The Friday Reflection – November 17, 2017

From The Rev. Dcn. Nancy Key

Immigrant Resolution passed at Diocesan Convention!

“You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice…. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.” (Deuteronomy 24:17-18)

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)

The Holy Spirit was visibly among us at Diocesan Convention as we were inspired by the Revs. Jaime Edwards-Acton and Francisco Garcia, from Sacred Resistance in the Diocese of Los Angles before the business meeting of our 58th Annual Convention. After months of information gathering, listening, deanery conversations, capped with the words and songs of Jaime and Francisco, our Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin gave its collective Amen! to the Immigrant Resolution with no amendments, no dissenting arguments and no dissenting votes. It was the perfect book-end to the renewal of our Baptismal Covenant question: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? And the people of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin responded, We will!

For you who were not with us at Diocesan Convention, you can access the Resolution that passed here. In summary, this is what it says (paraphrased):

  • The Bishop will appoint an Immigrant Task Force, with representation from all deaneries, to further the ministry of this diocese in supporting immigrants, identifying ministry partners, and coordinating diocesan activities;
  • The Task Force support the education, discernment, and activities to support immigrants, and report to the next Diocesan Convention;
  • The Task Force assist in equipping congregations, clergy and lay leaders to engage in this ministry appropriate to local contexts;
  • Diocesan Council identify $30,000 in its 2018 and 2019 budgets to support this work.

The work of the Task Force will primarily be educational and consultative, supporting both the local and diocesan discernment and work on immigrant issues. Bishop David will be consulting with diocesan leaders to identify Task Force members in the coming weeks, and we hope that the Task Force can convene early in 2018.

With this resolution, the Diocese of San Joaquin begins a new chapter, a chapter defined more by ministry than by lawsuits, by looking beyond our own survival toward a revival of the Jesus Movement among us!

As the 58th Annual Convention drew to a close, and people were gathering their belongings and preparing to leave, I was tapped on the shoulder by one of the delegates. She pressed a paper into my hand with the words, “you’ll know what this is for when you see it.” Then she was gone. Retrieving it from my pocket, I discovered a check for $3,000 with the memo line: “R-01-17,” the number of the Immigrant Resolution. Glory hallelujah and Amen!

I look forward to joining with you in this Holy work.

The Rev. Deacon Nancy Key
St. James Episcopal Cathedral
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

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