From St. Mary's 2022 Annual Report
St. Mary’s Justice Ministries strive to recognize the incarnate Christ in everyone by living God’s justice into this world, today.
Current Justice Ministries’ efforts center largely on migrant accompaniment. Since March 2020, we have partnered with Congregation Sherith Israel in the first interfaith Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team (NEAT) in the Bay Area. Sponsored by the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI), NEAT accompanies and supports migrants for three to six months as they forge self-sufficient lives in their new homes. Although not officially designated as such, St. Mary’s is doing all the work of an asylum church.
Since June 2021, St. Mary’s-Sherith Israel NEAT has accompanied five individuals/families seeking asylum in the United States. (Names may be omitted or attenuated to protect privacy.) A transgender Mexican woman has received asylum. A mother who brought her daughter to San Francisco for life-saving clinical trials has returned successfully to Argentina. Rodnoel José Arangueren-Flores, a young Venezuelan, just turned 26, is working and living independently, and will attend his first asylum hearing in June.
After some painful personal struggles, an Afghan family of three (now four) has moved out of an apartment hosted by a St. Mary’s couple for seven months. M gave birth to a beautiful and healthy second daughter on June 10th. Most recently, Katya and Alex fled Ukraine and are living in a short-term apartment while they seek work permits and assistance with the tech start-up they began in Kharkiv. Read more about all these accompaniments on St. Mary’s webpage here.
The parish and parishioners of St. Mary’s continue to respond to every call for assistance: budgeted and donated funds; a $5,000 grant from Episcopal Impact Fund; over $2,500 in gift cards; furniture, furnishings, and clothing; and the equipment and young strength needed for moving households. Most importantly, we provide the ministry of presence and welcome that every migrant, from and to any country, seeks. Thank you, St. Mary’s, for welcoming the sojourner among us and for responding to God’s call for justice in this way.
Your St, Mary’s accompaniment team: Anne Williams, Barbara Marré, Georgene Keeler, Greer Hopkins, Marcony Grijalva, Mari Coates, David Crosson, and Nancy Clark
Photos - scroll over for description