In the last few months, in the midst of a new presidential administration, there has been a reactivated movement for faith communities to become sanctuaries for immigrants who are facing deportation. While faith communities cry out for inclusion, justice and an embodied love, we hear more and more stories of vandalism against Muslim and Jewish communities. Near to us, Fourth Universalist Society in New York had swastikas carved into their door.
Add to this the conversation in our own denomination about racism after a recent hiring completed our regional leads, now composed only of white ministers. Unitarian Universalists across the country are grappling with understanding white supremacy as defined by dismantling racism work, creating spaces of healing after a week of painful exchanges and figuring out what is next.
At the core of each of these conversation is the meaning of sanctuary, or safe space. How do our faith communities both challenge us to live a life of deeper purpose and meaning while also provide a place of safe space? For some, safe space means not engaging in painful topics and for others, those same topics are the ones that make our sanctuaries an unsafe space. Creating sanctuary in the 21st century United States is no small thing. It is a spiritual discipline to ground ourselves in our deepest values, discern from a self-differentiated space what a sanctuary for all could mean, and then to implement with actions that are always risky- regardless of who is in ‘in charge.’ Declaring ourselves a sanctuary-whether it be for immigrants facing deportation or any other seeker who finds us is an arduous task.
At Beacon, it is one, I believe we are ready to engage more deeply.
So, this month, join us for a serious of educational and engagement sessions exploring exactly what sanctuary means for our community, and how, we may choose to live its meaning.
We hope you can join us for one of the following sessions on “Sanctuary Congregations:”
-Sunday April 30th at 10:30-11:15 AM and 12:15-1:00 PM
-Sunday May 7th 6:30-8:00 PM
-Tuesday May 16th 7:00-8:30PM
In faith of who we are and abiding hope for who we can yet be together,