Public Witness

Being Sanctuary Beyond the Church

Allison Tanner

April 29, 2022

Alice Butler and Pastor Allison in Sacramento defending CA’s status as a Sanctuary State

This May marks five years since Lakeshore renewed our commitment to immigration justice and re-claimed our identity as a Sanctuary Congregation. During this time, we have engaged in education, advocacy, and accompaniment, as well as have partnered directly with several asylum seekers including Brian Byamukama, Oscar and Sergio. Our main partner in this ministry and public witness has been Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI) and through their leadership we have helped pass key immigration legislation, helped depopulate and close down detention centers, helped free immigrant captives and helped reunite families.

As we continue in this work, I invite you to join IM4HI for a Benefit event on Saturday, May 7: Liberating Our Communities: Celebrate the Journey and Recommit to the Work Ahead. This in-person event will begin at 6 p.m. with Food and Fellowship at St. John’s Presbyterian Church (2727 College Ave, Berkeley), suggested donation $15-20. The indoor program starts at 7 p.m. and can also be viewed on zoom. This gathering will celebrate the amazing accomplishments we’ve participated in over the past five years, as well as introduce an upcoming pilgrimage focused on closing the remaining detention centers in California. Join us for this festive gathering celebrating the Sanctuary work we have been a part of for the past five years!

RSVP to Liberating Our Communities on May 7


In addition to the celebration on May 7, Lakeshore will participate in IM4HI’s Pilgrimage May 28 – June 1. Pastor Allison, Jesse Lucas and Sergio will join the full pilgrimage, and several people from Lakeshore are interested in the one-day option on May 28. This option joins the first day of the pilgrimage staring at San Quentin, linking the connections between incarceration and detention, and then traveling to Yuba County Jail, the last county-based Detention Center in the state (our friend Oscar was released from Yuba when he came to stay in our sanctuary in 2020). There are still seats available if you’d like to participate in the May 28, one-day pilgrimage. All events that take place on the Pilgrimage will also be shared virtually, if you’d like to follow along from home to learn more about the work being done to close the six-remaining private-owned detention centers in California. All LABC pilgrims appreciate the prayers of the congregation as we travel.

Blessings on our ongoing commitment to immigration justice and providing Sanctuary,

Pastor Allison

PS – This Sunday’s Public Witness Forum will feature Rev. Jojo Gabuya, a Filipinx asylum seeker and ordained minister at the Church For the Fellowship of All Peoples. Rev. Jojo identifies as non-binary/transgender and has a powerful story of forced migration, faith, and the ongoing search for safety. The Forum will take place in person and on Pastor Tanner’s Zoom at 11:45 a.m.