Prepared by the Cathedral Congregation of Saint Saviour.
What is Sanctuary?A good definition of sanctuary comes from the recent resolution passed by the diocesan convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles on Dec. 2 and 3, 2016: … that the congregations and institutions of the Diocese of Los Angeles consider becoming Sanctuary Congregations and Institutions, serving as places of welcome, refuge, healing, and other forms of material and pastoral support for those targeted by hate due to immigration status or some perceived status of difference, and that we work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people… http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/episcopal-diocese-becomes-sanctuary-diocese/.
How can I learn more?The New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City is a network of congregations, organizations, and individuals, standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation in order to stay together. For clergy and laity interested in learning how their churches can act as sanctuaries for immigrants, the Coalition is a good place to find information and resources. More Information: http://www.newsanctuarynyc.org/.
Ways churches and individuals can be involved
- Public Witness – The Jericho Walk is a march in silence and prayer around the federal immigration building in downtown Manhattan at 26 Federal Plaza. This building houses the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices and immigration courts, and those in removal proceedings have had to face the immigration judges in court knowing that they’ll be given an order of removal and be deported. Marchers walk in prayerful silence and pause at the front of the building to raise their hands in prayer. Interested in participating? Contact: Ravi Rabgir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition [email protected].
- Accompaniment Program – The program pairs immigrants who are under the threat of deportation with volunteers who accompany them to their required, periodic check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP). Having volunteers accompany immigrants to these meetings provides them with a support structure, helps keep their families informed, and holds immigration official accountable for providing accurate information and due process. Interested in having an Accompaniment training session at your church? Contact: Ravi Rabgir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition [email protected].
- Physical Sanctuary – The New York City New Sanctuary Coalition defines “sanctuary” as encompassing moral, spiritual, psychological, financial, and legal support for people who are about to be detained or deported. Sanctuary has also traditionally meant providing physical shelter, either short-term (hours or days) or longer term (weeks or months) for immigrants who are under imminent threat of deportation. For more information on physical sanctuary: In English, contact: Rev. Donna Schaper at [email protected]. In Spanish, contact: Juan Carlos Ruiz at [email protected]
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