Dear Friends in Christ:
November 27, 2018 is Giving Tuesday.
As this season of Advent approaches, a season of hope and expectation, how appropriate this time is to prayerfully consider supporting the ministries of the United Church of Christ toward those seeking asylum in our midst.
On this past Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection fired teargas on families approaching our US/Mexico border to seek legal asylum. How ironic that this agency would be tasked with this assignment on Christ the King Sunday, a Sunday set aside to mark the ending of ordinary time on our liturgical calendars and usher in the coming reign of Christ. This Christ whose own parents were forced to flee tyrannical leadership in his homeland and seek refuge in a foreign place to keep him safe from harm. It is because Jesus was welcomed as family and granted safety that we who are now called as witnesses of God’s amazing grace can tell a story of redemptive power from birth to resurrection. The welcoming of the stranger remains central to our public witness in the world.
On this Giving Tuesday, we all have the opportunity to multiply the power of our witness by donating to a special fund to support the sanctuary work of the United Church of Christ. All proceeds donated on Giving Tuesday will be designated for the ongoing support of our sanctuary churches and partner organizations providing a welcoming atmosphere to those crossing our borders and to support the ministry to those who have been relocated into UCC churches and homes across the nation. Your past generosity has helped us equip some churches to become sanctuaries, purchase beds and support food and lodging in way stations along the border, provide shelter for those awaiting entry, and sanctuary for those scattered in various cities.
This work is not new nor is the response of the United Church of Christ.
Yet in recent months, targeted efforts to separate families at the border and aggressively deploy military tactics to prevent those who have traveled thousands of miles in search of safety from having a safe place to lay their heads. As long as those in need continue to show up, we will show up to greet them. We cannot all travel to the border or serve as sanctuaries in our cities, but we can all be present with those who are in need and in service there by providing a tax deductible offering through the United Church of Christ on Giving Tuesday. No gift is too large and no gift is too small. As we enter this season of Advent, May our collective offerings provide Hope to the strangers among us.
Associate General Minister
Justice and Local Church Ministries