Immigrants’ fears fuel outreach at Maryland church targeted by post-election…

first_img Youth Minister Lorton, VA TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Washington Bishop Mariann Budde, left, and the Rev. Francisco Valle, assistant priest and leader of the Spanish-language Mass at Church of Our Saviour in Silver Spring, Maryland, hold a sign that reads “Love Wins” following an incident of racist vandalism at the church on Nov. 13. The Rev. Robert Harvey, the church’s rector is at the far right. Photo: Facebook[Episcopal News Service] The four hate-filled words were gone almost as quickly as they were discovered, scrawled across a sign and a wall at Church of Our Saviour in Silver Spring, Maryland, on the first Sunday after November’s presidential election.The Rev. Robert Harvey said the church waited long enough that day for authorities to take pictures of the graffiti before removing any trace of the message – “Trump Nation Whites Only” – and responding with messages of love and welcome.The church has not been targeted by any additional acts of vandalism, Harvey said, and surveillance cameras are being installed to improve security. But the sense of unease has only grown in this congregation since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. About 85 percent of the church’s members are immigrants, many of them from West Africa and Latin America, and they have been particularly alarmed by two developments: Trump’s executive order restricting entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations and reports of federal immigration raids in some U.S. cities.“Right now, many of my members are afraid,” Harvey said. “Many of the people here realize how urgent this issue has become about their immigration status.”That urgency has led to action. In response to the vandalism in November and the Trump administration’s moves on immigration this year, Our Saviour has joined with other churches in the area, as well as synagogues and mosques, to develop an interfaith alliance seeking solidarity against religious and racial hatred. Harvey, meanwhile, is developing contacts with both lawmakers and immigration attorneys to directly assist parish members in documenting their legal status.And, Our Saviour is one of several churches in the Diocese of Washington considering becoming sanctuary churches that offer safe haven for immigrants facing deportation.“It’s a very sobering time. People are organizing in a variety of ways,” Washington Bishop Mariann Budde said, adding that there is “strength in that solidarity.”“The Episcopal Church is part of a larger movement here, and that’s a good thing,” she said.The Episcopal Diocese of Washington extends into the Maryland suburbs around the District of Columbia and includes Silver Spring,home to more than 70,000 people just north of the capital city. Our Saviour includes members from more than 50 countries, Harvey said, from Sierra Leone to El Salvador. The multicultural congregation has grown over the past decade even as white membership has declined, he said.About 380 people now attend one of the parish’s three Sunday services, with significant growth at the Spanish-language service on Sunday afternoons.Budde made a point to attend the afternoon service on Nov. 13, hours after Harvey called to notify her that someone had vandalized the red-brick wall in the church’s memorial garden and a sign advertising its weekly Spanish-language mass.In a show of support, attendance at that Sunday’s afternoon service nearly tripled from the typical 100, and Budde spoke out against hate speech in comments to reporters after the service.“I would call especially upon the president-elect and those who voted for him to separate themselves from acts of violence and hate that are being perpetrated in his name,” Budde said during the service.That imperative resonated with Harvey. “I stand by that still,” he said this week, but he does not think Trump or his supporters have done enough to reject hate-filled rhetoric.“Absolutely not,” he said. “Not even close.”At a freewheeling and often combative news conference Feb. 16, Trump responded briefly to a reporter’s question seeking comment on racist comments made in his name, turning the focus instead to what his opponents have been saying.“Some of the signs you’ll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump,” he said. “They’re put up by the other side. … It won’t be my people, it will be people on the other side.”‘Anxiety and uncertainty’Budde said this week that Trump’s recent comments and executive actions on immigration are concerning.“That does nothing to calm people’s fears or to assuage any doubt about the priorities of the administration,” she said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that in terms of the anxiety and uncertainty that immigrants feel in this county, it’s gotten worse since the president has taken office.”Such uncertainty has prompted immigrants who attend Our Saviour to take precautions to ensure their residency status is secure, making sure their documentation is in order, Harvey said. Some are here with work permits, others green cards. Some may be married to American citizens but have not yet finished the citizenship process themselves. Others came to the country legally but may be at risk of deportation because of expired paperwork.Harvey also said some parishioners reported seeing federal immigration agents in the Silver Spring area, in one case taking two people off a Metro bus.In making contacts with immigration lawyers, he hopes some will provide pro bono assistance to parishioners, and he invited the immigrant support organization CASA de Maryland to speak at next month’s vestry meeting.The Our Saviour vestry, at its Feb. 15 meeting, discussed becoming a sanctuary church, as other Episcopal churches around the country have. Sanctuary churches vow to help protect immigrants from imminent deportation, such as by providing shelter, clothing, food and legal support.Budde said two congregations in the diocese  have committed to becoming sanctuary churches, and four, including Our Saviour, are actively studying it. About a half dozen more have expressed interest in learning about the process.Our Saviour’s vestry decided to wait another month before voting on whether to become a sanctuary church, but the issue of immigration and the Trump administration’s policies continue to motivate the church’s current outreach work toward immigrants.“I was not aware of how critical this was going to be, but it certainly has changed the conversation quite a bit,” Harvey said.– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at [email protected] Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Tampa, FL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Albany, NY Rector Knoxville, TN Director of Music Morristown, NJ Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Immigration, Rector Smithfield, NC This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Submit a Job Listing Rector Pittsburgh, PA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Collierville, TN Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET center_img Press Release Service Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Refugees Migration & Resettlement Featured Events By David PaulsenPosted Feb 16, 2017 Submit a Press Release Rector Bath, NC Immigrants’ fears fuel outreach at Maryland church targeted by post-election racist graffiti Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Tags Curate Diocese of Nebraska Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Washington, DC Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Martinsville, VA Submit an Event Listing Rector Belleville, IL The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ last_img read more

Bipartisan Discussion Highlights GSE Reform, Risk Transfer, Need for More Private Capital

first_img Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Bipartisan Discussion Highlights GSE Reform, Risk Transfer, Need for More Private Capital Home / Daily Dose / Bipartisan Discussion Highlights GSE Reform, Risk Transfer, Need for More Private Capital in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News About Author: Xhevrije West Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: What Overregulation? How Regulation Will Increase Over the Next Decade Next: Fifth Third to Pay $85 Million to Settle Claims of Fraud on FHA-Insured Loans Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship seven years ago, and questions still linger as to how and when to reform the GSEs.The Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a keynote address and panel discussion titled “Housing Fiance Reform: Opportunities and Obstacles of Risk Sharing” on Tuesday.The event highlighted GSE reform and conservatorship, the need for more private capital in the financial system and to transfer risk away from taxpayers and GSEs, focusing on risk sharing, specifically “front-end,” which makes housing finance more sustainable.While the GSEs are experimenting with additional forms of risk sharing, all of them are handled on the back end after the loan is on the GSEs balance sheets.The keynote speakers were Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), member of the Senate Banking Committee and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), ranking member of the Senate Securities, Insurance, and Investment Banking Subcommittee.The panel included Laurie Goodman, director of the housing finance policy center at Urban Institute; Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association; Kevin Chavers, managing director at BlackRock; Pat Sinks, CEO of Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.; and Bob Ryan, acting deputy director of the division of conservatorship at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.Nic Retsinas, senior lecturer in real estate at Harvard Business School, moderated the panel.”Some of our wingers are migrating over to this third amendment thing because it makes it easy not to do anything.”—Senator Bob CorkerIn June, a bipartisan group of Senate Banking Committee members wrote a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) requesting that the agency expand and provide better transparency of the development of the credit risk transfer programs.These programs shift credit risk from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private sector, according to a press release.”We supported the direction of the risk sharing language within Title VII of The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, and we strongly support the expansion of these transactions, given they provide a vehicle for moving the government out of the first loss position and inform the process for policymakers looking to invite greater private capital into the market,” the senators noted in the letter.“The credit risk transfers are a vehicle for moving the housing market forward by attracting private sector investors, improving access to credit, and reducing taxpayer risk. As such, we ask that you prioritize work with the Enterprises on transactions designed specifically to push out first loss credit risk to the market, and to encourage transparency for investors and the public so that we can all better judge how these transactions impact returns to the Enterprises, costs to the taxpayer, and effects to the health of the broader housing finance system,” the letter stated.Corker cautioned that GSE reform could “be a while and won’t happen in the next year and four months. Some of our wingers are migrating over to this third amendment thing because it makes it easy not to do anything.”The overall consensus of the panelists was that moving forward, the goal should be to strengthen the housing market, build more capital, and enhance credit risk transfers.However, GSE reform could be a lengthy and a difficult issue to overcome as “legislation on this topic remains elusive, the new word for ‘not happening,’” the introductory speaker said.Click here to view a video of the event. Sign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Bipartisan Policy Center Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Reform Senator Bob Corker Senator Mark Warner Xhevrije West is a talented writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University. 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