This is a letter which the Winnebago Worship Group is sending out to newspapers and other outlets in its community, signed by 14 people. The letter calls on other faith leaders to join the Winnebago Friends in defending their neighbors who are threatened with deportation and to offer sanctuary to those who want and need it.
Dear Neighbors in the Fox Valley,
The Winnebago Worship Group of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) of the Fox Valley feels called to speak out of our collective witness, to you, our Beloved Community.
As Quakers, we hold dear our foundational belief that there is that of God in everyone.
We are witnessing a time in history where once again our families and communities are being threatened by policies that tear us apart- parents from children, families from one another, communities from friends and neighbors. As we witness this inhumane treatment, our faith calls us to bold action. We will stand with everything we have alongside those in our community facing deportation.
In the face of fear and exclusion, we choose instead a radical message of love, inclusion, and safe harbor.
As people of conscience, we call on other faith leaders to join us in publicly defending the safety and dignity of our neighbors, and in offering sanctuary to those threatened with deportation. We cannot be silent in the face of injustice. Will you join us?
In words shared by Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Unanimously Approved, March 19, 2017 Winnebago Worship Group, Fox Valley
Signed on behalf of Winnebago Worship Group:
Barbara Hoffman, Appleton, WI
Susan Melcher, Appleton, WI
Luanne Nelson, Appleton, WI
Karen Hoffman, Appleton, WI
Betty Proper, Appleton, WI
John Crispin, Menasha, WI
Marijke van Roojen, Neenah, WI
Danae Steele, Neenah, WI
Kat Griffith, Ripon, WI
Soren Hauge, Ripon, WI
Caley Powell, Winneconne, WI
Jake Jakl, Maribel, WI
Micah and Clairellyn Sommersmith, Princeton, WI