Matter Matters

Frannie Kieschnick (far left) and other women of faith at the border in Texas. Follow @Revfhk1 and @FaithPublic Life on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. Credit: David F. Choy | Facebook: David F. Choy | Instagram: @davidchoy

Frannie Kieschnick (far left) and other women of faith at the border in Texas. Follow @Revfhk1 and @FaithPublic Life on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.
Credit: David F. Choy | Facebook: David F. Choy | Instagram: @davidfchoy

John Philip Newell teaches that the word “sin” comes from the old German word sünde meaning “to rip apart” (sunder). In recent weeks, we at HEARTBEAT have been horrified, outraged, and heartbroken by the sins at the border of the United States; families being ripped apart, separated, detained, and neglected.

As George MacLeod, the founder of the modern-day Iona Community and a great Celtic teacher, was known to say, “Matter matters.” That is, at the heart of the material is the spiritual. How we care for the matter of earth matters. How we care for others’ bodies, how we care for the hungry, how we treat the bodies of refugees is a spiritual act. Christ is vibrant in the material world, and Christ’s presence calls us to the painstaking service to humanity’s most material needs.

In the United States, at this moment, some of humanity’s most material needs – shelter, food, safety, love, compassion, empathy – are being demeaned, ignored, neglected, and more.

We firmly believe that our true spirituality is found when we hold mysticism and activism in prayerful balance. We access the wisdom of our Christian inheritance and deepen our own spiritual practice in relationship to this wisdom so that we can practice compassionate action in the world.

This week, one of our beloved board members, Frannie Kieschnick, headed to McAllen, Texas, with a delegation of twelve women of faith representing Baptists, Evangelicals, Mormons, and Protestants. In Texas, they will bear witness to the experiences of immigrant families at the border and elevate their stories for people to hear.

McAllen is one of the busiest ports of entry for immigrants and home to one of the largest detention centers in the country. He-who-must-not-be-named partially capitulated to the moral outcry in the US last week, but this country is still in a moral crisis. The plight of over 2,000 children separated from parents is up in the air. The Attorney General’s “Zero Tolerance” policy remains in effect. Under this policy, whole families can now be imprisoned. Their delegation will:

  • Visit a respite center for families released from detention by US Customs and Border and listen to the stories of mothers, fathers, and children.
  • Organize a prayer vigil and press conference outside a processing center to amplify faith voices around the immoral policies that separated children from their parents and now imprison whole families indefinitely.
  • Join with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a solidarity rally in Brownsville, Texas, lending their support to a broader movement calling for justice for immigrants.

Please follow the delegation’s journey at @Revfhk1 and @FaithPublicLife on Twitter and Facebook. We, at Heartbeat, will be following and sharing their updates from the border as well as other reflections from past and current Heartbeat board members.

Suzii Paynter, Frannie Kieschnick, and Jennifer Butler "Listen to your heartbeat and know that the hearts of those who are simply seeking a home, seeking asylum are beating hearts just as ours. That we are connected, that we are connected as children of God."  --- Hildago, TX --- Photo Credit: David F. Choy

Suzii Paynter, Frannie Kieschnick, and Jennifer Butler in Hildago, TX
“Listen to your heartbeat and know that the hearts of those who are simply seeking a home, seeking asylum are beating hearts just as ours. That we are connected, that we are connected as children of God.”

Photo Credit: David F. Choy | Facebook: David F. Choy | Instagram: @davidfchoy

 

On Wednesday, June 27th, Christian women of faith cried out with immigrant families and children at the McAllen, TX border and demanded justice now!  Photo credit: David F. Choy | Facebook: David F. Choy | Instagram: @davidchoy

On Wednesday, June 27th, Christian women of faith cried out with immigrant families and children at the McAllen, TX border and demanded justice now!
Photo credit: David F. Choy | Facebook: David F. Choy | Instagram: @davidfchoy