others. Give us the clarity of vision to learn from this disease the lesson we are too prone to forget, that we are all connected, regardless of race or nationality or political persuasion. We pray for those who are struggling with this disease, that their health may be restored. We pray for medical personnel and first responders caring for those in need, that they remain healthy and unflagging in their life-saving work. And we pray for all those economically impacted, that they may find the resources to maintain themselves and their families.  We ask all this, trusting in your abiding love, a love that even death cannot defeat. Amen.

Written by Deacon Tom Hampson, Diocese of San Joaquin
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic:
Information and Resources for Immigrant
Communities in the Central Valley
(updated March 23, 2020)
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) and the Sacramento Family Unity, Education, and Legal (FUEL) Network for Immigrants are committed to supporting and serving immigrants during the 2019-2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have compiled here critical information and resources to help immigrant communities navigate this challenging time.

We will continue updating this document throughout the pandemic as much of this information is rapidly changing on a daily basis. Please visit for the most updated electronic version of this document with clickable links. To learn more about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is, you can watch this video by the World Health Organization. 

Xenophobia Puts Us All At Greater Risk of Getting the Coronavirus

Now that the coronavirus outbreak has become a  global pandemic , attention to the role of migrants in the spread of disease is likely to increase. In fact, this is already beginning to happen. More than 120 countries have reported cases of the virus, and international migration is frequently cited as the reason for the spread of the disease. For the most part, this perception is not new. As far back as the plague of Athens in 430 B.C. international migration was believed to be responsible for the spread of the virus from Ethiopia to the city. And in more recent years, migrants have also been linked to the spread of viruses associated with the SARS, Ebola, and Zika virus epidemics.

In most cases, however, perceptions about the relationship between migration and epidemics are driven by fear. One consequence of this is an increase in xenophobic reactions towards immigrants w hose origins are in countries believed to be the sources of epidemics. Media reports of the increase in coronavirus cases have been followed by an increase in  xenophobia towards immigrants  from China, and the scale of these responses is alarming. Chinese immigrants have been banned from public places, violently attacked, and have seen declines in the number of clients patronizing their businesses. To make things worse, some of these responses were reported in countries such as  Kenya , where they were observed before any coronavirus infections were recorded.

Reflections on Stations of the Cross 
 will be released in a digital download booklet and compilation of audio meditations on March 12. We will also release individual written and audio reflections on each station of the cross weekly on Wednesdays, Ash Wednesday through April 1, then shifting to a daily release through Good Friday. You can find more information below about what you will get when you  sign up  to receive the materials.
Holy Welcome and Advocacy

The question is often asked of those who enter the US illegally, “why don’t they just follow ‘the rules’ if they want to come in.” As a resident, born in the US, who has helped someone navigate the immigration system, I have to say that I am much more empathetic to those who lack the resources, both time and money, to “follow the rules”.

Prayers of the People for use in Lent
SJRAISE Immigration prayers for all congregations Year A 2020

The following biddings are meant to be added, and modified to the current Prayers of the People format used by each congregation. The intention here is to include one bidding regarding Immigration for each Church Year Season. The reference to DACA recipients may be included at any time as the issue is being reviewed and decided currently.

As our leaders ponder the future of our DACA recipients;
Let us pray for those leaders to make fair human decisions.

Lord as we walk with you on your journey to Jerusalem let us be mindful of others who face hate and danger every day; Let us pray for those fleeing their homelands and those who face hatred in any parts of the world.

Risen Lord as we rejoice in your rising let us be mindful of those who have little to rejoice about. Let us pray for those who have little joy in their lives, those persecuted and alone.

Special Prayer for Immigrants During COVID-19

Oh Lord; in this time of Covid-19 as we take shelter in our homes, we ask you to spread your love and healing over our brothers and sisters held in overcrowded detention centers and refugee camps. 
We ask Lord that you may soften the hearts of those in authority, that them may care for our sisters and brothers in this time of crises.

We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen

The Immigrants Creed

I believe in Almighty God, who guided the people in exile and in exodus, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel. The God of foreigners and immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean, who was born away from his people and his home, who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger, and returning to his own country suffered the oppression of the tyrant Pontius Pilate, the servant of a foreign power who then was persecuted, beaten, and finally tortured, accused and condemned to death unjustly.

But on the third day, this scorned Jesus rose from the dead, not as a foreigner but to offer us citizenship in heaven. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us, who speaks all languages, lives in all countries, and reunites all races.

I believe that the church is the secure home for the foreigner and for all believers who constitute it, who speak the same language and have the same purpose.

I believe that the communion of the saints begins when we accept the diversity of the saints.

I believe in the forgiveness of sin, which makes us all equal, and in reconciliation, which identifies us more than does race, language, or nationality.

I believe that in the resurrection God will unite us as one people in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.

Beyond this world, I believe in life eternal in which no one will be an immigrant but all will be citizens of God’s kingdom, which will never end. Amen.

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Faith in the Valley
Calls to Action and Training
“Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse”

Free of charge for the first 2,000 students and available on-demand. Participants can access the ChurchNext curriculum at  Make Me an Instrument For Individuals  and  For Groups . Videos from the curriculum will also be available on the Office of Government Relations  webpage .