Special UUCB Message                         Monday, February 27, 2017
  Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
   Congregation founded 1949
   LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation since 1995
   Green Sanctuary since 2007

Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World

Re: Special Congregational Meeting 
March 9th, 5:30 p.m. on Sanctuary Congregation.

To savor the world or save it?
To save, one must serve
To savor, one must save
The one will not stand without the other.

--Richard Gilbert

Dear Members and Friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington,

We are living in unprecedented times in this country.

On Thursday, March 9 th , at 5:30pm, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington will hold a special congregational meeting here in our Meeting Room to vote on whether or not to become a "Sanctuary Congregation." Please remember that you must be a book-signed Member of the congregation to be eligible to vote.

Nearly fifty Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States have declared that they will be sanctuary for individuals facing deportation. Choosing to become a "Sanctuary Congregation" carries with it a significant commitment, as a statement of public witness and action. For more specific information, we strongly urge you to register for this evening's webinar 
(Monday, February 27)   http://uurise.org/event/path-toward-sanctuary-practical-guide-webinar/   This webinar will also be recorded for future viewing.

To understand our congregation's current exploration of Sanctuary, please watch the archived video of this past Sunday's worship service (February 26, 9:15 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. at http://uubloomington.yourstreamlive.com).

We will update the following webpage with more information in the coming days: http://www.uubloomington.org/becoming-a-sanctuary-congregation/.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information and how we are uniquely situated for this role. We are hopeful that we will have many of our 493 members in attendance at our March 9 th meeting, needing at least 50 members present to have a quorum. Taking this step is not a fait accompli , nor is it a decision handed to us by another entity. As is our tradition, decisions about a congregation's ministry are made by the members of the congregation, using the democratic process and the employment of personal conscience.

While there are many aspects to consider and no easy answers, our Unitarian Universalist faith encourages us to approach this topic with compassion. Our first resolution supporting compassionate immigration reform dates back to 1963; and in 2013, members of our faith approved a statement of conscience regarding immigration ( http://www.uua.org/immigration ).

Whereas Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had previously prioritized deportation of certain populations (for instance, people convicted of felonies and/or violent crimes), new policies have directed agents to broaden the scope of who can be deported, speed up the deportation process, reduce privacy protections for immigrants, and create more detention centers and employ more agents for enforcement.

Historically, schools, hospitals, and faith communities have been considered "sensitive" locations (or "sanctuaries"), where ICE would not forcefully enter to detain an individual.

For more information or clarification, please contact the Board of Directors or Ministers.

In faith,

Masthead photo by John Woodcock. Snow geese and Venus, Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.
Unitarian Universalist Church