Love CBUS: Serving Abbey Lane

What did we do at Abbey Lane?

    On Sunday, a handful of Sanctuarians showed up to the Abbey Lane apartment to show some love to the kids of Abbey Lane. Many brought their own kids as well as lawn games and board games! After a time of prayer and strategy, we excitedly set out to invite our tutoring kids to come play with us—Indoors or outdoors! What followed was an hour of unprecedented fun: a snowball fight, games of cornhole and Kan Jam…of course once a soccer ball was found all other outdoor games were pretty much abandoned and the Abbey Lane kids gave the Sanctuarians a run for their money! Meanwhile, inside the apartment, more kids from the neighborhood enjoyed themselves by playing Battleship, Pictionary, telling stories, eating, laughing, and coloring. 

What was the purpose?

    Sunday was a great opportunity to continue building relationships with the kiddos of Abbey Lane. Every Tuesday night, we already have an opportunity through tutoring to establish friendships.  We get to know names, stories, families, countries of origin, and of course personalities. Love Cbus gave an opportunity for those friendships to begin with Sanctuarians who are not available on Tuesdays and it also was a demonstration to Abbey Lane that we are interested in spending time with them outside of tutoring. Any time spent at Abbey Lane, whether through tutoring or otherwise, is time spent showing Christ to individuals through our long-term involvement and friendship with them. 

What was the impact?

    Judging from the amount of smiles and laughing, Love Cbus at Abbey Lane was a success! One highlight was seeing some kids show up who were not involved with tutoring and being able to get to know them. We asked a neighbor if she could make some Somali tea for us and when we offered to pay, she refused! Later, she and her daughters not ONLY brought tea—They also brought a bowl full of popcorn and a basket of Sambusa—a pastry filled with meat, onions, and spices. We thanked them profusely while we politely stuffed our faces—it was all delicious! This moment was important for me because it served as a picture of the fellowship Sanctuary wants to continue seeking at Abbey Lane. This ministry really is about long-term relationships and “doing life” with our neighbors—one tutoring night and Love Cbus at a time!

What’s coming up next?

    If you missed Love Cbus at Abbey Lane—don’t worry! If you’re worrying about what Sanctuary will do at Abbey Lane AFTER school ends—Never fear! Plans are in the works to continue our involvement and FUN there through a World Cup Soccer Tournament this summer! Be on the lookout for more details regarding time/date as we get closer to warmer weather. If you have any experience in this area or you are just interested in being part of organizing, be sure to contact Amanda Epting!


I had an honest conversation with two girlfriends at church yesterday, leaving me with these thoughts: Without Jesus, I have not. Without Jesus, I am not. Let’s be honest, without Jesus, I am a complete train wreck. I am self-destructive, a loose cannon, and a ball of nerves. Truth, my friends. Ugly TRUTH. Great conversation amongst friends, yes? I love being able to dive right into the realness of life–that is how you know you have some solid peeps in your life right there. Anywayyyy….In light of the New Year, I have joined the masses in committing to resolutions of all sorts, in an attempt to normalize my life and feel better about who I am to be a better person. I would like to believe, however, that I’m not making resolutions, but revelations about myself and the kind of person I aspire to be. Ah, who am I kidding, I’m totally making resolutions. Just like so many, I have resolved to lose weight, get fit, and get healthier, not just physically, but spiritually and mentally as well. For those of you that know me, you’re rolling your eyes right now because we all know I am always seeking out the above mentioned. I’m always on a journey to a better Kimmy and have stored up a wealth of knowledge surrounding nutrition, physical fitness, and mindfulness. It’s a deep passion of mine and I hope to encourage others in their journey to living life to its full potential. The truth is though, I struggle. I mean S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E. I seek material things and lofty goals for all of the wrong reasons. I tell myself I am seeking these things to be a better person, a better Christian, to grow closer to God, etc. But I am kidding myself and everyone else around me. I know my deepest desire is to be near to God. To appease him. To be at peace with the person He has created and at peace with the life He’s provided. I truly long for these things, but the human in me and the sin I indulge in overcomes every pure and genuine instinct I have. I have to fight for my life everyday. We are always in a spiritual battle, my friends, and the older I get, the deeper I go with my faith, the harder the fight. I have to commit my thoughts to God’s authority every day (sometimes several times a day), and pray against evil and pray for the Spirit to fill me up, asking for less of me each day. Yesterday, during the sermon at church, I heard a message I had heard before, but it struck a different cord this time. It’s not about resolutions, it’s about reconciliation. It’s not about how fit I become or how trendy I dress. It’s not about how many people I say I have helped or how many good deeds I have performed. It’s about Jesus. I am nothing without Him. I am called to reconcile; not only with others, but with myself, and most of all, my Creator. While I am still trying to figure out just exactly what reconciliation looks like with God, I am able to recognize what it does not look like. I have lived in so much anger about what my life is not and what I lack as a human being, that I have put walls up against God, as well as loved ones. I am not as vulnerable as I could be and as a result, am not accepting all that God has to offer this sweet life of mine that he has so graciously created for me. I live in sin daily and choose to indulge in so many areas of my life where I should be restraining. Somewhere in the past 1-2 years, I have convinced myself that I am entitled, and there is no harm in finding happiness in every facet of this life; and that means eating the extra goodies, buying whatever is on sale, going out more with my friends than my husband, burying my face in social media every day, all day…the list goes on. Now, hear me out. I am a firm believer in having fun in this life and seeking out happiness. Trust me, I never stop trying to have fun! While I believe it is fine to indulge in these things at times, I am beginning to understand that trouble lurks when it becomes a lifestyle. I lose sight of what is important. I lose myself and I lose sight of Jesus. While I believe happiness is something God desires for us, I am beginning to question the difference between happiness and joy, which is another blog post for another time. This is just a blurry line for me at this moment in my life.  I think it’s safe to say my expectations of what God has for me differ from His actual plan for me, and consequently, I typically find happiness in many  things that lead to heartache. I am recognizing in myself so much that needs reconciled, most of which is less indulgence in worldly things and more indulgence in God. Thankfully, grace and forgiveness are extended to us at every turn and every sin committed. Listening to the sermon yesterday, truth I already knew overflowed, and I found myself sitting in a pool of grace. God has given us righteous names and we are called to fight the good fight, treating each other as God sees us; Righteous Sons and Righteous Daughters. Reconciliation is key, and we must congregate, deny ourselves, and be more vulnerable. That, I do believe, is a big part in reconciliation of not only ourselves, but of our faith.Yesterday, I followed my husband to the altar, as he wept and prayed. If only I could say I followed him for the right reasons, instead of fear of what the congregation would think if I left him up there by himself. It was apparent to me just how much reconciliation I have to do. Instead of beating myself up about it though, I am choosing to bask in God’s grace, knowing He has given me a righteous name and is longing for me to meet Him at the point of reconciliation. So, instead of focusing on all of my resolutions this year, I am going to focus on reconciling my faith and meeting my Creator in the middle. While I know He will always pursue me, I’m sure it would be nice if I would at least meet Him half way this time. While He has already fulfilled both sides of the covenant, I think it is important for me to ask for help and reach out to Him. Thus, I will  practice denying myself more and inviting Him into my decisions and choices. In case you have not already heard about #theyearofno, I am also focusing on saying no more often instead of being a yes girl, in attempt to be more obedient to what God is calling me to really focus on. While I can say with certainty that I will fail, I will ask for accountability from my friends and church family, as I will need help getting back up, time and time again.

What does reconciliation look like to you? Where are you going to put your focus this year?

Much Love,

~K's not too late

Do you have a word for the year?  I do.  Reconcile.  But it's not just for me it is for us as a church family.  The unique call on Sanctuary Columbus is to be a reconciling movement.  30 people from Heritage Church, Faith Covenant and Vineyard Church signed on to be a part of something that was/and is much larger than ourselves.  When we first started much emphasis of being a reconciling movement was shaped around Micah 6:8 "You know, oh man, what the Lord requires of you? Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God."  That seed verse has launched us into weekly worship on Sundays, meeting in community groups throughout the week, and regular service opportunities that express our love for Columbus.  If you asked someone from our church what it means to be a reconciling movement then you might have equated that with race and ethnicity.  You wouldn't be wrong about that, per se.  In fact our commitment to the value of ethnic and cultural diversity has made us one of the most diverse churches in Columbus, Ohio.  

But there is more to reconciliation than merging the separation between ethnic groups.

As I reflected on 2013 and looked forward to 2014 I  saw in our church a community of reconciled people to God who were leading the charge of reconciliation in our city.  What first began to emerge was a sense of failure (it's more core fear, so quite naturally it is the first to come to my senses).  I lamented that I had not done a significant job of building a culture of reconciliation with training classes, graphs and growth goals.  Soon after my bout with failure (in conversation with friends and members of the church) I realized that Sanctuary Columbus was more reconciled than I thought.  I heard story after story of people reconciling with God, with each other and with what God is doing in our city/world.  I got excited again!  When I was pressed by truly what is the life verse for Sanctuary Columbus it was 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 that I kept coming back to because of the mission to be reconcilers is not limited to race.  Being a reconciler means getting the word out to the unbeliever, to the believer who struggles with trusting in God, to the committed Christian who needs to put some action into their faith.  All of that is here in Paul's words to the Corinthian church below;

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."

I imagine that anyone can become a reconciler.  This vision is not limited to us.  It isn't limited to where we meet Sunday morning for worship or with whom we have Community Group.  This vision is for everyone.  As we gather around the theme of #reconcile for the year, my desire is to clarify our understanding of reconciliation for Sanctuary and the ones who consider this their home.  A much clearer vision and understanding will shape our values, behaviors and how we choose to live our lives in relation to God (UP), to others (IN) and to the world (OUT).  

I invite you on this journey with me and to a life of reconciliation in 2014 and beyond.

Call me righteous,


What Happened Last Week at Sanctuary?

What Happened Last Week at Sanctuary?

The first Sunday of the month, Sanctuary observes communion (a time of remembrance of Jesus death and resurrection for our salvation). I enjoy these times because it allows space for Jesus to reveal himself as a very real and present redeemer of our lives. Certainly we allow space for Jesus to work in our lives every Sunday at Sanctuary, but there is a sacredness to eating the bread and drinking the cup that we are given to remember our Lord. And Jesus was working in the lives of so many people Sunday!

Communion was officiated by Scott Moses. The prayer team met before service to pray for the church and for the Holy Spirit to lead our lives generally and with respect to the worship service. (You really should consider joining us one Sunday before service at 9:15a in the music room.) After prayer Scott mentioned that he had a vision of how communion should go this morning. We talked it over and I felt very comfortable with what Scott shared - so we decided to “see what happens”. The context was that after communion Scott would then ask if anyone wanted to come forward for prayer as he read Scriptures that affirmed that the sons and daughters of God are redeemed from a list of issues that can spiritually hold people in bondage.

What started happening was that people started coming forward. Others also bursted with tears and screams as the pain of whatever they were carrying was released. From the front I could see individuals praying with one another. Some people were actively engaged in what was going on. Some passively engaged and others just simply disengaged physically and emotionally. Overall, it was clearly evident that there were many people who needed the space to release their burdens to Jesus. They’d been carrying it for too long.

At about 11:30a things started to calm and a peace came over the room. I still hadn’t preached my well prepared sermon! We plan for a 90min service so I had at least 30min to preach or see if anything else needed to happen. I felt like there were some people who needed to share testimony with the church - and people came forward to share testimony. Rob and Jackie shared about the long period of separation while in between jobs. In a matter of a week they were both offered full time positions here in Columbus. Jen Lobb shared about receiving a full scholarship for her graduate program at OSU. Stephen shared about choosing God over an addiction and making Sanctuary his home. Amy told about the meaning of her new tattoo reminding her that she is "equipped" - everything she needs in life God has already given her. My son shared a verse from Mark he challenged the family to memorize. Kayla shared about how she saw God heal her lack of vision through prayer. Evidently there needed to be space for people to share openly what God was doing in their lives...including the lives of our children.

There were several takeaways for me personally, but here a few I'd like share with you:

We are diverse experientially and spiritually

Translation - we connect with God differently from one another. About two years ago there was a worship service at Sanctuary that I described as spontaneous and unpredictable. You can read about that HERE.

Some of our expressions of worship are connected directly to our cultural upbringing. Other expressions are connected to our religious upbringing. Still other expressions have no cultural or religious context and they just are. It's important to keep in mind that our independent expressions are not the "only way" to connect with God. What's more important is that we don't judge other expressions as valid or invalid based our own cultural and/or religious expression.

In a diverse church we're called to be learners of one another - so learn the way they connect with God through singing, solitude, quietness, preaching, prayer, and so on. It's in the posture of learning the culture of our brothers and sisters that we can begin to see a more full picture of God. I knew planting a heterogeneous church would not be an easy task...the multi-ethnicity is not even the most difficult's the diversity of theology and expression that is most challenging. I'm committed to seeing this through and I believe that you are at Sanctuary because you want to see God differently- which is going to stretch everyone.

Every Sunday is an opportunity to connect with God

Specifically, the altar is open for prayer every Sunday. There are times when we want to come forward but we don't because we sit back rather than lean forward - we wait rather than jump in - we ask questions and make observations of others rather focusing on our dealing with God. Sunday was the day that evidently some people had enough of waiting and leaning back - nothing was going to stop them from connecting with Jesus.

To be fair, there's absolutely nothing wrong with staying in your seat either. God can meet you right there as much as he can meet you at the front of the room. There are times when I prefer to sit when the worship leader asks me to stand (truth, Wendy). My engagement with God is not dependent upon my movement, but sometimes God prompts us to move and we should.

I believe that we are all in process in this journey of faith. Real talk...For some at Sanctuary, you honestly have been sitting too long...your arms have been folded too squarely...and your hands have been balled up into fists too tightly. I ask you to prayerfully consider that God is using these moments to break up the hardness in your heart and show a different way, perhaps a new way of connecting with the Holy Spirit in corporate worship. The Holy Spirit is whispering, tugging, maybe even shouting, "C'mon let's party!"

Church is a time of supporting one another

The precious moment for me was seeing the care that you showed one another in prayer all over the room; sometimes at the altar at other times on the side of the room and times when you clapped or ran around the room in support of someone else's breakthrough moment. Wow! I felt the love and it felt good. I know that I can't get to pray for every person because I'm limited in what I can do. But the Spirit of God working through each of us has the potential for no one to be left out. Everyone can receive the encouragement they need when everyone participates. We should come to church with this mindset every Sunday:

- How can I join with my brother or sister through their joy or sorrow today?                                                                                                - What words of encouragement can I share with someone today?                                                                                                             - Is there someone who needs an act of kindness today?

What you will find in these moments of serving one another is that God will lead to discovering spiritual gifts that will be edifying to the church body. You'd never think God could use you that way...but God will because he loves you and God loves us. He doesn't want us to miss out one thing that heaven has available. I love the verse in Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. What a verse to hang your life on!

I'm encouraged by what we experience each Sunday at Sanctuary Columbus! The temptation will be to expect our services to be the same way each week. I don't have that expectation...God will do what he will do. I trust that God is working in each of our lives in the times when it is visible and there is a testimony to go along with it and in the moments when there are not words to describe what you feel or sense. I even trust that God is working when you don't feel a thing.

I'm loving the journey we're on right now. God is growing us and stretching us and maturing us as one body. To God be the glory!

Love, PR

Our F.A.I.T.H. Mark[ed] By the Gospel

Mark 6 is riddled with moments where observers and followers of Jesus just plain lacked faith. The most paramount of these moments occurred when Jesus rolled up into his hometown of Nazareth.  The reason the majority of people in Nazareth didn't believe in Jesus was because they had known Him and His family for decades. They knew He was a very good person, but they had no idea that He was God's Son. They refused to believe in Him, even though they had heard about His miracles in other places and heard Him speak before them with great wisdom. It was all good when he was preaching in other places. Surely they needed it! But his truths were harder for the Nazarenes to swallow,  probably because they knew of the enigmatic past of his conception and birth.
Thankfully, however, there were a few people in Nazareth who apparently had some faith, but who, as the original Greek indicates, had only minor ailments. Jesus laid His hands on them and healed them. But for the majority of people in Nazareth, Jesus was "amazed at their unbelief" (Mark 6:6).

We face the same choice today as the people of Nazareth.
Our past. Our doubts. Our fears. Our lack of truth. Our real life pain.
They all tell us that our response to him should be similar to the Nazarenes- "Who are you to heal me? I am deeply offended and I refuse you." Though Jesus does not currently walk among us in the flesh as he did then, He's alive and well in our church and in each of us. His same spirit inhabits us, works miracles out of impossible situations and continues to show the Gospel (good news) through our lives.
We are being challenged, church, to not allow our own limited, human reasoning to dominate our thoughts and keep us from recognizing Jesus. Even we are carriers of this truth (Mark 6:7-13) :

This is Good News we all can carry because (we are):

F orgiven (Romans 3:23)

A dopted (Romans 8:15)

I  mpossibilities are made possible (Mark 9:23)

T ransformed (2 Corinthians 5:17)

H ope (Romans 15:13)


Who is Jesus sending you to share this good news with? Be strong in faith!

  1. _____________________________ (Family Member)
  2. _____________________________ (Neighbor)
  3. _____________________________ (Co-Worker)
  4. _____________________________ (Friend)

Sanctuary Columbus Church

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