News & Updates

JFON National Board of Trustees member gives thanks

8/15/2017

The work of Justice for Our Neighbors is a fascinating effort on the part of many diverse groups throughout the country.  A challenging job is made harder in a climate of fear and suspicion such as we see surrounding us in these times.  Even those that truly qualify for legal status and assistance approach completing the required tasks with caution...


August 2017 JFON newsletter to churches

8/2/2017

Click here to read the August newsletter to churches.


Marshalltown JFON clinic truly a team effort

Marshalltown JFON clinic truly a team effort

8/2/2017

The vision for a Justice for Our Neighbors clinic began years ago when Judy Kading lived in Marshalltown. As you are well aware, this has long been a passion for Judy. She led study groups among United Methodists and others, eventually making an application for a Marshalltown clinic. However, that application was denied. I believe, Cedar Rapids ...


JFON July Newsletter

7/5/2017

Click here to read the July 2017 Newsletter


2017 AILA Chapter Pro Bono Champions

2017 AILA Chapter Pro Bono Champions

6/29/2017

June 15, 2017  Ann Naffier, IA Justice for Our Neighbors, Iowa/Nebraska Chapter Ann Naffier is a Managing Attorney with Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors where she has worked since January 2014. Ann has been a dedicated legal services provider and leader for immigrant justice in Iowa for more than 20 years. Prior to becoming an immigration attorney, ...


Our Gift to You is a Gift for Mission

Our Gift to You is a Gift for Mission

6/29/2017

Detailed in the graphics with this article is the extent to which the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is reaching out every day to help immigrants and refugees through the service of a hard-working staff at Justice for Our Neighbors.   The team of four attorneys: Brynne Howard, Ann Naffier, April Palma and Emily Sohn ...


JFON Report from CLINIC Convening

6/16/2017

Justice for Our Neighbors staff members Laura Mendoza, a native of Mexico, and Grisell Herrera, a native of Cuba, submitted the following report regarding their recent trip to Atlanta, GA to attend the CLINIC Convening, which is a large conference for BIA Accredited Representatives. Both Grisell and Laura are accredited Representatives of the Board...


JFON's June newsletter

6/2/2017

Click here to read the JFON's June newsletter to churches.


“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.”

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed.”

12/19/2016

“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.  The Lord is  a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”  —Psalm 9: 7-9             The words of Psalms are often inspirational. This is a passage that inspires the work of Iowa...


JFON's December Newsletter

11/28/2016

Click here to read Justice for Our Neighbor's December newsletter.


JFON congratulates employees for BIA accreditations

11/21/2016

   Justice for Our Neighbors, a standing committee of the Iowa Annual Conference’s Board of Global Ministries, congratulates Laura Mendoza and Grisell Herrera, JFON employees, for obtaining their accreditation in August, 2016, with the Board of Immigration Appeals.  Because Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors is recognized by the Board of Immigration ...


To Congress: Introduce, pass the DREAM Act

To Congress: Introduce, pass the DREAM Act

11/17/2016

Brynne Howard, Des Moines, Letter to the Editor of The Des Moines Register In the four years since President Barack Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), immigration attorneys like me have helped hundreds of thousands of DREAMers throughout the country apply for the program. Every time I met with an applicant for the first ...


John Rothlisberger named to National JFON Board of Directors

John Rothlisberger named to National JFON Board of Directors

10/31/2016

John Rothlisberger, Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, has been invited to serve on the board of directors of National Justice for Our Neighbors.  John is the first Iowan to serve on this board in the 17 years that the Iowa Annual Conference has been a site for Justice for Our Neighbors. Since UMCOR’s founding in 1940, refugee ministry has ...


Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors announces job openings

7/18/2016

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors is announcing job openings in our office due to the beginning of a new project based on an award from the federal government through the Iowa Attorney General's Office. This award is from the Victim Services Support Program funds. This project will focus on immigrant victims of crime and begins with the July 1 fiscal ...


JFON's July 2016 Newsletter

JFON's July 2016 Newsletter

7/7/2016

Click here to read JFON's July 2016 newsletter


Disappointment with immigration ruling

Disappointment with immigration ruling

6/28/2016

By Kathy L. Gilbert June 24, 2016 | UMNS Families praying for relief from deportation got none when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would have shielded as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants died in a deadlock 4-4 decision. The ruling was on an executive action taken by President Barack Obama in 2014 that would have allowed parents of ...


The Church at It’s Best

The Church at It’s Best

6/21/2016

The Church at It’s Best—Reaching Out in Mission Supported by Church and Community Workers For seventeen years the Iowa Annual Conference has supported a Church and Community Worker assigned to Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors. The first person was Judy Kading, then came Allison Brown, followed by Trina Scott Zuor and now Brynne Howard. The ...


Daddy’s Home

Daddy’s Home

6/7/2016

After a decade of war, a blessed and peaceful Father’s Day  As an Iraqi civil engineer working with the U.S. forces, Omar’s life was in constant danger. He learned to take precautions: not answering phone calls from unknown numbers, frequently changing his schedule and his route to work, and even moving his family. He wasn’t the only one with a ...


God “loves the righteous”—Psalm 146

6/3/2016

In the Disciples by The Upper Room for June 1, I came across thoughts about God’s desire for righteousness, which seem to apply to us, here and now, in the United Methodist Church, as supporters of the ministry of Justice for Our Neighbors.  “In the midst of reciting God’s acts of compassion on behalf of the oppressed and hurting, the psalmist ...


JFON's June 2016 Newsletter

5/18/2016

Click here to read JFON's June Newsletter


JFON's May 2016 Newsletter

5/18/2016

Click here to read JFON's May Newsletter


JFON's April 2016 newsletter

4/13/2016

Click here to read JFON's April newsletter


What “the transformation of the world” really looks like

4/7/2016

By Judy Kading “The mission of the United Methodist Church is to create disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”   I have often wondered what “the transformation of the world” really looks like.  Likewise, I have questioned how “to create disciples of Jesus Christ” to make that happen.  Does it only happen in the four walls ...


Iowa JFON supports funding of the Refugee Rise Americorps program

Iowa JFON supports funding of the Refugee Rise Americorps program

3/30/2016

March 2016 Iowa JFON joins with the Iowa Conference United Methodist Church Legislative Advocacy Team in urging the funding of the Refugee Rise Americorps program SF 2298.  We also urge you to contact your legislators to continue this program by supporting SF 2298. Let me tell you how important this program is to Iowa JFON.   The Refugee RISE ...


JFON sends brief to Supreme Court

JFON sends brief to Supreme Court

3/9/2016

News Release   National Justice for Our Neighbors Date: March 8, 2016 Contact: Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director (703) 766-0442              National Justice for Our Neighbors and the Entire Justice for Our Neighbors Network Urge the Supreme Court to Allow the Expanded DACA and DAPA Programs to Move Forward   Today, National Justice for Our ...


Immigration attorney April Palma reaches out to children and teens

Immigration attorney April Palma reaches out to children and teens

2/25/2016

April Palma is completing her first year of working as an immigration attorney with Justice for Our Neighbors here in Iowa. She was hired to carry on a fledgling program that reaches out to the children and teens who have come to Iowa from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This program was begun in the summer of 2014 when a hotline was ...


Fleeing from Iraq

2/18/2016

Ann Naffier of Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors shares some recent successes.  The generous support of individuals and churches of the Iowa Annual Conference makes this ministry possible.  Thank you.   Fleeing from Iraq  Omar* is a mechanical engineer from Iraq, who worked closely with the U.S. army in Iraq throughout that last decade.  He also ...


As gang violence worsens, more Salvadorans flee

2/5/2016

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, Feb 3 (UNHCR) – Repeatedly shaken down by gang members for a weekly US$30 protection payment he could barely afford, Salvadoran bus driver Javier filed a complaint with the police. A family man with two teenage daughters, he recalls waking up at 3:00 am the next day with a knot of fear in his stomach. The six block walk ...


Refugees Get Helping Hand

Refugees Get Helping Hand

2/3/2016

Refugee RISE AmeriCorps member Mohammed is happy with the result of his planning for the "green card" legal clinic. By: Judy Kading I would like to dedicate the January 30, 2016 refugee “green card” legal clinic to the 48 Iowa United Methodist Churches that made a special donation to Justice for Our Neighbors during 2015. You don’t know the ...


Justice for Our Neighbors Brings Burmese Refugee Couple Together

7/6/2015

Ram Ling* is the first client I met when I came to JFON.  He was a Burmese refugee who had fled from Burma to Malaysia in 2006, and was allowed to come to the United States as a refugee in 2007.  When he left Burma, he had left behind a young wife, Ma Hup, with whom he was very much in love.  But Ram did not understand the immigration laws of the ...


Lending a Hand—A $5,000 Matching Grant for Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors

Lending a Hand—A $5,000 Matching Grant for Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors

7/1/2015

 Lending a hand to someone is a good feeling.  Maybe you helped with something as simple as carrying a bunch of sacks or boxes from the car to the church.   Maybe you said “yes” when asked to help at VBS  or to be on a committee renovating the kitchen.  Lending a hand can be a small or a large gesture, but it’s a way to feel good and to accomplish ...


No One Should Live Like This

6/17/2015

(From Iowa JFON Attorney April Palma’s June 6, 2015, Staff Report to the Justice for Our Neighbors Standing Committee of the  Conference Board of Global Ministries.  ALL names have been changed to protect identities of clients and others.) Sandra is a 17 year old from El Salvador.  Last summer her parents sent her away from their home with ...


Short and Sweet and a Matching Grant

6/17/2015

Our visitor from National Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry receiving grants from UMCOR, came to annual conference bearing gifts.   Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director in the national office that supports our Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors, announced a matching grant of up to $5,000 starting on July 1.   Rob was with us less than 24 hours, ...


The Quality of Mercy

6/17/2015

(From Iowa JFON Attorney Ann Naffier’s June 6, 2015 Staff Report to the Justice for Our Neighbors Standing Committee of the  Conference Board of Global Ministries.) Betty was born in Honduras, but came to the U.S. with her mother when she was just three years old.  Betty grew up in Iowa, graduated from high school, and started her own family here, ...


The Good Dad

The Good Dad

6/7/2015

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. These famous words from John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church, have been a clarion call for generations of people, inspiring them to go out into the ...


Touching Lives - NJFON April Update

4/7/2015

Read the National Justice For Our Neighbors - April 2015 Update


United Methodist Women Recognizes Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors with Grant

2/23/2015

The logo of the United Methodist Women not only bears the cross and flame and the name of the organization, but also the words “FAITH—HOPE—LOVE IN ACTION.” How much difference those two little words “in action” make to an organization of Christian women!!     As an inheritor of the Wesley DNA and as an inheritor of the dedication of generations of ...


United Methodists praise president’s immigration order

11/24/2014

By Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges Nov. 21, 2014 |NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) President Barack Obama’s immigration plan offers “a word of mercy and a measure of justice,” saidUnited Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño, co-chair of the denomination’s interagency task force onimmigration reform. The plan means undocumented immigrants who have lived in the ...


What is the United Methodist Church doing in the midst of the humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States?

11/20/2014

Where is God in the midst of the suffering that impels children and single mothers with babies and toddlers to risk a difficult journey from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras to arrive in the U.S.?  How can Christians understand the fear of violence and poverty that motivates unaccompanied children or teens, mothers with small children to leave ...


Hospitality in our Heartland

Hospitality in our Heartland

11/1/2014

By Melissa Bowe, NJFON Program Manager   Decorah is about 15 miles south of the Minnesota-Iowa border and is the northernmost town in Iowa. It is also the newest clinic location for Iowa-JFON. I had the distinct pleasure of flying to Wisconsin a few weeks ago and driving across farm country to the new clinic to meet and train their volunteers.   ...


Measuring Our Work at the End of May, 2014: Hospitality and a Better Future

Measuring Our Work at the End of May, 2014: Hospitality and a Better Future

5/31/2014

Justice for Our Neighbors offers free, professional legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in their immigration process.  Volunteers coordinate five legal clinics held in United Methodist Churches once a month here in Iowa. A sixth site is soon to be added. The legal services are provided by three immigration lawyers employed by Iowa ...


Brynne Howard is Valuable Resource for Community Meeting

Brynne Howard is Valuable Resource for Community Meeting

Justice for Our Neighbors attorneys spend the majority of their time with clients.   Another aspect of their value to the immigrant community and to the religious community is serving as resources for advocacy.  In northwest Iowa on June 14 a day of panels on topics related to immigration was held at Our Place Multicultural Center in Storm Lake.  ...


Justice for Our Neighbors Depends on the Whole Church Community

Justice for Our Neighbors Depends on the Whole Church Community

A successful lunch during the Iowa Annual Conference  gathered supporters of Iowa Justice for  Our Neighbors  and members and friends of the Conference Board of Global Ministries.  A record crowd of 100 folks came to Trinity United Methodist Church where Las Americas Comunidad de Fe and Amor y Paz members prepared some excellent Latino fare.  Many ...


We Couldn’t Do the Ministry Without You

The generosity of the donation at the Iowa Annual Conference is another reminder that Justice for Our Neighbors couldn’t minister to refugees and immigrants without the over-whelming support of faithful United Methodists here in Iowa.   The collection of  $5,766.00 during the Ordering of Ministry Service is humbling, but motivating as well.   What ...