Sanctuary Task Force (Grupo Operativo Santuario)
On May 21, 2017, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio voted to become a sanctuary congregation adopting the pledge:
As people of faith and people of conscience, we pledge to resist any governmental policy proposals to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to discriminate against marginalized communities. We will commit our energy and abilities to the tasks of creating sanctuary in our church and throughout our city for those targeted by hate and engendering safety for all who are caught in the fray. We will work alongside friends, families and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.
A broad and ambitious pledge, our congregation is engaging in turning our ethical commitment to sanctuary into action. The First UU Grupo Operativo Santuario is tasked with implementing and defining sanctuary work in our congregation. As defined by our congregation, sanctuary encompasses a spectrum of actions beyond providing physical sanctuary.
In July 2017, the Sanctuary Task Force identified goals to towards fulfilling the pledge, using suggestions and ideas offered in congregational meetings throughout the pledge process: Create a safe environment for undocumented people in our neighborhood and city; Create a safe environment on church campus; and Prevent deportation and detention through resistance in preparation with communities.
Task force members have met with local law enforcement and community leaders to encourage policies welcoming to immigrants in our communities. The task force is actively engaged in working with other faith based groups to build a network of Sanctuary spaces in San Antonio. Some of our partners include:
– San Antonio Sanctuary Network
– Interfaith Welcome Coalition
– City of San Antonio Faith Based Initiative Immigration Working Group
Additionally, First UU congregants and task force members have been trained to provide accompaniment for:
– Immigration Court Appointments
– ICE Check Ins
– Reproductive Health Appointments
– Bond payments
Task force members provide “Know Your Rights” presentations on campus to educate congregants and have been trained to provide “Know Your Rights” presentations to community members.
The First UU Sanctuary Task Force meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7 PM in the Darwin Room of the Thoreau Building. All are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information, or just come and join us.