As the Sundays in 2019 continue to tick by, so do Kanye West’s Sunday Services. What was once an overly documented and heavily strobe-lit church service and concert hybrid in the Kardashian–West household, has mutated into what appears to be an open-air religious gathering of Southern California’s elite. Nearly four months after its creation, Kanye has moved his Sunday worship event to an undisclosed location in the great outdoors (he also conducted one at the North American Adidas Headquarters in Portland), and it continues to boggle the minds of lay people, like myself, who wake every Monday morning to a new video of North West dancing to music sung in the name of the Lord, and grainy images of celebrities like Busy Philipps and Courtney Love convening in the Hills of California. (For these videos, we are blessed.)
Has Kanye West, in fact, started a church? Is he doing so to follow in the steps of his mother-in-law Kris Jenner? Was that even legal? These questions linger, but as these services evolve, so must our musings. Now, apart from wondering what joy one might attain from dust being kicked up into their lungs during prayer, we must ponder which celebrities might be seen at this new spiritual haven.
Originally Kanye’s services included fellow musicians like Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi, along with his extended family, which of course includes some of the most famous faces in the world. Over time, celebrities who don’t share DNA with Kanye’s wife have also been invited. Oh, yes, according to various sources, the event is Invite Only. (Based on the available videos, there are usually about 50 people in attendance, not counting the Yeezy-clad choir, which seems to near the 50 person mark on its own.) Diplo has attended the service. Rick Rubin has shown up. On March 17, Kanye West invited rapper and Christian community leader (I am basing this distinction solely on his cover of “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” in honor of the very Christian holiday, Christmas) DMX to participate in the service. DMX offered up a prayer in the valley. That weekend, E! Entertainment family member Busy Philipps attended the service with her family, Courtney Love was there just this past weekend, and YouTube reality star Katy Perry and her fiancé Orlando Bloom also left their love nest to hear a blessed word from Kanye West.
By moving it out of his home, Kanye is growing his mom and pop prayer circle beyond those he’s likely to invite over for Sunday brunch. Meanwhile, the varied religious backgrounds of his A-List guests may be a sign of an attempt at opening up a non-denominational worship service that focuses more on positivity and spirituality over religion. Yes, Katy Perry, is well-known for her Christian upbringing, but she told Vogue Australia last year that she’s more into “spirituality and heart wholeness” than she is religion. However, she is still a fan of Pope Francis because he is a “rebel for Jesus.” Kanye West might say the same of himself, considering nearby residents think he’s rebelling against the law and have filed various noise complaints during the outdoor services. This Sunday, two police officers busted in on the service to address noise complaints. It’s said that the celebrities left and the service ended shortly after.
Prayers up that Kanye West can continue to grow his church community, and that the LAPD doesn’t shut down his outdoor activity for good.