Arizona Churches Join the Sanctuary Movement
Check out this story from this week’s edition of Ministry Briefing!
Congregations throughout Tucson, AZ have stepped up efforts to provide sanctuary to women and children fleeing gang violence throughout Central America. This comes in opposition to federal efforts to step up deportations. One pastor asked whether someone would turn away a mother holding a small child asking for help.Click here to read the full story. Why this story matters for church leaders: Recognizing that many women and children face life and death situations in Central America due to gang violence, clergy in California and Arizona are choosing civil disobedience in order to protect these undocumented immigrants. This prompts churches to ask important questions:
- When should churches choose to break the law? Some pastors have spoken up in favor of pastors breaking IRS rules in order to endorse a political candidate. Is this a situation that warrants a similar kind of defiance to the law?
- Does your church have contact with undocumented immigrants? Some churches have started ministries that provide help with paperwork and legal representation to immigrants. Is your church in a region where this kind of advocacy and assistance could be needed?
- Do you have a policy for helping people in need? Whether or not someone is an immigrant, every church should have clear policies and point people for situations that involve people in need of help such as food, shelter, or rent assistance. Don’t put the burden of a decision on your office staff. Give them clear guidelines they can follow so that they know exactly what to do.
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