Sanctuary is a diverse group of people from different neighborhoods and backgrounds who all share the belief that the beauty of grace is more transformative than any ethical program, ideology, or philosophy.  Though many of us feel cynical of religion, we are a community that is holding out for grace, confident that God is already working to bring about systemic justice, reconciliation, and wholeness.

Religious devotion, high ethical moral 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 humanity 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.  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 and our world from the inside-out - rather than trying to change you from the outside-in by sheer will power. The importance of this truth cannot be overstated, and it is a truth that we as a community have been spreading from one relationship to another.

Richard Lovelace does a great job of explaining the difference between a “gospel transformation” and a “moral reformation” by using the example of bent iron. He says that there are two ways to straighten a bent rod of iron. One way, through purely external power and force, is to bend the iron rod until it’s straight again. But the truth of iron is that if you succeed in bending the iron back, instead of being as strong or stronger, it is actually weaker where you bent it. Even if it looks visually straight, it will be prone to break if it is bent again in the same area. The fibers of the iron are broken inside and by this physical exertion it is now unstable and susceptible to snapping in two. But if you put this iron in fire until it glows from the inside, in that fire as the fibers are transformed from the inside, you can shape and transform the iron and make it straighter than ever and stronger than ever. It becomes tempered because of the fire and is able to withstand even the physical forces that attempt to bend it and make it crooked.

This is the difference between Gospel transformation and moral reformation. It is true that through sheer will power and moral exertion you can change yourself. If someone has bent you (through abuse, trauma, etc.), you can will yourself to bend back so that you appear to be straight and strong. Spiritual disciplines, behavior modification, accountability groups and other ways of changing help bend you back by influence and outside force.

Or, through the Gospel, you can see your heart plunged into the fire of the One who made you and calls you to Himself. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of the One who made you and is infinitely more powerful than you are. Moreover, this same God procured FOR you cosmic favor, total acceptance, beauty and loveliness. Because it was procured through merits of his own Son, and not ours, we call it GRACE.

Pastors

Ed Park Teaching Elder Ed grew up in church, but was saved by “grace” in the early 90s after listening to a cassette tape recording of Rev. Tim Keller.  He and his partner Esther planted Sanctuary on Easter 2002 in their living room in Capitol Hill.  What began as a ministry to the homeless grew into a church that sought to be a "sanctuary" for the marginalized and a safe place for those exploring meaning and truth.   They have two home-schooled daughters who've flown the nest.  Along with pastoring, Ed works as a psychotherapist in private practice.  Esther works as a teacher for a local non-profit, Hopelink.  They enjoy watching movies and taking long walks in the cool neighborhoods of Seattle in their spare time. 

Ed Park
Teaching Elder

Ed grew up in church, but was saved by “grace” in the early 90s after listening to a cassette tape recording of Rev. Tim Keller.  He and his partner Esther planted Sanctuary on Easter 2002 in their living room in Capitol Hill.  What began as a ministry to the homeless grew into a church that sought to be a "sanctuary" for the marginalized and a safe place for those exploring meaning and truth.   They have two home-schooled daughters who've flown the nest.  Along with pastoring, Ed works as a psychotherapist in private practice.  Esther works as a teacher for a local non-profit, Hopelink.  They enjoy watching movies and taking long walks in the cool neighborhoods of Seattle in their spare time. 

Gabriel Molinaro Teaching Elder Gabriel began attending Sanctuary Church in 2010 and has slowly become more involved since then, falling in love with the community. Gabe is fascinated by the strange life and teachings of Jesus and loves to study, teach, and discuss how the way of Jesus heals and transforms our own lives. He and his partner Ruth currently live in Ballard with their cat. Both transplants from outside the city, they have grown to appreciate and love the unique culture of Seattle and its different neighborhoods. In his spare time, Gabe plays the keys with two local bands, Timothy Robert Graham and Motopony.  

Gabriel Molinaro
Teaching Elder

Gabriel began attending Sanctuary Church in 2010 and has slowly become more involved since then, falling in love with the community. Gabe is fascinated by the strange life and teachings of Jesus and loves to study, teach, and discuss how the way of Jesus heals and transforms our own lives. He and his partner Ruth currently live in Ballard with their cat. Both transplants from outside the city, they have grown to appreciate and love the unique culture of Seattle and its different neighborhoods. In his spare time, Gabe plays the keys with two local bands, Timothy Robert Graham and Motopony.  

Leadership Council

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Anna Desimone
Deacon

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Cesar Menendez
Deacon

Haley King
Deacon

Kelli Graham
Deacon