On October 29, 2017, UUCB voted to become a Sanctuary Host Congregation for immigrants facing deportation, in partnership with the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition. Our Sanctuary effort is ongoing, and this page may be updated frequently.
To directly support immigrants facing deportation, please give to the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition
To support UUCB’s building costs, give here.
Questions? Email our Sanctuary Now team at email@example.com
Our Unitarian Universalist good news is that there is a transforming love big enough and generous enough to capture the hearts and minds of the people. We are transformed by that love and called to offer it to others. Courageous love transforms the world. Our Seven Principles guide us to treat everyone fairly, kindly and with respect; establish justice, equity and compassion in human relations; create a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and respect the interconnected web of life of which we are a part. Providing Sanctuary to undocumented immigrants is one way we live our faith. For us, it is a religious practice.
What Is a Sanctuary Congregation?
A Sanctuary Congregation provides safe space to those who are victims of unjust laws. It is one of the most ancient traditions practiced by people of faith. The ancient Hebrews allowed temples and even whole cities to declare themselves places of refuge for persons accused of a crime they may not have committed. In the late Roman Empire, fugitives could find refuge in the precincts of Christian churches. During the medieval period, churches in England were recognized sanctuaries, offering safe haven for a temporary period to accused wrongdoers. In the United States, the first practical provision of anything like sanctuary occurred in the years before the Civil War when the Underground Railroad came into being to help slaves flee the South and find safety in many congregations throughout the country. In the 1980s, the Sanctuary Movement was born to remind the United States government of its own asylum and refugee laws, which it was not following when it came to the refugees of Central America.
Drawing on this tradition, communities of faith have once again seen the need to declare Sanctuary for immigrants as the rise of deportations continues to separate families. As a religious institution, we are offering Sanctuary as a religious practice done within the confines of Federal “Sensitive Locations” Policy. It is a key part of our religious exercise. When it is offered, there is no intent to hide a person’s whereabouts from federal authorities or to transport the person. We are open and honest with the authorities regarding our activities and intentions and the fact that we feel we are performing our religious duty. For these reasons, it is a legal act that offers courageous love to a vulnerable population in our country.
UUCB’s Sanctuary Status
Since 2010, UUCB has used a faith-based model of action and reflection to address immigration issues in the Boulder area and beyond. The Immigration Ministry Team led us in spiritually supported education and non-violent direct actions like vigils at the ICE Detention Center. They led us in companioning local immigrant families and following their voices to advocate for immigration reform. All the while, the Immigration Ministry helped us reflect on the work: How are we being challenged and changed? How does our faith support us in the work?
Becoming a Sanctuary Congregation is a natural next step for us.
During the summer of 2017, we began a thorough discernment process that involved the entire congregation and other stakeholders. On October 29, 2017, the congregation voted (90% in favor) to approve this resolution:
We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Colorado (UUCB), in accordance with the Seven Principles of our Unitarian Universalist Association and our mission of “Actively promoting Unitarian Universalist values here and in the wider world and sustaining these efforts through our culture of social justice and generosity”, hereby declare that when the opportunity arises UUCB will serve as a host sanctuary congregation.
We understand that, in collaboration with the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, a host sanctuary congregation will provide an undocumented immigrant with a safe space for their body and spirit while openly resisting deportation, allowing the immigrant to retain the support of their family and community and to have a platform to publicly proclaim their prophetic message of a just and humane immigration policy. We commit to shared decision-making with the immigrant guest throughout this process.
Please Note: We are not accepting furniture or item donations. While we appreciate generosity, dropping off items at the church without prior approval is considered illegal dumping. What we need and appreciate most right now are monetary donations. Please follow the links above.