For 10 years, First Christian Church has helped save migrant lives in the desert by working with Humane Borders, and now we are formally launching new ministries of advocacy and service.
We are also renewing other ministries to help save the souls of Arizonans. Through representatives and groups, many in Arizona are considering state sponsored vigilantism, systematic violations of human rights, and mean-spirited laws that are designed to promote racism and punish some of the most vulnerable among us.
The Judeo-Christian faith has thousands of years of history telling us that it is all right to recognize the presence and even the status of persons among us who are different. And in all cases, we are required to love all persons.
The membership of First Christian Church will not rest until some of these principles are renewed elements of public policy. We pledge to work with both civil society and public officials in these efforts.
The congregation will expand its offerings as a site for theological reflections on this, the largest, sustained migration. The congregation has agreed to host a group of 60 chaplains from around the U.S. in a border-education experience in the fall. Working with foreign consulates, First Christian Church will expand services to migrants with special health and family needs. The congregation will continue and expand emphases on hosting border forums, the screening of documentaries, and general, community education.
I am currently participating in unprecedented conversations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials regarding migrant safety issues and human rights. The congregation’s commitment of my time is directed at influencing future migration policy reform.
First Christian Church has promoted and defended human rights for all for many decades. FCC’s Migrant Ministries date back to the 1950s during the Bracero Program.
Members worked with Community Christian Church in Marana, which was then recognized by the National Council of Churches for its emphasis on migrant workers. Members taught sewing, cooking and other things. Our children and youth played together.
First Christian Church was a sanctuary church during the Central American exodus. It has served as landlord for BorderLinks, a border education program, and the Asylum Program of Southern Arizona, a legal services organization. The church has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, hosting numerous academic, governmental, and advocacy groups related to migration issues.
-Rev. Robin Hoover, Ph.D., is pastor of First Christian Church in Tucson.