Communities are still coming together, hoping to answer tough questions after an immigration raid at a Grainger County slaughterhouse last week. Knoxville churches shared a message of hope on Monday to those detained.
Outside the Department of Homeland Security in West Knoxville, local churches gathered saying they were simply a silent witness as those who were detained faced a judge.
“We just want to send a message that we care, the community cares, and we’re sending out a message of love,” said Rev. Chris Buice of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
Faith communities, like TVUUC, say they’re worried about the families.
“The hymn ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,’ well that’s reality right now. Parents are being separated from families, mothers from children, fathers from children, and I can tell you that that’s hard pain to overcome,” said Buice.
He says they came to stand outside the court proceedings on Monday, not as a political move, rather a call for change.
“What you’re having is a very painful separation of families, separation of children from parents with a lot of pain and agony. But that pain and agony is avoidable if you act for a comprehensive, responsible immigration reform,” said Buice.
Area churches also have a message for those families during this scary time.
“One of my favorite scriptures is ‘Welcome the stranger for by doing so you may be entertaining angels unaware,’ and I think what we’re called to do is love our neighbors as ourselves,” saidBuice.
TVUUC is collecting canned goods and food for families impacted by the ICE raid. The congregation also held a vigil to address how to get the right resources, to the right families over the coming days.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Morristown is collecting donations for families who lost their breadwinners to the raid. You can donate nonperishable food or toiletries by bringing it by the church. Monetary donations can also be made; those donations will be distributed to people in need by a committee at St. Patrick’s. Checks can be made out to St. Patrick’s Church with “Hispanic Emergency” in the memo line.
Professional counselors are also needed.
You can take donations to St. Patrick’s Church at 2518 W Andrew Johnson Hwy in Morristown.