Monday, 30 April 2018 20:07

Finding Our Way

Written by Kitty Schiltz
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Kitty Schiltz – Seattle Chapter

For our March meeting, Seattle Affiliates attended the Second Annual Immigration Summit, held at Seattle University on March 10, as a way to find a project we could do together. We provided a table where we exhibited Maryknoll information and talked with attendees.

The Immigration Summit

Fr. Steve Sundborg, SJ, President of Seattle University, gave us a warm welcome, followed by keynote speaker Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, PhD, from Seattle University. She referred to Exodus 22:21, when Yahweh told the Jews to treat the foreigner well, remembering that they were once foreigners in Egypt. She then talked about memory and making the past present. How we treat others is how we are judged. What does God see? A quarter of a billion people are on the move and marginalized today. Dr. Catherine said that we sometimes use legality, merit, and fairness to hide our fear and defensiveness in dealing with strangers, even in the church.

Discussions

Morning: Affiliates at our table talked about our immigrant history. We had been given questions before the conference to help us reflect on our immigrant ancestors, the reasons for their migrating and the challenges and difficulties of being strangers in the US. We each had time to tell our stories.

Afternoon: Each table came up with an action plan for what the group could do to unblock barriers and move walls. Who is my neighbor? Where do I stand? Who do I stand with Pat Bader and Jerrie Drinkwine joined their respective parishes’ tables for this discussion.

We all considered how we pray, learn, act, and give to the Migrant Family in our midst as a parish community. The Affiliates discussed how we might pray, learn, act and give as Affiliates. We suggested that we could pray for immigrants at our monthly meeting. Janet Quillian and Alicia Gonzalez-Capestany will look into areas for action. Janet suggested we inquire at St. James Immigrant Assistance program for ideas, a presenter for a future meeting, and other suggestions. She will report at the next meeting on her contact with this resource.


Last Month’s Meeting

In February, we focused on “Visioning the Affiliates,” the Easy Meeting provided in the September/October 2017 Not So Far Afield. We felt that we needed to work on some project together because just meeting once a month was inadequate in helping us feel part of the Affiliate movement.

The visioning continues, and we are confident that we will find an action to bring us deeper into community. We looked at what was important to us of the four pillars and saw that they all work together. A local project on justice brought us to the idea of learning what we might do about migration. While at the summit, we also explored what we might do about homelessness. Our next Affiliate meeting will further the vision of where we go from here...next year or in the next five years.

 

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