Following the May adoption of our Sanctuary Resolution (and with our new status now appearing on the Albany UU website), we are anxious to issue a formal public declaration that we have become a Sanctuary Congregation. But we need to be organized and fully prepared to actually offer assistance when it is needed, and there is work to do to get there.
We have reached out to almost 40 other congregations in the area, and a good number have expressed interest in partnering with us. We hope to hold an organizational meeting of partner congregations in September, where we can formalize a coalition that will speak on immigration issues with a loud and unified voice. We also need to establish a dependable team of volunteers from the partnering congregations that will agree to protocols and stand ready to provide material support to persons in need.
As for the possibility of offering physical sanctuary, our partner the Friends Meeting House hopes to have its renovated guest apartment ready in September, and there are other potential partners with available guest space.
In July we co-sponsored a successful and well-publicized forum with a panel of refugees with remarkable stories, concurrent with Opera Saratoga’s staging of The Consul, an opera about the immigrant experience. We intend to work to build trust with the immigrant community as well as continue to educate ourselves about immigration and sanctuary issues. Stay tuned!