Sanctuary Matters: Testimony and Best Practices
A Weekend of Reflection & Training
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17
9 am to 12:30 pm with Peruvian luncheon following
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Saturday, September 16: Reflection and Training for congregations in discernment about offering sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation.
Keynote speaker, Rev. Noel Andersen
Rev. Noel Andersen has served as Grassroots Coordinator for over three years with Church World Service out the Washington DC Advocacy Office. He became an expert on the 2014 Sanctuary Movement while serving as a national coordinator for the initiative meant to draw on the prophetic witness of congregation’s wanting to stop deportations and lift up the immigrant story of those struggling to keep their families together in midst of unjust immigration policies. Previously, he served as Assistant Pastor at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, Arizona, just 40 miles form the U.S.- Mexico border where the congregation was very active in humanitarian aid for migrants on the border and in the struggle against anti-immigrant bill SB 1070. He has a Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion where his emphasis was on theology of liberation which he studied extensively during his field study in El Salvador. He is fluent in Spanish and has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations in Central America and on the border focusing on community development, education and community organizing.
North Carolina perspective offered by:
Jennie Belle, NC Council of Churches Director, Immigration and Farmworkers
Jennie Belle was born and raised in Savannah, GA. She moved to Texas for her undergraduate education at Rice University, during which time she studied in Mexico, Peru and Argentina and participated in service projects in Central America. After graduation she moved to Spain for a year to teach English. Jennie then came to North Carolina for a dual degree M.Div./M.S.W. graduate program at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill where her work focused on advocating for farmworkers and organizing churches for social justice. Jennie is excited to use these skills in her role at the Council of Churches as she works to help improve conditions for immigrants and farmworkers in the state.
Jessica Turner, Faith & Community Engagement Coordinator
Jessica Turner joined the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina in August 2016 as the Faith and Community Engagement Coordinator. She works to strengthen grassroots support in local chapters and within faith communities to build relationships and coalitions around numerous justice issues with a special focus on reproductive justice. She received her bachelor’s degree from Elon University in Elon, North Carolina and worked with faith based advocacy groups in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC before receiving her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the ACLU of North Carolina, Jessica organized in faith communities to abolish the death penalty, advocated for workers’ rights, and led racial justice workshops.
Additional reflections offered by:
Reverend David Mateo, Associate Pastor of Outreach and Language Ministries of United Church of Chapel Hill
Rev. David Mateo is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and earned his masters degree in Divinity at Lancaster Theological Seminary, PA. For many years, he has been doing pastoral ministry with minorities, especially among Latino LGBTQI and immigrant communities in NC. He is a writer of the book, Jesus Deported: The Illegal Gospel of the Undocumented Son of God distributed by Amazon. His blog on contemporary spirituality is read in more than 60 countries around the world.
Derek Jones (not pictured), Chair of the Triangle Sanctuary Task Force. He is a lay preacher with the Episcopal Church.
Sunday, September 17: Worship and Conversation
Worship 8:45 am 11 am: guest preacher Rev. Noel Andersen, with music offered by his wife, Nina Marie Fernando, a singer-songwriter with a jazzy-folk sound from California. As a Sri-Lankan American, Nina Marie lives out her unique blend of passions by combining jazzy/folk/groove genres to movement and sacred music
Adult Forum at 10 am: A Conversation on Creating Sacred Space in Social Action with Rev. Noel Andersen and Nina Marie Fernando.