Media roundup: Now out of sanctuary, Sandra Lopez wants to fight to help others be free

Media roundup: Now out of sanctuary, Sandra Lopez wants to fight to help others be free

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

Rachel Walden


After living in sanctuary at Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Church in Carbondale, Colorado, for the past ten months, Sandra Lopez is now back at home with her family. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not say why, but they made clear that they didn’t consider Lopez a priority for deportation. “[Immigration law] is a complex web of varying priorities and policies and it’s very outdated,” said Jennifer Smith, one of Lopez's lawyers. “It doesn’t sit in reality.” Although her future remains uncertain, one thing Lopez is sure of is her plan to continue advocating for immigrants rights and the rights of the three other women currently living in sanctuary in Colorado. ( Denver Post - 8.23.18)

The Rev. Shawna Foster, minister at Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Church where Sandra Lopez and her daughter have been living, said Lopez leaves one form of sanctuary—that which is within a building—for another sanctuary in her community. "People here show, over and over, the kind of love that transcends race, religion, place of birth, or the language spoken. Sandra and her family will need this love in the future," Foster said. Lopez will continue to seek a positive resolution to her case through the court system. ( Aspen Times - 8.20.18)

More coverage:

"Colorado Immigrant Rights Leader Sandra Lopez Leaving Sanctuary Today" ( Democracy NOW! - 8.21.18)

Sharing a meal to raise funds for families that cannot

About fifty people attended the cookout held at Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Idaho recently. The congregation joined in a national fundraising effort to connect communities and support families separated at the U.S. border. The cookout campaign is happening across small town and rural communities located in red states that supported Trump in the 2016 election. ( Marie Claire - 8.20.18)

Learn more about the community cookouts in this story from People’s Action.

Spotlight on Unitarian Universalists active in their communities

Pat Seybold is in the local spotlight for her busy schedule now that she has reached retirement. While she pursues her Ph.D. in business with an emphasis on conflict resolution, she leads parenting classes at the county jail, serves on nonprofit boards supporting animals, and she and her husband, John, are volunteer lay leaders in their congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Community of Frankfort, Kentucky. ( The State Journal - 8.24.18)

In honor of Wendi Winters, one of five employees of the Capital Gazette who was killed in a horrific mass shooting in June and who was a tireless volunteer at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland, the American Red Cross will host its first Wendi Winters Memorial Blood Drive in September. Winters helped organize biannual blood drives at her church, and her family said an event like this is something she would have wanted. ( Capital Gazette - 8.24.18)

Martin Bemberg has put his name in to run for City Council in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in November. A musician and student at the University of Arkansas, Bemberg is also a Unitarian Universalist who says that the principles of his liberal religion guide his democratic socialist beliefs. His reasons for running for city council include a hope to make radical democracy a part of civic life, to ensure a basic standard of living for all, and to smash the patriarchy. ( Fayetteville Flyer - 8.21.18)