Reaching In, Reaching Out…

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Its been ages since we’ve blogged about our amazing worship gatherings and other community life at Sanctuary, but This is the New Year, as we sang out at our last Wednesday worship gathering, and another chance keep up with sharing the good news about this terrific community. : )

We brought in the new year with a beautiful house worship gathering on new years day at the Franklin St. Co-op, exploring the possibility of renewal in 2014, as opposed to resolution. Since New Years resolutions shine such a clear light on the limited effectiveness of plain old “will power” to change our habits, patterns, and commitments, we asked: what is it that really allows us to make the changes we wish to see in our lives? What is the real stuff of transformation? We reflected on the power in the Jewish new year practice of releasing wrongs and seeking restored connections (at-one-ment) with others and with God through forgiveness. And we took the opportunity to lay down burdens we were carrying that might keep us from the renewing power of connection in the coming year, wherever we experienced it. Check out this beautiful tune, Hallelujah by MuMuse, which we sang together in doing this. Matt Meyer also taught us this ringer by Mosh Ben Ari, Salaam (Od Yavov Shalom Aleinu), new to us at Sanctuary, but definitely coming back.

At our last worship, Love That Reaches In, we were all moved and inspired by Sara Krakauer’s witty and honest words on her journey to loving herself. Sara told the story of how, years ago, she read a book about how we should all marry ourselves. It said that we should promise to love and honor ourselves until the end. Sara “took the plunge” when she was 22, writing her own vows on a mountain top.  Since then, she found it’s much harder than one might think to truly practice self love. Sara told us about her wrong turns and exploration finding ways to live out that promise. In the end, she found that whenever she finds it hard to love herself, the best antidote is to reach out to others. Sara closed by sharing a Buddhist Metta Chant that had been meaningful to her in connecting the dots between her love of self, and the outstretched hand…

May I* be happy

May I be healthy

May I ride the waves of my life

May I live in peace no matter what I am given

* (you, we, all) 

We also soaked up  a powerful rendition of Being Human, a spoken word piece by Naima of Climbing Poetree, shared by Sam and Johnny. And we got the love flowing jamming out to a bunch of great music including The Mowgli’s San Francicso and  Melissa Ferrick’s Everything I Need.

We left re-energized to both give ourselves the love we need (freely, generously, …unconditionally) and to let that love pour out of us into our relationships and communities and a world so much in need of transformation – so much in need of the love we truly first have to let in, in order to let it out…

And after a terrific off-week gathering in Somerville last week, exploring some of the above topics in a smaller group setting, folks are gathering THIS WEDNESDAY, January 29, in Jamaica Plain, to get even more serious about these topics with a night of “Community Games and Shenanigans.” All are welcome (and so are your potluck contributions). RSVP via facebook or at

Our next worship is Wednesday, February 5th at 6pm, in the Barn Room at First Parish in Cambridge. Sanctuary community member (and one of Sanctuary’s founding leaders), Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen will be reflecting. Hope to see you there!!

~ Dave Ruffin, Sanctuary Coordinator

PS – If you’re reading this, there’s good chance you’re not only already connected to Sanctuary, but have also already been helping to co-create Sanctuary with your presence and gifts. BUT have you taken the chance to become a Sanctuary Sustainer?? We’ve been inviting all of us who care about this community to sustain it. You can do that through a monthly financial contribution that fits your giving ability, And/OR by simply committing to the kind of non-financial help you may already be giving (setup, cleanup, music making, food preparing, etc.). Just fill out our Virtual Sustainer Commitment Card online to make your co-creation of The Sanctuary official in this way! You can also go directly to our, First Church Boston sponsored, Online Donation Portal HERE to set up either a one time or a monthly re-occurring donation. (Just make sure to make your donation in the line item for “The Sanctuary Boston”). Got questions? Hit us up: 🙂