“First we were loved. Now we love.” These words, spoken in unison at the close of each service, describe both our identity and our aspiration. Our mission – to bring the love of Jesus to people’s lives in positive, practical, and transformative ways – drives a spirituality that is authentic, innovative, inclusive, and loving. Gathering each week to worship, reflect, and struggle together with the tough questions of life and faith prepares us to embody that faith and love in the world.
We are affiliated with the inclusive Episcopal denomination, welcoming all seekers – no exceptions – to join us as we learn together how to live into the Beloved Community modeled by Jesus. We walk this particular path, following Jesus’ footsteps, toward a deeper understanding of the cosmic mystery that holds us all, regardless of creed or background.
We do not shy away from ritual; however we use it carefully and thoughtfully to meet people wherever they are in their journey. We gather for worship, we baptize, and we share communion, but our central ritual is sacred dialogue. Our tradition is to engage in dialogue together after the sermon – right in the middle of worship. We honor the abundance of spiritual wisdom “in the room” and cultivate space to share thoughts and vulnerabilities, to learn and struggle together.
Thad’s is a place to learn to love and be loved unconditionally, and to turn with that love outwards to compassionate and life-giving work in the world.
Connect with God Daily
We cultivate and encourage a daily spiritual practice. We know that God meets us where we are and we celebrate the experience of God in many ways: meditation, prayer, scripture study, journaling, yoga, nature – God is everywhere! We believe that a regular spiritual practice helps us to grow and stay connected to God and to our own belovedness.
Connect with Community weekly
We see journeying with one another in community as indispensable. We gather weekly on Sunday mornings for worship and offer opportunities during the week (dinners, phone calls, study groups, etc) as an antidote to the loneliness and isolation so prevalent in our culture. We have a commonly used phrase “Everybody’s In.” All are welcome and can find a place of belonging at Thad’s.
Stand for Justice
We believe that following Jesus means striving to make a difference in the world and to take responsibility for issues of our day. The members of our community live out this commitment in a variety of ways: work with the homeless, human trafficking activism, interfaith work, care for the environment, and many others. Because God’s love crosses all lines, we do not endorse a particular political ideology or single viewpoint, but rather speak up about the work we care about, encouraging others into deeper commitment to God’s justice in the world.
In all things, stay loving
We say together at the end of every service, “First we were loved. Now we love.” This phrase embodies the heart and deepest truth of our community. We believe in the good news that God loves us – first, always, and unconditionally. We try to express this belief in the way we love each other and those within our spheres of influence in daily life.
We’ve celebrated in a living room, a Denny’s conference room, and a local park. For two and a half years, the Thad’s community called the Jazz Bakery at the Helms Bakery complex our home, until it was sold in the summer of 2009. Then we moved into a transitional space at the Westside Jewish Community Center. In mid-December 2010, we moved once again to the Writer's Boot Camp at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica. In July 2017, we moved, for a season, to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades. As of February 2018, we are meeting at The Willows Community School Performing Arts Center located at 8520 Warner Drive in Culver City.
We’re working at living out our common life in partnership with God, remaining responsive to the needs of the Thad’s community and those of the larger community around us. For this reason, we have chosen not to seek a permanent ‘church’ building, but rent our space, as so many folks in our community do. Without the burden of a mortgage or the need for ‘church building fund-raising,’ we can focus on people, rather than programs.
Thaddeus (also known as Jude) only gets two mentions in the Bible: Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18. He was simply one of the twelve disciples. As one of Jesus’ inner circle, Thaddeus had a front row seat when Jesus spoke, and when called upon, taught that message, healed the sick and cast out a few demons.
We identify with Thaddeus because even though he was a leader in the early movement to spread God’s kingdom through the teachings of Jesus, he kept a low profile and humble attitude. We hope folks think of the Thad’s community in the same way—committed to the kingdom of God shown to us by Jesus, committed to serving people with God’s love.
We call him Thad because we think that’s what he’d want his friends to call him.