Cumberland Presbyterian Acceptance Letter

A new name for a new focus

In 1981, the National Farm Worker Ministry accepted the application of Cumberland Presbyterian Church as it noted in this letter provided by Reverend Joy Warren, current NFWM Board Member. Only 10 years into the organization’s national name and role, the letterhead reflects the transition from the work as the National Migrant Ministry to the new name focused on Farm Workers.

Recollections differ as to who suggested the transition in name, but the memories settle on the why: not all farm workers are migrants and not all migrants are farm workers. The new name more aptly reflects the focus of the work and gives voice and recognition to the farm worker.

When Joy provided the letter for this project, she recalled her first meeting with the organization in January 2014. It was former Executive Director Lindsey Comstock’s first meeting and current Executive Director and former board member, Julie Taylor’s last meeting as a board member. Joy described the environment of transition as “excitement about the new director and a deep grief that Julie was leaving.” 

The meeting was held at La Paz, the location of the Cesar Chavez National Monument in California, and Joy recalls seeing the monument, touring the museum, and the feelings that accompanied being on the grounds, learning what happened there and hearing the stories from other board members who experienced it first hand.

“It felt like a pilgrimage. That connection over story transcends the farm worker movement and applies to everything. It was a reminder that the arc is long. We’re committed. It is a gift to meet people and spend time around the table with people who see the work that way,” said Joy.

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