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Such Good News in Time for Christmas (Slow Down: week 4)

When Ingrid Encalada Latorre came to our congregation for sanctuary in 2017, she knew her case was a long shot. The more work we did with her – reaching out to attorneys, talking to legislators – the less sure we were about what the path forward could be for her.

Since Ingrid left sanctuary with us in December 2017, she and her children (Bryant, Anibal, and new baby Elizabeth) have been in sanctuary at the UU Church of Boulder. And this whole time, Ingrid has never lost the faith – she’s always held on to the expectation that a path would emerge. And this week, those expectations finally paid off.  

Just in time for Christmas, Governor Jared Polis – who has visited with Ingrid a number of times since she’s been in sanctuary – granted Ingrid a pardon for her felony charge (resulting from using another person’s Social Security Number to work – she long ago paid all the required fines). 

This is a huge step forward for Ingrid, as having a felony charge on her record makes any progress in her immigration case impossible.  

There are still a number of steps ahead for Ingrid in order to secure legal status in the US.  And the best thing we can do for her – and for the millions who seek legal citizenship in the US – is to join her in expecting that a path is possible. 

Don’t give up. Keep calling our representatives. Keep working locally with our partners that support immigration justice – Alianza NorCoFuerza LatinaLa CocinaISAAC and its Emergency Immigration Fund, and the Immigrant Freedom Fund supported by Namaqua UU. Volunteer, give money, stay engaged. 

As I said on Sunday – expect the miracle – and by expecting it, make the miracle possible. 

Ingrid’s story – and the courage and resilience she continues to show – is such a good reminder at Christmas time – with this story that reminds us all of the need to welcome in the stranger, and to open our hearts to the arrival of love’s warmth and healing in the midst of the cold, silent night.  

We are planning 4 awesome services exploring this story for Christmas Eve – and we hope you’ll join us at one or more! Services at 3, 5, and 7 are interactive and 9 is our service of contemplation and carols.  It’s a beautiful night to gather together in community at Foothills – and I hope you and your family will be there for the magic once again. Because we want to make sure we have room for you, let us know by signing up, so we can – fitting for the season – make sure there’s enough room!

Wherever you are, and however you celebrate Christmas (or don’t), I hope you are finding ways to (re) connect to stories of hope, and joy – and unlocking the power of your expectations so that in the year (and decade) ahead, we can continue to work towards a greater liberation for all. 

In partnership,
Rev. Gretchen

Notes from Slow Down: Week 4 – What Were You Expecting?  

Listen to the message
Read the text of the message

Text

Vanessa Southern’s prayer, Even this is Enough

Music

We sang our series theme song Will Carry On
We sang Freedom Is Coming at 10 & 11:30 – check out some background here.  

Resources

Erik Vance’s facscinating book is called Suggestible You (he grounds it in his experience being raised as Christian Scientist)
On Being interview with Erik Vance
Mind Over Mind by Chris Berdik
Counterpoint: Don’t Think Positively

Remember

Unlock the power of your expectations. 

Get more conscious about what you are expecting, and actively work to draw on experiences from the past that affirm our capacity to change, to heal, to forgive. 

Especially do this collectively – draw on a collective courage to create a collective liberation. 

Expecting the miracle makes the miracle possible. 

What are you expecting for the days, the year, the decade ahead?