What is Safe Harbor all about?
As stated on the homepage, we are starting a new church family formed that can be a place of safety and rest for people “bruised and broken by the fall.” We want to give people the opportunity to experience church community as:
a place of healing as opposed to wounding…
a place of honoring instead of shaming…
a place of love instead of resentment.
It’s not that we think there aren’t churches that provide this, but we believe there needs to be more, particularly for those wounded in the context of a Christian ministry. So, we are starting Safe Harbor Project with church health and pastoring people at the fore. Why ‘Safe Harbor Project’? We are calling it ‘Safe Harbor’ because that’s what we want this church family to be: a safe place of rest, refreshment, and refueling… and then back out on the sea for mission!
Much of what this new church will become has yet to be determined. Those that attend and invest will help bring that shape. However, there are some things which we have guiding us from the start:
1. The Glory of God: The Lord is majestic and wondrous in His person and nature but is doubly worthy of our praise because of how He has loved us in Christ’s life, death and resurrection. It should show in our work, our families and in the way we love each other.
2. Dignity of All People: No matter who we are, we are all made in the Image of the Divine. If we worship God, we should honor those that bear his image… especially those that don’t feel they belong or fit well in our communities. Families struggling to care for loved ones with addiction… families with members who have special needs… single and unwed mothers… immigrant families… all should find some kind of home in the church.
3. Freedom in the Gospel: God loves us as we are and loves us too much to leave us as we are. But if change is to come, we must have the freedom to struggle. God’s love should bring a freedom to talk honestly about where we are, how our fears and shame drive us to do foolish things and even when we fail. We will seek to build and promote this kind of loving and supportive community.
4. Power in Belonging: Scripture tells us that God is for us and when we see that embodied in brothers and sisters who are for us, it empowers us to live bold lives of love. When we ‘belong’ we know power to keep striving for better in our lives and for others.
5. Hope for the Future: Life is impossible without hope. But in Christ, we have hope not only for our individual lives (salvation, resurrection) but hope for the whole world (“Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev. 21: 5a).
Additionally, the Westminster Confession of Faith will shape our teaching and Presbyterianism shape our governance. While we desire for this church to serve people throughout St. Louis County, the Parkway and eastern Rockwood school districts will define our target area. If you would like to know more about this work, please contact me directly.
Pastor Daryl Madi