Wednesday, April 24, 2013

From time to time one listens to a speaker that changes one's worldview.  Last night at the Deanery, a group of students, staff, and faculty had the privilege of listening to Fr. Tony Rojas, the Executive Director of the Episcopal Farm Workers Ministry in Newton Grove, NC.  As he spoke about this ministry, the following picture emerged.

Both documented and undocumented migrant and seasonal farm workers spend up to ten months a year moving around the country picking different produce.  They might earn a seasonal salary of $14,000 to $16,000.  Almost all of this income will be sent back to their countries of origin in the hope that their children might be able to get an education and develop a profession.  Living conditions are very basic; the risks to health are significant; and the days are long.

And into this setting steps Fr. Tony with his soccer skills and passion for the Gospel.  He brings the love of God, along with extra sets of clothes, and toys for the children.  In fact he offers everything from educational to legal services.  He oversees a variety of thriving congregations, where those who originally found it hard to say the word 'Episcopal' now own the label with some pride.

It was an extraordinary presentation.  He invited us all to visit - to come and learn about this ministry.  I hope that we will take him up on his invitation.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President