We are the beloved of God. We are created in his image, fully loved and fully accepted. Before we knew Christ, he called us beloved and drew us to him. This is how we view and engage with the lost in this city: with the understanding that every single person is the imago Dei (image of God), having innate dignity and value.
Therefore we seek to protect the value of human life and seek to restore dignity to whom it has been taken. But if we say we care about the sanctity of life, that means all life, from the unborn to refugees and immigrants to minorities to those experiencing homelessness to those facing the death penalty (both not guilty and guilty) to senior citizens.
About the Life Cycle of Renewal
The Life Cycle of Renewal is an annual rhythm designed to help us engage with Christ’s renewing work in our city, our world, and our lives. While poverty is often defined in solely socioeconomic terms, we are each created in the image of God with innate value and dignity and this intrinsically-valuable personhood is not only affected by economic and social systems, class, and material wealth, but also by relationships, spirituality, culture, family, and opportunity. Brokenness in any of these areas creates poverty. We share a mutual poverty in which we can identify with one another.
Christ, in his love for us, identified with our poverty, died to set us free from the yoke of slavery, the curse of sin and death, and to make us whole as part of his family forever. He continues to make us whole — this is our personal renewal in Jesus, our poverty redefined as he moves us into flourishing! He meets us in our brokenness and calls us beloved. He meets us in our isolation and shame and calls us sons and daughters. He meets us in our slavery and sets us free. He meets us in our lack and woundedness and heals us, provides for us, and builds us up in his kingdom. As we receive and experience this renewal from Christ, we then pour it out and minister renewal to the city of Los Angeles. We love because Christ first loved us.
We have been filled with the Holy Spirit and blessed with every spiritual blessing. Our poverty is no more, our brokenness healed, and we are made complete in Christ.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
This is a picture of the fullness of renewal and how we minister it to others as unto the Lord.
- Every January-March, we receive and reflect that Jesus calls us his beloved.
- Every April-June, we receive and reflect that we have been adopted into the family of God.
- Every July-September, we receive and reflect that Christ has set us free from sin and death.
- Every October-December, we receive and reflect that God makes us whole.
Sanctity of Life Sunday
Sanctity of Life Sunday was a national day for those who value all life to recognize, as well as usher people into, walking the talk and being fully committed to supporting lost and scared new moms who might be alone in deciding to keep their babies while also coming alongside women who terminated their pregnancy. Both decisions require someone showing up and saying to these mothers that they are beloved.
Hollywood Winter Refuge
Each year during LA’s coldest months, we get to join First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Ecclesia, Hearts of Hope Ministry, and many others to care for approximately 30 of the most vulnerable men and women living on the streets of Hollywood through the Hollywood Winter Refuge. Guests are provided with warm beds, hot meals, case management services, and loving Christian community.
Claris Health Diaper Drive
How do we come alongside the moms and dads who have chosen to continue with their pregnancy and become parents? How do we walk alongside those who have made the hard decision to entrust their child to adoption? How do we care for those who have experienced heartbreak through abortion, infertility, or adoptions falling through? How has God called this church to love and come alongside these families and individuals to walk with them in the midst of hard decisions, heartache, and a ton of poopy diapers?
While we don’t have all the right answers, we are pursuing holistic care for kids and families as part of local missions, and one of the ways we did this was through the Claris Health Diaper Drive.