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.
On Tuesday, March 20, the Reverend Shawn DeBerry Johnson was a noted guest of honor at “The Lamb of God” oratorio held at Denver University’s Newman Center. Performances are opened with a word of prayer, and Reverend Johnson honored the show by offering Tuesday’s invocation. Reverend Johnson serves as the Director of Community Affairs, a senior adviser to Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. She was joined by friends Jackie Brian and Pastor Lily R. Richardson from My Father’s House International Christian Discipleship Center in Park Hill. Elder Thomas T. Priday, Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife Marva hosted the Reverend and her guests, and as Reverend Johnson reports, “it was a true joy!”
An oratorio that has become an Easter staple in the Denver area, “The Lamb of God” was composed by Rob Gardner and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2010. With local effort from the Colorado Mormon Chorale and Orchestra, Denver area residents have been able to attend performances every Easter season for the last four years. Depicting the final week of the life of Christ and his resurrection, Gardner’s goal is to “bring to life for you the events depicted from the final days of the Savior’s life, and even more, how ‘in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.’”
Audience members and performers alike shared glowing sentiments. Shalee Jenkins of Centennial, Colorado said, “The talent of everyone involved was incredible…It was an excellent way to feel of the spirit of Easter. We’ll be sure to attend again next year!” Annie Sullins portrayed Mary Magdalene this year (and was a soloist in 2016) said of her experience, “It has strengthened my testimony that God knows me and cares about me and has a plan for me…The music is tremendous and it was such a privilege to be in it!” Not only could Reverend Johnson start the evening off with her prayer, but she also saw Gardner’s goal realized; her take on the performance was that it was “a very moving celebration of the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
On March 11th, the Parker Colorado Stake of The Church of Jesus of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) hosted the fourth annual Parker Interfaith Easter Night of Music. The Night of Music is an opportunity for members of various faiths in the Parker area to come together and celebrate the Easter season through music.
This year, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church was the honored guest for the evening. Choirs and congregants from both churches performed sacred vocal and instrumental musical numbers. The quality of the performances was nothing short of stunning. There was a beautiful spirit present, with some pieces bringing several members of the audience to tears.
A highlight of the evening was when (more…)
Young Single Adults from the Mountain View Mormon Congregation were invited to attend an evening of dinner, dessert and conversation to build relationships with their peers attending CU from other faiths on February 27, 2018.
Zach Parris, CU Lutheran Ministries pastor leads a weekly student dinner called Bread and Belonging. Once a month Pastor Parris tries to have one interfaith/ecumenical guest to share in the meal and conversation. (more…)
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.
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…)