On Sunday, March 19, Richard and Sue Stewart of S-T, along with 5,000 other Scientologists, gathered to witness the largest Ideal Church of Scientology in North America come to life. It was a ceremony befitting the size, scope and substance of the Valley’s new home itself, from a medley of classic film scores evoking the golden days of cinema, to the “V for Valley” anthem written and arranged especially for the occasion. The facility spans 95,000 square-feet upon four acres, just blocks from the NoHo Arts District and is poised to engage community change makers across the region.
“Today, we dedicate a Church of Scientology for this Valley of Dreams,” said David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. “As the San Fernando Valley is diverse, so too, is our help. And so, we welcome those from her myriad cultures, ethnicities and of any economic standing. In that respect, this Church perfectly reflects the Creed of Scientology, ‘That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights…and that the souls of men have the rights of men.’”
The Valley Church is a most expansive addition to Scientology’s expanding universe of Ideal Churches, now numbering 19 in the Western United States alone and 57 internationally. “Ideal” is the standard set by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard so that every Church could be a perfect expression of the religion’s principles and practices. They have created a 1,000 seat auditorium that the church is making available for community events.
For the Valley congregation, that impact extends from helping a migrant child bridge the gap in her schooling with Study Technology, to helping tens of thousands of local youth take a pledge to be drug-free. And so, this grand opening now gives the Valley’s humanitarian outreach a permanent platform.
Bringing that commitment to light were representatives of the San Fernando Valley on hand to welcome the Church: Deputy Chief Robert Green of the Los Angeles Police Department, Valley Bureau; Deputy Chief, Trevor Richmond of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Valley Bureau; Ms. Nellie Barrientos, Los Angeles Education Program Director; and Bishop Franklin Harris, Executive Member of the Los Angeles County Clergy Council. Deputy Chief Green began the ceremony by saying “Together, we’ve reached at-risk kids and adults with vital intervention and education before they become victims or suspects. And now, we have changed the course of over 25,000 lives across the Valley.” He further highlighted the Church’s example in uniting an interfaith crusade in the region. “Let’s face it, whether you’re Jewish, Catholic, Christian or Scientologist, we’re all here to make a better community and improve the outcome of each other’s lives.