For our March Community Spotlight, Diana sits down with Pastor Brandon Washington of The Embassy Church to discuss their mission, Zoom church services, and why they think Enterprise Coworking is the perfect home for their office and study!
[00:00:03] Diana: Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another Enterprise Coworking community spotlight. Today, we're getting to know Brandon Washington, pastor of Preaching and Vision at the Embassy Church. Brandon and his team have been longstanding, wonderful members at Enterprise Coworking since 2018. So, Brandon, tell us a little bit about the embassy church and what you guys do.
[00:00:24] Brandon: So we are we are a Bible believing evangelical church. And we are we are located in northeast Denver. So we engage the communities of Cole, Whittier, Five points, Clayton. And our tip is to bring a message of the gospel message to that community. And we deliberately chose that neighborhood because it's in the season of gentrification and it has some adjusting the makeup of the community. And we thought that that was in line with our mission of the church.
[00:00:59] Diana: How long have you been a church?
[00:01:02] Brandon: We started in 2012, April of 2012, so we will be nine years old this year. It seems that that's a hard timeline to keep track of because 2020 was such a crazy year. We're meeting online and we meet via Zoom as our medium on Sunday mornings right now. And because of that, 2020 is complicated because it was both longer than it felt longer than it was, and yet it still went by faster than we anticipated. It's a weird, it's a weird emotional experience. So we looked up one day and realized, wait a minute, the ninth anniversary of the church is just weeks away and we have to start preparing for some type of celebration and preparation for that.
[00:01:46] Diana: That's really big. Congratulations. How is your congression congregation? How is your congregation adjusted to the 2020 zoom meetings?
[00:02:00] Brandon: It depends on who you speak to. It's complicated. So we one of the great things that that we did not we don't treat Sunday morning as the sole aspect of our identity, we pursue community within the church in other ways. We have home groups that meet, that meet in smaller settings and that kind of thing. But at the same time, I notice that they miss one. There were two occasions during the fall where we gathered in the parking lot at Enterprise, where we use a radio transmitters, the kind of a drive in theater, I got this idea from you, as a matter of fact, because I spoke to you about a drive in theater situation and I realized that driving theaters use the radio in people's cars using an ethnic transmitter. So we bought FM transmitter and we would have our Sunday gatherings there in the parking lot of the enterprise. And that's when I realized how much they miss one another. That was the first time we did that was October. And they had not seen one another since March. And you saw. People, they violated all the protocol that we had in place for covid, so people brought homemade cookies in and they had to fight the urge to to hug one another. So it's it's this weird thing where it depends on what day it is. Sometimes it's a very difficult thing for them. But we'll have the benefit of this medium that the virtual medium that they didn't have the last time the world endured a pandemic, the when the flu struck in 1918. This was not available to them, so we're grateful for this opportunity because it keeps us from being separated from one another entirely.
[00:03:38] Diana: That's incredible. Shows how you're just you guys are really flexible community. And that probably leads us to our next question, which what makes the embassy different from other churches?
[00:03:52] Brandon: And it's unfortunate that this is different. But one of the things that we value is diversity and integration. So if you look at the body, you will not be to tell. I tell people all the time. One of my greatest joys that no one can look at the congregation and decide what the ethnicity of the pastors is, because the church is deliberately we sort this out. We sought out diversity and not just diversity, but integration. I think that diversity is good for a photo op. So on Sunday morning, everyone can see a different a difference in a group of people. And it looks good in a photo op. But when they leave after the benediction, when church is over, they still go two separate ways and they don't engage one another. So one of the things we were hoping would come of our mission is not just diverse, doing our gathering on Sunday but the lives of that diverse gathering are integrated so they know one another. We tell people all the time that we want this to be a place where you know and are known. And that that requires some hard conversations across lines of distinction, and it's not just for us, not just the ethnicity, but we also are attentive to generational diversity. We don't want to be a church that appeals only to men or women that have a broad gender presence there. So we try to approach how we do church in a way that engages more than one people group. And I think that that's what the church should be. And yet, at the same time as my experience has been, that there is something unique or it is rare, I will be careful. I don't always leave my case here. It is rare to churches like ours.
[00:05:29] Diana: That's incredible. Thanks for sharing that. So why did you choose Enterprise Coworking for the embassy?
[00:05:39] Brandon: There's a few reasons for that. Number one, the enterprise is what I call one, stop shopping. So it's I love being able to pay one feat at the beginning of each month and everything I need is provided it's not just rent for the space, but utilities are their Wi-Fi, is there that kind of thing. It's a good one-stop shopping place. I also like that it's a shared meeting location. So you interact with people who are in fields that are nothing like the one I'm in. I engage people from different from different professions that are there are entirely unlike mine. It also it also engages personality types of different. So you and I have discussed this. I'm not a dog person and it's very dog friendly place. And we'll have to interact with people who are nothing like me. And during non pandemic times, the fact that they are public or centralized meeting locations where where accommodations like coffee and tea are available and even even beer on tap, those those things are all available in our common meeting locations is just the ideal type of meeting venue for us. We also like that it's only 0.9 miles from our Sunday morning gathering location, it's essentially within walking distance of what we gather on Sunday is during a typical non-Corona year. And because of its close proximity, where we gather, it's easy for us to tell people where the office is. It's an easy address to remember. It takes a lot of boxes for us is a very easy address to remember. The building is hard to miss and there's lots of opportunity for meetings to occur in the building that benefit our mission as we're trying to engage people who are coming to see us.
[00:07:33] Diana: That makes me so happy. You guys have been with us since 2018 when we opened our doors and it's been awesome ever since. Like we love having your team with us. You're you're great.
[00:07:48] Brandon: Yeah. It's, it's I could not we'd actually like to discuss this in Elders meetings. It you find a place that you think is going to work for you. It looks good on paper and then you meet there for a while and you realize it's everything. It's most of what we hoped it would be. It's not everything that we need. Enterprisers exceeded our expectations there. Yeah, it has exceeded the you and I are like, you are reading face when I walk in you and our type. But the bigger thing is. I mean, I need a place that is quite as I need it for when I'm doing my writing and at the same time admit certain accommodations and I don't know what is the thing for me, but I like that the facility is clean and think I will not specify where we were before, but we left that place because I couldn't work well there because it wasn't clean.
I'm glad when I come here and just when I come in, I never have to worry about the facility being well kept and it's a comfortable place. I'm not embarrassed to invite people with whom I have meetings to our office space. It checks all the boxes for us.
[00:09:03] Diana: What a major compliment. Thank you so much. And your office, your private office in particular, a lot of people pass by and they are impressed by your library. So many people ask me about that.
[00:09:16] Brandon: I try to have the I try to have the appearance of. Of intelligence, at least, so I don't think you just have the appearance, I think you're highly intelligent. Yeah, one of but there was another one of the things that we enjoyed is that there was a diversity of of membership opportunities. So some members of our team don't use our private office space. They come in and they sit in one of the blue chairs. But I need a space where. It's almost it's almost inappropriate to call my office an office, it's a library to study because my primary responsibility is serving prep and writing for articles and books. And so I need a place where I can have my entire library there for research. And I'm one of the benefits that we have is we have full access to the building. So there are times I'll come in at two o'clock in the morning and I'm there until 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. and I never I'm never worried about my safety or anything of that sort when I'm in the building because of the building as well attended to.
[00:10:14] Diana: Also, what a big compliment. Thank you all for speaking directly to our viewers. What would you like them to know about your team?
[00:10:26] Brandon: Wow. So the that my team will want you to tell you want me to tell you about who we are, the church they still want me to tell you about. Tell you about the mission. And the thing they will want to drive home is we gather every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and we do that via Zoom you can get the link for that if you visit our website. But we do that every Sunday morning. And that gives you a glimpse into who we are as a church and what we're trying to do in northeast Denver. And so I would without hesitation, was shameless plugging willingness. I would invite everyone to just come join us on Sundays at 10 a.m. and partake in what we're doing there.
[00:11:08] Diana: Excellent. That's that's a really nice invitation. Well, thank you so much for sitting down with me today, Brendan, and thank you all for tuning in to our community spotlight. If you would like to get in touch with Brandon or visit them for tune in for their Sunday service, you can visit their website at theembassy.org. Thanks again. And see you guys next time.
[00:11:28] Brandon: Thanks for this.