Join us on Saturday, June 27 at Chapel of Peace Lutheran Church, 1009 N. Market St., Inglewood, CA 90302, from 11am to 2pm to celebrate Pr. Scott Fritz' 10 years of ministry as New City Parish's Executive Director.  We will begin with barbecue and fellowship.  A program to honor Pastor Scott will begin a 1pm. 

As Pastor Scott Fritz prepares to step down as Executive Director of New City Parish after 10 years of passionate leadership, you can now share a story or a word of thanks by posting in our "Thank You Pastor Scott Blog!"  Use the form below to e-mail us your message of thanks and we will post it to the blog!

Thank you Pastor Scott!

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Response to LA Civil Unrest 23 Years Later:
Accomplishments to be Proud of, More Work to be Done


As we reflect on 23 years of ministry since the 1992 Civil Unrest in Los Angeles, we cannot help but think about what is happening in Baltimore today as well as the demonstrations taking place throughout the country. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our sisters and brothers in Baltimore and around the country. New City Parish began as an organization that rose from the ashes of the civil unrest that began on April 29, 1992 in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. We are intimately aware of the despair, the chaos, the pain, and the destruction that is experienced in our communities. But we can also testify to the faithful people who remain hopeful, inspire hope, and continue to spread a message of God's peace, love, and understanding.  

New City Parish pastors and lay leaders decided a long time ago to be witnesses of God's transformative power by bringing congregations together for the common good of our communities. They believed, and we still do today, that there is more that we can do together than on our own. There is more that we can do together in unity under the banner of the Church as expressed through New City Parish rather than as single congregations struggling for our own survival and sustenance. There is more that we can learn from one another by working together on the same team. We all come from different ethnic, language, and class experiences that help bring unique perspectives to a larger group seeking a deeper understanding of how to hear and respond to the cries of our neighbors in our city.  



 
In many ways the experiment that is New City Parish has been extraordinary in many ways. We have accomplished a great deal when it comes to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. We have helped create and sustain a college going culture by offering alternative learning programs like our Summer Day Camps in partnership with Lutheran Retreats Camps and Conferences, or tutoring centers like ones that have been hosted at Holy Trinity in Inglewood as well as Holy Ground at Ascension and Messiah's Saturday Kids Program in Los Angeles. We have worked with Randy Winston, the Director of the South Central Scholars (youth minister and member of Holy Trinity-Inglewood) on annual college fairs. Randy and the SCS have helped hundreds of young people from our communities apply to, get accepted into, and receive outstanding financial aid packages from some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the country.


Our Urban Training Center has hosted over 350 seminarians through our January Term with an overwhelming amount of stories and testimonials about the life-changing impact that three weeks of a cross-cultural immersion can have on their development as future rostered leaders in the ELCA. There have been hundreds of alternative spring break students from 30 different university groups who have also had rich experiences with members of our congregations and communities. Some of those colleges and universities include UCLA, South Dakota State, Winona State University, George Washington University, and New York University. We have trained over 20 seminary interns in multicultural and urban ministry including 5 through the TEEM Program (Theological Training for Emerging Ministries).

The Urban Training Center and our pastors have provided Faith-Rooted Organizing Training, Leading Transformative Bible Study courses, and Shepherds in the City to reach out to home-bound and hospitalized church members in addition to other workshops and trainings for pastors and lay leaders. New City Parish's Urban Training Center has also teamed up with Trinity Employment Support Team (TEST) to provide support and encouragement to community members who are unemployed and/or under-employed.       

 










2015 J-Term Immersion Students & Faculty


Over the years we have found that it is important to come together to worship and pray. Our NCP Pastors gather monthly to provide encouragement and support for one another along with an opportunity to ride bikes along the coast once per month. Throughout the year, we sponsor a few joint worship opportunities including our Annual Good Friday Worship that has witnessed a flourishing of creativity and expression from many of our young leaders around the Parish. Our NCP Choir under the direction of Mark Coates, continues to inspire audiences through the power of song while the "Sign-lent Prophets", Holy Trinity Dancers, and interpretive dancers from Ascension share their gifts in worship and special events.       
   

After 23 years in the city, we believe that New City Parish is needed now more than ever as beacon of hope for many in Los Angeles. As congregations and communities struggle to compete in the "new economy" or, struggle to recover from the economic catastrophe of 2008, it is a spirit of cooperation and collaboration that has always been at the root of New City Parish. There is more that we can do together than we can on our own. We embrace the motto of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers who were "all for one, and one for all." There are many challenges to being the multicultural church that welcomes all of God's children into a community of faith, hope, and love while advocating with and on behalf of those who are poor, oppressed, and marginalized in our nation and the world. We have witnessed too many stories of transformation to turn back now. "We ain't gonna let nobody turn us around. We're gonna keep on walkin', keep on talkin', marching on to freedom land!" I invited you to continue marching along with us at New City Parish.  



Former St. Mark's Los Angeles
Pastor,

Rev. Paul T. Nakamura Receives the 2015

Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award  
 

LOS ANGELES - On April 12, the Manzanar Committee announced that long-time religious leader and community activist, Reverend Paul T. Nakamura, pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California, has been chosen as the 2015 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.
The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for 12:00 PM PDT on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California's Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence.
 
Nakamura, 88, a native of Waialua, Oahu, Hawai'i, served in the United States Army as part of the occupation forces in Japan and Okinawa after World War II. He went on to become a minister in the Los Angeles area and quickly immersed himself in the struggle for civil rights, including the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the fight for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated in concentration camps during World War II.
Even though one of his brothers, his wife, Kikuno, and her family, were forced to endure life behind the barbed wire, Rev. Nakamura, who was not incarcerated during World War II, knew little about what the Japanese American community had been forced to endure.
 
"When I came [to the Los Angeles area], I met some of my wife's family in Upland, California," Rev. Nakamura said during an oral history conducted by the staff at Manzanar National Historic Site. "I heard them talking about Manzanar. I had no clue what Manzanar was. I had no clue about anything regarding Manzanar, or what the camps [were] about. All I knew was that they went to camp. That was about it, so my interest in camp wasn't that much. I wasn't even aware of a pilgrimage."
In the early 1970's, just after the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage in 1969, all that changed.
 
"Rev. Grant Kimura, minister of San Fernando Holiness Church (now Crossway Church of the San Fernando Valley), came to me and said that he's been going to the Manzanar Pilgrimage and he was having a Christian service," Rev. Nakamura recalled. "He asked if I could go this one time, because he had to go to one of the other camps. I said, 'OK,' and from then on, it was every year."
 
Rev. Nakamura quickly became the primary organizer of the interfaith service during the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. But he took his involvement one step further by becoming a member of the Manzanar Committee, and remaining actively involved for decades.
 
Rev. Nakamura also immersed himself in the beginnings of the fight for redress and reparations for Japanese American concentration camp survivors in the late 1970's and 1980's, as one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Community Coalition on Redress/Reparations, which became the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations (NCRR; now Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress).
 
"Rev. Paul Nakamura didn't experience camp directly, but he has this passion, understanding and a complete appreciation for how the forced removal impacted the Japanese American community," said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. "He understood, more than most, the importance of going to Manzanar in order to reclaim and remember what happened there, and not just in passive way. He knew that we had to go back to Manzanar to remember, understand and appreciate its relevance to the struggles for civil rights and social justice that were going on at the time."
 
"Rev. Paul is an amazing leader of faith who understands and practices his beliefs in the gospel from a justice perspective," added Embrey. "His ministry is thoroughly bound with the quest for justice and civil rights for all people, and he sees his ministry as being part and parcel of that. The fact that he was a member of the Manzanar Committee, and played a critical role, is because he saw the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the struggle for redress and reparations as part and parcel of the broader struggle for justice, equality and fairness in our society. He brought that to his ministry, and I think he brought his ministry to that broader movement. He is one of those rare, precious faith leaders who did that."
 
"This year we're pleased to recognize Rev. Paul for all of his outstanding contributions to the long struggle for redress and reparations, and for his tireless work on the Manzanar Pilgrimage over the years. Rev. Paul is a true, unsung hero in both the Japanese American and religious communities, not to mention the broader movement for civil rights."





 "The Way of the Cross" Good Friday Worship

 
This year's "Annual New City Parish Multicultural, Multi-sensory Good Friday Worship" reflected on "the way of the cross" of Jesus. Each New City Parish congregation took turns sharing an interpretation on each station of the cross. The stations consisted of Jesus' condemnation to death, his taking up the cross, Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross, meeting the women of Jerusalem, Jesus having his garments stripped and tasting the bitter cup, Jesus being nailed to the cross, and finally his death on the cross.  
 
Many of the participating reflections this year came from young adults, teens, and children who have been prayerfully struggling with what is happening around the country and its relationship to a Galilean who was wrongfully arrested and executed in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago. Our young people have spent many hours with their pastors, parents, and other church leaders discussing how scripture and faith are meeting real life situations that impact them daily. Our New City Parish congregations were there to watch, listen, and pray with all of the people of God.         
 
The worship was in English, Spanish, and some sign-language. The New City Parish Gospel Choir was on hand to sing a few selections and participants from Angelica Center for Arts and Music performed a couple of selections.  We were also honored to have our Bishop, R. Guy Erwin join us for this unique worship celebration that we do each year.  
 
Many thanks to Pastor Carlos Paiva and Angelica Lutheran Church for hosting the Good Friday Worship once again and for providing hospitality following the worship service. We look forward to adding additional worship and celebratory events throughout the remainder of the year.








New City Parish Resumes Pastoral Internships with Marsha Harris
 
Marsha Harris will be joining us at both Saint Mark's and New City Parish as Pastoral Intern starting this Fall 2015 - August 2016. She will assist with worship and worship planning, preaching, visiting church and community members.
 
Marsha will be doing missional work with St. Mark's and other NCP congregations as they listen to and answer God's call for ministry in the City. Marsha comes to New City Parish with a background as a City Planner and has various experiences working with many communities of faith. Marsha is currently a seminarian at Pacific Lutheran School of Theology in Berekely, California.  
 
In order to help make this internship possible we need your help to raise funds for the internship. Over the past 23 years we have trained over 20 pastoral interns for multicultural and urban ministry and our former interns who have served or are serving congregations in Los Angeles, Southgate, Oxnard, Alaska, Detroit, South Carolina, Minnesota, Germany, and Ethiopia to name but a few places. Please go to our website at www.newcityparish.org for more information or to make a donation.     


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New City Parish is a non-profit urban coalition of eight Evangelical Lutheran Churches located in Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Compton. As an organization, we focus on transforming our communities through collaborative, holistic ministries and social outreach programs. We seek to proclaim a message of hope, to advocate for the poor and marginalized, to teach people how to think critically for themselves, and to heal and comfort those who are hungry and suffering within our communities. 

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