The Loft LA

The Loft LA

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.

Episodes

August 14, 2022 54 min

In our society, the majority of discussions about love are driven by women. Women are encouraged to learn how to love, seek love – and in turn confront their fears of not being loving or of not being loved enough. As bell hooks writes in her book Communion, “that females are born into a patriarchal world, which first invites us to make the journey to love and then places barriers in our way, is one of life’s ongoing tragedies.” Rev...

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Every person experiences love in ways unique to them. Yet, as we have learned throughout this series, our experiences of love as a child inform how we think about love as adults. This Sunday, we broaden the scope of our exploration of love to include our respective communities. Given the pervasive reality of white supremacy, what are the visions of love that people of color have constructed that have enabled them to “make a way out...

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August 1, 2022 41 min

When I think about what our culture teaches us about love, I don’t immediately think about it being something that’s in opposition to greed. Yet, the deeper we go into our exploration of love, using wisdom from bell hooks’ All About Love and our study of scripture, the more the two come into sharp contrast. By looking at love in contrast to greed, we see clearly ways that the kind of love we’re called to practice as followers of Je...

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Let’s be honest, some people are difficult to love, especially if they have harmed us or our community. Not loving these people feels like the right thing to do, even if we intellectually know that it isn’t. If love is the will to extend yourself, to nurture your own or another’s spiritual growth, how might we bring our internal world into alignment with our moral commitment to love our neighbors – all of our neighbors? The religio...

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July 17, 2022 43 min

Love is essential to human flourishing, it is a powerful remedy for our soul. And yet, despite our awareness of the power of love, we live in a society where the consequences of lovelessness are evident to anyone who cares to look. The spiritual path of Jesus shows us that it is possible to live a life grounded in the power of love. Given that the greatest commandment exhorts us to love God, neighbor, and self, how might understand...

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July 13, 2022 38 min

In our previous sermon, we defined love as the will to extend yourself for the purpose of nurturing your own or another’s spiritual growth. Love is an act of the will – which begs the question, why do some people choose to love while others do not? Why do you choose love? While there are laws and commands in the bible that tell us to love God, what we see in practice in the bible are people who love chose to love in response to the...

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July 4, 2022 41 min

Everyone wants to know more about love. We want to know what it means to love, and what we can do in our everyday lives to love and be loved. Yet, outside of the realm of popular culture, there are few public discussions of what love is. There seems to be an assumption that human beings should instinctively know how to love. But do we? Is love innate or is it something that we grow to learn? This series is an opportunity for us to ...

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June 27, 2022 47 min

The overturning of Roe v. Wade will have devastating consequences for millions of people in America. The loss of constitutionally protected bodily autonomy will have lasting implications for marginalized persons – women, people of color, the disabled, and queer persons. You may be wondering “what does this have to do with Christianity or Christian theology?” The approach the conservative justices used to interpret the constitution ...

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That human beings are created in the image and likeness of God (imago Dei) has been a fundamental theological pillar in the history of Christianity. However, who images God and to what degree do they reflect God’s image has been a consistent point of contention. This Sunday millions of folk will celebrate Juneteenth as a way to commemorate the struggle and remember the joy of Black people as they fought for their humanity. Similarl...

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June 13, 2022 30 min

Christian apologetics is an ancient form of Christian speech that developed as a way to respond to “pagan” Romans who were skeptical of certain Christian beliefs. Similarly, apologetic strategies in queer theology start from theological disagreements about sex and sexuality and move towards places of theological agreement, such as all humans are created in God’s image. While this strategy has proven useful in theological debates it...

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June 6, 2022 37 min

June is Pride month and our sermon series, Queer Theology, will center the thought and work of LGBTQ+ theologians, activists, and scholars. As Pastor Molly notes, we are “a congregation that sees the image of God in all people, including people of every gender identity or sexual orientation, and we are committed to celebrating the gifts of our LGBTQ+ members and neighbors.

Yet, some of you may be wondering what exactly is q...

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Where Do We Go From Here, UMC?” is a weekly podcast featuring conversations between Rev. Molly Vetter and denominational leaders about the challenges ahead as we live toward a United Methodist Church that is fully inclusive of our LGBTQ+ siblings.

Despite the anti-gay policies that remain in our UMC Discipline, more and more of us continue to move forward with the work of full inclusion. Still, institutional barriers to chang...
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May 23, 2022 33 min
Joy doesn’t wait for our struggles to be over. This Sunday, we dig into our Advent scriptures, drawing out Mary’s song: Mary “rejoices” in this iconic scripture passage during her pregnancy, a state of affairs that would have put her in a position of dishonor among her people. Instead, she sings out powerfully because she knows that this turn of events will usher in the Presence of justice for the oppressed and freedom for the capt...
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Howard Thurman penned an essay titled “Joy is of Many Kinds” where he discusses the various ways in which we experience joy. After reading his essay, I wonder how he would have categorized the type of “joy” we see on Instagram? To be sure, there is a kind of faux, toxic, type of joy that can be found within our nicely curated Instagram accounts. However, the joy that we see embodied in Jesus, Tutu, and the Dalai Lama reveals to us ...

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May 10, 2022 35 min

With all that is going on in our country and in the world, it is understandable if we feel like there is little to be joyful about. In these moments I find it helpful to remember the struggles and suffering of other people who made a way out of no way AND cultivated joy in the midst of their struggles. Leaning into their full humanity and expressing the joy they had for their lives became one way they could resist the dehumanizing ...

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May 3, 2022 44 min

How do you define joy? In a country designed to offer instant gratification to those who can afford it, joy could be understood as something that we all can acquire if we work hard enough. However, once our basic needs of food, shelter, security, and sense of purpose are met, does the acquisition of more “things” truly bring us joy? Rather than “joy” being yet another word for “happiness,” the spiritual path of Jesus, and the teach...

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Rev. Molly Vetter with Rev. Kevin Kim Wright

On this Sunday after Easter, we will spend some time with St. Thomas the Apostle, patron saint of all of us who have our doubts and ask good questions. What if his doubts were faithful curiosity, a posture and practice that are companions to a belief that is in search of deeper understanding?

Especially on Earth Day, Thomas’s hunger for evidence is a helpful piece of our story–and an i...

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In Modern culture we are taught that for something to be “real” it must be something that we can see, touch, taste, hear, or smell. Anything that is beyond the level of our physical senses cannot be scientifically validated and must be approached with caution. There is wisdom in this caution. And yet we know there is more to life than what we can physically sense.

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We often have a “cast of characters” living inside our heads that love to carry on endless conversations — each from their own perspective. The chatter of our minds can sometimes keep us from a deeper listening and it is often difficult to decipher exactly what constitutes a mystical connection to God. How might we ground ourselves, tune out our distractions, and listen for the prompting of the Spirit? This Sunday, we will be joine...

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Our sacred texts connect the breath of God with our own aliveness—God blew breath into us at creation and we continue to breathe all of creation in and out of our bodies constantly. The early church also believed that breath and Spirit were one and the same. How might the meditative practice of paying attention to our breath be, in and of itself, a prayer of connection to God? Message by Pastor Molly Vetter.

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