First Unitarian Church Sanctuary: Volunteers needed
Vicky Chavez, mother of two, came to the U.S. form Honduras four years ago to escape domestic violence and to be with her family. Chavez claims she received death threats from her daughter’s father in Honduras. They are undocumented.
Chavez was seeking asylum for herself and her children, and stayed n Utah while the case was being inspected. They were given sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City. In January her case was denied.
Chavez and her children live in a classroom that has been reimagined as a living space. The church’s congregation, led by Reverend Tome Goldsmith, voted eight years ago to become a sanctuary.
Goldsmith says current policies have caused people to take action. “The inhumane immigration policies of the current administration have awakened moral outrage in the wider community, far beyond First Unitarian Church.” Goldsmith has been a minister at First Unitarian Church since 1987.
The practice of churches serving as sanctuaries for people in need of refuge has been around for thousand of years. First Unitarian Church is currently the only church in Utah that provides a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
Kristen Knippenberg, a member of the Utah Sanctuary Network and the Salt Lake Sanctuary Network, spoke recently at the First Unitarian Church for their Summer Forum Series. Knippenberg described the New Sanctuary Movement as doing something that Congress and the Trump Administration won’t: protecting and standing with immigrants.
Goldsmith says this situation has brought people of all back grounds together to help, “There are more than 200 volunteers working at the church around the clock to ensure as good an experience as possible for the sanctuary family. About 20% of the volunteers are from other faith communities, or have no faith community at all. Everyone is singularly devoted to providing warm hospitality to a family who would otherwise face deportation to their violent homeland.”
The First Unitarian Church is always accepting more volunteers. “Although it appears that First Unitarian Church has ample volunteers, there is never enough. If you are interested pleas view the church’s website and click on “sanctuary.” All volunteers are vetted, have background checks, and are trained by a core of experienced volunteers.”
You may also contribute to support for Vicky Chavez and her children here.
Divine Intervention Collective on Third West
A new psychic salon and storefront opened in April on 300 West called the Divine Intervention Collective, situated in the former Henderson Auto office space (just east of Costco).
Carelyn Brazelton and her team of about 18 practitioners have heartfully and soulfully put much work into making this a safe haven for energy workers and their clients. The front area is reatil space for art, stones, incense, tarot cards, locally made jewelry and other metaphysical items.
If you are in urgent need of some guidance, an in-house psychic is available almost everyday for 15- to 30-minute readings.
Open Mon-Sat 11a-8p, Sun noon-5p.
Visit them online.
Wasatch Community Co-op update
For nearly 10 years now, many community members have worked toward creating a local, community-owned, full-service market that emphasizes local produce and products, year-round. Hundreds of member-owners have made the $300 financial investment in this dream, toward the goal of one day having a real brick-and-mortar store where they can shop. That goal recently became closer.
Last month the Co-op signed up their 600th member – the magic membership milestone that allow the board to start finding a home for the 10,000-14,000 sq.-ft. store.
For member-owners, and those thinking about putting their money into a project that aligns with their values and lifestyle, the question of where the store will be located is a big one. Co-op members live throughout the valley and around the state. According to Jodie Grant, concentrated on the central area of Salt Lake City, roughly east of I-15 and north of I-80.
“If you are not yet a member-owner, but support the idea of a cooperative market in Salt Lake, now is an important time to show your support in a way taht really counts,” Jodie says.
The search process has begun. Building the store site and launching the capital campaign to source funds for construction will happen when membership grows to 750 or more.
You can show your support for the Co-op here.
Avenues Yoga moves to Sugar House
After 10 years of serving the Avenues yoga community, this studio is keeping its name but moving to Sugar House – or Sugar Sweet, as owner Chanda Charlesworth calls it.
The new 4,800-sq.-ft. space is the former longtime home of Reliable Appliance Repair. The yoga studio space will occupy 1,700 sq. ft., with an additional 700 sq. ft. for lobby and retail. Classrooms for teacher trainings will eventually be added to the mix.
When CATALYST visited in late July Charlesworth was overseeing the installation of bamboo flooring and skylights. She’s enthusiastic about the walk ability of the new location, which is situated in the midst of retial, mixed-used housing and residential neighborhoods.
Classes will begin at the new location in early August (check website for specifics). A grand opening celebration is scheduled for August 11 with free classes, refreshments, music, giveaways and a chance to win a year of unlimited yoga. Special loyalty passes will be on sale for current Avenues Yoga students.