PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST HAS FORMALLY JOINED THE NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT

Adopted and Affirmed by the whole Congregation in its annual meeting Sunday, April 2, 2017:

As people of faith and conscience, Peace United Church of Christ pledges to resist the newly elected presidential administration’s proposals to target and summarily deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and to discriminate against marginalized communities. In keeping with our core values and Christian practice, we offer our church as a place of sanctuary and refuge for those targeted by hate, or for undocumented persons unjustly subjected to deportation actions, and we will work alongside our friends, families and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.

Looking to the example of Jesus and the ancient traditions of our Christian faith, we are called to practice extravagant welcome, evangelical courage, merciful justice, and loving-kindness. Honoring the history of our United Church of Christ, which recognized houses of worship as refuge for the runaway slave, the conscientious objector, and the Central American refugee fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, we are called to serve and include neighbors, refugees and all persons in need.

In this spirit, Peace United Church of Christ now joins the New Sanctuary Movement, growing once again among communities of faith standing in solidarity with immigrants and marginalized communities facing immoral, unjust, or discriminatory immigration law enforcement policies. As people of faith and conscience, we will take civil initiative grounded in a moral imperative to embody principles of human rights and dignity, and we will resist harmful law enforcement practices that undermine due process and lead to racial profiling and civil discrimination.

We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear have created an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new administration has not only pledged to criminalize, detain and deport undocumented people, but to target Muslims in ways that will tear families and communities apart.

In signing this pledge, we dedicate ourselves to educating and activating our congregation, to amplifying and responding to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speaking out against sanctions oppressing any and all marginalized people. We are ready to accompany those facing deportation and discrimination. We remain open to the possibility, when appropriate and sanctioned by our own Church Council, of offering our own church as a physical refuge for targeted immigrants with legal and spiritual support.

In addition, we will support those answering the call to provide sanctuary at churches, schools, hospitals, college campuses, community centers and family homes. We will work with partner organizations to create sacred spaces of sanctuary and refuge wherever needed. Should Peace United not be able to make space in our own facility, we will offer our energies and support to churches and organizations that can and do.

—Jim Weller
Peace United Church of Christ

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