A message from Phil Shea:
You may be familiar with me as your Conference Disaster Coordinator. But, I am also passionate about justice ministry in other areas and I am a member of the Greater Phoenix UCC Justice Network. That's why offered to help encourage participation from the greater Phoenix area and to offer you any support I can to make your participation possible and successful. Last year my partner and I had the privilege of attending the Schools of the Americas Border Convergence in Nogales. As you may already know we are doing it again. Our physical presence and message on the border fence is even more imperative than last year. My partner and I plan to be there again and we encourage members of your congregation to join us and all those from the UCC who have already committed to attend. It would such a blessing and statement to see many members of your congregation attend, But, I know there are realities and circumstances. My church (Scottsdale Congregational UCC) will be celebrating our anniversary that weekend.
Here is my suggestion. Promote this important event within your congregation. And if possible, send two representatives to the border. We had a great presence last year and we had a great collection of crosses made by congregations.
Below is the information that was originally posted. Please consider attending and letting us know. Contact me with any questions or if you would like me to send you more information. Convergence information follows my signature block.
Grace and Peace,
United Church of Christ
School of Americas Watch Border Convergence
Nogales- Arizona/ Sonora
November 10-12, 2017 / UCC Pre-event November 8 & 9
A Call to a Border and Immigrant Justice UCC Congregations
God loves beyond borders
In the United Church of Christ we are called to an extravagant welcome of all God’s children, no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey. At a time when the politics of fear and hate are overwhelming the airwaves, people of faith are called to respond with love. Together we are working to build bridges, not walls.
November 8th and 9th UCC Pre-Convergence Immersion Experience
For those interested, we will be organizing a special UCC immersion experience before the SOAW Border Convergence that will include a desert walk with Samaritans, witness at Operation Streamline, theological reflection on border ministry and UCC strategic discussion on immigrant justice at a national level.
November 10th-12th SOA Watch Border Convergence in Nogales, Sonora/Arizona
For many years UCC congregation participated in the annual protests at Fort Benning to close the School of Americas that was responsible for training death squads in Central America. In 2016 the protest moved from Georgia to the militarized US/Mexico border. The change of the location was part of the need to broaden the issue and expand the fight against U.S. militarization at home and abroad.
Once again this year UCC congregations will join the School of Americas Watch, immigrants’ rights groups and interfaith partners to demand justice to address root causes of migration, justice at the border and justice for immigrants.
See more information: soaw.org/border
For more UCC Information.
The Good Shepherd UCC (just 40 miles north of the border) has been involved in border justice issues for years and has ample experience hosting UCC congregations from across the country for border immersion experiences. If you would like to send representatives from your congregation, or an entire group, please contact pastor of the Good Shepherd, Rev. Randy Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or his assistant minister, Nathan Watts email@example.com or Rev. Noel Andersen at firstname.lastname@example.org co-coordinator of the UCC National Collaborative on Immigration
Send or bring a cross
You are invited to send/bring a cross (2'hx1'w max) to be placed at the border in witness to our call to demilitarize the US/Mexico border and to give voice to the tens of thousands of migrants who have died in the desert as a result of failed US immigration policy. Send your cross to The Good Shepherd UCC, 17750 S. La Canada, Sahuarita, AZ85629 before Nov. 1, 2017.