Ecumenical community vigil for immigrants July 12 at Edmonds United Methodist Church

Justice Advocates for Immigrants is hosting an ecumenical community service of prayer, music, and advocacy for those currently being held in immigration detention facilities. The event will be from 7-9 p.m., Friday, July 12, at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., in Edmonds. 

According to a church announcement, the event is being coordinated with Lights for Liberty, “a national movement focused on raising awareness of the deplorable conditions that have been reported by the media and by government officials visiting immigrant detention facilities.”

The service will conclude with a 9 p.m. candle-lighting ceremony in the circle outside the main entrance to the church. 


41 Replies to “Ecumenical community vigil for immigrants July 12 at Edmonds United Methodist Church”

  1. I was anti-wall. Now it looks like it is the only way to reduce human trafficking. Spot surveys using DNA testing revealed that 30% of kids suspected as being smuggled, in fact, didnt belong to the parents. Girls in particular face horrible consequences.

    The “resist” platform has really exacerbated this tragedy. There are already walls in California. It’s not absurd. But, now more bait is added to the human trap in that Medicare will be given to anyone able to cross. Taking this plan for granted, why not give Medicare to Mexicans living in Mexico? The plan is to give it to them only if they can get here? The sick people are supposed to make that journey? Mexico has socialized medicine, right? Sierra Leone should be receiving Medicare even before we do. It’s a legitimate priority at this point, from a Triage perspective if nothing else.

    As for detention centers, how many immigrant families are living at United Methodist Church? Churches are supposed to provide relief to those in need, not appropriate them. Resist puts more children in danger.


    1. Matt, your analogy is backed up with facts; I and other immigrants who came to this country (I am from Panama), appreciate your straight talk. This church is doing damage, plain and simple.


      1. Thank you for coming to America. I had to take the time to read up a bit today. I think pointing out that Ellis Island was a detention center definitely pumps the brakes on the romanticization of immigration history. Years ago I lived in Arizona. There would be immigration checkpoints in Tucson, which were too far inside the border [I felt]. I am the first to criticize CBP in many regards. Back then they used to detain gangbangers mostly. The detention centers were jails for single adults (way more humane than jails in California that hold US Citizens I might add). Now [oft-fake] family units are coming through, and this change in tactics is due to the Resist Movement changing the political appetite for law enforcement. More kids are exploited because people hate the president. This crosses a line.

        I agree that the detention centers we have are bad. They aren’t designed to hold family units. Little girls are separated because if they weren’t more of what happened to them on their journey would happen to them inside the facility. Put your politics aside and realize that there are kids at stake. We need a Statue of Liberty on the Rio Grande and we need an Ellis Island-esque detention center there too.


    2. Matthew Richardson wrote and provided a link: ” Now it looks like it is the only way to reduce human trafficking. Spot surveys using DNA testing revealed that 30% of kids suspected as being smuggled, in fact, didnt belong to the parents. Girls in particular face horrible consequences.”

      The linked article cited by Mr Richardson says nothing about spot checks, DNA tests , or children not belonging to parents.


    3. “As for detention centers, how many immigrant families are living at United Methodist Church? Churches are supposed to provide relief to those in need, not appropriate them.”

      Well, some research yesterday revealed that the congregation is housing eighteen immigrant families or individuals; that the church is housing a number of homeless families in motel rooms; and that it gives out an enormous amount of food on days when its foodbank is open. As well, a contingent from the church marched with the LGBT contingent in the 4th of July parade, again demonstrating their commitment to providing support for the underdog – if there was any doubt after their exclusion from the national body for resolutely supporting full inclusion of LGBT’s.

      So perhaps we can safely say that the United Methodist provides relief to those in need? It’s often a good idea to do some actual research before casting unfounded aspersions and lecturing others on what one thinks they are supposed to be doing.

      The decent thing would be to offer the United Methodist church a public apology.


      1. LGBT immigrants?

        On the question, “How many immigrant families are being housed at the Church?” 18, correct? One family would have been terrific. But an apology for asking the question? Didnt you just ask the church how many families were a ward there too?

        The bad faith is from the politisization that objectively makes the crisis worse. I feel like I spoon fed this to you, Nathaniel.

        #EndUSConcentrationCamps. is trending this.

        Why is the Church hosting a group who equates CBP detention to concentration camps? I’m not here asking for the church to apologize for hosting groups that are politisizing the halocaust. It’s bad taste, but me trying to “gotcha” on MEN, solicit an apology, doesnt help immigrants. You’re so concerned with the Church as an institution (which is nobel), but people in Law Enforcement are also god-fearing members of institutions that need public faith. Theres a lot of anti CBP and ICE rhetoric at these vigils and on their website.

        On the topic at hand, I should be thanked for being a devils advocate. I proved this poster/event was a Resist by all mean necessary movement. I’m following the news and what people are saying at the vigils. The solution is to just open the detention centers – maybe even stop detaining further border crossers? Can you please ask the church if this is what they want? If so, then this is uncomfortable for me, and I’m sorry, can the church take in [say] 200 families? 18 is not enough if they want what LightsForLiberty want. I’m not making a political point here.


        1. I said nothing about “LGBT immigrants.”

          You stated that churches “are supposed to provide relief to those in need.” I answered.


        2. I try to be funny to give you an out. I know you’re a great guy guy ultimately even though we disagree.

          I’m guessing you’re a member of the church. Dialog being the reason for all this. Is United Methodist Church a PAC? Do they support open borders?


      2. “The decent thing”?……setting in judgement is what you are doing, and that is not decent. Matt, thankfully you can not be intimidated easily. You bring so much light to the murky underdealings of the Resistance Movement. Those supporting “open borders” and illegal immigration want to shut down people such as yourself who are well spoken and who bring a voice to we who support immigration under our laws and we are reading and listening to you.


        1. I can’t think of anyone who supports “’open borders’ and illegal immigration. I certainly don’t. But I do support humane treatment of anyone in detention, and I believe this to be the point of the Edmonds Methodist church, who certainly show their compassion in many ways to many people.

          For the record, I am not a member of their church.


  2. I wanted to focus on the tragedy and not give the bad-faith component of this much thought, but the irony of a church operating in bad faith is worth pointing out. The Statue of Liberty was a gift celebrating the creation of American as a sovereign democracy with borders. It says “July 4, 1776” on the tablet. It’s not a symbol of a stateless society. Republicans (knowing it would be a slight to Democrats) added broken chains and shackles to the statue as part of the design to signify America’s liberation from slavery. The Statue became an icon for legal immigrants processing through Ellis Island in the 1890’s. Ellis Island was a detention center ya know. The golden door wasn’t open to everyone and some were turned away, especially for political reasons. Needless to say, the statue represented a lot of things; just not this.

    The image of a child of color being torn away from the torch by a white jack-boot is derivative of a Time Magazine cover, which was later revealed to be a hoax.

    It’s very reminiscent of Kony 2012, in that propaganda is being generated to fool good people who mean well. The symbolism is stark. The blue rays emanating from the center and the print color scheme are reminiscent of communist posters. This isn’t a grass-roots campaign. Suffering is being exploited [again] in real-time for politics. #Kony2020 ?


    1. It is very hard to find the focus in all this. Are you saying that the Methodist church is advocating human trafficking? That Christians shouldn’t express concern over the horrific treatment in some of the detention facilities? That the Methodists are hypocrites if they are not housing refugees? You then branch off into “Medicare for Mexicans living in Mexico” which seems far from both the service the Methodists are planning, and was certainly not suggested in the article, nor was Resist. And this particular church does provide a great deal of relief to those in need – drop in some day when the food bank is operating.

      It is always dangerous to pretend to understand other people’s motivations; referring to the “bad faith component” casts a light on the Methodist Church which demands an apology. The lecture on the origins of the Statue of Liberty are diverting, but irrelevant; the illustration certainly did not show “a child of color being torn away by a white jack-boot.” I suggest that the picture was used to make good people who mean well pay attention to a horrible situation, whether it reminded you of communist posters or not. Grass root movements start at home, in the church, in the community. Suffering is being exposed. That’s where the rubber of politics ought to hit the road; our government seems mightily uninterested in simple humane treatment and decency. We, the people, sometimes need to be made aware of what is being done in our name.


      1. I dont fault you for not knowing the dog whistles or the symbology, or the groups aligned with these campaigns. Really, I read into things too much. A lay observer likely might not know and I envy them.

        Every DNC Candidate supports Medicare for illegal immigrants who can make it here. I’m saying, the torch in the absurd graphic being promoted by the Church is now also free Medicare [on top of many other things that are gaming this tragedy]. The Resist unbrella is super relevant in this issue. The primaries are super relevant. All that said, I know of no one other than traffickers that support human trafficking. I’m getting some heat in email from informing people about the DNA tests.

        Really, thanks to Trump (United Methodist being downstream of this leadership) this tragedy is getting attention. Something we should all be able to agree on, this deserves attention. The campaign advocated by the church (well intentioned and not saying people dont care or aren’t genuine) unintentionally exacerbates trafficing. Some jerk like me has to point that out. Is there a more nice way to say, “Please stop unintentionally co-opting human trafficing for politics”? Its a fact that people are uninentially taking advantage of this politically.

        Me asking how many families are living at the church might actually result in families living in humane conditions at the church. That’s a good thing. My question is likely redundant as I’m sure this solution will be on the table at this forum.


  3. Ellis Island was a detention center for those infected with disease, and for good reason. If we had a real immigration policy, we would not be suffering EV68 virus and measles outbreaks all over the place. Why is no one asking why B. Hussein Obama built the “cages” in the first place?


    1. I think you’ll find that the Jail-style detention centers precede President Obama too. Any American being detained in Jail is separated from their children. Ellis Island was a detention center, and deportation center, and the Atlantic Ocean was a terrific border wall.


  4. “At Trump’s concentration camps, teen mothers and babies are held outdoors in dog pounds”.

    This is politicization. This is bad faith. It is making it worse.


  5. I think legal immigrants are welcome neighbors, and illegal immigrants are trespassers who should be sent home. And yes, the only way to stop this is to build the wall. We all lock our homes when we go to work to prevent strangers from coming into our homes uninvited. We should do the same with the United States, in my humble opinion.


  6. Not too interested in all the Ideological mumbo -jumbo going on here, but I think it bares pointing out that all these people are showing up at our borders due to failed government states and economies South of the border. If you figure you are going to be starved to death by a corrupt government and failed economy; or killed, raped and tortured by drug lords, you might as well risk dying by swimming the Rio Grande or rotting in a detention center of some sort. It’s kind of a perverse numbers game. Many will be sent back to hell, but a few will luck out and get to stay. It’s worth the risk to them. There is a process in place but it is broken down by the sheer numbers of refugees, which is what they are. As long as their home situation is hopeless, they will come despite walls and/or possible bad treatment by US authorities. Both the right and left are using them for political gain and propaganda of some sort at times. No answers from either direction; just another excuse to fight with each other.


  7. It’s disappointing that My Edmonds News has provided so much space in its comment section for purveyors of malicious misinformation to malign an event held at a long time trusted and vital institution that welcomes everyone in the Edmonds community, including our immigrant neighbors.


    1. We provide space for everyone to comment regardless of their political persuasion as long as they don’t violate our commenting policy. A reminder to all that we do have an ignore button that many people have found helpful to use when they tire of seeing the same opinions/commenters over and over that bother them.


      1. Allowing everyone to express different political opinions is one thing. A newspaper allowing the propagation of malicious misinformation is quite another. Facts and sources are verifiable. Responsible journalism does not include publishing fabricated references and outright lies about anyone or any institution.


        1. Jeff, your post maligning MEN, is the worst comment. You should, perhaps take your own advice. MEN is allowing a conversation, it is a wonderful community forum.


        2. Jeff, you tried to get me on the spot DNA surveys, but I gave you the sources. Spot survey proved fake parents are child trafficking real kids, and soon a more comprehensive analysis will be done. Help us out. What here is not factual?


  8. Jeff, it is so unfortunate that you feel this way. Our community is simply having an open conversation. If you feel the desire not to read the sources that Matt provided to you that is completely up to you. If you believe anything to be not factual, please back it up with your own sources.


    1. Jeff, that doesnt help. Immigrants are people. The system entraps some, fails others. Our politics is just as much to blame.


      1. Well, I guess it depends on how you translate “immigrants”. In this case, we all know what it means….ILLEGAL immigrants. I have no problem whatsoever with immigrants that go through the proper process. If you ILLEGALLY cross the border you should expect nothing less than arrest, incarceration and deportation. Period.


        1. Law is weird. There is no period. Just because something is codified doesnt make it law. DACA, for example, is the law of the land – yet it wasn’t codified. Theres no actual law there. Then, on the other side of the coin, laws against tresspassing are codified, but if you trespass long enough before you’re formally charged, then you might actually be able to adversely possess the property you’ve trespassed upon (see squatters).

          This grey area is a 13th floor. The Resist movement, The Light For Libertty group, [and possibly United Methodist Church] are taking advantage of legal impotensy so that a permanently poor voter base can be imported to help un-elect Donald Trump. They’re willing to completely desolve the nation-state and overlook human trafficking in order to resist by all means.

          That said, if I were in Venezuela try to escape socialism, and this opportunity presented itself, I’d take my family to the US. Id cut in line too. They are people with human rights. To be honest, jumping the boarder is easier than Making Venezuela Great Again.


  9. I am one of the organizers. Please allow me to clarify the facts.

    Lights for Liberty is indeed a grassroots group of individuals and groups from all over America who, led by a single person, got together and decided to call for this action as a way to “shine the light” on the human rights violations occurring in our country’s immigrant detention centers, to men, women, teens, children, toddlers, babies, families, the elderly, sick, and disabled.

    I initiated this event with a member of the EUMC Justice Advocates for Immigrants Ministry, who, like me, is sponsoring an immigrant in her home.

    I also work with organizers throughout WA state, who include allies and advocates for immigrants: Seattle Indivisible and other Indivisible groups, Washington State Immigrant Solidarity Network, La Resistencia, and a host of others. You are welcome to call us the resistance, but we are regular citizens just like you.

    If you look on the LFL website, you will see there were 46 Lights for Liberty events, vigils, rallies, and protests around Washington state. This should tell you that a significant number of people in our state are as horrified as we are by what our federal government’s immigration policies and practices are doing to people who have not committed a crime. (Please do not debate with me about illegality. It is legal to come here to seek asylum.)

    I hope if you came last night, you learned some of the truth and will join us to put a stop to what are indeed camps being established all over the country, many for profit.

    Imagine your own son, daughter, niece, nephew, sister or brother forcibly removed from her/his mother/father’s arms and put into a child detention camp. YOUR CHILD.

    The time for arguing and debating is past; the time for action is NOW. Please, for the sake of what is true, right, moral, and American, join us to take action and put a stop to immigrant detention camps in America.

    Our email is


    1. Asylum seekers would have claimed asylum in Mexico. That’s how asylum works. It’s a gross mischaracterization of what is actually happening. The supposedly fake caravans, the manufactured crisis, ended up being real. You were wrong, and now you’re using human trafficking for politics.

      Being Socratic, let’s take all your arguements for granted. The journey is horrible. Stopping people from coming here is horrible. Asking people to leave is horrible. Not giving them food, housing, shelter, education, healthcare is horrible.
      Let’s agree on all of this for a moment… Shouldnt we bus people in to save them the trouble? Lets send C130’s to pick up anyone – deploy the Navy? In retrospect, why didnt we send boats to pick up all the Hatians after the earthquakes? Isnt it a logical fallacy, that the best way to help people in need is to up-root them and just get them here? If I’m wrong then send the buses and transport aircraft down there to pick anyone up. From a triage erspective, why Latin America when there are other “refugees” in more urgent need? -like those in Lybia, now a failed state with slavery thanks to Hillary. My gut says youd oppose Trump deploying the Navy.

      The charge is that your group has gamed the system. Parents are willing to risk their daughters getting raped in order to come here. A sign at one of your rallies read, “immigrant welcome here, bring your children”. That is disgusting. You turned a child into a get-out-of-jail free card. You’ve juxtaposed our law enforcement with Nazis. I’m surprised United Methodist associates with you.


      1. I am biased, so I definitely want to be sure I provide sources. The law on asylum seeking is known as “First Asylum Country Law”. Mexico is a Safe Country, and asylum seekers are supposed to claim asylum there. An asylum seeker who landed in Canada can’t claim asylum in the US either, as Canada is defined as a Safe Country too. We actually have that agreement with Canada in writing, but the same agreement we had with Mexico dissolved in 2014.

        The politicization of this is insidious. It’s human capital. Mexico has a relatively small boarder on their south (and they have a wall there), but the alleged refugees were simply allowed to pass through while the media claimed there were no caravans. Trump highlighted the surge before it got here and was blamed for “manufacturing a crisis”. Groups [like the aforementioned Resist groups, likely some of those who sponsor LightsForLiberty] funded the caravans and expedited them through Mexico so long as they didn’t claim asylum in Mexico. When they got to the United States they were magically asylum seekers.

        Third-Country Agreement:

        Who’s funding the caravans? Google that, but wear a seat belt.


  10. I am one of the organizers of last night’s Lights for Liberty vigil at Edmonds United Methodist Church. I am the chair of an immigration ministry group called Justice Advocates for Immigrants. Inspired by our Biblical mandate to care for all, we advocate for policies and practices that reflect those values. In addition, we have worked with Church Council of Greater Seattle and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to aid individuals seeking asylum who have needed sponsorship and post-detention relief. Individual families have opened their homes to provide care; they have not lived in the church as we do not have a facility for 18 individuals. Below is the statement issued just last week from the United Methodist Church on the plight of migrants.

    On a more personal note, I am proud and grateful to be a member of a faith community like EUMC that is welcoming of all and committed to social justice. I am thankful for the community members who attended the vigil and stood in unity with immigrants. Finally, I thank all of the volunteers, organizers, speakers, church leaders, and clergy who donated their time and talents to this event.

    A Call to Action for United Methodists in Response to the Plight of Migrants
    Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus. On behalf of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force we share with you a deep concern for migrants. You have seen the deplorable conditions under which migrant children and families are being detained in the US right now. We cannot be silent in this hour. The voice and actions of The United Methodist Church must be heard and experienced in this moment.
    We give God thanks for United Methodists who are providing compassionate care to migrants at the border. Border Conferences have established relief centers for migrants. United Methodists from other regions of the country continue to support migrants seeking asylum with their time, talent and treasures. United Methodist congregations across the country have opened their doors to provide sanctuary for those immigrants whose lives would be endangered if they were to be deported to their home countries. UMCOR has been a partner in assisting this connectional work. The General Board of Church and Society has led us faithfully in our advocacy work in support of justice for the migrant and the immigrant. United Methodist Women have also been a strong voice in advocating for the rights of immigrant children and families.

    Let’s continue to do this good and faithful work.


  11. Lights4Liberty, let us know when you take a moral stand and protect the unborn. I will join you when you light candles and take homeless vets into your home. When you leave your church sanctuary and step outside to make sure our children who were born here and and living in poverty are taken care of. We have our own people who need mental health care. Those are just 4 groups who should be receiving your “church’s” help but they are not a political group are they? Code Pink, ACLU, Resistance, and others that support lights4liberty said the caravans and illegal immigration was a “manufactured” problem. Seems that it suddenly became very real, eh? The senators and congresspeople who are now yelling the loudest are people who have been in our congress for 30 and 40+ years, (Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, Nadler, Waters, et al), and add to that the newbies who are demanding that we are putting these illegal immigrants in “concentration” camps (insulting to those who actually were in camps). For years they did absolutely nothing about immigration laws all those years; suddenly now,they have realized that it is a political advantage to have millions of people enter our country that will need support, housing, and the Democrats will try to do just that. And in return the Democrats have a guaranteed vote from this new poverty group. We who pay for our government will be told to support these illegals. This is not legal asylum, they passed through the first country in which they legally should have ask for asylum. How do you pick and choose what laws of our land you wish to follow? You pick laws that support your political agenda and ignore those that do not support your point-of-view, instead of getting the laws changed legally, the immigration laws are just be trampled on my virtue signaling people who do not realize they are being used. Just like the kids coming in with people who are not a dna match, you are exploiting these children! Now you are breaking our laws and invoking God as your inspiration. Heaven has borders and everyone does not get in. But unborn babies are not a voting block are they? We were all immigrants at one time, and most of us came here legally. That is all we ask. To make our state sanctuary for illegals, who do have a higher crime rate is a kick in the teeth to many of us who love our God, our country and our family. We all have opinions some backed up with facts, others not so much. Personally, I was baptized Methodist, but have not agreed with what you are doing to our community and country. I hope you who support Light4Liberty look beyond the false facade that I believe is directing this immigration misstep, and look to work to change our immigration laws that will support a healthy immigration entry. Perhaps that would help bring our country together if everyone is playing by the rules. These “detention” camps are nothing new, every administration has participated in not fixing this. Only now has one political party decided to invite the world without the support of most Americans, and against our asylum laws and making our men and women who protect our borders suddenly the evil people. This can be fixed, but you have to meet us 1/2 way, and get our immigration laws changed under our constitution. God Bless You and God Bless America


  12. A Lights For Liberty protest in CO just erupted yesterday. An ICE processing center was stormed, where demonstrators lowered and defiled an American flag (with what looks like a painted swastika) and replaced it with a Mexican flag.

    I feel bad for United Methodist for being fooled by these radicals. This coup is well funded and organized. They even hire lawyers who implant themselves into caravans as far down as Honduras, and they coach them in how to game our system. Kids are being smuggled and even rented out for the journey. Lights For Liberty is the American side of this scheme. I know there are people who support this who mean well, the term “useful idiots” is too harsh not fair, but it was said during WWII. Protestors showing up with signs that say “ICE = [swastika]” is radicalization and I dont think they full comprehend the natural progression of this. They want anarchy.


    1. “Eruption”? “Stormed”? Please!

      The actual article says, “Aurora Police Department Chief Nick Metz issued a lengthy statement Saturday explaining why officers didn’t intervene when a small group of protesters were seen removing multiple flags – including an American one – from the front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Aurora Friday night.

      “The decision to not intervene at the time was based on protecting the safety of the large majority who were acting peacefully, and the safety of the officers,” the statement reads. “Our folks were more than ready to decisively engage had we witnessed assaultive behavior or damage to the building or surrounding property that could jeopardize its security or public safety.”

      “Small group” “large majority who were acting peacefully” “had we witnessed assaultive behavior”

      Let’s try to avoid misleading hyperbole and straining the truth to the point of inflammatory partisan rhetoric. This has no place in a community news source and discussion board.


      1. A terrorist firebombed the ICE facility in Tacoma at last night’s Light For Liberty event. You’re making apologies for this type of political expression. Discussion is paramount, but this type of activism is fascist (like the brown shirts) and leads to terrorism. I like you Nathaniel, and I know you’re a nice guy. I follow these people on the internet and Im kindly telling you, on this topic in particular, you’re reading it wrong.


  13. Matt, you are “reading it” correctly. Those that think that the truth has no place “in a community news source or discussion board”, are trying to censor you. I have lived this in Panama; that is why I am here. I came legally.


    1. Thanks James. I read in forums charged language from the Lights For Liberty crowd. I knew it would turn violent. They killed that terrorist in Tacoma. 🙁
      Theres an extreme contingent of communists behind this, they hate the President and the country. People get fooled into going along with this.


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