Immigration and Community
Working Toward a Biblical Perspective
September 25, 2010
This conference was an opportunity for participants to engage Biblical perspectives on immigration and community, including the specific issues surrounding undocumented immigrants. Participants heard about the impact of immigration at the local level and various philosophies and possibilities of response. The conference assisted participants in exploring how churches, individuals, and community groups can increase understanding and engage in immigration ministry or advocacy.
- Presentation—Rev. Scott Hoezee, Calvin Seminary
- Q&A with Rev. Scott Hoezee
- Presentation—Dr. Mark Grey and Dr. Michelle Devlin, University of Northern Iowa
- Q&A with Dr. Mark Grey and Dr. Michelle Devlin
- Presentation—Dr. Mariano Avila, Calvin Seminary
- Closing Remarks—Rev. Gianni Gracia
Here are some documents that were presented at the conference:
*Portions of this address are based on the material Scott Hoezee prepared for the 2010 study committee report on "The Migration of Workers" prepared for the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The full report is available in English and in Spanish.
Mariano Avila was born in Mexico City, where he served as pastor of six Presbyterian churches. He has also served in the Seminary of the National Presbyterian Church as professor, academic dean, and president, and was professor of Biblical Studies at the Comunidad Teologica de Mexico. He was Academic Dean of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Estudios Teologicos (Miami, Florida), and is a member of the Academic Council of PRODOLA, the doctoral program (Ph.D.) for professors, leaders, and pastors in Latin America. For several years he was coordinator of urban ministries for community transformation and theological adviser for World Vision Mexico, and was also advisor for the Spanish ministry of CRC Publications.
Rev. Scott E. Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has served two congregations. He was the pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Michigan, from 1990-1993. Then from 1993-2005 he was the Minister of Preaching and Administration at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the spring of 2005 Scott accepted the Seminary's offer to become the first Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching. He has also been a member of the Pastor-Theologian Program sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was pastor-in-residence in the fall of 2000. He currently serves as one of three co-editors of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought.
Mark A. Grey is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa. He is also Director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. The Center is an award-winning program that provides consultation, training and publications to Iowa communities, churches, organizations, and employers as they deal with the unique challenges and opportunities associated with influxes of immigrant and refugee newcomers. Read More.
Dr. Grey received his Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He has published extensively in academic journals on immigration in the Midwest including recent articles in Human Organization and Religion and Education, and for professional audiences as co-author of the book "Health Matters: A Guide for Working with Diverse Cultures and Underserved Populations" by Intercultural Press. He is also the lead author of the new book, entitled "Postville USA: Surviving Diversity in Small Town America." Dr. Grey has also authored numerous pocket guides for lay audiences, including Welcoming New Iowans: A Guide for Citizens and Communities; Welcoming New Iowans: A Guide for Managers and Supervisors; and Welcoming New Iowans: A Guide for Christians and Churches. He recently published A Health Provider's Pocket Guide to Working with Immigrant, Refugee and Minority Populations in Iowa; several pocket guides on providing health services to diverse seniors; and A Health Providers Pocket Guide to Working with Orthodox Jewish Patients in Hospital Settings. Dr. Grey has won numerous awards for his activities, including the Iowa Friends of Civil Rights Award, the University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Service Award, the Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, and the Richard Remington Award for Outstanding Public Health Service to Iowa.
Dr. Michele Devlin is professor of public health at the University of Northern Iowa, where she is the recipient of the Richard Remington Award, the Governor's Award, the Iowa Civil Rights Award, and other local, state, and national honors for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service in the health and human rights field. Dr. Devlin is Director of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities, a model organization funded by the National Institutes of Health to improve health equity for underserved populations. She also directs Cultural Connections, a non-profit consulting organization at the University of Northern Iowa that provides training for agencies on cultural competency, tolerance, and diversity issues. Read More.
Dr. Devlin completed her master's and doctorate degrees in international public health at the University of California at Los Angeles. Dr. Devlin's primary areas of specialty include maternal and child health; refugee, minority, and immigrant care; and cultural competency with underserved populations. She has published multiple scientific reports and books, including "Health Matters: A Guide to Working with Diverse and Underserved Populations" and "Postville: Surviving Diversity in Small Town America." In addition to her academic expertise, Dr. Devlin has more than 25 years of field experience working with public health agencies, non-profits, corporations, and government organizations, conducting programs both domestically and internationally with refugees, women, children, minorities, the elderly, and other at-risk individuals. Dr. Devlin is also the founder and advisor of the award-winning "Global Health Corps," a model service-learning program that has trained more than 500 students in conducting culturally appropriate public health programs with over 40,000 diverse and underserved populations in the United States and abroad. Dr. Devlin has extensive travel experience, and has worked, visited, or studied in 40 nations around the world.