Darina McKenna and Chris Lopez are co-pastors of New Abbey NoHo, a new church that will take root in North Hollywood in the coming year. Currently they are working the the Cyclical LA Starters program as they begin their church-starting journey.
Every Sunday at New Abbey Church in Pasadena,
we begin with a unity and diversity prayer. We stand and hold the hand of the person next to us while a pastor reminds us of and affirms us in the differences we embody. In a sentence, that prayer is: we’re better together than we are apart. We believe this is true not only in our community, but also in our church’s leadership. Diversity in leadership is invaluable, and Cyclical LA not only affirms that, but is a valuable space where we experience that truth.
During our time with Cyclical LA, we have been reminded of and introduced to other church communities that are embodying their own unique way of following Christ. We value this network of church leaders both for the opportunities to learn outside of our church frameworks and for the mutual desire to learn from each others’ differences. It’s one thing to have church members value your perspective, it’s another to feel appreciated among colleagues.
We are connecting with and being helped by church leaders in the Cyclical LA network who worked in the North Hollywood community long before we got there. Their perspective on the cultural rhythms of NoHo have informed how we discuss engaging the local community. We have access to leaders of racially diverse and differently abled communities, which informs our own conversations about inclusion and intentionality in our language.
We’re Better Together…
Church leadership can be one of the loneliest spaces in church community. The Cyclical LA network makes it otherwise, and provides helpful feedback and perspective along the way. They remind us again and again that we’re better together than we are apart.