Who we are
Our statement and commitment to our faith
We, the church, have failed in love.
We have failed to accept those who are different from us. We have failed to treat each other equally. We have failed to support those in need.
We, the church, have to do better. We must broaden our love.
We, First Progressive Church in Los Angeles, seek to broaden our love by living out the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ in community.
As Jesus built community, he welcomed all so we also welcome, accept, and affirm everyone of all backgrounds at First Progressive Church in Los Angeles: all races and ethnicities, all faith backgrounds and journeys, all genders, all sexual identities, all classes, and all cultures.
As Jesus built community, he valued and affirmed everyone equally
so we equally value and affirm everyone in leadership, marriage, ordination, and membership.
As Jesus built community, he helped those in need
so we support our community financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We do so by sharing our talents, our resources, our time, and our connections with each other. We extend this support to our city, our nation, and the world.
Black Lives Matter
We repent to God and apologize to the Black Community for we have been complicit in the white dominant culture that continues to exist on the necks and backs and lynchings of Black People. We have reaped the benefits by staying quiet and being mere observers by falsely believing we are outside the burning house. We have failed to examine our own Christian religion and our own complicity in believing in a white god, white theologies, and white system of beliefs that continually deny equality, justice, and common dignity. We at FPCLA are guilty of being a part of systemic racism where dehumanization and violence against Black people have been normalized. We believe that it is a sin to be racist; it is a sin to be sexist; it is a sin to be homophobic. We are committed to change through word and action: We will address our own complicity. We will live out fully, the mission statement of our church and the mandate of Jesus Christ to love and sacrifice and do justice.
Mahalaga ang Buhay ng Kaitiman
Kami ay nagsisisi sa Diyos at humihingi ng kapatawaran sa Black Community na kami ay nakipag-ugnayan sa mga nangingibabaw na kultura ng mga puti na patuloy na umiiral at nagpapahirap sa mga kaitiman. Kami ay umani ng mga benepisyo sa pananahimik at tagamasid lamang sa paniniwalang kami ay hindi parte at nasa labas ng nasusunog na bahay. Kami ay nabigong suriin ang relihiyon ng Kristiyanismo at ang paniniwala sa puting diyos, mga putting teolohiya, at mga puting sistema ng paniniwala na patuloy na tinatanggihan ang pagkakapantay-pantay, hustisya at karaniwang dangal. Kami dito sa FPCLA ay nagkamali sa pagiging parte ng sistematikong rasismo. Kami ay naniniwala na kasalanan ang maging racist, kasalanan ang maging sexist, kasalanan ang maging homophobic. Kami ay nakatuon na magbago sa pamamagitan ng salita at kilos. Aming tatalakayin ang aming mga sarili. Itutuon namin na mabuhay ng lubusan sa mandato ni Hesukristo na magmahal, magsakripisyo at gawin ang hustisya.
(we thank Florida P. for this translation)
흑인의 목숨은 소중하다
우리 First Progressive Church in Los Angeles(FPCLA) 는 백인 지배 문화가 흑인사회를, 그들의 목을 조으고, 등을 짓누르고, 린칭을 가하며 억압해 온 것을 묵인 한 것에 대하여 흑인 사회에 사죄하고 하나님 앞에 회개합니다. 침묵과 관망으로 우리는 그들의 위기 밖에 있다고 외면해 왔습니다. 우리는 우리가 믿는 형태의 기독교가 백인의 신, 백인의 신학, 그리고 백인의 체제가 모든 이들의 존엄, 평등 및 정의를 지속적으로 부인 한 것을 보지 못하였습니다. 우리 FPLCA 는 흑인을 향한 비인간화와 폭력이 정상화 된 구조에 동참해 왔던 것을 시인합니다. 우리는 인종차별이 죄악이고 그 죄악이 존재하고 있으며, 또한 성소수자 차별이 죄악이라 믿습이다. 우리는 말과 행동을 통해 변화 할 것을 다짐합니다. 우리는 스스로의 묵인을 직시할 것입니다. 우리는 교회의 소명과 예수 그리스도의 명령에 따라 사랑과 희생과 정의를 우리 삶속에서 실천해 나갈 것입니다.
(we thank Rev. Grace K. for this translation)
Our Church Faculty
Reverend Samuel Chung
Pastor Sam grew up in South Central Los Angeles and went to an all Korean Missionary Church in his youth. Pastor Sam’s spiritual journey was not linear; it was all around the block. In his younger years, he struggled to find his authentic voice for God. Even still, he knew all his life that God called him to be a minister so he pursued that professionally.
Pastor Sam graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary and later became an ordained minister in the PCUSA. He served at Korean American churches and PCUSA churches around the country. Pastor Sam also served as a hospital chaplain in the greater San Francisco area.
Pastor Sam believes in the equality of the LGBTQIA+ community and gender equality. He noticed a particular need for this in the Asian American Christian churches. This is what inspired him to found FPCLA. Pastor Sam desired to establish a church in the Los Angeles area that is fully affirming and has equally open doors to the greater community. Through the Progressive Asian American Christians (PAAC) group on Facebook, Sam called for people who wanted to start a church in Los Angeles with this mission in mind. From there, they eventually had their first worship session on October 7, 2018.
Fun fact about Pastor Sam: he has a strong enjoyment for Haribo gummy bears and quality whiskies.
If you need to reach Pastor Sam directly, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the fastest response on all general inquiries, please use our easy contact page form, found in the main menu.
Pastor Eula Pagdilao
Pastor Eula grew up in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Nueva Ecija is a province in the Philippines where her small hometown was located. Here, she grew up singing in a protestant church from children’s through adult choir. Pastor Eula’s family has a strong Christian faith background and supported her growth in her faith throughout her adolescence. Her ministry work began at this time when her church went to local Filipino towns to engage in bible story reading and singing with those local communities.
Pastor Eula came to Southern California, United States on September 7, 2001 to be together with her family. From there, she soon got involved with Filipino Disciples Christian Church in Los Angeles where she played in the church band. She also continued her ministry work there serving as a bible study leader and a church board member.
At that time, her beliefs and faith began to transform. She began to look for a community that would help her answer the questions which she had about her faith and the Bible. She began church searching until she was eventually introduced to Pastor Sam and the pre-FPCLA community. She was originally only going to serve as a musician for FPCLA but Pastor Sam discovered that she was attending seminary at that time. Due to this, he asked her if she would like to serve as a pastor at FPCLA and Pastor Eula obliged.
Pastor Eula later graduated seminary from Claremont School of Theology with a Master’s of Divinity and she is currently seeking ordination in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ.
Pastor Eula was drawn to FPCLA due to their mission which is to apologize for the failings of loving people by the greater Christian church. Instead of putting up barriers within the Christian Community, FPCLA welcomes everyone and has no boundaries in love. Pastor Eula loves to serve within FPCLA and to know that she and other members do not have to be scared to voice differing beliefs and opinions within the FPCLA community.
Fun fact about Pastor Eula: she has a twin sister who looks just like her and sometimes attends FPCLA events.
If you need to reach Pastor Eula directly, you can email her at email@example.com. For the fastest response on all general inquiries, please use our easy contact page form, found in the main menu.
Our Community Engagement
FPCLA has a strong commitment to our local community and serving as Jesus served his community. FPCLA partners with Wilshire Presbyterian Church and other campus churches every week in efforts to serve the local community through our food pantry. Our leaders and members volunteer in organizing and distributing these food pantry provisions to the local community in need.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, our members regularly decided upon a community outreach event to partake in as a church. For these events, we planned to close the church that Sunday and instead meet up at our service location and partake in a day of helping the community. Such events have included church volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. At the conclusion of the Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions, we plan to resume these service activities.
Building a Church Family
Another pre Covid-19 activity that our members engaged in regularly was a social day. For such events, our members agree upon a fun activity to partake in as a church. In the past, this has included activities such as bowling, the annual church birthday celebration, and New Year’s dim sum. We find importance in getting outside of the church pews and having quality time to grow as a church family. At the conclusion of the Covid-19 pandemic, we plan to resume these social activities.
FPCLA also prioritizes other events such as post-service snacks & socializing, bible studies, lunch meet-ups, book clubs, and more. We acknowledge the core importance of friendship, community, and service in healthy balance as taught by Jesus and this is a central focus of FPCLA.