Amid a government shutdown and public fight over US immigration policy, we sat down with Rev. Dr. Daisy Machado, Professor of Church History at Union. In addition to the Borderlands class described in depth below, Dr. Machado’s recent courses include Eugenics, Race, Gender, and Nation: A Brief History and Religious Movements from the Margins: A Look at the Prosperity Gospel. In addition to teaching at Union, you’re also the Director of the Hispanic Summer Program. Tell us about it. The Hispanic Summer Program started in 1989, it was created to provide a space where Latinx seminary students in ATS schools could go for two weeks of intensive theological education with Latinx faculty. The program has continued, non-stop, for the last 30 years. It’s sponsored by 37 schools—Union has been a sponsor for 19 years. Because of the sponsoring fees that the schools pay, the students pay $425 total. It’s amazing, they get two weeks of housing, [...]
“The phenomenon of refugees is not an El Paso problem, it’s a U.S. problem,” said Ruben Garcia, the founder and director of Annunciation House. And he should know. At Annunciation House, they provide the “hospitality” of food, bed, a shower, and other necessities for at least 2000 migrants a week, before helping to reunite them with family. It is one of the first stops for immigrants who are released by ICE when they cross the border into El Paso from Mexico. So, it was the first stop for me, and 30 other Episcopalians from across the nation, on a pilgrimage in December to learn, listen and know the full truth about the border realities in this country. I witnessed a busload of immigrants arrive at Annunciation House that day—not rapists, not drug dealers, not criminals, but mothers and fathers with their sons and daughters. In them, I saw the refugee parents of Jesus who crossed borders to [...]
The post Live Stream – Flint, Faith, and Justice: The Poisoned City appeared first on Union Theological Seminary.
From left: Rev. Benjamin Perry ’15, Rev. Emily Brewer ’15, Elisa Rosoff, Jessica Miller, Gabrielle Sclafani From December 6 – 11, a Union delegation traveled to the San Diego/Tijuana border, to work with asylum seekers in Mexico and participate in a protest at the border. Below, they describe their experience, what it taught them about the US immigration system, and what ministry can look like amidst such unjust suffering. Gabrielle Sclafani (3rd Year M.Div.): I traveled to Tijuana with trepidation, considerate of concerns about people without knowledge of the local context arriving to contribute to a “cause.” Yet when I got there I was less disturbed by those of us who showed up, whatever our ineptitudes and imperfect Spanish, and more disturbed by how few people seemed to be responding to a literal crisis at the US-Mexico border. Upwards of 6,000 people (including hundreds of small children) are living in crowded tent cities—weeks of limited access [...]