After worship Sunday, August 25, 15 St. Paul people gathered to be blessed conversation partners. Grounded in Philippians 2:1-11, we gave and received what was in our hearts and guts about the ELCA’s declaration that it’s a “sanctuary church body.”
Most, if not all, shared the same question: “What does this mean? What do we mean by ‘sanctuary’?”
This core question led us to others. If sanctuary is about shelter and sharing, how effective are St. Paul’s and other local ministries with hungry and homeless people? How do other organizations and movements define ‘sanctuary’? What is the ELCA (including congregations, synods, and related service organizations) already doing to serve migrants and immigrants? What can we learn from the Lutheran World Federation? Who are our local recent-immigrant neighbors? What are their gifts and needs? What are local schools, the Sisters of St. Francis, or other neighbors doing?
Tolerating the ambiguity of all these questions—and all the emotions surrounding them—wasn’t easy for everyone, myself foremost. But it’s what we committed to do. We trusted each other. We trusted God. In the end, we were grateful, even if we still are feeling our way in the dark.
Read: Consider these “talking points” about the declaration. https://download.elca.org/…/ELCA_SanctuaryDenomination_Talk…
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
715 South Third Street
Clinton, IA 52732
(at the foot of the south bridge)