Community Reloaded

This past Tuesday, flying solo, I had the chance to meet up with Greg Paul author of God in the Alley and founder/director/pastor of Sanctuary in Toronto.

Though located between Jarvis and Bay, mere blocks from the Eaton Center and Toronto’s financial district, effectively, Sanctuary is in the middle of nowhere. Nestled beneath the shadow of high rises and the grave like ditches of new condo developments, one could easily miss the well worn century old structure amidst the commotion of the big city – that is unless its the only true home you’ve ever had.

Sanctuary: A place to laugh, to rest, to take refuge, to learn, to celebrate and be celebrated – in short, a place to belong, a place that sees community as a paramount component of the gospel. From what Greg described, those that call Sanctuary home have been written off by family, educators and society itself. He offers this insight: “We’ve seen the ravages of what it means for someone to live outside of community. People do crazy things when they’re truly alone…for some, their only worth has been reduced to the sexual acts they can perform.”

I hope the tenderness and hope encased in Greg’s eyes translates well to film. That afternoon I felt I was truly in the presence of a holy man.

Another beautiful picture of what God is up to in the great white north…