BorderLinks Workshop - Immigration Task Force

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On Saturday, July 21st, over 70 people joined members of the Immigration Task Force of the Denver Presbytery for an Experiential Day of Exploration around Immigration issues with the experts from Borderlinks.  We had over 17 churches, 4 presbyteries, and 4 non Presbyterian churches represented and participated.  Xavi, Cathie, Tania, and Josue led us through many explorations around immigration.

We started by creating safe containers and agreements for our conversations knowing we had divergent points of view.  All enjoyed an enlightening exercise reviewing the historical perspectives of immigration since the beginning of our country.  Many were surprised to discover the patterns through the centuries, as well as what was happening during their own ancestral immigration to this country.  We were led through a process of immigration simulation, that highlighted how complicated, broken, and random the existing system is.  For instance, sponsorship into citizenship is now backed up to 1995 requests.  There was an engagement of understanding around the border towns and the extreme costs of living imposed in these cities by companies that serve American outsourcing yet exploit the workers into unending debt and servitude. We participated in many other interactions and ended with creating a prickly pear cactus of life sharing publicly what we can do as we move forward to create something new in our world and around these justice issues. 

Central Fund Greenhouses and Vimridge operations

The Presbytery of Zimbabwe's Central Fund continues to expand the agricultural operations at Vimridge Farm in partnership with the Denver Presbytery.  A recent investment by the Denver Presbytery, through the PZDP Committee, enabled expansion by building a second greenhouse.  Current crops include tomatoes, cabbage, and onions.  The vegetable production is one of a number of business projects utilizing the land resources of the Presbytery of Zimbabwe and supporting their congregations' missions.

A Prayer for Children on the Border

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Precious Jesus, we hold the image of you interrupting the important adult agendas to bring the children into your lap with loving care. As you embrace them and give them your loving attention, you remind us it is these precious ones to whom the kindom of God belongs.

Loving Parent, our hearts break open hearing the desperate cries of babies, separated from their parents, not knowing when or if they will be reunited. We pray for your comfort for them and for those who are providing care for them. We pray for your wisdom to show us ways to engage in solutions for reunification for those already separated.

Compassionate Creator, we stand before you aware that as mothers and fathers, as aunts and uncles, as grandfathers and grandmothers, our hearts stop in fear, even considering the possibility of losing a young one for only a moment of distraction. We cannot imagine the terror and trauma of being separated in a country where we don't know when we would be reunited. God, use our fears to motivate us to bring change, to be a voice for these parents and children.

Holy and Just God, we turn our lives to you for your divine wisdom. We know the issues around immigration are complicated and complex, and we lift up the lawmakers and leaders of our nation as they discern a way forward. We pray for more than quick fixes that still imprison children and families who are seeking shelter and safety. May the decisions be infused with your spirit of grace and love.

Disruptive Spirit, we ask that in the midst of the inconceivable, we do not become immobilized or close our hearts with indifference. We ask you ignite within us a fire to move us toward actions that make a difference. We ask as you infuse us with your spirit, to move us to action that sees all those in our lives as your children. We call upon your prophetic justice that all these tears and anger will flow down creating mighty waters of change and righteousness will flow like a never-ending stream.

We ask all of these things in the name of Jesus, who also knew the fear of escaping genocide , fleeing to Egypt with his family searching for a safe place to call home. Amen.

Rev. Dee Cooper
Moderator of Immigration Task Force