First Parish Votes for Sanctuary
By Will Rico, Published on December 14, 2017
This past Sunday, December 10, First Parish convened a congregational meeting to consider two articles related to sanctuary. The first article proposed that First Parish become a level 2 sanctuary congregation (“sanctuary supporting congregation”). The second article proposed adding First Parish to the list of Unitarian Universalist Sanctuary Movement Pledge Congregations & Organizations. Both articles passed unanimously.
With over 90 members in attendance, we well surpassed the quorum requirement, which was one of several signs of enthusiasm from parishioners for this initiative. The sanctuary task force of the Immigrant Ministry was heartened by this show of support and appreciates all the coordination and hard work that Gail Hedges (Parish President), the Parish Committee, Reverend Catie, and others put into making the vote a success.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to share in this discernment with the parish body, and for both the words of support and tough questions that we received from parishioners along the way. It was beautiful to see different aspects of the church come together and make this milestone possible.
Now, the next phase begins. The Sanctuary Task Force will investigate which level 1 sanctuary congregations we can partner with. Once a suitable level 1 is identified, we will present that congregation and the parameters of a supporting relationship to the Parish Committee for approval. Once those steps are completed, you will start hearing about volunteer and support opportunities. In the meantime, we welcome anyone who wants to get involved or has questions or ideas to contact a member of the Immigrant Ministry.
Ultimately, the decision on Sunday was an act of faith, faith in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and faith in the love and strength of this church to continue to put that belief into action.