Minute for Stewardship from Sunday, October 15, 2017
Because You Give . . .
Guided by the Session’s “Statement of Conviction on Welcoming, Supporting, and Protecting our Immigrant and Refugee Neighbors” Westminster Presbyterian Church seeks to be a congregation that welcomes “strangers”. These refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants become, through the grace of Jesus Christ, our neighbors, and we are thereby called to respond to them with compassion and to give public witness on their behalf.
We do this in concert with other congregations and community partners that work directly with these new neighbors. Westminster is part of the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network, and Westminster members act on behalf of our vulnerable neighbors through what are called Circles of Protection. These actions include:
- Providing transportation to immigration appointments or court hearings in northern Virginia.
- Volunteering with the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, which provides legal information and assistance to detainees at Farmville.
- Standing ready to assist with hospitality and everyday living needs for persons who may seek sanctuary with the Friends meeting of Charlottesville.
- And being part of a Westminster immigration interest email list that offers frequent opportunities to advocate on behalf of immigrants and refugees.
Through its Outreach Committee and Benevolence funds, Westminster also supports the actions of other working for justice, including:
- Legal assistance to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) young people through Sin Barreras (Without Barriers) and the Legal Aid and Justice Center,
- Development of a Rapid Response Hotline to provide timely support and resources for those subjected to immigration enforcement actions, and
- Frontera de Cristo, a border ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which guided our UKirk border mission trip last year.
Your participation in WPC’s annual Stewardship campaign supports this important work to address needs that are likely only to become greater in the months ahead.
Time and talents are always needed, in addition to financial support. Please feel free to reach out to those in our congregation who are leading this important mission:
To help with transportation, contact Gail Wiley;
To help with advocacy, contact Sandy Kerns;
To help with detention center visitation (English and Spanish), rapid response hotline (bi-lingual persons needed), and sanctuary hospitality, contact Gene Locke; and,
To help with Outreach committee and benevolence contributions, contact Kobby Hoffman.