Media roundup: Utah church provides sanctuary for mother and two daughters

Media roundup: Utah church provides sanctuary for mother and two daughters

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Lauren Walleser


On the night she was to be deported to Honduras, Vicky Chavez decided to seek sanctuary with her two daughters at First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah. Chavez fled Honduras in 2014 for asylum in the United States because of domestic abuse, violence, and economic and social upheaval. Volunteers at the congregation are helping the family with basic needs like laundry and shopping while they live in a converted classroom at the church. Chavez said she wants her asylum case to be reopened while she is still in the United States. ( Salt Lake Tribune– 1.31.18)

More coverage:

“Undocumented Mother Of Two Takes Refuge In Salt Lake City Unitarian Church” ( KUER 90.1– 1.31.18)

“Salt Lake church shields Utah mom from deportation” ( Deseret News– 1.31.18)

Bismarck minister and congregation help in search for missing woman

The Rev. Karen Van Fossan and the Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bismarck, North Dakota, are assisting in the search for Olivia Lone Bear, who went missing last month. Lone Bear’s brother, Matthew Lone Bear, asked Van Fossan for help. About 20 volunteers have joined the search for the truck connected to her disappearance. The search has also expanded to other nearby cities. ( Bismarck Tribune– 2.1.18)

Religious leaders won’t face charges after tax bill protest

The Maine religious leaders who were arrested staging a sit-in at Sen. Susan Collins's Portland, Maine, office in December won’t face charges. All nine faith leaders agreed to make $100 donations to the Victim’s Compensation Fund if the state dismissed the criminal trespassing charges. The protest was over the GOP tax plan. Unitarian Universalists noted as part of the arrests were the Rev. Carie Johnsen of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta, the Rev. Christina Sillari of First Parish Church in Portland, and Molly Brewer, ministerial intern at First Universalist Church in Auburn. ( WGME– 2.1.18)