[chant] UCC is loud and clear immigrants are
welcome here [chant] UCCis loud and clear… [Sandy] To have 22 conference ministers here in Washington DC And I’ve spoken with several of them who made
visits to House and Senate offices and have great
conversations. And that’s what advocacy is all about. It’s about building
relationships with people in decision-making power
and having real conversations from the heart. Christ Church in Maplewood, which is
right outside of St., or, inside of St. Louis, has served as a sanctuary church
for Alex Garcia for two years Alex has lived in Poplar Bluff for about
fourteen years with his wife and children and was detained. And so he
lives in the church and the Garcia family, until recently, were traveling
every weekend and now they live in the parsonage. And so I am grateful that they
are here and actually, Senator Blunt came in as we were meeting and they were able
to hear, he was able to hear, about Alex Garcia. I think trying to tell these
stories, the real-life stories of people like Alex and the family, and within a
faith context, I hope again that that helps us to bridge that partisan gap… to
just talk about human story and our connections through our faith we believe.
it has been decades or more since conference ministers have come with one
collective presence to be in the seat of power and raise our collective voice on
an issue of social concern. But we do so now because our faith, our scriptures and
what we observe happening in our nation today compel us to publicly step forward
and to boldly speak out as we never have before. We are people of faith and we
represent people in our churches across the United Church of Christ. And we beg
you to remember one simple verse. One simple verse: Do unto others. Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you. I remember senior year of high school. I was hopeless thinking I would never be
able to afford college. Four years later, I’m finishing up two bachelor’s degrees
in political science and education at Trinity Washington University. As a national recipient of the Dream.US Scholarship, something I would have never
seen coming years ago, but it’s because of people like you.
Everyone in this crowd has sparked change. Whether it’s through attending an
action or standing with families like mine. The symbolism of this is not about
the clergy washing feet. It is about us recognizing the human dignity, the value, the sacredness of our immigrant sisters and brothers. To recognize that
their feet, their hands, their journey are holy and sacred, and that we honor you.
Bless us with just enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in
this world. Bless us with just enough foolishness to
believe that we can do what others say can’t be done. With a righteous anger of
Jesus overturning tables in the temple, I am here to say pass a moral budget.
Defund the hate. Thank you for your financial generosity
that made it possible for Conference Ministers to meet with the UCC Justice
and Witness Office in Washington DC and to advocate for our members and our
churches and all of our communities. Thank you.