Sanctuary – sanc-tu-ar-y [sangk-choo-er-ee]
- a sacred or holy place
- a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest
- any place of refuge
This past weekend I took a road trip with some friends. We went to Toronto to hear some other friends play music. The concert would be at their church, Sanctuary Toronto. Sanctuary is in the heart of the city dwarfed by high rise condos, on the edge of the GLBT community and Its members are a unique mix of urban professionals, homeless people, addicts and middle class folks. Their name completely fits.
We arrived around 6:30pm giving the group a chance to catch up with the friends they made on previous visits and for me to get acquainted with a few. By 8pm most of the tables were taken as well as the chairs that circled the room. The place was filled with their congregants and neighbors.
In between fragmented visits with a handful of people who call that place home, I began to wonder…what if THE Church looked like this. I realize every church is located in a particular community with particular needs but what if churches truly existed for it’s nonmembers? What if mature Christians believed the best way to “be fed” is to be involved in “feeding others”? What if they understood the most affective way to learn is to get involved in teaching others? What if we really believed that how we treat the poor, lonely, and the marginalized is how we treat Jesus?
Spoiler Alert: It is going to take a while to process those 24 hours. I’ll be posting my reflections and more pictures the rest of this week.