Thursday, June 15, 2017

"The Practice of Social Justice as Ministry" by Silvia Brandon -Perez ARCWP

I am sharing last week's sanctuary meeting in Hayward (I am at minute 1:55 or so) which means almost 9 p.m. Because of the nature of the discussion, I wore clerical garb. 

This week we discussed homelessness; I spoke on two separate occasions, and this week I was not  angry as I was last week, although I am on my 9th month giving shelter to a homeless family with two small children.  I am grateful that we are making SOME progress on the issue, although we are still losing people in this city... I proposed a state law for the protection of tenants, because gentrification and displacement in our city is horrible.

It is how both the widow who is staying with me, who attended my ordination, was evicted after 30 years of marriage, and how the family in my garage, evicted because they complained about the roaches in their apartment, were also evicted and found themselves living in a car for five months, until I let them stay with us.

The video on tonight's meeting is 
... I was so excited about the discussion tonight that I 
change the name of my action group from Put the Heart Back in the Heart of the Bay (Hayward is called the Heart of the Bay) to maybe Strengthen the Heart of the Bay or something like that...
​ (I am at minute 1:12 the first time and 2:13 the second time)​.  Some of these issues, from a legal standpoint, are very clear, but the City is upset because their ability to "legislate" has been taken away by the new State law.  Janice was with me the day before (or two days before) my ordination, when I was denied a permit for people I had been helping, after months of grueling work...

We all serve differently; my sister wanted to know (she is the one who accompanied me and spoke at my ordination as a deacon, but couldn't make my ordination as priest) if I had a regular place to preach... I preach for social justice every chance I get, and I am well pleased.

Tonight I received a letter from a sister who spoke at the meeting:

Hello Maria Cristina, Silvia and Asha, 

I am writing to connect you!  Maria Cristina and Silvia, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Hayward City Council meeting last week and celebrate becoming a Sanctuary City.  

Asha, Maria Cristina and Silvia are both faith leaders working in support of immigrant rights.  

Maria Cristina and Silvia, Asha is part of ACUDIR, Alameda County United in Defense of Immigrant Rights.  This is another coalition (many of the same organizations as ACILEP, which I talked to you about), which is organizing in support of immigrants impacted by immigration enforcement.  

ACUDIR is planning actions specifically to support the case of a father who lives in Hayward and it occurred to me that there is the possibility of collaborating on this.  I hope you can connect to support this case.  

I look forward to seeing some of you at the ACILEP training on Thursday!  


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