In Celebration and Hope

Tom Sheffield, Presbytery Pastor

There are many things to celebrate!

Nearly 50 people of all ages will be attending “Staycation” at Highlands. Tim Mooney will be leading very special intergenerational events based on his book, Like a Child, and there will be camp activities for everyone.
Presbytery of Zimbabwe Minister, The Rev. Garikai Mufanebadza, and his wife, Gladys, arrive next week for the beginning of their Long Leave.   You can welcome them when they arrive on August 5 at DIA at 3:35 p.m.  
At the Presbytery Assembly we will examine two people for ordination to the office of teaching elder. Betsy Reif Soto and Greg Allen-Pickett.
In the same Assembly we will recognize Holly Inglis as a minister member of Denver Presbytery as she also prepares for a new ministry in Jacksonville, Florida.  
“Salsa for the Soul” is another outstanding opportunity to celebrate Latino Faith and Heritage.  Sponsored by the Presbytery’s Gala Task Force, the event will feature Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor at Iliff School of Theology, who will be speaking on his newly released book, The Politics of Jesus.  There also will be an opportunity to learn how to make salsa and taquitos from some of the best Salseros and Taco makers in our Presbytery!  It all happens on Saturday, September 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Church.  
Next week Encircling the World:  Prayers by Children of the Presbytery of Denver will be available to the Presbytery.  Written by children at the Denver Myanmar Christian Fellowship, the Vietnamese Presbyterian Fellowship, Korean Central and Peoples Churches, Iglesia Presbiteriana de Valverde and Iglesia Divino Salvador,  it was compiled by Amy Mendez and Young Adult Volunteer, Soohwi Jo.  
In the service of worship at the Presbytery Assembly we also will begin our celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of our partnership with the Presbytery of Zimbabwe.  In addition, on August 30 a picnic for “all who have  a heart for Zimbabwe” will be held at Shepherd of the Hills Church. Other events include a field trip to Chapungu Sculpture Park on September 19 and a book study on September 29 (get your copy now of Zenzele).   More events follow in October.  Watch for details and invitations to those events or visit here to learn more.   
WilderSoul Task Force is sponsoring its first event, “Untamed Mind of Christ” on August 14 -16 which is an introduction to nature-based wholeness for pastors and church leaders.  This intensive time is being held at Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge in Grand Lake.  
It is always good when we are together as ministers of the Presbytery. Our next Service of Communion for Ministers will be held on Wednesday, September 23 at 11:30 at First Avenue Church.  Actually, we will be gathering in the worship space of Community of One, our New Worshiping Community.  Call 303-777-2453 or email to reserve for this time and the lunch that follows in a nearby restaurant. What a great time of celebration it will be!
Four churches are part of the New Beginnings process.  Leaders from Arvada, Good Shepherd, Providence and St. Paul Churches will be part of a week-end training August 14 and 15.  
Two of our colleagues will mark ordination anniversaries this coming month.
Janet Schlenker    Ordained on August 3, 1975   Celebrating the Fortieth                                    Anniversary of her Ordination                                         
David Van Deren  Ordained on August 18, 1990    Celebrating the                                               Twenty-fifth Anniversary of his Ordination
                     We give thanks for them and for their ministries
                                   and celebrate all the good
                            that flows in and through our lives!

There are also many people and concerns for which to pray.

Violence erupts in Africa, across the Mid East and in our own country, too.  We pray for those devastated by losses in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Charleston, South Carolina and places and countries far from us.  We ask for God to heal our brokenness, comfort our grief, restore us to wholeness and give us peace.
The jury begins to deliberate in the case of James Holmes, convicted of the Aurora Theater shootings.  We pray for the jury as it meets to decide his sentence.
In the last message to you I referred to a prayer request from Neil Berry. I was not clear as I shared his message.  Specifically, Neil requested “joyful prayers and praise for the Supreme Court and its decision regarding the Affordable Health Care Act, the Housing Act, and same-gender marriage.”                 
There are churches which are in transition of many kinds.  May God hold them tenderly and graciously.
Ministers, colleagues, friends and companions in Christ are struggling with illness in themselves and in their loved ones.  Others may be struggling in their ministries, wondering how and where they should serve.  Still others are feeling overwhelmed by the burdens they must carry in their work.  There are others who live with personal turmoil that does not find rest.  And there are all of us who need strength for the journey of living, loving, serving and ministering.  May God hold each, bring healing, offer grace, and give hope.  
There are hidden worries, unspoken pain and silent agony that have found no words, no voice, no hearing.  We lift prayers for all who cry out to God this day and always.