In addition to being the diocesan liaison to SJRAISE, I co-chair, with Deacon Steve Bentley, the Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation Commission. As our commission is in the "forming" stage of group life, we decided to read a book together as a follow up to the Waking Up White study the diocese did back in July. Deacon Steve suggested we read Begin Again by Eddie Glaude, Jr., and so for the last month or so as I've taken walks around the neighborhood, I've been intently listening to Glaude narrate his text. I found myself shaking my head, feeling frustrated and wondering "how do we fix the mess we created".

While this is not the place to unpack everything I learned from Glaude (and James Baldwin), one of the big take-aways for me was that immigration, white nationalism and racism are deeply intertwined. Eddie is critical of the "Make America Great Again" narrative, which I did not realize has a much longer history in this country than our former president, Donald Trump. In fact, former president Ronald Reagan used the phrase, David Duke, leader of the KKK, has used the phrase, and it may go even further back in our history as a nation. For Duke, "MAGA" was about returning our country to white only (it never was, by the way), and for Reagan, it was associated with the notion of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps". But as Eddie Glaude, Jr. reminds us, if you have no boots to begin with, then how do you pull yourself up.

Under the former administration, we experienced some of the harshest immigration policies our nation has endured. The so-called Muslim ban, Executive Order 13769 (and then superseded by EO 13780) lowered the number of admitted refugees from  the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, SomaliaSudanSyria, and Yemen to 50,000. It also allowed for the detainment of 700 travelers and the provisional revoking of 60,000 visas. The zero tolerance attitude towards those who attempted to come into the country without documentation led to further expansion of the border wall to our south (which has also caused environmental damage), the separation of families at the border, children in cages, and further complicated the asylum seeking process for those seeing refuge in our country. A nation that claimed to be a "melting pot" was no more.

These changes, as Glaude notes, not only hurt, traumatized and damaged those seeking to migrate, but they changed the way we understood who we are--who belongs and who doesn't. Even elected national leaders were told to "go home" because they were not white...even though "home" was the United States. Under the former administration, DACA, which had been established in 2012 to protect individuals who had been brought to the US as children from deportation, was ended, thus causing hundreds of thousands of young people who had only ever known the US as "home" to fear deportation. The Supreme Court allowed DACA to remain in place until June 2020, and in December, it was fully reinstated.

I share these things with you because the biggest take-away for me from Glaude's text was the realization that these policies and rhetoric are not only a facet of what he called Reaganism or Trumpism. They are a reflection of us, of who we are, and our often politely silent but real issues of racism and bigotry. David Duke, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump did not/do not exist in a vacuum...we empowered them to be the face of what so many of us deny exists. But it doesn't have to be that way for ever. As Glaude states:
We have to rid ourselves, once and for all, of this belief that white people matter more than others, or we're doomed to repeat the cycles of our ugly history over and over again...We need an America where 'becoming white' is no longer the price of the ticket. Instead, we should set out to image the country in the full light of its diversity and with an honest recognition of our sins....we have to confront our national trauma honestly if we are to shake loose from [it]...This will demand of us a new American story, different symbols, and robust policies to repair what we have done." (pg 202)

This will not be easy work. It will mean letting go of power and privilege. It will mean giving others a voice, a seat at the table, and a welcome. It will mean supporting those who are Brown and Black to hold power. It will require not just reconciliation, but repentance for the injustices we have participated in and perpetrated against others through our policies. It will mean we have to get honest with ourselves. If you fear that I've gotten "political" let me be clear that this is Biblical. As our Presiding Bishop has said over and over again, "If it's not about love, then it's not about God." If we truly love our neighbors, then we must do this work. Our very lives depend on it.

The Rev. Canon Anna Carmichael is Canon to the Ordinary and serves as the diocesan liaison to SJRAISE and co-chair of the Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation Commission.
Check out the new SJRAISE website!
Cleaner look, new navigation tools and great ways to get involved and contribute to the ministry of SJRAISE!
Faith leaders react to Biden-Harris Day-1
Immigration Plans

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition presented the Biden-Harris transition team a three point policy change:
  • Bring accountability, compassion, fairness, and morality to immigration and other policies. Tear down walls and build communities.
  • Decolonize the U.S.’ role in other countries as they build and strengthen.
  • Work with Congress to pass bold, humane, and compassionate immigration laws.

to read the full article, click here

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a new system to responsibly
manage and secure our border, keep our families and communities safe, and
better manage migration across the Hemisphere.
Wrapped in Love

Nothing says love like a homemade quilt. Throughout our nation immigrant individuals are missing home, community, and family. The congregations of Episcopal Church of the Saviour and St James Lutheran in Hanford couldn't agree more. So when their new shared pastor showed up with 12 boxes of quilting fabric and news of the need for quilts for our immigrant communities, they took to the sewing machines.  

Pastor Julie Kelly arrived from Southern California and was active in care of the recently arrived folks in her community. Earlier this year, she received an email sharing stories of folks who walked to the U.S. border and were stuck in tent cities, awaiting entrance to the American Dream. Along with a need for food and medical supplies they were askign for trashbags to be distributed in the tent cities of Tijauna, Tecate, and Mexicali. What shocked her was to learn they were not for trash, but to sleep under.  

When she shared this with others, the first response was, "Well why can't our quilters make quilts?" The team at SJRAISE agreed and a shared ministry between EDSJ and Sierra Pacific Synod the ELCA was born. 

Due to the limitations of what individuals can carry, the quilts are smaller than a twin and larger than a crib blanket (45x60); big enough an adult can curl up under them and be warm. Better yet, while still small enough to put in a backpack, they are a size that can be wrapped around a person who is alone, afraid, and unsure of what is next.  

Due to COVID and immigration developments, this love ministry is still securing modes of transport and distribution that will be effective and useful for those in need, but they already have the first request for 100 in Nogales!  If you would like to support this ministry through your time, talents, or treasure, email Pastor Julie
COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants
(in Spanish)

Guía para Inmigrantes de California + Listos California Esta guía proporciona consejos sobre los servicios, incluyendo los beneficios públicos, que están disponibles para los inmigrantes californianos, incluidos algunos que están disponibles independientemente de su estatus migratorio. Visite para obtener más información. 

Calls to Action, Training and Resources
Epiphany 2021
This curriculum is an adaptable and flexible series that may be used at any time of year. It is based upon the Gospel of Mark, using the daily reading schedule from the Good Book Club. Request Epiphany curriculum here. The Good Book Club is an invitation to all Episcopalians to join in reading the Gospel of John during Epiphany 2021. For readings, resources, partner organizations, and more, visit
If you are seeking opportunities to connect to a community of welcomers and advocates, you are cordially invited to join one of EMM’s ministry networks. These are vibrant virtual spaces for conversation, collaboration, and taking action, together. We would love to have you join us:
  • EMM’s Immigrant Detention Ministry Network meets the first Monday of the month, 12:00-1:15pm(EST) Click here to register
  • EMM’s Asylum Ministry Network meets the third Monday of the month, 12:00-1:15pm (EST) Click here to register


The collection of artwork comes from the Tornillo Children's Detention Camp where close to 3,000 unaccompanied minors from Central and South America were held. Art was a way to express their faith, the love of their family and friends, and pride in their homeland.

To learn more about the artwork, read this article from the New York Times



Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) has developed a toolkit for supporting immigrants currently in detention.


Prayers of the People for use in Ordinary Time
SJRAISE Petitions for Prayers of the People:
Lent 2021

First Sunday in Lent
Free, O God, this nation from the temptation to power and easy answers, that we might discern ways for all people to share the fruits of true liberty . 

Second Sunday in Lent
Comfort, O God, all those who must make a new home in a foreign place, and who must navigate the changes and difficulties of living in a new country.

Third Sunday in Lent
Open, O God, our hearts and lives to the conditions under which aliens live in our country and gives us a willingness to meet their needs.

Fourth Sunday in Lent
Heal, O God, this nation of prejudice and racism that we may embrace with kind hearts the many immigrants who live within our borders.

Fifth Sunday in Lent
Open, O God the doors of our communities to all who seek your Son and search for safety among his people.

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Enter, O God, into the injustice in our cities, country and world and turn us towards your coming kingdom.

written by Rev. Luis Rodriguez

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

Special Prayers 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

Sign up to hear from our partners!
Episcopal Migration Ministries

Episcopal Public Policy Network

Church World Services

Faith in the Valley

Artisans Beyond Borders

Undocumented Migration Project