To say that a lot has been going on at the Hollywood Adventist Church would be an understatement, if not an accurate one.
In light of recent events I’ve been dwelling on my feelings. It’s been about three weeks since things were made public and it’s still a mixed bag. All I know is that I didn’t like how it all went down, and that I pray and hope for the best. The best for Ryan and his family, as well as for the church.
Here’s Pastor Ryan’s letter about what happened, which will explain better than I can;
When I moved to Los Angeles one of the first things I did was search for a church. After church hopping for a year or so, which felt longer, I came to Hollywood, and I kept coming back, and then eventually transferred my membership there. What attracted me to the church seems to be the cause of grief these days. I don’t know all the details as to what transpired, but I do know that I feel upset about it.
The church’s doors are always opened, many times I’ve heard that if Jesus were here in physical form today that he’d be hanging out with the homeless and the Gay and Lesbians, because in our society those groups are “on the margins.” Well at the Hollywood church that’s what we’re doing. There was a seat in a pew for anyone that would walk in, and it didn’t even matter how you were dressed. This act wasn’t only preached but was practiced and I’m a better person because of it. What I also really enjoy are Ryan’s sermons, he spoke physically and metaphorically with us, on our level, he didn’t take the pulpit from… well the pulpit, he was on the ground floor as he delivered his sermons. Sure his messages were sometimes uneasy, different and non-traditional, but they challenged me, made me think, and for that I’m thankful.
I love using my brain, I like thinking, I like reading and I like learning, how are these bad things?
We had a congregation discussion after service Saturday to talk about what’s been going on, people voiced their opinions and thoughts, but when the meeting was over we didn’t have a plan, and that’s ok. These three words have always carried a negative weight, “I don’t know.” But that’s how it felt like after the meeting, and I was ok with that. With Ryan’s absence on the church staff, I hope that we continue what we’ve been doing. Like he said, “this is not the end of the story.”