Social Advocacy & Witness
"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17
We are a faith community committed to social and political witness, to advocate for those who have no helper, and to follow Jesus into places of tumult and loss.
We invite all people to join our advocacy and witness to accompany people facing detention and deportation from the federal government's Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement agency. There are many in our parish committed to this ministry. For more information contact Rosalyn Nazzaro, who is overseeing this aspect of our congregation's outward-facing mission. To join us, and to receive urgent requests for participation contact the parish office
We are called to accompany others in two ways:
Join us for these events:
Prayer Vigils & Jericho Walks
Prayer Vigils in Boston
We have gathered one Sunday each month in Boston with other people of many faiths to pray outside of a Suffolk County building where immigrants were detained. Our praying and singing put us in solidarity with men whom we could visibly see, and who could see us. However, the Sheriff of Suffolk Count recently ended the contract with ICE and the detainees have been moved to other sites around New England. We are waiting to hear of any future actions to be taken on behalf of men and women detained by ICE in Massachusetts.
Jericho Walks in Burlington
A Jericho Walk, is a symbolic and religious witness outside the ICE's offices in Burlington. Taking our lead from the Old Testament story "by faith the walls of Jericho fell," we join an interfaith group to march peaceably seven times around the ICE building carrying signs, singing, and chanting.
The Jericho Walk lasts about 1 hour, and they're actions rooted in interfaith prayer and solidarity. The Jericho Walk is a fundamentally peaceful protest against the cruel, arbitrary and inhumane practices in which ICE engages, separating families and uprooting peaceful and productive neighbors and friends. It is not in response to, nor does it target, party politics. Rather, it is an expression of the certainty we draw from our faith: that deporting peaceful people is wrong and that ripping families apart harms many and helps no-one.
The two messages we’re focusing in on for this particular walk are “Let Our Neighbors Stay” and “Keep Families Together.” For more information about Accompaniment or Jericho Walk contact Pam Chester.
Practical Support for First Parish in Bedford
The Parish of the Epiphany has declared ourselves "a sanctuary church." For us this has meant providing practical support to First Parish in Bedford, a church who is giving sanctuary to person(s) facing deportation. We are doing this with 9 other faith communities.
During the pandemic, there are no volunteer shifts as described below, however, First Parish is still supporting their guest in Sanctuary (soon to be 4 years) and would appreciate financial donations to help defray their costs. Send checks to: First Parish, 75 Great Rd., Bedford, MA. 01730, "Sanctuary Fund" in memo line.
------------------- Volunteers not needed during pandemic ------------------------
We need volunteers to serve 4 hour shifts. Most volunteers work 2 shifts each month, always with a second volunteer. The primary duty of volunteers is to be a supportive presence to the person in Sanctuary. Comprehensive training, a CORI background, and supervision is provided, both by First Parish in Bedford, and by the Parish of the Epiphany.
After a volunteer has received training she or he is entered into First Parish of Bedford's database and can sign-up directly for the shifts. This ministry is part of our parish's commitment to justice for immigrants.
Scenes from 29 April vigil in Boston: