I am sharing this morning two documents concerning Sanctuary Support Communities. Please read and reflect upon these items and get back to me with any ideas, concerns, questions.
On this next Monday night, April 23, 2018 our All Are One board will be meeting and this topic will be an agenda item. You will recall that I have mentioned this several times in homilies in the last few weeks and I have felt an overall positive reaction from those of you present with the possibility of us becoming a Support Community to that church that hopefully might become Winona’s Sanctuary Church. The following materials, a brochure and an invitation statement from the Winona Interfaith Council should help answer questions–please get back to me before Monday’s board meeting.
My apologies that the brochure format wasn’t transferable.
Brochure–Sanctuary Support Community
Sanctuary Support Congregation or Partner
Invitation and Information
Distributed by the
Winona Sanctuary Network and Winona Interfaith Council
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:40
Are you concerned about our broken immigration system and the current political climate?
Do you want to find ways to support our immigrant neighbors?
Do you believe in the ideals behind the Statue of Liberty and the core beliefs found in all the world’s faiths?
If so, then this document is for you.
This document is intended for congregations, groups, or individuals who would like to learn more about the process of becoming a “Sanctuary Support Congregation or a Sanctuary Support Partner.”
We realize that this is a serious and complex issue. This document is not intended to answer all of your questions. If you would like more information, please let us know.
We realize this is a decision that requires courage and it should not be taken lightly. We hope to create a network of congregations, groups, and individuals who will support one another. The more groups and people that are involved, the safer it is for everyone. There are a number of different tasks that can be shared.
- Sanctuary: Sanctuary is an ancient, religious custom; not a modern legal defense. Nevertheless, it has been – and still is – United States policy not to enforce immigration violations inside places of worship and other “sensitive locations,” such as hospitals and schools. For this and other political and public relations reasons, providing sanctuary may deter the federal government from arresting an undocumented immigrant who is inside a church.
- Sanctuary Church: This is the building where the guest(s) would stay. The goal would be to provide protection and to help navigate through the legal system.
- Sanctuary Support Congregation: Other congregations can become a part of the “Winona Sanctuary Church Network.” This would mean providing public support, volunteers, donations, etc.
- Sanctuary Partner: Other non-religious groups or individuals may also help with the same kinds of support.
- Sanctuary Support Statement:
“We recognize that our immigrant neighbors are a vital part of our community and local economy. They help make America a better place. Due to a broken immigration system, they have not all been allowed access to the legal protections that they deserve. To this end we will stand with our neighbors that fear deportation. We publicly support the Winona Sanctuary Church.”
What would it mean to become a “Sanctuary Support Congregation or Partner”? It would be left to each group to determine what is the best fit.
Each year there will be a need for:
- Donations for building needs and a legal defense fund.
- Food for the guests.
- A list of volunteers who would help with a wide range of duties (i.e. laundry, transportation, staying with the guests, bearing witness, etc.)
- Education, advocacy, publicity, etc.
Web Page: Coming soon.
Donations: Checks can be written to, “Winona Sanctuary”. Mailed to: 1167 W. 5th Street, Winona, MN 55987
Invitation Statement: (original statement)
“We affirm, that as a congregation of people of faith, we are taking seriously the call to provide sanctuary support in the Winona Sanctuary Network. We recognize that our immigrant neighbors are a vital part of our community and local economy and that due to a broken immigration system they have not all been allowed the legal protections that they deserve. To this end we will use our privilege and our resources to stand with our community members that are in fear of deportation. As a sanctuary support community we are able to do this by providing; prayers, security, time, money, advocacy, relationship, and fellowship to the degree that is within our power.”