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First Monday:
Internet Resource on the Church and Immigration
Trina Scott-Zuor and Amy Spaur proudly wear the anchor cross - the symbol of the commissioned missionary.
Trina Scott-Zuor (left) and Amy Spaur are commissioned missionaries of The United Methodist Church. Trina is one of JFON Iowa’s Regional Attorneys serving clients in western Iowa. Amy serves as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for JFON Dallas-Fort Worth.
Image by: Cassandra M. Zampini
Source: GBGM Administration

New York, NY, November 3, 2009--First Monday is a monthly internet newsletter that offers valuable resources on the church and immigration issues in the United States. It is issued by Justice for our Neighbors (JFON), a network of free legal clinics for immigrants related to UMCOR--the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

A typical issue of the newsletter not only covers the activities of JFON but also updates developments around immigration legislation, provides information on educational resources, and suggests ways in which congregations and church groups can gain perspective on immigration issues.

JFON has more than two dozen legal clinics across the US; most of them are based in congregations that supply the volunteers needed to maintain the program. Clinics also have staff attorneys.

"First Monday is a good resource for local churches, Sunday school classes, and individuals interested in immigration issues and how the church responds to them," says the Rev. Sam Dixon, the UMCOR director. "It is an excellent reflection not only of JFON's ministry but also of the United Methodist commitment to justice and equality for all people."


General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

Contact: Elliott Wright
Tel: 212-870-3921

Most issues of the newsletter contain a "client story"--an account of how JFON assisted a particular family or individual trying to find a way through the complex US immigration system.

The client story in the November 2009 issue concerns two teenaged sisters, Marshell and Tamarah Claude (not real names), who left Haiti with an aunt in 1998 because the family was being harassed due to political connections. It took ten years and JFON's help to win political asylum in the US. Their father, Reynaud, was a former mayor with political enemies. The story continues:

In 1996, Reynaud went into hiding where he remained until he was discovered in June 1998. Marshell, Tamarah, and their two brothers managed to escape capture and sought refuge at their aunt's house. Upon arrival, they found her preparing to flee the country and decided it would be wise for the children to join her in exile. In preparation, the two boys returned to their parents' home to gather some belongings to take with them. It is unknown what became of them but the boys never returned to their aunt's home.

It was not until Marshell and Tamarah began their sea voyage that they discovered that they were bound for the United States. While at sea, a man identified Marshell as the mayor's daughter and started harassing her. Her aunt came to her defense, but was thrown overboard and never seen again. The men then took Marshell below decks and raped her repeatedly while Tamarah stood helplessly by. After suffering this ordeal, they were befriended by Odette*, a passenger on the boat. Upon arrival in Miami, Marshell and Tamarah stayed with Odette and her daughter until they were able to contact their cousin Rachael.

In 2001, the sisters moved to Omaha, NE, and contacted JFON for assistance in submitting their asylum applications. Those applications were denied and they were placed in removal proceedings. JFON appealed that decision and Marshell and Tamarah were scheduled for individual hearings on March 2, 2009, where their asylum petition would again be considered. On September 18, 2009, the immigration judge issued a decision in their favor. They cried in excitement and joy when they received the news. The two will be able to apply for their residency after one year of their grant of asylum.

To receive First Monday on a regular basis, please subscribe.

Supporting JFON

Based in the Methodist tradition of the Five Points Mission that served immigrants in New York City in the 1850's, JFON partners with annual conferences and local congregations to welcome the stranger.
Your gift to UMCOR Advance #901285 will help immigrants reunite with their families.

Click Here: First Monday; Current and Archived Issues
Click Here: Justice for Our Neighbors


Your local church may choose to enter into a multi-year Covenant Relationship with or other United Methodist missionaries, for ongoing support of their work. For further information, please contact:

The Advance
General Board of Global Ministries
475 Riverside Dr, #350
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-3718
Fax: 212-870-3775



You can make gifts to support the mission work of by making a donation through The Advance. The Advance is an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100% of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry.

Make a secure gift online: Visit Global Ministries Online Giving

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to:

Advance GCFA,
P.O. Box 9068, GPO,
New York, NY 10087-9068.

Credit card donations may be made by calling
(888) 252-6174.

Please note on your check the name and The Advance Number of the missionary you are supporting:

See Also...
Topic: GBGM programs Immigration Justice Missionaries Newsletters Refugees UMCOR United Methodist Church
Geographic Region: United StatesWorld
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: United States    World |   

Date posted: Nov 03, 2009