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Local church offers spiritual reset for life’s deep questions

King’s Cross Church holds weekly meetings where people can discuss everything from life to faith and spirituality.
(Courtesy of Obed Brefo)

We all know about New Year’s resolutions — those commitments to make new beginnings in our eating, exercising, housekeeping and more.

But some resolutions go deeper, and to help with that, a spiritual reset is being offered through a program presented by King’s Cross Church, a non-denominational congregation near the border of La Jolla and Pacific Beach.

Last fall the church began a series of seven weekly meetings called “Life Explored” for anyone looking to discuss questions ranging from life to faith and spirituality.

Season 2 of the series is continuing from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays through April 3 at Hermosa Surf, 5636 La Jolla Blvd., Bird Rock.

Obed Brefo, lead pastor and one of the church’s founders, said another season is planned to begin after Easter, which is April 17.

Obed Brefo is lead pastor of King’s Cross Church.
(Regina Elling)

Brefo said the idea for the gatherings came to him due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ghana-born Brefo and his family moved to Southern California in 2010.

“After COVID and the lockdowns and so many people knowing others who died as a result of the pandemic, people were asking really hard, really important questions about life — more so than ever before,” he said. “They told me they felt like there just has to be more to life. So we started asking ourselves what it would look like for us as a church to have a space to have conversations like this.”

The answer was a program suited for “anyone pursuing spirituality and joy.” Meetings in the fall were held at a Pacific Beach bakery.

The church asks those who attend Life Explored to be open-minded and ready to have an honest conversation. Participants don’t have to be members of the church, aren’t asked to bring a Bible, make any donations, pray or sing — they don’t even have to ask any questions. The meetings are not a place for hardcore debate.

During one recent gathering, about 15 people — a mix of church-goers and others — were led in a discussion by Sierra Corban, a 26-year-old King’s Cross member, who explained selected biblical passages. She is a scientist at UC San Diego’s Gaulton Laboratory studying diabetes genetics.

Sierra Corban is a co-leader of the weekly sessions and a member of King’s Cross Church.
(Regina Elling)

The decision to hold the meetings in public venues brought challenges, Corban said, including negotiating the use of space.

“But everything has worked out easier and better than I anticipated,” she said.

On this particular Sunday, Luca Tucciarone, 30, of Clairemont attended his first session. Tucciarone, a biologist working on a doctorate and studying diabetes, works in the same laboratory as Corban.

As Corban kept the conversation moving, Tucciarone explained his understanding of what had been said.

“What’s the difference between me being a good guy and me being accepted as a good Christian when I die?” he asked. “Spoiler alert: I’m not a Christian, but I do respect you. I do not believe in Jesus or God.”

Corban answered: “Where do you put your hope? We put our love in someone who has the ability to end death.”

The conversation continued, lively and serious by turns. Though there were plainly some differences of opinion, there were no mean-spirited, argumentative or belligerent comments.

Gary Miller of Pacific Beach hadn’t missed any of the weekly sessions. When asked why he initially decided to attend, the Hollywood agent and scriptwriter replied, “That’s a good question.”

After mulling it over briefly, he said: “As I look back, I think my coming here was a sort of litmus test. I kind of came in with a loose, humorous attitude.”

But Miller said he ultimately wanted to improve his own relationship with God and be able to help others. He said his friends often ask him for relationship advice, and he wanted to dive deeper into his faith.

After the meeting, Tucciarone was positive about the experience.

“I like people that are thoughtful about life,” he said. “They still want to listen to me; they accept my opinion even if we aren’t on the same page.

“They’re good people, and you need good people in your life.”

“To know that people feel safe and that they can actually have these meaningful conversations — it’s really, really touching.”

— Sierra Corban

As they heard the positive feedback, Corban and other church members said they felt humbled and satisfied.

“To know that people feel safe and that they can actually have these meaningful conversations — it’s really, really touching,” Corban said.

A group meets as part of King's Cross Church's "Life Explored" weekly forums.
(Courtesy of Obed Brefo)

Brefo said the sessions have showed him that it is important for people not just to be listened to but also to be heard.

“Participants are telling us this is way more helpful than they thought it would be,” Brefo said. “It’s really meaningful for people to be heard and process what they’re going through.”

To attend or learn more, visit lifeexploredsd.com. For more about King’s Cross Church, visit kingscrosschurch.us, call (858) 999-0117 or email admin@kingcrosschurch.us.

— La Jolla Light staff contributed to this report.