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Meet Bryan Schackmann of Glendale Church of Christ

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bryan Schackmann.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Our church has been in the community for nearly 100 years. I grew up at this church and I have been in full-time ministry here for 13 years. Over this time, we have moved from being a traditional church that maintained many of the traditions of our denomination to a church that we hope can be for all people in 2020. We are focused on outreach in our community and being a positive force for good in our city.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been difficult at times – when you are trying to make changes in any organization there will be people who oppose you. This is especially true in church because people feel they have God on their side. For example, traditionally in our denomination women are silent in worship. Over time we have been able to change that and I’m super thankful that now women lead us in all aspects of our worship at times. That took years of study and slow but steady change. I’m so proud of where we are now though. I have a daughter and I want her to grow up knowing that someday she could lead a church if she wants to.

Please tell us about Glendale Church of Christ.
Our slogan is “A Home in LA.” LA is a very lonely place. We have consistently been recognized as a very friendly and engaging church for people who visit us for the first time. We hope to be a place that people can connect with immediately. Unfortunately even in many churches today people can remain anonymous. While that feels good at first eventually it limits your spiritual growth. Something that I’m really proud of is our diversity. We have people from so many different backgrounds represented here. When the George Floyd murder happened, I knew I had to reach out to my black friends to see how they were doing. I know others in our church who did the same. We don’t just know faces; we know people at our church. We had a lament service on zoom where we invited some of our black friends to share their experience being black in the US. It was powerful and eye-opening. I’m thankful for the connections that we have.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t think I’d say much. We do feel blessed by God to do what we do but we also believe we are joining God in this work.

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