This Sunday, June 24, Brittany Caine-Conley and Rebecca McGregor will be showing pictures and recounting their very memorable and meaningful mission trip to our southern border, their interactions there with immigrants and those who provide care at the increasingly chaotic border. We will also hear of the cases of 6 trans women who our community is hoping to shelter as their asylum cases make their way through the courts. Next week, July 1, we’ll highlight local efforts to assist our immigrant neighbors close by, with representatives from CIRAC, International Neighbors, and others in our community. On July 8, we’ll be discussing a look ahead to what support people can express to uplift our community in the days surrounding the anniversary of the weekend of August 11-12. And we’ll conclude our discussion series on July 15 with a panel of representatives from gun violence prevention groups. We hope you’ll join us in the Library.
The Peace, Justice & Inclusion (PJ&I) Committee is coordinating a series of social justice discussions this June and July. Come to the Library after worship, around 11:20, to find out who has felt called to use their time and talents to address a wide range of social justice issues. We plan to assemble panels from within the congregation and our wider community to address pressing issues and how we are called to respond. This Sunday, June 17 we revisit our Waking Up White class, so if you’ve read it since our class or want to continue the discussion, please come! June 17th and all future classes will be held in the Library. The participants in the mission trip who are here this summer will be presenting reflections and photos from their borderlands trip on June 24.
Sponsorship of young asylum-seekers: Brittany Caine-Conley and the Charis Community at Grace Red Hill Episcopal Church are sponsoring seven young women from Central America who are seeking asylum in the U.S. and are currently in detention in New Mexico. As transgender women, they are particularly vulnerable in their home country. It is not known if or when they will be released to come to Charlottesville, and if they do not receive asylum parole, one possibility is to bond them out, which will be costly. Volunteer lawyers are assisting. Ways to support these young women: financial assistance for their phone and commissary accounts (funds are being accepted through PayPal, Venmo (@Congregate-Charlottesville), or via check). Charis is also in need of furniture to furnish the sanctuary bedrooms, as well as towels, lamps, toiletries, clothes, books, etc. If the women are paroled and arrive in Charlottesville there will be a need for drivers, English lessons, ongoing financial support, clothing, books, etc. If you can help in any of these above ways, please contact Brittany Caine-Conley, at .
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, in collaboration with the City of Charlottesville and other community partners, announces the Charlottesville Community Civil Rights Pilgrimage: On July 8th at 8 am, Charlottesville residents will “get on the bus” to begin the Community Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Their ultimate goal is to bring soil collected from the site where John Henry James was lynched in Albemarle County in 1898 to the newly opened Equal Justice Initiative’s Monument to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. The soil will be delivered on the 120th anniversary of Mr. James’ murder. Along the way the bus will make stops at some of the most important civil rights sites in the country. The pilgrimage will include students, teachers, and other community members, as well as historians who will provide information as we move from one site to another. We will also be accompanied by Clergy and therapists to help us process difficult moments. Event page. Low income and full-fare participants can register to join the trip at http://jeffschoolheritagecenter.org/events/2014-fall-events/special-events/memorial-to-lynching/
A Community Discussion about Lynching: July 7, 11am, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Join us as we prepare to embark on the Charlottesville Community Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Program includes viewing of video of the soil collecting ceremony and showing of An Outrage: A Documentary Film About Lynching in the American South. Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren will discuss their film. Event page.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can provide support to asylum seekers, please read Support for Asylum Seekers being Sponsored in Charlottesville for more information.
Mission & Outreach
As Westminster’s representative, of the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network, an organization to help facilitate immigrant issues in our community, I wanted to make you aware of an opportunity to donate beds of various sizes for potential individuals that would seek shelter in a sanctuary church in Richmond.
There will also be a sanctuary church in Charlottesville in the near future, which will be a high priority for us, and I will keep you informed of needs there, as they arise.
If you have a bed that you would be willing to donate, please contact Dick Redding.