Toxic Stress and the US Mexico Border

Child standing in water waiting at the US/Mexico Border

What is happening to children on the US/Mexico border will have long term effects on their health and mental development. The video above discusses these effects and their causes.

A few days ago Greg Sargent at the Washington Post published an opinion piece that begins by contrasting the backlash that occurred after the news of children in cages broke with the near silence that now accompanies the humanitarian crisis at the border. A new report by the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California at San Diego, details the trauma facing asylum seekers who are sent back to Mexico to await processing. Living with that trauma daily will impact the future development of children for decades to come. The report, published only a few days ago, is available online.

On Sunday, November 3, we will discuss this issue in the context of the biblical injunction against mistreating widows, orphans, and foreigners. We would love to have you join us.

I have added the presentation for tomorrow morning’s class. You can access it here.

Churches Declare their Opposition to Trump’s Deportation Program by Providing Sanctuary

This Sunday we will watch this short video, read Jeremiah 22:1-3, discuss the historical situation behind that text, and look at what our own moral obligation might be in a time characterized by hateful government policy.

The presentation for this Sunday’s class (October 27, 2019) is already online. You can access it here.

US Influence in Central America and the Growing Asylum Crisis

The following two videos examine US involvement in Central America and its impact on Central American’s fleeing to the US in search of asylum. The first is from Al Jazeera and contains some disturbing images of violence in the region. The second is from the History Channel and is less graphic, but makes very similar points about US responsibility for the crisis we are now attempting to stop by force at the border.

What has US involvement in Central America done to augment demand for asylum in the US? An analysis from Al Jazeera
What’s causing the Central American Migration to the US? A view from the History Channel

The presentation for tomorrow morning’s class is already online. You can access it here.

Love your Neighbor

Rapid deportation often leads to deportation of the wrong people. (Australian Broadcast)

On Sunday we will watch this short video giving the story of a person wrongfully deported and discuss the parable of the “Good Samaritan” from Luke’s Gospel. What would Jesus have us do when our neighbors are being mistreated by our own government?

The presentation from this day’s class (10/13/2019) is now available online.

Welcoming the Foreigner

This morning’s presentation, “Welcoming the Foreigner” is now online. You can view it here.

We read the 1 Kings account of Solomon’s dedication of the first temple to YHWH in Jerusalem, and considered what that text implies regarding what it is to be church for immigrants today. I thank all of you who attended.

Welcoming the Foreigner

Tomorrow morning we will read 1 Kings 8:41-43 and discuss what we can do as a church to welcome the foreigner. We will watch the short film (3+ minutes) “The Inn Without Borders / La Posada Sin Fronteras” and contemplate what it means to be church for the undocumented immigrant.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): What will become of these young people?

Video by The Atlantic, Feb 3, 2017

On September 29 we will discuss the plight of DACA recipients in light of what Ancient Israel’s legal tradition had to say about treatment of foreigners within Israel’s borders. Should those same principles apply now? What would be different if they did?

Two texts will frame our discussion, both from the book of Leviticus: 19:33-34 and 24:22.

The Syro-Ephaimite War and Legislating Evil

Map: the Syro-Ephraimite War

I have updated the presentation from this morning’s class (September 22, 2019). You can view it by going to the class schedule page and clicking on the word “Presentation” to the right of today’s date, or by clicking here.

Returning Asylum Seekers to Juarez, Mexico: Is this consistent with American Law? Is it morally defensible?

On September 11, 2019, the Washington Post published a video about the new policy to return asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for a judgment on their asylum claims. Many see this as a clear violation of US law, and court challenges are ongoing.

We will discuss this issue in class on October 6 in the session entitled “Welcoming the Stranger”.

Presentation from Week 1: Who is the Stranger / Foreigner

Neighbors stop ICE from arresting a member of their community

I have posted the presentation from this morning’s class to the website. You can view it here. You will be able to get the presentation from each week’s class by going to the class schedule after class. Look in the right hand column for the word “Presentation”.

If you would like to read the testimony of Stacey Farley, one of the people who helped stop ICE from capturing her neighbors in the video we saw this morning, you can find her account here. She narrated her experience to Celia Darrough who wrote it up as an article at Bustle.com: “I Joined A Human Chain To Stop ICE From Taking My Neighbors & I’d Do It Again.”