UPPER VALLY PARISH
TRIP TO ENGLEWOOD NJ

Pastor Robin, Maureen Burford, Eleanor Zhu, Valerie Miller and the Knowlton- Young family (Kim, Adam, Eliza, Bodi), traveled to the Community Baptist Church of Englewood, NJ, our sister church. Each year these church bodies come together as a part of the Upper Valley Parish.  The Upper Valley Parish (UVP) consists of Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, Lyme Congregational Church, Norwich Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church in Thetford, UCC.  The four pastors have joined together to support one another in this specific area of racial justice work.

Migrant/Racial Justice Team

The wide-ranging work of our Refugee Support and Racial Justice Teams began in June 2019 after our church members hosted a town-wide forum to discuss the US Justice Department’s decision to prosecute undocumented refugees entering our country and to separate children from their families, and imprison them.  Hundreds of concerned citizens gathered in our sanctuary to hear from Susan Susman, the caseworker for Senator Leahy, and from Congressman Peter Welch.  Since that day, our team continues its commitment to ensuring the welfare of migrants in our country, caring for the physical and emotional needs of asylum seekers at our borders, and promoting the dignity and worth of their lives in a time of heightened prejudice.  We’ve organized demonstrations, created banners for banner drops, bought full-page ads in the Valley News, and raised thousands of dollars to help finance legal aid for refugees.  

After the killing of George Floyd, our team expanded its work to include a more robust commitment to racial justice.  Having already built bonds with our sister church in Englewood, New Jersey, a 5000+ member Black Church, we were poised to be held accountable by our brothers and sister in Christ.  We organized a demonstration on our town green for all those killed, detained, imprisoned, or deported because of their color or their race. (see slide show above).  Our group joined efforts with a national organization, folding  2500 paper cranes in honor of and in solidarity with Japanese-Americans detained in America during WWII.  We continue to lead town-wide racial justice book groups for both adults and teens on the topic of race. 

To learn more about us, watch our video presentation given at the Vermont Interfaith Action Statewide Annual Conference.  It highlights our congregation’s peace and justice work over the last couple of years. We invite you to join our efforts!

Questions or want to become part of our team?  Email Sherry Merrick  smsherry28@gmail.com or Mary Chin marymchin@gmail.com 

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