Revitalize Not Militarize

Planned cross-border Eucharist highlights plight of immigrants

By:Florence Taylor

American and Mexican Christians have planned a Eucharist service straddling the border between their countries to draw attention to the plight of immigrants.

People arrive at the Friendship Park, near the double steel fence that separates San Diego and Tijuana, at the border in Tijuana

Bishop Lino Rodgiuez of the Anglican Church of Mexico and Bishops James Mathes and Diane Bruce in the Episcopal Church of America will lead a service at Friendship Park, which links Tijuana in Mexico and San Diego in the US,  in an effort to “address border issues and immigration between the dioceses”.

The service “seeks to explore the implications of living near a border, and being called to embody fearless love, peace and social justice”, the organizers said.

“It will witness the plight of those affected by migration with the celebration of eucharist at the border, remembering that Jesus was a migrant.”

Recognizing that “our border is a huge symbol of the dark side of our expression of immigration”, the service plans to draw attention to the fact that at Easter “Jesus crossed the border of death”, said Rev Dr Beth Kelly, one of the organizers.

“I also recognise that Jesus migrated from heaven to earth while searching for a better life for all.”

The Via Crucis 2016 (Way of the Cross) will involve a pilgrimage to the border, where pilgrims, following a six-foot tall statue of Jesus, “will stop on the way to the border to pray the Stations of the Cross, which ends at the border with the last station”, the Anglican Church of Mexico said on its website.

Clergy from the two churches will stand on either side of the fence that separates the two nations and celebrate the Eucharist across the border.

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