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 Senators Portman and Brown, and Governor Kasich to visit Edith and advocate ICE on her behalf.
2) Donate money to cover Edith's attorney fees and other Espinal family needs as she lives in santuary in the church. 
3) Provide a meal for the Espinal family.  Further instructions given through the link.  

We lament that we frequently fall short of this.

In light of this calling, we have welcomed Edith Espinal into sanctuary in our church building.  Edith is a neighbor.  Edith is a mother.  Edith is a child of God who fled violence and 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.  We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the wider community.  This is a major team effort. 

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.

To learn more, you can listen to this PeaceLab podcast where we talk about our journey with sanctuary. 

Donations of money, food, and support are welcome.  See "3 ways to help" for further information.  Questions about Columbus Mennonite's involvement in sanctuary should be directed to sanctuary@columbusmennonite.org.