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In Search of Sanctuary

In Search of Sanctuary

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In Search of Sanctuary

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  1. In Search of Sanctuary

  2. Children raced around the church lawn searching for Easter eggs on the day of the last Easter service at the Congregational Church of West Medford, in 2014. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  3. Pastor Wendy Miller Olapade led the group in prayer after the congregation voted to sell the church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  4. Carvina Williams, a parishioner of the Congregational Church of West Medford, said her goodbye on the next-to-last day of worship at the old church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  5. Parishioners supported one another after the vote to sell the church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  6. Parishioners left their keys to the old building during the final Sunday service in the church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  7. Longtime parishioners Mary and Max Beal walked out of church with fellow longtime member Kim Grubb (left). (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  8. Workers took away items no longer needed by the Congregational Church of West Medford. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  9. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade found the combinations to unlock several heavy safes that had been in the basement of the Congregational Church of West Medford. The safes were delivered to the new storefront space, but because they were so large, they couldn’t fit through the door and had to remain in the parking lot. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  10. In one of the safes, she found ledger and record books dating back more than half a century, detailing the rich history of the church community. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  11. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade took a break as she worked to set up the new storefront space. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  12. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade got a hug from her son, Aaron, after setting up the space that is to be the new home of the Congregational Church of West Medford. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  13. The parishioners and the pastor at their final Sunday service at the Congregational Church of West Medford. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  14. Parishioners arrive at their new storefront space. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  15. Pam Kromm carried a candle as she processed from her old church, the Congregational Church of West Medford, to the Sanctuary United Congregational Church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  16. Members of Sanctuary gathered in their new storefront space for a Christmas Eve candlelight service in 2014. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  17. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade walked around West Medford Square offering “Ashes To Go” on Ash Wednesday 2015. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  18. At the church’s annual congregational meeting in February, the changes in the church were the main topic. (Dina Rudick)

  19. Congregants at Sanctuary anointed each other’s hands with hand balm as part of a Maundy Thursday prayer service in 2015. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  20. Kim Grubb visited the grave of her mother, June Livingston, one Sunday last December. Livingston died Sept. 27, 2014, just before the Congregational Church of West Medford closed and moved to the new Sanctuary space. “When my mother died, it was like the church died,” said Grubb. She searched for a new congregation, but couldn’t bear to transfer her membership, ultimately deciding to wait and see what Sanctuary becomes. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  21. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade prepared a meal at the parsonage for a Maundy Thursday dinner at Sanctuary in 2015. Her older son, Alexander Olapade, helped. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  22. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade checked out a sidewalk cross during Holy Week at Sanctuary in 2015. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  23. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade led a Blessing of the Backpacks on Sept. 4, 2015, for students and teachers going back to school. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  24. Kim Grubb attended a Maundy Thursday dinner prayer service at Sanctuary in April 2015. Her mother, who was a large part of the Congregational Church of West Medford, had died several months earlier, just as the congregation transitioned to the new worship venue. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  25. Paul Roberts, a longtime member of the church, led a bird-watching walk at the Winchester Country Club on May 9. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  26. Kim Grubb arrived for Sunday services at Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord on March 13. Could this be her new faith home? (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  27. Members, staff, and clergy of Sanctuary met for their annual congregational meeting Feb. 7. It was clear that many were letting go of the old church to pursue the ideas and missions of the new church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  28. The congregations of Sanctuary and North Prospect Union church gathered at North Prospect in Medford on March 22, 2015, for Dinner Church, which featured a potluck dinner and guided conversation. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  29. Dinner Church shared by the congregations of Sanctuary and North Prospect Union at North Prospect’s church. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  30. Alexandra Chu was baptized by the Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade at North Prospect Union church in Medford in May 2015. Olapade conducted the service at North Prospect Union because it has more space than Sanctuary. It was Sanctuary’s first baptism. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  31. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade led a small group gathered at Sanctuary for ARTChurch on March 13. ARTChurch looks at scripture and liturgy through the lens of art installed at the storefront church. In March, the works discussed were by Lisa L. Sears. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  32. A group of women gathered at Sanctuary in February for chair yoga led by Judy Scribner-Moore. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  33. At North Prospect Union in March, Audrey Soule and Drexel Osborne made lasagna for Shortstop, a transitional shelter for homeless youth in the area. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  34. A group gathered at Sanctuary for a Maundy Thursday worship and dinner service in March. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  35. New member Joanna Begin, brought her 16-month-old daugther, Eveyn Whitman, and her boyfriend, Justin Whitman, with her to the Maundy Thursday worship and dinner service. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  36. Several dozen people gathered for an Easter morning sunrise service on the banks of the Mystic River in West Medford. The service was shared by Sanctuary, North Prospect Union, Shiloh Baptist Church, and West Medford Baptist Church, all in Medford. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade led the service. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  37. The Easter sunrise service included torches, a large crucifix, and a procession across a stone bridge. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

  38. The Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade distributed flowers at the Easter sunrise service. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)