Experiments in Sanctuary

Modified on: January 4, 2018

Sanctuaries are meant to be alive, living spaces that help us connect more deeply with ourselves and with others, places of dynamism and awakening. Sanctuaries not only welcome and shelter; they gather us to experiment with who we are and who we might more fully be.

This fall, we have experimented with our Sanctuary. Each Wednesday night during Evening Meditation, we assemble a small circle of chairs with the flame and chalice at the center, to sit in silence together, to breathe together, to be haunted by music and readings together, to move more deeply into our lives together.

Again this December, we reconfigured the Sanctuary’s layout into concentric circles, in celebration of the Winter Solstice. We reoriented the aisles on the east-west and north-south axes that are the major beams of the Sanctuary roof. And we turned off all the lights. There, circled together in the darkness, aligned with the four directions, we sent light out into the world from this space we share.

This January we will experiment with the arrangement of the Sanctuary again. Setting the center aisle on the east-west diagonal, we will face the ascending sun each morning that we gather, watching it rise through winter trees. With the freedom and glory of music pouring out of our congregation in this moment, we will center our choir and musicians as they offer their gifts each week. We will celebrate love, and memory, and the future in this space.

All of this is a sign to us, here at the New Year: to experiment with our lives, to configure and reconfigure ourselves

as people of welcome and shelter,
as people who experiment with life,

as Sanctuaries,

for who we each are,
and who we might more fully be.

Welcome all this New Year,


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