Press Advisory: Interfaith Press Conference & Faith Dialogue


Contact: Sara John,, 636-222-7621

Secondary: Erin Williams,, 202-748-0699


“Let Our Families Go” Team to Hold Press Conference at Christ Church in Maplewood During Pilgrimage to the US-Mexico Border

St. Louis – Faith leaders en route to the tent prison in Tornillo, TX., where immigrant teens are being detained, will hold an interfaith press conference and “diálogo de fe” (faith dialogue) event at Christ Church United Church of Christ in Maplewood, Missouri, on Monday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m. to demand that all immigrant families be reunited.

The “Let Our Families Go” pilgrimage involves clergy from across the country making a four-day pilgrimage to the Tornillo tent prison to call attention to the thousands of children who have yet to be reunited with their parents. The “camp” was established in June, and is being used to shelter teenagers ages 13 to 17. News reports indicate that the contract on this facility has been extended to the end of 2018. The group is planning a day of action and public service on Thursday at the encampment in Tornillo.  

Local organizations and faith leaders are honored to stand with this pilgrimage during their stop in St. Louis, where efforts have been underway to keep families together in the Midwest as well. The event is hosted by Christ Church UCC, the congregation where Alex Garcia has been living in sanctuary for over a year, fighting the devastating separation of deportation.  

“It is clear to us here in Missouri that mass incarceration anywhere - in our state, at the border, across the country - is not the solution to family separation,” said Sara John, Executive Director of the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA). “As a community, we’ve been fighting for laws and policies at the local and federal levels that value the dignity of all, demonstrate an understanding of the root causes of migration, and end the criminalization of communities of color.”

Many organizations are honored to support the pilgrimage in St. Louis, including: the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA), Christ Church United Church of Christ, Congregation Shaare Emeth, Central Reform Congregation, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), St. Francis Community Services, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, the Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus, Iglesia Metodista Unida la Trinidad, Missouri Missionary Baptist State Convention, Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action (MICA) Project, Latinos en Axion and the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA). Additional local faith leaders and activists will also be present and available for comment at the event.

This national pilgrimage is supported by the following organizations: Faith in Action, LA RED, Faith in Indiana, NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé), the Prophetic Resistance Project, Temple Sholom Cincinnati, Temple Beth Emeth, Auburn Seminary, HIAS, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; ACLU of Texas; Religious Action Center (RAC); and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR).

WHAT: “Let Our Families Go” Interfaith Press Conference & Faith Dialogue

WHEN: Monday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Christ Church UCC, 6:30 pm, 2200 Bellevue Ave, Maplewood, MO 63143


Rev. Rebecca Turner, Christ Church UCC

Rabbi Josh Whinston, Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor

Rabbi Jonah Zinn, Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis MO

Rabbi Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation, St. Louis MO

Alex Garcia, Christ Church UCC member living in sanctuary

Rev. Marino Chacón, Iglesia Metodista la Trinidad

Leticia Seitz, Latinos en Axión

Rev. Darryl Gray, Social Justice Commission of the Missionary Baptist State Convention

Amanda Tello, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates

CONTACT: Sara John, 636-222-7621, Erin Williams, 202-748-0699