Blessing Not Burden | November 29, 2018
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Introducing Our New Justice Mobilization Specialist

Melissa Stek is the newest member of the Office of Social Justice team. She joined our team last week as the Justice Mobilization Specialist, and will work to network and encourage justice seekers as they take next steps on their justice journeys, especially in the area of immigration.

Melissa comes to us from Washington D.C. where she worked as a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Congress. Melissa has a Bachelor of Social Work from Calvin College and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. 

We are thrilled to welcome Melissa to the team! Learn more about her in this Do Justice blog post.

Prayer for Asylum Seekers at the Border

This Sunday, join us in praying for the estimated 8,000 people - of which approximately 800 are children - who joined together in a "caravan" to make the journey to the United States in order to seek asylum and flee violence, corruption, natural disasters, and lack of economic opportunity in their home countries. It is legal to seek asylum. Migrants who petition for asylum are engaging in a process authorized by U.S. laws. Those who request asylum go through a vigorous asylum process, including numerous background checks and screenings, which takes nearly three years on average, and most (especially those who cannot afford a lawyer) do not get their asylum claim granted. Our prayer is that the Trump administration would expend energy and resources not to defend against asylum seekers, but instead increase capacity so that the process could work more efficiently and not put migrants at risk of further violence.

You can use this prayer and short description of the situation at the border for your personal prayer time. It can also be read aloud during your worship service as part of the congregational prayer or printed as a bulletin insert.

Ten Ways U.S. Churches Can Welcome Immigrants

In the Bible, strangers are often used by God to bring blessing. Immigrants today are a blessing to our congregations, communities, families, economy, and country. They are created in the image of God. And God expressly, and repeatedly, commands us to welcome the stranger. This resource shares ten ideas for showing hospitality and experiencing the blessings immigrants bring. Download it here, or order printed copies for a small fee at

Let’s Expand What It Means to be Pro-life to Include People with Disabilities, Immigrants

Jason Lief, our immigration organizer for Iowa, wrote the following op-ed for the Des Moines Register:

“Regardless of whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or third-party supporter, we can all seek the common good — a society that values human life from womb to grave, bestowing dignity to every person regardless of economic class, political party, or country of origin.”

The Immigration Facts: The Face of Asylum at the Southern Border

“Who are the people approaching our border from Mexico? What does it mean to seek asylum? For a nation of immigrants, the ways by which foreign-born individuals and families legally enter the U.S. remain mysterious for many Americans.” This is a helpful guide created by World Relief to get it all straight.

Protect Migrants’ Right to Seek Asylum

President Donald Trump has signed a presidential proclamation that will block migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from seeking asylum. The move aims to funnel asylum seekers towards ports of entry, though this could force migrants to wait for weeks at port entry’s and put their family at risk at risk of violence or human trafficking. U.S. law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum regardless of their entry procedure. Contact the White House & ask the Trump Administration to protect migrants’ right to seek asylum!