Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Invitation to Justice

Dr. Walter Brueggemann will speak at the next Justice Conference in Portland, OR. Here he explains "the doing of justice is the prophetic invitation to do what needs to be done to enable the poor, the disadvantaged, and the neglected to participate in the resources and wealth of the community."


An Invitation to Justice from The Justice Conference on Vimeo.

The Justice Conference. February 24+25, 2012. Portland, Oregon. Follow them on Twitter: thejusticeconf

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Slavery in the United States

 A woman came to our job program office and said she risked everything to be there that day. She was not allowed to leave her job in a sewing factory south of downtown. She was given a place to sleep inside the factory. She worked when she was awake.

An ICE officer tells a group of students on a tour of downtown that the neighborhood they are in is notorious because of the immigrants who are forced to work to pay for the services provided to get them to this country when they were brought here with the offer of a job. Law enforcement has few or no tools to change what is going on.

A teen in a church youth group tells one of the leaders that he was offered a job in the United States by another youth in his Costa Rican hometown if he would just go with him north--a trip that included riding on top of trains and being smuggled across multiple international borders. When he arrived in the United States he was given a package of drugs to sell. If you refused, the penalty would be death.

Slavery in the US exists and is fueled by a lack of reasonable laws to protect the vulnerable. What intellectual capital do you bring to help the situation?



HT to Jubilee a nonprofit band for posting the video.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Loving the Stranger: new blog

A newer blog about immigration and faith is at Loving the Stranger. It is a collaborative project to bring local and regional content about faith and immigration to other national venues. Some of our content has been picked up at Faith and Immigration, Sojourner's God's Politics Blog and Undocumented.tv. Check back often for more updates and content.

If you are interested in submitting content for the Loving the Stranger Blog, check our submission guidelines here.

Undocumented.tv has and excellent short film called A New Dream about a family that has immigrated. Watch it and participate in the forum. I showed this to one of my classes at Seminary of the Americas and will show it again at a small group. You can see my discussion notes on the forum.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Refugees, Immigrants and the Gospel

When I talk to groups about immigrants that I know and the need for immigration reform, I mention how positively I have been affected by people from and in other countries--their generosity, hospitality, friendship, faith.

Today, at Undocumented.tv, Sharon Moore writes about her experience as a volunteer at World Relief's Durham, North Carolina office as a volunteer. Check out here blog:
How Refugees and Other Immigrants Preach the Gospel to Me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A funny look at the 14th Amendment

Akhil Amar says the big idea behind the 14th Amendment is that U.S. citizens are all born with equal rights.


A funny look that is also educational. I think it is also important that there was controversy at the time the 14th Amendment was ratified that the immigrant Chinese would be given too many rights.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Connection Between Faith, Human Trafficking, and Immigration

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent first made this point to some friends of mine.
According to the US State Department’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report, slaves have been found most commonly “in domestic servitude, agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services, hotel services, construction, health and elder care, hair and nail salons, and strip club dancing.” Many of these also happen to be the most common sectors where employers hire immigrants—documented and undocumented.

Check out the whole article and a link to the US State Department's 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report on Undocumented.tv here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boards: Bar Fights, and Beautiful Music: [February 26, 2011]


“Boards: Bar Fights, and Beautiful Music:
how to avoid the one, and make lots of the other”

Capacity Partnership Group

Good Governance—
Leadership Excellence

A Workshop in #Policy Governance®

Saturday, February 26, 2011
9 AM – 2 PM; Lunch included

 Whittier Area Community Church
8100 Colima Road, Whittier, CA 90605


A workshop in board governance for nonprofit and community benefit organizations, we will examine the practical usage of Policy Governance, a comprehensive model of board governance. This is a new paradigm for governance and ensures organizational results and accountability that is safe and fair. We will look at the foundational work of the board—the work that no other group of volunteers can be expected to do. 

A board of directors needs to know its job and have the right tools. The job of governance is about values, vision, empowerment of both board and staff, and the strategic ability to lead leaders. This workshop looks at how a board of directors brings added value to a new organization. The workshop is designed as an introduction and to help everyone from beginners to veterans. It is for new board members and executives. 

As workshop participants, board members and staff leaders will gain an appreciation of leadership through governance; define the roles of management and board distinct from one another; identify the unique job outputs of the board; and learn how to avoid meddling and "rubber-stamping" by boards.

There is a nominal fee of $85 for the first person from an organization and $25 for additional persons from the same organization will be charged. Lunch and materials are included. All fees are due and payable in advance. 

Future Policy Governance workshops to be offered in 2011 include: Ends Policy Writing, Policy Writing Blitz, Monitoring, Connection to Ownership. 

For more information call Glen at 562/400-4739. 

Sign up here

More from Capacity Partnership Group here

Post Office Box 693
Whittier, CA 90608

562/400-4739 [mobile & voice mail or text]


Please leave a comment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Theologically thinking about Immigration

What if there was a way to learn, rather than simply have an opinion. My friend Ian Danley from Phoenix suggests some theological lenses* through which to examine the issue of immigration that faces many of my own friends. His thoughtful and informed piece is in two parts on Shouts from the Wilderness: Part One and Part Two; and will be cross-posted on UnDocumented.tv.

Some of his points include:
  • how scripture might orient us in a new way
  • God engineers humanity to represent Him on earth, and he calls it very good
  • stay closer to God’s heart for people
  • Our Christian identity comes with a supreme citizenship in a different Kingdom
  • Christ’s values and ethics are at odds with the world
  • in an agrarian economy, women without men, children without parents and people without land and family are often vulnerable, God sets up rules to protect them
  • we get to the life of Christ …he was an infant refugee carried across a border without knowing
I hope you read Ian's writing and find it helpful as you move toward a more informed and theologically informed opinion. Here is some source books to read to inform oneself to think, act, and even develop opinions christianly. 







I particularly appreciate the work of Danny Carrol Rodas as a theologian and churchman from Denver Seminary. His book Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible, is an invaluable resource to many. 

*So perhaps refraction is the way to inform our discussion.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Freedom from Fear Award Nominations

Do you know someone who has been courageous in the immigration reform movement?



Nominate them for an award here: Freedom from Fear Award

Friday, January 7, 2011

Speaking opportunities

I am calendering speaking and teaching events right now. I can speak to your church, community, civic, home group about immigration, immigration reform, the Bible, and more. Contact me through email. You can find my telephone number on this website: Capacity Partnership. Or email me here.

For more about me see About Glen Peterson.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Dream Deffered [UPDATED]

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

~Langston Hughes 

 I am so disappointed by the failure of the United States Senate today as it failed to move the
DREAM Act forward. A minority of the Unite States Senators obstructed the will of the majority of the Senate, the majority of the House of Representatives and the majority of American Citizens. We will keep on working on this issue. I pray the the arch of the universe, as long as it takes, will continue to bend toward justice.

Thanks to California's United States Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Fienstien for their long time support of the DREAM Act. 

Three Republican Senators, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, and Robert Bennett voted for it.

Here are the "NO" democrats: Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted against bringing the bill to the floor. 

Another Langston Hughes quotation from my friend Jose, a DREAMer who teaches me much: “HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS, FOR IF DREAMS DIE, LIFE IS A LIKE A BROKEN WINGED BIRD WHO CANNOT FLY.”

Thanks to Tommy Nixon who posted the Hughes poem at the top of this post on his Facebook status.

[UPDATE] For a wrap up on today's Senate action on DREAM see this link for Michael E. Hill's amazing reporting. And, for a roster of all the votes, see this.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pastor Troy Jackson in Ohio on the DREAM Act and Bernard Pastor



You can read more and register your support a www.prayforbernard.com

And a message from Bernard, read by his sister:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shaking the System: What I Learned from the Great American Reform Movements

I've added this to my wish list, anyone read it? Matt Soerens at World Relief just recommended it via a tweet.




You can shake the system today, call your congress representative and senators, ask them to support the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act this week. Find out what the moral issue is from Dallas Seminary's James Dennison.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Prayers and comments overheard from the Day of Fasting and Prayer

Just over a month ago, on a conference call on immigration, someone said: “we need to pray.” We don’t just need to plan right now, but we need to pray often and pray well. We need to fast. After a somewhat discouraging season in congress, we were disappointed. We met with Senators and congressional representatives in Washington, DC and in their home offices. Some of us heard encouraging word of agreement; we were disappointed by a lack of leadership. A congressman told one of our colleagues that it was Christian acts of kindness and charity that encouraged immigrants to come and stay without authorization. We were disappointed by slander even though it was too ridiculous to be plausible. We need to pray. We marked November 16 so we could deliberately set aside a whole day to pray. And, invite other to join us.

In the morning I prayed with a group of youth leaders and pastor trainees who are immigrants and born of immigrant parents. We prayed: SeƱor Jesucristo, oramos por la iglesia Americana. Lord we pray for the American church that you would soften their hearts to move the government to change policy. We pray for reconciliation.

One student said: I was born 20 years ago; my mom came to this country 21 years ago and has been without papers ever since. She chose to come here for a better life for her family and herself. She would have come with papers, if only there was a way.

Lord we’ve been isolated too long. We pray for reconciliation between the immigrant church and the rest of the church. Teach us to love one another. Give us friendships through our relationship with you.

Lord, it doesn’t have to be this way, stir the hearts of your church, and members of congress, and senators, and the president.

At noon a very different group, a student, pastors, an attorney, a teacher met in a suburban church to pray.

“We pray for those not here, the invisible: hiding where they work in restaurants or hotels, picking our crops in the fields, or on the campus of UCLA as students excelling in their studies.”

“Lord, let our hearts be broken for what breaks yours because these issues that continually hurt YOUR people … break your heart.”

“Those of us who are old enough to remember the civil rights movement of the 1960’s know that much of the white evangelical church was on the wrong side of the issue then. We pray that we think more openly in this decade about justice for the immigrants and people who labor here.”

“I grew up in a church where everyone looked the same and thought the same. I had to learn and then experienced that God loves many kinds of people. People with light skin and dark skin; people who speak English and those who do not; people born in my country and those who came here of their own choice, with or without authorization.”

Together we sang the words of this song, and we danced upon injustice.
“Did you feel the darkness tremble, when the saints join in one song?
And the streams flow as one river, to wash away our brokenness.
And we can see that God you’re moving, A time of jubilee is coming
And young and old will turn to Jesus, fling wide you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring Your hope, songs that bring Your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice”
~Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble, Martin Smith & Matt Redman

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Liberty 9500

I have a copy of this film (DVD) and will be showing it with time for discussion. Do you want to be a part of this? Let me know here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomorrow, 11/16: National Day of Fasting and Prayer for Immigration Reform


November 16th, 2010

I will be praying with a group in Whittier at noon time. Let me know if you'd like to join us. 

As people of God who are called to care for the widow, the orphan and the migrant, we seek to hear and respond to God’s voice. We are compelled to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God, and to love our neighbors, including our immigrant brothers and sisters (Micah 6:8, Luke 10:27).

As people of faith who work to seek justice for immigrants in our communities, it has been a difficult year. Right now, there are more deportations taking place than ever before. Our experience with undocumented immigrants, our efforts to understand the concerns of all Americans, and our the convictions of our faith have made us more convinced than ever that fixing our immigration laws in a comprehensive manner is imperative and in the best interest of all of us. Laws like Arizona’s SB1070 are gaining momentum but are short-sighted and criminalize certain faith-based ministry. The anti-immigrant sentiment that pervades our airwaves and political discourse is poisoning our communities. Immigrants and advocates alike are beginning to lose hope, but to not act would be an affront to the faith that we profess.

We call for a National Day of Fasting and Prayer on November 16, 2010. Across the nation, we will be united in prayer for a common purpose: to pray for an end to family separation due to deportations, to lament the broken immigration system, and to ask God for guidance on the way forward.

We will fast because we recognize our need to repent for our nation's tragic neglect of immigrants throughout American history, and particularly today. We will fast with a spirit of lament because when our brother or sister grieves, we grieve along with them. We will fast because we want to intentionally remind ourselves that many immigrants in our land do without basic needs and security on a daily basis. Finally, we will fast because we want to unite in action as we lift our prayers up to God, pleading for God to act on behalf of the immigrant in our land by making a way out of no way for the Dream Act, and ultimately for comprehensive immigration reform.

How it works:

·      All people are invited to sign up to fast during the day and pray for the families who are separated. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/b2OevG
·      Share information about the fast on Facebook by linking to our event page: here.
·      On November 16th, abstain from eating and focus on prayers for an end to family separation due to deportations, to lament the broken immigration system, and to ask God for guidance on the way forward.
·      We encourage fasters to gather their community and congregation to close the day with a worship service, prayer gathering, shared meal or event. We’ll provide a sample order of service that you can use and adapt to fit your local context. Watch for more information on this here. Right now I have talked to people about an lunch time event in Whittier and and evening event in the OC.

We welcome you to join in this fast as an individual, family, church, or community group. For more information, contact Glen Peterson, gpeterson@capacitypartnership.com or 562/400-4739

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thinking Theologically about Immigration

There is an interesting set of articles at Dallas Theological Seminary on immigration, its implications for Christians, and immigrant of the Bible. If you are interested in a Christian view of immigration and the many surrounding issues and the ethics of our current situation, these articles will be worth reading. They are short and full of good content.

Often the issues around immigration are obfuscated our individual perspectives of economics, political affiliations, or even events that have hurt us. Taking time to think theologically could help clear the air and move us as a church toward some loving and fair solutions. Thanks to these theological thinkers for their leadership. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

National Day of Fasting and Prayer for Immigration Reform


November 16th, 2010

As people of God who are called to care for the widow, the orphan and the migrant, we seek to hear and respond to God’s voice. We are compelled to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God, and to love our neighbors, including our immigrant brothers and sisters (Micah 6:8, Luke 10:27).

As people of faith who work to seek justice for immigrants in our communities, it has been a difficult year. Right now, there are more deportations taking place than ever before. Our experience with undocumented immigrants, our efforts to understand the concerns of all Americans, and our the convictions of our faith have made us more convinced than ever that fixing our immigration laws in a comprehensive manner is imperative and in the best interest of all of us. Laws like Arizona’s SB1070 are gaining momentum but are short-sighted and criminalize certain faith-based ministry. The anti-immigrant sentiment that pervades our airwaves and political discourse is poisoning our communities. Immigrants and advocates alike are beginning to lose hope, but to not act would be an affront to the faith that we profess.

We call for a National Day of Fasting and Prayer on November 16, 2010. Across the nation, we will be united in prayer for a common purpose: to pray for an end to family separation due to deportations, to lament the broken immigration system, and to ask God for guidance on the way forward.

We will fast because we recognize our need to repent for our nation's tragic neglect of immigrants throughout American history, and particularly today. We will fast with a spirit of lament because when our brother or sister grieves, we grieve along with them. We will fast because we want to intentionally remind ourselves that many immigrants in our land do without basic needs and security on a daily basis. Finally, we will fast because we want to unite in action as we lift our prayers up to God, pleading for God to act on behalf of the immigrant in our land by making a way out of no way for the Dream Act, and ultimately for comprehensive immigration reform.

How it works:

·      All people are invited to sign up to fast during the day and pray for the families who are separated. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/b2OevG
·      Share information about the fast on Facebook by linking to our event page: here.
·      On November 16th, abstain from eating and focus on prayers for an end to family separation due to deportations, to lament the broken immigration system, and to ask God for guidance on the way forward.
·      We encourage fasters to gather their community and congregation to close the day with a worship service, prayer gathering, shared meal or event. We’ll provide a sample order of service that you can use and adapt to fit your local context. Watch for more information on this here. Right now I have talked to people about an lunch time event in Whittier and and evening event in the OC.

We welcome you to join in this fast as an individual, family, church, or community group. For more information, contact Glen Peterson, gpeterson@capacitypartnership.com or 562/400-4739

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Angel Island Pilgrimage

My friend, Craig Wong, a pastor in San Francisco,  gives testimony of the work of congregations. Craig continues this work of helping the most vulnerable today through Grace Urban Ministries.



Craig Wong is the grandson of a former detainee of the Angel Island Immigration Station. He shared of the role of congregations in advocating for his ancestors and others at an "Angel Island Pilgrimage: From the Whispers of the Past to the Cries for Justice Today" on September 25, 2010, an inter-religious event sponsored by several congregations and the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Monday, September 27, 2010

On Washington and Immigration Reform

Troy Jackson writes about some of his experience in Washington two weeks ago and Stephen Colbert’s testimony to the congressional subcommittee on immigration last week. You can read what he says on Sojourner’s blog here.

It was a privilege to walk with Pastor Troy Jackson last week in Washington DC to speak to power about immigration reform, the DREAM Act, and Ag Jobs. Twenty-six of us from the state of California spoke directly and clearly to Nancy Pelosi and her staff. When they said they were in favor of reform, we asked them to take action—we don’t need empathy, we need new policy. When 50 of us stood in Senator Lindsey Graham’s office (and others where in 5 other Senator’s offices), declining to leave when asked, singing Amazing Grace and praying a blessing on the Senator and his staff and inviting the Senator to return to reasonable negotiations on immigration reform we made page 18 of Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. When Stephen Colbert was invited by Rep. Zoe Lofgren to testify about his experience creating a comedy bit about farm workers with Arturo Rodriguez of United Farm Workers, he drew the attention of the nation to an issue that affects millions. Just like his character on his own show, his biting sarcasm made me cringe. Yet, on this day a comedian spoke with a prophet’s voice.