About Ecclesia

Faith. Community. Mission.


“Ecclesia” is an ancient Greek word which means an assembly of people called to a specific purpose. Eventually, it was used to refer to the early followers of Jesus. Today, English bibles translate the word as “church”. But the church is not a building or a meeting but rather it is the people of God participating in the mission of God to redeem and renew all Creation through Jesus Christ.

“Disciple” is the word Jesus of Nazareth used for those who wanted to live like He did. For our purposes today, we define a disciple of Jesus as a person who follows Jesus in faith, is being transformed by Him alongside His community, and joins Him on His mission. Therefore, to make disciples:

We Foster Faith in Jesus as Lord.

The ancient confession that Jesus is Lord indicates that He is the ruler over every aspect of life. We equip disciples who can integrate and prioritize their faith in every sphere of their life. Jesus Christ, His incarnation, lifestyle, teachings, redeeming work on the cross, resurrection and return is the object of our faith and the only hope for a broken world.

We Cultivate Community through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus modeled the best context for growing as a disciple — a small community with Him at the center. In our families, community groups, and leadership teams, we seek to cultivate authentic discipleship communities that encourage each other towards Christ-like transformation.

We Move People to Join God’s Mission.

Every summons to Christ is also a sending into the world. We follow the examples of Jesus to go into the surrounding culture and embody the life and love of God. All of His disciples are called to live out God’s mission in the places where we live, work, play, and create.


Our Story

Ecclesia Hollywood was born in the spring of 2005. The first worship service gathered 50 people in the American Legion Hall on Highland Avenue.  In the years since, we’ve remained in Hollywood as a semi-nomadic group of Jesus followers, renting space in seven different locations, including the iconic Hollywood Pacific Theatre.  Currently we hold services at the Hollywood Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Ecclesia regularly invests in serving the needs of Hollywood.  We partner with groups in Hollywood doing “pure and faultless religion” (James 1:27) like The Center at Blessed Sacrament, Avenues Pregnancy Center, Broken Hearts, Covenant House and Oasis of Hollywood (read more about our ministry partners).  Every January we provide a Winter Refuge for especially vulnerable homeless people, along with our partners First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, RealityLA church and Broken Hearts ministry.  We helped plant two churches in LA – Kehila church in Culver City and Beautiful Gate in Los Feliz.  We have worked hand in hand with Central City Community Outreach in downtown LA, which ministers to families and children on Skid Row.

Within our first year we launched global partnerships in India, Southeast Asia and Africa.  We have sent many teams of volunteers to Kenya to work with our ministry partners there, training leaders and producing a kid’s camp for hundreds of children who live in the Kibera slum.  In Dehradun, India we support an organization called Sneha whose vision is to transform the lives of the unprivileged community by sharing God’s love in action.  Sneha educates more than 1200 children, and reaches out to the surrounding areas with health education, community development, and life-skills training.  Our partners in Laos share the love of Jesus while giving free medical care to people in remote villages who otherwise would have no access to it.

Core to Ecclesia is expressing the church throughout Los Angeles in smaller community groups which meet in homes.  These community groups of 8-12 people provide family connections, biblical discussion, and spiritual encouragement.

Ecclesia is made up of families, children, singles, and couples.  We are from all walks of life and come from all over the world.  We are all in the process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.  When we gather together on Sundays, everyone is welcome.

Join us this Sunday at 10:00 am.

 


Leadership

At Ecclesia the Board of Elders discern God’s direction and vision for Ecclesia and safeguard Biblically faithful theology, doctrine and practice. The Pastors and staff are charged with implementing the mission, managing the operation, and empowering people to do the ministry of the church. Together they work with teams of volunteer leaders called Lead Teams who imagine, prepare and plan key elements of our church’s life.

Outreach Lead Team
Ecclesia has several local and global ministry partners in Kenya, India and right here in Los Angeles. The Outreach Lead Team coordinates with our partners and invites the congregation to live out our faith and make positive changes for Jesus in a world that desperately needs it.

Worship Lead Team
Every Sunday Ecclesia is blessed with musicians and singers who lead the congregation in worshiping our Creator. The Worship Lead Team is made up of artists and technical theatre experts who are dedicated to making the Ecclesia Sunday morning experience fresh and engaging.

Children & Family Lead Team
The Children and Family Lead Team works hand in hand with the Director of Kids Club to imagine, research and develop Kids Club discipleship. They support the vision of “every child being known, seen and loved” by their church family and God. The lead team helps administer support systems for different seasons of a family’s life like engagements, weddings, births and adoptions, and cares for and equips volunteers to minister and disciple children and families.

Connect Lead Team
The Connect Lead Team has an eye to the “wide open doors” and “big on-ramps” into our community by organizing church-wide events like all-church picnics, beach days and Pie Festivals. Additionally they plan and promote smaller events designed to connect people with our community groups.

Community Group Lead Team
Ecclesia fosters over twenty Community Groups throughout Los Angeles. The Community Group Lead Team coordinates their efforts and supports the Community Group hosts.

Welcome Lead Team
The Welcome Lead Team strives to create a positive environment on Sundays where both new folks and regular attendees feel safe, noticed and cared for.

For questions about Lead Teams, contact us.

You can contact a Staff person by clicking on their photo below.  To contact the Elders, email elders@churchinhollywood.com.

Staff & Elder photos by Morgan Ayres.

Staff

Jon Ritner Lead Pastor
Gary Clemmer Executive Pastor
Jordan Lott Sound Manager
Cortney Matz Stage Manager
Charles McDonald Worship Director
Kevin Miller Community Pastor
Jessica Nystrom Admin Associate
Mondo Scott Family Pastor
Melissa Smith Pastor in Residence
Ronnie Steadman Bookkeeper

Elders

Dolores Allchin Elder
Jeff Bartsch Elder
Sarah Duff Lead Elder
Wes Halula Elder
Lily Howe Elder
Mary Nanfelt Elder
Thom Parham Elder
Justin Regus Elder

We Believe

Ecclesia is a non-denominational, Christian church.  The following articulates the core tenets of our faith:

1.  God- There is only one true God, who eternally exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons are a loving community, equal yet distinct in who they are and what they do. God is the infinite Creator and Sustainer of the universe. God is relational and knowable yet wholly Other and distinct from creation.

2.  Humanity- God created humanity, both men and women, in the image of God. Humanity’s disobedience resulted in alienation from their Creator and spiritual death. God’s image within humanity is marred; human nature is corrupted by sin. Therefore, the only hope for all people is spiritual rebirth and reunion initiated by God.

3.  Jesus– Jesus Christ is the anticipated Messiah, the Word of God, the incarnation of the eternal Son; he is both fully God and fully human. He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and sacrificially died on a cross to redeem creation and atone for the sins of humanity. On the third day after he died and was buried, Jesus bodily rose from the dead, conquering death through his resurrection, and he later bodily ascended into heaven. Jesus, the exalted Lord and King of all, now sits with God the Father, authoritatively and graciously mediating between God and humanity.

4.  Salvation– Salvation from the power of death and deliverance from the bondage to sin are only possible by God’s grace. Humans can do nothing to earn their salvation; God’s saving grace is completely unmerited and freely given. God graciously justifies and regenerates all who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Believers become children of God, assured in their status and relationship with God through the promises of Scripture and the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their lives.

5.  Holy Spirit– The Holy Spirit is God – present and active in the world to reveal and glorify Jesus Christ through verifying the gospel and manifesting the kingdom of God in the world. Starting at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came in fullness to indwell all believers. The Holy Spirit is continually at work to transform believers from death to life. Through sanctifying grace, the Holy Spirit delivers believers from all rebellion toward God and makes possible love for God and for others.

6.  The Church– The Church is the Body of Christ, a loving community of all believers, which embodies the values of sacrifice, covenant and vulnerability. The Church is called to foster the unity found in Jesus Christ, who is its Head, and celebrate the diversity found in the gifting of the Holy Spirit, who breathes life into its members. Members of the Church continually gather together to participate in worship, prayer, the practice of the sacraments of communion and baptism and mutual encouragement and formation through Scripture.

7.  Followers of Jesus– As an obedient response to God’s love and mercy, followers of Jesus are called to model their lives by God’s standard, in word and in action; to go into the world, proclaim the gospel and make disciples of others, joining in where God is already at work; and to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly in all relationships and structures of human society.

8.  Eschatology– When believers die, they enter unending fellowship with God and await the bodily resurrection to everlasting glory and blessing. When unbelievers die, they enter unending separation from God and await the bodily resurrection to everlasting judgment. Jesus Christ will return personally, visibly and bodily to the earth, consummating God’s ultimate victory over all evil and establishing God’s perfect kingdom in a new heaven and a new earth.

9.  Bible– The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is true, the inspired Word of God, the ultimate authority in all matters on which it speaks, and uniquely contains the revealed knowledge of God necessary for salvation.