A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Sanctuary Church moving offices into old Neighborhood Service Center space on Greenwood

March 23rd, 2012 · Comments

Sanctuary Christian Reformed Church is moving its offices from above Chase Bank to across the street in the space formerly occupied by the Neighborhood Service Center, at 8515 Greenwood Ave. N., next door to Razzi’s Pizzeria.

Summer Mohrlang, Pastor of Discipleship and Outreach, tells us the church signed the lease this week and has a few weeks of remodeling to do before moving in.

Sanctuary holds its Sunday worship services inside Taproot Theatre, right around the corner, at 204 N. 85th St.

Mohrlang says the church will hold its children’s services in the new space as well. Sanctuary also runs the Green Bean Coffeehouse, just two doors down.

Thanks to Lynn for the tip and photo!

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  1. Just Sayin' says:

    Just a mention that Sanctuary Church is part of the Christian Reformed Church.

    In case you didn’t know it, here’s their stance on homosexuality: http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions_homosexuality.cfm In a nutshell, they believe that homosexuality is a disordered condition and that the person in question, to be part of the church (see Pastoral Care for Homosexuals) must remain celibate.

    Just so you know.

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks JS, I appreciate the info.

  3. Jon says:

    JS, for that reason, I refuse to give Green Bean Coffeehouse my business.

    I do appreciate how they’ve gone to great lengths to disguise themselves as a hippie business, though. Crafty Christians.

    Good to hear they’re be indoctrinating children at that location, as well!

  4. Just Sayin' says:

    Likewise, Jon. There are a lot of other independent coffee houses, like Neptune, that I’d rather give my business to.

  5. Stupid Hippie says:

    Yes, but do we know all the politic beliefs of the owners of Neptune? Herkimer or cafe Vita? Do they support the enslavement of elephants at WPZ for instance? Or perhaps they drive SUVs and don’t feel guilty?

    Maybe we need to investigate them all. Til then I’ll grow my own coffee and make my own lattes.

  6. Franky, says:

    If you’re taking a survey…..
    I make my own lattes. I’ve been to Herkimer’s one time since it opened, never the others.

    I’m spritual but dislike all religions. The churches, like our government, needs to stay out of peoples sex lives. Have sex with who ever you want, as much as you want, as long as it’s consentual!

    I hope Razzi’s is OK, is it?

  7. Just Sayin' says:

    Neither Razzi’s, Neptune, Herkimer’s or Cafe Vita are owned by a church. Green Bean is, and it’s a church that believes that being gay is a disorder. Nothing politic about it.

  8. Tiktok says:

    The other coffeehouses are innocent until proven guilty.

    Greenbean, has been outed as a business operated by a homophobic organization. People can make their purchasing decisions accordingly.

  9. Greenwood Mom says:

    These homophobes are not welcome in our Phinneywood!

  10. JLW says:

    i too knew about their stance on homosexuality and will not give them my business

  11. Anne says:


    I will never again patronize Taproot Theater.

  12. Anne says:

    Here is the board of directors that allows Taproot Theater to be used for anti-gay religious “services” that have no place in Phinney.

    Board of Directors
    Board Chair – George Meyers, The Effectiveness Institute
    Vice-Chair – Joe Helms, Ronald Blue & Co.
    Treasurer – Gary Massingill, Milliman global
    Secretary – Carolyn Hanson, Lake Realty
    Larry Bjork, Bjork Engineering
    Dr. Thom Parham, Azusa Pacific University
    John Putnam, Consultant
    Dr. Sarah Roskam, UW Medical Center
    Dr. Susan Rutherford, Evergreen Hospital
    George Scranton, Seattle Pacific University
    Dale Smith, The Boeing Company
    Dan Voetmann, Destination Marketing
    Rob Zawoyski, Development Consultant

  13. john walker says:

    sounds like they are on the same page as the mars hill folks.

  14. Rick says:

    Why is Taproot Theater letting such hateful bigots use their theater?!

  15. Rick says:

    Here are some great quotes from a “study” posted on the church’s own “Christian Reformed” website.

    Again, WHY is Taproot Theater letting these bigots use their theater?

    “All scholars are agreed that the apostle considered homosexual practice (homosexualism) as sin, a mode of behavior which is on par with adultery and murder.”

    “Of course, the first responsibility for the homosexual is to exhaust the possibility of sexual reorientation through all available means.”

    “The handicap of the sexual invert can no more justify his violating the moral order than those with other psychological handicaps are justified in committing immoral acts.”

    “Homosexuals, especially in their earlier years, should be encouraged to seek such help as may effect their sexual reorientation, and the church should do everything in its power to help the homosexual overcome his disorder.”

    “The church should speak the Word of God prophetically to a society and culture which glorifies sexuality and sexual gratification. It should foster a wholesome appreciation of sex and expose and condemn the idolatrous sexualism and the current celebration of homosexualism promoted in literature, the theater, films, television, advertisements, and the like.”

  16. john walker says:

    they OWN taproot.

  17. Rob says:

    Below is Taproot’s mission statement right off their website. Note who started it, note statement “We Value Faith” .

    Before giving any money to any kind of group – even theater groups – you need to look at who owns and what their goal is.

    Taproot Theatre Company was founded in 1976 by six friends, five of them graduates from Seattle Pacific University. From its humble beginnings as a touring group, the company has now become one of Seattle’s largest mid-size theatre companies. Today, Taproot Theatre serves over 150,000 people annually throughout the Pacific Northwest with a full Mainstage season, touring programs and Acting Studio.

    Mission Statement
    Taproot Theatre exists to create theatre that explores the beauty and questions of life while providing hope to our search for meaning.

    Values Statements

    We value faith.
    We respect people.
    We celebrate theatre.

  18. Phineas says:

    Religious freaks own Taproot?

    I guess that explains how they get away bigots having services there!

    I did not realize. I will not patronize the theater again.

  19. iheartgreenwood says:

    Yes, Taproot is a religious institution, though, for what it’s worth, I am acquaintances with someone gay who used to work there who said they treated him very well and he was uncomfortable. Now that I know this, I will spend my coffee money elsewhere, but as for them not being welcome in “our” Phinneywood, well, it’s a free country and I guess it’s their Phinneywood, too. They’re guaranteed their right to religious freedom, just as we are guaranteed our right to civil liberty. We all just have to co-exist. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that tolerance goes both ways … I have to respect religious folks’ views if I expect them to respect my socially liberal, unabashedly pro-gay-marriage views. there’s room for all of us. Those of us who don’t agree can just build our own coffeeshops and churches (or agnostic/atheist meeting venues), and vote with our dollars.

  20. iheartgreenwood says:

    Eeek — I meant to say he was never uncomfortable!!! That’s what he said.

  21. Ruby says:

    None of this seems surprising to me. I never paid much attention to Taproot but from what I recall their productions always seem to have a wholesome theme/message (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I can’t recall they’ve ever done anything edgy that explored controversial issues.

  22. Robbie says:

    iheartgreenwood, I suppose you would welcome the KKK and the Nazis to Greenwood with open arms?

    These people are saying gays do not have a right to exist.

    This blog should stop listing their events.

  23. Megan the Vegan says:

    I hear they eat meat too!

    Grab the torches! To the ramparts!

  24. Slow Down Hive Mind says:

    Some of these comments are appalling.

    “not welcome in OUR neighborhood”

    I’m all for marriage equality and the end of bigotry but tolerance goes both ways. Even when someone’s views are hurtful.

    Would you like to kick out the Jews and the Muslims as well? Would you like everyone in Phinney to sign a pledge prior to leasing/purchasing homes or business space that they share all your views and that none of their thoughts are offensive to you?

  25. Keep Phinney Pure! says:

    I’ll draft up a purity pledge for adoption at the next community meeting. Fer shur!

    Intolerant Fundamentalist Christians go back to where you came from! (Prolly Kirkland, Eew! LOL)


  26. Ruby says:

    Well said, Slow Down. Tolerance cuts both ways (democracy can be real messy).

  27. GLBT says:

    Maybe when our own local Taliban tolerates gays for who they are, the rest of us can tolerate the religious freaks.

    Until then, they keep driving kids to kill themselves.

    This church teaches gay kids they should enter therapy and reprogram themselves. Lots of kids commit suicide after that.

    Not welcome in our progressive Phinney. Yes they can be here by law. But they are not welcome.

  28. Ruby says:

    That said, I start worrying when there’s even a whiff of a cult–no good ever seems to come from people mindlessly following in lock step with ________ (fill in the blank).

  29. Whopper says:

    “Would you like to kick out the Jews and the Muslims as well”

    I agree, let’s kick the Moslems out too, their teachings also condemn homosexuality.

    Anyone joining me on a jihad against the Moslems or is that politically incorrect to do?

    (….sounds of crickets)

  30. Jose says:

    HAHA Whopper hit the nail on the head.

  31. Mike says:

    Way to fight hatred with more hatred.

    Also, they only state that they believe that Homosexuality is a sin.
    Although you may not agree with that, you should also look up what else they believe is a sin.
    We are all sinners, yet God still loves us.

    I guess you tolerant people should be more tolerant of all people.

  32. Just Sayin' says:


    They not only say that being gay is a sin, they say that being gay is a disorder and that the gay person must remain celibate if they are to be allowed to participate and be a member of their church.

  33. Just Sayin' says:

    Oh, and not all of us believe that being gay is a disorder or a sin, or that we are all sinners. The point is, if they believe that being gay is a disorder that can either be “cured” or that the person should remain celibate, their establishments don’t need my money.

  34. Randoon says:

    anyone has a right to question any organization’s core identity and practices. Doing so by looking up denominational documents written in decades might not give proper voice to where those groups stand. Sanctuary has had gay and lesbian members. It has never made a slurring or hateful comment. And, check the fruit of the Green Bean inits love and service in and with our Greenwood neighbors. We have beliefs . We aren’t perfect or above critique. Talk to us personally then fire away. We are here to stay and will live the law of love. And that law has not and never will affirm homophobia which is a sin…

  35. Whopper says:

    “if they believe that being gay is a disorder that can either be “cured” or that the person should remain celibate, their establishments don’t need my money.”

    Better skip the halal butcher and pretty much any Somali restaurant then.

  36. Mover says:

    Not that I agree with them but get your facts right people. If they have a board of directors then Taproot is not “owned” by anyone, certainly not the church that rents their space. Like virtually every other theater company in town they are likely a non-profit. Make sure you boycott Romios when they rent their banquet room to people that you disagree with.

  37. Phinney Resident says:

    Who did Romios rent to now?

  38. Erik says:

    And the bullied becomes the bullier. So sad. Aren’t we better than this? Militant fundamentalism is ugly in all it’s forms….. that includes you too, “GLBT”.

  39. Just Sayin' says:


    The words that I posted still define the church’s stance on gays and lesbians. You may have LGBT members, which is certainly within your church doctrine, but according to the website, the only way they can be participating members is if they are celibate. How is this loving and caring about other people?

  40. Just Sayin' says:

    And really, I’m asking for clarification. If the church’s website is wrong, then it should be corrected. Nowhere on the site did I see any mention of hateful language or slurs against LGBT people. What I saw was a statement that homosexuality is a sin and a disorder. Is that a false statement on the website? Is “Pastoral Care for Homosexuals” no longer a viable document for the church?

  41. Fred says:

    In the Dalai Lama’s book ‘ “Beyond Dogma: Dialogues and Discourses”, he said that homosexuality was wrong for Buddhists (he said its fine for non-buddhists).

    Time to boycott Sakya Monastery?

  42. Fred says:

    “A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it,” the Dalai Lama continues, warming to his theme. “But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don’t create life. I don’t mind – but I can’t condone this way of life.””

    Dalai Lama, Daily Telegraph

    Yep, looks like we’ll have to boycott all his followers too now.

  43. Jose says:

    “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Yes, that even applies to knee-jerk Phinneywoodians who think it’s OK to judge people if they don’t agree with their beliefs.

  44. Just Sayin' says:

    Does the Dalai Lama own a business in Greenwood? If so, it’s news to me. And I have to say that I’m sad to see that he has the view that he does on homosexuality.

    The only purpose of the post was to mention the church’s views on the LGBT community. Obviously, everyone is an adult and can make their own decisions about whether or not to patronize the establishments. Personally, I would rather not support anything that believes that homosexuality is a disorder or sin, that can be corrected.

    That being said, if what is on the church’s website is wrong, then I will happily read a correction and go on from there.

  45. Grant says:

    Fred – excellent point. So… is the Dalai Lama a hater? A “homophobe”, too? I don’t think so. Rather, he is prescribing a preferred path for life and enlightenment while exhibiting TOLERANCE for those not capable of making the journey. Tolerance means that you will put up with something even if it goes against your core values. When I was a student 20+ years ago, it was a favorite word of the Libs. But they never meant that at all. In lib thought, in order to be “tolerant” I must not only tolerate – but accept, praise, and celebrate what I don’t care for. And that, is total bs.

    Many people on this board are confusing their personally held opinions for universal truths. Of course, you don’t realize they’re not universal truths when everyone you interact with holds the same opinions.

  46. Fred says:

    @44 oh please, if the Dalai Lama came to speak at Sakya Monestery again, you’d all be tripping over yourselves to welcome him. Even though, he’s technically, a ‘homophobe’.

  47. Just Sayin' says:

    Funny, I didn’t notice anywhere that anyone said anything about tolerance or the lack thereof. Originally, this was a simple statement about an organization. Namely, that the organization believes that homosexuality is a disorder and a sin. Nowhere did anyone say they were homophobes. In fact, they welcome gays and lesbians into their church…if they remain celibate. They also offer links to how the gay or lesbian can change their orientation through Exodus, and you can look up that organization.

    Since I personally do not believe that it is either a disorder or a sin, I also don’t feel a need to support any organization that does. Simple, yes? And hardly a reason to trot out the tired old “liberal” label, as if it’s a bad thing. Look it up in the dictionary.

  48. Tony says:

    Christians are like the Taliban.

    I can’t stand either of them.

  49. i used to heart greenwood says:

    Robbie said: “iheartgreenwood, I suppose you would welcome the KKK and the Nazis to Greenwood with open arms?”

    Not the same thing at all, Robbie, and that’s really offensive to me, as someone who has had family perish in Nazi concentration camps. Sanctuary Church does not round up gays and lesbians and mass-murder them, or put burning crosses and other threats in LGBT neighbors’ yards. I don’t personally care for their theology, but it’s not the same thing as the Holocaust. Many (dare I say all?) churches discriminate, which is why I don’t join them. Some coffee shops are operated by non-inclusive Christian groups, which is why I won’t patronize them. They are not friendly or accepting of LGBT folks, which I agree is unfair, unfortunate and un-Christian, but they’re not murdering people.

    And no, to answer your question, I would not welcome the KKK or Nazis to our neighborhood, but as the ACLU has proven time and time again, I don’t have the legal right to keep them out of it, either (unfortunately).

    I try to live and let live, just like we’re all asking the churches to do. Phinney has plenty of LGBT-affirming churches (and many more that, like Sanctuary, are not). We all get to choose what to believe, which is the power and the beauty of democracy.

  50. Fred says:

    “Christians are like the Taliban.”

    You’ve never been to Afghanistan have you?

    “I can’t stand either of them.”

    How about the Dalai Lama? Do you like him and his teachings?

  51. Robbie says:

    “Not the same thing at all, Robbie, and that’s really offensive to me, as someone who has had family perish in Nazi concentration camps.”

    I guess you never had family kill themselves after being told at a church just like this they must go to Exodus International and return straight (just like this church says) or they will not go to heaven and their family will disown them?

    Yeah not the same thing at all. Your stupidity is offensive to ME and many others.

  52. Anne says:

    Jews playing the concentration camp card is despicable!!!

    How many Jews died in ovens last year?

    How many gay kids killed themselves after being taught by churches like Sanctuary that they are “unnatural” and must change to be loved?

  53. Grant says:

    If you’re so mentally unstable that you kill yourself because someone said mean things to you, your psychological issues go far beyond your outward expression of your sexual preference.

    Please enlighten us, Anne: how many kids did Sanctuary kill last year?

  54. Fred says:

    How many committed suicide because the Dalai Lama rejects homosexual behavior?

  55. Fred says:

    “How many gay kids killed themselves after being taught by churches like Sanctuary that they are “unnatural” and must change to be loved?”

    You tell us.

  56. i used to heart greenwood says:

    What is this, a game of Top My Trauma? Grow up, Liberal Seattle. You demand tolerance, yet only extend it to those who think exactly the same way you do. By the way, I WAS disowned for being gay. I don’t like Sanctuary’s views, either. But they’re not creating concentration camps of LGBT teens. To call them Nazis is incorrect usage of the word. Period.

  57. Anne says:

    I demand you tolerate my calling them Nazis.

    They are Nazis and I do not care if you are offended.


  58. Anne says:

    “What is this, a game of Top My Trauma?”

    Methinks you were the first one to mention concentration camps from 60 years ago and how traumatic it remains for you.

  59. gdog says:

    Anne….please put down the conversation and back away before you pee yourself. First, you can call anyone a Nazi all you want (see: Godwins law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law ) but you’re just letting your stupidity show. For the edification of us all, please give a list showing in exactly what ways a christian church office moving into a vacant store front and a group of people that murdered 20 million people are the same. Really. Please do. You know what though? Not letting certain people move into your neighborhood because of their religious beliefs are very much NAZI-esque. And please look back through the comment thread: Robbie brought up Nazi’s first. Not IHGW. So let it go. Please.

  60. By the way says:

    You guys do know that the LGBT folks you’re so vehemently defending were killed in the Holocaust, too, right? Not just made so unwelcome that they committed suicide, but actually murdered.

  61. Fred says:

    The Dalai lama is a nazi because he rejects homosexuality?

  62. Ricardo says:


  63. Ricardo says:


  64. Ricardo says:


  65. Heather Whitney says:

    I want to say first that I understand outrage (whether that is what you feel or not) at the everpresent reality of “Christian” judgment and intolerance. And I completely understand and support the choice to withhold patronage from businesses and organizations with whom you morally or fundamentally diverge. But before you make that decision about the Green Bean I ask you only to make it on the grounds that Sanctuary Church is AFFILIATED with the CRC, whose position statements many (if not all) Santuary members do not agree with. I had the benefit of coming to know the community at Sanctuary first, and the CRC positions second. Sanctuary is a community of people who love their community without judgment and with absolute respect for all people. I love these people in part because of the way they love their community and fight for equality. If the CRC position statements frustrate you, please know that I am a new Sanctuary member and they frustrate me, too. But this does not represent the Sanctuary community. I can only speak for myself, but as a member I can tell you I care deeply about the rights of the LGBT community and I would never have come to respect and love the people at Sanctuary as I do if I thought any of your above statements about this community were true.

  66. I call BS says:

    Heather, you may be stupid but do not assume the rest of us are.

    If Sanctuary did not believe in HATE and DISCRIMINATION, they would not have these things on their website.

    To be honest, you sound brainwashed by haters.

  67. Wood says:

    I call BS: you should look again. Those statements were NOT pulled from the Sanctuary website, but from somewhere deep on the CRC site, by someone who clearly has an axe to grind.

  68. Just Sayin' says:

    They are not pulled from “deep on the CRC site”. All you have to do is go to the site and type homosexuality in the search box. There are a lot of references on the site, in plain sight.

    If Sanctuary people don’t believe what’s posted on the CRC site, then why are they part of the organization? There are many, many types of Christianity one can be a part of.

    And as I originally said: I was making a statement about the church. Obviously one is free to patronize or not patronize an establishment as one chooses. It’s not really a discussion, just mentioning facts on the site, readily available for anyone who wants to check them out. Caveat emptor.

  69. Wood says:

    Hey, six degrees will get me to Kevin Bacon…

  70. Stupid Hippie says:

    Hi Kevin!

  71. I am a local attorney who has a special focus on serving the estate planning, family law, and elder law needs of the LGBT community. I am also a long time activist for LGBT rights. I was disappointed to see the position that CRC has taken on Christianity but also disappointed by the tone of some of this conversation.

    To the best of my knowledge the Green Bean, as its own non-profit, has never taken a position that would exclusionary or negative toward the LGBT community. I have taught free community classes there on End of Life Issues in the past that directly addressed the unique needs of LGBT couples in caring for each other and never got the impression that was anything but welcomed.

    I think it would be great if the Green Bean adopted a policy or statement that indicated that their values of radical hospitality and love included inclusion, care, and support of the LGBT community.

    I think it would be great if all groups and businesses in this area would do that. I helped to develop and draft the inclusion policy required of businesses who wished to be listed in the NW LGBT Senior Care Coalition and would be happy to volunteer to help any group or business in the neighborhood who wanted to develop one for themselves.

    I also nominated the Trevor Group as a future non-profit of the month for the Green Bean. I think their selecting that group would be a really positive statement and would encourage other concerned neighbors to make that same nomination on their website.

    What I don’t want us to do as neighbors who are concerned about LBGT rights do is start making negative assumptions about the values and intentions of our neighbors and begin to reject, punish, and exclude them before we have fully investigated their position and engaged them in respectful productive discussion about inclusion and respect for civil rights. The last thing the LGBT community needs as we make progress toward rights is to have our society buy into a “Christians vs. Gay” conflict. There are many churches in our community that are very progressive on LGBT inclusion. Many of them are part of larger denominations that may take less inclusive positions and they are an important part of developing a dialogue that pushes the entire denomination into an awareness of the fact that Jesus’ message of love and inclusion is a much better argument for the Church supporting gay rights than a handful of bible quotes against sexual practices.

    And I am willing to bet that those churches got to those progressive positions because there were originally members of those churches who were more progressive on the issue than the mainstream and helped move their faith community on the issue.

    The posts from members of Sanctuary Church here suggest to me that the church as a whole may be more progressive on the issue of LGBT inclusion than their affiliation suggests and that they have individual members who would like to see that the position of the whole denomination change. We should be asking how we can best support that effort.

    I think it is great for us to challenge every organization in this neighborhood to be more inclusive but I think we are best served by doing so in a process that is respectful, loving, engaging, and optimistic that change is possible.