The Loft is an innovative approach to Christian Community for those willing to re-think church. Conversation is the center of our gatherings. We facilitate a conversational approach to thinking about and living out our faith together. Creativity comes from those who call the Loft home. It shows up in our music, in our use of poetry and painting, and even in our sermon design. Compassion is God’s love in action. It is in serving and helping others – we actively take the good news out into our city and the world. We are part of Westwood UMC and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Our pastoral staff works with an empowered and diverse group of leaders to make the weekend gatherings and mid-week groups happen. We are Christian community that is open & affirming – comprised of people of different races, cultures, sexualities, and religious backgrounds.
Letting the Oppressed Go Free
We welcome Mandy McDow back to the Loft this Sunday; Senior Pastor at Los Angeles First UMC (a church without a building), Mandy brings fresh depth and insight to the prophetic proclamation Christ speaks, as he takes up the ancient scroll that declares a mission to “let the oppressed go free.” In her words and in conversation with Pastor Molly, Mandy will invite us into conversation about what this might look like today (even though most of us are totally exhausted). This Sunday in The Loft, we will be baptizing Dante, son of Mary and David Marroquin. We encourage you to hold him and his family in prayer as this sacrament marks his belonging in the Church.
The Gifts of Diversity
We encourage you to join Pastor Molly and Ryan Parker in conversation this Sunday, as we attempt to make sense of what all it means for us that we are given varieties of gifts. We’re excited to let this idea push back against ideas we’ve been taught by a church and culture more interested in conformity.
What does it mean to claim an identity as God's beloved children? And how does it change us to believe that God finds pleasure in us? Join the conversation and spiritual practices as we contemplate this good news.
A Holy Mystery Meant For Everyone
One of the words New Testament writers use to describe Christ’s gift to the world translates pretty literally as “mystery.” I treasure how this description honors that there’s something transcendent, and not fully understood, about how divine love works. Even as we celebrate Epiphany this Sunday, we honor that there’s more to see, learn, and understand about God.
Housing the Holy - Week 5
This Sunday we finish our sermon series “Housing the Holy.” This series used the “Innkeeper” from the Bethlehem narrative as its starting point and asked us how we could make the most of our resources, personal and congregational, to best “house the holy” among us?
Celebrating the birth of new life is a beautiful, joyous occasion. I can only imagine the overwhelming emotions that Mary, Joseph, and those who came to visit the Christ-child would have felt. What emotions do you feel as you remember the Christmas story? What memories return to you as you reflect upon past Christmases? What floods your imagination as you contemplate what future Christmas celebrations may bring? Rather than checking “Christmas party” off of our proverbial to-do list, the invitation for us this year is to dwell in the Spirit of Christmas.
Developed in the 14th century, the word “dwell” became known as a “lingering” or “abiding.” It had connections to “in-habit”–another word developed at that time. After an Advent season of focusing on housing the holy, how will we linger and abide in this habit of hospitality? What habits did you invite into your heart in this season that you desire to take with you into the new year? How might we sustain the dwelling places that feed, house, clothe those who need it most?
Join us this Sunday as we lean into some ancient wisdom regarding how we are called to live and how dwelling in the Spirit of Christmas can help us discern how each of us can do our part to house the holy.
Housing the Holy - Week 4
This Sunday, Pastor Molly will join me in the center as we continue our advent worship series “Housing the Holy,” and we will also be joined by the Singers of Soul Gospel Choir!
Our sermon series takes the “Innkeeper” from the Bethlehem narrative as its starting point and asks us how we could make the most of our resources, personal and congregational, to best “house the holy” among us? I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt, arriving in Bethlehem only to find that their room was no longer available. Then again, I wonder if they had already gotten used to responding, rather than reacting, to unexpected circumstances.
I wonder how Mary, whose womb was literally housing the Holy, felt in the moments after learning that they were going to have to find another place to stay – another place for her to give birth? The biblical account leaves this question unanswered, however the bible does tell us that Mary had just spent three months with her kinfolk Elizabeth. What did they discuss and how might it have shaped the ministry that both of them and their children would take up? Did they leave each other feeling confident that they were more than capable of birthing something life-changing into the world?
As we consider the ways that we might also “house the holy,” we must ask ourselves do we believe that we are capable of birthing something life-changing for the people in our community? As the Body of Christ, could we live with more expectation of what is possible? Could we look more closely at what is right in front of us?
Join us this Sunday as we learn from the wisdom of Elizabeth and Mary how leaning into the love that we have for each other might reveal potential that we never knew we possessed.