Saturday, February 18, 2017

St. Stephen UMC Members March on Behalf of Immigrants & Refugees

St. Stephen UMC member Amy Martindale (bottom left) and co-teacher friend Kathleen Dugan (to Amy's right) walk on behalf of refugees. Photo by John Astle

Members of St. Stephen UMC were among the estimated 2,000 people who marched on Saturday, Feb. 18 in downtown Dallas on behalf of welcoming immigrants and refugees. Marchers traveled from the Dallas City Hall to the John F. Kennedy Memorial, where a rally took place.

Social Justice Chair Teddi Fulenwider, Lay Leader Keith Fulenwider, and members Cynthia and John Astle wore St. Stephen's "Love Is..." T-shirts for the walk. Keith and John were both photographed by other marchers who said they liked the slogans on the front and back of the T-shirts. A woman who described herself as a Catholic told John and Cynthia that she was grateful that some people were willing to be identified as Christians who believe that God loves everyone.

The question of St. Stephen serving as a "sanctuary church" for undocumented immigrants was discussed at the Feb. 12 Church Council meeting during the Open Forum. Council members agreed by consensus that St. Stephen isn't physically equipped to serve as a sanctuary church because we have no showers and no place for beds. However, the Council agreed that St. Stephen will do all we can otherwise to aid immigrants and refugees. Teddi Fulenwider said that Social Justice will research the immigration issue in greater detail and will report back to the Council in the near future.

The St. Stephen "Blue Shirts" are just visible. Photo by Teddi Fulenwider.

Other Christians were also present at the rally. Photo by Teddi Fulenwider.

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