Closing Blessing from "Coming Out and Coming Home: A Celebration of National Coming Out Day"

In her teaching on Coming Out and Coming Home: A Celebration of National Coming Out Day, Katie Imborek closed the service with the following blessing:

Blessed are the boys who wear their mama’s high heels and paint their fingernails.  

Blessed are the girls who play football and hate wearing dresses.   


Blessed are those who refuse to conform to society’s rules around gender.  

Blessed are those who were born intersex.  

Blessed are those whose parents refuse to use the correct name.  Or pronouns. You have been made in God’s image and Jesus blesses you.  

Blessed are those who have been rejected by friends or family when they have come out.  

Blessed are those who are closeted. 

Blessed are those who identify as lesbian or gay but choose to be celibate. 

Blessed are those whose LGBTQ identity is invisible.  Or questioned. Or made into political footballs. You are of God and Jesus blesses you. 

Blessed are those who have been kicked out of their homes for coming out.  

Blessed are those who have been forced out of their church for coming out.  

Blessed are those who have lost jobs when they have come out.  

Blessed are those whose parents refused to attend their weddings.  You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.  

Blessed are those who have fought for gender neutral bathrooms.  And for options other than male or female. And for marriage equality.  

Blessed are those children who have a mommy and a mama.  

Blessed are those children with two daddies.  

Blessed are those who have stood up to systems and organizations with anti-LGBTQ policies.  Even if it meant losing friends. Or jobs. Or community. Yours is the kindom of God and Jesus blesses you.  

Blessed are those who have lived with a secret.  Those who have been told that they are wrong. Or perverse.  Or shameful.  

Blessed are those who have felt they had to choose between falling in love and being loved by God.  

Blessed are those who have been lost and have been found.  You are children of God and Jesus loves you.  


Solar Theology vs Lunar Theology

In a teaching last Sunday, David borrowed from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book Learning to Walk in the Dark to explore solar theology vs. lunar theology. Here’s the chart David used during that teaching:

solar vs lunar.png

And here’s a short list of just some of the events in the Bible that happen in the dark:

  • Creation account begins in darkness, and days begin with the nighttime (Gen 1)

  • God’s covenant renewed with Abraham (Genesis 15)

  • Jacob’s stairway to heaven dream + God’s covenant with Jacob (Genesis 28)

  • Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32)

  • Moses receiving the 10 Commandments and the Torah (Exodus 19)

  • Jonah’s prayer - 3 days in the belly of the sea monster (Jonah 2)

  • Jesus walks on water (Mark 6)

  • Jesus’ resurrection (Luke 24)


In the teaching last Sunday, Tom used some projection slides with text we thought was worth sharing. The first is a quote:

Our denomination has long-defined itself as a diverse, capacious movement that holds in tension a radical welcome of all people into the infinite love of Jesus and a radical obedience to Christ’s moral demands that flow from the infinite holiness of Jesus. Neither can we adopt theologies that elevate certain biblical themes and denigrate others, or select certain attributes of God while suppressing other attributes. We cannot elevate the love of God over the kingship of God. - from one Christian denomination website


Tom’s response:

Of course we can! That’s exactly what we’re doing. It’s what we all do all the time. Here at Sanctuary, we are privileging a theology upon which inclusion comfortably rests and diminishing a theology that gives rise to exclusion as an acceptable practice. We believe that God, through Jesus, is leading the human community away from its projection onto God of all our impulses to control and oppose, and into love, into I no longer call you slaves, but friends.

And then Tom read from David Bentley Hart’s translation of John 13. Here is that text:

Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come—that he might pass from this cosmos to the Father—having loved his own in the cosmos, he loved them to the end: And, as the evening meal was taking place—now that the Slanderer had put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, that he should betray him—Knowing that the Father had placed all things in his hands, and that he came forth from God and is under way to God, He rises from the supper, and places his mantle aside and, taking up a towel, wrapped it around his loins; Then he pours water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and began to wipe them off with the towel wrapped about his loins.

Thus he comes to Simon Peter; he says to him, “Lord, are you washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You do not yet understand what I am doing, but hereafter you will understand.” Peter says to him, “Most surely, throughout the age,y you will not wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you have no portion with me.”

Therefore, when he had washed their feet and taken up his mantle and again reclined at table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and well you speak, for such I am. So if I, the Lord and the teacher, have washed your feet, you are obliged to wash one another’s feet; For I have given you an example so that, just as I have done for you, you may do as well. Amen, amen, I tell you, a slave is not superior to his lord, nor is a messenger superior to the one sending him. If you know these things, how blessed you are if you do them.”



Every once in a while, I read a book that frequently provokes involuntary YES’s and AMEN’s. The new book Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber is one of those types of books. In Shameless, Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran pastor, writer, and speaker, examines some of the toxic messages and practices within Christianity related to sex and sexuality. And she offers some promising healthy alternatives.

This book makes a great follow up to Sanctuary’s recent 5-part teaching series called God, Gender, & Human Sexuality. (If you missed those teachings, you can listen to all of them here.)

If you read the book, I’d love to hear what you think!

- David Borger Germann

A Pastoral Response to Momo

- David Borger Germann

A few days ago my 5th and 6th grade kids came home from school agitated and scared. As they ate chips & queso, poptarts, and veggie sausages - the pre-teen appetite is amazing - they nervously told me about this online game called Momo. Momo, they said, asks kids to engage in high-risk tasks that ultimately leads to kids taking their own lives. The game, they told me, targets kids by inserting a creepy image and accompanying message into popular YouTube videos. Wide-eyed, they informed me that some kids around the world, like a 12-year old in Brazil for example, followed the instructions, leading to their death.


As I listened, I grew skeptical but concerned, so I began looking up articles on Snopes (content warning: very creepy image!) and other trustworthy sites.  And it turns out the whole thing is a story of a rumor of a story of an urban legend that has no actual basis in real life.

There is no game called Momo.

But there’s a rumor.  And there’s a cruel, creepy image. And that has proved sufficient enough to spread fear and confusion. Kids all over the country have been talking about this game, scaring themselves and alarming parents. National news outlets have published articles helping sort through fact and fiction, and the Iowa City schools sent out an email to the entire district offering tips to parents.

The ubiquity and stickiness of this Momo phenomenon follows the wide popularity of the sci-fi movie Birdbox. Released last fall, Birdbox portrays an epidemic of suicides. Towards the beginning of the movie, there’s a harrowing scene where the suicidal behavior spreads like a contagion, sweeping across continents while survivors flee for their lives. Those few people remaining soon understand that seeing some kind of ill-defined creature is what causes someone to commit suicide, so they all have to move around blindfolded.

These two unnerving cultural phenomena reveal how suicide is not only a devastating individual act of self-harm; it’s also a profoundly social problem. We humans tend to desire and do what other humans desire and do. And so when a person commits suicide, the psychological threat to other people is real. Data suggest that suicides can happen in clusters, and there can be a spike in the suicide rate shortly after someone famous commits the act. Fortunately, there are now media guidelines for reporting on suicide that help stop - and even reverse - these trends.

How do we respond to these stories with our children and to the particular threat that the Momo rumor presents?  Here are some ideas:

  1. We can talk about hard stuff with kids openly and non-anxiously. There are all kinds of articles online about how to talk to your kids about safety, particularly related to internet safety issues. But before we talk to our kids, we have to address our own anxiety first. We can only give away what we ourselves possess, and our kids will pick up on any anxiety we have.  So we first need to get the help we need, addressing our own anxiety or discomfort. We can talk to God about it, or talk to other friends and loved ones. Talking to God and others can help cultivate peace and reassurance we need. We can also do some research on the troubling subjects. And then after gaining some peace and confidence, we’re ready to facilitate a healthy conversation with our kids about rumors, about internet safety, and about self-harm.

  2. We can recognize that social problems have social solutions. This is great news!  We can all work together to create and sustain families, friendships, and communities marked by care and compassion. In no way do I mean to suggest that there’s a fool-proof way to prevent suicide. Rather, I wish to point out how much power we - the collective we - have in creating good lives for all people. We can claim this power. God is with us, giving us all of God’s gifts to resist evil and do good in the world.

  3. We can consider carefully what we look at. Birdbox and Momo are fictionalized - and sensationalized - accounts of self-harm, but they both highlight the relationship between harm and what people see. Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)  There’s some ancient wisdom here that we would do well to embrace. We can take this moment to reassess what we look at and consume everyday:

    • What are we looking at on the internet?

    • How do the things we look at cause ourselves and others real harm?

    • Does it make us happy?

    • Does it make us people more capable of empathy, of enacting justice and liberation?

Finally, I’m grateful to be a part of a faith community with other amazing people and parents where we can do life and parenting together. God is with us in this!

Responding to the Hate Crime at IC Compassion in Iowa City

Recently the Nazarene Church in Iowa City was vandalized as swastikas, racist language, and Bible verses were painted on the building. We don’t know why, but very likely it’s because the same building is home to IC Compassion, the local non-profit that serves immigrants and refugees.  

This hate crime is part of the centuries-long history of white supremacy in our country.  Sadly, the data suggests that such hate crimes are on the rise.  These crimes threaten anyone who is not seen as white, and they can also include members of the LGBTQ community.

We want to take this opportunity to voice our support for IC Compassion, for the immigrants and refugees in our community, and for all our neighbors. At Sanctuary, we’re seeking to foster a community where love for God and love for ALL our neighbors is the highest priority. And we’ll do everything we can to resist acts of hate.


Right now, Sanctuary’s Hands On Faith ministry assists IC Compassion regularly, and we will continue to do so. Once a month we help with their Community Meal, which involves bringing dinner to serve 40-60 people, many of them refugees or immigrants. IC Compassion offers the meal as a way of gathering people together simple to connect, and then they provide language lessons and citizenship classes after the meal.  

We also brought a gift and sign as a show of support, letting everyone know that Sanctuary stands with them.  

Please join Sanctuary in a renewed commitment to helping create community and sanctuary everywhere, for all people.  

Talking to God Face to Face

In a recent church small group called Reconstructing Faith, we looked at several Bible stories in which people talk to God about the severe suffering they’re facing. Moses, David, Job, Jesus and many more figures from the Bible all complained to God, expressing their anger, confusion, and dismay. In one of the more uneasy moments of the Bible, Jesus laments, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” just before dying on the cross.


These stories portray faith as a bold, gritty, face-to-face interaction with God-who-is-present. Instead of Midwestern-polite, well-mannered conversations with God, the Bible repeatedly shows faith-filled people engaged in frank, direct cries to God’s face. The people of the Bible have a big problem with the world and with God, and they’re calling “bs.”

Contrast these gripping face-to-face encounters with the project of talking about God in theology or philosophy. When we talk about God, we’re in our heads. We’re analyzing, judging, evaluating, and making meaning. These are all valuable and necessary, but they are insufficient because they ultimately keep suffering, pain, and love at a distance. It’s as though we’re walking next to ourselves, looking on our experience from a third person point of view rather than experiencing the raw vulnerability of life from the first person.  

When we talk to God face-to-face and expect God-With-Us to be there, we begin inhabiting our bodies and spirits and hearts. We’re in our pain, not next to it. We’re in the first-person moment of suffering and love. The result can be thrilling, and that’s because of the stakes:  we’re risking it all. We risk hearing God’s response, or God’s lack of response. We risk confronting the darkness around us and inside us. Will we be curious about this darkness to stay there, to look around a bit and wonder what’s going on, and to talk to God about it?  

Jesus’ agonizing cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” models for us what to do when we face suffering:  kvetch to God directly. You’ve got a problem with the world? A problem with how well God is managing this place? Join the club! And join the saints in calling “bs” on God. Stop trying to figure it out in your head and let loose in your body and spirit. Put on some loud music and scream in your car, go out into the woods and yell, or try writing it all down, an f-bomb laden psalm of rage and discontent. Do this, and you will find God right there with you. God is already in the darkness, in our pain and suffering, waiting for us to commune with God, face-to-face.

- David Borger Germann, Executive Pastor



Lent is the season before Easter that begins with Ash Wednesday (on March 6 this year).  It is traditionally a time when we’re invited to give more attention to three spiritual practices:

  1. Prayer

  2. Fasting

  3. Giving to the poor

Here are some ideas of how you might put these into practice in the coming weeks. All of these are best done with other people, so ask a friend or family member to engage in the practice with you.


  • Take 5 minutes in the morning, or during lunch break, or in the evening to read a Psalm and pray.

  • Try simply breathing in silence for 5 minutes each day, mindful of your body and mindful of God’s presence with you.


  • Try engaging in a common Lenten food fast like abstaining from chocolate, meat, or alcohol. Consider giving away the money you’d normally spend on these items.

  • Skip a meal once a week and spend the time praying, reading, or journaling.

  • Consider fasting from your phone, or from social media, or from other screens for a period of time. (No screens! Oh My God, no screens?! Are you crazy?!!)


Share on Instagram & Facebook what you’re planning to do for Lent with the hashtag #SanctuaryLent

Share on Instagram & Facebook what you’re planning to do for Lent with the hashtag #SanctuaryLent

  • Pick a local nonprofit and give an additional financial gift each week.

  • Donate gently used household items or clothing.

  • Consider donating to Sanctuary’s HoFfering (which will be collected on Sunday, April 14, 2019). All of the money raised for the HoFfering helps support our church’s Hands On Faith ministry and financial giving to other organizations. When Sanctuary gives money - like our $10,000 Blessing - it’s a big deal in the broader community.

Consent and Sexual Health


This past Sunday, David finished off our 5-week teaching series on God, Gender, & Human Sexuality with a sermon about consent, power, and responsibility. You can listen to the teaching here, or watch a video of the service here.

In the teaching, David shared a quote from the World Health Organization that we wanted to highlight.

Here’s the WHO definition on sexual health:

Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.

How would our society be different if we sought to promote this kind of sexuality?

Resources from Gender & Sexual Identity Seminar

Gender and Sexuality Seminar 1.29.19
Katie Imborek

Here are the slides from the seminar. You can view the video HERE. Plus additional resources below.

National LGBTQ Resources

- Championing LGBTQ issues in grades K-12
- Educator resources available

2. Human Rights Campaign (HRC)-
- Annual Health Equality Index rating healthcare systems on LGBTQ inclusiveness
- Resources for allies
- Information for employers
- The largest organization lobbying LGBTQ issues at all levels of government

3. Gender Spectrum-
- Commitment to creating gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens
- Information specific to parenting, teenagers, education, faith, healthcare, etc

4. National Center for Transgender Equality-
- Primary destination for people who are trans to learn about their rights related to public accommodation, health insurance, employment, identity documents, etc
- Resources available for cisgender people to learn about terminology and important legal issues

Local/Regional LGBTQ Resources
1. Iowa Safe Schools-
- Annual Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth
- Pride Camp for youth
- Resources for educators, school boards, etc

2. One Iowa -
- Statewide LGBTQ organization focusing on political advocacy and education
- LGBTQ Leadership Institute
- Annual Iowa LGBTQ Health and Wellness Conference

3. PLAG Cedar Rapids -
- Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Support Group (Transformations) meetings bimonthly
- PFLAG CR support group for LGBTQ identified persons, friends, and family members

4. Iowa Guide to Changing Legal Identity Documents - LINK
- Essential guide for transgender people to navigate name change, gender marker change on a birth certificate/passport/social security card, etc
- Contact information for University of Iowa College of Law Rainbow Legal Clinic

5. University of Iowa Health Care LGBTQ Clinic -
- Primary care services provided by family medicine and general internal medicine providers
- Transition related services including hormones, specialty care referrals for surgical care
- Pediatric endocrinology services for transgender adolescents
- Referrals to mental health services if needed (UIHC Child Psychiatry or local therapists

Asking Jesus for What We Want

In yesterday’s message, David looked at two back-to-back Bible stories in which Jesus says,

What do you want me to do for you?

mark 10 compare and contrast.jpg

David offered this chart to compare the two stories (from Mark 10:35-52).

The major takeaway from this story is that no matter what we desire, and no matter our approach, Jesus takes us and our desires seriously. He may redirect our desires towards some good fulfillment that’s in line with his values. Or he may help bring about exactly what we have in mind. But in either case, there are some very valuable lessons we learn when we bring our desires before God and listen for God’s voice.

Suggested Prayer: “Jesus, help me know what I want. Give me courage to name what I want before you.”

What if God was more generous than that?


In James’ teaching last Sunday, he shared a question that he thinks is at the heart of what Sanctuary is all about:

What if God was more generous than that?

This is the kind of question that can help us pause and reflect on what we’re thinking or doing. It’s the kind of imaginative and open-ended question that can help liberate us from our own judgments about ourselves and others.

What if God was more generous that that?

James also posed several generative questions around making resolutions. We recommend taking some time to prayerfully consider these.

1) Where might Jesus want to meet me?

2) Is this resolution rooted in shame?

3) What are the things I count on to sustain me that aren’t helping me stay connected to Jesus?

What if God was more generous that that?

Jesus Uses Some Philosopher's Tricks

raven 1.jpg

Last week, David’s message included some reflections on Jesus as philosopher and the tricks that Jesus uses to get his audience’s attention. In Luke 12, Jesus teaches about how not to worry, but his message starts off on a bizarre note with his line, “Consider the ravens.” Ravens, known for eating carrion and abandoning their young, would not have been the most hopeful image from creation that Jesus could have picked. But that’s just the beginning of the shocking and humorous lines Jesus throws out.

Here’s a summary of Jesus’ philosophical punch lines:

  1. God provides for all things (so there’s no need to worry).

  2. God even provides food for ravens and clothing (wildflowers) for the grass of the field.

  3. By the way, King Solomon - big thumbs down.

  4. Also by the way, worrying doesn’t do any good. You can’t even do such a small thing as add an hour to your life by worrying!

  5. THEREFORE, God will certainly provide for y’all humans, you of little faith!

To recap, Jesus uses some provocative examples from creation. Then he critiques one of his audience’s big heroes (Solomon). Finally, he backhandedly insults everyone by saying they can’t do anything so small as add an hour to their lives by worrying and that they have little faith!

All of these lines are Jesus’ philosopher moves to wake up his audience so that he can then address the underlying issues related to worry and fear. And now that Jesus gains everyone’s undivided attention, he offers one of the most lovely pastoral lines in the gospels:

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom!

Next time you find yourself worrying, consider the ravens. Then after you laugh a little, try turning to Jesus to hear his reassuring voice.

Jesus critiques a supposed “hero” of the Bible to explore the connection between God's abundance and being free from worry

gods provision.jpg

This coming Sunday, Nov. 18 is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. David will be preaching about God’s provision, using Jesus’ teaching on not worrying (Luke 12). We’ll explore the connection between God’s abundance and living free from worry.

One of the surprising moves Jesus makes in his teaching on worry is critiquing a “hero” of the Bible: Solomon. Jesus compares Solomon unfavorably to a field of grass covered in wildflowers. This would have been a rather shocking thing to say. Solomon was widely held as one of the preeminent kings in Israel’s history. Critiquing him would feel like critiquing Abraham Lincoln or Churchill.

Why does Jesus critique Solomon of all people? What’s the connection between Solomon’s pursuit of wealth and worry? And what’s the antidote to worry? All of this and more is the subject of Sunday’s teaching. Join us!

Coming to Terms with Christian Trauma


This Sunday, November 11, we’re going to revisit the theme of Religious Trauma that we’ve explored before. Last year, we provided a 3-part teaching series looking at the topic. You can listen to these teachings on our podcast or find them here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

You can also find this valuable resource that Tom used in Part 1: Adverse Religious Experiences Questionnaire.

Here’s a short note from Tom about the upcoming teaching:

I have (at least) three devoted Jesus-follower friends who get anxious near Bibles, and so can’t read them. A pastor friend gets swoozy (sweaty and woozy) when he hears contemporary Christian worship music, so they sing lots of hymns in his church. I for years hid my science from my faith-community leaders and now feel activated with anger when I remember that environment. The Christian church has traumatized so so many people in our contemporary culture, producing anxiety and fear in many of us who nonetheless attend, and avoidance in many others who stay far from our gatherings. In this Sunday’s message, we’ll explore trauma in the church. We’ll enter a bible story where Jesus champions the cause of a female victim of religious trauma as a guide for illuminating our own stories. We’ll explore how church produces trauma through overt acts of harm, through shame and exclusion, and through intellectual and moral manipulation. And we’ll finish by talking about how to tell if we're affected, and some possibilities for the beginnings of freedom. All in 25 minutes :-) See you Sunday! Tom

Imagination & Hearing From God


In the teaching last Sunday about hearing from God, Adey used the word “imagination.” The use of imagination in terms of our faith may raise some questions. Doesn't imagination mean making stuff up?  If we imagine God speaking to us, is it real?

Walter Brueggemann is a biblical scholar who published a book called The Prophetic Imagination 40 years ago. In the book, Brueggemann describes the crucial role that imagination plays in the biblical prophets’ ability to envision the new world that God was bringing into being. Without imagination, Brueggemann argues, the prophets would not have been able to see or hear from God. It’s not that the prophets were making up reality so much as they were entering into the new reality of God by using all of their human gifts, including the gift and power of imagination.

Here’s one longer quote from Brueggemann:  

The prophet engages in futuring fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing. The same royal consciousness that make it possible to implement anything and everything is the one that shrinks imagination because imagination is a danger. Thus every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing futures alternative to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one.

Today, the prophets’ direct experience of God is available to us all. Everyone who wishes to nurture a vibrant faith life with Jesus can use their imaginations to help see, hear, and know God.

Some of us may need to give ourselves permission to try things out, to trust the Spirit’s ability to speak more than we distrust our ability to hear. We may also need to deal with any alarm or anxiety we might feel when engaging the part of our brains and bodies that channels imagination.

And if we ever have an experience with God that we’re not sure about, we can always check it out with Scripture and with friends to make sure it’s on track with what we think God is like.

The great journey and invitation in life is to come into a more full relationship with God, and we can do this by using every aspect of ourselves that God made, including our imagination.  

Good Things Come From Others’ Wisdom

The miracle of changing water into wine, is as much attributable to Mary as it is to Jesus. Yes, Jesus has the power to change water into wine.  But he doesn’t take the initiative to do so. Nor does he want to do it.  It’s Mary who sees the need.  She perceives the opportunity.  She names it with him, and even after he pushes back and calls her “woman,” she figures out a way that he can do it quietly and stealthily with the servants as co-conspirators.

The above quote was from David's teaching this past Sunday.  You can read the full version here, or give it a listen here. Enjoy!  

A Blessing Called Sanctuary

Last Sunday, Adey closed her teaching with a poem entitled "A Blessing Called Sanctuary."  Here it is below.  The source for this poem is this website that offered some Advent reflections.  

A Blessing Called Sanctuary

You hardly knew
how hungry you were
to be gathered in,
to receive the welcome
that invited you to enter
nothing of you
found foreign or strange,
nothing of your life
that you were asked
to leave behind
or to carry in silence
or in shame.

Tentative steps
became settling in,
leaning into the blessing
that enfolded you,
taking your place
in the circle
that stunned you
with its unimagined grace.

You began to breathe again,
to move without fear,
to speak with abandon
the words you carried
in your bones,
that echoed in your being.

You learned to sing.

But the deal with this blessing
is that it will not leave you alone,
will not let you linger
in safety,
in stasis.

The time will come
when this blessing
will ask you to leave,
not because it has tired of you
but because it desires for you
to become the sanctuary
that you have found—
to speak your word
into the world,
to tell what you have heard
with your own ears,
seen with your own eyes,
known in your own heart:

that you are beloved,
precious child of God,
beautiful to behold,*
and you are welcome
and more than welcome

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

What Limits Your Connection to God?

On Nov. 12, Tom preached on Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus in Luke 19.  Tom offered some reflection questions we wanted to share.  Here they are below:

Sanctuary Community Church believes that God exists and that God responds generously to those who seek him for help. Many of us, however, don’t experience God this way. This questionnaire invites you to ask yourself Why? What limits or diminishes my ability to experience connection with, or receiving blessing from, God?


Doubt, skepticism; anxiety, fear; Lack (knowledge, instruction, models); flawed knowledge, instruction, or models; trauma; busyness; contentment . . .

What personal/individual limitations have you experienced in the past?  And what about now? 


Family; Political; religious; work; education; economic; identity. How? pushing you out; keeping you in; shame, fear, praise, belonging; flawed beliefs or instruction . . .

What systemic/group limitations have you experienced in the past?  And what about now?