Gifts of safe spaces offer resources to people who are marginalized or face systemic barriers to full inclusion.
The United Church’s Mission & Service partners create safe spaces in ways like these:
- The Church of North India provides welcoming spaces and needed resources to economic migrants, especially teenagers, who are vulnerable to human trafficking.
- In Colombia, people displaced by ongoing conflict tend to gather in large numbers outside cities in areas nicknamed “belts of misery.” The Methodist Church of Colombia addresses their pastoral and spiritual needs.
- The National Council of Churches of Kenya works with others in camps that house refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and other countries. In existence for more than 20 years, these camps are becoming “generational”—children are born and raised in the camps knowing no other life.
- The United Church of Christ in the Philippines provides shelter and necessities of life to the Indigenous Lumad people in the southern region of Mindanao, many of whom have been displaced from their ancestral lands because of conflict.
- United Church camps like Camp Woodboia are making their facilities accessible so everyone can safely participate, regardless of mobility and other challenges.
- Affirming United Church ministries, supported by the work of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, are intentional in their work to provide LGBTQ+ with safe, inclusive spaces.