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Revised 7 August 2013

 

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES

STOP BY FOR A PRAYER U STAY FOR A LIFETIME

The Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  He earned his B. A. degree in classical languages from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.  He completed his Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, with special emphasis in biblical studies and homiletics  He also earned his Doctor of Ministry from CTS and Butler University, distinguishing himself in the field of religion and literature.

A native of Indiana, Dr. Colglazier has served a number of churches throughout his career, most notably University Christian Church in Forth Worth, Texas, the second largest congregation of his denomination.  During his nearly decade long tenure as Sr. Minister, Dr. Colglazier led the church through a period of outstanding membership growth, expanding programming and financial stewardship.   While there he provided strategic planning leadership for a multi-million dollar renovation and building project.  Additionally, Dr. Colglazier was a noted community leader and a regular columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Most recently, Dr. Colglazier served the famed Riverside Church in New York City where he served as Interim Chief Program Minister and Head of Staff.  While at Riverside he worked with all programming areas in the life of the church an often filled the pulpit in the absence of the now retired Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.  Since concluding his work in New York, Dr. Colglazier has taken an intentional pause in his professional life in order to work on a major book about doubt and faith.

For information on the church and its current offerings, please visit the primary church website. (link posted below)

Dr. Colglazier is the author of several books and journal articles, including his more recent work, The Winter Name for God.   His work as a religious leader has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, and the CBS Morning Show, as well as being featured in the New York Times and other national publications  He was selected by the Fetzer Foundation to be a delegate to the Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain, working especially on the topic of religiously motivated hate and the importance of global compassion in all religious faiths.  In Fort Worth, as well as New York City, Dr. Colglazier was on the cutting edge of creating interfaith dialogue and deep respect among the world's religious communities.

As a preacher, Dr. Colglazier is inspiring, challenging, compassionate, and above all, an engaging speaker.  In addition to exploring the deeper meanings of biblical texts, he brings a fresh contemporary way of thinking about God, life and the human experience.  Dr. Colglazier feels strongly that preaching should challenge the mind to think and the heart to feel, lifting up the essence of God found and celebrated in the life of Jesus.  His sermons have been anthologized in a variety of publications, and he was the editor of a national collection of sermons on the importance of peacemaking.  His sermon delivered the week of 9-11-2001 was featured in a book as well.  Homiletics profession, Ronald Allen, has called Dr. Colglazier a "poet, preacher, theologian and visionary of life charged with the awareness of the living God."

First Church is pleased and proud to have Dr. Colglazier and his lovely wife, Marti, in our fellowship. 

I am no longer able to keep up the Memorials pages. The listings that are already there will continue to be posted for your convenience. We have sold our home and are leaving Los Angeles, but are keeping our membership in the church as this will always be our church home.

The church has had to make some soul-searching changes in the past few years, one of which is to sell our beloved Cedar Lake Camp. I know many will be saddened to hear this, but it is in the best interest of the church that it should happen. First Church, like many donor driven organizations, has taken its share of financial tight budgets. The church is re-creating itself into a more vibrant and alive (and healthy) organization. We are, in computer parliance, reprogramming ourselves. The results may not be openly apparent, but when you step away and then come back, you can see the obvious improvements that Scott has been making to put the church on a solid foundation for the future. I hope each and every one who loves this church will continue to work together in faith and unity with an eye on the future so that First Church will be here for many generations to come.

Thanks. (Your webmaster)

One important aspect of the Congregational Church that makes it different from other churches is its Independence from outside authority. The other is the fact that it is member/owned, member/run. The right to independent thought and belief is highly important to the Congregationalist. They will call you wrong, but will fight to the death your right to be wrong.

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT FIRST CHURCH

Look for new and exciting programs coming up this year. See Dr. Scott for some exciting news for our youth group in the making. One of my favorite features of the service this past year has been the children's sermons at the beginning of the service before they move out to their classes. The children have been an endless source of joy (not to mention the occasional words of wisdom that come out of their mouths.) I know the children enjoy that part of the service as much as the adults do.

SUNDAYS 9:30 A.M. FAITH DEVELOPMENT SERIES. Look for a new group, the Young Adult Fellowship class is growing. It is comprised of young adults who are seeking ways to share a fellowship with others. We have found this to be somewhat transcient but nonetheless vibrant as many of the members are working full time jobs or attending school and drop in when they are in town. I highly encourage people to check this group out. One thing I like about this concept is that it gives you a sense of a "church home" to come back to in our busy lives. Its good to have connectivity in our lives. Our regular services include:

  • 10:30 AM Organ Prelude in the Sanctuary;
  • 11:00 traditional Worship Service in the Sanctuary
  • 12:30 Korean Worship Service in Wong Chapel

Milestones at First Church

Dr. Colglazier and his lovely wife Marti are tireless workers for FCCLA. To those who have not heard this man preach, I must tell you that in my personal opinion, he is the finest pulpit preacher this church has seen since the days of Dr. Fifield. Under his leadership, this church has begun to grow expotentially. We have gone from a sprinkling of people in the pews to 50, then 100, and now see well over 200 to 300 people each and every Sunday and it continues to grow. We have gone from crickets in the parking lot to a situation wherein if you don't get here early, you may have to park across the street. If this trend continues, and I believe it will, the Trustees will need to start looking for additional parking in the very near future. For those of you who have not been around in a while, when I speak to the need for more parking, you need to know that we have the main parking lot now, plus a large parking lot that used to be 5th street, plus we continue to use the parking lot across the street and on-street parking and it is beginning to fill up rapidly on Sunday mornings.

The First Kids First program has continued to blossom and thrive. If you have children who are looking for a great learning experience, new friendships and a lot of fun, this is the place to be on Sunday mornings. We welcome your children not only to our educational experience, but as members of our faith community.

Rev. Shanna Steitz and her husband, Rev. Ryan Steitz work with the children, assist in the primary services and take care of visitation for the sick and those no longer able to join us in the services.

Dr. Jonathan Talberg heads of our choral music. For those of us who are old timers in the choir, it is exciting to see the growth in this group again. Jonathan is one of those consumate directors that makes the singer feel at one with the music. He is by and large one of the finest choral directors in Los Angeles. His music is a joy to sing and to hear. Since his arrival, this group continues to grow. He has brought several new members into the First Church family in recent months both from the choir and from the congregation at large. If you are seeking an opportunity to learn new repertoire and sing exciting music under a loving and caring director, you certainly could not find a better person. His choir and the congregation absolutely love Jonathan and his music and it shows.

As our church has expanded and re-newed its sense of direction, our staff continues to grow to help Dr. Colglazier keep up with the new workload. I cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful staff and the hard work it does on our behalf. We always enjoy the wonderful music provided by our organists and the wonderful choir. I know we cannot thank everybody enough for all their hard work. Hopefully, we will thank them every chance we get. They do a terrific job.

For those of you who equate a church's success in dollars and cents, you will find that under the current leadership, this too has shown marked improvement. We have gone from a church in trouble to a church that is turning in solid financial reports. A church that was fighting constantly amongs the varied factions, to a church at peace, that is working in unity and harmony for a common goal. In short, this church has turned from a church that was squeaking by to a church that is shouting for joy and bubbling with laughter on any given day of the week. We have moved from being a church who's leadership stood on wobbling legs to a church that can stand on its own two feet and a staff that stands solidly behind a Senior Minister that they respect and admire.

Our people matter greatly to us. If you are seeking a church to call your own, we hope you will come and check us out. We are an open and welcoming church. Dr. Scott tells us all each Sunday that he loves us and he truly means it.

SPECIAL INTEREST

First Church is beginning a new inquirer's class in the near future for those interested in membership in First Church. For additional information, please visit the church's website at fccla.org.

Our church offers an Associate Membership for those who wish to be connected with First Church but wish to also retain their membership in another church. The difference between Full Membership and Associate Membership is that Associate members are not entitled to hold office or to vote. For a full Calendar of events, please see the official Church website calendar.

The Cathedral Choir accepts volunteer singers throughout the year and occasionally hires extra singers for special events. Prospective embers only need to talk to Dr. Talberg to arrange an audition. You do not need to be a member of First Church to sing in our choir, but we do expect you to respect our traditions and practices. Dr. Talberg can be reached through the music office at 213) 355-5242. Our dress code is black shoes and socks, dark skirts or trousers and white shirts for the ladies. Black shoes and socks, dark trousers and white shirts for the gentlemen. Our robes are red with a white surplice and are supplied by the church. Singers who will miss a rehearsal are expected to notify the director of their impending absence so that voicing concerns for the group as a whole can be addressed. We do a lot of sight-reading and cover a lot of material. If you need assistance learning the music, please ask for help. We sing in several languages, but assistance with pronunciation is given. Dr. Talberg prides himself in the quality of his presentations. His admonition to us all is "Never sing louder than lovely!" and "Never sing beyond the beauty of the note!" Under his direction, you will learn a great deal, most especially, the importance of singing with love. I have sung with this choir for over 40 years and must say that Dr. Talberg is one of the most musically exceptional directors I have ever worked with. His pride in his work makes us proud to perform for you.

PLEASE RESPECT YOUR FELLOW PARISHIONERS AND REFRAIN FROM TALKING DURING THE PRELUDE, SERVICE AND POSTLUDE AND ALSO PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES AND REFRAIN FROM TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS DURING THE SERVICE. THIS ALLOWS THEM THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION AND TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE. . .THANKS.

For those unfamiliar with our service, although we begin at 11:00 AM each Sunday, there is a 30 minute organ prelude prior to the service (10:30 AM)

The Great Organs of First Church comprise what is said to be the largest church pipe organ in the world. It currently holds 348 ranks, 265 stops, 240 voices, 18 divisions and 22,000 pipes. The Seeley Wintersmith Mudd memorial Organ, constructed by Ernest M Skinner, was installed in the Chancel in 1931. In 1969, the Frank C Noon Memorial Organ, built by Herman Schlicker was installed in the West Gallery. A new Ethereal Division is scheduled to be completed by William Zeiler in 2010. The members of First Church have been delighted to experience the new harp stop this summer. It is so real a representation that I found myself looking all over for the harpist. This has fast become my favorite stop on the whole instrument, after the Holzgraf Trumpets.

As you can see, this is going to be a busy year for all.

If anyone has inquiries regarding employment opportunities at First Church, please direct your inquiries to the Chair, Board of Trustees.  Please include a copy of your resume.  Thanks.  

The Congregationalist Magazine is the publication for the National Association of Christian Congregational Churches and is available in PDF format for any who wish to read it.  Although we accept ministers of alternate denominations, all candidates must be cleared through the National Association before they can become a minister in a Congregational Church.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES WEBSITE

CONTACT INFORMATION AND AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS
PILGRIM SCHOOL, A DIVISION OF FCCLA

CEDAR LAKE CAMP, A DIVISION OF FCCLA

This section will be a history of the camp only

MUSIC DEPARTMENT 

PIPE ORGAN AND ORGAN CONCERT SERIES

SPECIAL MUSIC: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON UPCOMING PERFORMANCES, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHURCH MUSIC DEPARTMENT.
BACH FESTIVAL TIMELINE A HISTORY OF THE BACH FESTIVAL

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MEMORIAL TO OUR DEPARTED MEMBERS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ORGAN STOPS
CHURCH DOCUMENTS OF HISTORICAL INTEREST AFFILIATES AND LEADERSHIP
SERVICE INFORMATION AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES WHAT I BELIEVE ABOUT FIRST CHURCH
CEDAR LAKE DEVELOPMENT REPORT OF 1956 - A History of Cedar Lake by Jim Rhone -

[STAINED GLASS MAIN PAGE]

  (Some black and white shots are up and colored photos will be added.  Also tells you something about the donors and the history)

DONATION OPPORTUNITIES

Donations can be made through First Church.  Please indicate the name of the receiving organization on your check.

As we approach the holiday seasons, take time to remember those less fortunate than yourselves. We are currently gathering food donations for those who, without our help, will have little for which to be thankful. Please remember these folks by dropping your donation of food, gift cards or certificates from a fast food place and/or cash to be forwarded to the appropriate organizations for distribution. If you are not a member or guest of First Church, we will still gladly accept your offerings of kindness. Just give them to the security guard and he will call someone to pick them up. Small dinner items that need no refrigeration or cooking are especially needed, such as tuna packets, peanut butter, packaged beverages, can be used by the homeless so that they, too, can be fed.

It doesn't take much to make someone happy and put a smile on their faces or to shed a light of hope in the dark corners of our world. If each person in this huge city gave only one thing, it would make a tremendous difference to someone who is alone, without hope and just plain scared. Lest you feel your contributions are not needed, take a moment and tell yourself, "there but for the grace of God, go I".

Please note, we are not a distribution center ourselves. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please help them get to one of the organizations named below and they will be directed to the proper agency from there.

First Church is a proud sponsor to the Los Angeles Food Link program, operating through Hope-Net and providing meals for the needy of Los Angeles Please bring food other than the suggested item at any time.   Bring self-opening containers whenever possible.  The Foodlink container is located in the Church Narthex.

Thanks

Hollygrove Children and Family Services

Los Angeles Downtown Rescue Mission and the Los Angeles Women's Shelter
This site is dedicated to the memory of James W. Fifield Jr., D. D., former Sr. Minister of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles for over 30 years. Dr. Fifield was an inspiration to all who heard him speak or read his books.