PACE June 2018

Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Church

Photo: © iStock.com / Professor25 (image #592643618)The United Church of Christ has a long history of following in the way of Jesus by working for justice and in solidarity with the suffering. During the 1980s many of our congregations were involved in the “Sanctuary Movement,” providing shelter, material support and often legal advice to Central American Refugees fleeing civil wars in their home countries. In addition to offering direct aid to individuals and families, the Sanctuary Movement was influential in the passage of a 1990 congressional bill authorizing temporary protected status for Central American refugees, and the 1997 Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act which allowed Central American refugees to apply for permanent residence.

The commitment to Sanctuary is still strong in many congregations. In 2016 the Central Pacific Conference covenanted together to become an Immigrant Welcoming Conference and in July 2017 delegates to the National Synod voted overwhelmingly to declare the whole United Church of Christ an Immigrant Welcoming Denomination. 

In a new and different political landscape, the needs of refugee and immigrant people are changing—they need less physical sanctuary and more welcome, accompaniment, and bold advocacy for compassionate immigration laws. Immigrants seeking financial security and refugees fleeing violence still arrive at our southern border; some entering without documentation and others presenting themselves at appointed places to request asylum. What is new is the enhanced enforcement. What is new and morally abhorrent is the Department of Homeland Security’s policy of separating children from their parents to deter others from coming to our borders.

In light of all that has come before, and the extreme enforcement measures being taken at the border and by ICE agents across the country, I hope that we as a congregation will do all we can to stand together with our immigrant brothers and sisters and their families. Macy Guppy, Mary Crocker and I have been involved with IMIrJ’s education efforts over the last year. We will be offering opportunities to engage in a congregation wide conversation this summer so that together we can decide how we want to respond to the current crisis. Join us as we educate ourselves about immigrant issues and learn how we might advocate for human rights, and how to accompany our immigrant neighbors in times of need. 

To help us enter into conversation I have invited Rev. Linda Jaramillo to join us for worship on June 10. Rev. Jaramillo who served as executive minister of UCC Justice and Witness Ministries for nearly a decade will bring us a word of persistence and hope!

When an immigrant resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the immigrant.
The immigrant who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you;
you shall love the immigrant as yourself, for you were an immigrant in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33-34

Leroy Setziol woodcarvingSeveral years ago Don and Betty Balmer gifted Kairos-Milwaukie Church with a valuable classic woodcarving by Leroy Setziol which now hangs in the narthex of the church.

Leroy Setziol was a former Army chaplain and a self-taught wood sculptor whose works have been highly praised by the Northwest’s top midcentury modern architects. He moved to Oregon in 1951 and died in 2005. Much of his work was laboriously carved from black walnut, teak and even everyday Douglas fir, and is secured in many private collectors’ homes. His work is also evident in works commissioned by architects Pietro Belluschi (doors at the University of Portland chapel), John Storrs (panels for Salishan Lodge at Gleneden Beach), and A.P. DiBenedetto (front doors for the Pacific NW Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Corvallis). A two-story teak carving is in the lobby of the Child Development Rehabilitation Center at OHSU. Architect Joachim Grube says, “His sculptures add nobility to space as only true art can do.” We continue to appreciate Setziol’s evocative work and the Balmers for donating this fine work of art to Kairos-Milwaukie UCC.

Some information in this article is credited to Janet Eastman, October 6, 2016, writing for The Oregonian/OregonLive. At that time she reviewed an exhibit of Setziol’s work at the Portland Art Museum.

Vacation Bible School

All Summer Long!

Kathy Anderson, Faith Formation Team

Are you an avid gardener? Do you like to cook or bake? Do you enjoy board games or crafting or exploring nature? This summer anyone can sign up to share their interests with our Kairos/Milwaukie kids on any one Sunday. One of our regular teachers will be teamed up with you to help with whatever preparation you need, to introduce you to the group, and to assist with your activity. And, just as in Vacation Bible School, friends and neighbors are welcome to join us. The more kids, the better! Sign-up board is posted in the narthex.

 

Kairos Hikes

Mica Richards

Woodland trailI love to hike! Perhaps you do, too. I was inspired by Pastor Jeanne’s story of outdoor activities she used to enjoy with her fellow church members in Boulder. Are you interested in enjoying outdoor activities with your Kairos-Milwaukie extended family? Let’s start with a few hikes.
I’m happy to coordinate hikes and provide suggestions of hiking locations based on season, interest, and mobility. I would also love to attend the hikes whenever able. Since I am sometimes called away by family or other obligations, I am looking for a partner to help facilitate.
If you are interested in any way, please reach out to me. I am open to text, phone calls (please leave a voicemail), or email. You may also be able to catch me on Sunday morning, though I am frequently caught up with my two exuberant children!

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 4790 SE Logus Road

Milwaukie, Oregon 97222

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Sunday Worship

10:00 am

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 Phone: 503.654.6770

Email: office [at] kairosucc.org

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