ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE
We are people – all kinds of people – brought together by a desire to grow in kindness and compassion. It's hard to imagine a more diverse congregation than ours, in terms of ages, wages, ethnic heritages, viewpoints, and sexual orientations. Our membership continues to reflect the fact that we were one of the first racially integrated churches in Los Angeles.
For a small congregation, we have a remarkable number of children. In our Godly Play church school program, our kids act out scripture stories and come up with their own “endings” for them… reminding our whole church that we are shaping Christian faith afresh for our time. Our teens meet in a tent under the tree (or in The People's Office if weather dictates) to explore issues relevant to their lives and find strength and support from this community and their relationship with God.
SHARED POWER * INDIVIDUAL SPIRIT
Our church is "congregational" in its structure. That means that it is a "town-hall" style of democracy: all our members have voice and vote on the important decisions that our church makes, including the choice of our ministers. We follow the example of Jesus in his life and teachings - and we let our members decide for themselves what that means to them. We don't have a fixed creed or doctrine that we expect our members to follow.
We cherish and maintain our Christian tradition without having one way of interpreting it. We believe that other religions can be as good for others as ours is for us - and that is reflected in our embrace of elements of other faiths that are meaningful to us, in worship and in personal spiritual practice.
WALKING THE TALK
For over 100 years this congregation has been engaged with issues of peace and social justice in Los Angeles. Our cross, which centers us in worship, is marked with the words “He Is Our Peace”. It was given to us by Japanese Christian peace activists after World War II. It was fashioned from wood scorched by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It represents our hope for peace and reconciliation in our neighborhood, city, and wider world, and our commitment to work for it.
We hope you will come and experience the warmth and extravagance of our welcome, and join with us in service to our community and world!
THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: WHO WE ARE...
by John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and former president of the UCC
We are not a church that ordains gays and lesbians.
We are a church that takes the sacrament of baptism so seriously that we seek to honor fully the gifts and callings of each person among the baptized regardless of his or her sexual orientation.
We are not a church that is concerned with the issues of justice and peace.
We are a church so steeped in the message of the Prophets, so responsive to Christ’s announcement of the approaching Realm of God, that we cannot fail to participate in that reign through words and deeds of justice and reconciliation.
We are not a church that promotes inclusive language.
We are a church so aware of the sovereign rule of God encompassing all creation that every limiting or excluding human behavior and speech is called under judgment and drawn toward repentance.
We are not a church that wants to be diverse.
We are a church that celebrates the promise of Ephesians wherein the whole creation will be reconciled in Christ, that perceives in the Eucharist Christ’s presence available to all, and that recognizes that whenever we stand at the Table in monochromatic, monolingual, or monocultural configurations, we deny the rich vision of God’s future which the Eucharist is to portray and enact.
We are not a church that protects local autonomy.
We are a church so convinced of the Holy Spirit’s activity that we refuse to limit the capacity or the responsibility of the gathered community in any setting to discern the Holy Spirit’s call for its particular time and its particular place.
We are not an ecumenical church.
We are a church that seeks to portray in its life and witness the unity and koinonia of the Holy Trinity whose diverse persons become an icon for the unity and diversity the ecumenical movement hopes to embody.
Our ecumenical partners persistently encourage us to articulate our theology and state our faith in ways that connect the causes and convictions for which we are known to the Great Story of the church through the ages, and so become catholic gifts rather than sectarian adventures
Mt. Hollywood UCC experience of Burning Man 2016 with Que Viva! Camp
OUR CORE VALUES
Continue our Legacy of Progressive Thinking
Celebrate Diversity through Extravagant Welcome
Build the Future with Innovation and Creativity
CHURCH SPEAK: DEFINING TERMS
We are a UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST:
a denomination with a history of activism on many social justice issues - public education, racial and gender equality, health care access, marriage equality, to name a few.
We are both an OPEN AND AFFIRMING Church
and a JUST PEACE Church.
We believe that our deeds matter more than creeds.
We are a PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN congregation
We take the Bible seriously, not literally.
Read MUSINGS on Progressive Christianity -
the blog site of Jim Burklo, Member of Mt. Hollywood UCC and Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California.
We are COVENANTAL
Those who join this church do not have to adhere to any creed or belief system. We do agree to support one another on our faith journey - wherever we happen to be.
Here is some language we currently use when welcoming people into fellowship:
We are a community of faith. This is our faith:
We share a vision of G-d:
--a G-d whose spirit is love,
--accessible to all, yet beyond our knowing,
We are reborn in the Spirit,
and become followers of that Way shown by Jesus:
--to love G-d with our whole being;
--to love our neighbors as ourselves;
--to treat others as we would have them treat us;
--to strive for justice and peace;
--to have respect and compassion
for every person and for the whole of creation;
--to forgive those who do us harm;
--to love one another as Christ has loved us.
We are a covenantal community.
Together, we journey on this Way toward
reconciliation with the whole of creation.
We break bread together, sing and pray together.
We reach out to one another for strength beyond
our own – and find it.
Thanks be to G-d.
[Statement adapted from St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church, May 2005]
OUR DEFINITION OF "EXTRAVAGANT WELCOME!"
Burning Man logo art by Laura Diamond