Rev. Liana Rowe to Tour NH March 5 - 13

An Arizona clergywoman active in the movement for humane immigration policies will tour New Hampshire churches for a week in March to help New Hampshire residents understand what is at stake in the immigration debate.

Rev. Liana Rowe, a minister in the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, will give presentations in Durham, Madbury, Concord, E. Derry, Manchester, Pelham, Hanover, Peterborough, and Franconia from March 5 to 13.

Rev. Rowe, a resident of N. Phoenix, has been working for humane immigration policies for more than ten years.  She sits on the Board of Directors for Humane Borders, a humanitarian organization that maintains water stations in remote desert regions of Southern Arizona.  She has also been active with the Somos America/We Are America Coalition in advocating for human and civil rights in Arizona.  Rev. Rowe was 2011 recipient of the City of Phoenix Martin Luther King, Jr. Living the Dream Award. 

Her New Hampshire tour is sponsored by the Commission on Witness and Action of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ and the American Friends Service Committee.

Rev. Rowe will be accompanied at many of the presentations by the Rev. Sandra Pontoh, pastor of the Maranatha Indonesian UCC Church in Madbury, and Eva Castillo Turgeon, who leads the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees.

“We were profoundly disturbed by the passage last year of SB1070, the harshest anti-immigrant legislation in the country, by the Arizona Legislature,” said the Rev. Mary Westfall, chair of the UCC NH Conference’s Commission on Witness and Action.  “This legislation, which codifies racial profiling and creates an atmosphere of suspicion, hatred, and scapegoating of immigrants and U.S citizens, was opposed by the UCC’s Southwest Conference,” Rev. Westfall added.

At its 2010 annual meeting, the NH Conference of the United Church of Christ adopted a resolution calling for solidarity with immigrants and with the Southwest Conference of the UCC.  The resolution called on church members “to consider prayer, study, protest, and other possible actions for immigrant rights, and that the NHCUCC will mobilize our congregations for just and fair Federal Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  

“Rev. Rowe’s tour will be an excellent opportunity for us to act in the spirit of the resolution we adopted in October,” said Rev. Westfall, who serves as pastor of the Durham Community Church.  

“With the legislature considering several bills dealing with immigration, Rev. Rowe’s visit is especially timely,” said Arnie Alpert of the American Friends Service Committee, which is co-sponsoring Rev. Rowe’s tour.  

The United Church of Christ is New Hampshire’s largest Protestant group, with 139 churches and 23,000 members across the state.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization whose work for social justice includes a commitment to humane immigration reform. 

For detailed schedule information and other background click here.