Spencer is the founding executive director of HatcheryLA. His career passion for Church Innovation spans 35 years. He’s had a front row seat with the Jesus people movement, as a teaching pastor in a mega church, with the emerging church disruption as creator of TheOOZE.com and now directing a Spiritual Entrepreneur Incubator in Southern California. As a speaker and author you might find him at the Lean Start Up conference in San Francisco doing a workshop on “Lean Faith“ or in a local pulpit (because he’s also an ordained minister with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ). His desire is to help people discover their passion and develop a plan to create new spaces, projects and communities that are addressing the new needs of spiritual people and new questions about God in the 21st-century.
Maria francesca french,
director of innovative training and creative strategies
Maria is currently on staff at Hatchery LA serving as Director of Innovative Training and Creative Strategies 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 has recently begun 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. Maria has gone from native New Yorker to transplant Minnesotan to the last year and a half in the South of France and now travels regularly to LA for her work. She is the founder of the new blog and online community nomorecircles.org which is designed for people of faith, namely Christians, asking questions past traditional notions of faith, religion and god.
consulting theological and cultural analyst
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 perfumes 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.
cordinator of community relations
Founder and Board President of Family Promise of the South Bay which is a community-based approach, engaging both the local community, as well as houses of faith in the effort to combat family homelessness in Southern California. Through her experience with Family Promise she brings her social/spiritual entrepreneur expertise. She also brings her skills in networking coordination of 35 multi-faith groups in the South Bay in addition to creating relationships with local community and government organizations. She also comes to us with a long history in fundraising and donor development. She serves locally, regionally and nationally in 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.