Ministerial Musings

About a month ago, Henry Chukwuemeka became my housemate. Several of you have met Henry at Tapestry and heard his story. Some readers however, have not.

Henry is from Nigeria. I got to meet him through our Friends of Orange County Detainees program. I visited Henry for several months at the Santa Ana Jail, and then for nearly two years at the Adelanto Detention Center. He had been in detention for nearly three years before he was released about a month ago.

After three years of rotten luck and cruelty, things turned around. The past month has been a whirlwind of good. In his bond hearing the judge was surprisingly lenient. Henry got a work permit and social security card in record time. And now he has found a stable part-time job. His immigration case is sill in process but things are really looking up.

Several people have commented on my willingness to help Henry. While I do my best to walk my talk, I am not a saint. Two important factors led us to this point. The first is proximity. I visited Henry for months before I made a commitment to help him. We got to know each other very well. Henry’s story is not an easy one. In Nigeria his life was in imminent danger because he is gay. I know deep in my bones that the only thing that separates my story from his is my luck of being born in the United States.

The other reason I decided to help Henry is because I could. I have a stable income, a small but comfortable home, and I do not have children. Even more important than the material resources, I knew I could rely on the knowledge and support of other Tapestry members who have helped other immigrants in the same way. I could not and would not be doing this alone.

I wanted to tell a little of our story to let you all know who Henry is. You may see the two of us at Tapestry or in the Lake Forest area. I also wanted to share with you why I am helping Henry in this way. This was the right choice for me based on the circumstances. It’s not for everyone. Each of us makes hard choices about how and when we will show our caring to the world.

Peace,
Rev. Kent

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Minister's Seminars

 

The Righteous Mind

Monday, August 13, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

“The Righteous Mind, Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt

This book explores why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. Please read the book in advance of the meeting to fully participate in the discussion.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent rev@tapestryuu.org .


You Don’t Have to Say you Love Me: A Memoir

Monday, September 10, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

"You Don't Have to Say you Love Me: A Memoir" by Sherman Alexie

An extraordinary look at the complicated relationship between a remarkable mother and an equally remarkable son, set, mostly, in the Spokane Indian Reservation where Alexie spent his childhood. His whip-smart, sometimes cruel mother saved the family when she stopped drinking, but was inexplicably tough on her kids. Please read the book in advance of the meeting to fully participate in the discussion. Please read the book in advance of the meeting to fully participate in the discussion.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent rev@tapestryuu.org .


Into the Beautiful North

Monday, October 1, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

"Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village—they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men—her own "Siete Magníficos"—to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. Please read the book in advance of the meeting to fully participate in the discussion.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent rev@tapestryuu.org .