“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 and she needs support year-round.

Over the past year, there has been a natural attrition of volunteers who can no longer help in various areas. Because Maria is still in Sanctuary and has needs that the community and church have agreed to help meet, Maria and the local leadership of her support team would like to use a Google Form (below) as a way to restructure the support systems of the local Sanctuary movement (which the pandemic has greatly interrupted).  Please complete this form to be included in the new communication networks and to continue to be a part of this necessary ministry.  

Link to the Google Form:

You can read more about Maria’s story and the Sanctuary Movement below.

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 Choose a Fund section of our Giving page.

Help Maria by ordering her hand-crafted Guatemalan artisanal items

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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

Order hand-crafted Guatemalan artisanal items

As a fundraiser for our Sanctuary Ministry, we are making available beautiful artisanal items hand-made by Maria. This includes face masks for adults and children, bags, clothing items, and more. All money raised goes to the support of Maria and is 100% tax deductible.  To place your order, go to our online order form.

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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