On April 9, 2017, members of our congregation voted overwhelmingly to join the growing movement of faith communities working to protect immigrants facing unfair deportation by offering sanctuary to people who are at risk of being deported.
Several congregations have asked us about the process we followed to make this important congregational decision, and we are glad to share any information that might be helpful. To further understand some of the deliberations that went into our discernment process, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that Rev. Molly Housh Gordon provided before the congregational vote. See also Rev. Dottie Mathews’ Sept. 24, 2017 sermon, “Being Sanctuary” (PDF • audio).
Members of our Sanctuary Team are active participants with the Faith Voices of Missouri Sanctuary Network and with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Immigration Justice efforts, and in that work, we are finding many ways to offer care and support to immigrant friends and neighbors across Missouri. Here are some of the actions we are taking:
- Helping to organize “Know Your Rights” training sessions in this region
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to ICE check-ins
- Coordinating with legal assistance providers
- Providing financial and other support to recently arrived asylum seekers and their local sponsors
Two years after UUCC’s declaration as a Sanctuary congregation, we joined in helping to sponsor an asylum-seeking family from Honduras – Edler and Yadira and their daughters Gaby and Alejandra. Read about our first fundraiser to benefit them.
In September 2018, we held a Ritual of Dedication for our newly-installed shower to better equip our building in the event we are called upon to provide shelter for someone as they pursue legal solutions to their immigration status.
The plight of our immigrant and refugee friends is an ever-more urgent concern, and if you would like to join our efforts on their behalf, please let us know. Our team currently consists of:
- Co-Leaders: Allie Gassman and David Gibbons
- Barbara Boshard
- Joe Donaldson
- Jeremy Duke
- Anna Lingo
- Rev. Dottie Mathews
- Ruth Milledge
- Caya Tanski-French
- Kim Wade