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Sanctuary
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authorEmily Smith

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28 NRSV.

We will soon be changing our name from “Leeds Methodist Mission” to “Leeds Sanctuary”; a change we are really excited about and which has been some time in prayer and planning. Sanctuary has been one of our values from the beginning, so the choice of name feels like part of the journey we have been on for the last couple of years. For those of us who practice Christianity, Sanctuary is somewhere we go to feel safe, take refuge, find reparation, and more than that, find God’s presence.

In exploring the theology of Sanctuary, we found that it can look like many things – a place, a community, and even be found in the unexpected – but of course God is always at the heart of these Sanctuary spaces.

One of the stories we were particularly drawn to was the story of Naomi. At the time we meet her, her life had been so troubled that she renamed herself “Mara” – bitter; Naomi was undoubtedly weary. By the end of the book of Ruth, however, Naomi had found Sanctuary in her relationship with Ruth and Boaz: “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without one with the right to redeem;… He shall be to you a restorer of life…” (Ruth 4:14-15 NRSV).

Our mission as LMM has been to create spaces, community and resources for the people of Leeds to explore areas of social justice, while also recognising the need to provide opportunities for creativity, wellbeing and mindfulness to try and avoid “burn-out”. We will be adding an intentional discipleship community to these soon, and we would really appreciate your prayers in the next few months as we use our rebrand as an opportunity to meet new people, reach new areas, and offer Sanctuary in the Centre of Leeds. Please do follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at @leedssanctuary if you'd like to follow our journey further.

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