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St. John's Episcopal Church is located on the northwest side of Chicago, in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. You can learn more about us at our official web site. We hope you'll join us!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sermon on Immigration sparks discussion

On the Sunday before Labor Day, September 6, I preached a sermon about the plight of undocumented immigrants which began a discuss which I invite you to take part in. Since my sermons are usually composed orally, this summary is what I remember that I preached, not what you actually heard.

I began by telling the story of the day I was pulled over for talking on my cell phone while driving. Driving kids home from school, I had just turned left and barely missed a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The officer gave me a stern talking to, but didn't give me a ticket. I connected this to an incident I had learned about at a press conference given by "Reform Immigration for America" I heard the story of a young man who was brought to the US from Mexico at the age of six. He did well in school and was accepted at several universities. Because he is undocumented he does not qualify for student loans so he took a full time job and enrolled at UIC. One night he drove four blocks from a friends house, rolled through a stop sign and was stopped. He now faces deportation on December 16.

Hearing his story made me realize how I, a middle class white woman, was privileged to get a second chance. Because of one mistake this young man will have his whole life uprooted, sent to a country he doesn't remember, where he has little or no family support. I have learned what deportation means. People are taken to the Broadview detention center. Handcuffed and shackled they are driven to O'Hare and put on a plane to Texas. There they are driven to the border, given $20, and let go in the dangerous border town of Juarez.

I quoted from the morning's reading from Proverbs (22:8), "Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity."

I said that the broken immigration system has already created calamity in families, workplaces, and in our communities. I called for this unjust treatment to end. I believe we must fix our broken immigration system.

If Proverbs were written today Proverbs 22:22-23 might be written this way (changed words are in blue):

"Do not rob the immigrants because they are undocumented,
or crush the afflicted at the border;
for the LORD pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them."

The response is posted as a comment, anonymously, but with the permission of the author. My response is posted as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sustainability Task Force

I am a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago's Sustainability Task Force. Our mission is to grow the church, form the faithful and change the world by integrating sustainable practices throughout the diocese.

We will be presenting a sustainability initiative at Diocesan Convention in November. **Updates to come in the future months...

Earth Festival

Please bring used bikes to donate to Working Bikes Cooperative, who will refurbish and send them to someone in need.