Sanctuary – Bold Decisions

Union church made some bold decisions at our Annual Meeting last Sunday! 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.

Hopefully you were able to attend the Sunday forum on January 15th when we hosted a member of the MN Conference UCC Immigration Team who gave us an overview of the situation. I’ve included websites in the February Uniter for more information and there will be handouts at church.

What does all this mean? To become a Sanctuary church, joining dozens of congregations in Minnesota (to date), 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.

Where do we start? First, good communication. Kirk Shoger (new moderator) and I are consulting our primary renters, Kid Zone, on Thursday, February 2nd to discuss the implications. Next steps will depend on that.

A Sanctuary-supporting church means we will be offering resources – 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.

So… I invite you to research and read on your own; attend the showing of the documentary, “Dying to Live” on Sunday, February 19th after worship; let’s keep discussing these things and make space for the Still-Speaking God!!

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