After the attack on Columbine High School almost 19 years ago, each student and staff member at the school received a homemade quilt donated by people from Colorado and beyond. Mothers with children at the school remember how their children wrapped themselves in the blankets, drawing security and comfort knowing that people they didn’t even know cared about them. 

When the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, experienced their own heart-wrenching tragedy in February, many of those same Columbine mothers from a local church in Littleton felt their hearts breaking as they relived feelings of helplessness, anger and sorrow. 

The tragedy hit even closer to home than expected. Gordon and Pam Voorhees, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Littleton, have a granddaughter who attends Stoneman Douglas High School. While she made it out safely, two of her friends and fellow church members did not. The Littleton congregation decided to do something to help the youth in the Parkland LDS congregation know that many people care about them.  

“We remembered how much the quilts meant to our children, and decided to make fleece blankets for each of the youth in the LDS congregation where the three girls lived, one of whom was killed in the shootings,” said Jane Savage, who attended and helped organize the project. 

Church members quickly organized the project. Fabrics in cheerful prints and solids that “looked like Florida” were purchased with donated funds, and some fabric was donated by a person involved with the Columbine/Aurora Theater support group. All donors asked to remain anonymous. 

“The inspiration for the cuddle blankets came from our hearts breaking for these kids in Florida, wishing that no one would ever have to endure another shooting,” said Savage. “I remember the disbelief that such a thing could happen here, and realizing that the innocence of children had been stolen, and there was so little that anyone could do to relieve all that anguish.” 

An email notice was sent to all the women in the congregation, inviting them to help put the blankets together. With one day’s notice and on a holiday weekend, about 30 women, men and teenagers, as well as neighbors who just wanted to help. Some had children or grandchildren who had attended Columbine, but many did not. 

“It’s a relief to our aching hearts to be able to actually do something, instead of just feel bad for them,” said one of those who turned out to help. 

Tying the fleece blankets took about two and a half hours. The 26 blankets arrived in Florida on Saturday, so they could be distributed to the youth in the congregation on Sunday. Notes written by youth in the Columbine area were included and expressed love and prayers for their counterparts in Florida. 

Story by Babzanne Barker

Photo by Allison Barber

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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.


While the many Christian denominations in Colorado have unique doctrines and different approaches to worship, they all share a fervent belief in Jesus Christ and a tradition of praising him in song.

 

Late in 2017, four congregations in the southwest suburbs of Denver gathered to do just that. The 20th Annual Interfaith Concert featured around 225 musicians from the Columbine Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Columbine United Church, St. Frances Cabrini Parish and St. Philip Lutheran Church. Around 600 people attended the performance.

 

“This is a wonderful event that brings us together to make a joyful noise as we focus not on our differences but on our common faith in Jesus Christ,” said Rev. Brad Doty, assistant pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church.

 

The unique event began in 1997 with only two churches participating: The Columbine Stake and St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish. For twenty years both churches have continued to perform together, while welcoming up to three other local churches to join every year. Held in the fall, the Interfaith Concert has become a beloved start to the holiday season. (more…)


 

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


The Colorado Mormon Chorale is excited to announce four upcoming performances of the Lamb of God in 2017. Visit the website: http://www.lambofgodco.org/buy-tickets/ to buy tickets and reserve your seats today.

Written and composed by Rob Gardner, Lamb of God is an oratorio based on New Testament accounts of the final days of the life of Jesus Christ, and the events following His resurrection. We invite you to join us for this captivating event as seen through the eyes of those who knew and loved Him best.

“I have always known of Jesus Christ and believed him to be my Savior, but each time I listen to this sacred work I come to feel it more deeply. The music of Lamb of God is not only beautiful to hear but also to experience and feel. When I heard it for the first time in Salt Lake City, I knew that it must be presented here in Denver.”

James A. Miller — Cornerstone Productions

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2017 LAMB OF GOD PERFORMANCE DATES

DU Newman Center for the Performing Arts: Denver, CO

Tuesday, March 21st

Wednesday, March 22nd

Thursday, March 23rd

CU Macky Auditorium Concert Hall: Boulder, CO

Saturday, April 8th

Visit the website for more information: www.lambofgodco.org


Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Littleton are pleased to present “Lamb of God” – peformed by the Colorado Mormon Chorale and Orchestra, written and composed by Rob Gardner.

This sacred performance is an oratorio based on New Testament accounts of the final days of the life of Jesus Christ, and the events following his resurrection. Everyone is invited to this captivating event as seen through the eyes of those who knew and loved Him best.

Tickets go on sale February 8th on the Lamb of God website for five nights of performances. March 11th & 12th at the Trinity Methodist Church downtown, and Marth 15th, 16th, & 17th at the Newman Center for Performing Arts on Iliff.

Learn more about “Lamb of God” and to purchase tickets on the following website:

http://www.lambofgodco.org/