The Sanctuary Boston: Build a Bridge of Hope

The Sanctuary Boston: Build a Bridge of Hope

Crowdfunding Completed: August 8, 2014

Amount Funded: $10837

Project Owner: Sanctuary Boston

Short Description of Project

Help support The Sanctuary Boston as we move into our third year of worship, and strive to realize our full potential as a community of creative, transformative possibility.

How was this project connected to UU?

The Sanctuary Boston is claimed by two Unitarian Universalist congregations as part of their communities and worship life, and we are increasingly being claimed by the UU movement as a pioneer emerging community in the world of Congregations and Beyond (including the incredible opportunity to lead the 2014 GA Witness Worship). We believe we're supporting a new generation of committed UU young adults into being. UU youth often find “bridging” to be a “bridge to nowhere,” as congregations that can serve sizable young adult populations well are rare. Young adults are challenging to serve – transient, financially limited and often drawn to non-traditional worship. But we’re finding a way not only to extend bridging structures through young adulthood, but to make a home – a Sanctuary – for those navigating these transitional years. Many young adults within our community had not been worshipping anywhere for years before finding the Sanctuary. And already in our first two years, four community members discerned callings to UU ministry. But we’re doing more than holding onto young adults. Where we Unitarian Universalism was losing energy, the Sanctuary is now releasing new enthusiasm into our movement.
At Sanctuary Boston we self-describe as “grounded in Unitarian Universalism.” We were founded by Unitarian Universalist young adult leaders and the majority, though not all, of our community leaders are still UU-identified. We worship in UU churches and enjoy their support along with the generous financial support from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism and the Mass Bay District. We light a Chalice at every gathering, the symbol of our free faith. We hold UU values and principles. We sing songs from UU hymnody. We are a Unitarian Universalist community. At the same time, The Sanctuary Boston is exploring new terrain in our movement’s great potential for creating and supporting spaces that serve UU’s as well as many who do not so identify. Part of what’s been making the experiment in community building that is Sanctuary Boston so exciting has been our capacity to become a home to many who do not (or do not yet) identify as UU, offering them a chance to approach that question of identity separately, while feeling fully embraced in the sanctuary of a community grounded in “Love Beyond Belief.” At the Sanctuary, we believe that “Love Beyond Belief” is not just something we can expect to embody through the strength of affirmation or covenant. To become more than meeting places for those drawn to this vision, our shared practice must reliably help us connect with and be transformed through a shared experience of that love. As UUs, we are dedicated to the fair distribution of power due to all beings within the interdependent web (and let the church say ‘Amen!’). But are we sufficiently claiming our own deepest potential power? The power we can release into our lives and our communities through the enthusiastic practice of our religion?! We believe we come into religious community because we want to be renewed and transformed in love. Our job is to create opportunities for sharing that experience. The Sanctuary Boston is engaging many who may have identified as spiritual but not religious, particularly (purportedly) religiously hesitant young adults. And by pursuing partnerships with area congregations we’re not just inspiring a new generation of enthusiastic liberal faith commitment, we’re spreading our liberal religious enthusiasm here and now, in Boston and beyond (including at this year’s General Assembly of the UUA in Providence, RI!).

Full Description of Project

Who is The Sanctuary Boston?
The Sanctuary Boston is a spiritual community of worship and connection, grounded in Unitarian Universalism, where seekers from all backgrounds and beliefs are coming together to find and co-create Sanctuary. Sanctuary is an intentionally multigenerational community, with a central ministry by and for young adults. We serve a diverse array of individuals who are nourished by our spirit-filled, heart-centered worship and our community life built around opportunities for authentic connection and spiritual growth.

HeatherParkerPhotography-237At Sanctuary, we’re living into the power of music, deep sharing and multi-vocal reflection to renew our hearts and hold us together in love. We strive to create a place where our sorrows and joys can be held in their fullness; where we don’t just affirm each individual’s worthiness, but each feel holy and loved. This love beyond belief experience calls us to build more beloved community in our lives, beyond the walls of any building in which we gather.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to build a bridge of hope into this community’s future; a future not just of sustainability, but also of creative, transformative possibility.

The blueprint for the Bridge of Hope:
The budget for this blueprint is $28,500.00. We currently hold $18,500 between cash in hand and committed funds.

Fully fund a new Director of Worship position at ten hours a week, for an exploratory consultancy period from September 2014 – June 2015, with compensation of $10,500.
Sustain our commitment to our professionally staffed music director, Mark David Buckles, and the musicianship of Matt Meyer ($8,000) and, with your generous support, bring on a new regularly staffed musician to grow and diversify the professional grounding of our music team ($3,000)
Fund a part-time development, administrative and communications support consultancy position at 20 hrs/month for the same exploratory period of Sept. to June, with compensation of $3,000
Engage in a 6-session Strategic Planning Process with the Consultancy Support of the Executive Service Corps (more information in Documents and Files)- $2,000
Replenish our worship supplies and save on gas and labor by purchasing an extra chalice, set of candles (we use a lot of candles), altar and table coverings, donation baskets, crock pots, etc., so that these need not be carried back and forth between gatherings! $500.
Maintain a modest advertising and publicity budget for facebook promotion, postcards and flyers, and underwriting the creation and selling (and shipping) of t-shirts, buttons and other promotional material. $1,500
We're looking to the wide new world of Faithify supporters to CLOSE THE GAP!!

We believe The Sanctuary Boston is building a bridge of hope that will guide us through this transitional period toward a financially sustainable future. Your support places you firmly within a heroic tradition in Unitarian Universalism; those who have longed to see the promise of our faith thrive in a rapidly changing religious landscape. But we can not build this bridge alone- we need the support of all those who also find new hope for the promise of love in our project. Please JOIN US in this campaign so we can discover together where this story will take us!

Our Bridge of Hope is a structure with many parts; they support one another, and all of them are essential to the building of our community of transformative love. For the upcoming program year, we will hire a part time Director of Worship and a support staffer. We will also grow our music ministry, augmenting the wonderful work of Mark David Buckles and Matt Meyer with a new professional musician. In addition, we will be working with the Executive Services Corps in a strategic planning process. The final pieces of the bridge are for worship supplies - a new chalice, more candles, baskets etc., and for advertising and promotional support.

HEY! But what if...

But what if we were to raise more than $10,000? What if the dreamers and doers and sustainers that make up the Sanctuary Boston had more resources? We could worship together more than just twice monthly, perhaps in new partnering communities, UU and beyond! We could begin to work more deeply with campus ministry and outreach at some of the fifty-three universities in Boston helping to close the "bridging gap" between youth and young adulthood. We could begin to reach out more to communities that have been traditionally under served by religion and Unitarian Universalism. We could share our original musical and liturgical creations with the wider UU world by recording our worships! The possibilities are almost endless....
Help us dream and do and sustain.

Why is FAITHIFY support so key?

The future of The Sanctuary Boston is still being written. We may become more closely connected with one or both of our current hosting/sponsoring congregations. We may become increasingly independent. We may partner with more UU congregations or even communities of different religious traditions. And our sponsoring and partnering congregations are excited about our development and beginning to invest more in The Sanctuary, beyond the support of rent-free space. But Faithify support empowers us to continue exploring the creative space of possibility between, beyond, and within our sponsoring and partner congregations. YOU are a pivotal player in that!

You will not be doing this alone. Members of our worshiping community are our foundation, and what a strong foundation we’re building! Over forty members of our community have committed to sustain The Sanctuary financially and/or through their time and talents. Other organizations have journeyed alongside us in this grand construction project. The Massachusetts Bay District’s Woburn fund was a key provider of startup funding for The Sanctuary Boston- and the predecessor organization for Faithify. The fund for Unitarian Universalism has been a consistent and strong supporter of The Sanctuary, and with the success of this campaign, they will award us a $5,000 matching grant! We are also supported with generous financial support from our sponsoring congregation, First Church in Boston, and in-kind support from our partner First Parish in Cambridge. Your support in this campaign is a key component of this bridge that we're building together.