As this week is my one year anniversary as Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel, I have spent much time this week reflecting on our first year together and the last year of the Covid-19 pandemic as well. What a year it has been!
First, I want to invite us to pause in honor of all of the lives lost over the past year during the pandemic. By now, we all likely know someone, and hopefully not too many, who passed too soon because of Covid-19. We hold these souls and their memories in our hearts. I also want to lift up all of the bodies still oppressed by racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, classism, and all other scourges that hold down possibility and potential. We have no choice but to confront these ills and reckon with them; let’s do the work. Stay tuned for more opportunities to come.
Next, I want to report in a bit about what has been and what is to come for Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel. Over the past year, I have been humbled to provide legal services to people from the following countries of origin: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, India, China, South Korea, and Samoa. It is truly a joy to be able to serve people from all over the world and the country and to hopefully illuminate some part of their path. I was able to attend some portion of many regional assemblies and am continuing to get to know the Disciples community as best as I can virtually. If we have not yet connected, please do not hesitate to reach out.
As you may have seen by now, this week marks the launch of a new website and platform for Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel. Please take a moment to look around, and I welcome your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions. This space of “Legal Updates” is where you will find notices and informational pieces about updates in immigration law and policy as things continue to change with the new administration. If you have not already done so, please sign up for the newsletter, which will send these updates directly to your inbox, and follow along on social media for daily news postings and announcements of other opportunities.
Finally, I have so much gratitude for all of the kindness and support that the Disciples community has showered me with. I truly could not do this work without the support of the General Ministries, Week of Compassion, Obra Hispana, NAPAD, regional ministries, and all of other partners. We also could not provide the pro bono legal services that are available to our Disciples pastors, seminarians, and immigrant communities without your support. As this is also the week of the Easter Offering for Disciples Home Missions, we are grateful for any and all support to make this work possible.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your continued support in this journey to “build a bigger table” for Disciples immigrants!