In the midst of....

Sadness and grief are present realities this week in San Bernardino, California.  We join together in prayer for the victims of the shootings there, their families and loved ones, the responders to the tragedy and the entire community.   Last week our prayers united for those killed and directly affected by the killings in Colorado Springs.  We pray for continued healing and a presence of hope.  Across the earth our prayers join with all those who long for life that is not ruled by violence.  Within our own hearts let us recommit ourselves to knowing the things that make for peace.  Within our churches let us work to create communities “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”   Within our neighborhoods and communities, may we become people who live by the Spirit which offers “love, joy, peace….”  Within our world may we choose ways that lead to peace, dare to become peacemakers and wait hopefully and patiently for that day when we can say about the whole earth, “the land was very broad, quiet and peaceful.”  

In the month of December we celebrate the Twenty-fifth Ordination Anniversary of Neil Berry.  Neil was ordained on December 16, 1990.  We give thanks for his ministry and ask that we pray together … “now may the spirit which was in Jesus Christ be in us, enabling us to know God’s will and empowering us to do God’s will.  Amen.”  (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants)

All ministers, commissioned ruling elders, pastoral leaders, certified Christian educators, candidates and inquirers are invited to An Epiphany Luncheon on January 6, 2016. It will be held at the Holiday Inn Select. The cost is $25 per person. Send your RSVP with the check (made out to the Presbytery of Denver) by December 31, 2015.  Invitations were sent earlier in November and will be sent again with more details about the event.  You will not want to miss this great time of celebration together!

 "La Posada,” the final event in the year-long celebration of Hispanic/Latino heritage and gifts to our common life, will be held on December 12, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at First Aurora Church.  La Posada is a traditional, interactive search for lodging, that Jesus may be born. The event, which is free, will be followed by a fiesta of hot chocolate, colorful piñatas and food!  For more information and to RSVP for the event, please click here.

A new Memorandum of Understanding between the Presbytery of Zimbabwe and the Presbytery of Denver now has been approved by both presbyteries. The final time of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of our partnership has culminated in a re-commitment to this transformative relationship.  The new Memorandum builds on the objectives of the earlier document but also seeks to move in new directions and even deeper relationships of understanding and common ministry. You will be receiving more about the new Memorandum this month and in January. I hope you will make this information available to your congregations and continue to explore ways that you and your congregation can share directly in the partnership. For example, you can still plan to go on a Short-term Service opportunity, working for a month with a minister in Zimbabwe Presbytery in 2016. Contact Stan Jewell for more details about this program for all ministers. Click here to read the Memorandum of Understanding.  

Our next Presbytery Assembly will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at Habitat for Humanity in Denver.  We will be hosted by the members of the Carpenter’s Helpers Mission Partnership.  The meeting will include the installation of our new moderator, the Rev. Dr. Stan Jewell, and the vice-moderator, Ruling Elder Dr. Jean Demmler.  

“Courage:  Acting Fearlessly in Fearful Times” is the powerful event, designed for all congregational leaders in the presbytery by the Leadership Work Group.  It will be held on February 20, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the New Hope Church in Castle Rock.  The event will feature inspiring worship and an abundance of suggestions and small but significant steps to become the courageous church we are called to be.  Registration (including payment for a light breakfast) through the Presbytery website will be available by January 4, 2016.  As we begin a new year of service, we encourage you to invite your leaders to attend.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope, the Presbyterian Church’s premier event for stewardship education, will be held February 29 - March 2, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  It offers outstanding plenary speakers and worship.  This year the worship leader will be the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Campbell, pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. and former President of McCormick Theological Seminary.  It also includes over 35 workshops covering topics such as annual stewardship, planned giving, current trends in stewardship and capital campaigns.  For more information on how to register, click here.

Our March Presbytery Assembly will be held one week later than our usual fourth Tuesday schedule. Since the fourth Tuesday falls within Holy Week, we will convene on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at Columbine United Church.