Peace Presbyterian Church will present ‘Welcome the Stranger’ series in St. Louis Park - 1

Jo Ann Schutz, project director of Peace Presbyterian Church’s “Welcome the Stranger” series, poses with a sign at the St. Louis Park church. (Submitted photo)

Peace Presbyterian Church will host “Welcome the Stranger,” a series of speakers discussing immigration, alternating Wednesdays and Sundays, Feb. 3 through April 10.

The events will be in the church’s fellowship hall, accessible from a parking lot entrance behind the building, noon Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesday evenings at the church, 7626 Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park.

Light meals will precede the programs 11:30 a.m. Sundays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

• Kathryn Berger, of the Minnesota Council of Churches, will speak Sunday, Feb. 3. She has worked with MCC Refugee Services for the past year and a half and worked previously in refugee resettlement in Rochester. Berger is an educator with extensive cross-cultural experience, having taught in Kenya for 14 years as well as serving in an administration position in Rome for nine years.

• Sean Walther, St. Louis Park planning and zoning supervisor, will discuss “Immigration Trends and Plans in the City of St. Louis Park” Wednesday, Feb. 13.

• Margaret Yapp, of Lutheran Social Services, will speak Sunday, Feb. 17, about immigrants and refugees who resettled in Minnesota. Yapp is the volunteer coordinator for refugee services at Lutheran Social Services. She has been working in refugee services for four years. Yapp works with volunteers, interns and donors throughout Minnesota.

• Leah Jaslow, of the American Refugee Committee, will speak Wednesday, Feb. 27.

• Virgil Wiebe, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas, will speak about “The Immigration Hotel” Sunday, March 17. The image of a hotel with each floor representing different immigration statuses provides a way to introduce students to the immigration system in the United States on technical and policy levels.

Speakers for other dates in March and April have yet to be determined. The church will announce the speakers through its Facebook site.

Church staff noted that attendees may also attend services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays but do not need to do so to attend meals and listen to speakers.

Info: Project Director Jo Ann Schutz, 612-940-4308 or

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