200 Gather for “Immigration” Conference

01-18-2013 by

M. Edwards
Educators, ministers, community leaders and lay leaders participated in McCormick’s Center for the Study of Latin Theology and Ministry’s “Immigration, Deportation and Mission” conference.

It was held on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the New Life Family Center on Central Avenue in Chicago. McCormick’s Center worked in collaboration with 14 organizations and agencies to produce this conference which featured eight workshops between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Experts offered workshops on legal aspects of immigration, detention and deportation; available social and economic services and pastoral care. 

Among the participants were McCormick professors Ken Sawyer and Deborah Kapp. Dr. Sawyer said, "It was a great all-day program, full of practical help for families struggling to cope with current deportation programs. I was particularly impressed with work of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), and I was glad to hear McCormick alums Felicia Roman and Carrie Fox right where we often find our graduates: on the front lines in ministry and advocacy."

Dr. Kapp added, “I met new people, found inspiration, broadened my understanding of immigrant rights networks, and learned some hands-on, practical helps for immigrants and their families. I thought it was a great day!”

The focal point of the conference was a scripture from Leviticus 19:34: Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. McCormick President Frank Yamada reminded conference participants of the significance of the scripture in his remarks.

Sponsoring organizations were: Centro Familiar Vida Nueva, Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition at Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Seminario Biblico Hispano, Asociacion Ministerial de Chicago, Asociacion Latinoamericana de Ministros Evangelicos, Latino Empowerment Association of Pastors (LEAP), UNICAP, The Albert “Pete” Pero, Jr. Multicultural Center at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, CALOR, a division of Anixter Center which provides services to Latino/as with disabilities including HIV/AIDS, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), La Red de Oracion, First Congregational Church of Chicago United Church of Christ, Asociacion Evangelistica de Chicago e Internacional (AECI) and Advanced Latin@Theological Education (ALTE) at Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE).