ADORE LA is a queer faith community experiencing God in unconventional ways to share the liberating Good News. The leadership team is grateful for the $5,000 funding and has been diligent in executing activities to progress toward grant objectives. As we discerned in the grant writing process, we beleive God has called ADORE LA to attend to the spiritual needs and curiosity of LGBTQIA+ people. Our grant activities have aimed to outreach, listen through surveying, experiment with meaningful worship, and share stories of how people can be boldly both Christian and queer-identifying. We pray that these efforts continue to respond to God’s call on the leaders and contribute to our mission: Gather as we are. Reclaim faith for everyone, anywhere. Leadership strives to gather in people and form community, rejoicing that God brings the Kingdom near to us all.
Through grant support ADORE LA has been able to outreach through in-person events, social media, and mobile-based efforts. In-person, ADORE leaders we able to be present and engage in conversation at Trans Pride, DTLA Proud, and in our interaction in our daily lives. At Trans Pride, June 16th, ADORE leaders outreached to more than three-hundred queer/ trans people, sharing conversations about our gatherings and the reasons why we find the community faith- inspiring and necessary. From those contacts, twenty-three people signed up for our text reminders about our gatherings and events, demonstrating effective outreach and evangelism. At DTLA Proud, August 24, 25, 26, leaders outreached to more than one-thousand LGBTQIA+ people, connecting with families and youth on Friday and with an adult crowd on Saturday and Sunday. Of those contacts many people followed the ADORE LA Facebook and Instagram accounts, and more than thirty people signed up for reminder texts to be able to gather with the community.
ADORE LA’s outreach through technology and social media has also been impressive, reaching many interested people each month. Our weekly invitations to our gatherings go out to one hundred and five people, who engage in conversation even if they do not attend. The relationship building is difficult and many contacts are needed before a person trusts a community enough to join. The ADORE Facebook Page has four-hundred and thirty-two people following, and insights show that many people are actively engaged in the social media outreach. In the last month, ADORE’s Facebook Page has received more than one-hundred visits to our page, and our content has reached more than 4,000 people. Our content includes gathering announcements, weekly prayer livestreams, and inspirational content.
Evaluation + Surveys
In preparation of launching ADORE’s Worship Lab, forty-five people were surveyed about their faith. From the data, we found that all but two of those people survey felt that it was possible to be queer-identifying and faithful. All survey respondents except for six shared that they had experienced trauma in the name of God that was done by church leaders in the past. They shared this as the number one reason they were not in faith community. Many other insights were gathered in understanding the community with which we were attempting to build community. At each of our Worship Lab gatherings, ADORE has collected surveys asking how we could improve upon the service and increase ease of participation and ensure a meaningful experience.
ADORE has also distributed surveys at each Worship Lab since beginning in August. The surveys ask how the people who gathered with us have experienced God and how ADORE LA can improve the worship experience by adapting music, preaching, prayer, and avoiding triggers and sensitivity to past religious experiences, content, and symbols. In the photographed survey, we get positive feedback from a young boy that worship was surprisingly “not boring.”
ADORE has planned, launched, and executed four monthly Worship Lab experiences, including a test run with ADORE leaders. As of January, ADORE leadership would have done five Worship Lab experiences and brought in nearly forty people into a worship experience. We continue to focus on how to grow our membership and create meaningful worship for our LGBTQIA+ community. In our five worship experiences, ADORE LA has experimented with prayer and music, preaching and being sent into the world. We continue to survey the community and people who attend worship lab and the funding has helped the faith community discern our calling to worship and experiment.
Pastor Joseph Castañeda Carrera