An Update

AN UPDATE!: In last week’s Epistle, I shared that Union church made some bold decisions at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 29th! In three separate motions we decided to explore becoming a Sanctuary church, voted to become a Sanctuary-supporting church and to become an Immigrant Welcoming church.

The forum on January 15th with a member of the MN Conference UCC Immigration Team gave us an overview of the three scenarios. CLICK ON the links (the colored words in the text below), look in your February Uniter for websites, and take home other websites listed on small slips on the bulletin board outside the men’s restroom. There are also informational handouts in Fellowship Hall. Please take some time to read and inform yourselves so we can have a better conversation in the coming weeks! This is a process to be taken seriously, but not quickly.

Since our Annual Meeting several more churches in Minnesota have voted to become Sanctuary churches. This means following an ancient tradition of welcoming the stranger and caring for the widows and orphans. Today, it means housing (not harboring) an immigrant or family in our building while they work with their attorney toward a stay of deportation.

A “Sanctuary-supporting church” means we will be offering what we are able in people-power, food, or transportation – to a Sanctuary church. To become an
Immigrant Welcoming church is a process similar to the Open and Affirming process using two primary sources as its inspiration: the first is Biblical witness, the second is General Synod XIII’s (1981) Pronouncement on Justice in Immigration.

To date: Kirk Shoger and I have consulted our primary renters, Kid Zone, to discuss the implications of becoming a sanctuary church and we have consulted the Fire Marshall about use of the downstairs space. There will be an update at church on Sunday, Feb. 12th.

What is next? I invite you to research and read on your own; attend the showing of the documentary, “Dying to Live” on Sunday, Feb. 19th after worship. Please keep in mind that discernment is a process and no matter what, the Spirit is at work. Let’s keep discussing these things and make space for the Still-Speaking God!!

Pr. Barb

  • Exodus 12:49 and Leviticus 24:22 – “There shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.”

  • Matthew 25:31-46 – “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

  • Romans 12:13 – “Mark of the true Christian: “…Extend hospitality to strangers…”
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