The Birth of CEL: Latino coalition aims to expand voice, create network to strengthen ministry
'This is the time': Group to hold inaugural assembly in September in Arizona
By Pat McCaughan, March 18, 2010
[Episcopal News Service: From Episcopal Life online at http://www.episcopal-life.org/79901_120943_ENG_HTM.htm] Leadership development, service, evangelism, peace and justice advocacy, immigration, Twitter and Facebook are just some of the topics up for discussion Sept. 15-18 when the first assembly of Coalición de Episcopales Latinos gathers in Arizona.
State of Arizona Passes Harshest Immigration Law in the Nation
The Governor of the State of Arizona signed Senate Bill SB 1070 into law on Friday, April 23, 2010. The law itself appears to have been born out of the fear and frustration bred by long failed immigration policies and practices at the federal level. Depending on one’s point-of-view, this law can be considered either the strongest or the most repressive and inhumane immigration law in the country. Demonstrations and shows of support both for and against the bill preceded the Governor's signing it into law. Leaders in Arizona's Episcopal community, including CEL President Carmen Guerrero and St. Augustine's Parish in Tempe, were among those publicly stepping forward in opposition to the passage of SB 1070.
Opposition to SB 1070 at St. Augustine's Parish, Tempe
Reactions to the new law have polarized the people of the state and the nation, and have generated deep concerns among people of faith. Episcopal Bishop of Arizona Kirk Smith issued a powerful open letter to Spanish-speaking Arizona Episcopalians expressing his concerns over the new law, encouraging us to remain calm and focused as judicial challenges arise, and assuring us of solidarity and support as the processes to repeal or remediate this law unfold.
The Bishop’s letter speaks to us all, regardless of our preferred language or state of residence. Please click on the following link to read Bishop Smith’s letter and to access additional sources of information about the issue.
Bishops to go ahead with Arizona meeting despite immigration law outcry
By Pat McCaughan, May 13, 2010
[Episcopal News Service online at http://www.episcopal-life.org/79425_122199_ENG_HTM.htm ] The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops will meet Sept. 15-21 in Phoenix for its regular fall meeting as planned, including an optional pre-meeting trip to the U.S.-Mexican border, despite public outcry over Arizona's recent enactment of the nation's toughest immigration law and calls for a boycott.
"It's an opportunity to be educated, to be informed and to make a public statement about solidarity with people that are victims in this, and there are victims on both sides, which is important to emphasize," said Arizona Bishop Kirk Smith in a telephone interview. "We will accomplish a lot more by being here, learning, hearing and responding about it and standing in solidarity with people suffering instead of taking the easy way out by saying 'Let's go meet someplace else.'" ...Read More
ARIZONA: Faithful participate in immigration rallies
By Pat McCaughan, June 3, 2010
[Episcopal News Service] Witnessing tens of thousands of people from across the country join a May 29 Phoenix protest of Arizona's immigration law brought Juan, a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, renewed hope for equitable immigration reform.
"This march was different than the others," he said of the event, arranged by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and other groups opposing Arizona's new immigration law that aims to identify and deport illegal immigrants. "There were a lot more people, and people from all over the United States. It was wonderful to see so many people supporting us," he said after a Spanish-language service at the cathedral May 30. ...Read More