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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pacific Crossroads

This post was from 2009. Here's a link to an update on a more recent visit to Pacific Crossroads, now meeting Sunday mornings at Santa Monica High School. 

Pacific Crossroads Church is a relatively new church here on the westside of Los Angeles, meeting Sunday mornings at University High School ("Uni High") on Barrington Avenue in between Wilshire & Santa Monica Blvds.

I had heard a lot of good things about this church - including from a UCLA professor (who I met last Fall) who is a member here. While my family and I attend another church here on the westside, I decided it was time to pay a visit to Pacific Crossroads. The church meets both at 9am and 11am.

The immediate area around Uni High is fairly urban: 3 & 4 story apartment buildings, as well as a few apartment towers. Twenty years ago I heard that only 2% of people on the westside of Los Angeles attend any kind of weekly religious service (church, synagogue, mosque). Sounds about right. A pretty surprising place to find a dynamic, growing church.

Music was contemporary and upbeat - yet reverent. The up front musicians and worship team set a great tone and those around me were singing along. There really was a sense of "we're here to worship God." Pacific Crossroads is part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

The congregation was really multi-ethnic, with a large percentage (maybe 40%?) being Asian-American. Several young families were sitting along the edge with strollers, but it looked like at least half the church were single or young marrieds without kids.

Pastor Rankin Wilbourne delivered a great sermon. He's a gifted communicator that engaged both the congregations' heads and hearts on the biblical texts. I actually came back to the 11am sermon just to hear him again.

After each of the two services several hundred people stuck around, to talk and connect. There were some info tables set up for visitors and highlighting ministry opportunities around the city.

I like their vision statement:

"Pacific Crossroads Church is a people, not a place. We are a people called to worship the Living God and give witness to the good news that God accepts us as we are, not as we should be. Our vision is to be an authentic community that manifests the presence and reign of Jesus Christ throughout Los Angeles through personal transformation, social justice and cultural renewal. We seek the welfare of this city and pray that lives would be astonished and changed by the One who came to serve."
From what I understand, Pacific Crossroads in Los Angeles has a strong relationship with Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City (pastored by Tim Keller). The mission statements and desire to "seek the welfare" of the city sound very similar.

Pacific Crossroads' website is:

Guess they'll need to update their "invite" cards now that they've gone to two service times.

As a visitor, I was really impressed with this church. Whether you're a seeker investigating the claims of Christianity, or already a follower of Christ, this really looks like a great church to be a part of --- or at least come by and see what it's all about.

Glad they're here on the westside.


Cafe Pasadena said...

A gifted communicator may be the big reason that is a thriving church in an otherwise dead zone for religion.

Lack of communication may also be a major reason why people out in that area rarely feel the need to attend church regularly.

♥♥♥♥♥ Jennifer™® ♥♥♥♥♥ said...

your blog is very good......

Professor Howdy said...

Rankin used to be my Pastor and I really miss him!!!