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Simon’s Says ~ from Alan

This congregation already knows my opinion about what is going on at our southern border.  I believe people of faith have an obligation to welcome the immigrant and the refugee - as the Bible calls them, “the stranger and the sojourner.”  In recent weeks we have heard from the pulpit not just the story of the census migration in which Joseph and Mary were required to travel from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, but also the forty year caravan of Hebrew people traveling through Moab and its neighbors on the way to Canaan, what is sometimes called “the promised land.”  In recent weeks some of our UCC leadership made their own pilgrimage to the border to witness for biblical justice and mercy.

In the past month the reverberations of the border crisis have been felt even closer to home as more than 800,000 people have suddenly found themselves without work, and without pay, as part of the current government shutdown.  Many of them are our neighbors, families who, through no fault of their own, find themselves facing a Hobson’s Choice of either paying their mortgage or rent, or feeding their families.  This weekend, you and I have the opportunity to ease their difficulty.

As you can see from the accompanying graphic, donations of food are being accepted to help maintain the stock at two regional food pantries, Hinka’s Cupboard in Middletown and a pop-up site on the campus of the Coast Guard Academy (under the auspices of New London’s Lord’s Food Pantry).  The drop-off sites in our area are Squared Circle Studio in Deep River and the Hammonasset Service Station in Madison.  Our United Church of Chester has always been particularly sensitive and generous toward social needs in our community.  Please consider this appeal to help our neighbors to ride out this difficult time.  As well, continue to keep in prayer, not just our regional neighbors, but our neighbors on the southern border and yes, for those in our nation’s Capital who have it within their power to end this unnecessary crisis with a vote, and a signature, for human decency.

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