Thursday, December 13, 2018

An Advent Journey

Our faith in Christ Jesus, who was himself an immigrant and whose untimely death came at the hands of agents of a militaristic state, compels us to speak truth to power, to cross borders and boundaries, and to stand with those on the margins. Especially in this holy season of Advent, we are called to embody our faith in a real and transformative way.

For many months, I have been praying for guidance on how to respond to the crisis at the border.  A couple of weeks ago, when I heard about Global Immersion’s Day of Learning and Solidarity, I knew immediately it was what I had been seeking.  Here was a chance to learn directly from those most affected by the immigrant caravan – those in Mexico who are working with the travelers on the front lines – and to hear from them directly how people of faith in the US can be helpful advocates without getting in the way.

Guidance was sought and arrangements were made and now the time has arrived.  Tomorrow, along with my 16-year-old son Elijah, I will travel to San Diego along with more than 150 other people of faith from around the nation.  We will spend a long day in Tijuana on Saturday December 15th and then return early Sunday morning (in time for church!). 

Our day on Saturday will include a visit to a church that has become a shelter for Haitian and Central American immigrants where we will meet the pastor and bring supplies he requested – ponchos, sleeping pads and activity books for children.  Then we will have a visit to the border wall, where we will spend some time in prayer and participate in a Las Posadas litany with participants calling across both sides of the border. Finally, we will engage with some local activists about how to best be supportive of immigrants and activists going forward.

I’m so inspired by - and grateful for - the powerful and faith filled testimony of American pastors and people of faith who are protesting and have risked arrest at the border in recent days.  Protest is an important aspect of our faith expression of resistance.  The particular day Global Immersion has planned and in which I am participating is for learning and growth and building of solidarity.  Although these are also acts of resistance, it is not our plan to risk arrest on the 15th.

I’m so grateful for the support we have already received, especially from my husband Jeff and from the people of Vancouver UCC.  Some of you have asked how you can also support this trip.  This would be helpful for me:
-       Pray for and with all those traveling to San Diego and Tijuana on December 15. If fasting is one of your spiritual practices, you might declare a fast day.
-       Come to the airport to see us off!  We will be gathering near the Alaska Airlines ticket counter from 10:00-10:20 am TOMORROW Friday, December 14 for a farewell and blessing.
-       Check social media on Saturday, December 15 – I’ll be posting as I can throughout the day.

With love, Jennifer

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