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The Sanctuary
"I can't believe this is a church."

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A positive comment? Lead Pastors Jamie and Heather Paton, who head up The Sanctuary, are very happy with it. This is a common first reaction they hear when people first visit their church in the heart of their Kipp's Lane community in the plaza at 1050 Kipps Lane. Many have been influenced by stereotyped ideas of what church "ought" to look like, or have had negative experiences in the past. For the hundred or so people who attend The Sanctuary (meeting in a converted billiards hall), they appreciate the comfortable, accepting atmosphere complete with unconditional love and no-nonsense, straightforward teaching. This is a place where acceptance for ALL is shown by genuine hugs, warm smiles, and delicious coffee. And I do mean "ALL"—whether you're employed, an employer, a student, unemployed, on welfare, a single parent, struggling with addiction or mental health challenges, from a visible minority or a newcomer to Canada...The Sanctuary lives by its growing reputation as a safe, non-judgmental's a sanctuary!

Jamie and Heather have a huge heart for outreach, and it shows. They started the church in their home in the Kipps Lane area in 2009. The church soon outgrew their house and they moved to Montcalm Secondary School. This wasn't the best arrangement and they soon began praying for a permanent location they could use. With very little available cash and raised eyebrows from banks and realtors, the idea of finding a suitable location they could afford didn't look very realistic. But, Jamie had a clear vision and told Heather one day that God would send someone with a place and find them. God provided exactly that when the plaza landlord approached them, saying he wanted to work with them.

From the sounds of things, they might soon be outgrowing the place they have now. Time for another vision. Then again, when you're doing church in obedience to God and with such an open heart for outreach, perhaps rapid church growth isn't really a surprise When Jamie and Heather go out to Kelsey's with their small group week after week, they soon befriend the restaurant staff. It's not unusual for Jamie and Heather to pray with their small group while at the restaurant. It's also not unusual for them to invite the wait staff if they'd like to join in the prayer. And, sometimes they do! How surprising is it that these restaurant staff should start attending Sanctary and to eventually give their hearts to Christ? So, why shouldn't The Sanctuary now be bursting at the seams yet again?

Is Sanctuary looking to draw people from other churches? Definitely not! But, Jamie and Heather and the others at The Sanctuary would welcome participation and partnership from other church folks—especially those most local to the Kipps Lane area. Like the parish church model that was standard in the "olden days", The Sanctuary likes to concentrate on neighbourhood ministry. This is why they love to partner with North Park's Mosaic Church plant at Ross Secondary School and the YMCA's Family Centre run from Northbrae Public School. As a clearly non-traditional church, the leaders at The Sanctuary are happy to entertain creative participation from other church congregations. Really, unity among believers sends a very important message to those watching us from the outside, trying to figure out what Jesus is all about. Jamie and Heather love that idea. Please have a look at what programs they are running and opportunities are available for you to be involved. If you want to "borrow" some ideas they are doing for your own neighbourhood ministry, I'm sure they wouldn't mind.

The Sanctuary:
1050 Kipps Lane at Barker
10:30am Coffee
11am Service

7pm Worship & Word