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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church gathering addresses immigrant injustice

    July 2, 2018 / By Cathy Woodruf

    Speakers at a forum Monday evening, June 25, at Eastern Parkway United Methodist church shared their heartbreak, frustration, and questions surrounding the separations of children and families at the U.S. border with Mexico.

    About 40 people, mostly members of the Schenectady-Niskayuna congregation, attended the public gathering, centered on the theme “Speak for the Children; Act for the Families.” The format was inspired by a request from two church members who said they felt increasingly unsatisfied with their usual outlet, sharing posts on social media, and were seeking a more productive and meaningful way to channel their energy, anger, and frustration.

    “We come together to unite voices and hearts to address the injustice that is happening to immigrant families and individuals at border crossings into the United States,” Pastor Mark Ledbetter said in opening remarks.

    “We are not naive and are well aware of the complexity of the issue,” he said. “Yet, we gather as a community that believes love and compassion and practical humaneness must always inform, if not supersede policy and personal opinion.”

    The forum concluded with an agreement to gather again. Forum attendees also pledged, in coming weeks, to perform at least one individual act to promote kindness and justice for migrants and refugees and to recognize the humanity of immigrants already in our community.

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 86 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."