Events – Folder

Sharing Our Gifts

Jackie Thompson, Event Coordinator

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  —I Corinthians 12:4-31

With the Waldo Canyon fire behind us, temperatures dropping, and a sense of normalcy returning, the summer is quickly coming to an end.  We have enjoyed our annual “End of Summer Social” at Mary and Marty’s ranch in Black Forest, and it was one more signal to us that autumn is just around the corner.  Before we know it, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas will be upon us.

I believe this fall will be a time of renewal after a hard summer, a time in which we can move forward and focus on what God has planned for us and our church both in the immediate and distant future.  Our biggest event of the year, Dreaming of Decadence, is very important to our church.  It helps us get our budget back on track, and it gives the community outside our church the opportunity to support our mission.  More than raising money, this annual event is our chance to show others who we are and what matters to us—to show them what we mean when we say we are “The Inclusive Church.”

Dreaming of Decadence is my favorite event.  It provides opportunities for fellowship while working together to accomplish an important goal.  Last year’s committee was an amazing, diverse, and talented group of people who brainstormed some great ideas.  Who would have thought that we could transform our stage into a pier?  Each person brought different skills to the table, and there was so much synergy that it kept us moving forward and focused, making the event both successful and fun—the best combination.

I am now in the process of looking for people who would like to be a part of this year’s planning committee.  Like the Scripture passage above, this is a time when people of all different gift-sets are needed.  This really is a ministry opportunity—a chance to share your talents with the church and our community.  There are many skill-sets needed—people with ideas about the program, an eye for decorating, or a willingness to procure auction items, sponsorships, and donations.  There are opportunities to build, cook, decorate, and much more!  So, bring your talents, and join with the body of Christ in this place to create a night of celebration and fun!

To help with Dreaming of Decadence, please contact Jackie Thompson at jky.thompson@gmail.com.

 

Love One Another

kyle music ministerKyle Jensen, Director of Music

I recently got back from GALA Choral Festival 2012 in Denver.  There were around 6,200 LGBT and affirming straight people at this festival, and I was stricken by the true sense of community that was all around me.  The vast majority of these people had never seen each other before, and yet we immediately loved and accepted each other.  For once it didn’t matter how “gay” I was!  People didn’t look at me funny when I had on eyeliner, and no one rolled their eyes when I brought up yet another Broadway musical.  We all just reveled in the beauty and diversity of our community.  That is one thing we miss out on living in a smaller, mostly conservative city.

As a people who constantly fight to be loved and accepted, sadly, we often act in very unloving ways toward each other.  I don’t think it’s fair to expect the world to love and accept us if we can’t do it ourselves.  How many times do the mainstream portions of our community look at the more gregarious members and turn them away for being too gay, too butch, or too obvious?  How often have we shirked the trans community (especially those that don’t “pass”), or the leather community, or the BDSM community?

During GALA, I was surrounded by every aspect of our community.  We were all there to raise our voice in song together.  And it was beautiful!  I have seen that same beauty in our church from time to time.  I urge us to exude that inclusive beauty every week.  I love each of you for exactly who you are.  I love the beautiful creation God has made in you!  It is our mission to spread the message of God’s all-inclusive love and that message starts right here in our church home.

“Love each other as I have loved you.”  That, for me, was Jesus’ greatest commandment.  So let’s love each other.   It has become my custom to close my articles with a quote from a musical, but this time I have to disappoint!  The quote below is from the song, “What Matters,” and it was performed by the San Diego Women’s Chorus at GALA.  With these words, I encourage you to go out and show the world what Christ’s true love is.

“So, who cares who’s arms I’m all wrapped up in?  Who cares who’s eyes I see myself in?  Who cares who I dream of?  Who cares who I love?…It doesn’t mater what I dream of.  It only matters that I was loved.  And I am loved.”

 

Develop a Deeper Spirituality

Denise Foerch Spiritual DirectorDenise Foerch, Spiritual Director

I believe it is very important for each of us to “own” our spirituality.  Growing up, our belief system was often based on what Mom and Dad, or our church, believed.  As we grew older, we looked to teachers/professors, books, seminars, and peer groups to help us continue to create our spirituality.

Each of us is given opportunities to make different choices about what we believe.  For some, it’s just the journey of life that brings about a stirring inside—a desire to know who they really are and what meaning their life has.  Their thoughts turn toward the spiritual, which causes them to look into various ways of living a spiritual life.  For others, it’s something dramatic that happens in their lives, and they feel awakened and begin searching for how to have a meaningful relationship with God.  And there are some whose spirituality has remained meaningful, and yet they are finding that as their lives change, they desire God in new and different ways.   Sometimes we need someone to walk with us during these times of spiritual transition.

I had a period of time when my life fell apart and all I believed no longer made sense.  I felt lost because I hadn’t spent time cultivating my own spirituality.  I started meeting with a Spiritual Director on a regular basis, and it was an experience like none other I had ever had.  For the first time I was in the presence of someone who wasn’t going to give me answers or try to fix me!  She was there to walk with me as a guide on my quest to have a meaningful relationship with God.   She helped me own my spirituality, by listening to me, nudging me, and praying for me.

Put simply, a Spiritual Director is a guide, a mentor, or facilitator for your journey.  A person who listens, asks questions, gives feedback, and allows you to discover your own spirituality.  As the Spiritual Director for this church, I want to invite you to join one of our two Spiritual Direction groups.  In September our Spiritual Direction groups will open for new members.  The Saturday group meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10am-Noon, and the Thursday night group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 6:30-8:30pm.  I hope you will seriously consider going a group as a way to invest deeply in your relationship with God!

“Spiritual Direction is the opportunity to sit with a trusted companion and reflect on your relationship with God.  It is a time to look at your daily life and God’s presence within it.  It is a gift you give yourself!”  —Connie Schnapf