Love Without Borders
I have known for a long time that I am basically a global spirit. While I understand and generally accept that national borders are a reality, I also accept that the innate purpose of a national, state or local jurisdictional border is to safeguard resources and wealth for those who happen to live inside, often in ways that restrict the flow of life. The “border wall,” travel visa restrictions, refugee limitations, school district funding, even the allocation of vaccine by county and state, serve to protect those who have much, and keep out those who have less.
Migration to follow seasons and resources is a core biological pattern – from monarch butterflies to robins to elk herds to humans – and borders cut off the natural flow of global life that makes a changing planet habitable. The flow of migration, in the big picture of global life, enriches us all. Borders have reinforced massive disparities in wealth and life-chances between insiders and outsiders, and undermine justice-making at all levels of life.
And so it warmed my heart to learn that migratory and cross-border connections are woven within the fabric of life here at UUCCH. We create plantings to feed the butterflies, birds and other creatures that migrate through this area. We have a strong relationship with our Unitarian heritage roots through our Partner Church in Szekelyderzs in the region on the European continent known as Transylvania. And we honor human migration by supporting humane and life-giving policies and programs for immigrants and refugees.
In collaboration with UUFaithAction NJ we have worked to support laws and policies that improve the life-chances for those who have migrated here from other nations. And in collaboration with Catholic Charities, we have provided financial support for immigrant families, in recent years a family from Honduras, and now two families from Congo and one from Angola. Some of us donate directly to a church fund for immigration support, and occasional special fundraising events – our funds provide rental assistance and gift cards for groceries and prescriptions.
The Immigration Dinner is a 40-year tradition here at UUCCH, a celebratory fundraiser that reinforces our international consciousness. This year the benefits are going to immigration support. Since it is still not safe to gather during a global pandemic, the International Dinner coming up on February 27 is fully virtual, but no less engaging. We are creating a fun evening with ambitious plans, including a cookbook project to share our favorite heritage or international recipes; a virtual message from immigrant families we are supporting; entertainment and education from our children. There will be time to visit, to “share” our mealtime and catch up with friends old and new. All the funds raised will help support immigrant families in this difficult time.
I look forward to getting my online copy of the cookbook, and I hope to see you at the dinner, enjoying a good time for a good cause as we explore the global love that knows no borders.