Sanctuary Church Seattle

We are a grace centered community seeking to serve the city socially, spiritually and culturally.

Meeting Sundays 10:30AM at Garfield Community Center

At our core we are a community driven by a common conviction and story. What is that story?

The world is not what it ought to be. The problem is my substituting God with myself, resulting in disharmony and disintegration. High ethical standards, good intentions, profound intellectual insights, and unleashed creativity are not enough to heal our world. We need to be rescued. God did so by substituting Man with Himself in the person of Jesus thereby restoring the cosmic relationship between Creation and its Creator on the basis of His work and record – not ours. Christ died the death we deserved. Christ earned the acceptance that we could never earn. You can say that we are more sinful than we can dare to imagine and yet through Christ we are more loved and accepted than we can dare hope for.

This classic Christian message called “the Gospel,” is what Sanctuary attempts to spread – first through ourselves, and then through the city – in word, deed, and community. When we trust it – it begins to transform us from the inside out.

I invite you to come and join us one of these Sundays. This website can explain to you what we are, but it can’t tell you who we are. So come check us out. We meet at an old Carmelite monastery. There's parking in the back. The teaching is more discussion-based than lecture. We try to keep it real, honest and our hearts and minds open.

[02/16/17]   God is the quiet voice of love that cuts through all the other voices of shame and accusation, including our own.
Prayer is the act of listening to that voice.
Thus, prayer is an act of self-love.

Who is Jesus? Every philosophical or theological tome ever written, every political manifesto or ideology all deal with some very basic questions: “am I going to be ok?” Are we going to be ok?” Most answer these questions by offering us examples of how to live and how to be good. We have been given examples of t...

What is Wrong with Us? PART 2 For the last two weeks we have examined the biblical concepts of sin and how we cope with the brokenness we experience in this life.  Last Sunday’s message from Psalm 25 provides a framework for how we navigate the brokenness we experience outside of us and within.  The “A to Z of Lament” has to do…

What is Wrong with Us? PART 1 "Recent events and challenges in the life of our nation and city remind us that the world is not always a place of peace and wholeness--but of strife and brokenness.  As we continue in Keller's "Gospel Christianity" we look at the question "What is Wrong With Us?"--an examination of the biblical not...

Gospel and Heart: Who is God? There is a lot of value in returning to the most basic questions of life again and again. Asking these questions assumes that we have not yet mastered the answers. It helps free us from dogmatism and the past beliefs we have held that might have been unhealthy or oppressive. If we ask them honestly,...

LIft Every Voice and Sing - 7th Annual Sickle Cell Benefit Come celebrate Black History Month with us as we honor some of our local African American Heros, hear from local gospel artist, and raise awareness about Sickle Cell.

Gospel and Heart: What is the Gospel? Gospel frees us from fear. In our second sermon of our series "What is the Gospel", we return back to Galatians 2:11-21, where we see how the Cross of Christ frees us from the mindset of performance, (either to the religion or irreligion as Tim Keller mentions in our study), and frees us fundamenta...

I have been reflecting lately on the words of Jesus: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

The teachings of Jesus have always been difficult for me - cryptic, strange, and sometimes offensive. These words especially bother me, but for some reason, I haven’t been able to shake them from my mind recently. I cannot help but ask, “what possible good can come out of praying for the people who have caused me pain?” What does that even look like?

It is one thing to admire the teachings of Jesus as one admires Buddha, the great Sufi writers or Ghandi. It is another thing to obey these words as if they hold the keys to our survival. It feels paradoxical, as if we must inflict more pain in order to escape pain. Unless of course the intent of Jesus was never pain-avoidance in the first place. This is also a difficult thought to swallow, especially in a culture in which every type of pain is viewed as an evil that must be pushed down with more medication. But perhaps Jesus had a different goal in mind altogether when he spoke these words.

I had a chance recently to try and put this into practice, and here is what I’ve learned so far:

First, praying for our enemies helps us recognize ourselves.

In praying for someone who had hurt me, I had the unpleasant experience of recognizing in them the same hurt, fear, and loneliness that I was feeling. Perhaps I couldn’t see it before because I was too busy scribbling devil horns on all their pictures. Perhaps I viewed them as my enemy precisely because I didn’t want to face my own fear. I don’t know. But somehow in the act of praying for them, I also saw myself. I still didn’t find this particularly helpful though, because now I only felt more pain. Instead of carrying the pain of one person, I now carried the pain of two. But Henri Nouwen writes that there is more hope in this state than we think: “a shared pain is no longer paralyzing, but mobilizing, when it is understood to be a way to liberation.” A hopeful person might assert that one cannot truly be enemies with a person in whom we see ourselves. A cynic might respond however, “not true! I don’t particularly like myself either!” I still think we need something more….

Second, praying for our enemies helps us recognize Jesus.

Christianity at it’s core is a strange, alien religion, because it worships a God whose great manifestation to humankind came through frailty, pain, and death. No matter how much gold and jewels you put on the crucifix, it is still a symbol of death.

Because of that, there is no pain, betrayal, or evil we can witness without also witnessing the person of Jesus. God is woven into our experience of pain.
It is also in this cataclysmic event of death that Jesus stepped into our shoes as enemies and strangers to God, giving us his place as trusted friend, child, and confidant. New Testament writers describe this event as a mystical trade - our divine alienation for Jesus’ divine favor. It means this: we are no longer enemies of God, but loved and accepted children. We didn’t earn it, because Jesus already earned it for us.

Perhaps we can bear to see ourselves in our enemy when we know how loved and accepted we are ourselves. Perhaps we can even begin the painful act of forgiving when we know the injustice Jesus went through for us. And maybe we will even find the strength to carry each other’s hurt and pain when we realize Jesus has already carried ours.

Peace and grace to you on your own spiritual journeys. Let’s continue to pray for one another.

~ Pastor Gabe




2323 E Cherry St
Seattle, WA

Opening Hours

Sunday 10:30am - 12pm
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