October 17, 2008

welcoming the sojourner

I'm attending a conference right now in Illinois about immigration and the church. And I have been incredibly moved by so many of the personal stories, the images and videos of raids and border crossings, the statistics, the songs from across the world, and the witness of people of faith. It has been not only informational but inspirational. (wow, that sounds so cliche).

Before I get too far away or let the thoughts escape me, here are some of the important moments so far for me:

From Rev. Joan Maruskin
  • "I greet you in the name of the migrant, refugee Christ"
  • What are three groups that God specifically tells us to care for? The widows, the orphans and the strangers/migrants/foreigners/immigrants
  • our journey of faith is a communal migration story
  • in 1849, the state of Pennsylvania had a choice between making german or english the official state language. english won by only one vote.
  • st. benedict - closing the door to the stranger is closing the door to the sacred
  • Jesus' family fled to Egypt after his birth... if they had fled to the US today, Mary, Joseph and Jesus would have all been sent to separate detention facilities to await trials before they would be granted the status of an asylee.

From Diane McClanahan and Barb Dinnen

  • immigrants who had fled from Central and Southern American countries where they faced political and religious persecution and those around them were "disappeared" came to the U.S. and in the Swift raids in Marshaltown, Iowa - again faced "disappearance." No clergy, no lawyers, no family was allowed in to see the detainees - and no one knew where they would be taken or what would be done with them.
  • The story of Arturo - a young boy whose parents were deported after the Postville raids. His dad wanted him to be a vet, but now, the young boy wants to be a lawyer.
  • Recently, ICE agents raided a church in North Carolina.
  • From Denny Coon, UM pastor in Iowa: story of a man with two daughters. He makes $5/day in Mexico or he could cross illegally into the U.S. to work for $7/hr at a Wal-Mart in Michigan... what would you do as a parent?


  1. "Salvaged Faith"--what a title! I've been telling the few people willing to listen to me for even split second I've long been "trying to salvage a life consonant with my gifts, skills, education, experience and ongoing sense of call." I've also told a couple of folks I feel the world and the church threw me away like a piece of trash...looks as if I need to blog about the word "salvage" and probably link to this post; thanks so much!

    BTW, welcome to the RevGals--I don't know if you're official yet, but as little blog and other reading as I've been doing for too long now, I love meeting new people--Peace be with you and yours!

  2. Yes! Your blog is great, and I know something about the night elves, they are the race I WOW power leveling when I get my first account:The reclusive Night Elves power leveling[ were the first race to awaken in the World of Warcraft Power Leveling. These shadowy, immortal beings were the first to study magic and let it loose throughout the world nearly ten thousand years before Warcraft I. The Night Elves' reckless use of magic drew the Burning Legion into the world and led to a catastrophic war between the two titanic races. The Night Elves barely managed to banish the Legion from the world, but their wondrous homeland was shattered and drowned by the sea. I love this race and suggested everyone that start their WOW power leveling a rogue or druidof night elf