Articles and Reports on Sanctuary

Beneath each excerpt is a link to the full text and PDF versions of each of these articles or reports.

Our Christian call to care for the strangers in our midst

A reflection by the Rev. Maggie Helwig, December 2012

The Hebrew scriptures are deeply marked by the experience of displacement. The story of the exile of Jacob’s descendents in Egypt, their time of wandering in the desert after being delivered from slavery, and, later, the deportation of a large part of the population of Jerusalem to Babylon, all became part of the self-understanding of the ancient Israelites. These stories of being uprooted and endangered in unfamiliar lands influenced the ethical teaching of the scriptures; frequently, the Israelites are reminded of their obligation to care for the stranger and the exile, ‘for you were strangers in the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:34, Deuteronomy 10:19). Care for the displaced person is a priority in many Old Testament texts, not simply as an act of charity, but out of a sense of identity with the outcast…

Download: Our Christian call to care for the strangers in our midst (2-page pdf)

Sanctuary Task Force Report, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto

May 28, 2009

“Commitment to the larger community and working to bring about positive change is a spiritual practice. We will put our faith into action by initiating and actively supporting a variety of social action projects as a congregation and as individuals. In support of our principles, we will be in the forefront in the wider struggle of justice for all.” (First Unitarian Congregation’s Vision Statement, 2008) …

Download: Sanctuary Task Force Report (11-page pdf)

Pusuma family granted permission to return