A safe place

October 31, 2002

Michele Marr

There's a new church in town. It's called The Sanctuary, and its

members mean it to be exactly that.

It will be a place of worship, worship they envision touching

Heaven and changing Earth.

It will be a safe place, a sound place, a place to build a

relationship with God and friendships with others -- a place to find


answers and acceptance, compassion and hope.

It will be a church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy

Spirit and whose focus is Christ's great commission -- to make

disciples for him.

A core team -- 150 adults, teenagers and children -- has been

meeting and laying the foundation for the church since last summer.

They have worked together to articulate their mission: to reach and

influence America by building a large Bible-based church, changing

mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact every area of life.

Pastor Jay Haizlip says his aim is to change the way people think

about church with an environment of what he describes as "upbeat

music, relevant messages and genuine people." He hopes to entice

people who have been put off by church to give church another try.

"We won't scold you, judge you or pickpocket you," Haizlip said.


The church's official launch date is Nov. 10, the second Sunday in

November, followed by a Wednesday night youth and young adult special

event, "Gravity: the Unveiling" at the Huntington Beach Central

Library. The event will feature live swing, blues and surf tunes by

the Screaming Rays, a full stage, multimedia production and a coffee

shop. A similar event will be held every Wednesday night for the

church's youth and young adults.

"It will appeal to young people," said Roger Matzke, the pastor of

the Gravity Youth and Young Adults ministry at The Sanctuary. "It

won't be sconces of flowers, cookies and milk."

He knows young people aren't comfortable in what he describes as

"churchy" places. "They want to be where it's happening -- cool

places," Matzke said.

Lori Richardson, director of both women's and children's

ministries, is the mother of three children.

"I know it's important that my children be well served," she said.

"If they're happy, I'll be free to go into the adult service and not

feel guilty for abandoning my kids, whatever their ages."

Richardson has designed a curriculum for the children's ministry

that includes video, puppets, dance, music, drama and age-appropriate

messages for children in nursery school through fifth grade.

Haizlip is also the father of three children and no stranger to

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