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On the border

On the border

by Ellen Clark-King


As our denomination meets to worship and plan and dream together I want to remind us of some of the larger context beyond that meeting – context that will be on many hearts and minds whatever the focus of the day’s discussion.


So I want to share with you a little of what I saw and felt at the border between California and Mexico this month as I joined in a state-wide interfaith protest at the detention of refugees.


I saw a fenced space where families separated by the border could speak to one another, supervised by border patrol, with mesh too fine to allow them to touch.


I saw walls that looked as if they held hardened criminals, where people simply seeking refuge were being held apart from their children.


I saw Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Jews, Sikhs, Muslims and Buddhists all singing together and crying out together to bring hope to the people behind the walls.


I felt the power of unified voices as we called out to those behind the walls, “You are not alone,” “You are not forgotten” and “You are loved.”


I saw, through the haze of my own tears, the tears in others’ eyes as we heard them calling back to us.


I felt the common humanity that breaks down “us” and “them” and makes all people “us.”


I felt hopeful that so many Americans hold fast to values of welcome, inclusivity and justice and will not allow injustice and barbarity to go unchallenged.


I felt bone weary returning to the news of Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban being upheld and of the changes coming to the Supreme Court.


So it was good to be there, and it was hard to be there. And the struggle for justice continues unabated.


I am proud to be part of a church that takes this struggle seriously and I hope and pray that General Convention will also speak with one voice to our imprisoned refugees: “You are not alone.” “You are not forgotten.” You are loved.”



The Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark-King is Executive Pastor and Canon for Social Justice, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA


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