border event symbol copyOn April 15th, a group of Christians from both sides of the U.S./ Mexico border gathered in Phoenix, Arizona to celebrate our unity in faith, to confront the figurative and literal borders that divide us, and to proclaim that Jesus is our peace who breaks down the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14). We gathered together as brothers and sisters of faith in a time in which the current United States immigration and border enforcement policies are broken and create division, fear, and insecurity in our communities and between our nations.  Click here to read the open letter that was drafted and signed by many of the participants.  Click here to view the slide show from the event.

During closing worship, Dr. Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi, Professor of World Christianity at Columbia Theological Seminary, reminded us of the surprising unity that the spirit can lead us to across political, ethnic and economic borders.  Click here to read his sermon.

The pre-event option to “Crossing Borders-Encountering God”, included a trip with Frontera de Cristo to Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, Mexico.  A group of 11 participants engaged in a border encounter between Douglas and Agua Preita on the Mexican side of the border.

The following are transcripts of the speakers at this event:

The Rev. Mark Adams – “Crossing the Border: Politics, Economics and Immigration”
The Rev. Frank Alton – “When Love Trumps Borders”
The Rev. Jan Olav Flaaten – “Ecumenical Support around Immigration Issues”
Bernabe V. Bautista Reyes – “Crossing Borders”
Dr. Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi – “Rediscovering Christian Mission in Changing Contexts”
The Rev. Maurico Chacón – “Ministry with Immigrant Hispanic Congregations”
The Rev. José Olagues – “Immigrant Detention Centers and the Church’s Witness”
Genie and Hector Zavaleta“The D.R.E.A.M. Act”
Pbro. Ramón Garcia Sanchez – “The Bible and Migration”
Alfredo Gutierrez – “Living Witness in Phoenix:  Under the eye of Joe Arpaio”
The Rev. Frank Alton – “Diversity and Multiculturalism: A Transformative Journey”
Amgad Beblawi – “Palestine and Jewish Narratives of Dispossession, Displacement, Migration and Yearning”  Powerpoint outline for “Palestine and Jewish Narratives”
“Can Anything Good Come out of Nazareth? – Middle Eastern Migration to the U.S.”
The Rev. Angel Suárez-Valera – “Equipping Congregations for Immigrant Ministries”


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