Eighteen months after voting to become a sanctuary congregation, Cedar Lane welcomed our first guest into physical sanctuary.
Rosa Gutiérrez López was scheduled for deportation the morning of December 10, 2018. She would have left behind three U.S.-born children and a full life – work, her own church community, friends, and more. Instead, she made the difficult decision to come into sanctuary at Cedar Lane, determined to continue to fight her legal case.
Immediately our Sanctuary Leadership Team sprang into action. Putting the finishing touches on what would be Rosa’s living space and stocking the fridge were first on the list, but they quickly moved on to training volunteers, creating systems for communications, and seeking answers to all the questions we never anticipated.
We are now eleven months in – and Rosa’s three children have joined her in residence at Cedar Lane. Her children’s presence is a blessing. Rosa deeply missed them while they finished the school year in their home town. She is gratified to see them every day – preparing their meals, checking homework, guiding their growth and development.
Cedar Lane congregants and others have stepped up in ways we only hoped for, giving generously of their time, talent, and financial support. But we cannot do this alone.
We are now turning to you, the greater UU community and beyond, to help us support Rosa through this next phase of sanctuary. The costs of sanctuary are more than Cedar Lane can bear alone, and due to the long delays in the immigration court system, we expect our guest and her family will be with us for as long as 18 more months – or perhaps longer.
Can you help us raise $12,500 in the next month?
Your donation will help cover the cost of groceries and personal care items; school supplies; new clothes as the seasons change and Rosa’s children grow; educational outings and fun activities for the kids; background checks for volunteers; and out of pocket healthcare expenses, as well as other professional support for the family as they navigate this new reality.
Meeting our goal will help ensure our sanctuary program is on strong financial footing for whatever may come — and however long it may take.
Thank you. Thank you for your support of Rosa, her family, and Cedar Lane. Thank you for your commitment to building a more just world.
Our partners: We would not have been able to sustain our sanctuary work to date without the support of hundreds of volunteers who give thousands of hours of their time each month. In addition to Cedar Lane members, many come from religious institutions that are members of Congregation Action Network, a group of 70+ congregations in the DC/MD/VA area that is committed to providing support and solidarity to our neighbors who fear being detained, deported, or profiled. CAN has provided trusted guidance to Cedar Lane’s lay leaders and staff.
Read more: Rosa’s story has garnered media coverage from across the globe. You can read some of the most comprehensive stories here:
- NPR, September 1, 2019
- Telemundo, February 12, 2019 (video, in Spanish)
- Washington Post, December 12, 2018
Anonymous12/18/2019Learned of this campaign through the Bethel Social Justice Committee and will keep Rosa in my prayers!$15.00
12/16/2019Delighted to help Rosa and CLUUC!$50.00
12/16/2019Rosa and her kids are amazing glad to support!$100.00