The Sanctuary Ministry Team announces the formation of a new Accompaniment Team comprised of Reverend Molly, Carolyn Ash, Andrea Trexler, Stan Boghosian, Becky Smith, and Tanya Lawrence. This team is now trained and has been assigned to a family from Central America. The team will ease the transition to life in the US in terms of legal issues, transportation, housing, work opportunities, schooling and so on. They will provide referrals and accompaniment to health and legal services.
The Sanctuary Ministry Team grew out of the Children at the Border Ministry Team that was formed in response to the needs of unaccompanied Central American children and families who were crossing the US border. First Church voted unanimously in 2017 to sign the UCC Sanctuary Pledge, after which Children at the Border became the Sanctuary Ministry Team.
The team also sponsors a preschool for children ages 3-K at a church in the Fruitvale. First Church members Victoria Purcell-Gates (Director), Carolyn Cox, Ken Iha, Jonell Lucas and Katie Parmeter serve as volunteers.