Beginning the Sanctuary Discernment Process

The UUCB Sanctuary Now Ministry has formed to assist members of UUCB in discerning our willingness to become a host sanctuary church. The team consists of people from Immigration Ministry and Building Use.  Our job is not to convince you, but to lead you in a process of discernment. The goal is to use our Covenant of Respectful Relationships as the cornerstone.


What is Sanctuary and Hosting?

Sanctuary is a way to be in solidarity with the undocumented in our community by creating safe spaces. Through the Sanctuary Movement, our church can affirm our commitment to justice. When our church declares itself a Sanctuary, we are willing to engage in welcoming undocumented people, advocating to stop deportations and physically sheltering an immigrant in danger of immediate deportation.


An offer of physical sanctuary is a way to fight individual cases, advocate to stop deportations and keep families together. It is a powerful witness to justice and a concrete way to live our faith. It is a decision that requires thorough preparation and a clear discernment process by our congregation.


It also requires dedication on the part of any person entering sanctuary, because for them the experience is similar to “house arrest”. They cannot leave our church grounds without risk of arrest. Because of this UUCB will have the help of supporting congregations in the Boulder, Louisville & Lafayette area. We are not alone in this discernment commitment.


Overview of the Sanctuary Discernment process


First of all this will not be a quick process, we will take several months to engage each other in conversation.


  1. Introductory Forum– August 27, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. This forum will include the Sanctuary Now Ministry, Representatives from the Denver/Boulder Sanctuary Coalition and a local attorney discussing things to consider if we offer physical sanctuary.
  2. Meetings with UUCB Committees & Affinity Groups– September. Sanctuary Now Ministry is committed to coming to you. We will reach out to all Affinity Groups to attend a meeting to discuss in more detail what this means for ourselves and our church.
  3. Follow-up Forum – Oct. 8, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. This forum will address any questions that have developed in the September meetings.
  4. Sanctuary Now Gatherings – scheduled Oct 12-22. Small gatherings open to anyone who wants to express concerns, get questions answered and inquire about how to support.
  5. Congregational Vote – Oct 29, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Sanctuary Now Ministry looks forward to embarking on this discernment process with you, our UUCB Congregation.


Jenny Fitt-Peaster and Mary Dineen – Co-chairs