Join Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, immigration leader and President of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, for a hopeful and practical look at our communities’ ability to reframe this critical conversation. Friday’s opening lecture features a conversation with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Friday, March 9th, 7 – 8:30 pm
A conversation with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Law and Story: Reframing the National Conversation on Immigration
Our laws and our narratives—the stories we tell ourselves—and the ways we interpret them, are key to framing our understanding of ourselves and our communities. In the face of growing nationalism in our own country and abroad, our academic, legal, and religious communities have an opportunity and an obligation to move our discussion of immigration away from fear and towards a more compelling vision of our place in an increasingly global society.
Saturday, March 10th, 9 am – 2:30 pm
Faithfulness Beyond Boundaries: Reading Ruth on the Move
Whether following a dream or leaving behind a difficult situation, humans have, throughout history, followed the pull and push of migration. The marvelous story of the book of Ruth captures the fears, challenges, and hope of those who find themselves away from home. But more than that, it invites us to realize that boundaries—of creed, space, or culture—are no limit for God’s faithfulness. Explore how this ancient text, seen through the eyes of contemporary immigrants, can challenge and inspire our understanding of our increasingly interconnected world. Sessions include:
- 9:00-10:15 Pushed by Loss, Pulled by Faithfulness (Ruth 1)
- 10:30-12:00 Daring by Hope (Ruth 3)
- 1:00-2:30 pm Forward Together (Ruth 4)
Sunday, March 11th:
9 – 9:45 am: Prophetic Imagination: Spiritually Rooted Leadership for a World on the Move
While not original to the period of the Reformation, this phrase—“The reformed church, always reforming”—captures the movement of the Spirit throughout the history of the church. As we live through a time of major transition, what New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman calls “the age of acceleration,” how does the church draw on its tradition of reform to lead a world in desperate need of prophets and visions? How might we engage a world literally on the move to revisit and draw on our Sacred Text to learn anew to be a people on The Way?
10 am Sunday service sermon: The Gospel Outside: Healing at the Border
Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy serves as President of Pacific School of Religion in
Berkeley, California – a progressive, interdenominational Christian seminary committed
to preparing theologically and spiritually rooted leaders for social transformation. A
committed pastor, a nationally recognized immigration leader, and a sought after speaker,
Vásquez-Levy leads at the intersection of faith, higher education, and social change.
Following the devastating May 12, 2008 immigration raid in Postville, Iowa—at the time
the largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history—Vásquez-Levy served as part of
the Postville Relief Effort core team. His leadership included coordination of resources,
humanitarian assistance, legal support, spiritual and mental health counseling, family
reunification, advocacy, and long-term community re-development. This work has led
him to serve as a consultant on various documentaries and contribute a faith perspective
to the national conversation on immigration—including speaking at a congressional
briefing and participating in two immigration consultations at the White House.
Vásquez-Levy is the author of various publications that explore migration stories in
sacred texts and in people’s lives. He has lived in four countries and taught courses and
led international study and service trips across the globe. His international experience has
also included refugee resettlement work in Canada and studies at the Ludwig
Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.
Vásquez-Levy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Texas Lutheran
University and University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching
degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.