OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION:
The conference will begin with an introduction to immigration issues by looking at statistics, fundamental issues to consider, important policy to know, and recent trends. PLNU professor and Center for Justice and Reconciliation Director, Jamie Gates, will help establish a common ground of understanding among conference participants from which we will jump into thoughtful dialogue and relationship-building throughout the conference.
Sessions are interspersed throughout Wednesday & Thursday. They move from more theoretical aspects to practical as the conference goes on. Each session follows the same format: 30 minute presentation, 30 minute response, & 30 minutes for group discussion. The response is not a rebuttal to the first presentation; rather, it provides an additional viewpoint. Sessions are intentionally designed to feature an academic/pastor from both México and the U.S. and to equally distribute presenting and responding roles according to nationality across all sessions.
Title: “Issues of Poverty & Migration”
Time: Wednesday, 1-2:30pm
Presentation: Ataulfo Lopez, Seminary Professor & Pastor – Tijuana, Baja México
Response: Kasey Zapatka, Former PLNU Student & Teacher - San Diego, CA
Title: “The Ethic and the Problem of Immigration”
Time: Wednesday, 3–5pm
Presentation: Michael Lodahl, PLNU Theology Professor - San Diego, CA
Response: Juan Jose Moreno, Seminary Professor & Pastor - Tijuana, Baja México
Title: “The Praxis of Migration and the Church”
Time: Thursday, 9-10:30am
Presentation: Laura Lopez, Seminary Director & Seminary Students – Tijuana & Tecate, Baja México
Response: Joel Guerra, Southern California District Hispanic Coordinator, Church of the Nazarene – Murrieta, CA
Title: “Life Together and Exchange of the Church at the Border”
Time: Thursday, 2-3:30pm
Presentation: Alejandro Torres, Seminary Professor & Pastor - Tijuana, Baja México & Melissa Tucker, PLNU International Ministries - San Diego, CA
Response: Felipe Ruvalcaba, Pastor – Ensenada, Baja México
Note: Each workshop lasts 1 hour. All will be given twice, so you may select two to attend.
Title: “A Home Away from Home: A Look at the Work & Ministry of the Casa del Migrante”
Presenters: Megan Ford, Intern from the Tijuana Casa del Migrante
Description: Learn about the mission, daily work, advocacy, and history of the Tijuana Casa del Migrante, located just minutes south of the U.S.-México border. Megan will share stories of the migrants who cross their paths for just a short while.
Background: Concerned with the treatment of Italian immigrants forced out of Italy in the late 1800’s, Italian Bishop John Scalabrini made it his mission to study immigration patterns and perspectives worldwide. In 1887, he founded the Scalabrinians – a Catholic order dedicated to filling migrants’ spiritual and material needs in houses stationed along borders. Each house allows the migrant to stay for up to 12 days, providing food, clothing, shelter, spiritual care, and medical attention. Now there are Scalabrini “Casas” in 25 countries and the Tijuana Casa del Migrante has served those in transit for 24 years. With an average of 500 people a day deported to Tijuana, the majority of Tijuana’s Casa Del Migrante residents are deportees.
Title: “Bridging Theory & Practice: Pastors Discuss How Immigration Affects Ministry”
Description: Interact with pastors from both sides of the border who face the unique challenges and rewards of ministering in amidst the complexities of immigration issues. They will share their personal experiences, knowledge, and passion gained from years spent walking alongside parishioners and community members. Share in the discussion as they provide insight, hope, and practical tools to strengthen your ministry.
- Juan-Daniel Espitia: Minister for Hispanic Ministries at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church – Solana Beach, CA
- Joel Guerra: Southern California District Hispanic Coordinator, Church of the Nazarene – Murrieta, CA
- Gavin Fothergill: Border Initiative Missionary, Church of the Nazrene - El Paso, TX
- Angel & Sylvia Perez: Pastors of the Mirador Church of the Nazarene - Tijuana, Mexico
Title: “Understanding Migration & Working with Migrant Groups”
Presenters: Pedro Rios, American Friends Service Committee
Description: The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), as stated on their website, "...is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. In collaboration with local communities and neighborhoods, AFSC’s programs foster understanding and reconciliation, promote economic development and food security, educate the public on issues such as nuclear disarmament and the realities of military service, and people take charge of their own destinies.
Listen as Rios talks about the realities of legal versus illegal migration and shares of his experience in working with migrant groups in the U.S.
REVIEW OF CONFERENCE & GROUP DIALOGUE
We’ll close the conference with a whole-group discussion accompanied by a panel of representatives from various facets of the conference. Conversation will flow organically, guided by the comments and questions of all attendants.