Welcome to West Los Angeles
United Methodist Church!
We look forward to welcoming you to West Los Angeles UMC for a visit, worship, special programs, children and youth ministries, and community events. As a Reconciling congregation, West Los Angeles UMC welcomes all people into this intergenerational and multiethnic faith community and, specifically, welcomes and affirms persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The following Frequently Asked Questions and Responses should address common inquiries. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further questions.
Is everyone welcome?
West Los Angeles UMC welcomes all people into this intergenerational and multiethnic faith community. As a Reconciling Congregation, we welcome and affirm everyone, including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. All-gender restrooms are available on the first and second floors. Our congregation wears name tags to make it easier for our visitors. If you wish, please sign up for a name tag at the Welcome Table and we will have it ready for you the following Sunday.
Where is West Los Angeles UMC located?
The church is located at 1913 Purdue Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025, in the vibrant Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood. We are north of Olympic Boulevard, south of Santa Monica Boulevard, east of Barrington Avenue, and west of Sawtelle Boulevard. Click HERE for directions.
Where do I park?
Parking is available for congregants and visitors in the lot adjacent to the Church during weekday hours. On Sundays, our Parking Coordinator will direct you to available parking. Some spaces in the lot are designated for persons with disabilities, families with young children, and senior congregants (age 80+). A limited number of parking spots are available in the neighboring Buddhist Temple’s parking lot, located at the corner of Purdue & LaGrange (the Parking Coordinator will provide you with a pass). Street parking around the Church is limited – please be sure to read the signs for restrictions.
Where do I enter the church?
The front gate is located on Purdue Avenue and will be open before Sunday worship and special events. During the week and office hours, please ring the bell on the gate and a staff member will greet you.
What can I expect when I arrive for Sunday worship?
The English language service begins in the sanctuary every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Congregants begin gathering after 9:00 am and ushers are available to greet you, provide a Worship Bulletin, and answer any questions. Our worship services offer a combination of traditional hymns and contemporary praise music, congregational prayer, a children’s message, and sermon. PowerPoint slides on a large screen will guide you through the service. The atmosphere is warm, casual, and inclusive. We invite you to join us after worship for coffee fellowship.
The Japanese language (Nichigo) service begins at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary. Worship includes special music and a sermon, with fellowship time following. On certain Sundays during the year, the English and Japanese language congregations come together for joint bilingual worship and fellowship time.
Do you offer online or livestream worship services?
West Los Angeles UMC provides weekly recorded worship services online in English and Japanese. Both are available through our YouTube channels. Past worship services are also available to view.
The English service is pre-recorded and is typically posted on Sunday mornings at 7:30am. Occasionally, special services are recorded on Sunday and posted later in the week. The Japanese language worship service is recorded live on Sundays and posted later in the week.
What is the dress code?
Worship at West Los Angeles UMC is casual but respectful (business attire not expected).
Are there Children’s Ministry (Sunday School) and/or Youth Group Programs?
Yes! West Los Angeles UMC has an active Children, Youth & Family Ministry program. Detailed information about these ministries is provided in the Children/Youth tab. On most Sundays, children and youth begin in worship and depart for their “God’s Garden” groups after the children’s message. On the last Sunday of the month, children do not attend worship and enjoy a morning of arts, crafts, and lessons in our Kids’ Creation Bible Study (KCBS) program. Youth meet together or assist with KCBS. The Japanese congregation also offers special children’s music programming.
We also offer an array of programs and events for and by young people throughout the year, including Halloween Trunk or Treat, Christmas and Easter season events, Asian cultural programs, and special summertime programming. We also involve children and youth in social justice and mission projects.
Is there a nursery for infants and toddlers?
Yes! We welcomes families of all ages, configurations, and sizes. During worship, parents with infants and toddlers are invited to enjoy the Church Nursery which is adjacent to the Sanctuary. Parents can see and hear the service while their little ones play or rest. Changing tables are available in the first-floor women’s and men’s restrooms and in the all-gender nursery restroom. Families are also welcome to sit in the sanctuary during worship.
What is the policy for bringing animals to Church for worship and events?
Our animal companions are members of our families and we know how much they are loved. However, our Trustee’s policy allows only certified service dogs on site. This policy respects the allergies and sensitivities of the congregation members and minimizes the risks to seniors and young children of tripping over leashes and other challenges. Thank you for your understanding.
Are there ways I can get involved?
West Los Angeles UMC is an active church, continually seeking new ways to serve God and our neighbors while growing spiritually together. Please browse the “Ministries” tab on this website to discover what interests you – social justice & missions, music, United Women in Faith, and more. Opportunities to serve are also listed in the Church Newsletter and weekly Bulletins. Contact the pastors or lay volunteers for more information.
Do you offer small groups, such as Bible studies?
West Los Angeles UMC provides a variety of spiritual formation and Christian education opportunities, as well as social gatherings. Small group studies are offered throughout the year, including short-term Advent, Lenten, and Bible and book study groups (including Japanese language Bible study). Join us for one of our monthly social gatherings, such as the Thursday Breakfast Bunch and Faith at the Movies (film screenings & discussion at Church).
What about Holy Communion, baptism and church membership?
Everyone is welcome at West Los Angeles UMC. You do not need to be baptized or a church member to attend worship or to be served communion. In the UMC, we believe in an open table. If you are interested in making West Los Angeles UMC your church home, please contact one of the pastors. We welcome the opportunity to speak to you about baptism (for yourself and/or your children) and membership. Watch for announcements about upcoming “Introduction to the Christian Church & Faith” classes, which provide information about the Christian church, the UMC, this congregation, and the meaning of baptism and membership.
Whom do I contact about having a wedding or vow ceremony at the Church?
West Los Angeles UMC offers wedding counseling and assistance in helping you to plan your special day. Please contact the Church Office for an appointment to meet with a pastor.
May I meet with a pastor? Do they offer pastoral/spiritual counseling?
The pastors look forward to meeting with you. We recommend contacting the Church Office to make an appointment through this website or by calling during office hours.
Whom do I contact about making funeral or memorial arrangements and bereavement care?
Our pastoral staff are willing to officiate funerals and memorial services in or outside the church. Please contact the church office for more information. 310-479-1379