Proposed Docket

Click here for pdf version of proposed docket.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Central Presbyterian Church
1660 Sherman Street
Denver, CO 80203-1667

Sanctuary WiFi access:   (cpcwireless)           Password:  (welcomecentral)

3:30 p.m.    Registration Begins
4:00 p.m.    Pre-Presbytery Assembly Event:
The Racial Ethnic Diversity Workgroup of Council will facilitate an informational session with take-home, Christian Education materials concerning anti-racism. It will be a time to hear about anti-racism resources from our denomination, helpful books and resource people in our presbytery and the community. It will also be a time to share ideas for programs. 

5:00 p.m.    Dinner and Fellowship

6:00 p.m.    Presbytery Assembly Convenes

Presbytery Assembly Business

Call to Order and Opening Prayer                                                                                                                                                   Jean Demmler
Announcements                                                                                                                                                                           John Anderson
Welcome to Central Presbyterian Church                                                                                   Louise Westfall and 2 RE Commissioners
Welcome to new Ruling Elder commissioners                                                                                                                         Jean Demmler
 and corresponding members        

Committee on Ministry Report – Part 1                                                                                                                                  Charla Musgrave

  • Introduction of Rev. Tracy Hughes

Omnibus Motion                                                                                                                                                                            Jean Demmler

Partnership of Zimbabwe and Denver Presbyteries                                                                                                                  Tom Sheffield
   Introduction of Zimbabwe Delegation and Greetings

First Presbyterian Lakewood – Recognition                                                                                                       Administrative Commission
Stated Clerk Report                                                                                                                                                           Olivia Hudson Smith

Nominating Committee Report                                                                                                                                                    Sue Cornman

Council Report                                                                                                                                                                               Tom Sheffield

  • Personnel Work Group ~ Bruce Spear
  • Finance and Property Work Group ~ Keith Moore
  • Leadership Work Group~ Nancy Dixon
  • Immigration Policy Response Task Force ~ Dee Cooper
  • Ecumenical Ministries ~ Justin Spurlock

Treasurer’s Report                                                                                                                                                                     John Boettiger    

Committee on Ministry – Part 2                                                                                                                                                    Bill Sanders
    Examination for Ordination – Lemuel Velasco

Presentation  ~~~~~~    Celebration Team    

WORSHIP – The Rev. Dr. Thomas Sheffield

Assembly Adjourns 


Committee on Ministry

Introduction of Rev. Tracy Hughes

The Rev. Dr. Tracy Hughes brings to Mountain View United Church 18 years of experience as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and faith-based peacemaking with Common Global Ministries spanning 20 years.  She has worked with children, refugees, teens, families, elders, immigrants, and people without homes, women and children fleeing violence, and rural farmers in places of war.  As part of her unique faith journey she has lived in two Catholic Worker communities, joined The Christian Peacemaking Teams in 2000, and served in pastoral leadership in 9 United Church of Christ congregations.

Pastor Tracy, as she is affectionately known by church folk, has been part of church since she was baptized in a Congregational church in Connecticut and was part of the children’s choir at First Presbyterian Church in Tiffin, Ohio.  She is a big fan of retreats and summer camp for children, youth, and families.  Templed Hills and Pilgrim Hills, UCC camps in Ohio, were a large part of her formative years as a youth leader at her home church.  As a new pastor, she served as camp director of basketball camps, and counselor for confirmation retreats in those same sacred hills.

Pastor Tracy’s call to ministry is rooted in Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you?  To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”  In her own words: I’ve taken my baptismal and confirmation vows and the teaching of Micah 6:8 to heart.  I have been blessed because this led me to ministry in many places and cultures around the world.  I have had the experience of sharing in church communities in Latin and South America, the West Bank, Africa, and the Desert Southwest of the USA.  I’ve learned that the Body of Christ is a living breathing reality because of the Christians I’ve worshiped, worked, and lived within these places.  I’ve met God in the faces of Muslims, Jews, indigenous peoples, and people of other traditions.  For me, these relationships and communities define what faith-filled living and church is much about – experiencing God’s love in community with both neighbors and strangers.  Consequently, these experiences led me right back to the local church in places like my home town, Tucson, and now, Aurora.  This is because there is no global church without the local church and there is no local church without mission in their communities and world.


Click here for pdf version or Omnibus.


The Omnibus Motion is a process intended to speed action on routine or non-controversial matters.  Any item may be withdrawn from the omnibus motion upon request of any member of the assembly. Items remaining are adopted without discussion when the motion is approved. Items from committees or other reports will be recorded in the minutes as part of that committee or staff person’s report.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:    That the Presbytery votes to:
1.    Approve the Docket as distributed, with such changes as may be announced at the start of the assembly.
2.    Enroll the Corresponding Members that are introduced, and grant to them permission of the floor. The names and presbytery of membership of such persons must be written on the attendance roster or given to the Stated Clerk.
3.    Approve the minutes of the August 19, 2017 Presbytery Assembly as posted on the Presbytery website, except for any changes in the attendance roll that may be required.
THE STATED CLERK RECOMMENDS that the Presbytery vote to:
 Receive the report of the Stated Clerk:
1.    Receive the report of the Administrative Commission to Ordain Olivia L. Hudson Smith as the Minister of the Word and Sacrament, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Denver at Peoples Presbyterian Church on Sunday, October 8, 2017, and dismiss the commission with the gratitude of the presbytery.

2.    Receive the report of Council establishing the dates and locations of the 2018 assemblies:  Trinity, 1/23/2018; Iglesia Presbyteriana de Valverde, 3/27/2018; St. James, 5/22/2018; Elizabeth, 8/11/2018; Shepherd of the Hills, 10/23/2018.

Partnership of Zimbabwe and Denver Presbyteries

Click here for pdf version Delegates Bios.

Click here for pdf version Memorandum of Understanding


Anna and Moven Banda
We were married 32 years ago and are blessed with 3 daughters - Mirriam 31, Maina 29, and Millicent 23 - as well as two grandchildren - Dariel 7 and Kyla 1 yr. old.  As part of our ministry we worked with children at risk committee (Lovemore Children Home) and from that experience God blessed us with a daughter Sharon and a grandchild Jayden, whom we foster.

We are currently serving at Mhangura Presbyterian church. Anna is the Minister in charge and Chairperson of Western Presbytery District and also the Convener of Presbytery’s Church Associations Committee.

Geographically, Mhangura is situated in northern part of Zimbabwe (Mashonaland West Province) in an old mining town surrounded by farms.  In the year 2000, people lost their jobs because of mining industry closures in Mhangura town.  Mangura UPCSA has a healthy mixture of ages, and the church families meet for worship where everyone is involved.

Everisto Musedza
Everisto is currently serving in Mutare, which is about 265km from Harare. He is the full- time minister of St. Columba’s Presbyterian which has a good mixture of cultures and races.  We have a membership of about 90 people comprised mainly of older folks, most of whom used to be farmers. Everisto joined the ministry in 2013, did his probation in 2014 and was ordained March 21, 2015.

Everisto was born fourth in a family of seven children and is married to Emily.  They have two children, Natalie and Nathan. Everisto enjoys preaching and teaching and is especially passionate about youth ministry and ministering to the young adults.  He would be very grateful to be exposed to these kinds of ministries.  I am passionate about empowerment and transformation of young adults.

Lydia Neshangwe
Lydia is an ordained pastor serving in the Presbytery of Zimbabwe.  She and her husband Paul and their two boys lived in Denver for 5 years while Lydia was studying at Denver Seminary.  She currently serves St. Andrews’s Church in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) and is also the Clerk of Presbytery.  She loves reading and traveling and has come to believe the African proverb that “He who never visits home thinks his mother is the best cook!”  Lydia is stimulated by a variety of interests including healing and wholeness for people in all circumstances.  Her personal motto these days is: “The perfect place in the whole wide world is in the will of God.”

Presbytery Center Site Selection Team Report

Click here for pdf version of report.

Report to Presbytery Assembly 23 May 2017
Members of the task force: Rev. Katie Robb-Davis, Anne W. Bond, Rev. Cody Sandahl, Rev. Tom Sheffield, Chris Wineman
The Site Selection Team received 4 invitations from congregations to host the Presbytery Center offices.
1. Of the four, two were selected to provide financial proposals. The Site Selection team visited each location and reviewed their proposals.
2. After evaluating the proposals and the sites, the Site Selection Team elected to also consider options for leasing commercial space. The Site Selection Team visited 6 potential sites.
3. Discussed all potential sites with Presbytery staff.
4. Recommended a single location to Council on May 2.
5. Contacted multiple commercial realtors and engaged one (Fairbairn Commercial) to represent Presbytery in negotiations with that property owner.
The recommendation of the Site Selection Team is to Relocate the Presbytery Center offices to a commercial site at 4800 Happy Canyon Road, Denver CO 80237. This is the intersection of Happy Canyon, Dahlia and Hampden, immediately to the east of Bethany Lutheran Church. It is located about 11 blocks west of I-25.
Advantages of this site:
a.) The location offers good access from north and south (I-25) as well as east and west (Hampden and I-225). It is very central to the metro area. Compared with the current Presbytery Center location, it requires negligible change in drive time (average) for our congregations. The space is reasonably priced; we currently estimate a lease rate of $15.50 per square foot. We anticipate needing to lease up to 2800 sf.
b.) The suite we’re looking at has been recently gutted and can be built out to meet our needs. We anticipate tenant improvement costs of approximately $150,000. The suite would provide:
• 5 offices
• Large meeting room
• Small meeting room
• Work room
• File room
c.) The suite is located on the ground floor (easily accessible) and the entrance to our proposed suite is immediately inside the main building entry.
d.) The building has more parking than most of the other locations we visited, and evening parking for larger groups is available at no cost.
e.) Over a seven-year lease, the cost of the space would be comparable to our current occupancy costs at 1710 S. Grant.
Why were the church locations not recommended?
a.) The finalist locations were significantly far from the “center” of the presbytery. We believe that these would be an obstacle for work group participation and staff travel.
b.) The finalist locations offered lease rates that are at least as costly – or more so – than commercial property options.
c.) They require significant physical renovation – certainly in the range of $300,000 to $400,000. This is considerably more expensive than the anticipated commercial space.
d.) More challenging, even after renovation, the Presbytery Center offices in either church location would retain the sense of being “secondary” in terms of visibility and access.
Anticipated Timeline
We currently believe that we would be able to occupy the new premises early in 2018.

Click here for pdf version of Nominating Report

Click here for a pdf of bio of Wanda Beauman


Your presbytery Nominating Committee recommends the following people be elected to the positions and for the stated terms as follows:

Presbytery Moderator: TE John Anderson(Trinity), Class of 2018
Presbytery Vice-Moderator, RE Wanda Beauman (Peoples), Class of 2018  

Re-elect to the Class of 2019: RE Ki Park (True Light) 
Elect to the Class of 2019:
TE Bill Davis (Good Shepherd)
TE Bruce Spear (Elizabeth)
RE Sharon Blackstock (Green Mountain)
RE Michael McLane (Trinity)

Committee on Ministry
Re-Elect for a second term, and elect as Moderator for the Class of 2019, CRE Sandy Safford (Byers) 
Re-Elect for a second term and to the class of 2020:
RE Peter Hulac (Montview)
RE Marty Ward (Genesis)
TE Carol Fisher (St. Andrew)
Elect for a new term to the class of 2020:
RE Lee Boteler (St. Paul) 
TE Whit Dempsey (Georgetown) - withdrew
TE Victoria Isaacs (At Large)

Committee on Preparation for Ministry (TE Steve Blackstock, Moderator) 
Re-Elect for a second term to the class of 2018:
 RE Michael Norris (Pby Ch of the Covenant
Re-Elect for a second term to the Class of 2020:
RE Sandy Prouty (Montview) 
TE JoAnn Dyson (at Large) 
Elect to the Class of 2020:
RE David Lindsey (Shep/Hills)

Elect to the Class of 2018:
TE Ruth Huff (at Large)
Elect to the position of Co-Moderators for the Class of 2018:
TE Ruth Huff (at Large) and RE Rob Habiger (Central)
Re-elect for a second term and to the Class of 2019:
Starr Hildebrand (Arvada Pby) 
Elect to the class of 2020
TE Barbara Lyons (Pby Ch of the Covenant)
TE Christine Bietzel (HR)
Highlands Camp Joint Committee
Re-elect to the Class of 2020:
RE Anne Bond (Central)
Elect to the Class of 2020:
RE Bill McNeil (Strasburg)

Permanent Judicial Commission (John O’Lane, Moderator)
Elect to the Class of 2023:
RE Larry Musgrave (Byers)
TE Eunjoo Kim (at Large)

To the 2018 General Assembly
Ruling Elder Commissioners:
Georgia Comstock (South Park Community)
Cleve Dixon (St. Paul)
Teaching Elder Commissioners:
Ruth Huff (At Large)
Jason Whitehead (Iliff)
Alternate Commissioner:
Teaching Elder Carol Fisher (St. Andrews)
Youth Advisory Delegate:
Claire Wineman (Central)

Your Nominating Committee members have worked with thoughtful diligence, dedication and with joy throughout this year. We thank you for the confidence you have placed in us, and for the opportunity to serve Christ through our service to Denver Presbytery.

Susan Cornman
Moderator and on behalf of your Nominating Committee Members:
TE Ethan Raath, TE Susan Boucher and RE David Goss

Highlands Camp Joint Committee

Click here for pdf of written report.

Update on Director of Summer Camp Search process: We have advertized this position nationwide and across denominations.   I have received approximate 27 applications, and completed approximately nine phone interviews.  The next step will be to narrow down this group of individuals and invite them for a face to face visit.  Please keep Highlands in prayer as we seek to fill this important postion.

Now is the time to apply for Partnership Day Camp in 2018!
Highlands Partnership Day Camps are formed between Highlands and congregations in Plains and Peaks and Denver Presbyteries. Working together with volunteers from each congregation, Highlands summer staff produce a vacation Bible school style program with a Highlands flair. Highlands Partnership Day Camps have been running for nine years, and the program is highly successful. In the summer of 2017, 419 children and youth were reached with a fun, Christ-centered, day camp adventure in their local congregation.  In 2017 we expanded the program to reach 16 congregations! And we are looking for 16 partners in the summer of 2018!  We encourage you apply before the deadline of January 15, 2018.  You will find complete information on our website at

Finance:  The good financial news:  
•    Thanks to the $35,000 Matching Grant from the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks we have already met and exceeded our $93,000 annual minimum principal reduction payment that would have been due in January 2018.
•    Our current mortgage balance is $1,098,354.15.
•    Highlands is in the midst of a small campaign to raise new gifts to support the first year of the Director of Operations position.  The goal of this campaign is $80,000 and we currently have pledges for $48,300 with additional gifts to be approved in October.  
•    On September 23rd we received an unexpected gift of $35,000 from our largest donor. 
•    We have recently been awarded a $10,000 grant from Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, along with three gifts of $1000 each from families in that congregation.
We are grateful that this gift will help to underwrite the cost of Summer Camp.  In 2017,
o    Summer Camp Revenue:  $109.687.63
($8420.55 of revenue is provided by Highlands Scholarship donations, Balance of scholarships: approximately $3600  was funded by unrestricted funds). Total of approximately $12,000 in scholarships awarded.
o    Expense: 
Summer Camp Program Expenses  $94,495.72
Summer Camp Food allocation: $31,850.50
Summer Camp Housing allocation ($15/night):  $15,495.00
Total:  $141,841.22
•    We have a donor who has transferred $3500 + in stock to us, and a pledge for $5000 from another donor. 

The Challenges: 
•    For 2017, Guest Group revenue is projecting to be $705,000 for the year on a budget of $825,000.  
•    In 2017 we have spent $33,000+ on improvements to the Water treatment Plant.   This does not include labor costs.  The total cost of this project over the last two years has been over $70,0000 plus labor. We have funded this through a gift from First Presbyterian Church of Scottsbluff and our operating budget.
•    On 9/19/17- David Lee and Daniel Belleau (Structural Engineer) met with Maria and Michael and examined our decks on the Retreat Center: 
1.    Rot on Gluelams (main beams) is at least 2 inches deep.
2.    Joists still have life. . . 10 years
3.    Decking still has life . . . 10 years, but is laid to tight with no air gap
4.    Deck is not unsafe at this time.  It is a different kind of failure that what happened at Glacier. Recommend that we regularly monitor these beams, and repair in next year or two.  
5.    Room Decks are built differently and have cover and are ok.
6.    Deck off the lobby has caps on the beams, is ok.
7.    Bridge to main entrance will need repaired.
8.    Bridge off the room end of the building can be repaired on our timing.  Perhaps replace decking with grating.  This bridge has a doubler and one glue lam.
9.    Michael has the ability to do this work, rather than contract it out.  We had an extensive discussion on options for repairing or replacing the deck.  The current recommendation is that we keep the existing decking and joists and replace Gluelams and cap with ice and water shield. We need to check the facia along end of deck for replacement also.  Michael is working on a estimate of the cost.  At this time an early guestimate is $50,000.  In discussing a time-line, we believe that we should work towards beginning this repair in August of 2018.

The Council of the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks has authorized Highlands to refinance our mortgage and add up to an additional $300,000.  These funds will be used to: 
•    Pay off the remaining balance of the Line of Credit
•    Repair the decks and bridges on the Retreat Center
•    Replace the Water Treatment Plant sand filter
•    Painting of the exterior of the Retreat Center
•    Replace worn carpeting in the Retreat Center.

Looking to the Future . . . 

To date we have over $48,000 in  pledges of new giving to help support a Director of Operations to be added to our staff in April of 2018.  For many years, the Highlands Committee has discussed bringing on a full-time Director of Operations.  It has been a part of our strategic plan and long-term goals.  This year we reached the decision that it is time to act.  In order to meet many of the goals in our strategic plan, including growing our program and eliminating our debt by 2021, we need to move to a new staff design.  The Director of Operations will oversee day-to-day operations of Highlands, allowing Maria more time to focus on program development and funds development.  In the long-term, these two things will lead to increased revenue.  We hope to begin a nationwide search for a Director of Operations in the fall.  We anticipate having this person begin work in April 2018.  

Long Term Initiative Report

Click here for pdf version of LTI report.

New Worshipping Communities
•    Fountain of Light bilingual fellowship has begun meeting in Lakewood.
•    The Myanmar and Vietnamese congregations are working on next-round grant proposals for 1001 grant funding.
•    The Vietnamese congregation is discussing sharing space with Bethel Presbyterian Church.

New Beginnings
A 2018 cohort of congregations will be formed. Please notify Chris Wineman if your congregation would like to receive more information.

Sabbatical Grants
2018 Sabbatical requests are currently being reviewed. Please forward funding requests to Chris Wineman no later than November 1.

Strategic Investment Outline
LTI is outlining a process for allocating proceeds from the sale of the Presbytery Center; recommendations will be made to Council in future months.

Presbytery Assembly Report October 16, 2017

Lease Negotiations
The landlord for our new site at Happy Canyon Road has provided an amended lease document based on the Presbytery’s feedback. Currently, the financial terms are well within the limits established by the Presbytery.

The timetable for moving remains very fluid, but at this point, looks like this:   

  • Mid-Nov.:    sign our new lease, which is currently under negotiation 
  • Mid-Feb.:    possible moving date for the Vietnamese congregation that uses the sanctuary, depending on the amount of renovation needed at their new location
  • Mid-June:    possible moving date for the Presbytery offices; allows 1 month for design and 6 months for construction

Council Report

Click here for pdf version of Council Report.

Click here for Personnel Report
Click here for 2018 Proposed Budget
Click here for Leadership Event Flyer
Click here for Ecumenical Ministries Policy (1st read)

Treasurer's Report

Click here for pdf version only.

Committee on Ministry 

Click here for pdf of Lemuel Velasco Statement of Faith

Click here for pdf of Minimum Salary Compensation

Click here for pdf of Sexual Misconduct Policy (2nd reading and vote)