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Planting justice and harvesting hope for NIJFON

Posted: September 29 2020 at 02:13 PM
Author: Paula Cripps-Vallejo, NIJFON Development Officer


Berrybuilding

Berry Memorial UMC in Chicago sold their 110-year-old building in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood in the Spring of 2020. They plan to distribute their tithe of the sale over three years to other UMCs in the conference and various ministries including the Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors.

Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors (NIJFON) has been blessed with a $25,000 gift from Berry Memorial UMC in Chicago through the sale of the church’s historic building. As Berry UMC seeks to plant the seeds of a new church home in Chicago, they also chose to plant seeds for justice through supporting the mission and vision of NIJFON.

We at NIJFON would like to challenge the 350+ United Methodist congregations here in Northern Illinois Conference to support our shared work for God’s justice, through giving to NIJFON. We are setting a goal for all 350+ congregations to raise a total of $25,000 to match the faithful donation that Berry Memorial UMC gave.

We are hoping & trusting that all together our UM congregations can support our vital mission to offer free, high-quality immigration legal services to our immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking neighbors and selves. We understand that this has been a difficult year economically for many of our churches, and families, and invite each congregation to prayerfully give at the level they are able.

The work of JFON is more important than ever as there continues to be extreme challenges and difficulties in navigating the immigration process here in the United States. Our JFON legal team has not stopped working for our mission, and our full JFON network continues to be engaged in education and advocacy during this critical time for the immigrants’ rights movement that Jesus is leading us to.

Every dollar given to JFON is like a seed of justice that is planted. We see those seeds of justice harvested when a family is reunited after so many years apart. We see those seeds of justice flourish when an LGBTQIA asylum seeker is able to live their full life as their full self. We see those seeds of justice blossom when a mother receiving a UVisa is able to move from the shadows of fear to shining her light brightly for herself and children.

We know that the $25,000 given by Berry Memorial UMC are each seeds of justice that bloom in ways that we can see and take root in ways we cannot see as we continue our mission at NIJFON. We invite you as a fellow Christian in the United Methodist tradition to help us plant even more seeds of justice as work for God’s ever coming kindom of liberation and justice.

Are you ready for the challenge? Together we can raise $25,000 to match Berry Memorial’s $25,000. Together we can continue to plant and harvest seeds of justice. A virtual gathering to honor Berry for their gift, as well as all the UMCs who are able to contribute to JFON's work in this difficult year will be held in November.

Watch the Bishop's invitation to the challenge.

To get more information about this matching campaign or materials to share in your own UM congregation please go to nijfon.org OR email us at paula.crippsvallejo@nijfon.org.

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