September 2022

Accompaniment Friends,

A Salvadoran woman and her three-year-old son here in Seattle were recently granted asylum by an immigration judge. This decision – and her courageous testimony which led to it – brought joy to the hearts of all of us who accompanied them for more than a year. The pathway to permanent residency and citizenship that springs from this decision strengthens immensely their opportunity to thrive in the United States. An accompaniment volunteer and I recently saw them off from SeaTac Airport on the next step of their journey: to live with relatives in the rural Midwest.

The Church Council’s accompaniment to hearings and appointments and co-leadership for long-term accompaniment – through housing support, resource-sharing, health connections, moral support and counsel, legal referrals, and community solidarity – involve many faith communities, community members and loving individuals who come alongside an individual, household, or family. It takes a village to accompany in a way that upholds and affirms the rights and dignity of all immigrants!

You are that village. Congregations like Gethsemane Lutheran Church, which welcomed and supported the Salvadoran woman and her son, have collaborated with neighboring congregations and faith members for the last five years to anchor the intensive “walking with” in and around their church with a spirit of Convivencia. Alki U.C.C. is accompanying two Peruvian families who arrived at the church doors on a Sunday morning several weeks ago. Faith communities taking action are co-constructors with impacted families of the village of hope for a transformed reality where justice may prevail. This village of presence, relationship, and promotion of policy change is coupled with financial assistance as needed to build on the resiliency our migrating siblings manifest day by day.

On behalf of the Church Council and with accompanying faith communities, I ask for your financial support for direct assistance for our present long-term accompaniment opportunities and for one-time requests. Your support will assist with the following, allowing for emergent situations as well:

  • Housing assistance for a young Salvadoran couple and their 1-year-old son; transitional assistance for their extended family (three generations) of five people about to be permitted into the U.S. after more than two months at a casa del migrante in Tijuana;
  • Short-term housing assistance for the families being accompanied by Alki UCC
  • Small amount for legal support and consultations;
  • Temporary childcare assistance for a Salvadoran extended family whose adults have managed to get work permits;
  • Short-term mental health care coverage.

We are seeking to raise $25,000 in direct assistance funds to cover costs through the end of 2022. Your generosity of time, energy, and support has been critical to allowing our collective village to grow and extend over the last five years. Thank you for your entrega, your giving over of yourself, to the people whose steadfastness despite the injustices and obstacles set before them continue to amaze us.

Together, we are creating a narrative of hope and joy in our shared humanity, where all belong and all have a seat at the banquet table of the harvest of justice. You may use this link to give to the Church Council for this effort: https://thechurchcouncil.ejoinme.org/ChurchCouncilDonation

Please choose to designate your gift through the link to: Immigrant Accompaniment. Write on the memo line: Direct Assistance Fall 2022.

You may also contribute by check:
Church Council of Greater Seattle
PO Box 18467
Seattle, WA 98118.

Memo line: Direct Assistance Fall 2022.

Any amount is welcome. Your commitment to a society where all experience liberation and
flourishing sustains us all.

Please contact Cristhian Ordonez Gomez at accompaniment@thechurchcouncil.org if you would like to volunteer for accompaniment to hearings and appointments and me at mramos@thechurchcouncil.org for long-term accompaniment.

With a heart full of gratitude,

Michael Ramos
Executive Director
Church Council of Greater Seattle

 

Photo: community members prepare a meal together, some of whom are asylum-seekers recently released from detention and some of whom are volunteer hosts through the Church Council’s Accompaniment network, 2018. Shared with permission.

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