Blessed Are They: ECM’s Holy Non-Collaborators Coffee Hour

Jesus blessed the people on the margins of his culture by embracing them, showing solidarity with them, building a community in which those who had always been shunned were welcomed and loved. This is an excerpt from The Sermon on the Mount: A Theology of Resistance in which Lindsey Paris-Lopez explores the radical, liberatory nature of the Beatitudes. On January 10th, the ECM team and a community of organizers, faith leaders, and holy non-collaborators used Paris-Lopez’s meditations to center our discussion on being an effective ally to our immigrant neighbors. As we read the Beatitudes together and ruminated on Paris-Lopez’s article, it struck me that it is the very blessedness of our immigrant neighbors - who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, who are in mourning - that the federal government is determined to deny.

ECM was honored to host three amazing organizers who offered attendees ways to work for immigrant justice.

  • Amy Grunder, Director of Legislative Affairs for MIRA Coalition, spoke to us about how we can mobilize our communities to support the Safe Communities Act.

  • Rachie Lewis, Senior Synagogue Organizer for the Jewish Community Relations Council, provided us ways to support immigrant families by visiting detention centers.

  • Laura Wagner, Executive Director of UUMass Action, invited us into the organization’s expanding accompaniment network that supports immigrant communities by accompanying people to court hearings, providing rides, etcetera.

At the coffee-hour six people made commitments to join the accompaniment network, six clergy members committed to visiting detention centers and participants committed to mobilizing 44 calls in support of the safe communities act. ECM has a goal of mobilizing 200 people to act before February 7th. We are over 25% of the way there. Will you join us? Click here for more information on how to act and email Natalie Finstad (natalie@episcopalcitymission.org), Director of Programs and Engagement, if you have any questions.

After we had eaten, worshipped, and listened to Amy, Rachie, and Laura together, we walked from the Cathedral Church of St. Paul to Boston City Hall to support ECM’s partner organization, Centro Presente’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Rally, to publicly decry our outrage at the Trump administration’s decision to terminate TPS for our Salvadoran siblings. The rally stirred me: the speakers never sidestepped sorrow, nor did they give in to hopelessness.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. And surely we are mourning. Between the Trump administration’s decision to repeal DACA, rampant ICE raids throughout our country, and the administration’s decision to terminate TPS for Salvadorans, it is obvious that our country’s soul is sick. We see symptoms in our elected officials’ words and in broken, oppressive systems that separate families. ECM’s Holy Non-Collaborators Coffee Hour was not only a time of sorrowing, however, but a time of coming together, praying, and galvanizing.

It is only in community that we can take action and experience God’s transformative love, and I saw that last week - in the enthusiastic commitment to action from people of faith during ECM’s coffee hour, in a little girl laughing and scribbling pictures of her mother at the TPS rally, in that mother’s tearful, fierce declaration that she will fight for her daughter’s future. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness - for they will be satisfied.