September 2020
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Election Season Call to Action!
The Advocacy Team will present a workshop on Tuesday, September 15th that will focus on two goals for this election season:

First, Circle members will be trained to meet their State Representatives. Why? To find out how the State Representatives feel about driver’s license bills for immigrants. To share the values of the Circle and parish with the State Representative. To get to know the State Representative -- is s/he an ally, a friend? Perhaps on some issues but not others? To give parishioners and the pastor a chance to share other concerns. To put the light of the parish on the hilltop...!

Second, Resources will be highlighted that can help us “form our conscience” this election season. There are many important issues to consider as we decide who will get our votes. How do the candidates stand on issues like establishing a fair immigration policy, addressing climate change, fighting for racial equality…..and you could probably name many more. Sr. Karen Donahue, one of 7 staffers for the National Social Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy, will introduce these resources. Sr. Karen is also one of the founding members of Strangers No Longer.

Everyone on our mailing list (and friends!) are invited to attend--just register below. 

Join us Tuesday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. 
New Circle of Support Formed - Mujeres Bajo la Proteccion de Dios
Sr. Martha de la Torre SMR and Amy Ketner (St. Mary Student Parish, Ann Arbor) have formed a new Circle of Support made up of immigrant women from Mexico and Central America. The name of their circle is Mujeres Bajo la Proteccion de Dios which in English means
Women Under the Protection of God. 

This Circle is different than other Circles of Support because it is comprised of immigrant women for the support of immigrant women.


Our Summer of Education was a Success!
Five programs were presented on Zoom during our “Summer of Education”. Our intent was to build a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the immigration crisis.  The presentations were as follows:

- Immigration Crisis and Our Faith - June
- Historical Background for the Causes of Mexican and Central American Migration - July
- Immigration Law in the United States: Then and Now - July
- The Current Situation: Immigration Rights and Legislation – July

The summer programs ended in August with a large organization-wide event presented by Fr. Dave Buersmeyer from St. Regis on Catholic Social Teaching.

We averaged 80 participants for the first four programs. Our final presentation on Catholic Social Teaching attracted an audience of 200!

All the presentations were recorded and are available on our website – Click Here.

Future educational events will focus on the personal side of the crisis: individual stories about people who come to the U.S. for asylum or have applied for DACA or TPS. Many immigrants cannot plan their futures because our immigration policies make it so difficult to progress through the system. We need to hear what life is like for these people.

Expect to hear from us about new educational programs soon!
 Spiritual Integration - a New Pillar for SNL
Chairperson Rosemary Insley (Our Mother of Perpetual Help) has noted that the work of Strangers No Longer is deeply rooted in scripture, the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, and the experience of the presence of God in the lives of the people we serve and our members.

In order to more fully acknowledge this essential element of SNL, Rosemary formed the Spiritual Integration team.

The team supports the members during leadership and larger assembly meetings through reflections on where God is moving in individuals and the organization. For instance, last fall and winter a series of prayer services took place. A service held at Most Holy Trinity (Detroit) brought together diverse groups in the community honoring the children who died in detention, celebrating Latin culture, and contributing to the needs in the immigrant community. This summer, 40 people gathered outside of St. Damien Molokai and prayed for the communities most affected by Covid-19 and gave witness to the hope we hold in prayer and action for healing individuals and unjust structures. (For more on this event click here.)

The Spiritual Integration team is a welcome support to our pillars of Advocacy, Education, and Direct Support/Accompaniment.
SNL Board Plans for the Future
Our SNL Board is planning an ambitious meeting for September 12th. That is the day they will develop the goals for our organization for the next year. The Board will review the current organization and the Circle format and ways to be more effective going forward.

We have been fortunate enough to receive several grants. The most significant one comes from CCHD (Catholic Campaign for Human Development) in the amount of $25,000. The Board will review the goals of the grants and analyze their impact on the organization and the individual Circles. Keep them in your prayers!

Officers to serve on the Board until March 2021 were approved at the last Board meeting.

Update from Our Circles of Support
SNL is blessed to have many members who use their time and energy to help immigrants one-on-one with their immediate needs. Here is some of what has happened recently:

Amy Ketner (St. Mary Student Parish) and others from her Circle visited the county jail with the daughter of a detainee. They report that the unsatisfactory policies of the detention center meant that much time and effort was spent in travelling and following their rules just to have a frustrating and short meeting with the detainee on a tiny video screen.

Amelia Mata (St. Anne Detroit) reports that a 14 year old immigrant girl and her family has needed rides to Chicago and will continue to need rides for follow up visits to doctors at Shriners Hospital there. Thankfully volunteers have been offering their time to help this family.

Sr. Val (St. Clement of Rome) reports that an immigrant was recently turned over to ICE because of her expired driver’s license and lack of insurance—due to the effects COVID-19 on our economy keeping her from work.

Bill O’Brien reports that that Catholic Charities in Pontiac is working on plans to provide a mobile legal clinic for immigrants.

Rosemary Insley (Perpetual Help) reports that her Circle continues to support Casa Samaritano in Mexico. But the shelter has a new problem--a devastating flood. They now need a new water system and they need to replace all the clothing, shoes, medical supplies and food that they had for immigrants travelling north. The Circle at Our Mother of Perpetual Help is planning a fundraiser. (Click here to learn more.)

Provided by Chairperson Marie Schimelfening (SS. Peter and Paul Jesuit)
A Call for Letters of Encouragement
Want to reach out to women and children in detention at the border?

Here is a “can-do” project you and/or your friends- even children may be happy to do. There are families at the southern border who have no idea what future is in store for them. They would love to hear from people all over the country who are supporting them and rooting for them.

Volunteer School Tutors Needed
La Casa Amiga Legal Clinic and Community Programs is looking for volunteers to assist elementary school children with afterschool assignments, homework and to provide academic guidance. The volunteer tutors team up with onsite CCSEM staff for support and coordination.

This school year, virtual tutoring sessions are being offered. 

Message from Our Coordinator - Bill O'Brien
There is a lot happening in different sectors of Strangers No Longer that may not be visible to all – parishioners attending Webinars, certain Circles conducting meetings and actions, other Circles accompanying individuals or families, taskforces preparing, money being donated, etc.

But at some point, the activity goes above ground – in our case, that would mean public activity, ADVOCACY, to press ourselves into relationships with elected and civic officials around policy or practice.  

We have done a bit of this – some Circles have inspired the rest of us. The Advocacy Taskforce is prepping so we can do a lot of this in September and October. But a critical component, perhaps the most critical component, is leadership – we know what “leadership” is when it is missing.

To become a leader, to encourage it in others, is an act of courage requiring a decision of mind over matter to step forward, to do what is necessary.  

Are you having trouble receiving our Newsletters or Emails?
Some people who have Gmail accounts have let us know they don’t always receive our communications. The problem could be that our emails to you are going to the “publications” folder instead of the main inbox.

If you have a publications folder in Gmail, documents with large mailing lists like ours will be sent to that folder. To eliminate the folder and send all your mailings to your main inbox do the following:

1) Click the Settings gear icon on your main Gmail page (top right)
2) Select "See all settings."
3) Click the "Inbox" tab.
4) Uncheck the box next to Promotions (and any other unwanted tabs) to remove them from the inbox.
5) Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

If you are still having a problem receiving our communications, please email Rich Faba at strangersnolonger11@gmail.com.
Please donate whatever you can to families in crisis. Now, more than ever, our help is needed.
19972 Shrewsbury
Detroit, MI 48221
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