Fire, arrest hit community ministry

Fire, arrest hit community ministry

Selections from UU World’s weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden
The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of a blaze that destroyed much of the Welcome Table Community Center in Turley early Thursday.

A fire devastated the Welcome Table Community Center in Turley, Oklahoma. (© 2017 Harrison Grimwood/Tulsa World)

© 2017 Harrison Grimwood/Tulsa World


A late-night fire on March 2 consumed nearly all of the Welcome Table Community Center in Turley, Oklahoma. The center was a project of A Third Place Community Foundation, led by UU minister the Rev. Ron Robinson. (Tulsa World, 3/3/17)

Robinson was in the news again later in the month when he was arrested March 30 for accessing child pornography via an online application that had been under surveillance by federal investigators. (Tulsa World, 3/30/17)

Congregations offer sanctuary

On February 15, Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother of four and a longtime leader in the immigrant and labor movements, entered sanctuary at First Unitarian Society of Denver, Colorado. The Rev. Michael Morran said his congregation’s decision to shelter her came, in part, out of what it learned about America’s impossible immigration system when it took in Arturo Hernandez Garcia in 2014. (CNN, 2/16/17; Mother Jones, 2/21/17; LA Times, 2/24/17)

The UU Church of Northern Nevada is providing sanctuary to Davie Chavez-Macias, an immigrant facing possible deportation because of a traffic ticket. The Rev. Neal Anderson said that “we currently have a broken immigration system that unfortunately too often is based upon racialized policies. We as a religious community will stand against that.” (, 4/2/17)

When two swastikas were scratched into the wooden doors of Fourth Universalist Society in New York City, the Rev. Schuyler Vogel said that it was likely a response to their decision to become a sanctuary congregation. (CBS New York, 3/1/17)

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