TIR Carol Barton: Exploring Christian Community in the Context of Immigration

Statue of Liberty Emma LazarusEvery day, national news reports bring us stories of immigrants, especially children, coming across our borders. Most of us find the stories heart-breaking but may feel little connection to the lives we glimpse. Many of us have even fewer thoughts about what our national immigration policies should be or, more important, how we individually could or should be involved in immigration. Our July/August Theologian in Residence (TIR), Carol Barton, will spend her time with us guiding us through these perplexing issues, and helping us connect with people as well as policies.

How would Jesus welcome the children coming to our borders?
Sunday Adult Forum, August 3 (9:00 am in the Church Parlor):

Central American women and children refugees at the border; Murietta, California; and Jesus. An exploration of what it means to be followers of Jesus in our current context. We will look at why Central American families are seeking refuge in the US; how race/ethnicity/gender and class play a role; and response of the UMC and the broader faith community.

“Just put those ‘illegals’ in jail.” — Criminalization of Immigrants
Sunday Adult Forum, August 10 (9:00 am in the Church Parlor):

We will look at the realities of detention and deportation of immigrants in the broader context of criminalization of communities of color. How is this racialized? Gendered? Heteronormative? Why has this been the primary response of US policymakers across the political spectrum? What are challenges for the Christian Community?

Community Forum: Listening and Responding to our Immigrant Neighbors
Sunday Afternoon, August 10, 1:00 – 4:00pm, at First United Methodist Church, room TBA:

What’s happening with immigration in Colorado and in Boulder? How are communities responding? Where are opportunities for ministry and engagement? Come hear from immigrant community leaders and immigrant rights advocates about local realities and opportunities. Invite friends and family!

“There are no immigrants in Boulder County…. are there?”– Discerning Faithful Response with Immigrant Neighbors
Sunday Adult Forum, August 17 (9:00 am in the Church Parlor):

How can a stronger spiritual life as a Christian Community be reflected in our action for justice in the world? How can we listen to immigrant voices in our community and support current ministries and organizing? How does immigration link to other social justice concerns? How do prayer, Bible study and faith-filled community gird us for action? Where is our community engaged in sustained action for justice? What are next steps on this journey?

Theologian in Residence Carol Barton

Theologian in Residence Carol Barton

Carol Barton is Executive for Community Action for United Methodist Women, the national women’s organization engaged in mission for women, youth and girls around the world. She works to mobilize members for service and advocacy on current justice priorities. Carol coordinates UMW’s Immigrant & Civil Rights Initiative focused on education and advocacy regarding both US immigration issues as well as Women & Global Migration. Through that initiative, UMW members have engaged in prayer, Bible study, education, public witness, legislative advocacy and ministry around immigration for eight years.

Carol works at the Church Center for the United Nations and lives in New York City with her husband and two children. She holds a masters degree in Political Economy from the New School for Social Research and previously co-staffed UMW’s Racial Justice program, directed Church Women United’s UN office, Coordinated the Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice and served as Interim Programme Officer for the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.