When the Rev. Adam Ericksen put up a sign outside his Oregon church supporting the transgender community, he didn’t expect it would lead to an unlikely team to combat a situation that would be controversial on almost all levels. You see, the cause that Ericksen would end up championing was that of the stranded children of immigrants swept up in recent Mississippi ICE raids. This was made more interesting by who his compatriot in the fight is; a local stripper named Dawn McCall, also known by her stage name Blu Dawn, who had reached out previously and connected to Ericksen after seeing an online post about his church sign.
“This was not the first thing on my mind when I became a pastor, that I’d be working with strippers,” Ericksen, who leads the Clackamas United Church of Christ in Milwaukie, Oregon said. But when the raids happened he was one of the people that McCall looked to for help. Ericksen says that McCall and her “girls” wanted to start a fundraiser, and “I started brainstorming with a stripper on how the church could help.” That support took the form of purchasing uniquely designed T-shirts from one of McCall’s former coworkers, on Etsy. The shirts are emblazoned with the hashtag #OurKids. All proceeds go to six groups helping the migrant children and their parents in Mississippi; if his congregants didn’t want a T-shirt, Ericksen urged them make an online donation to the groups.
While his church is “fully on board” and excited to help, not everyone has been supportive. “I’ve gotten some harsh criticism from some Christians,” Ericksen says. “Someone said to me, ‘Why would you work with a group of strippers? That’s sinful.’” “I said, ‘God is going to work through whoever God is going to work through,” Ericksen recalls of his sermon to congregants, “‘and thank God that God is working through strippers in Portland.’” Their decision to ignore the criticism and controversy and perform the simple act of helping children is enough for this to be your Good News Story of the Day and you can read more here.
It is also important to remember that for many recent immigrants it isn’t a choice that they have left their old lands for new. Quite a large number of refugees with a story of a family forced to seek asylum to escape terrible, life-threatening violence at home. And if that sounds familiar to you, it should. It is the story of Joseph, Mary, and their unborn baby. Fleeing persecution and the threat of death to a new home.
Story and Image from PEOPLE.