Subject: Informational Resource to Prepare
Members to Vote on April 2, 2017
On the Resolution to Become a Sanctuary Church
Your Skyline UCC Council has resolved that on Sunday, April 2, 2017, immediately following our 10:00 service, we hold a special meeting to vote on the Resolution below:
That the Skyline Community Church declare itself a Sanctuary Church committed to protecting, supporting and advocating for those being targeted by the current administration such as immigrants, refugees, Muslims, women, Black Lives Matter activists, Native Americans and the LGBTQ community.
As such, we share the goals of the current Sanctuary Movement:
- Make Visible the Invisible – giving a voice to those who have no voice – and revealing the unjust suffering of millions of families (bearing the image of God) at the hands of the immigration system.
- Inspire members of congregations to raise their voices to call for public policy to address the needs of these families.
- Heal the trauma experienced by families facing the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment. We will support and/or actively engage in one or more of the following activities:
Physical Sanctuary for someone facing Final Deportation:
- Discern if your congregation would be willing to offer Sanctuary for a person facing final deportation orders in a humanitarian emergency. Most often, these are people who have been long term residents, already have children, family and community ties to the area and have exhausted all other legal options to remain with their family here in the United States.
- By offering Sanctuary, your congregation is willing to offer physical sanctuary on religious property, as a way to protect them from the reach of ICE. Your congregation would be supported by other congregations and community groups committing to be part of a local network of Sanctuary by assisting with hospitality, protection, and advocacy.
Accompaniment of Immigrant Families or Youth:
Individuals and congregations can immediately help accompany immigrants in urgent situations and need of accompaniment. This can include newly arrived migrant families, unaccompanied minors, people facing deportation crisis, those just released from detention centers. Trained volunteers can help to provide courtroom accompaniment, access to services, and concrete and emotional support and/or transitional housing to help those in a period of crisis.
- Advocate at the Local, State and National level for policies which protect the due process of immigrants and promote their full dignity and integration into our local communities.
- Advocating for policies which help to prevent mass deportation and fear by creating clear separation between ICE and local law enforcement and civic institutions, for example strong sanctuary city and county policies.
- Engage in local public actions and activities to shift public discourse towards immigrants, Muslims, and refugees, and bring attention to our responsibility to address root causes.
Networks of Protection & Rapid Response
- Join a Rapid Response Network to respond to ICE workplace raids, home raids or other enforcement activity.
- Connect with targeted communities to help develop relationship and networks of protection.
Note: It is not necessary to commit to or perform all of the four actions described above to fulfill the Sanctuary objectives.
In depth information has been identified by our Champions for Justice – Nancy Taylor and Mirtha Ninayahuar. The links to this information are as follows:
- Here’s information on Skyline’s discernment process
- Here’s information from UCC on sanctuary
- Here’s information on the Congregational Church of San Mateo’s Sanctuary process
- Here’s an informative video and information from San Mateo’s website about sanctuary.
This meeting is not intended to be “informational” and, therefore we are assuming that the congregation will have taken advantage of the various informational resources made available the two weeks preceding the meeting. We will, of course, answer any lingering questions you might have.
We need to personally discern the admonition to act with compassion.
What does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to work humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8).
We prayerfully look forward to the April 2, 2017 Resolution Action Meeting.
Skyline UCC Moderator