My Trip to the Border

“Hatred became coalesced into policy.”

Spoken by a representative of Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network.

This quote speaks such volumes as to the depth of the destructiveness of US immigration actions. I was able to see this first hand on a recent trip to the Texas border through the Courts & Ports: Faithful Witness on the Texas-Mexico Border sponsored by Texas Impact and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Late on January 13th, I boarded the plane excited about heading to Brownsville and the border. Early in the morning on January 14th, we headed out to sit in on the court proceedings. It was heartbreaking to see people in shackles for merely wanting a better life. To my surprise, it was not just Hispanic and Latino immigrants crossing over in Brownsville. There were 6 men from Bangladesh and 1 from Sri Lanka in court. They were going to be turned over to immigration officials because they were not able to get interpreters due to the government shutdown.

After lunch, we volunteered at a respite center where multiple busloads of immigrants were dropped off as a temporary part of their journey. They were able to shower, get new clothes, eat, connect with separated loved ones and contact their host in the US. Our group packaged hygiene items, helped people get clothes and shoes that fit, interact with the youth and just be a warm and welcoming presence in their lives. One gentleman kept walking by me with his infant daughter, which I thought was strange. On his third trip past me, I remembered that I had on my clergy collar and laid my hand on his daughter’s back. The biggest grin I have ever seen spread across his face. What an end to a very stressful day.

The next morning (the 15th), we went to the offices of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, where we received more historical information about immigration as well as information on the impact of Trump’s ‘Zero Tolerance.’ From there, we went to two of the three ports of entry in Brownsville, TX. The first one was called the Gateway bridge. It is the main bridge used to go back and forth between the US and Mexico in Brownsville. At the top of the bridge was a make-shift camp of immigrants waiting to be called over to the US. They didn’t dare leave the bridge lest they lose their place in line since only a few were being called over each day. There had been a restroom, but it developed plumbing issues and they were not fixed, nor the restroom replaced by another.

The second bridge also had a make-shift camp, but their restroom was still working. They can expect to stay in these camps for weeks before being called. We encountered a man who had been an anthropologist in his home country. He was definitely not a criminal or a terrorist. In fact, most terrorists come here by plane, not through borders like these. Our last stop before returning home was a more permanent place where some immigrants can go while they are trying to work things out. At the respite center where we had volunteered, they can only be there 24-48 hours. At this center, they can stay 2-3months. Most of the people who come to this place, do not have a host and so the center becomes their host and helps them through the journey to citizenship. A few who had gone through the process now work at the center.

On this trip, we were taken through the progression of events that immigrants must seek to navigate, many without knowing English. We were given the history of immigration policies and information on the courts. We were able to sit in on the courts, visit two bridges that are ports of entry, visit a respite center and finally a more temporary/permanent shelter for those who need extra help.

I end this blog at the beginning. The day before I left Dallas I was at a workshop and a gentleman was leading a devotion. The focus of his devotion was, “We are God’s beloved.” Little did I know that this would help to prepare me for the upcoming trip. I led the following devotion for our group.

A devotional was shared yesterday about Jesus’s baptism. The clouds opened and God said this is my beloved son, in Him, I am well pleased. He challenged us to think of all of God’s creatures as his beloved.

This immediately brought our border trip to mind. The US does not see all of God’s creatures as beloved nor worthy of humane treatment. I’m constantly amazed at how passionate we can become around animal cruelty yet turn a blind eye to the sufferings of humanity.

First, I want to commend you for not turning a blind eye.
Second, I want to challenge you to see God’s beloved creatures everywhere we go on this trip. In the judge’s seat, in the uniformed personnel, in the immigrants, in the concerned people providing services and goods, to those in our group.

When we can learn to love and show love (they are not the same) everywhere we go, great change is possible.

Let’s pray.

UN International Day of Peace 9/21/18

2018 has been a rough year for me personally and for our nation and world. In this, the 70th year since the United Nations adopted the ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, Visible Unity celebrated its first International Day of Peace (see flyer below).

Over the next several days, I will post the Preamble and the 30 Articles of the Declaration. We need people working on each of these Articles and I pray you are compelled to pursue one. Contact me if you need assistance in moving forward with the Article you selected.

I pray for God’s blessings and God’s peace throughout the world.

Pam Fields


What’s Going On

Not long after I read about yet another shooting of another unarmed black person, I heard Marvin Gaye’s song on the radio.

“What’s Going On”

Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on

Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on – Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby

There is an opportunity for us to begin having healthy conversations with diverse people around race.  We can’t fix the problem if we can’t even talk about it.

We can’t fix the problem, if we can’t even see others as uniquely created human beings deserving of the treatment granted to all humans.

We can’t fix the problem, if we can’t acknowledge our collective histories.

Come and participate in The Unity Process and let’s turn this around.  Let’s talk and see what’s going on.

Peace on Earth

I was anguishing about the state of this world and how there is chaos and violence everywhere you look. I wished there was more that I could do. While I know that relationship building, reconciliation and peace making are crucial, they sometimes don’t feel like enough. Visible Unity had a Weekend for Peace recently that brought together diverse people to pray, sing, view and discuss film clips around racism and integrate a worship service. A song came to me and our diverse group of peace minded people joined together at a police station and prayed for peace and sang the lyrics of the song – ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth.’

Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me

Let There Be Peace on Earth, The peace that was meant to be

With God as our Father, Brothers all are we

Let me walk with my brother, In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, Let this be the moment now

With ev’ry step I take, Let this be my solemn vow

To take each moment and live, Each moment in peace eternally

Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me

The peace that was meant to be, living in perfect harmony, and beginning with each one of us, should give us pause.  Not long after this, one of the board members of Visible Unity, Inc. sent me a link to a commentary on John 15:12-13 – ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’. The commentator suggests four things from this passage. The Obligation, the Sufficiency, the Pattern, and the Motive of Christian love. (

The Obligation – cherishing a kindly and loving regard to all others; such an attitude is the only fitting expression of the mutual relation of Christians, through their common relation to Jesus; However unlike any two Christian people are to each other in character, in culture, in circumstances, the bond that knits those who have the same relations to Jesus Christ one to another is far deeper, far more real, and ought to be far closer, than the bond that knits either of them to the men or women to whom they are likest in all these other respects.

I like this focus on the obligation of Christians because I feel if we can get this right, then we will have a head start in loving non-Christians. I also like this because I think Christians may be lagging more so than other faiths in loving their brothers and sisters. In Christ, we are all one family.

The Sufficiency – Love will soften the tones, will instinctively teach what we ought to be and do; will take the bitterness out of opposition and diversity, will make even rebuke, when needful, only a form of expressing itself. The ‘one thing needful’ was that they should be knit together as true participators of His life. Love was sufficient as their law and as their guide.

Love is sufficient. What else is there to say?

The Pattern – Now He says, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ There stand the three, as it were, the Father, the Son, the disciple. The Son in the midst receives and transmits the Father’s love to the disciple, and the disciple is to love his fellows, in some deep and august sense, as the Father loved the Son. Christ’s love nailed Him to the Cross, and led Him down from the throne, and shut for a time the gates of the glory behind Him. And He says, ‘That is your pattern!’ ‘If He had never died for His enemies’ says one of the old fathers, ‘He would never have possessed His friends.’ The way by which we are to meet even alienation and hostility is by pouring upon it the treasures of an unselfish, self-sacrificing affection which will conquer at the last.

Enemies are future friends when love is involved and seeks relationship. Christians, we have our model. Turn to Christ’s love and allow it to infuse you that you feel compelled, obligated and equipped to love others.

The Motive – The novelty of Christian morality lies here, that in its law there is a self-fulfilling force. We have not to look to one place for the knowledge of our duty, and somewhere else for the strength to do it, but both are given to us in the one thing, the gift of the dying Christ and His immortal love. And so, brethren, if we would know the blessedness and the sweetness of victory over these miserable, selfish hearts of ours, and to walk in the liberty of love, we can only get it by keeping close to Jesus Christ.

From this passage, we should be motivated to reach out in love to all of our brothers and sisters. LOVE IS THE WAY TO RECONCILIATION!!!  LOVE IS THE WAY TO RELATIONSHIP BUILDING!!!  LOVE IS THE WAY TO PEACE!!!  If you have the desire but are unsure of how, please contact me. I will be happy to discuss with you possible avenues of reaching out to those different from you.

Weekend for Peace

This past weekend Visible Unity, Inc. declared a ‘Weekend for Peace.’

Friday evening was ‘Prayers for Peace’ where we met at the Southwest Dallas Police Substation and engaged in prayer, singing and talking.  Seeking to be fortified as we begin or continue in the work of bringing peace into our spheres of influence.

Saturday afternoon we gathered at the Meadows Conference Center for the I/Eye Perspective.  We watched film clips from the movie, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ and a clip of the self-introduction of ‘Tim Wise.’  We watched these clips with our eyes (Eye Perspective) and then had excellent discussion about race from each of our own personal perspectives (I).

Sunday morning (the most segregated hour) was the Integrated Hour of Worship, where a diverse group attended services at First United Methodist Church in downtown Dallas, Dr. Andy Stoker pastor.

We are in a war.  Yes, a war is going on in our country.  And with all wars people tend to forget that the enemy is also human and has family and friends who love them and who has hopes and dreams for the future.  People also tend to focus on destroying the other.  There is no desire to try and come together and talk things over.  Hate is the focus, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to kill.  Lastly, people tend to believe all the propaganda about the other side.  That they are not human, good or worthy.  They are a bane to society and so on.  This provides the ammunition needed to keep the war going.  It helps people to believe they are doing the right thing, the good and necessary thing.

In his sermon, Dr. Stoker remarked that we have a tendency to turn practice into truth.  I would add that in the history of the US, there has been a practice of devaluing people of color and this practice has turned into a truth.  A truth that has to be dismantled.  A truth that is founded upon ignorance and mainly, fear.  James Baldwin, when talking about the nature of the rage between Black and White, said that, ‘The root of the black man’s hatred is rage.  Blacks don’t hate whites.  It’s more rage; they just want them out of their way and more importantly, out of their children’s way.  The root of the white man’s hatred is terror.  A bottomless, unnameless terror which focuses on this dread figure and entity which lives only in his mind.’

The way past this terror and this unfounded truth is through relationships, relationships across cultures and divides, relationships across gender and economic divides, relationships across faiths.  Visible Unity can help you with this.  Contact us and join us in peace-building and relationship building.



Co-Dependent not Independent

For believers, independence should not be the goal. The definition of independent is ‘free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority or on another for livelihood or subsistence.’ No, we should strive for co-dependency; a word often used in psychological analysis around addiction. However, for true followers of Christ, it is appropriate. We depend upon the Triune God for our subsistence and our addiction is to Them alone. We also depend upon our fellow sojourners for support, accountability and to be brothers and sisters in the struggle together. We are not intended to be in this journey alone and to do ministry by ourselves. The entire body of believers are to work together regardless of race, age, gender, faith and any other things we use to divide ourselves and keep us from collectively working together for the kingdom.

I encourage you today, having just celebrated America’s Independence Day, to break from the individualism of the US and seek unity amongst as many diverse people that are in your midst. Seek out those different from you in your community and strive to build relationships; relationships of peace and unity. We have gotten off track. Let us move back towards the model of the Trinity; distinct yet equal, separate yet unified. If you need help getting started, give me a call or shoot me an email.



Weekend for Peace

sponsored by Visible Unity, Inc.

Prayers for Peace

Friday, July 7, 2017
Southwest Dallas Police Station
4230 W. Illinois Ave, Dallas, 75211
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Participants will be encouraged to pray individually and collectively for police officers, victims of police shootings and all those negatively impacted by violence, oppression and injustice.

I/Eye Perspective

Saturday, July 8, 2017
Meadows Conference Center
2900 Live Oak, Dallas 75208
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Participants will view clips from “I Am Not Your Negro” followed by facilitated discussion.  People will be encouraged to identify action steps for their community.
Integrated Hour of Worship

Sunday, July 9, 2017
First United Methodist Church
1928 Ross Ave, Dallas, 75201
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Participants will model healthy diversity in attending the worship service at First United Methodist Church.
I am anticipating a wonderful weekend with family and friends as we seek to be peacekeepers.

Reproducing Racism

I was reading a book by Daria Roithmayr, Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage, and she equates the way white people have systematically oppressed people of color as a cartel.  Whites engaged in “cartel conduct” utilize “economic coercion, violence and harassment” to give whites an advantage.  In posing suggestions for a political and legal fix, she uses the example of the government saying Microsoft was a monopoly and needed to be split up so that fair competition can occur.  “Restoring competition in the operating systems market required significant and dramatic legal intervention, in order to eliminate the barrier to entry created by increasing returns.”  I would add that fair competition leads to greater diversity and creativity and benefits everyone.  When we don’t diversify, we don’t expand our thinking, actions or products; whether those products are tangible or intangible.  Roithmayr also recognizes that there needs to be work done in our social networks and interactions as well as more integration in a variety of ways.

My final thoughts about her work is something I will try to incorporate in the work I do.  She resets racial discrimination as anticompetitive and antidiscrimination as antitrust.

Anticompetitive – emphasis on the economic costs and historical benefits of racial discrimination

Antitrust – emphasis on the unfairness of white advantage

Let’s all do what we can in the areas we are in to level the field.                                          Blessings


Do Something

Benjamin Franklin said thatJustice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.’ This could apply not only to justice but also discrimination, racial targeting, and oppression. This past year and moving through the next four years, we will be seeing more and more unaffected people become outraged. For America, this is a bad time not only for all Americans but also for the world. However, we cannot afford to allow this time of grief, pain and sorrow to be in vain. We must take advantage during these times to regroup, re-gather and remobilize so that we can usher in healing, relationship building, renewed and comprehensive strategizing, and reenergized and informed mobilization. There are many groups, some already formed and some forming, already working in one or more of these areas.

Now is the time to get involved. Do something to truly make America great and to help make the world great. This is only possible with collective effort. Make sure your organization is talking with, partnering with and/or collaborating with other organizations. This is not a time for territorial/kingdom building fighting. Let’s all come together. If you are a philanthropist, give money to those organizations who are not working in silos, who realize ‘it takes a village’ or in this instance several communities.

God bless and see you in the trenches.


A Concerted Movement

As we prepare to brace for impact and then move forward in the next several years, I pray we can begin to develop a more concerted movement.  A concerted movement as opposed to individual groups and organizations doing a variety of things is preferable and will have more impact.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines the adjective “concerted” as meaning “arranged by mutual agreement; agreed upon, pre-arranged; planned, contrived; done in concert.” Let’s meet, talk, plan and then do.

  • As suggestions, I believe we need at least:
  • An Active front
  • A Peaceful Protest front
  • A Political front
  • A Relationship Building front
  • An Education front

No one front is more valuable or necessary than the other but collectively will yield a truly transformed society not merely just outward changes.  A truly transformed society will benefit everyone and our country will thrive and grow.

If you’re not involved in any of these fronts, I suggest you:

  • Figure out what fits best with your personality, skills and status
  • Know it will be challenging no matter which one you choose
  • Get off the sidelines, quit just praying and do the work you feel called to perform

Figure out what fits – Pray about it.  Also,  you will want to consult with those who know you personally and professionally.  They can help you assess personality, skills and especially status.  We often undervalue our status in relation to our ability to influence others and connect with others.

Know it will be challenging – We are not just talking about making things better, we are talking about transformation.  Transformation is a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. The processes for this to occur will necessarily be challenging and depending upon your previous experiences, the challenges will increase or decrease. You will want to surround yourself with a support system that will be encouraging, sympathetic, affirming and relentless in not allowing you to quit.

Get off the sidelines – Too many people (in particular religious people) hide behind their religious veil rather than being and doing. I am not saying that we don’t need people to be in prayer. We need more people earnestly praying now more than ever. However, your prayer needs to be coupled with work. Faith in action or as the title of a book suggests – Faith is a Verb[1] – is required. Pray about where you fit, who you fit with (which organization) and then start the work.

Visible Unity, Inc. (the organization I started) does relationship building and just a little bit of education.  Contact me if this is where you fit.  If you just want direction, support or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I am trying to connect with other organizations in the Dallas area working on a variety of these fronts.  I am already connected with several but any names of organizations, groups or churches you know of would be great.



[1]Stokes, Kenneth, 1989

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