One of the hardest things about moving to a new city is that you have to adjust to the new place and find things that can help making it feel like home. This is even more challenging when you don’t know anyone in the new city; relationships have to be established if you don’t want to be lonely in your new place. When my brother moved to Los Angeles area, he practically didn’t know anyone there. One thing that was helpful for him however was being plugged in to Mosaic, his church community there.
Mosaic called itself a community of faith, love, and hope. It is unique as it emphasizes outreach to the community in Los Angeles area in a relevant manner. They recognized that many people like my brother come to LA area from everywhere around US and even from other countries, looking to make a living in this sprawling city. For these newcomers, Mosaic provides a community that these newcomers can belong to where they can be respected and cared for regardless of where they came from. They also see many people coming to LA to be involved in creative fields (visual arts, performing arts, fashion, etc.), so there is also a thriving artist community within the church body that encourages people to use their art as means to worship. All of these were provided to reach out and build a community of people who share (or seek to learn about) the faith, caring and loving for others in the community, and help providing message of hope to those who might be living in what seem to be a dead-end, meaningless life.
Before my brother moved to LA, I had heard of Mosaic because of its outreach to various ethnic groups in LA. But my appreciation for its ministry increased as I experienced the community when attending their Sunday service / meeting. It really felt like a home away from home. You could tell that most of the attendees were ‘transplants,’ but for that one hour, it felt like you’re among friends and family, and you’re welcomed even if it’s your first time attending.
Before we left Los Angeles to start our coast-to-coast trip, we decided to attend the Sunday morning service at Mosaic. One last service, fitting for my brother to say goodbye to the community that was his family away from home during his couple of years living in LA. I took the photo below during that service. This was Erwin McManus, Mosaic’s leader and principal teacher, giving his message during the service.