Thursday, April 02, 2009

|| LIRS || Be Not Afraid

|| LIRS || Be Not Afraid

The Be Not Afraid Project
Resources for Congregations and Immigrant Families Fractured by Fear

Be Not Afraid logoBe Not Afraid is a project that equips congregations to respond to immigration issues impacting their members and communities. Congregations are fractured over the issue, unsure how to respond as the family of Christ. Pastors are facing a decline in membership and participation as immigrant members are deported or fear being detained. Immigrant families are fractured by a broken system that often denies due process, separates parents and children, and creates a culture of fear that interrupts daily life.

LIRS has heard from denominational bodies and individual pastors who want to do something to turn back the fear and inspire people with strength and hope.

In response, LIRS has launched the Be Not Afraid project. The pilot phase is now being carried out in five communities across the country — Los Angeles; Tampa; Austin/Albert Lea, Minn.; New Jersey; Long Island, N.Y.; and Houston. Four critical areas:

* Be Informed — Presentation and materials for immigrants and their families
* Be Equipped — Training and resources for congregation and volunteers
* Be Prepared — Network congregations and partners for raids response as needed
* Be an Advocate — Resources for those interested in advocating for better policies

Project tools for each area are designed in response to needs identified by congregations. LIRS, in collaboration with local clergy and lay leaders, further customize use of the tools for each particular community. Together we identify and train local leaders and support volunteers to implement the project. Together we faithfully respond to immigration issues and proactively meet the needs of immigrant parishioners and neighbors!

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