Some of the Sanctuary Activities Skyline is Already Involved In – By Mirtha Ninayahuar)
Examples Accompaniment, Advocacy, and Rapid Response work
I have accompanied Guatemalan mother and daughter for the last 2 years. We’ve built a strong and caring relationship. I visit or contact the family monthly to see how they are. I assisted them with finding urgent dental care for daughter. I act as liaison between school teacher and non-English speaking mother. I drop off items needed such as a bed, groceries, school materials. We went on picnic with other accompaniment families. I took her to court appointment and found that she and her daughter had been granted asylum.
I’m a volunteer for Court Accompaniment. Went to Immigration court in San Francisco with a mother and her toddler son and after we went to breakfast. I went to S.F. Immigration Court in support of a father separated from his pregnant wife and children, one of the children having special medical needs. Shared the experience with other volunteers so we can learn from one another on what to expect at the court.
I’ve been a volunteer Sunday Nueva Esperanza preschool teacher for more than a year at Guatemalan Mam Church, with Nancy Taylor.
Skyline Church families decorated Easter bags and filled them with toys and healthful snacks. E’lijah, Skyline Youth Director, Pastor Laurie and Nancy Taylor delivered the bags to the Nueva Esperanza Preschool and visited with the children.
David G. and his daughter came to the Nueva Esperanza Preschool to do an art project with the children. David made animal themed hats for all the children, too.
Suzie H. volunteered as a preschool teacher at the Nueva Esperanza Preschool.
Skyline Church supports Sanctuary by donating food, toys, and clothes to immigrant/refugees in Oakland via Iglesias Presbyterian on High Street and Guatemalan Mam Church on Farnam Street in Fruitvale area.
Requested Skyline Church to vote on signing an electronic petition to denounce the holding of undocumented families in for-profit inhospitable detention centers. Congregation voted to approve signing petition. Congregations support is of more impact than an individual signing. Skyline hosted movie/potluck and to educate and discuss the root causes of migration from Central America.
I continue to sign electronic petitions in support of the immigrant community. Nancy Taylor and I joined caravan to Sacramento to lobby for Ca Sanctuary State Bill. Nancy collected signatures in support of bill.
For many months participated in the 120 Montgomery SF Immigration Court Vigils with placards to bring attention to the plight of the refugees. Also handed out stuffed toys and snacks to children entering the court building.
Participate in monthly interfaith vigils at West Count Detention Facility to support immigrant detainees. Recently I’ve been asked to welcome people visiting the detention facility and ask if they would join the vigil and if they have any prayer requests.
Participated in Holy Thursday/Passover Foot Washing Ceremony at Immigration Customs and Enforcement Building in San Francisco. Religious Leaders washed the feet of immigrants and children from local congregations/community organizations. Some shared testimony of their hardships getting here. The washing ritual symbolizes respect, humility, servanthood and the ways in which we are to treat our fellow human beings with respect and love, without prejudice as to where they come from. Clergy, religious leaders and lay leaders, immigrant janitors (diverse ethnic group) members of SEIU Local 87, immigrant domestic workers from Mujeres Unidas y Activas were some in attendance as well as media.
Participated in the same foot washing ritual last year in front of SF City Hall.
Acted in skit for International Immigrants Day held a Fruitvale BART bringing attention to story of son forced to leave his family and country to help his family survive. Photos of missing immigrants posted for mothers’ in search of their children.
I participated in Vigil at Santa Rita Jail to pray and show support against the expansion of jail and to bring attention to lack of due process for undocumented detainees.
Networks of Protection & Rapid Response
Nancy Taylor and I have signed up to be in network made up of many organizations under Bay Resistance. (https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-for-updates-27) We are part of the mass text alert for when a presence of witnessing or public action may be needed to show support for those targeted by the new administration. Interfaith group has a public action scheduled in March as part of Resist Trump Tuesdays.