At its 2017 annual meeting, University Lutheran Church, by a vote of 52-0 with 4 abstentions, resolved to declare itself a Sanctuary Church to support members of area communities who are under threat of deportation. The church subsequently partnered with other Boston-area groups to form the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition. Current members are:

To contact the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, email

Read the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition (formerly Harvard Square Sanctuary Coalition) Covenant (PDF).


On Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7 pm, members of the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition gathered at UniLu for Standing Together: A Service of Witness, Lament, Recognition, and Re-commitment, marking our first year of standing with immigrants facing deportation.

On Sunday, February 25, 2018, Porter Square Books in Cambridge hosted “Be the Change Community Action: Immigration” as a fundraiser for the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition. Cambridge author Charlene Galarneau, a member of First Parish in Cambridge, and representatives of the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition spoke, and 20% of all sales at PSB from 3 to 5 pm went to the Coalition.

Pastor Kathleen O’Keefe Reed participated in a panel discussion on immigration and refugee issues in greater Boston on December 8, 2017 at 9:15 am in Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School. The discussion was part of the Religious Literacy and the Professions Initiative symposium on Religious Literacy and Government. Listen to a recording of the panel on Soundcloud.

“Define American” Panel on Sanctuary for Undocumented Americans with Jose Antonio Vargas, June 11, 2017:

News coverage

2017 Bostonians of the Year Honorable Mentions: The Protectors: Churches offer sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation
by Brian McQuarrie, Boston Globe, December 13, 2017

Sanctuary at University Lutheran
by Jeff Favre,
Living Lutheran
Magazine, November 2017, pp. 50-52

Ecuadorian Family Finds Refuge In Cambridge Church, Fights To Stay In US
by Gabrielle Emanuel, WGBH News, July 25, 2017

Harvard Divinity students walk alongside unauthorized immigrants
by Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe, June 20, 2017

Cambridge Church Protects Undocumented Immigrant From Deportation
by Beth Germano, CBSBoston, May 31, 2017

Woman Facing Deportation Seeks Sanctuary in Cambridge Church
The Associated Press, May 31, 2017

Immigrant From Ecuador Seeks Sanctuary in Cambridge Church
by Eli Rosenberg, NECN, May 31, 2017

In a first for Mass., undocumented immigrant seeks refuge in Cambridge church
by Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe, May 31, 2017

Bathing In The Baptistery: The History Of Sanctuary Churches
by Gabrielle Emanuel, WGBH News, 89.7 FM, March 6, 2017

Congregations in Mass. preparing to shelter immigrants
by Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe, February 21, 2017

Local Churches Aim to Shelter Illegal Immigrants
Fox 25 WFXT, February 21, 2017

Following Immigration Ban, Religious Leaders Propose Using Places Of Worship As Sanctuaries, by Deborah Becker, WBUR-FM, January 30, 2017.

Lutheran Resources

Resources on refugees and immigration from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) include: