The Common Good

Faith Community Joins Massive March, Leads Prayer Service for Immigration Reform, Meets with White House

Source: Sojourners
Date: March 18, 2010

Faith Community Joins Massive March, Leads Prayer Service for Immigration Reform, Meets with White House

Tens of thousands to gather on National Mall on Sunday, March 21st


Religious organizations spanning the faith and ideological spectrum will bring thousands of people of faith from across the country to Washington, DC, this Sunday for a powerful demonstration of their unified support for just, humane immigration reform that keeps families together. The faith community will be joined by tens of thousands of people from civil rights, immigrant, family and labor groups for the March For America: Change Takes Courage and Faith on the National Mall on Sunday, March 21, at 2 p.m. Before the march, people of faith will gather for an Interfaith Prayer Service on the Mall at 1 p.m, and on Monday, faith leaders will meet with top White House officials to discuss the urgent need for immigration reform, and hundreds of people of faith will meet with their Senators and Representatives and urge them to pass immigration reform this year.

People of faith will not stand by as our broken immigration system rips families apart, and anger, frustration and misunderstanding divide our nation. With the March For America, faith communities across the country are standing up for families and creating the moral urgency political leaders need to address this pressing issue.

WHAT: March for America; Interfaith Prayer Service; and White House and Congressional Meetings

WHEN: Sunday, March 21, 2010: Interfaith Service: 1 p.m.; Rally: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.; March to RFK Stadium: 5 p.m. Monday, March 22, 2010: White House and Congressional Meetings: All day

WHERE: National Mall, 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

WHO: Leaders and advocates representing faith, family, labor, immigrant and civil rights communities

Speakers at the rally include: Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles; Bishop Minerva Carcaño of The Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church; Rev. Derrick Harkins, Senior Pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Rev. John McCullough, Executive Director of Church World Service; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Rabbi Morris Allen, rabbi, Beth Jacob Synagogue in Mendota Heights, MN; Rev. Seth Kemper-Dale, Co-Pastor of Reformed Church of Highland Park; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.); Marc Morial, president and CEO, The National Urban League; Janet Murgía, president and CEO, National Council of La Raza; Esther Lopez, director, UFCW Civil Rights and Community Action Department; Ben Jealous, president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Gregory A. Cendana, president, United States Student Association; and many others.

Speakers at the interfaith service include: The Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City; Rev. Harvey Clemons, Pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist in Houston, TX; Rev. Nancy MacDonald, Pastor of Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Manassas VA; Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice; Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Sojourners; Imam Naqvi, Founder and Chairman of the Islamic Information Center; Bishop Orlando Findlayter, Senior Pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship and Chairman of Churches United to Save and Heal (CUSH); Rabbi Daryl Crystal, Interim Rabbi at Har Sinai Congregation in Owings Mills, Maryland; Hajar Hosseini, Communications Manager at the Islamic Information Center,; Rev. Dr. Troy Jackson, Senior Pastor of University Christian Church in Cincinnati OH; Rev. David Bigsby, Pastor of Upper Room Ministries and President, Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus; Fr. Jesus Nieto-Ruiz, pastor of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Oakland, CA, and leader of the PICO National Network; Rev. Sandy Jones, Pastor of Iglesia Luterana Manantial de Vida-Spring of Life Lutheran Church in Columbia, SC; and Rev. Noemi Mena, Pastor for Hispanic Ministry at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, earlier on Sunday, hundreds of Catholics will gather at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington, DC, for a Mass in support of immigration reform celebrated by His Eminence Roger Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles.

Religious groups are chartering buses and organizing housing for thousands of people of faith to attend the March For America. The faith community's online hub for organizing people of faith to attend the march is www.changetakesfaith.org.

Originally planned to coincide with Ecumenical Advocacy Days, an annual faith-based conference dedicated this year to immigration issues, the March For America continues the faith community's longtime commitment to reform. The faith community's mobilization around the march builds on "Together, Not Torn: Families Can't Wait for Immigration Reform” - a nationwide initiative including the delivery of hundreds of thousands of pro-reform postcards to Members of Congress and more than 100 events in communities across the country.

Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and interfaith organizations, denominations, and community organizing networks supporting the March For America include: American Jewish Committee, American Friends Service Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Church World Service, The Episcopal Church, Faithful America, Franciscan Action Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Gamaliel Foundation, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Islamic Information Center, The Immigration Issues Offices of the Presbyterian Church USA, Interfaith Worker Justice, JALSA - the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Jewish Community Action, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jesuit Refugee Service, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Pax Christi USA, PICO National Network, The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas , Sojourners, 3D Security, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society, UNITED SIKHS and World Relief.

###