In light of the news reports, you might be wondering what you can do. The United Methodist Women gave a call to action last week and offered suggestions of what we can do to turn our faith, hope and love into action on behalf of immigrant children who do not have the power to help themselves.
The call to action says, in part:
We give God thanks for United Methodists who are providing compassionate care to migrants at the border. Border Conferences have established relief centers for migrants. United Methodists from other regions of the country continue to support migrants seeking asylum with their time, talent and treasures. United Methodist congregations across the country have opened their doors to provide sanctuary for those immigrants whose lives would be endangered if they were to be deported to their home countries. UMCOR has been a partner in assisting this connectional work. The General Board of Church and Society has led us faithfully in our advocacy work in support of justice for the migrant and the immigrant. United Methodist Women have also been a strong voice in advocating for the rights of immigrant children and families.
One of the suggestions UMW offers is to work with local organizations that help immigrants in your area. Locally, you can volunteer at Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic or join the Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies.
Other actions include:
Edited from a letter by Susan Henry-Crowe
It has been a great two months for Fusion. Julieann’s culinary offerings never disappoint. And our storytellers have been amazing. In June Rev. Amanda Guthrie shared the process whereby she served as a Chaplain in a hospital setting, showing us the importance of asking, “What will help this person?” And Amber shared a homily from the Gospel of Mark chapter 5, which highlighted Jesus’s restorative love, as he brings an exiled demoniac back into fellowship.
Our July storyteller, Priya Sirohi, an Artist and doctoral student in Rhetoric & Composition, told her story of seeking identity, expression and belonging, and shared her beautiful artwork with us. Check out her work at @KoshaStudio on Facebook and Instagram.
Join us at Fusion on August 19 at 6pm to hear from Rep. Christine Campbell. More info found at www.facebook.com/TrinityFusion
The two Story Suppers were fantastic events. We were able to share in the stories of Trinity over the past 50 years. We shared collectively, as well as by table. Table leaders collected audio recordings of the conversations. This audio will be transcribed and collected into a report which will be made available to the congregation. The best audio samples will be preserved for the archives additionally.
This has been a joy.
One summer, when I was about ten, I spent two weeks with my grandparents at their lake cottage. I signed up for an art class and spent the mornings painting and the afternoons at the beach. It was a glorious summer. My grandma spent summers at that cottage as a little girl and the tradition continued with my cousins, siblings and me. Now, I take my kids to the cottage at least twice a year. And each time, as I drive down Route 45 and turn onto Lake Road, I feel my body relax and my breathing calm. Each time, when we pull into the gravel driveway and hop out of the car, I take my shoes off and walk across the cool grass, down the 72 steps to the beach, and dip my toes in the water. This time, I realized that this was the last place that I still go which I grew up going to. This is my last piece of home.
Many of us feel the same way about Fusion. It’s a place we return to each month to connect with others, tell stories, and share a meal. It’s a place where we can share pieces of ourselves that often remain hidden to others. It’s a place where we can strip away the pressures of work or the expectations of perfection and just exist with one another, barefoot in the sand.
I invite those of you who have not yet experienced Fusion to check it out this summer. We have a great line up of guest storytellers, delicious food, and welcoming table hosts to facilitate conversations.
The Power of Story
Telling someone else’s story is a massive responsibility. Even if there is an objective in the project (fundraising/ evangelism/ motivation), your first duty should be honoring the story of the people. Rev. Jack Hartman and Humanitarian Photojournalist, Allison Mayer spoke to us about that sacred power.
Pastor Jack shared a homily from Ezekiel 3:12-16 in which, after being sent to the people, the prophet sits among them for an entire week before speaking. This gave the people the chance to acclimate to each other, and the prophet the chance start understanding the people before he spoke.
Allison Mayer [https://allisonmayer.com/ ] told her stories of exemplifying that in her work as a Humanitarian Photojournalist. She told of working with people who, while being depicted as pitiable and tragic, live lives full of energy, hope, and love. She showed us beautiful pictures, and told stories of people who even in their need, are eager to give and share. She shared pictures that express the physical lack that the people have while also sharing their joy. As we learn the stories of others, we must commit to portraying the honest nuance in their lives.
On June 17th, our speaker will be Amanda Guthrie who served as a chaplain in Oregon working with people in the midst of acute mental health crises.
On July 15th, our speaker will be State Representative Chris Campbell who is currently representing the 26in district.
Learn more at www.trinitylafayette.org/fusion and follow Fusion on Facebook.
In July, 2019, Morris DuBose began a grant-funded position as Trinity’s Narrative Consultant. Trinity has built our discipleship and outreach around narrative and story. Trinity Fusion (our Monday evening gathering) fuses together sacred story and our personal stories and experiences. Last summer we hosted Unfinished, monthly gatherings for story telling. Previously, Morris led a small group of church members who came together to share their life stories and experiences with one another.
What makes our stories so important? Why have we chosen narrative as the primary format for our discipleship and outreach? Because, as Irene Nowell writes: “telling our stories leads us to understand who we are… If our stories are not told, the depth of our souls will not be known.”
As we continue to explore new and exciting ways to engage the community both within and external to Trinity we are fine tuning our approach to our storytelling and narrative. We are pivoting from our original Storytelling Group model, that featured designated storytellers with hour and a half presentations, to the Unfinished Circle.
The Unfinished Circle will meet on Wednesdays beginning on April 3rd, continuing weekly at 5:30pm in Trinity’s Great Room. We will create a space for small scale storytelling that will center around specific themes. People are invited to share, listen, or of course do both. Come to as few or as many evenings as you want. If a specific topic inspires a particularly compelling story, contact Morris DuBose at email@example.com or leave a message at the church office.
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