Maria currently serves as Director at Hatchery LA working towards innovation and spiritual entrepreneurship informed by asking new questions of God, community, faith and church after a 10 year tenure of working with theological schools that include Bethel University, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and Twin Cities School of Theology. She holds a Master of Arts in Religion and Theology as well a Master of Arts in Christian Thought. She is currently engaged in Doctoral work with Wesley Theological Seminary in the Cambridge track studying the intersection of faith, theology and culture in a world where the philosophical landscape is ever changing. As a teacher of things Christian and Post Christian, a purveyor of story and faith futurist, Maria is passionate about moving into the future with a contextual faith that matters. Maria has gone from native New Yorker to transplant Minnesotan to the last year and a half in the South of France and now lives in Los Angeles.
Barry Taylor is a theologian, writer and thinker who explores the intersections of faith and culture. He teaches theology and culture at Fuller Theological seminary, is an artist-in-residence for Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, and also teaches advertising and design culture at art center College of Design in Pasadena CA. He has authored and co-authroed a number of books and has contributed to numerous theological and missional journals. Taylor also writes and performs music, leads an alternative community in Los Angeles and is the founder of the Secret Philosophical Society, an innovative experimental gathering exploring philosophy and life. He holds an MA in Theology and Mission and a Phd in Intercultural Studies. He currently divides his time between London and Los Angeles.
Victoria Sun Esparza is a Dallas, TX native and currently works as the Director of Family Ministries at White Rock United Methodist Church. She also works as a freelance consultant using Human-Centered Design with non-profits and religious organizations. Victoria’s non-traditional background in theological education, vocal performance, and design-thinking gives her a unique perspective on the world and its problems. Her work aims to connect churches and nonprofits to better tools for solving problems and meeting the needs of the people around them. Victoria holds degrees from Abilene Christian University and Southern Methodist University. She is in her final year of a Masters of Divinity and a MA in Design and Innovation.
Daniel was born in Mexico City. At the age of sixteen he started congregating at a church that was starting. He served this congregation as the worship leader for over four years. While serving this congregation he got an invitation to take the lead of the worship team and youth group at Centro Familiar Cristiano Restauración in the City of San Bernardino California where he has served for more than sixteen years. Since the 2003 he has served this congregation as the Music Director, youth leader, and as a coordinator for programs of outreach and evangelism. Along with this he serves as the sound technician for First Christian Church San Bernardino and the technology supervisor for the Young Adults Leadership Legion (YALL) from the Pacific Southwest Region from the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. Daniel took the Certificate on Ministry Studies at Disciple’s Seminary Foundation. Currently he attends Claremont School of Theology where he is studying the Master of Divinity program. He is seeking ministerial ordination from the Disciples of Christ denomination.
Hatchery LA is an initiative of the Disciples of Christ of the Pacific Southwest Region. Being integrally passionate about spiritual communities, churches and projects that are thriving in serving the needs of people and promoting sustainability and viability, the Disciples' Regional Ministers along with Executive Director, Spencer Burke, dreamt up Hatchery LA.
As an initiative of the Disciples, we are available as a resource to the region both in terms of existing churches and communities that are in need of revitalization as well as new projects that are seeking new frameworks for the way ministry is done in the 21st century.