The Dream is Now

It’s hard to fathom that I haven’t written anything on immigration in so long. Not to brag, but I was writing on immigration before immigration was cool. Or, at least, before there was a bill that stood a chance of passing.

So, now, the Dream Act is before us. It’s got some chance of passing, although there seem to be a lot of weak-kneed Republicans out there as each day goes by.

Tonight, Northaven will host a screening of the documentary “The Dream Is Now.” We’ll see the thirty minute documentary, which traces the life of some of the “dreamers,” then we’ll hear from a few dreamers themselves. I will also make a few brief comments too. Here’s the trailer for the film:

Here are the details:

“The Dream Is Now” Documentary Screening
Thursday, June 20th, 7 pm
Northaven UMC
11211 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230

The whole even should conclude around 8:30. We hope you’ll come.

So, since I haven’t written on immigration in so long, let me remind everybody of a few things:
1) First, this bill still creates an incredibly difficult thirteen-year “path” from the “dreamers.” It’s so far from the “amnesty” I favor (along with Ronald Reagan) that you can’t even see amnesty from here.

Therefore, even if this passes, make no mistake: life is still difficult and challenging for immigrants and dreamers. If you think this bill’s about to create a “free ride” for the Dreamers, think again. It’s better than nothing…but We could, and should do more than than this.

2) There are very good spiritual and justice reasons that Christians should favor better treatment of immigrants. As I allude to, I’ve written about this much in the past. So, here’s some of my writing, in case you’re interested:

“Because You were Once An Alien”
Perhaps my most comprehensive blog on immigration issues, written just after Dallas’ second “MegaMarch” in 2010. It cites just a few of the MANY scriptures where God calls us to treat immigrants as we would treat ourselves. If you only read one link here, I hope you’ll read this one.
It also cites some of the great theological positions of the United Methodist Church.
Finally, I share a few stories of things I have seen over the years, personally.

“The Holy Family: A Meditation:
A Christmas meditation, that reminds us how the Holy Family was a migrant family.

The MegaMarch: Thoughts On a Historic Day, Immigration, and Racism
Combines thoughts about the first MegaMarch, and a sermon I preached the day of that march in 2006.

“Connecting the Dots on Immigration”
A blog I wrote, primarily to debunk the myth that immigrants get a “free ride” in America, or don’t pay taxes. Both are bald-face lies. In fact, it’s far more likely that immigrants pay into the tax system, but fail to receive any benefits from it.

I also want to direct you to some recent writing by my friend and colleague, Rev. Owen Ross. Owen has a blog out, right now that you should see:

“We Are Better Than This”
Owen makes the powerful case that our current immigration laws are eroding the trust between people and law enforcement. That makes all of us less safe. He shares powerful examples from his ministry at Christ’s Foundry UMC in Dallas.

Hope you enjoy reading these things. It’s an important time to remember that our Christian faith calls us to stand for immigrants, and that NOW is the time to take action.

Hope to see you tonight.
And hope you will feel called into action, by the depth of your convictions.

The dream is now.

(Leave a comment below. If you like this post, then “share it” or “like” it on Facebook/Twitter by clicking the box below, so others can see too. Comments here are moderated, and are approved at my discretion, when I can get to it..so be patient if they don’t appear right away

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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