Aside

LAUNCH TEAM GATHERING

5 Jun

This Friday evening we are having a Launch team gathering as we continue the process of planting Sanctuary Church. We will have some appetizers and drinks (and maybe a campfire?)  before and after the meeting – but we will start right at 6:30pm. Please consider bringing some food to share.

As always it’s important that all those who are a part of this team, or are serious about stepping into leadership be their. These meetings are vital for our community as we continue to seek God in this first season. Get excited!

We will gather at our offices at 745 Westminster St at 6:30pm.

CHRISTMAS EVE

19 Dec

Join us for an Evening of music, reflection, scripture, and prayer.

6:30pm.

745 Westminster St, Providence, RI

resource site

4 Sep

For the time being most blog worthy articles, letters, writings, etc will be at sanctuaryprovidence.com

a prayer. an utterance. on a tuesday afternoon.

20 Aug

Lord, I long to hear your whisper again
To feel your ethereal embrace as the smile stretches across my face
Inexplicable joy
Oh fleeting folly
But really just blissful ignorance
In your presence.

God you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
My soul thirsts for you
My body longs for you

So whisper in your still, small voice
And may I hear you in the breeze
A whistle through these bare, bare trees

Anything.

Just something.

To remind me that you’re everything.

Amen.

Written by Core team member Erin Kole

simplicity, fig leaves, and beauty

30 Jun
“I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances  I have learned the secrets of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.”  -Phillipians 4:11-12
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This summer, I have been learning a lot. Simplicity is one of those aspects. Life can be packed with too much. I believe that we are called to literally shed the skin of our own habits in order to reveal the beauty that lies beneath. It is this beauty that God sees in us; not the false makeup that we plaster on ourselves. Author David Benner reminds me that “I am not my accomplishments. . . My worth lies in who I am, not what I can do or how I am seen by others.” Sometimes, I think that we want to be “perceived” by people as being “this” or “that” when we are really placing masks on overselves in order to cover up what God created us to be. Benner refers back to Genesis:
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“Ultimately, attachments are ways of coping with the feelings of vulnerability, shame and inadequacy that lie at the core of our false ways of being. Like Adam and Eve, our first response to our awareness of nakedness is to grab whatever is closest and quickly cover our nakedness. We hide behind the fig leaves of our false self. This is the way we package ourself to escape the painful awareness of our nakedness.

The problem with the false self is that it works. It helps us forget that we are naked. Before long, we are no longer aware of the underlying vulnerability and become comfortable once again. But God wants something better than fig leaves for us. God wants us to be aware of our helplessness so we can know that we need Divine help. God’s deepest desire for us is to replace our fig leaves with garments ofdurability and beauty. Yet, we cling to our fig leaf false self. We believe that we know how to take care of our needs better than God.”

God loves us for who we are. He sees beauty in us, the kind that is not enhanced by human hands but created by the inspiration of God. He sees beauty in you. He loves you.

Written by Alex Puleo at her blog – Just See Love 

what is faith… when all is certain

26 Jun


[Matthew 14:22-31 / Hebrews 11:1-40]

I am in my boat

Riding out a storm

Crouching in its belly

Trying not to be knocked about

Clinging to the edges

With all my might

Looking over the side

Sometimes

To glimpse the black water

That churns under a dark sky

This boat, turning and pitching, is my security.  It is so predictable and logical and safe.  We ride boats on water and we know what to do when they fail us: we swim.  I know how to swim.  Here in the boat, I know the best and the worst.  I know of speed over smooth water and the desperate swim away from ruin.  I have knowledge and physical strength.  This is nothing new.  I know the answers.

I think this boat ride is enough for me.  I trust You here, in the belly of the boat, on the back of the waves.  The storm is enough excitement.  I ride it out to test my faith.  I am satisfied here until I see You.  As I’m peering over the side of the boat I catch a glimpse of Your figure.

You’re out among the waves

No boat

No swimming

Walking as calmly as you would through

A field of long grasses and flowers

Doing the impossible

Making it look simple

Standing steady and firm

In the midst of a torrent, a gale, and foaming waters

I curl up in the bottom of my boat shaking.  I think that riding this boat is a challenge, until I see You.  I am gripped by a strange and wild desire, a kind of desperation.  Here in the boat I’m not really living, not really seeing all that I could.  This boat confines me and blinds me.  Staying in the boat isn’t enough.  Doing the expected, the natural, the human is too small.

As for faith?  Does it mater if I trust You now, when I know what to do and know the way out?  Does it matter that I trust You here, in this hand-hewn pocket of human strength and surrogate security?  Is it faith when I am merely confident in my own knowledge?

In all of this there is no satisfaction.

It is not enough to ride the sea in my small fortress, to do the predictable, the logical, the safe.  It is not satisfying to know the answers, the course of action, the possible situations.

It is empty.

What is faith when all is certain?

I cry out for more.

And you say “Come.”

“Come out. Come out of your little boat and don’t try to swim when you hit the water.  Come out and walk with me.  Let’s do the impossible and treat this foaming dark sea like a marble floor.”

It would all be madness apart from Your call.  You have said the word and Your voice validates it all.  Your voice takes me out of the boat and puts me on path of faith.

A path that spans a perilous sea

On a dark night

In a furious storm

A path with singular vision

I only see Your gaze

A path of intense attention

I only hear Your voice

All distractions are muted

By the pull

Of Your call

As You say

“Come.”

Make me like You: more comfortable to live the impossible, the paradox, the inexplicable than to live the predictable, the logical, the safe.  May I be more comfortable walking on water than riding in my boat.

There is a halfway point between my place in the boat and Your embrace.  As I cross that stretch upon the waves, feeling the water splash my ankles and sometimes rise to my waist, I am sustained by firm footing.  But I am suspended between my security and Your promise.  I’ve left my shelter behind; I’ve taken You at your immaterial word, followed Your voice and Your loving gaze, and I am standing in deep waters.  I’m over my head amidst a storm that can destroy me.  Your promise is all that I have.

It is here that I waver and fear; as the water rises I pause.  Was it only the passion of a moment that caused me to make this leap?  As the wind blows I falter and look back.  I turn back.  I turn away.  Am I hearing things in this storm?  With the roar of the waves in my ears, was I only reading Your lips?  The water stung my eyes.  Did it blind me a little?  Could I really read them right?  This next wave is over my head.  It’s coming, building higher and higher.  Don’t You see it too?  Don’t You?

What have I done?

Lord, You told me to come to You on the water

But do You see that wave?

It will sweep us both away.

Won’t it?

I resort to my own strength.  I try to escape the way I have escaped danger before.  But I’ve never been here before.  Cool experience is replaced by heated, panicked motion: flailing arms, thrashing feet, powerlessness.

Do you see that wave? It will sweep us both away.

It’s true.  The water is over my head.  This wave is far too much for me. No use trying to fight the current.

Lord, why did you let me come out here?

I am sinking.

Water fills my mouth.

I’m drowning.

Where are you?

Lord, save me!

I falter. I doubt. I fall.

I fall upon Your arms.

Nothing is impossible with You.

“O you of little faith.

“Why fear the wind and the waves?  Marvel at this point of faith.  Delight in it.  This is the impossible path: being secure when you stand between one source of security and other.  Here, where you no know nothing but what I have told you, you find the true life of faith.

“Child, it is my glory to be the strength in your weakness, the order in your chaos, the logic in your absurdity, your foothold in these waves.  O You of little faith. Never doubt me.”

-hannah clarkin

a few words about baptism

17 May
For us, the question is “Can things change?” Baptism is a picture of the healing, liberation, and change that Jesus has unleashed in people.
We invite you to participate in baptism. It is an opportunity to publicly identify yourself with Jesus in his death and resurrection. This is a powerful and beautiful opportunity to declare…
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that you have made Jesus the Lord of your life;
that the best possible way to live is the way of Jesus;
and that you are committed to following Christ-daily, dying to yourself and allowing the resurrected Christ to live in and through you.

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Baptism is not a means of salvation; rather it is a beautiful picture of our union with Christ and our declaring that we join him as the church in the reconciliation of all things.

We believe the scripture asks the urgent question…

what prevents you from turning to Jesus and being baptized?

JOIN US – click here for details

(good) friday?

22 Apr

Today is Good Friday.

Why is it “good?”  How could it possibly be good?

  • In a culture that is ever so quick to get to the product
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to avoid suffering and pain and seek ways to medicate ourselves to avoid pain
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the bunnies and eggs
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to commercialize, capitalize, and consumerize
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the good news of Easter Sunday and Resurrection
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to minimize the extent of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to ‘disneyize’ the events of the brutal death of a man
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to grab hold of grace as if we are entitled to it

Today matters.
Dark Friday matters.
His death matters.

So, let’s not be so quick to bypass this day. There’s a reason why in the Christian tradition – this day and service is considered the longest and darkest day of the year.

Let it be long.  Let it be dark.  Let it be silent.

Let it be uncomfortable. Death is always uncomfortable – especially when we’re complicit in this death.

While the good news of our beauty are clearly exemplified in the glorious news of the Resurrection…the depths of our darkness and depravity are  also exposed in the last days of Jesus’ life and crucifixion.

And once we understand, if even for a glimpse, the depths of our depravity and brokenness, the amazing depth of God’s grace and mercy is that much more understood and experienced. We understand that our broken image can be restored by the Creator of that original beauty.

Thank you Jesus for this day. For Dark Friday. For Holy Friday. For the cross, sacrifice, and atonement.

Thank you God that you have redeemed this day to be good.

– eugene cho

A REFLECTION FOR HOLY SATURDAY: click here

two reflections for holy week

19 Apr

Looking for one last way to engage with Holy Week?

Below, are guided Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday experiences.

[HOLY WEEK REFLECTIONS]


palm sunday prayer

17 Apr

Almighty and everliving God,

in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature,

and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility:

Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering,

and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

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