Sanctuary Statement

The Sanctuary Huddle has created a sanctuary statement that states what we believe and what we will do. Thank you to the diligent work of those who worked on this.

Sanctuary Statement

We are St. John’s Presbyterian Church [PC(USA)] and

we choose welcome,
we choose human dignity, and
we choose Sanctuary,
regardless of citizenship status.

We commit to continuously make our community a more safe, open, and real place for all, regardless of circumstance, including citizenship.

We believe this because scripture, and the witness of the Spirit, consistently confirm that we are to treat the visitor in our midst with love, just as we would be treated ourselves.

Our world is full of neighbors. Some next door, some on social media, and some who are unseen, and often avoided.

We believe loving our neighbors may take many forms as we humbly share the journey.

We make this statement in opposition to the extraordinary, systematic and unconstitutional discrimination and cruelty towards migrants and refugees, as a witness before God that not all are complicit in this oppression.

In keeping with these beliefs, the St. John’s community will:

Advocacy

  • Educate ourselves about the current news, issues, and needs of the undocumented, migrants, and refugees.
  • Advocate for fairness, justice, and resistance when necessary, with a larger goal of peaceful coexistence.
  • Engage in dialogue with those with whom we agree and disagree.

Accompaniment & Hospitality

  • Be a loving presence of witness.
  • Reach out with hospitality to our neighbors, both within and outside of St. John’s.
  • Provide financial support to agencies/institutions that provide direct physical sanctuary
  • Provide food and resources for basic needs.
  • Be open to having our lives changed through relationship with our neighbors.

Networks of Protection & Rapid Response

  • Be open to having our lives changed through relationship with our neighbors.
  • Train our community to know our legal rights and open our Church for training opportunities.
  • NOT ask anyone their citizenship or immigration status. For those who choose to share their life story, we will respectfully listen with open, nonjudgmental hearts.
  • NOT cooperate with or assist investigations, surveillance, or information gathering unless compelled by a valid court order.

Prayerful Discernment

  • Work with other Sanctuary Churches, faith-based and non-faith based organizations.
  • Regularly meet in dialogue and prayer to be open to God’s call to move in new directions, using God’s gifts in each of us, to best serve our neighbors.

With God’s help, we strive to walk humbly alongside our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, being open to hearing and seeing them as God sees all of us.

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