Immigration Advocacy & Ministry
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: Who is my neighbor?
“Deeply embedded in the Christian faith, indeed deeply embedded in the Jewish tradition, which is the mother of the Christian faith, and deeply embedded in the faith and traditions and values of many of the world’s great religions, is a profound conviction in a sure and certain value and virtue that care for the stranger, the alien, the visitor, is a sacred duty, a sacred vow.”
Ways you and your congregation can respond to the humanitarian crisis on the US/Mexico border:
Webinar: Listen & Learn—Border Advocacy & Ministry
Join the discussion on border ministry and advocacy with this webinar hosted by the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) with guest speaker Bishop Michael Hunn of the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Recorded July 2nd, this webinar covers policy changes related to the border and you’ll hear a first-hand from Bishop Hunn about how The Episcopal Church is responding to humanitarian needs.
Watch: Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe speaks at Syracuse Lights for Liberty vigil
Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe spoke Friday, July 12, 2019 at the Syracuse Lights for Liberty vigil to end inhumane conditions in US migrant detention camps. The demonstration was part of over 750 taking place worldwide on the same date.
More LEARN Resources:
Overview of Advocacy on Refugee and Immigration Issues (The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations)
The humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico border: an invitation to prayer and faithful action from Bishop DeDe (The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York)
Bishop Michael Hunn of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande provides regular video updates on the situation at the border and the border ministries of the Episcopal Church (The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande)
No Longer Strangers: Exploring Immigration Issues (free downloadable booklet from Forward Movement)
Texas bishops’ statement decrying conditions at border detention camps (The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth)
Prisons weren’t built for children. Here’s what we can do. (Rio Grande Bishop Michael Hunn for Sojourners)
The Episcopal Church and Immigration Advocacy (one-pager from The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations)
How is the Episcopal Church supporting refugees and immigrants?
The Episcopal Church continues to respond to the complex array of challenges facing immigrants across the United States, including support for children and other people seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border, assisting immigrants who are undocumented, advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, and resettling refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries.
In this video, The Episcopal Church: Walking with Immigrants, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry introduces five bishops whose dioceses are actively engaged in immigrant welcome. Each bishop shares ways individuals or groups can support this work. The video also includes an overview of the advocacy and refugee resettlement work the church engages on a national level.
Your financial support helps on-the-ground ministries provide companionship, food, shelter and supplies to migrants and asylum-seekers at the border. In the Episcopal Church, border ministries are currently operating primarily on the diocesan and parish level in dioceses along the US/Mexico border:
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande is providing food, shelter, medical care, and transportation for families who have been released to their sponsors in the US and are making their way to join them. Donate here>
Based out of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Brownsville, Team Brownsville volunteers cross the Gateway International Bridge between Brownsville, TX and Matamoros, Mexico each day to serve breakfast and dinner to asylum seekers waiting to cross the bridge. Team members also support asylum seekers recently released from detention centers at the La Plaza Bus Terminal in Brownsville.
Supported by multiple Episcopal churches, the Interfaith Welcome Coalition of San Antonio supports asylum seekers after they have been released from detention camps. Families arrive at the bus station or airport, where volunteers provide food, medicines, supplies, and help getting to the right plane or bus as they head to their next destination with government-approved sponsors. IWC also operates an overnight shelter for migrants who need a place to stay while waiting for their plane or bus journey to begin.
A snapshot of the ministry of Team Brownsville.
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande is working to create shelters for migrants on both sides of the border.
Contact your representatives
Reach out to your members of Congress (find them here) to call for an end to inhumane conditions in US migrant detention camps.
The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations has a template you can use to tell your representatives “that you support sensible and compassionate solutions that better address the needs of asylum seekers while also upholding the integrity of our system.”
Connect with organizations led by and working with refugees and immigrants in your city and region, and find out how you can help with financial and in-kind donations, volunteering, and advocacy. Consider inviting speakers from these organizations to visit your church on a Sunday to talk about their work and share volunteer opportunities.
Here’s a few in Central New York:
Binghamton area: American Civic Association
Cazenovia area: Cazenovia Welcomes Refugees
Syracuse area: InterFaith Works of Central New York, the Syracuse Immigrant & Refugee Defense Network of the Workers Center of Central New York, CNY Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition (contact through All Saints’ Roman Catholic Parish)
Utica area: Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees
Email us with suggested additions to this list!
More ACT Resources:
Want to provide sanctuary to an undocumented person? This is what it takes. (Episcopal priest Randall Keeney for The Washington Post)
10 Actions to Accompany Undocumented Immigrants (The Episcopal Church)
Volunteering in ministries on the border
Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe is in conversation with bishops on the border whose dioceses are actively engaged in ministry with migrants, asylum-seekers, and border patrol agents. There may be opportunities for pilgrimage and mission with these ministries.
If you are interested in exploring such opportunities, please email Meredith Kadet Sanderson at email@example.com.