The EDSJ 2020 Diocesan Convention passed a resolution introduced by the Immigration Commission declaring 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 as a Diocese will 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, Sunday, June 20th, or as we are designating it, Immigrant/Refugee Sunday. This resource, we hope, will enable you to participate fully in this month and to bring the concerns of immigrants into your congregational worship.
Diocesan Bible Study: During the four Wednesdays of the observance (May 26, June 2, 9 and 16) SJRAISE will be hosting a 90-minute Bible Study (via Zoom, of course) using No Longer Strangers, produced by Forward Movement (included with this mailing). 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:
• May 26: The Need for Protection - Allison Duval, Senior Manager for Church Relations & Engagement, Episcopal Migration Ministries
• June 2: Reaching Out to those who are different - Bianca Dueñas, Immigration Staff Attorney, Director of San Joaquin Immigrant Empowerment Project
• June 9: Migration - Bishop David
• June 16: Talking and Acting around Migration/Immigration Issue - Lety Valencia, Co-Director of Organizing, Faith in the Valley, and the Reverend Julie Kelly
Congregational Worship: It’s our hope that you will also be lifting up these concerns/themes during your congregation’s worship during this same period. To assist you in this effort we have provided the following items (bolded text links you to the material):
Collection: The collection to be taken on June 20th will support the immigrant assistance work of Faith in the Valley, including their legal defense fund. These brief vignettes might be inserted into bulletins or parish newsletters leading up to the collection.
The mechanics of the collection might proceed as follows:
• If you are able to have in-person worship, take a second collection. Checks should be made out to Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and Immigrant Sunday written in the memo line. For collected cash, please send a check to the Diocese for that amount with the same note in the memo line…please DO NOT send cash in the mail.
We hope you find the materials that follow helpful. We deeply appreciate your efforts to make this initial Immigration Month a meaningful one for all. At the conclusion of the month we’ll be back in touch seeking your feedback.
To register for the No Longer Strangers bible study, contact The Rev. Cn. Anna Carmichael (email@example.com)
Thanks in advance for all your help!!
EDSJ Immigration Commission (SJRAISE)