On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, members of First Universalist Church voted unanimously to approve a resolution for a radical vision of sanctuary—that we will act to support and protect those who are increasingly targeted because of their marginalized status in the U.S. We will be doing this by providing physical sanctuary if necessary, offering space for organizing, and/or showing up in solidarity when asked. This commitment to Sanctuary and Resistance is a powerful and tangible way to act out our faith and Stand on the Side of Love.
The text of the resolution is below:
Resolution Regarding Sanctuary Church
Unanimously passed at a Special Meeting of the Congregation on February 19, 2017
Whereas, the principles of Unitarian Universalism call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to seek a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and
Whereas, our Unitarian Universalist roots remind us of our moral responsibility to welcome and care for the immigrant, the stranger, and the most vulnerable among us; and
Whereas, in June 2015 the congregation of First Universalist Church approved by resolution and publicly declared its commitment to continue the fight for Racial Justice through education, advocacy, self-reflection, and relationship-building; and
Whereas, in 1984, in response to actions of the United States government in Central America, First Universalist declared itself to be a Sanctuary Church and provided temporary housing and refuge to several Central Americans fleeing terrorism in their home countries; and
Whereas, President Donald Trump’s issuance of an Executive Order on “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” on January 25, 2017, attempting to ban immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, demonstrates that the President intends to carry out a campaign to discriminate against Muslims, immigrants, and refugees;
Therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of First Universalist Church, publicly declare our intent to be a Sanctuary Church, to provide such support and refuge to immigrants, regardless of their legal status, as the Senior Minister deems appropriate, with periodic reports by the Senior Minister to the Board of Trustees regarding actions taken pursuant to this resolution. And further, that we dedicate ourselves to educate and activate our congregation, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against discrimination toward any and all marginalized people.