Updated: The Rev. Ron Robinson was arrested March 30th for accessing child pornography via an online application that had been under surveillance by federal investigators. Robinson is executive director of A Third Place Community Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a former executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship. (Tulsa World – 3.30.17)
UU World reported on Robinson’s community ministry in 2011, and earlier this month, on a fire that destroyed a portion of the ministry’s building. See also the UU Christian Fellowship’s statement about Robinson’s arrest; he served as its executive director from 2005 to 2015.
Immigration advocacy in the spotlight
After participating in an interfaith gathering to learn more about the sanctuary movement, First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, Minnesota, is now exploring declaring itself a sanctuary congregation. So far, 28 churches in the state are sanctuaries or supporting the movement. The Rev. Fritz Hudson, interim minister of the congregation, noted that three UU churches in the Twin Cities have already declared themselves sanctuary congregations. (Post-Bulletin – 3.27.17)
In Austin, Texas, there is a broad coalition of churches called the Austin Sanctuary Network working to support undocumented migrants fighting deportation. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin’s recent experience providing sanctuary is a noted success story. In 2015, the congregation took in Sulma Franco, a Guatemalan migrant who recently received a permanent legal residency in the United States. (KHOU.com – 3.31.17)
When immigrant rights supporters learned of a planned meeting with speakers opposed to supporting their local migrant community, they gathered in large numbers to attend the presentation at the Morris County Library in New Jersey. The Rev. Alison Miller, minister of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship and a member of the Morris Area Clergy Council, urged Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon not to voluntarily comply with the federal program to round up undocumented immigrants because “it's not been a good thing for this community.” (Daily Record – 3.28.17)
“In Case of Deportation” (Santa Barbara Independent – 3.30.17)
“6 years after he was first detained by ICE, he's still fighting deportation” (Times-Picayune – 3.31.17)
An earlier version of this week’s roundup misidentified the Rev. Ron Robinson as the current executive director of the UU Christian Fellowship, based on an erroneous news story. Robinson stepped down from that position in 2015. We have replaced the erroneous news item above with others that provide more complete information.