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Lord, Prepare Us

from Pastora Erica Lee, pastor in residence at Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, DC

Lord, Prepare Us

Pastor Sally, Pastor Maria, and I gathered with other representatives from the DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network at Foundry United Methodist Church for a press conference and march to the White House.

About 45 minutes into the press conference, I began to feel light headed and slightly nauseous. I started to feel unsteady, like I might faint. I turned to Pastor Maria and said I didn’t feel well. She noticed I was very pale and suggested I go inside to the sanctuary to rest. I hesitated, but then agreed. I didn't know sanctuary was available to me until she told me.

As I walked inside Foundry, I remembered the last time I was in that sanctuary was a few days after the Pulse shootings last June. Foundry hosted a community conversation with the DC Center. People in the overflowing sanctuary asked questions such as what it meant to care for one another when we all hurt in different ways. We talked about stress and trauma. We lamented together in the sanctuary.

Sanctuary is a place to go when you are not well. I am exceedingly thankful for Foundry’s physical sanctuary becoming a beyond-physical place of sanctuary when I needed it. When I was unable to stand on my own, I recovered in the sanctuary, so I could join the march to the White House. Sanctuary is a safe space of restoration and healing.

This past January you, Calvary, agreed to become a Sanctuary Congregation in solidarity with immigrant siblings facing injustice. May we, as a congregation, continue to love our neighbors, especially our immigrant neighbors, who need particular care, wellness, restoration, and healing.

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