The Space Between


Mark David Buckles, Matt Meyer, Mykal Slack, and Lelaina Romero rehearsing for Thursday’s worship, which featured such amazing music as Agape’s song, “All Are Welcome.”

This past week, we had a seriously spirit-filled worship. As part of our focus this month on what it means to be welcoming, community member Mykal Slack gave a reflection about “the space between us.” Mykal said he often hears folks describe the Sanctuary Boston as having “spirit-filled worship,” and he said that for him, this means that it’s a place for us to connect the goodness of how we feel when we sing together and worship together with the hard work needed to be fully present with each other.

Mykal shared that to see each other for the sanctuaries we are, we need to do two things. The first: Take tremendous care when we approach each other. The second: Show up fully, with our whole selves.

He told us about hush harbors — places where African American slaves would gather secretly in the woods to worship. These slaves weren’t aloud to dance or sing, so they would shuffle their feet together, expressing their worship in the best way they could. These hush harbors were a place where they could be free. It was sanctuary.

Mykal led us into a chance for the community to respond to the questions, “What do we have to do for this space to be free for all of us? What is sanctuary for us?”

Folks shared some amazing, from-the-heart responses. We are able to stumble and screw up, but still be in relationship — taking in faith that we’re all trying. We can lean upon each other; we don’t need to be stable enough to stand alone. We build relationships together that transcend twice-a-month worship. We share our vulnerability and give others permission to do the same. We cultivate the skills of welcoming that let people be seen for who they are.

What do you think? What makes this community a sanctuary?