A Movement Led by the Metropolitan New York Synod

MILWALKEE, August 7, 2019 — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), today at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly declared itself a Sanctuary Denomination, dedicated to serving and supporting the protection of migrants in communities nationwide. The ELCA is the first mainstream church body in America to declare itself a sanctuary denomination. The movement was spearheaded by the Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), one of the 65 synods of the ELCA.

“Christians have offered sanctuary for two thousand years, continuing an ancient biblical practice in which cities and houses of worship provided refuge and asylum for people fleeing injustice,” stated Christopher Vergara, who serves as chairperson of MNYS’s AMMPARO/Sanctuary Ministry. “Beginning in the 1980s, the Sanctuary Movement was a faith-based initiative to protect Central American refugees fleeing civil war and seeking safety in the United States. Today, the New Sanctuary Movement is a revived effort to protect undocumented migrants from needless jailing procedures and deportation, and to address the dire situation within the Department of Health and Human Services that has resulted in the stripping of services to refugees and unaccompanied children.”

Telling people that God loves them is good theology.
Showing people that [God] loves them is what transforms the world.
—Jim Palmer

God be with us as we seek to live out our discipleship in the world.

Last week I attended my first ever Churchwide Assembly, held this year in Milwaukee. It was a first-hand experience of the Church at work. We did a lot of work, some of it difficult, some of it a bit tedious but all of it important.

I could not be more proud of the Metro NY Synod delegation! Among the sixteen of us, there was consistent, outspoken witness for the sake of the poor, the marginalized, the hurting, and the victimized in our society and in our world. Again and again, members of our synod approached the microphone to advocate for justice, rooted in the gospel and our understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Not only did we speak of God’s love, but we sought to show it, and to encourage the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to show it, in order to transform the world.

Now through the end of May, we will be collecting food items in support of FAMILY of New Paltz's "Summer Snack Project."
Many kids who receive meal support though the school year are left food insecure over the summer, and this project helps address this challenge. Join in us in "Sharing Christ's Welcome" through Redeemer by helping those in need!
Food donations may be dropped off in the Narthex.

Answering the call to take care of the stranger among us, the Metropolitan New York Synod declared itself a sanctuary synod and a welcoming synod in the ELCA´'s AMMPARO Network. The word “amparo,” in Spanish, means the protection of a living creature from suffering or damage.

The ELCA’s strategy to Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) was envisioned after witnessing the plight of children who were, and continue to be forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. At its March meeting, the synod council once again answered a call to care for migrant minors in our synod, by establishing our synod’s Sanctuary/AMMPARO Ministry.

In 2018, our facilities incurred water damage from ice damming. This latest incident is just one of many leaks that the middle portion of God’s House at Redeemer has experienced over the years, and despite numerous attempts to repair the roof, the leaks continue. As of this year the shingles on the impacted section of the roof have essentially reached the end of their useful life. Since the shingles need to be replaced and we continue to experience periodic leaks on this part of the roof, it was decided that, along with the shingle replacement, we needed to address the underlying issues that contribute to the water leaks and find a permanent solution.