Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Advent at the Border


A View of the Border Wall
Jesus was born in Nazareth under an edict to kill boy babies. Because of this, he and his family fled to Egypt. After two years as an undocumented immigrant in Egypt, he returned home to begin his earthly ministry. The story of Advent is the story of our Savior’s migration to avoid death and persecution from earthly powers that threatened the life of our Savior. Like Jesus, many undocumented immigrants today cross the border of the United States in order to flee oppressive forces in their own country. Abuse at the hand of border patrol, invisible fences, and detention centers supported by restrictive laws and racial profiling await them. We preach, sing, and pray about the baby in the manger during this Advent season, however the story of Jesus’ birth is one of cultural alienation.    

This week, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is engaging in an Advent Solidarity Pilgrimage as part of our commitment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Teresa Waggener, Director of the PC(USA) Office of Immigration Issues; and J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witnessing Washington, DC, are leading a delegation this week (December 1-4) to study, engage, and explore ways to strengthen the Presbyterian connection to immigration issues. Presently, three of the eight congregations across the country sheltering immigrants in Sanctuary are Presbyterian:

  • Southside Presbyterian in Tucson, AZ
  • University Presbyterian Church in Tempe, AZ 
  • West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square (PCUSA) in Philadelphia, PA

“Our vision is to introduce persons to the struggles related to immigration while building a contextual framing around globalization and theological framing around creating the beloved community. Through this trip, we seek to further build a significant Presbyterian network of immigration advocates in the United States," said J. Herbert Nelson.

Follow the rest of our trip on our Facebook and Twitter pages at #presbysanctuary and #journeyinginhope.