In a planned “Day at the Capitol,” clergy and faith leaders met on Thursday, April 26, 2018. With a goal of uniting faith communities to engage and act in the political sphere, Catholic Charities organized a gathering of local pastors and clergy. In attendance were Elder Thomas T. Priday, Area Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, among many others. Deacon Geoff Bennett, Vice President of Parish and Community Relations for Catholic Charities spearheaded the event and began the morning with the vision for the group. He invited all to set aside doctrinal differences, “…agree on foundational issues, and tell our legislators that these things are important to us.” Stake presidents, priests, and other attendees shared thoughts on how to carry out this ecumenical vision. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila spoke next, further driving home the point about Christians’ needs to be active, informed constituents that help enact change. Quoting de Tocqueville, Archbishop Aquila taught, “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” The meeting concluded with a presentation from Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, and president of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors (NASCCD). She helped educate the group about legislative advocacy, what it looks like, and how it’s carried out. The group concluded with a walk to the capitol, where they hoped to meet with local legislators. However, as Kraska taught, with politics you learn to be patient and flexible. Large crowds of teachers protesting salaries also chose Thursday to walk on the capitol; they arrived in such large numbers that religious leaders’ agenda took a back seat. Despite the change of plans, participants shared enthusiasm and gratitude for the meeting.
Jefferson County is a better place because of The Action Center. Since 1968 The Action Center has provided an immediate response to basic human needs and promoted pathways to self-sufficiency for county residents and the homeless.
On February 10th Mormon women in the Arvada area came together to help The Action Center.
The women had the opportunity to purge the unnecessary out of their lives to benefit those in need. They brought their used t-shirts to a Women’s Conference meeting where they transformed them into reusable grocery bags for The Action Center.
On February 11th from 7 pm to 8:30 pm Mormon missionaries in the Denver area will present a special musical presentation called “Why I Believe.”
The presentation will feature musical performances from sister and elder missionaries serving in the local area as well as messages which will be shared by recent converts to the Mormon church in Colorado.
The Musical Performance or “fireside” is open to everyone in the community, both members of the faith and those who are not currently of the Mormon faith.
“It promises to be an experience that will build one’s faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and only way back to the father,” says Jacob Paulsen of the Denver North Public Affairs Council. “Come worship the Redeemer through song and testimony!”
No registration or tickets are required to attend. The presentation will be held at a Mormon meetinghouse located in Denver at 2710 S Monaco Pkwy.
When was the last time you saw a pair of Mormon missionaries walking down the street, knocking at your front door, or riding bikes in your neighborhood? Most of us have come to recognize the familiar white shirts and black nametags that are customary for Mormon missionaries.
With over 50,000 missionaries actively serving around the world, you may not be aware of how they are organized or directed. Here in part of the Denver metro, some missionaries have a new boss, or “Mission President” to look to.
The world is divided into over 400 geographic areas referred to as missions. Each of those missions is led and directed by a Mission President whose responsibilities include the supervision and welfare of the missionaries laboring in that geographic mission area.
The missionaries serving in the “Denver North Mission” are now getting used to working under the direction of a new Mission President, Henry Scott Savage and his wife Cindi Savage. Called President Savage and Sister Savage respectfully by members of the church and the missionaries in the area; the Savages arrived in Denver in July 2017. Ironically both President and Sister Savage served as missionaries in Colorado many years ago.
The Savages come most recently from Orem Utah where President Savage was a managing director for FranklinCovey Co. They will leave behind their career and other personal associations and labor in Colorado for 3 years. Mission presidents worldwide spend 3 years directing the missionary work in the mission to which they are called.
In contrast with the political and religious divisiveness of our times, Christians of many different faiths gathered this past Sunday, March 19th, in a Common Prayer Service at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. The Common Prayer Service focused on commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation begun by Martin Luther.
Spearheaded by long-standing ecumenical efforts of both the Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches, Catholic Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Lutheran Bishop Jim Gonia spoke to a full house of nearly 50 clergy members and 400 hundred lay members of Lutheran, Catholic, LDS, and other Christian faiths. Representing the LDS church, Stake President Russell N. Watterson, Jr., attended the service along with Marty Jensen of the LDS Church’s Denver Area Public Affairs, and several lay LDS church members.
Such LDS participation identifies the LDS Church’s fundamental belief in Christ and the Church’s continued support of fellow Christians seeking to build unity and respect among our different faiths. As LDS Interfaith Specialist, Marty Jensen, shared, “Peace and forgiveness are always a place we are honored to be.”
Throughout the service, lay members participated in stirring, religious hymns accompanied by an accomplished choir and talented vocal and instrumental soloists. The sun filtered softly through the blue and purple stained glass windows to enhance the beauty of the messages shared from the Gospel of John, which focused on the Christ being the vine.
Specifically, Archbishop Aquila urged all Christians to seek “the encounter with Jesus that we are called to today.” Additionally, Archbishop Aquila spoke of God’s desires for the happiness of every man and woman, which comes through accepting Christ.” Recognizing the unifying force of our faiths’ belief in Christ, Bishop Aquila affirmed that “the only one who can bring union among the Christian churches is Christ.”
While acknowledging doctrinal differences among the Christian faiths, Archbishop Aquila also assured believers that “unity never demands uniformity, [but] our distinctiveness [may be] brought together [so that] we can then recognize the fruit we bear of the one true God.”
Building on the theme of Christian unity, Bishop Gonia of the Lutheran faith, shared personal stories of faith and devotion from his own parents’ lives and emphasized the great strides Christians, especially Catholics and Lutherans, have made in seeking common ground rather than division. Along this theme, Bishop Gonia, said, “after centuries of division, in these last 50 years, we are striving to recognize the one true life we worship: Jesus Christ [who] modeled a collaborative witness.”
In echo of both Bishop Aquila’s and Bishop Gonia’s thoughtful sermons, President Watterson reflected upon this idea that Christian religions are united in their source: Christ, [who is] the “true vine (John 15:1).” President Watterson shared that “This [idea of Christ as the vine] was a very powerful unifying theme in their remarks and a basis for unity among Christian faiths to do good throughout the world.”
As fellow Christians, we recognize and thank the Common Prayer service organizers for demonstrating how important such unity, respect, and faith in Christ are for our communities, our nation, and our world.
Photo Credit: Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic
On September 12, 2015 – The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, Black Genealogy Search Group, and FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world hosted an exclusive VIP event in Denver, CO announcing the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.
About 100 people attended the VIP event at the beautiful Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in downtown Denver’s five points neighborhood. Most of those present were personally understanding of the difficulties for Black Genealogical efforts in the United States and very appreciative for this new resource.
The program was an excellent mixture of speakers, music, and learning about this spectacular resource. Adrian Miller, the Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches directed the program which included Ex Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Reverend Frank Marvin Davis, Mrs. Janet Taylor of the Black Genealogical Search Group and Mrs. Terry Nelson of the Blair Caldwell Library, Bishop Jermaine Carroll, and President Russell Watterson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. of The speakers shared their combined enthusiasm and appreciation for the work that will be done and its value to their Community. The audience also enjoyed an amazing musical performance by local actress and singer SuCh.
Several present had already been to an LDS Family History Center to do genealogy work, and others were excited to see the addresses of the Denver Area Family History Centers noted on the program. Refreshments and hands on training were shared after the meeting on the third floor of the Library. For more information on the event contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To download photos from the event for press mentions or media please visit:
September 12, 2015
HISTORIC FREEDMEN’S BUREAU RECORDS RELEASED:
Event launches volunteer indexing effort of 4 million freed slave records
DENVER, CO — The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, Black Genealogy Search Group, and FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world are partnering on an exclusive VIP event in Denver, CO on September 12, 2015 announcing the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.
FamilySearch International is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum to make these records available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them easily searchable online. Once indexed, finding an ancestor may be as easy as going to the site, entering a name and, with the touch of a button, discovering your family member.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized near the end of the American Civil War to assist newly freed slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia. From 1865 t o1872, the Bureau opened schools, managed hospitals, rationed food and clothing and even solemnized marriages. In the process it gathered priceless handwritten, personal information including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital and property records on potentially 4 million African Americans.
Throughout the year, volunteers with each of these organizations and interested individuals from the general public will search and index these priceless records, making the information, details and histories readily discoverable for free online genealogical searches.
The goal is to have the records fully indexed in time for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. It only takes a little training for anyone with a computer and Internet access to join the project. Technical assistance will be available at FamilySearch centers throughout the nation.
The VIP event, held at the Blair-Caldwell African American Library in Denver, CO will be conducted by Adrian Miller, Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches, and will feature speakers from partner organizations; Blair-Caldwell Library, Black Genealogical Search Group and FamilySearch.
For more information about the effort or to see how you can help us restore records of millions of freed slaves, visit DiscoverFreedmen.org and on social media using #DiscoverFreedmen.
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
Black Genealogical Search Group