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The summer buzz is in the air and thrilling things are happening everywhere — even right here! Especially right here! Sanctuary has had quite a couple of weeks, full of blessed encounters, blissful moments and blockbuster-like occurrences. We are glad to report that just as the temperature is climbing, so is Sanctuary rising to remarkable levels.

8__1331751060_6928In mid July, a group of ten passionate people gathered for the sake of service. Julie Roberts, Charlene Carle and four other core members of the congregation welcomed Gabriella Snyder Stelmack into our midst. Gabriella is the Special Projects Coordinator for the nonprofit organization Bread Of Life, Malden and gave a dynamic presentation on the ways in which Sanctuary might be of help to their mission. This exciting exchange resulted into the commitment that Sanctuary will help to facilitate a bi-monthly meal at Bread Of Life on the second Thursday during even numbered months! In fact, the first meal coincides with our Teen Volunteer Program AM.2.PM on Thursday, August 11th. Contact Julie or Charlene to get involved!

YANGON, BURMA - NOVEMBER 14: U.S President Barak Obama speaks to students during a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Town Hall meeting on November 14, 2014 in Yangon, Burma. Obama spends one day in Yangon speaking at Yangon University and meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi before departing to Australia for the G20 Summit this evening. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)On Thursday evening, President Barack Obama convened a Town Hall Meeting entitled the President and the People, to address the pertinent issue of race and policing. There was a viewing party held at Sanctuary, to which a dozen people attended (seven of whom were new to Sanctuary)!. After the broadcast ended, those gathered engaged each other through dialogue. The conversation was highly enlightening as people followed their gut, spoke from the heart, and put forth what was on their minds. We will have more stimulating discussions on topics such as this one (which was indeed tough, but necessary) and all of the folk in attendance agreed they would come back for more!

2016.07.15 PokestopPokemon Go is a game that has completely captivated America, especially its millennials.Thousands of people nationwide are attempting to “catch ‘em all”, as the game’s theme song challenges its players to do so. Along their virtual adventures, these eager Pokemon trainers bump into places called PokeStops. At these stops, players can receive vital supplies for catching pokemon. It just so happens that churches (along with other landmarks) have been identified by the game designers at such PokeStops — even our Sanctuary Storefront! People from all over the neighborhood have already come by to not only replenish their stocks, but also to find out more about who and what we are at Sanctuary.

We are blessed to be surrounded by beautiful artwork every month — thanks to the Sanctuary Gallery Ministry Team!. We are even more blessed when the artist is physically present to say more about their work. Friday evening was a Sanctuary Gallery Reception for the history books. Not only was there a sizeable crowd of twenty-one people and an extravagant spread of luscious food, but all13819377_10153626028536759_485293898_n in attendance were entirely enthralled by the wit and wonder of our featured artist Giselle Gill. The conversation and reflections about her work touched on themes of faith, culture, justice, mercy and building communities of love. The brazen colors, brave technique, and brilliant creativity made for one successful gallery showing with participation by many new to our little faith community.

Finally, this week, we joined friends and neighbors for the second time this summer at CACHE’s “Circle-The-Square” and a good time was had by all. With the help of teacher and crafter extraordinaire, Joanna Begin, we offered kids and parents alike a chance to create a Prayer Flag for Peace inviting them to come to Sanctuary this September to see their art on display in our gallery at an Art Show we are planning for families. There was great music and great spirit – and we danced, shared prayers, painted prayer flags, and told the story of Sanctuary. The experience of sharing this kind of hospitality and community building is infectious–perhaps you will want to join us on August 18 for the next Circle-the-Square!

Rev. Lambert Rahming (07.22.2016)

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Being Sanctuary: Mid-Summer Moments