“You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”

— Deuteronomy 10:19

Maria Chavalan Sut is an indigenous Guatemalan refugee in sanctuary at Wesley Memorial UMC.

Maria needs support year-round.  Even an hour a week is a valuable contribution.

There are many ways YOU can help, including purchasing and delivering groceries, offering translation services, signing up for an accompaniment shift, and more.  

You can read more about Maria’s story and the Sanctuary Movement by clicking the links on the right, or on the Hands Off Maria Facebook page.

This community has welcomed me with love that I never expected. I feel so thankful to be united with all of the folks involved in Sanctuary here in Charlottesville.

Do you have an hour or two to volunteer? Would you help our neighbor Maria?  

Help Maria by donating to our Sanctuary Fund

Specify "Sanctuary Fund" in the Comments on our usual Giving page.

Current hot-button immigration issues & policies

by Jordan Woodlief

Inside the Sanctuary Movement

by Tyler Huckabee, Relevant Magazine

Prayer at Virginia legislature written by woman in sanctuary

by Richard Lord, UM News



In September of 2018, Maria Chavalan Sut took Public Sanctuary at Wesley Memorial. Maria is an indigenous Guatemalan, and an aslyum-seeker in this country. She fled ethnic persecution in her home country, but was unjustly given a deporation order. Houses of Worship have been offering Sanctuary to people who have been unjustly persecuted by governments for thousands of years. Maria lives in the safety of our church while she works to have justice done in her case. 


Wesley decided to offer Sanctuary to Maria because Christ commands us to welcome strangers into our midst (Matthew 25). No country on Earth will recognize Maria’s existence or rights and dignity as a human being. However, we serve a God who sees, and in the eyes of Christ, Maria’s claim to live a life of dignity is unquestioned. Maria is a part of our congregation, and we are always seeking new volunteers to help us support her as she lives amongst us. If you would like to make a donation to our Sanctuary fund, please do so in the Donate box above. 100% of donations go to aid Maria, and are tax-deductible contributions to the church. 

Pastor Isaac Collins with Maria Chavalan Sut

Wesley Memorial
United Methodist Church

Worship every Sunday at 11:00 am

Office Hours: Mon 9am - 3pm, Thurs 9am - 3pm 

+1 (434) 296-6976

1901 Thomson Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

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