Several years ago, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Upper Arlington created a Migration Ministries group. “The impetus was when all of the news headlines were talking about children in cages,” said Joyce Acton, who heads the committee. “We just felt like we needed to understand what was going on and really get our heads around it.”
Acton and her husband typically spend winters in Tucson, Arizona, where they attend Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which is situated about 70 miles from the Mexican border town of Nogales in the Sonoran Desert. Acton got involved in Grace St. Paul’s migration ministry, as well, and through that work met Valarie Lee James, a former art therapist who organized the nonprofit Artisans Beyond Borders.
“[James] contacted me one day and said, ‘There’s a family that I know who is at the border, and they’ve been given permission to cross to seek asylum. They’re coming to Columbus, Ohio, and I would really like for you to reach out to them.’ So of course I did,” Acton said. “Valarie then said, ‘We have put together this exhibition, and you guys are so involved in everything — would you like to have it there?’”
Acton again agreed, and this month Saint Mark’s is hosting “Embroidering Hope,” an exhibition of 75 colorful, finely detailed devotional embroideries stitched by asylum seekers waiting at the U.S.-Mexico border from 2019 to 2022. On Saturday, May 21, from noon to 4 p.m., Saint Mark’s will also host a…