In God’s family, there are no outsiders, no enemies. Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Jew and Arab, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Buddhist, Hutu and Tutsi, Pakistani and Indian—all belong. When we start to live as brothers and sisters and to recognize our interdependence, we become fully human.        Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Why does someone flee their home? It’s not something anyone does lightly. To leave the familiar - family, friends, work, culture - for an uncertain destination: risky business! It’s a journey only undertaken in desperate circumstances of civil conflict, extreme poverty, or other threats, where the choice to leave is less risky than remaining. Just consider what it would take for you to leave your home, taking with you only what you could carry!
We currently see those dynamics at play in the surge of young people coming to the border from Central America. Church World Service notes, “Unaccompanied children are often fleeing desperation, life-threatening danger, gang recruitment and brutal violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Sometimes with loved ones, they have made the difficult choice to risk the dangerous journey to the United States on their own, trusting that they can find protection and safety. 75% of these minors are ages 15-17. More than 90% of these minors have family members already in the United States who they are planning to join upon arrival.”
Two years ago, during another surge in migration to our border, SJRAISE sponsored a presentation by British journalist Sean Hawkey, who had accompanied one of the “caravans” of migrants from Central America to our border. His reflections on that experience provide powerful context to the factors driving young people from their homes today.
Episcopal Dioceses along the border have long been engaged in assisting migrants with care and comfort, including this current surge of young people.  The Diocese of San Diego is providing chaplaincy services to young women currently housed at the San Diego Convention Center. The Diocese of Arizona, Rio Grande, and West Texas likewise are engaged in providing direct service to immigrants as well as speaking out on their behalf.
SJRAISE represents the aspirations of this Diocese to be similarly committed to the well-being of immigrants in our midst. At our last Diocesan Convention we passed a resolution introduced by the Immigration Commission that declared EDSJ to be a Diocese of Holy Welcome and Advocacy where, “in accordance with Scripture and our Baptismal Covenant, the congregations of the Diocese [will] discern ways they may serve as places of welcome, refuge, and healing to protect the dignity and human rights of all people, including immigrants and refugees.”
The resolution continued, “the Diocese designates the Sunday nearest June 20 (World Refugee Day) as Immigrant/Refugee Sunday, and that annually on that Sunday, each congregation take a special collection in support of the work of the EDSJ Immigration Commission.”
The Immigration Commission (SJRAISE), seeking to implement this resolution, has with the Bishop’s blessing designated May 26 to June 20 as Immigration Month, where we will as a Diocese engage in prayer, reflection, discernment on the ways we may be called to respond to the struggles of immigrants in our diverse communities.
The month will conclude on World Refugee Day, June 20th, which we are designating Immigrant/Refugee Sunday. The collection will support the immigrant assistance work of our partner organization, Faith in the Valley, including their legal defense fund.
During the four Wednesdays of the observance (May 26, June 2, 9 and 16) we will be hosting a 90 minute Bible Study (via Zoom, of course) using No Longer Strangers, produced by Forward Movement. The Bible study will run from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The Bible study will include a 25 minute presentation on issues related to the theme of that session. Our speakers will include:
       Mar. 26: Allison Duval, Senior Manager for Church Relations & Engagement, Episcopal Migration Ministries
       June 2: Bianca Dueñas, Immigration Staff Attorney, Director of San Joaquin Immigrant Empowerment Project
       June 9: Bishop David
       June 16: Talking and Acting around Migration/Immigration Issues - Lety Valencia, Co-Director of Organizing, Faith in the Valley, and the Reverend Julie Kelly, Church of the Saviour, Hanford.
If you wish to participate in the Bible Study, please contact Canon Anna Carmichael at and she will email you the Zoom link for the meetings.
The call to care for the migrant is as old as Scripture and as new as the latest broadcast. We hope you will join in this Diocesan-wide discussion on how we might be called to respond to the needs of migrants and asylum seekers in our midst, as we seek to build God’s Beloved Community in EDSJ.

Deacon Tom Hampson serves at St John's Lodi and is chair of SJRAISE.

In-kind Donations for the Migrant Girls at the
San Diego Convention Center
Below is a list of the items needed for the 1,400+ migrant teen girls, ages 13-17, at the San Diego Convention Center.
-New clothing - especially small/medium sized jackets, sweatshirts or long-sleeved tops, pants, and shoes/slippers
-New blankets
-Toiletries - soap/body wash, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste/toothbrush, hair brushes
-Clear containers with lids that fit under the beds - approx. 29”x 17”x 6”h
Note: The only used items they are allowed to accept for the youth are books (Spanish) or games.
Donations can be dropped off at the following address:
South Bay Community Services
192 Landis Ave.
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Hours of operation: Mon. - Fri., 9:00 - 4:30
(This is the SBCS administrative building; the entrance is through the downstairs door next to the stairs.)

Contact for questions:
Carolyn Mitrovich
office: 619-420-3620, direct: 619-271-5036, cell: 619-902-1468

From the Interfaith Immigration Coalition

A Faithful Response to the Border: Welcoming Migrant Children and Asylum Seekers.

As promised, here is a link to our new Action Toolkit for Welcoming Migrants where you will find helpful links to additional information, organizations, and resources to engage in individual and group action, including:
  • National and local organizations that work with asylum seekers and unaccompanied children
  • Reflection and worship resources
  • Action alerts and advocacy opportunities
  • Background information on asylum and immigration policies
  • Asylum sponsorship information

Together, we can continue to build awareness, pray for justice, connect with and support organizations engaged in this important ministry, and urge our public officials to humanely welcome children and families seeking asylum.

Wrapped in Love

If you are a quilter and would like to contribute to the Wrapped in Love project, or if you would like to provide financial assistance for mailing and supplies, please contact Pastor Julie at:

To view the video of the blessing of the blankets and hear from Pastor Julie and quilter, Jean Wright, click here
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

Climate Migration Abroad and At Home
Imagine waking up to water filling up your home. Imagine the panic setting in as your house slowly floats away beneath your feet. Imagine the sea swallowing your country. For people in Small Island Developing States like the Maldives and Marshall Island, this is their new reality. With rising sea levels and increasing floods, the daily decision to stay becomes more of a fight against nature. When these islands disappear, we don’t just lose land. We lose stories of our past, stories of who we are.

Click here to sign up for the California Immigrant Policy Center's May 25, 2021 Digital Immigrant Day of Action.
The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a constituent-based statewide immigrant rights organization with offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Oakland. It is the premier immigrant rights institution in the state. CIPC advocates for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social and economic justice. They are holding the Immigrant Digital Day of Action MAY 25, 2021. They would like people to register to attend the Digital Day of Action. $15 per person to attend.
Click here for an overview of the day
Stay up to date with online trainings and webinars related to immigration issues across the country by subscribing to the


from our partners at
Interfaith Immigration Coalition
includes important yet easy action items for individuals and congregations!

The Immigration Services Directory, which provides a list of nonprofit community organizations that offer a broad range of immigration-related services in the Central Valley can be found here

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



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


Mark Your Calendar:
Borderlands Ministry Summit
October 21-23, 2021

Prayers of the People for use in Ordinary Time
SJRAISE Petitions for Prayers of the People:
Easter-Pentecost 2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Bring into fullness of life, O God, the alien and the stranger among us, and attune our spirit to the gifts they bring.

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Bring into fullness of life, O God, all who seek the way of love and turn their hearts to include the stranger as a friend.

Seventh Sunday of Easter
Bring into fullness of life, O God, all who are victims of prejudice and unjust legislation.

The Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
Prosper the variety and diversity of people and cultures in our country; may our national life be marked by inclusion, compassion, and justice.

1st Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday (May 30)
Lord God, hear our prayer for the entire household of humanity; strengthen us in our concern and care for one another. Let neither ideologies divide us nor borders restrain us from living out the common life we share in you.
2nd Sunday after Pentecost (June 6) thru 9th Sunday after Pentecost (July 25)
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.
10th Sunday after Pentecost (Aug. 1) thru 16th  Sunday after Pentecost (Sept. 12)
Lord God, give us hearts and wills to embrace the alien and the stranger in our midst. May our personal and communal lives reflect the welcome you have all people.
17th Sunday after Pentecost (Sept. 19) thru 23rd  Sunday after Pentecost (Oct. 31)
Lord God, hear the cry for justice in the lives of immigrants and refugees. Unstop our ears that we may listen to their needs, and soften our hearts to be to them palpable signs of your compassion and righteousness.
All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1)
Lord God, grant the world to know that in you there are no longer strangers nor aliens. In the power of your Sprit reveal all your people as members of your household, and may our lives show forth the welcome and inclusion which is your will.
25th Sunday after Pentecost (Nov. 14)
Lord God, may your kingdom come bringing with it the righteousness that is your promise. Uncover the deceptions that keep our sisters and brothers estranged and in fear. Be with those awaiting trials and all who are detained. Through our efforts for them may they know your comfort.
Last Sunday after Pentecost: Christ the King (Nov. 21)
Lord God, shed abroad among nations and leaders the abiding truth and love you have revealed in Jesus. Make known the sovereign justice that transcends borders and governments, and protect in your gentleness the victims of injustice and the casualties of our own complacency. 

written by Rev. Luis Rodriguez, St Paul's Bakersfield

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, St John's Lodi

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

SJRAISE YouTube Channel:

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