At the General Assembly in New Orleans all the ministers sang a song together and it has stuck with me. At the onset of many UU groups becoming Sanctuary Congregations it is sung about immigration. At GA we sang it for each other when both the presidents of the Association and the Ministers Association stepped down and we all felt a bit off balance. It gives me a fuller, richer feeling about any work we proclaim by becoming a sanctuary for others.
Make us aware we / are a sanctuary / each made holy, loved right through
With Thanksgiving, we are living / Sanctuary anew
—hear the melody at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJhIyqu77Dg
It is based on a Christian piece by Randy Scruggs,
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, / pure and holy, tried and true;
with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living / sanctuary for you.
The new words open our hearts for each of us, regardless of our beliefs, to be a sanctuary for anybody in need of safe harbor.
Lately I have been humming it to myself frequently as I silently pray.
“Would that I be a sanctuary for any person who is a survivor of assault, especially women, who finds herself triggered by recent news stories.
Would that I be a sanctuary for any man who is examining his past and experiencing new thoughts about being an ally for the women in his life.
Would that I be a sanctuary for any person struggling with depression, loneliness, anxiety, anything that causes them to feel less than loved right through.
Would that we be and do whatever is needed for our undocumented friends, neighbors, and family members.
Would that we as a people of faith live our commitment to sanctuary in all of its forms with joyful and earnest Thanksgiving.
I invite you to spend this month of October seeking to find times and places where you are a sanctuary, and those times and places where you seek sanctuary. May we be in community, living sanctuary anew.
In peace and love,