The word sanctuary draws out many images from those who hear it. It comes from a Latin term implying a container keeping something. In a traditional sense it paints a picture of a space of safety, refuge, and often times a place for the sacred. It is both a physical as well as an emotional space bringing peace, reflection and a place to celebrate Gods intent for the sanctity of humanity. Here in our neighborhood, the prayer is that it bring to life all of this imagery. Whether in the form of open doors for a midday escape from the noise and chaos of the city, a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy some local music offerings, or an opportunity to serve those in need, the vision is that this space would represent sanctuary to all who live and work here in South Lake Union and beyond.
The chance for a more sacred experience is offered each week through varied and unique expressions that find there home here. Check back often to see our development and let others know that sanctuary is coming to the neighborhood.
On Sunday March 25th, as a way of marking the beginning of Easter week, there will be an opportunity to experience the sacred in the streets of South Lake Union. Beginning around 12:15 from the steps at the John Street entrance groups will journey out, guided by smart phones, to read scripture and pray together at 14 different stations or locations in the neighborhood. Each station is a modern day representation of what’s known as “stations of the cross”. You can read more about the idea behind this kind of event here.
Stuff is important to us … our own stuff is even more important. Our culture has ingrained in us the idea that “you bought it, you own it, its yours so you do what you want with it”. There is a concept though that is counter cultural to the “American way”. Many don’t recognize it and fewer still adhere to it. It’s the concept of “stewardship”. It is a recognition that it’s not necessarily ours, earned from our own blood, sweat and tears. It recognizes that what we have is the result of blessing and therefore not necessarily ours to do what we want with. There is a responsibility to the greater community of which we are members. It is a blessing to be shared, to be used and not hoarded. Those who recognize their material accumulations as such are more likely to be generous. I’d like to be able to point to churches as models of this type of generosity, but unfortunately this is too often not the case. From my experience there is either the desire to keep everything for themselves, or else be willing to give it as long as there is financial gain to be had… and to claim it as being good stewards in the process. The opposite side of the pendulum is to simply give it all away. Stewardship, as Jesus sees it, lies in the middle. In the simplest of terms it is the concept that most of our preschool and kindergarten teachers sought to teach us. It is sharing. Every once in awhile there is a church that recognizes that something they have been blessed with can be used to bless their neighbors, or their neighborhood. Denny Park Lutheran has a vision of being such a place … and it is out of this vision that the “sanctuary at denny park” has been birthed. Through this “sanctuary” we join a few other communities of faith who understand this concept as well. It’s stewardship in the midst of a culture that is laser focused on ownership.
So we invite you to join us as we desire to join you, our South Lake Union neighbors, in creating a space to gather in community, to explore faith, to celebrate arts, and the artists, music, and the musicians, writing and the writers, and to respond to the needs around us.