Though Bridge leader Betsy Hall lives in Los Feliz, her story really begins on Mount Wilson many years before her birth.
Colonal Griffith J. Griffith had an experience of looking through an eyepiece on the largest telescope in the world at Mount Wilson Observatory: “Man’s sense of values ought to be revised. If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world,” he is reported to have said. It was this experience of looking through the telescope and seeing the world differently that gave him his vision – to change the way that people saw themselves in the world and through that, how they understood creation and the Creator. He left provision in his Will of 1916 for construction of a public observatory.
In 1936, Hall’s grandfather, Dr. Clarence Cleminshaw, came to be the Assistant Director of the Griffith Observatory the second year it was open. He settled in Los Feliz, (a neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA), bought property, and supported a church – and his legacy continues.
“I’ve lived in my grandparents’ home in Los Feliz for 30 years, raised my children here, helped local businesses,” shared Hall. Then one day Jim and Ava Kramer, missionaries from the U.S. to Hyderabad, India invited her into something more.
They suggested that Hall participate in a prayer walk with them – or, alternatively, walk her own neighborhood, praying.
Soon after, Hall had a conversation with Bridge Leaders Sam and Priya Theophylus, who were planning to plant a church in Hollywood. They too had been prayer walking and Hall, curious, asked, “Where?”
“It turned out that they had been walking a block from my house,” said Hall. After having tried to determine for some time what might be her ministry with Bridges, there, in that moment, it became clear – she would come alongside them and be part of their team.
“I love the vision of Jim Milley and of Bridges – to help people see the world differently, to see creation and the Creator anew, and to create an organization that in so doing, is able to change the world,” continued Hall.
Her current position with Bridges is as Sponsorship Catalyst. Her ministry within Bridges is to ‘come alongside’ businesses, as well as Bridge Leader’s raising their own support.
“It is such a joy for me to be working and encouraging leaders – those who are not living in the land of excuses but who have a high value for creativity, leadership development, and for helping people to know about Jesus,” Hall shared.
She is also on the leadership team for Beautiful Gate and World Wide Worship, Sam and Priya’s bold faith movements. After a lifetime of ‘filling up’ in her Christian life – through going to church, educational opportunities and a life of being nurtured in her faith, Hall is ready to serve outside of traditional churches.
“I am realizing that my job now is to observe, to figure out where God is already in the world – in the language, in the architecture, in the stories of people – and in so doing, help people find God,” Hall explained.
So often, she shared, we Christians are taught that the place to find God is in the church. It can be a shock to realize that those ‘outside’ are spiritual and that the Spirit is, of course, everywhere – not just in a sanctuary on Sunday mornings.
“Bridges has helped me learn to see the world differently – for that I am unbelievably grateful – and excited to see where God will lead us next.”
It’s that ‘coming alongside’ that Bridges offers those who seek to follow God’s call in whatever context they find themselves. For Hall, it was a realization that God was already at work right in her very neighborhood – her task was simply to respond faithfully in service. Discover more about Beautiful GATE’s vision, values and mission, and follow their growth at their website: http://beautifulgate.la/.
In what ways do you think God is already at work in your own context, in your own neighborhood, amongst your neighbors? To explore more how Bridges might come alongside you, contact Jim Milley at email@example.com.