The Episcopal church supports various social justice initiatives as part of God’s calling to us as Christians to create a Beloved Community of peace, justice, reconciliation, and faithful stewardship of God’s creation. Deacon Tim invites parishioners to join him in supporting social justice initiatives in the city including anti-gun violence, reconciliation between the police and the community, and anti-human trafficking, prayer vigils for and accompaniment of un-documented immigrants to federal deportation hearings, support and care for newly arrived refugees in the Bay Area. In the future he will post on our website the timing of volunteer training and events supporting these and other initiatives. Please contact Tim at email@example.comÂ if you’d like to join him in initiatives to help bring social justice to our community or if you would like to propose justice ministries for involvement by the parish!
On Maundy Thursday, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity organized a vigil for Fernando Carrillo and his family at the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) at 630 Sansome, San Francisco. People from at least four different faith traditions gathered to demand Fernando’s release after six months in detention, with no charges being filed against him. In solidarity with all undocumented immigrants, clergy from all traditions, washed the feet of people who had been detained and family members of those still in detention.
Three members of St. Mary’s parish participated in the vigil. The Rev’s Paula Nesbitt and Timothy Smith who washed the feet of a woman who had been released from detention the previous day after two years in prison without cause. In one of the photos above, Paula is anointing that woman with oil and God’s special blessing.
Within an hour after the vigil concluded, an ICE administrative judge ordered that Fernando be released and granted the temporary work permit (Green Card) that he had been seeking when imprisoned. Upon release Monday, the 2nd, Fernando had spent six months in prison without cause or charges and separated from his loving and grieving family. In one photo, clergy are washing his daughter’s feet on Maundy Thursday. Another photo shows here pain and joy upon her father’s release three days later.
There are thousands of people like Fernando, fleeing oppression and seeking freedom and promise in northern California. Fortunately, hundreds of faith-based servants are accompanying them and their families throughout their ordeals. Accompaniment simply involves being present with undocumented immigrants when asked, assuring them that they are not, and never will be, alone. The accompaniment program also ensures that ICE activities, actions, and inactions regarding human beings seeking refuge in the United States cannot be carried out in secret. We literally bring the light of Christ, which is the flame of justice, into very dark places.
If you would like to learn more about accompanying “the sojourner among us,” contact David Crosson. firstname.lastname@example.org. 408-316-0478.