Statement on Sanctuary

HMC 2017 Statement on Sanctuary

Whereas…We are a community of faith committed to following Christ’s teachings to welcome all, without precondition, especially those who are downtrodden, forgotten, and despised – the weak, the hungry, the stranger in our midst (Matthew 25) and to “act justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6).

Whereas… From the 16th through the 20th centuries our people, Anabaptists and Mennonites, fleeing religious persecution, wars, and economic oppression, were welcomed and found safety and freedom in the United States, Canada, Catherine the Great’s Russia, Paraguay, Mexico, and other places.  The experience of refugee status and transnational migrations is found in our stories, songs, foodways, and Christian beliefs.

Whereas… Informed by this history and commitment to Christ’s teachings, the Hyattsville Mennonite Church, declared itself a Sanctuary Church during the 1980s. We stood in solidarity with our siblings in Christ who welcomed and harbored those fleeing wars and oppression in Central America.

Whereas… We have affirmed a Safe Congregations commitment, adopted in 2013, which states, “We profess that each person in the midst of our church community should have the assurance that our church is a safe place, without fear or threat of violence. We are committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy environment for all individuals who enter our doors.”

Therefore….We build on these commitments as we walk today with refugees, migrants and those undocumented, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and those of other faiths,  believers and non-believers, and renew our commitment to be, once again, a Sanctuary Church.