Artists Among Us

Tom Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor

There was a leak coming from the second floor of my daughter’s home into her kitchen. The plumber came and fixed the leak.  But the ceiling was left marred, stained and damaged.  The next day the plasterer arrived.  I thought it would be an ordinary job.  But as I watched him, as he quietly, effortlessly and gracefully moved up and down the ladder, as he replaced the piece of ceiling with enviable ease and then with elegant swirls as he restored its appearance, I realized I was not simply watching a plasterer.  I was watching an artist. 
We often keep the name “artist” for only certain people.  Painters, musicians, writers, sculptors, composers, poets, they are the artists.  But here is what the plasterer let me see:  art resides in all of life.  It is not something only certain people do.  It is something any do who embrace the joy of their work, the elegance of movement of their days and the beauty, grace and privilege of life.

There are so many demands that you each are trying to meet.  There are so many expectations that you are asked, even required, to fulfill.  CEO. Friend to all.  Prophetic Visionary.  Efficient Administrator.  Spiritual Companion.  Entrepreneur.  Skilled Counselor. Dynamic Leader. Community Organizer.  Successful Fundraiser.  Entertainer.  Teacher. Scholar.  On and on, it all goes.  But today I ask you to see something else.  Something else that goes beyond any of those expectations and demands.  I ask you to see you are an artist.    

At the heart of what each of you is and does is art.  In ordinary meetings and classes, you weave lives together to create community and not infrequently your art allows a symphony of unified sound and beauty to surface.  Over and over, you offer prayers that sing the songs of lament and grace.  Sermons more often than you may see or admit become poetry whose words, carefully crafted or serendipitously discovered, reveal the deepest truths, realities and hopes in existence.   In conversations in homes and hospitals, in offices and restaurants, in hallways and parking lots, your presence can reveal a different kind of light that creates new possibilities, new visions, new “pictures” for life. You are an artist.  You may not know that.  Like my watching the plasterer, you, too, may not recognize what you do.  But you are an artist. You are an artist in a world hungry for beauty and grace.  You are an artist with people desperate for connection.  You are an artist that touches the heart.  And like the plasterer, through your unique art that dares to reach out to the eternal, the damaged can find their lives restored.  

Ordination Anniversaries

During the month of June we mark the following friends and colleagues who celebrate “significant” anniversaries of their ordinations.  
Joel Adams   Ordained on June 1, 2005     Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of his Ordination
Gary Gallegos   Ordained on June 4, 1995    Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of his Ordination
Gretchen Wilson  Ordained on June 9, 1990  Celebrating the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of her Ordination
Pat Shaffer    Ordained on June 10, 1990   Celebrating the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of her Ordination
Rich Stewart   Ordained on June 30, 1965    Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of his Ordination
     For the gifts of their ministries, the depth of their commitment, and love for Christ and Christ’s church, we give thanks now and always.

Milestones for Ministry

Several of our colleagues have attained important milestones in and for their ministries.  We celebrate their accomplishments and join them in rejoicing in these moments of recognition.
      Carrie Doehring has been named Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling by the Board of Trustees of the Iliff School of Theology.
       Bob Flory, Director of Spiritual Care at Children’s Hospital, recently was presented with the Ann Miller Award for Excellence and Innovation in Pediatric Chaplaincy.  This national award was given by the Pediatric Chaplains Network.  The award honors pediatric chaplains whose dedication, hard work and wisdom go above and beyond in serving their communities and bettering the lives of those in need.
      Amy Mendez recently was awarded a degree from Regis University in applied psychology.  It was awarded “magna cum laude.”  

Prayers are requested 

for those suffering under the scourge of ISIS.  Especially, remember Christian communities, their leaders and the children, women and men who have been victims of unspeakable and cruel violence.  Pray also for two Presbyterian South Sudanese pastors who are on trial for their lives in Khartoum.  

Spring and Summer Invitations and Opportunities

“The Power of Storytelling”    You are invited by the Mission and Ministry Work Group to attend a special program  for mission leaders on Saturday, June 20, 2015, from 9 am to noon, at the Denver Presbytery Center. The next in our Nuts & Bolts series, this program will help you excite your congregation about mission. Learn tips for creating a punchy Minute for Mission that rallies the congregation, and get practical advice on your video content so you can win the Presbytery's competition. We are called to share the wonderful news of God's mission in the world. Professional storytellers will walk us through the process of powerful writing, imagery, and speaking. 
The Presbytery Assembly in August (August 7-8) will begin with a “Staycation” at Highlands. Join women, men and children for a special time that will include Friday afternoon events of canoeing, zip line, hiking and archery, an intergenerational program led by Tim Mooney, author of Like a Child, and an evening campfire for all.  Saturday, August 8, will include the stated meeting of the Presbytery as well as continued activities for children and family members.  Don’t miss this time together with the whole “presbytery family!”  Register today at by July 24.  
The Untamed Mind of Christ is an experiential wilderness immersion designed to help Christian leaders encounter, explore and embody the four facets of our innate human wholeness, the image of God, the Christ nature, in our journey to becoming fully human.  The event, sponsored by the Presbytery’s WilderForce Task Force, will take place August 14 – 16 at Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge in Grand Lake.  The cost is $520.  You can register at  For more information you can contact Matt Syrdal at Grace Church (