The Change the World Movement at #pnwac13
By Jesse N. Love
Methodists had a great opportunity to be involved in the Wenatchee community as members participated in the Change the World Event at The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Sessions.
Late Friday afternoon, hundreds of attendees had their choice in how they wanted to make a difference. Creating quilts, developing community gardens, building health kits for victims of natural disasters, and/or speaking out for compassionate immigration reform were just a few of the ways folks lived out discipleship as a verb.
“Health kits and layette kits go to people in different parts of the world in disaster,” Kristin Hawes Joyner shares. Joyner organized this station by having an assembly line of supporters packing various toiletries in clear plastic bags. A hand towel, a washcloth, soap, a comb, a toothbrush, bandages and a nail clipper are items in these kits that can do a world of difference for disaster victims when paired with a comforting presence. “It’s great fun, you just get into the zone after awhile,” shares Trina McCarrell after participating in the assembly line.
A Vigil for Compassionate Immigration Reform was held in front of the Convention Center. Lyda Pierce, Alex & Sally Perez, David Valera and others welcomed speakers from various organizations like the Northwest Immigration Rights Project, the Northwest Detention Roundtable, One America, and the Community for the Advancement of Family Education (CAFE). Also participating was the PNW Hispanic/Latino Ministries as well as the PNW Immigration Task Force.
The Rev. George Lockwood serves as pastor of La Connor UMC. When asked how local churches can get involved in immigration reform awareness, he said “Volunteer in a day care center, in a food bank (such as we have in La Conner) to get to know folks from another culture and the struggle they have and in showing just how broken our immigration system is.”
Individuals in our AC gave testimonies about their personal struggles related to the immigration situation. The Rev. Ralph Figueroa testified how as a member of the Navy and while in uniform, he was questioned on a base by another member of the military about his credentials. After Figueroa showed his identification card, the situation was diffused. He used this example to introduce young person, Kevin Sauceda, who has a DREAMers card that allows him to continue his education endeavors, work and as Figueroa states, “no longer be in the shadows”.
The Rev. Larry Warren spoke about the Northwest Detention Center. Warren shared points about the privatized correctional system being used to detain and deport undocumented immigrants – with even some detainees who are actually citizens.
Those participating in the Vigil then marched around several blocks near the Wenatchee Convention Center and concluded the Vigil near the Center’s fountain steps. As we closed, we were encouraged to continue learning about the struggles of undocumented immigrants and to contact Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray or Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and James E. Risch.
Jesse N. Love serves as the print & publications manager for the PNWUMC.