Writer's Boot Camp at Bergamot Station2525 Michigan Avenue, Building i
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Who We Are
What Is Thad’s?
We’re a movement of missionary people who’ve made a choice to leave the relative safety of the established church and take the love of Jesus “to the streets”. Our calling is to bring this transforming love into people’s lives in positive, transformative and practical ways. In church-speak, we’re a “mission station”, an experimental community of the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles.
On the Move
We’ve celebrated in a living room, a Denny’s conference room and a local park. For two-and-a-half years, the Thad’s community called the Jazz Bakery at the Helms Bakery complex our home, until it was sold in the summer of 2009. Then we moved into a transitional space at the Westside Jewish Community Center. In mid-December 2010, we moved once again to our present home, the Writer's Boot Camp at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica.
We’re working at living out our common life in partnership with God, remaining responsive to the needs of the Thad’s community and those of the larger community around us. For this reason, we have chosen not to seek a permanent ‘church’ building, but rent our space, as so many folks in our community do. Without the burden of a mortgage or the need for ‘church building fund-raising,’ we can focus on people, rather than programs.
To bring the love of Jesus to the lives of people in positive, practical and trans-formative ways.
A community of all kinds of people committed to living the love-spreading, difference-making life that Jesus calls us to lead.
- We live love-spreading, difference-making lives.
- We are called to be blessers, not cursers.
- We will be courageous enough to engage God’s work and act.
- We are building the kingdom, not a church.
- We are hospitable, safe and accessible.
- We believe that there is no such thing as scaring or bullying people into heaven.
- We believe you can’t practice God’s love alone.
- We lead by serving.
- We know that love is reflected in love.
- We are Monday-Saturday followers of Jesus, who worship on Sunday.
The Rev. Jimmy Bartz
Married to Cindy and father to Jas (13) and Jade (9), Jimmy has been involved in full time ministry since graduating from the University of Texas in 1993.
Youth ministry positions in two different churches led Jimmy and Cindy to Virginia where Jimmy attended seminary, and Cindy worked as an inner-city social worker.
Upon graduation and ordination in the Episcopal Church, he went back to Austin as a campus minister for three years. A call to serve a traditional parish came in 2001, and the Bartzes have called Los Angeles home for the last twelve years.
Beginning in the spring of 2006 and launching at the Jazz Bakery in the fall of 2006, Thad’s has been a dream of Bartz’s and his colleagues for more than a decade.
The Rev. Scott Claassen
As a fifth generation Californian, Scott Claassen grew up between the agricultural abundance of the Salinas Valley and the visual splendor of the Monterey Peninsula. Years of playing music, exploring wilderness treasures, learning from strangers, and wandering the globe helped prepare him for the spiritual feast that is Thad's.
After graduating from Yale Divinity School, Scott spent one year without flying or driving as part of a Carbon Sabbath. During that time, he cycled around the country in order to engage Christian communities in dialogue about the relationship between climate change and the love of God and neighbor (See carbonsabbath.org). In April 2014, Scott was ordained to the diaconate during Thad's monthly Laundry Love program. His amazing wife Maribeth and baby boy Henry are the biggest blessings of his life.
Hunter Perrin's life in music began in his family's station wagon on weekend road trips from Houston to Austin. The eight-track would play and the family would sing along with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Hunter was drawn to lines like the ones from the Billy Joe Shaver song "Honky Tonk Heroes"; where Waylon sang: "I was down at Green Gables, just a-hawkin' them tables."
He knew that being an outlaw musician seemed like a good career choice but was also rather interested in being both and inventor and a secret agent. He has spent the years since trying to combine all three occupations. To read more about Hunter and the music at Thad’s, click here.
Cindy Bartz moved to Los Angeles from Austin, in May 2002. Born and raised in San Antonio, Cindy grew up at Christ Episcopal Church. After receiving her B.S. in Political Science from Texas A&M University and her Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin, Cindy worked for seven years in the non-profit world.
Before moving to Los Angeles, she served as the Director of Northern Virginia Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Washington, D.C. area and then Director of Community Development at the Austin Housing Authority.
Thad's Board of Directors
Mary Bonner Baker
Thad under the radar
Thaddeus (also known as Jude) only gets two mentions in the Bible: Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18. He was simply one of the twelve disciples. As one of Jesus’ inner circle, Thaddeus had a front row seat when Jesus spoke, and when called upon, taught that message, healed the sick and cast out a few demons.
We identify with Thaddeus because even though he was a leader in the early movement to spread God’s kingdom through the teachings of Jesus, he kept a low profile and humble attitude. We hope folks think of the Thad’s community in the same way—committed to the kingdom of God shown to us by Jesus, committed to serving people with God’s love.
We call him Thad because we think that’s what he’d want his friends to call him.