The Wounded Worshiper Sanctuary
But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go forth…. -Malachi 4:2
The purpose of The Wounded Worshiper Sanctuary is to provide a safe haven of respite, retreat, and recovery for weary and wounded followers of Jesus Christ. While our journey toward heaven continues, our human struggles make it difficult to live out our divine calling. Sometimes, the Spirit’s necessary work of transformation and sanctification within us is painful and messy. Sometimes, dreams are shattered and God feels far away. And, many times, those closest to us behave or speak in ways that cause great damage to our hearts. Within the church, these struggles are especially devastating as the pain and betrayal we experience bleeds over into our leadership and clouds our worship. When the needed support, love and grace are not properly offered in the place most expected, we find ourselves broken, alone, and questioning God and his people.
Here at the Sanctuary, that difficult reality is faced with brave transparency, bringing the healing light of Christ into those dark and damaged places. Through worship, community, study and prayer, participants will be offered the opportunity to experience the healing work of the Spirit to nurture and renew their minds, bodies, and souls for continued service.
The foundation of The Wounded Worshiper Sanctuary is the love and grace of the Triune God as revealed through the person of Jesus Christ, and through the Word of God, the Bible. This ministry upholds and affirms the historic Christian faith of the church as expressed in the ancient creeds of the Church, where Christ is central and Scripture is authoritative in all things of faith and practice. Through the Holy Spirit, God is still actively seeking his people, revealing his love and healing grace, and calling them into sanctifying relationship with himself and into holy partnership with his work on earth. God uses his people as his hands and feet both to spread the Gospel and to minister to his Body, the Church.
Goal & Ethos
The goal of The Sanctuary is that participants will be strengthened in their unique and divinely created calling, character, and purpose. And we want them to find renewed confidence in their identity as beloved individuals crafted in the image of God so that they can walk worthily and firmly in their calling.
The ethos of this ministry is based on the tenets of authenticity and vulnerability (truth), grace and love (Spirit), as exampled in the life of Christ. These tenets are strengthened through study and prayer, practiced in loving community, and held together by the living presence of Christ at the Table and in each other. There are no denominational divisions, as we celebrate our oneness in Christ. All who are part of Christ’s body through the confession of faith and the sacrament of baptism are welcomed. All are included and all are valued as children of God and members of Christ’s body. We recognize that each person is unique and essential to complete the whole of God’s work on earth, and we rejoice in those distinctive characteristics.
The structure of The Sanctuary is retreat-style. Participants choose to withdraw for a few days to a quiet place with a small community of believers seeking the same respite. The schedule offers corporate and individual opportunities for ministry. Corporate teaching and small group study and discussions form the foundation of the schedule, with corporate worship as its primary expression. Individual options fill in the schedule based on individual choice and need, and include prayer and/or counseling, exercise and massage, silent rooms, individual worship expressions, prayer walks and more, depending on the retreat space. While sacred silence and solitude are part of the healing work of the Spirit, they are not meant to replace the corporate experience. Much of our wounding is experienced in community, and it is only through community that complete healing can be seen.
A Word from our Director of Ministry: My name is Jennifer Harris Clayton, and The Sanctuary is the realization of many years of soul-searching and struggle. I have served the Church my whole life, a third generation leader and worshiper. I have seen much, experienced much and grieved much as I have witnessed so much pain and heartache at the hands of trusted leaders, pastors and friends. Wounded people wound people. Period. No one is exempt from it, and this cycle will continue as long as people are unwilling and unable to look at their hearts and dig deeply into their souls for change. To throw open the doors to the heart to the work of the Spirit is terrifying and overwhelming, but it is exactly what we must do in order to throw off the shame of sin and walk forward in love and true grace towards one another. At The Sanctuary, we come together in faith and trust in God and in each other, believing that “he who began a good work will bring it through to completion” and journey together toward that goal.