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Las fronteras y el ministerio a los inmigrantes

Las fronteras y el ministerio a los inmigrantes

August 31, 2015 | Mi vida entera ha sido una historia de cruzar fronteras. Comenzó en 1978 con una experiencia vital: el venir a los Estados Unidos a participar en un programa de intercambio estudiantil cuando tenía 15 años de edad. Vivir en los Estados Unidos tan joven y lejos de mi familia se convirtió en mi primera gran experiencia multicultural. Conocí a personas de grupos étnicos diferentes al mío; probé comidas que nunca había probado; escuché música y leí libros nuevos; vestí, incluso, ropa que jamás había vestido. ¿Quién habría dicho que se necesitaban tantas capas de ropa para soportar el gélido frío del noreste del país? Coraopolis, PA se convirtió en un nuevo punto de enfoque a partir del cual pude echar una mirada a la realidad de mi propio país natal, México, al que aprendí a ver con un amor más inteligente y al mismo tiempo más apasionado. Read more »

Borders and Ministry to Immigrants

Borders and Ministry to Immigrants

August 31, 2015 | My entire life has been one of crossing borders between the United States and Mexico. It started in 1978, when I came to the USA as an exchange student. I was barely 15 years old. Living in the United States at such a young age and far, far away from my family, became my first great multicultural experience. I met people from ethnic groups totally different from mine; I tasted food I had never even seen before; I heard new music and read new books; I wore clothes I did not even know existed. Who would have thought you need so many layers of clothes to endure the frigid winters of the Northeast? Coraopolis, PA became the locus through which I was able to look at Mexico, my home country, and see it in a new light. I learned to see it with eyes of love; a love that was not blind, but was even yet passionate. Read more »

The Holiest Experience: A Reflection from Ferguson

The Holiest Experience: A Reflection from Ferguson

August 26, 2015 | I did not have to think too long about the opportunity to be around a group of like-minded people who had been doing the work for black liberation for over a year now. Not that I didn’t consider the risks – I knew that these same people had been facing fully armed police officers, tear gas, mace, and other psychological trauma that still effects them today... When people ask about my experience in Ferguson, I tell them it was the holiest experience of my life, and it was. I felt like I was putting feet on my faith, doing what Jesus has long commanded us to do. To fight with and for the oppressed. What I have carried with me every day since are the people that I met in St. Louis and Ferguson. Read more »

Crossing My

Crossing My "Red Rover" Zone

August 24, 2015 | In 2011, my friend told me our neighbor had kicked out their high school son because he could not successfully complete a program to help him “leave homosexuality,” and not be gay. Upon hearing that story, [my husband] Mark and I were moved to address the need for education and information regarding diverse human sexuality and gender identity, starting in our own neighborhood. We opened our home to persons interested in understanding their LGBTQ sibling, former spouse, child, parent, friend or their own LGBTQ identity. Because so much hate speech comes from faith communities, I called the group Another Story, realizing that something needed to be told other than what so many churches were telling. Read more »

Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers

Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers

August 20, 2015 | In June 2015, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz sponsored a 10-day Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers at the International Hope Center in Hamtramck, MI. The training was led by Dan Buttry and focused on conflict analysis, conflict resolution, personal conflict styles, diversity in conflict, power issues, and more. Twelve people participated and came from the US, Syria, Sri Lanka, Holland, and Myanmar/Burma. Read more »

Oak Ridge Hiroshima Demonstration

Oak Ridge Hiroshima Demonstration

August 19, 2015 | Oak Ridge, Tennessee is the “birthplace” of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 because all the highly enriched uranium fuel for Little Boy was manufactured there. In fact, Oak Ridge's Y-12 plant currently produces all the thermonuclear cores for refurbishing all of the U.S. nuclear warheads. So it seemed important to about 150 people to gather in Oak Ridge on Saturday, August 8th to march to the Y-12 plant and hang peace cranes on its fence, trying to commemorate the death of 140,000 civilian Japanese and say “no” to the proposed spending of billions of taxpayer dollars to replace the aging plant. Read more »

Julian Bond - American Revolutionary

Julian Bond - American Revolutionary

August 18, 2015 | One of Julian Bond’s heroes, Frederick Douglass, died at 77 in his Washington, D.C. home, cared for by a loving wife and comrade. NAACP Chair Emeritus Bond died at 75. He leaves his loving wife, Pam, at their Washington home, along with his blood and Movement children, like me, across the nation, who have learned much from his example on the Long March for Justice. Read more »

Crossing the Border of History

Crossing the Border of History

August 17, 2015 | In April of 2013, I made a personal pilgrimage to Hiroshima and crossed many borders. But the greatest boundary I crossed was the “border of history.” The reason for my journey was to meet and interview a survivor of the Hiroshima A-bomb and lifetime peacemaker Hiromu Morishta (now in his 86th year). I wanted to hear and record his story of the day the Bomb dropped. It is crucial that we preserve such accounts. Like many in the BPFNA, I believe we can never lose sight of the human face of violence and war in our witness for peace and justice. Read more »

Developing Empathy – How Crossing One Border Was Just The Beginning

Developing Empathy – How Crossing One Border Was Just The Beginning

August 10, 2015 | “I know how you feel” is one of the most dangerous phrases any one person can say to another. We may know how we have felt or how we suspect we would feel in a similar situation, but we seldom fully know how another person feels. I have the privilege of serving as Senior Pastor of Lake Avenue Baptist Church (LABC) in Rochester, New York. In recent years LABC has seen an incredible influx of refugees from Burma. I have crossed a border to the United States. Our friends from Burma have crossed many borders to get here. I have faced some challenges. The difference is that I am a highly educated, English speaking, Westerner coming from a country that despite it’s differences still is similar enough for me to navigate the system. Our Burmese friends have different challenges. I would never say “I know how you feel” to our Burmese friends. I do not. Read more »

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