Old Rites, New Politics
July 15, 2007 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find the right church in Los Angeles - Episcopal/Anglican preferred.

I grew up in Los Angeles. I'll be moving back soon, and I'd like to start attending a new church there.

Short background: I am the daughter of two religious but very left-leaning, hippie parents. Growing up, I attended a number of churches that approved of things like gay ordination and marriage, and found justification for progressive politics and social justice in the words of the Bible. I connected very well to the Episcopal churches, but I have also had excellent experiences with Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

After college, I more or less stopped going to church except for on holidays. I never lost my faith, I just slipped out of the habit of going to church. Lately, though, I have found that there is something missing in my routine, and I would love to start attending again when I return to L.A.

Ideally, I am looking for a church that is politically progressive/liberal but also liturgically traditional, following the Book of Common Prayer rites closely. While I respect the use of contemporary music and language in worship, I don't find them personally moving.

Bonus if the church has some people in my demographic - 28 years old, married, probably starting a family in a few years.

Neighborhood is not a big issue - for a nice place, I'm glad to drive a little.
posted by piers to Religion & Philosophy (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So glad you asked this question. I'm in the same boat you are. Can't wait to hear the suggestions.

All Saints Church in Pasadena is very progressive. That's the only one I know of in this area.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:38 AM on July 15, 2007

I'm a long and forever lapsed Catholic so I don't have first-hand experience of any churches here, but I've always heard very good things about All Saints -- it's the most liberal/progressive Episcopalian church in the area that I'm aware of.
posted by scody at 4:08 PM on July 15, 2007

Oh, I just saw where you said you'd had good experiences with Methodist churches, too. In that case, you might want to consider Hollywood United Methodist -- they're very progressive as well.
posted by scody at 4:11 PM on July 15, 2007

I've been looking for the same thing (in Toronto, sadly, so not helpful). But good to know I'm not the only one, and good luck!
posted by sarahkeebs at 4:56 PM on July 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, I will be sure to check out All Saints. My mother and grandmother used to go to Hollywood United Methodist, so I'll check that one out, too -
posted by piers at 7:43 PM on July 15, 2007

I don't know what the services are like, but the prettiest Anglican church in LA might be Church of the Angels in Garvanza (near Highland Park). Worth a visit for the architecture alone.
posted by Scram at 11:42 PM on July 15, 2007

Best answer: When I moved to LA and was hunting for a church, these were my three finalists:

All Saints in Beverly Hills is socially progressive and liturgically traditional: a female rector, a lot of gay folks in the congregation. A lot of families and young people. Vibrant small groups. Amazing, semi-professional choir. Taize services and Alpha classes with sort of amazing food.

Saint Thomas The Apostle in West Hollywood is socially progressive (as you'd guess from the location, LOTS of gay folks-- I've only been there a few times, so I don't know how many young families there are), very liturgically traditional: they're so high they're Anglo-Catholic. I've loved attending the few times I've gone, if you're into the smells and bells.

St. James in Koreatown was slightly more low-church than All Saints, but certainly not "modern". Of the three, it has the most ethnically diverse congregation: Koreans, white people, African immigrants. A very urban setting. They have a private school on-site, I think.

(I tried to be fair about All Saints, but it's my church and I love it a lot.)

Good luck with your hunt!
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:07 AM on July 16, 2007

Here's a hearty second to All Saint's Pasadena. Very progressive socio-politically but with a fairly traditional mid-high Anglican Sunday service. The community there is awesome.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:07 AM on July 16, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, HMS - Saint Thomas the Apostle sounds like another great candidate. (I love high church, the whole smells and bells thing.) And thank you all!
posted by piers at 4:35 AM on July 16, 2007

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