Minutes of May 17, 2022 FHC Immigration Task Force Meeting

May 25, 2022 Julie Lustic

Attending: Gary and Julie Lustic, Steve Sedam, Sharon Shumaker, Quentin Smith, Nonie Stack, Virginia Weiss

Anne and Jeff Smith were unable to attend this evening. To help keep the task force informed, Jeff sent a couple of emails in advance of the meeting. They are summarized here:

The church continues to receive monthly donations of $100 from a person who lives in Twinsburg. She has faithfully been donating to the Sanctuary Fund in support of Leonor for a few years. Another person donated $500 to the Sanctuary Fund at the end of March. With funds available, Jeff is able to send Leonor Garcia financial support monthly. He believes the balance in the Sanctuary Fund remains at $1,209.

Emmanuel has been working a fair amount so he has money for his personal living expenses. Jeff asked for ideas on how Emmanuel’s iPhone can be inexpensively upgraded to at least an iPhone 7, either through a purchase or donation. 

The task force met on Zoom for an hour. Here is a summary of their deliberations.

The Task Force supports the purchase or donation of a new iPhone for Emmanuel. 

Sharon spoke to Leonor Garcia recently. Things seem to be going well in general. The application for Jose is proceeding. Eric is graduating from high school soon. Leonor wants to do another party like what was done for her wedding last fall but have this party be for Eric and Aidan; Eric in honor of his high school graduation and in celebration of Aidan’s birthday this summer. Details forthcoming.

Task Force members were asked for their evaluation of Bringing the Border Home. Their reaction was uniformly positive. Steve and Sharon presented a list of possible follow-up activities for the task force to consider as follow-up to Bringing the Border Home. There was consensus for:

Task Force will discuss in more depth later:

The next meeting of the Immigration Task Force is July 23 at 7 p.m.

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Minutes of April 19, 2022 FHC Immigration Task Force Meeting

May 25, 2022 Julie Lustic

The presentation Anne Smith and Sharon Shumaker made at a recent Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America conference went well. They received a $100 donation for their time. These funds were deposited in the FHC Sanctuary Fund. 

The government of Canada is giving Idrissa and Issoufou $700/month until they receive work permits which should take only three months. In texts to Jeff Smith, Idrissa expressed considerable gratitude for the support he received while living at the church. We all miss them but are relieved to know they are well.

Everyone was pleased to see Leonor Garcia and her three boys at church on Easter. They all appeared to be doing well. Jose was working that morning and could not attend.

Sharon submitted an application for an Endowment grant for $5,000 total to assist Leonor with obtaining her work permit and with including Jose on her UVisa application. Jeff will inform Justice and Mission of the $750 of the previously approved Endowment grant (scholarships for a virtual tour) coming back to the Endowment as it is not being used.

An online educational forum, Bringing the Border Home, hosted by the ITF will take place on Sunday, April 24 and Sunday, May 1 from 9:30 – 10:30 on Zoom. Emily Miller with the Mennonite Central Committee has been exceptionally helpful.

Jeff will speak to the 4-person new members class (two young families) about the work of the task force.

The balance of the Education Fund for use by the Garcia/Bernal family is $3,238. The Asylum Fund (to support Emmanuel, Idrissa, and Issoufou) and the Sanctuary Fund (to support the Garcia/Bernal family) each have around $1,000 left.

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Black Caucus Book Club Will Discuss”Some of My Friends Are…” Saturday, June 18.

May 19, 2022 Elizabeth Shaw

Our final book discussion before we break for summer will take place  (via Zoom)  Saturday morning, June 18 from 10:30 to 12 noon. We will be discussing Professor Deborah Plummer’s book “Some of My Friends Are…The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships“. Why do neighborhoods tend to be primarily of one race? Why do both Whites and Blacks generally only have superficial friendships with one another? This book delves into these questions.  Deborah L. Plummer, Ph.D., is a psychologist, author, university professor and speaker on topics central to racial equality, inclusion, and mutual respect. She is most passionate about creating inclusive organizations and building peaceful communities.

Send an email to BlackCaucus@FHCPresb.com to register.

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History and Reflections: our Journey as a Church into Interfaith Social Justice 

May 5, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

When: Sunday, May 22, 9:30-10:30 AM, before Sunday worship 
Facilitator: Pastor John Lentz 
Where: Hybrid in South Hall and on Zoom
Description: An informal discussion of our journey as a church into interfaith work towards social justice. Pastor John Lentz will share his memories of involvement with Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope and Greater Cleveland Congregations. There will be time for others to also share their memories.
To Sign Up: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/a8709f1462477280.

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May 2, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

Saturday, May 7 • 9 am to 1 pm

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to house clean. We need people of all ages for many tasks, including: switching storms & screens, washing glass, gardening, mulching, and getting organized. Some supplies will be provided, but please label them yours if you have your favorite tool.

There’s plenty to do inside if it rains – outside tasks will be rescheduled.

Please wear your FHC name tag if you have one so that we can make new connections after being apart.

LUNCH will be served when our work is done.

A SCAVENGER HUNT is planned for the kids!

If you wish to signup, please fill out this form: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/cb0e22.

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Forest Hill Softball Season

April 26, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

Forest Hill softball season is right around the corner. Please complete the below form for anyone 16 years of age and older wishing to join the team. Games are played from the Sunday before Memorial Day to the Sunday before Labor Day on Sundays at 3 or 6 pm at Forest Hill Park.  All are welcome.

If you wish to join, please sign up here: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/50acb692.

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Bringing the Border Home

April 21, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

Sunday, April 24 & Sunday, May 1, 2022; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” — Matthew 25:35

The Immigration Task Force of Forest Hill Church Presbyterian invites you to attend “Bringing the Border Home,” a two-part online (Zoom) journey of education and action in support of immigrants seeking a better life. Learn about the current state of the immigration crisis and what you can do to help alleviate their suffering.

You will learn about:
Immigration History: “They are here because we are there”
Immigration beyond the US Mexico Border. government policy implications for people on the move
Border work from a Presbyterian perspective
Faith-Based Advocacy for positive change
As part of adult education at FHC, there is no charge for “Bringing the Border Home”. To register, click on this link fhc.breezechms.com/form/a8709f1462 and follow the prompts. Once you are registered, you will be sent the Zoom link to participate in the event and other information.

For more information, contact Sharon Shumaker at itf@fhcpresb.org.

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Black Caucus Book Club discusses “The Whiteness of Wealth”, Saturday April 30, 2022 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

April 4, 2022 Elizabeth Shaw

In The Whiteness of Wealth, author Dorothy A. Brown draws on decades of cross-disciplinary research to show that tax law isn’t as color-blind as she’d once believed. She takes us into her adopted city of Atlanta, introducing us to families across the economic spectrum whose stories demonstrate how American tax law rewards the preferences and practices of white people while pushing black people further behind. From attending college to getting married to buying a home, black Americans find themselves at a financial disadvantage compared to their white peers. The results are an ever-increasing wealth gap and more black families shut out of the American dream.

To participate in this Zoom discussion, send an email to the Black Caucus at: blackcaucus@fhcpresb.org or register here: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/7b1894314.

Image of Book Cover: The Whiteness of Wealth, by Dorothy A. Brown
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Immigration Task Force

February 2, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

The Forest Hill Church Immigration Task Force would like to hear from you! The task force seeks to welcome the stranger by 1) providing support for Emmanuel, Idrissa, and Issoufou from Burkina Faso who live in the church while awaiting asylum and 2) Educating and mobilizing the church members and friends about the conditions and need for better treatment of immigrants at our border. We are preparing new initiatives for the new year and would like to be responsive to the interests of the FHC congregation and friends. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take just three minutes to respond to a five-question survey. Please click on the link below to begin. Thank you!

The FHC Immigration Task Force
(Sharon Shumaker, Gary Lustic, Julie Lustic, Ron Register, Anne Smith, Jeff Smith, Quentin Smith, Stephen Sedam, Charity Stock, Virginia Weiss)

Immigration Task Force Survey: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/975ed8.

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Black Caucus Book Club: How The Word Is Passed, Clint Smith – Saturday March 5, 2022. 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

February 1, 2022 Elizabeth Shaw

The Black Caucus Book Club will host a discussion of “How The Word Is Passed” by Clint Smith on Saturday March 5, 2022, 10:30 AM – 12:00 Noon.  To receive the Zoom link, please email:  BlackCaucus@FHCPresb.org

A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.

Image of Book Cover: How The Word Is Passed, Clint Smith
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