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First Broad Street UMC to hold event on immigration

Holly Viers • Aug 11, 2019 at 7:48 AM

KINGSPORT — As immigration continues to be a hot topic across the nation, First Broad Street United Methodist Church wants to join the conversation.

Later this month, the church will hold its first ever information session on immigration, called “Heart of a Sojourner: We Are All Immigrants.”

Michael Eastridge, immigration attorney for Hunter, Smith & Davis, will provide facts about the immigration process and explain commonly used terms like “asylum,” “refugee” and “green card.”

“We always want to be promoting that church is a place where people of different perspectives can find some common ground and how to have disagreements, even while loving and remaining in unity together,” said Nathan Flora, executive director of First Broad Street. “So we want to be a place that promotes a constructive conversation, and we think informing and educating is a big part of that.”

How to attend

The free event will be held Aug. 22 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the church, located at 100 E. Church Circle. An optional free fellowship meal featuring hot dogs, corn on the cob and apple pie will be served from 6-7 p.m., and guests are asked to make reservations by leaving a message at (423) 224-1502.

“This event is open to the whole community,” said Joy Eastridge, parish nurse at First Broad Street. “So we want to invite people that are Christians and not Christians.”

Why it’s important

Eastridge said the goal of the event is to correct misinformation about immigration and clarify the process for those who are either impacted by it or who simply have an interest in it.

“The immigration problem is complex, and we are really in a crisis,” Eastridge said. “We don’t pretend to offer simple solutions, but we want to encourage people to learn more and know more, because knowledge counters fear.”

Flora and Eastridge added that the event fits in with the church’s desire to have a voice in national issues.

“It’s important for the church to respond to current events and to have the Christian perspective on what’s going on and how we continue to treat one another in love, even when we have the concerns of the day,” Eastridge said. “That doesn’t change how we treat one another.”

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