Given the wonderful turn-out of volunteers – thanks to everyone who has already said “Yes!” – the St. James’s Vestry has just approved the Anti-Oppression Team’s request that we join the Harvard Square Sanctuary Coalition, 9 other faith communities – Christian and Jewish – supporting people under threat of deportation. This includes providing physical sanctuary at University Lutheran.  There is already a family in residence, seeking sanctuary from deportation:

Mindful of our sacred calling and moral duty to welcome the stranger, protect the vulnerable, and accompany the oppressed, we have signed the Covenant and commenced training with University Lutheran and the Coalition!


       Accompaniment.  I agree to being physically present at the Sanctuary if there are guests, in a pair with another St. James’s team member, up to one 8 hour shift per month.

       Food.  I agree to provide either groceries or cooked food for guests during my shift, according to guest preference.

       Filming.  Should immigration authorities arrive with a warrant, I will not stop them from apprehending the guests but I will video it on my phone.

       Training.  I agree to attend a training session for Sanctuary volunteers.  Several will be held at University Lutheran in coming months.

       Background Check.  I agree to undergo a CORI/SORI background check for the security of Sanctuary guests.

       Accountability.  If I am unable to fulfill all, or part of my obligation, I agree to find another St. James’s Sanctuary Team member to fulfill it.

If your heart and mind and soul and strength are saying, “YES I WOULD LIKE TO BE A ST. JAMES’S SANCTUARY TEAM VOLUNTEER!” please communicate your interests and information (name, address, email address, cell phone number) to your St. James’s Sanctuary Team Chairs: Sam Perlo-Freedman & Michelle Holmes Or fill out the form below and bring it to church on Sunday, to make your commitment!

Perhaps you long to be involved but you do not feel you can volunteer at the level required above. There’s still work to be done! We also need two other forms of support. (We hope that Sanctuary Team Volunteers can ALSO sometimes participate in the activities below, as well as individuals who cannot make the commitment to be a Sanctuary volunteer.)

-        We need those who can help fundraise or donate to our Sanctuary Team costs for food etc. If you wish to donate, please make out a check (separate from your pledge!) to St. James’s Episcopal Church and write, “Sanctuary Team” on the memo line. Fundraising efforts will begin in the fall.

-        In deportation hearings, people of faith in the courtroom can lead to judicial leniency. Might you sometimes be able to participate in actions like court appearance for someone threatened with deportation?

-        St. James’s may well invite participation in advocacy efforts on behalf of immigrants generally. Might you be willing to be a part of advocating for a more generous policy toward the undocumented in city, state or nation?

If your answer to any of this is “YES!” please be in touch with Sam and Michelle at the emails above. Or fill out the form below and bring it to church on Sunday, to make your commitment!