Groups & Community Life

Not Just Sunday Friends

At The Loft, we don’t want to be just “Sunday friends”. We strive to truly be integrated into each others’ lives throughout the week. At the center of The Loft’s theology is a belief that spiritual growth and transformation happens when our community is in conversation. This is started on Sunday mornings, but taken to deeper levels in our groups throughout the week.

Small Groups

Small groups meet weekly in a Lofter’s home, get involved in each others’ lives and discuss Sunday topics, world events, and personal issues more deeply. Some groups organize around life stages, some around topics, and some around neighborhoods, but all of them are long-term staples of support. Small groups are designed to be your “home base” at the Loft and in LA.
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Please browse the group descriptions and choose one (or two or three!) that is right for you! If you’d like to be matched to a group or get more information, please contact Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org.

WESTWOOD SMALL GROUP

Tuesdays (7:30pm) Westwood
Hosts: Alison and Jeff Arnold
Discussion Leader: Alex Smith
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What to expect: Conversation, pizza, alcohol and friendly people – not necessarily in that order. Jeff and Alison are experts at welcoming people into their home — as are their two adorable doggies! We create free flowing conversation around Sunday topics that gets everyone involved in exploring how Christians might better understand ourselves and others. Our motto is: not all problems can be solved, but all problems can be discussed on Tuesday nights!
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Who would want to join and why: People who like to drink on a Tuesday while having lively and deep conversation.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Hosts: Alison & Jeff Arnold
Discussion Leader: Alex Smith

CULVER CITY SMALL GROUP

Every Other Tuesday (7:30pm) Culver City
Hosts: Bobbi and Owen Shiflett
Discussion Leaders: Brianna and Marlow
Childcare Provided
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What to expect: Discuss Sunday topics, current events, and the joys and concerns of life! Consider this a safe space to get all the worries off your chest, be encouraged, and celebrate what’s going well in life over some snacks and wine.
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Who would want to join and why: Young, fun professionals who live in Culver City and people who want a chance to form a new beginning at the Loft.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Hosts: Bobbi & Owen Shiflett
Discussion Leaders: Brianna & Marlow

SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUP

4th Thursdays (8-10pm) The Loft at Westwood UMC
Discussion Leaders: Emily Musil Church and Joshua Edwards
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What to expect: Take action on social justice issues! We seek faith-based responses to the external world and to do justice together in community. Join in the conversation and post/learn about action items at loftsocialjustice.slack.com.
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Who would want to join and why: If you’re ALL FIRED UP about what’s going on in the world and you want to be with a group of folks who are taking action, come!
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Hosts: Emily & Josh Musil Church
Leaders: Emily Musil Church & Joshua Edwards

DADS BREAKFAST SMALL GROUP

3rd Thursdays (8:15am): April 13th; May 18th
Location: Cafe Laurent (4243 Overland Ave. in Culver City)
Discussion Leader: Pastor Chris Spearman
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What to expect: Coffee seems to be mandatory for parenting. Coffee with other dads discussing the opportunities and challenges of parenthood is AWESOME. After school drop off, we grab a bite and compare notes on parenthood. What could be better?
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Who would want to join and why: Dads who are hungry or under-caffeinated.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Location: Cafe Laurent (Culver City)
Discussion Leader: Pastor Chris Spearman

MOMS SMALL GROUP

Every Other Monday (8pm) West LA
Host & Discussion Leader: Paige Spearman
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What to expect: We’re a group of moms who don’t necessarily want to talk about being a mom but who want to be with other moms to talk about a lot of different issues that sometimes includes being a mom. Oh yea, and we want to drink wine and eat cheese, too. We will rotate discussion leaders for each gathering, discussing a short article or podcast — whoever picks the topic usually leads the discussion. We’ve discussed clothes, partners, dealing with exhaustion and friendships. Occasionally, we just have fun, doing a game night, a bonfire or an old-fashioned show-and-tell!
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Who would want to join and why: Our kids are all different ages and we are all different kinds of moms: Stay-at-home, part-time, and full working! But what connects us is our sisterhood and the desire to navigate motherhood in a complicated world with grace.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Host & Discussion Leader: Paige Spearman

Learning Groups

Learning groups are short-term studies at the Loft that delve into a specific topic. If you’d like to be matched to a group, have an idea for a new learning group, or get more information, please contact Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org.

BOOK STUDY: WHAT WOULD JESUS DECONSTRUCT? – starting April 10th

Mondays (7:30pm) Culver City
7 weeks (April 10-May 22)
Host: Justin Wentz
Discussion Leader: Joe Aumentado
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Book: In What Would Jesus Deconstruct?, philosopher, John D. Caputo, introduces the notion of deconstruction and the practical implications it has for the church.
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Purpose: The truth is often hidden behind a veil of assumptions. The task of deconstruction, then, is an attempt to tear this veil and let the truth show itself (for better or for worse). We are all too happy to entertain the “truth” so long as it keeps us safe and secure, but what about when it becomes an inconvenience? What if the truth threatens our sense of identity, challenges us to embrace the Other, and exposes the way we’ve made sense of the world as a farce? In deconstruction, the truth will set us free, so long as it doesn’t kill us first. So, within the context of community and conversation, we will learn and engage in the difficult task of deconstruction, and explore the practical implications it has for the church–with as little fatalities as possible.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Host: Justin Wentz
Discussion Leader: Joe Aumentado

BOOKS, BABES & BORDEAUX: A WOMAN’S WORTH – starting April 20, 2017

Thursdays (6:30pm) Westwood
8 weeks (April 20 – June 8)
Host:
Julia Black
Discussion Leaders: Julia Black and Noemi Gonzalez
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Book: With A Woman’s Worth, Marianne Williamson explores the crucial role of women in the world today. Drawing deeply and candidly on her own experiences, the author illuminates her thought-provoking positions on such issues as beauty and age, relationships and sex, children and careers, and the reassurance and reassertion of the feminine in a patriarchal society. Cutting across class, race, religion, and gender, A Woman’s Worth speaks powerfully and persuasively to a generation in need of healing, and in search of harmony.
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What to expect: Each week, we’ll have a casual dinner at 6:30 and then start book clubbing at 7:30. Wine will be flowing all night. If you don’t join up right from the beginning, you are welcome to join any week!
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Who would want to join and why: Women looking for a casual study and a social experience while we explore what it is to be female in 2017.
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Host & Discussion Leader: Julia Black
Discussion Leader: Noemi Gonzales

Social Groups

Want to do fun stuff around LA with cool people? Browse our social events below and just show up!

FAMILY POTLUCK & PARK PLAYDATE GROUP

1st Saturday (10am-12pm)
Location: Aiden’s Place, Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 S. Sepulveda in Los Angeles (picnic tables by the playground)
Facilitator: Katie Hooten
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What to expect: Once a month, families in the Loft community meet at a park, share food, and let their kids run wild. We are hoping to deepen relationships between our kids outside of just Sunday morning. Families comes in all shapes and sizes so all are welcome — not just those with kids or traditional families. Bring your dogs, bring your partners, bring your step-whomever or just bring yourself! But whatever you bring, definitely bring a delicious dish to share!
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If interested, contact: Sara Critchfield, Loft Community Life Specialist at sara@theloftla.org

Facilitator: Katie Hooten

Y&R HAPPY HOUR GROUP

Biweekly on Wednesday or Thursday and some Saturdays
Location: Typically on the west side, usually a bar, sometimes a restaurant with a great happy hour.
Organizers: Jasmine Shah, Brett Gibson, Westley Garcia, Whitney Unruh, Joshua Edwards
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What to expect: Not gonna lie, we’re definitely the group that has the most irresponsible fun during the week, hence the name. I mean, it takes a special kind of person to go a few rounds on a weeknight. If you’re not the drinking type, join us for delicious happy hour food and great people.
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Who would want to join and why: The young-at-heart. Come for a drink, stay for the conversation with a high-quality group of people.
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If interested, contact: Westley Garcia, Director of Loft Connections, at westley@theloftla.org

Organizers: Jasmine Shah, Brett Gibson, Westley Garcia, Whitney Unruh, Joshua Edwards