We Are All Immigrants
Can ethnically diverse churches come together and find common ground to do missional work together? From January 31st to February 1st, ReconciliAsian collaborated with Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference to explore what it means to be the “People of God: Discovering Identity, Creating Community, and Doing Mission Together.“
One of the ways to find commonality with one another, Sue led an exercise where she asked all participants to line up according where they saw themselves in the US immigration continuum. In one end of the room, Pastor Mambo from Nigeria stood who came to the US just three months ago. On the other end of the line stood Camille from the Hopi reservation who is a true native of the land. As we introduced ourselves and when we or our ancestors came to America, there was a sense of our stories being threaded into one common story that we are indeed all immigrants (except the Native Americans!). Our one line eventually became one full circle reminding one another that we belong to God and to one another as a family of God, and as we discover our identity with one another, we can do God’s mission together.
If it is not local, it is not real
At the Justice Conference on February 21-22nd, we heard NT Wright repeat that “if it is not local, it is not real” referring to the call of the church and its mission. The issue of immigration is very local and real everywhere, but it is particularly true in Los Angeles. We cannot acknowledge that we are all immigrants and not be involved in the plight of the immigrants here in our local community.
On February 27th, Fast for Families, an organization that began with religious and community leaders who fasted on the National Mall in Washington DC, launched a ten-week bus tour. The buses will visit cities all around the US engaging the people for the need of immigration reform (http://fast4families.org
).The kick-off gathered over 100 participants marching from the Metropolitan Detention Center to the front steps of Los Angeles City Hall. The faith leaders of the community united their voices and blessed the Fast for Families team with prayer and anointing as the teams set out to travel to over 100 cities sharing about the plight of the immigrants and the urgent need for immigration reform. For more information, go to http://fast4families.org