Immigration Task Force Travels to Sonoran Desert This Week

February 02, 2010

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. will lead a February 3-7 delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. The objective of the trip is to learn about border ministries and to bear witness to Christ's love and concern for our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Accompanying the bishop will be members of the Immigration Task Force of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, along with representatives from conference districts.
 
The hope is that each of the district representatives will be able to serve as official "resource" people when they return home.
 
"One of the challenges that has consistently faced task force members is that we are often called on whenever an immigration concern arises," says the Rev. Brenda Vaca, chair of the task force and pastor of Ministerios Nueva Vida (New Life Ministries), or Nueva Vida United Methodist Church, in San Francisco (at left, with megaphone).
 
"And these calls happen quite frequently throughout the conference," she says. "Equipping and educating official resource people will allow the work of the task force to expand into the work of a larger network. This is a significant development in our ministry and we praise God for it!"
 
Vaca encourages all who are interested to follow the progress of the delegation's journey to the borderlands by visiting www.strangersnolonger.blogspot.com.
 
"We will try our utmost to post daily with our reflections and photos of our experience," she says.
 
Along with Bishop Brown, Vaca, and Phil Bandy, interim director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) for the conference, members of the delegation are: the Rev. Jola Bortner, the Rev. Kathryn Dunning, Lilian Guasing, Lydia Gutierrez, Katherine Kim, Linda Kuruhara, and the Rev. David Niu.
 
"Please keep them in prayer for their safety, good health, and an open heart and spirit as they journey to encounter the Migrant Christ," Vaca says.
 
(The blog page also provides information for those interested in making a donation to the work of the task force – and to help offset some of the costs of this border trip, in particular.)