WHO WE ARE
Sanctuary is a community of people that believes every person needs a safe space to worship God and to grow in fellowship with others. We believe that Jesus calls all his followers to be part of a beloved community. Inspired by the bravery and hope of others who seek God in the midst of great tribulation and suffering, we seek to do what we can to grow community and help create safe space.
James and Rebecca Farlow, Co-Directors
James and Rebecca are a straight, married couple who have felt extremely welcomed and cared for by the LGBTQ Christian community.
Rebecca has over ten years of experience leading musical worship and served as the worship leader at the Gay Christian Network annual conference from 2013-2015. Additionally, she served as an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff worker at the University of Maryland. She's a writer, a musician, a web designer, and has a Master's degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee (Good old Rocky Top, whoo!). She is particularly passionate about empowering women.
James has a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He co-founded OneTable, the first officially sponsored LGBT group at an evangelical seminary. He served on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and fondly recalls his days teaching high school physics. In his spare time, James loves photography, cooking, and explaining physics to innocent bystanders.
Geoff has an M.B.A. from USC and is the C.F.O. of RGM group, an online advertising firm. Currently, he serves as a Ruling Elder at Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena and maintains his pilot’s license to fly his 2 kids and 2 golden retrievers to Catalina Island. This February, he will be running his fifth L.A. marathon.
Dean's bio and photo are on the way.
Cheryl has an M.P.H. in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and served as an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff member for many years. She is a founding board member of the College Park Community Foundation. Currently she is a stay-at-home mom who spends her days with her delightful toddler and baby.
Community Group Moderators
Danny Cortez is a co-pastor of New Heart, a church that has become inclusive of LGBTQ persons. He is a board member of the Gay Christian Network and is a co-founder of My Refuge House. He also serves as a hospice chaplain. He is a graduate of Talbot Seminary. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Abby and their 4 children.
Caleb Gonzalez grew up in the Assemblies of God denomination. He has served on the Board of Directors for Christ Chapel of the Valley in North Hollywood, CA, where he also led bible studies and membership orientation classes. He has been a member of The Gay Christian Network for about 6 years now. He has hosted many Southern California GCN gatherings in his home. Currently he attends Central Avenue Church in Glendale, CA, which a few years ago changed to an affirming church.
Emiko lives in Pasadena, CA but grew up in the Portland Metro area (a Pacific Northwesterner at heart who loves the rain). Despite the progressive notions associated with Portland, she was raised conservative evangelical, later attaining a BS in theology from Multnomah Bible College (aka Multnomah University) w/ a specialization in youth ministry. Part of her 15+ years in ministry involved a life married to an associate pastor for 12 years before coming out as a lesbian in 2011 and moving to Brooklyn, NY for 3 years. During which, she received a conflict resolution certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University where she apprenticed as a volunteer mediator at the New York Peace Institute. As Emiko’s passion for reconciling the infamous great divide between conservative Christians and LGBTQ identities, she continued down her trajectory as a counselor doing her clinical practice for her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Emiko occasionally contributes to the Huffington Post and attends Blue Ocean Church, LA—a fully affirming evangelical church, where you might find her strapped to her guitar leading worship.
Matthew is the minister at San Dimas United Church of Christ. He received his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena in 2014. He has previously been on staff at the Irvine United Congregational Church, UCC; University United Methodist Church, San Antonio, TX; and First United Methodist Church, New Braunfels, TX.
A native of Abilene, Texas, Matthew grew up at Elmwood West United Methodist Church where he served on the worship committee and built their first website at the age of thirteen! He currently serves the Southern California Nevada Conference as Vice Moderator and as a General Synod 2017 delegate. Matthew and his husband, Chris, live in Upland and enjoy going to Disneyland, ice hockey games, and indulging in ABC's Thursday night TV line-up with their dog, Sydney.
Ken Wilson is the author of "A Letter to my Congregation." Ken was the founding pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, served for seven years on the national board of Vineyard USA, and now serves on the Senior Leadership Team of Blue Ocean Faith Church Network. Ken enjoys walking, reading and writing–but arithmetic, not so much. Read his blog here.