ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: August 12, 2017

ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: August 12, 2017

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“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” 

Isaiah 58:12

The sacred text about us being repairers of broken walls and restorers of streets is one we use often at ISAIAH. It speaks about a historical, prophetic message that is very relevant for us today.

The biblical prophet Isaiah, whom we’re named after, is often celebrated as one that prophesied about the future and foretold about the coming of Jesus Christ. While that was core to his witness, his divine call was to speak to the Israelites and kings that were in power about the ways in which their current actions – often of injustice and indifference – would bring them misery and pain. Isaiah then gave them the prophetic call to live lives of justice, compassion and love and he spoke of the great power, authority, and community that would be created as a result.

The prophet’s vision and forecast is one that can be altered by the actions and reactions of the people. There were always conditions to both the blessed and cursed prophesies. As people of faith, we must choose to answer the call and live out the prophetic vision to be repairers and restorers. That often means speaking up when it’s more comfortable to be quiet; displaying radical love in the face of profound hate; and fighting off deep-seated fear with liberating faith.

“God does not create illegal people” Kandiyohi Clergy Proclaim

In this op-ed published in the Willmar West Central Tribune, 24 clergy members in Kandiyohi County give a faith grounded and biblical defense for immigration reform and declare their solidarity with Melvin Siu and other members of their community who feel the threat of deportation.

Changing the conversation in Willmar: A report by ISAIAH’s Greater Minnesota Organizer, Alexa Horwart

There have been almost daily letter-to-the-editors and editorials written back and forth in the Willmar West Central Tribune about Melvin Siu’s detention, immigration and belonging in Willmar. Leaders and the public have been stirred up across the city and are having many faithful conversations, including two ISAIAH leaders who wrote op-eds that were incredibly faith rooted and beautiful. Then, 24 (!!!!) clergy signed on to the op-ed above. Additionally, an immigration 101 training with an immigration lawyer was VERY well attended. This work is totally changing the conversation in Willmar and confirming that while we have some geographic differences, Minnesotans share incredible levels of compassion and empathy for one another.


IN THE NEWS: “Church considers becoming ‘sanctuary’” 

At a Rochester First Unitarian Universalist Church forum to educate members of the congregation about immigration issues and whether the church should become a sanctuary or sanctuary support church, ISAIAH organizer Catalina Morales asked, “What is your calling?” This is a question we must all answer. We were all created with purpose and Divine calling. In the darkness of the world, how will you walk in the Light? You can read more about the forum and sanctuary in this article published by the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

IN THE NEWS:  “When it comes to sanctuary, it boils down to faith for these folks”

ISAIAH member congregation, Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in St. Paul was featured for their faithful work in Sanctuary in this column by Rubén Rosario for the Pioneer Press. Saint Thomas More is one of hundreds of congregations across the county that proclaim love and faith will triumph in the face of hate and fear.

IN THE NEWS: Residents propose Northfield starts first municipal ID program in Minnesota

Congratulations to Neighbors United in Northfield – a coalition ISAIAH is a part of – for launching a powerful campaign for a municipal ID. Cities and counties are leading the way in the fight for belonging.  You can read about their efforts in this article from the Northfield News.

Christian Faith Compels Us to Collectively Denounce Domestic Terrorist Attack on Bloomington Mosque

Following a horrific terroristic attack on the Dar Al-Farooq Mosque in Bloomington, faith leaders with ISAIAH and PICO National Network, the nation’s largest body of faith-based groups and congregations, issued the following statement:

“We are deeply distraught over the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center. This is a place of worship less than five minutes from our own. All people should be able to have a sanctuary space to pray and to worship. To have that peace disrupted by such an appalling act of violence stands in direct opposition to all that is holy and good,” said Rev. Ben Sandin, ISAIAH clergy and Senior Pastor of House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Richfield, Minn.  “We vehemently rebuke this act and the mentality that allowed it to be carried out. We stand in love with our Islamic brothers and sisters as they grieve and restore in this time.”  Continue reading


Sanctuary Legal Clinic

This week we held a Sanctuary Legal Clinic at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis for 30 sanctuary and sanctuary supporting congregations. Three workshops on immigration were held while attorneys consulted with representatives from individual congregations.

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We have been called for such a time as this!

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