Oakland church

Becoming a Congregational Sustainer

As part of our commitment to being a Sanctuary Congregation, the Justice & Witness Ministry Team made a proposal to Church Council recently that Skyline become a Congregational Sustainer by having a special offering over several weeks in January, with a goal of raising $2,000 for Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI).

As we mark our Third Anniversary as a Sanctuary Congregation, please consider sharing some of your stimulus money (past and forthcoming) and savings throughout the Pandemic, for this offering. Please indicate “sanctuary” or “IM4HI” on your payment. It would be wonderful if we could exceed our goal!  It is a privilege to be a part of this justice-loving, compassionate and generous congregation! Read more about being a Congregational Sustainer here, from Rev. Deborah Lee…

Thank you for all the ways that Skyline UCC has been an incredible partner to IM4HI— supporting newcomer families,  advocacy, being a witness and sanctuary congregation.  I am reaching out to request one more way that Skyline can support our partnership.

IM4HI began a Congregational Sustainers program in 2019.  We currently have 40 congregations who in addition to engaging and partnering with us around the collective work of supporting newcomer immigrants, freeing folks from detention and advocating for new social policies which center people, dignity and liberation, support through the making of an annual gift or an amount that is generous to them.   This gift helps support the wider networking, training and capacity building that has really grown in the Bay Area to support congregations.  Today we have over 50 sanctuary congregations.

Congregational sustainers make a collective gift on behalf of the congregation to support the ongoing partnership and engagement supporting training, capacity building, support to directly impacted people and public advocacy.  Some congregations take a special offering, others may have an event where I or one of my staff comes to speak, others may have a budget for missions or partnerships.

Next year, we have the potential for some new political terrain.  But it is going to take a lot to make it happen. With all the damage that has been done, this is not going to be a quick fix, and it will require strong and consistent pressure. The immigrant community is going to need the faith community standing with them even stronger to stop the ongoing harms of detention and deportation.

We will meet with legislators, elevate the stories of those most impacted, organize public witness with families, undo all the harms Trump and those before him have done, until we have humane and compassionate policies towards immigrants.

Our key policy priorities are:  a) Re-opening our borders and restoration of  US and international asylum law.  b) Bringing to an end the practice of immigration detention which is an unnecessary, an ineffective deterrent and costly, to human rights and human trauma. c) Defunding ICE and protecting communities from deportation.  d) Creating a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million+ undocumented, TPS and DACA holders, so millions are not continuously vulnerable to deportation and can become full members of our society.

We will continue to advocate for those in ICE detention and state prisons during the pandemic and to elevate public health and judicial recommendations for a drastic reduction of those incarcerated by allowing people deemed safe to return to society to come home to their loved ones. We will continue to partner with and advocate for greater resources to support successful re-entry and alternatives to incarceration.

Thanks for considering this request! Thank you, though we miss being in community with you during the pandemic. We appreciate your prayers and walking with us on this journey.

I’m attaching a colorful flyer with more information about our Cong. Sustainers.  Let me know if you need any more information!

Blessings, Peace and Joy,

Deborah

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