Immigration Vigil and Forum

The Immigration Vigil and Forum, sponsored by the NYAC Task Force on Immigration and the Board of Church & Society, was held on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the Hicksville UMC, Hicksville, N.Y. The day's schedule included a "Know Your Rights" seminar, a prayer service, and a clergy session about working with the immigrants in their communities. There was also a tour of the church's food pantry.

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Joining in the call to worship at prayer service in support of immigrants at Hicksville UMC.

Pastor Pat Chuppe of the East Quogue UMC lights candles at the start of the prayer service during the Immigration Vigil and Forum held January 20, 2017. The red candle symbolizes the hate and evil in the world.

Pastor Denise Allen, who leads the Flanders UMC.

Rev. Enrique Lebron offers suggestions to connect an English-speaking congregation with the immigrants in its community.

Maria Larios tells her immigration story with the help of translator, Rev. Enrique Lebron.

Rev. Paul Fleck provides a call to action at the end of the prayer service.

Rev. Julia Yh Yim, superintendent of the Long Island East District, introduces Bishop Bickerton at the prayer service.

Rev. Karina Feliz offers a sacred reading about the immigrant during the prayer service.

Co-chairs of the Task Force on Immigration, Rev. Karina Feliz, left, and Pastor Pat Chuppe.

Hicksville UMC pastor, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Nunes

A client gets assistance shopping at the Hicksville UMC food pantry.

Fern Funk, chairperson of the Hicksville UMC food pantry, offers a history of the feeding program.

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton greets pantry workers at the Hicksville UMC in Hicksville, N.Y. The pantry tour was part of the N.Y. Conference's Immigration Vigil and Forum held at the Long Island church, which serves a growing immigrant population.

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton tours the Hicksville UMC food pantry, where clients have the opportunity to "shop" for what they need.

Rev. Dyanne Pina, executive director of the LI Council of Churches, and Hicksville UMC pastor, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Nunes, right.

Prayer service in support of immigrants in the sanctuary at Hicksville UMC.

Participants hold hands and hug one another during the singing of "We Shall Overcome" at the end of the prayer service during the daylong Immigration Vigil and Forum at the Hicksville UMC on January 20, 2017.

Singing during the prayer service.

Music during the prayer service was led by Rev. Enrique Lebron, Rev. Sheila Beckford, and Sherre Elder, music director at Beach UMC, Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

TJ Mills, managing attorney of the NYAC's Justice For Our Neighbors program, answers questions during the "Know Your Rights" session at the Immigration Vigil and Forum on January 20, 2017, at the Hicksville UMC, Hicksville N.Y.

TJ Mills, managing attorney of the NYAC's Justice For Our Neighbors program, answers questions during the "Know Your Rights" session at the Immigration Vigil and Forum on January 20, 2017, at the Hicksville UMC, Hicksville N.Y.

Attorney TJ Mills leads the "Know Your Rights" session.

Bishop Bickerton offers the benediction at the end of the midday prayer service.

End of the day photo op with the bishop and event organizers.

Bishop Bickerton offers a few words to begin the day.

Bishop Bickerton offered a prayer to begin the Immigration Vigil and Forum.

Bishop Bickerton speaks about "white privilege" during the prayer service.

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton reminded those gathered of the need to speak up for the "disenfranchised and the left out."

Bishop Bickerton told the group that the only document he's concerned about is the "document written on your hearts."

Evangelist Zamzam Quraishy shares her own personal immigration story.