Worldwide missionaries love to share the message of Jesus Christ in Song. Pictured here are Mormon missionaries performing at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh Scotland

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.


On Monday, December 4, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock met with Elder Thomas T. Priday, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This meeting marks the coming together of two people whose aim is to serve and represent the people in their midst. Elder Priday is the highest ranking church official in the Denver area and Mayor Hancock’s $927 million bond that recently passed will fund roads, parks, libraries, health and cultural facilities

For members of the LDS church, with a belief in the gospel comes a belief in Jesus Christ, a continual effort to be good neighbors, and serve the community. It was with this very interest in doing good that Elder Priday met with Mayor Hancock. His offer, to help with Denver Days, Denver Parks and Recreation, and Metro Denver Volunteers, was very well received. The state of Colorado is home to more than 150,000 church members, approximately 70,000 of whom live in the Denver area.

Members’ involvement in the Mayor’s volunteer initiatives could mobilize a large task force. Mayor Hancock was especially enthusiastic to hear about options to recruit volunteers through the church’s web-based initiative – JustServe.org. It is anticipated that the most pressing need this winter will be the Snow Angels effort. Snow Angels is a program that helps ensure the sidewalks of the elderly and those with disabilities are shoveled after heavy snow.

Looking ahead, Elder Priday and Mayor Hancock’s common interest will reach beyond coordinating community service together. This spring, the (more…)


Denver Stake Youth and leaders recently helped prepare nearly 1,700 lbs.of food to donate to Metro Caring. The representatives from Metro Caring were beyond thrilled. One of the food coordinators said, “Wow! This is better than I could have imagined!” when LDS volunteers pulled up with two vans full of food.


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.


Father Patrick and Jennie with Interfaith Members

Jennie Preece with Father Patrick and other members of the University Hills Clergy Group

 

On a bright, sunny afternoon this past Friday, April 14th, members of the LDS Church joined nearly 200 hundred clergy and lay members of seven local Christian churches for an annual interfaith Good Friday service at Observatory Park in Denver. Following nearly twenty years of observance, the interfaith Stations of the Cross service brought together fellow Christians to recognize the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to Catholic tradition, observing the Stations of the Cross is a practice that dates back to the early 4th century A.D. when Christian pilgrims were first openly able to visit the holy sites of Jerusalem to commemorate the life of Jesus Christ. The Stations of the Cross is a narration of the final hours in the life of Jesus Christ on earth that includes fourteen specific events preceding Christ’s resurrection from His condemnation to death to His placement in the tomb. These specific events include:

1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus is given His cross.
3. Jesus falls down for the first time.
4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
6. Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.
7. Jesus falls down for the second time.
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus falls down for the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross – the Crucifixion.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross – the Deposition or Lamentation.
14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.

This year, the Stations of the Cross interfaith service, sponsored by the University Hills Clergy Group, involved clergy and lay members from seven local Christian churches, including: Kirk of Bonnie Brae Church, Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, Mountain View Friends Meeting, Hillcrest Christian Church, Salem United Church of Christ, University Park United Methodist Church, and the Denver Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These churches meet regularly for a variety of interfaith exchanges that build community and strengthen Christian ties across sectarian boundaries.

In the spirit of unity and peace, both clergy and lay members participated in prepared comments on each of the respective fourteen stations of the cross. To begin the service, Father Patrick Nolan, lead priest at Most Precious Blood, recognized in his opening prayer that the gathered Christians’ mission is “to bring the world [Christ’s] peace.”

Later, during Father Patrick’s explanation on Peter’s denial of Christ at the 4th Station of the Cross, he emphasized that “when we listen to fear, our faith will tell us who we are not, but not who we are…When you live in faith, you know who you are.” At the 8th Station, a lay member of Most Precious Blood parish later explained how we must try to “slow down, take up the cross of a friend or a stranger, and walk alongside someone who is struggling.” In short, when we help others around us, we are following the example of the Savior Jesus Christ.

Jennie Preece at the 10th Station of the Cross_April+2017

Interfaith Representative of the LDS Church, Jennie Preece, shares her thoughts about the crucifixion at the 10th Station of the Cross.

As the interfaith representative of the LDS Church in the Denver Stake, Jennie Preece, spoke at the 10th station of the Cross: Jesus is Crucified. Drawing upon Christ’s example of loving and forgiving others even as he hung suffering on the cross, Jennie asked those gathered:

“to follow our Savior’s example and look beyond ourselves. Let us reach out to serve, to love, and to forgive. Let us look at the paintings, at sculptures, at the words in the Gospel, ‘there they crucified Him’ and let us see, literally, specifically, and humbly, how our Savior used His last breaths to speak love.

At the end of the service, after a significant moment of silence to remember the death of Jesus Christ, clergy and members alike greeted and embraced each other with words of peace and gratitude.  Both young and old benefited from participating in this interfaith service that focused on the unity that Christ brings into the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Members of the Denver Stake of the LDS Church appreciated the opportunity to recognize the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of the Savior alongside fellow Christians.

 


Families First Baskets at the Whelans Home_April 2017

Volunteers’ children are excited about delivering the Easter baskets to Families First Colorado.

Holidays can be a time of special heartache for children who have been removed from their homes due to child abuse. To ease the burdens of children displaced from their homes this Easter, members of the Denver Colorado Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) worked to collect 57 Easter baskets to be delivered to Families First Colorado in time for the Easter holiday.

Families First Colorado is an organization that works to support abused children by allowing the children to be brought to the organization at any time during the day or night when needed. Founders of Families First believed that preventing child abuse and neglect is more than a social service problem, but is a community problem that requires direct community involvement. Families First offers a place for neglected or abused children to stay as well as offering counseling, support, and education to parents in the community.

The Easter baskets went to children living at the Families First home and to children of the parents receiving counseling and support. As service organizer, Jill Whelan said, “It was heartwarming to see the generosity of our LDS church members as I picked up the baskets from different homes. My eyes were filled with tears every time I walked into my living room (where the baskets were being held until delivery) to find 50+ colorful baskets. The outreach efforts of our members is so touching.

So much good is being done on many levels in our community. What a blessing it is to be involved in such a powerful work.”

To learn more about service opportunities with Families First Colorado, visit www.justserve.org, a community service web site created by the LDS Church to link community members with local service organizations.


Birthline Denver Stake Activity_April 2017

Just Serve Volunteers from the Denver Stake of the LDS Church sorting through clothes at Birthline

Birthline Denver Stake Activity_April 2017_B

Earlier this month (April 2017), Birthline, a Denver-based nonprofit pregnancy counseling service, faced a critical shortage of volunteers to sort through more than 10,000 donated clothing items. The thousands of clothing items were graciously donated to Birthline by Denver’s largest children’s consignment sale called Just Between Friends (JBF). While immensely grateful for JBF’s generous donations, Birthline lacked the personnel to effectively sort through, organize, and package the donations for Birthline clients.

In its hour of need, Birthline administrators turned to JustServe volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to fill this critical volunteer shortage. With less than a week’s notice, and after sending out only two email requests for help, more than twenty LDS JustServe volunteers showed up at Birthline on Monday, April 10th to sort through the 10,000 articles of clothing.

Reflecting on the LDS Church’s quick response to the sorting need, long-time Birthline administrator, Claire, shared,

“It was exciting to see how many people were willing to donate their time at such short notice, and that God had a hand in the quick response of [LDS church members].”

Claire and others were so grateful for the volunteers’ efforts, which directly assist Birthline in meeting the needs of expectant mothers and their children.

The rapid LDS response to Birthline’s service need represents a major effort by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to facilitate individual, family, and group service with community organizations across the country. To link volunteers with service opportunities, the LDS Church created JustServe.org, a website where the volunteer needs of organizations, such as Birthline, may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community.

Ultimately, the one-day sorting opportunity represented three philanthropically-minded organizations collaborating to help those in need in the Denver community. Working in unity and purpose, JustServe volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints, organizers from the Just Between Friends consignment sale, and Birthline administrators managed to provide much needed supplies for mothers and children in our Denver community.

To get involved in community service in the Denver Metro Area, visit www.justserve.org and find out which organizations could use your help in 2017.


 

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, CO - MARCH 19: Clergy members pose for a photo with Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (CL) and Bishop James Gonia (CL) Lutheran Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation at Bethany Lutheran Church on March 19, 2017, in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/for Denver Catholic)

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, CO – MARCH 19: Clergy members pose for a photo with Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (CL) and Bishop James Gonia (CL) Lutheran Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation at Bethany Lutheran Church on March 19, 2017, in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/for Denver Catholic)

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