Sanctuary, Support, and Accompaniment for Immigrant Justice

Several of us were able to attend the Interfaith Vigil for Immigrant Justice in Manchester, NH on September 5th. Hundreds turned out from all over. Please pray for undocumented immigrants and their deep fear about being deported and separated from loved ones.

These are very difficult times for our neighbors who face the growing threat of deportation from their homes. The United Valley Interfaith Project  (UVIP) is urging all faith communities to discern how we can make an offering of our many capabilities to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Many members of UVIP have been gathering in Manchester on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Norris Cotton Federal Building to provide support, prayer and witness as immigrants come for their required check in with I.C.E.

At the August 1st check-in appointment, 27 Indonesian immigrants were told to come back in September with one-way plane tickets proving that they will leave the U.S. in November. Three Latino immigrants and one Indonesian were held and detained for deportation on the spot. What we have feared has become real, awful and urgent; emphasizing our need to act now.

What can we do? As a UVIP Member Group, which has expressed energy for immigrant justice work, there are many ways — large and small — that we all can help.  We can…

  • Attend any of the upcoming ICE Prayer Vigils in Manchester, NH on September 11 or 19
  • Offer financial, spiritual or other support to a family whose breadwinner has been deported.
  • Raise funds for legal fees or plane tickets.
  • Write letters, sign petitions, and use the power of the pen in other ways

The bottom line is that we cannot allow this to happen right before our very eyes without supporting our immigrant sisters and brothers in some way.

There is also a small Immigrant Justice Core Team which needs to be made bigger by including at least one person from each member group which has expressed interest and energy for engaging in the Immigrant Justice work that UVIP and others in NH and VT are ramping up to do. Paul Manganiello has agreed to be our point person with Lars Johanson as a back up.  We can always use more people.

Please contact Gisela Jones or Rosemary Affeldt or the church office if you are interested in getting involved or just learning more about these efforts.

“GOD’S WORK, OUR HANDS”

elca gwoh

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours. –Teresa of Avila, 16th century Spanish nun (1515-1582):

Along with many other ELCA Congregations, we will celebrate “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday on September 10.  In order to create a personal and meaningful worship experience and day, we would love it if you took the time to fill out a four-question survey.  Here are the four questions you will be asked: Continue reading “GOD’S WORK, OUR HANDS”

Bread for the World, Offering of Letters

This “Temple Talk” was delivered by Paul Manganiello on June 4, 2017, Pentecost Sunday.

Our Savior Lutheran Church is Covenant Church in the national Bread for the World (BFW) movement.

BFW is an Ecumenical Christian advocacy organization working to reduce extreme poverty and hunger both here, in the US, and abroad. Great progress has been made and hopefully extreme poverty and chronic hunger can essentially be eliminated by 2030.

Although faith communities have been very generous, charity alone is not enough. Food assistance from private charities in 2013 was approximately $5 B, but food assistance from the Federal government was more than 20X that amount, $104 B. Continue reading Bread for the World, Offering of Letters

Hanover High Students Lend a Hand with Relief Quilts as Part of March Intensive

Students from Hanover High School joined us this week to help make relief quilts.  They ironed fabric, cut fabric into squares, designed tops, machine sewed tops together, and tied the quilt layers together.  Thank you Hanover High School!

More photos and a video…
Continue reading Hanover High Students Lend a Hand with Relief Quilts as Part of March Intensive

Opportunities to Serve

Wondering how you can serve the wider community?  Here is a small sampling of opportunities.

COVER HOME REPAIR:  To volunteer on a COVER jobsite no prior experience with the work or tools is necessary. You are welcome to sign up for one day at a time. COVER relies on volunteers to complete home repair projects for community members in need.  They typically engage over 300 volunteers per year. Learn new skills, share the skills you already have, and engage in meaningful work that will make a difference in someone’s everyday life. Visit For more information about serving the community through COVER Home Repair, visit COVER or call them at (802) 296-7241, ext 104.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY:  The Social ministry committee at OSLC has a long standing working relationship with the Upper Valley branch of Habitat for Humanity. It you would be willing to help with lunches for the Saturday work crews or if you’d like to volunteer with a work crew, contact Shelia Cardamone or the church office.

DISMAS HOUSE IN HARTFORD, VERMONT, SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO COOK AND SHARE MEALS WITH CLIENTS: Dismas House facilitates reconciliation of former prisoners into society through the development of a supportive community. Building these relationships is of great importance to former offenders. As one Dismas resident put it, Volunteers coming to evening meals tells me I am worth something. A group from OSLC prepares and shares a meal with at Dismas on the first Wednesday of the month. To volunteer or for more information, contact Gisela Jones  or the church office. Continue reading Opportunities to Serve

We Need to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees – Connecting to Our Country’s History and Current Events.

Website Editor’s Note: This reflection, by Paul Manganiello, also appears at VTDigger.org

The day following the presidential inauguration, my wife and I participated in a church fundraiser for the incoming Rutland Syrian refugees. We were also coming to the end of Dartmouth’s annual weeklong Martin Luther King commemoration. Following the fundraiser, my wife and I went to see the movie “Hidden Figures,” an incredible story of a group of black women who worked at NASA’s Langley facility in the segregated South during the 1960s. One of the women, a recipient of the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, was responsible for the mathematical calculations culminating in John Glenn’s 1962 Earth orbit. As I watched the film, I was overcome with sadness. During a scene when the NASA director, Al Harrison, was tearing down the colored-only bathroom sign, I found myself unable to stop crying, thinking of the senseless intimidation and humiliation so many blacks have experienced and continue to experience, and I recounted memories of when I was a young teenager.

During high school, I volunteered to work in a Roman Catholic parish in Kiln, Mississippi, to salvage building material from an abandoned summer camp. It was the summer of 1964, when members of the Ku Klux Klan murdered the three freedom riders, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The young men were helping to register African-Americans to vote.

It was my first air flight, traveling from Newark to New Orleans. Walking through the streets of the French Quarter watching kids play stickball, it felt like I was back home in New Jersey, but it was there that I first encountered the segregated South. At the bus Continue reading We Need to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees – Connecting to Our Country’s History and Current Events.