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
What we are called to do

When I read in an article other week about 168 asylum seekers that the US sent back to El Salvador my heart broke to learn about their deaths. This is 168 needless deaths! We as a country sent them back knowing that it would cost them their life. I find myself wondering how we could in good conscience send them to their deaths.

The only reason I can come up with is our own fear. We are living in a country that is focused on scarcity. We as a country are so afraid that if we let anyone into our country; to eat our food and take our jobs there will not be enough for us.

The Bible and Jesus does not want us living this way. I have a friend who continually talks about an amazing God who will do things beyond our imagination. Sometimes this annoys me, yet if we believed in this amazing God, in the wonderful and amazing things he will do for us, there is no reason to live in fear of scarcity. Just as he provided for the Israelites in their wandering in the desert for 40 years, how much more will he do for us if we just trust him.

Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself and to help those in need. How can we as Christians model this if we continue to live in fear of scarcity? It is only by trusting in our awesome God that we can step forward and say, neighbor I love you let me give you a hand. Only when we realize that what affects our neighbors affects us can we come out of our silos and walk with our brothers and sisters. Only at this point will this country be great again. Only when we can accomplish this, can we look to make God's Kingdom here on earth; where all humans are valued, trusted, and loved.

Many people spend their life looking forward to the time when Jesus returns a second time and he makes the world as it should be. Yet, as Christians it is our calling to bring God's Kingdom here, and now, to prepare the world for the time of his return. We are commissioned to make all people valued, loved. We are called to make a world where everyone is respected and treated with dignity regardless of where they come from or the color of their skin. Knowing and fully believing that every person has a right to live in safety.

It is what Jesus did and it is what each of us is called to do.

The Rev. Deacon Amy Larsen is a member of the Immigration Commission and serves at St James in Sonora.

SCOTUS Decision


DACA stands! (but only for now….)

June 18, the Supreme Court, with a slim 5/4 majority, ruled that the Trump Administration could not immediately shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which grants protected status for children brought to the US without immigration authorization. The program was implemented in 2012, and includes strict provisions including age of arrival, continuous residence, school attendance, diploma or degree, no felony offenses, and not a threat to national security.

At present, there are about 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. Census data (American Community Survey) show the ways in which DACA recipients have contributed to their families, communities, and the nation’s economy. ( )

The decision was based on the procedural errors by which the Trump Administration sought to end DACA – not the validity of DACA itself. As such, a legislative solution, including development of a path to citizenship, must now happen if DACA is to be preserved. But for now, the threat of deportation has been lifted from nearly 1 million DACA recipients who call this country “home.”

Deacon Nancy Key and Deacon Tom Hampson,
Co-Chairs, Immigration Commission 

From Immigrant Legal Resource Center

After an intense legal battle, the Supreme Court issued a positive decision on the DACA case on June 18, 2020, finding that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the program was “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedures Act and failed to consider the hardship to DACA recipients.
This decision is a huge victory for immigrant communities and their allies who mobilized to protect the DACA program. However, although the Court sided with DACA recipients, it is important to remember that the Trump Administration can again attempt to end the program through a new executive action. While only Congress can take action to create a permanent solution for DACA recipients through federal legislation, we must also continue demanding that state and local officials protect our communities from immigration enforcement.
Below are some important takeaways to share with clients and community members that briefly explains the Court’s decision. Please also find our community 1-pager on our  DACA page  that explains the recent DACA decision in more detail in English and Spanish. 
What did the Court decide?
The Court ruled in favor of the DACA program, rejecting the Trump administration’s 2017 attempt to terminate the program. This decision restores the program completely, and both initial and renewal applications should be accepted by USCIS.
What does this mean for the community?
  • Current DACA recipients continue to be protected from deportation and eligible for benefits under the DACA program like work authorization.
  • Eligible DACA recipients can continue to apply to renew their DACA for two more years.
  • Eligible individuals who never had DACA should be able to apply at this time.
  • All eligible individuals should consult with a legal service provider for information about applying for DACA for the first time, renewing their existing DACA, and/or getting screened for eligibility for other, more permanent immigration options.
  • It is possible Advance Parole may again allow DACA recipients to travel outside the United States and return. However, details of this possibility are still unclear, and the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may limit the ability to travel. Check with a legal service provider for more information.
What should the community do now?
  • Although the court ruled in favor of DACA, it is critical for DACA recipients to connect with a legal service provider to apply for the first time, renew their applications, and explore options beyond DACA. Visit to find a trusted legal service provider.
  • Continue to fight this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda by advocating for a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients and all other immigrant communities at risk of deportation.
  • Stay informed! Visit the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s DACA page for information on program updates at

Coming Soon:

Uncaged Art

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.

Stay tuned for more information about the Virtual Exhibit!

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

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. 

Immigrant Emergency Funds

On April 15, 2020, California’s Governor announced the creation of a  $75 Million Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project (DRAI) to assist undocumented immigrants  who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. The $75 Million in assistance will be used to send a $500 check to an estimated 150,000 eligible undocumented immigrant. These funds have been distributed through local non-profit organizations starting on May 18 th  and will be available on a first-come first-serve basis until the funds run out.

To find out more information about how to apply for these funds, please click here
Calls to Action and Training
World Refugee Day Resource
World Refugee Day was June 20th and in support the courage, strength and perseverance of millions of refugees, Global Sisters Report is offering a free, downloadable copy of "Seeking Refuge".

You can get your copy here.
From our friends at
Episcopal Migration Ministries:

Connecting Neighbors  
allows individuals and congregations to fill the gap and directly support refugee families resettled by EMM.  

EMM’s network of 13 refugee resettlement affiliates continue to serve newly resettled refugee families and in very difficult circumstances. Several needs top the list right now: 

--Financial contributions for rent payments. Affiliates need financial support to keep refugee families housed and safe during the pandemic.
--Material goods to support refugee families. Items are detailed on Amazon WishLists. 

--Digital devices. Most importantly, affiliates need donations of gently-used digital devices – tablets, smartphones, laptops – so they can continue providing services and support to refugee families.  

If you’re like me, you’ve been living in the tension of caring for your own and your family’s needs while not forgetting about our newest American neighbors, wondering what you can do from home that would make a real impact. Thanks to my colleagues at EMM, I realized the answer was right in front of me: that old iPhone in my desk drawer… my husband’s old laptop in the closet. 

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you direct your donations to affiliates and refugee families in the greatest need of connection and support.

To make a donation, follow this link:
Prayers of the People for use in Ordinary Time
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.

Petitions for Prayers of the People
(contributed by Rev. Luis Rodriguez & Deacon Amy Larsen)

2 nd Sunday after Pentecost thru 8 th Sunday after Pentecost (June 14-July 26)
Lord God, be with those who seek our nation’s welcome, and with all those living in uncertain circumstances. Sustain them in hope, and challenge our own self-satisfaction in the face of their needs. 

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


At a time when we are all vulnerable to COVID-19 and feeling scared and uncertain, may we remember that refugees continue to be particularly vulnerable - many children, women, and men live in refugee camps where social distancing is not possible and healthcare is not accessible. May we hold our refugee siblings in prayer.
God of new life,
As your people seek refuge in a time of uncertainty,
When borders are closed, resettlement halted, and services limited,
May your presence be known:
You have not abandoned them, the refugees.
When Mary wept at your tomb, you came to her.
Unrecognized at first, but you were there
With arms open to receive.
May we, the global community, imitate you,
Bringing comfort to the brokenhearted here on earth.
When all seems lost along the journey, with the world sealed off,
may we be there, despite the distance,
With arms open to receive.
Prayer from Jesuit Refugee Service

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