Since President Trump has been in office, ICE reports that arrests are up 40%. However, the president’s policy has also inspired a renewed resistance, of which our denomination – the UCC, and Skyline are a part.
On Sunday, January 21st Skyline Community Church, UCC unanimously voted to become a sanctuary congregation to advocate, support, and stand with immigrants facing urgent situations.
As an inclusive, progressive Christian community, Skyline upholds the sacredness of each person, and advocates for the rights of immigrants. Over the past few years, volunteers from Skyline have provided education, advocacy, donations, and accompaniment to immigrant families in need. Our hope is to offer even more support in the future.
The most recent threat about an ICE sweep in Northern California is part of a larger anti-immigrant movement, rooted in xenophobia and racism. 800,000 young people with DACA could also be at risk for deportation and separation from their families. Immigrants are a vital part of our communities, and the breaking up of immigrant families is one of the most critical social justice issues of our time.
By voting for this resolution, Skyline denounces this latest threat against the well-being of our communities. While Skyline is not offering physical sanctuary, if the threatened ICE sweep is implemented, our Justice and Witness Team is committed to finding ways in which we can offer support to protect the families whose safety and well-being is being endangered. Now is the time to come together and act on our sacred values of compassion and justice.
At our best, as followers of Jesus, we are supporting a countercultural vision of our world, which Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven. At our best, we are supporting the thriving of a real sanctuary. We are a sanctuary for people of different genders, races, backgrounds and ethnicities who are rightly afraid today. We are a sanctuary for all those bonded to them in love. We are a sanctuary for change makers. So many of us in this community are working in one way or another for the most vulnerable and for the delicate ecosystems that sustain life itself. From my vantage point as a minister, seeing the outpouring of energy and commitment from all of you in recent months, I know that this congregation is a powerful force for good in this world.
We lift up a different image of God – God as compassion, God as love, God as friend, God as the power of liberation for the oppressed; God who became one of us, born as a refugee, and born in a barn stable much like the story of so many undocumented people in this world, and in this country; born as a nobody from nowhere, whom we remember and we follow 2,000 years later.
Thank you Skyline, for your faith in action. I invite you to read this article about ways Skyline is already taking action for inspiration.
With love, Pastor Laurie, Nancy Taylor, Mirtha Langewis-Ninayahuar and the Justice and Witness Team