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Season 4: The Five Adaptive Muscles | Episode 5

Prophetic Imagination in a Parking Lot


In our final episode for the season, Mandy McDow, pastor of Los Angeles First UMC, shares the story of LA First who razed their building in 2002. Yep. No building. That reality forces a posture of constant discernment: God, what is the difference you would have us make in this neighborhood in this season? Theirs is not a tidy, perfect story. It’s messy and real and very much in process. We hope it inspires you as it has us! Wow!

Meet Our Guest

Rahel Billups

Mandy McDow

Rev. Mandy McDow grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and attended Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Princeton Theological Seminary for her Master of Divinity and is currently pursuing doctoral work at Candler School of Theology. Mandy has served congregations in Atlanta, Laguna Beach, and in 2017 accepted the appointment to Los Angeles First UMC with one catch and you’ll hear about it in the interview: the church bulldozed their building in 2001. Mandy has a black belt in Taekwondo, she is an aspiring musician, still has a passion for sweet tea, and is the proud mother of three children.

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Visit LA First’s website here.

“God Has Work for Us To Do” music and lyrics by Mark Miller. Visit Mark’s website at or find him on YouTube at

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More From Season 4: The Five Adaptive Muscles

Episode 4

Power and Abundance

With Mike Mather

Episode 3

Nurturing Thriving Communities

With Adam Barlow-Thompson

Episode 2

The Purpose of the Institutional Church

With Rev. Dr. Gil Rendle

Episode 1

Leading Organizational Grief

With Shannon Hopkins