Sanctuary for Edith

Welcome Edith

Beside our church sign there’s a yard sign that says “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”  These signs were created by a small Mennonite church in Virginia and are now in communities across the country, including Central Ohio, and this neighborhood. 

“Love thy neighbor” is one of the most basic teachings of any faith or even non-faith.  There’s an active component to neighborliness.  As people of faith, we believe that worship of God cannot be separated from how we treat the children of God. 

Three ways to help:
1) Sign this petition urging Senator Portman to advocate ICE on Edith's behalf.
2) Donate money to cover Edith's attorney fees and other needs as she seeks a stay of removal.  
3) Although not a current need, we will post a link here to sign up for donations of food and material resources, if such assistance becomes necessary.

We lament that we frequently fall short of this.

In light of this calling, we have welcomed Edith into sanctuary in our church building.  Edith is a neighbor.  Edith is a mother.  Edith is a child of God who sought refuge in our country many years ago and wishes to stay united with her family in this city that has become her home.

When Mennonites tell our history we remember a time when we too sought sanctuary from violence, and came to places like this country.  Now we are in a position to offer sanctuary. 

We as a congregation have heard Edith’s story.  We’ve been inspired by her courage.  We are compelled to offer our church building as a place of safety and support where she can stay united with her three children and her husband. 

As we do this, we know that we are joining with people of goodwill everywhere who affirm the basic moral law of loving one’s neighbor and protecting the vulnerable.

After she entered sanctuary in our building ICE granted Edith more time to apply for a stay of removal (which would pause her deportation order).  She is currently living back with her family until she hears whether the stay is accepted or rejected.  We continue to support Edith, and our building remains available if she re-enters sanctuary.   

Donations of money, resources, and time are being coordinated by the local organization Avanza Together.  See "3 ways to help" for further information.  Questions about Columbus Mennonite's involvement in sanctuary should be directed to sanctuary@columbusmennonite.org.