Borderlinks, Tucson, Arizona
April 24-30, 2016
We invite YOU, members of the Albany Presbytery, to prayerfully consider joining Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church on a service learning mission trip to Borderlinks in Tucson Arizona April 24th-30th, in 2016. So far we have 7 committed travelers ranging in age from thirties to seventies, but we would really like to have at least 8-10 in our group.
Addressing this Complex and Emotional Crisis
Our interest in the Immigration Crisis came directly from our connections as a Presbyterian Congregation. First, as congregational partners of the Cornerstone Campus Ministry at the University at Albany, we hosted a presentation of their annual work trip which in 2015, led them to Tucson on an educational/service trip. Before their presentation, we viewed a documentary produced by the Office of the General Assembly called “Journeying in Hope” which told the stories of individual immigrants and explored their reasons for embarking on the difficult and often futile attempt to come to the United States.
I recommend it as a good introduction to the church’s response to this complex and emotional crisis. You can watch it by clicking this link Journeying In Hope.
The Stranger and Sojourner
The presentation of the students’ experience was both compelling and disturbing. In response, a group of us were led to explore whether there was an opportunity for an Adult Mission trip that would lead us to a deeper understanding of this as a human crisis, related to “the stranger and sojourner” in our midst. Our desire is to join the national conversation, to articulate a Christian response for ourselves, and to identify constructive ways to change our immigration policies and practices.
Borderlinks is a nonprofit educational organization based in Tucson, Arizona that connects people to the reality of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and immigrant communities in the United States and they work in partnership with Presbyterian Border organizations. We have been in conversation with Borderlinks staff and are planning to participate in a delegation called “Border Patrol Nation” led by Todd Miller who wrote a book on this subject. Also, former members of our congregation are active members of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, which has for decades, been deeply involved in providing sanctuary to undocumented members of their faith community. We hope to connect with them as well. The ministries of both Borderlinks and Southside Church figure prominently in “Journeying in Hope”.
The cost of the trip will be $1,500 which includes everything:
- room & board
- airfare ground transportation
- the week long delegation
We are financing it through a combination of church support and individual fundraising. We have also applied for domestic mission scholarships that the Albany Presbytery offers as funds are available.
If you are interested in hearing more about this – please be directly in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org or Stewart Pattison at email@example.com. You can also read the Official Trip Statement of Purpose on the Calendar Event page.
M.J. is a teaching elder in the Albany Presbytery, but currently makes her living at the Department of Health as a program evaluator. Hamilton Union is her church and she is married to the pastor, Stewart Pattison. For the past eight years this warm and lovely congregation has allowed her to live out her call to ministry as their parish associate.