Refugee, Immigration, Sanctuary Task Force
For many years, St. Mark’s has been a champion voice for Social Justice. As the political climate has been churning around refugees and deportation, St. Mark’s leadership began to consider how to best be supportive. At the March 2017 Church Council meeting, a group of individuals expressed interest in exploring what it would mean to become a Sanctuary Congregation. This group was appointed as a Task Force and has taken numerous steps to inform and survey the congregation, including a town hall meeting, four round table discussions, two Rapid Response Observer Trainings, and an Immigration/DACA and Legal Aid Workshop. As of October 2017, the Church Council has approved the task force recommendation to become a Level 2 Sanctuary Church. This page is devoted to keeping the issues current and providing resources for your perusal. Monthly reports have been included in the July and August issues of Markings.
For more information please see attached documents:
Sanctuary Congregation Q & A
Bishop Carcano’s Statement
California and DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) Facts
Sanctuary for All Statement
and links to:
CBS coverage on local churches interest in Sanctuary Congregation
United Methodist Church Book of Resolutions
City Council Meeting Minutes from May 4, 2017
Poor Health Care in Immigrant Detention
Recap of August 2, Rapid Response Legal Observer Training
On August 2, Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT) presented a Rapid Response Legal Observer workshop at St. Mark’s. Over thirty people, mostly from St. Mark’s, were there to hear what Gabby Trejo, Edwin Valdez and their team had to share. Participants were instructed in what to do when Immigration and Customs Enforcement is at the door to remove someone for deportation: without obstruction, take notes, take a video or photos. Sacramento ACT has a hotline (245-6773) for calls from people who are under threat of deportation. ACT is also building a team of responders who could show up very quickly to document an ICE event. Several people from the workshop submitted applications to be part of the team of responders.
St. Mark’s Refugee/Immigration/Sanctuary Task Force will hold an Immigration Workshop on Saturday, September 30 from 8:30 to 1:30. Legal service will be offered for those needing assistance completing citizenship applications, DACA applications, or notarized guardianship papers for their US citizen minor children. Others topics of interest will also be available.
Citizen Workshop on Saturday, November 11, 10:00am-3:00pm.
“First they came for the communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.”
Martin Niemöller, German theologian