At the heart, we are a social justice church.
Our mission is to Build a World that is Open, Inclusive, Just and Compassionate.
WAYS TO BE IN MINISTRY
Things are different for the moment, but these are ways we have been in ministry and anticipate again the future. Many of these are Denver specific, but we encourage you to find groups and causes like these in your home communities too.
We marched together in two Women's Marches, the March for Our Lives (after Parkland) and the march after Charlottesville. We march every year in the LGBTQ Pride Parade and the MLK Marade. And join in protests at the State Capitol, such as about gun violence (we belong to Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence). When our collective presence is needed, we show up.
Women's Homelessness Initiative
Pre-pandemic we provided safe shelter to 20 women on 26 Tuesday nights of the year. Nearly 100 volunteers per year help to set up, offer hospitality, a meal, or serve as an overnight angel. Currently we are providing supplies to former participants through non-profit agencies like Saint Francis Center and The Gathering Place. We do not know what this program will look like in the future, but we remain committed to women without a permanent home.
In addition to our Women's Homelessness Initiative (WHI), we serve meals for low-income senior citizens at the Senior Support Center on the 3rd Thursday of the month. We collect backpacks and school supplies at the beginning of the school year and Christmas presents - all for the Denver Inner City Parish. And socks at Christmas for the Senior Support Center and WHI.
We have taken 10 week-long service/learning trips to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The next will be in 2022.
We offer support for our Mission Partners, like advocacy groups such as Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and service groups like El Centro Humanitario. See more here
Fair Trade Gift Market
Our annual holiday gift market benefits 20 non-profit groups. Each year we offer handmade and others goods which are local and international/indigenous. We had a record year of sales in 2019 - $21,500. In 2020, the market was virtual only. We'll be back in November 2021!
Through our Building
We provide a free home for Knitting4Peace. Many other groups, such as Black Lives Matter, meet here for free. Any group whose mission is racial justice can meet in our building free. In addition, other groups use our space for community oriented meetings. The building is currently not open for such gatherings.
Yes, by knitting or crocheting you can join an interfaith community of people delivering peace and compassion in local and global communities. Our Peace Pod meets twice a month. Learn more at knitting4peace.org.
Walk MS is a personal passion for Music Director Billie Busby. She has a family member with that condition, and there are a number of church members who also have loved ones with MS. Together, they have been involved for a number of years in rallying support for the Denver Walk MS event.
Our congregation has long been involved in issues of racial justice. It's in our organizational DNA, starting 50 years ago when the Park Hill neighborhood first began to integrate. Today we are proud to host meetings for Black Lives Matter. And any group whose mission is racial justice can meet here for free. We have a Racial Justice Ministry that has sponsored numerous gatherings and opportunities to learn and take action. In 2019 we hosted a group of young Nicaraguan asylum seekers.
We have helped to resettle three families - most recently this family from Nepal. We help with appointments, furnishings, weekly visits. Our Nepal family wanted a garden to grow fresh vegetables and so we pitched in.
As an overnight shelter site in the Women's Homelessness Initiative (WHI), we provide a meal and safe shelter for 20 women 26 nights per year, Tuesday overnight to Wednesday morning. It is a big undertaking with nearly 100 volunteers led by 3 coordinators at our site. (We are part of a network of 1,000 volunteers!) There are 40 "jobs" every month, but it is one of the most meaningful things our members do with their faith lives. (Click here to sign up—Dormant link during COVID shutdown.)
We also serve a monthly meal to homeless and low income senior citizens and receive offerings for organizations working with families in need.
Since 2009, our Park Hill UCC tribal outreach ministry of adults and youth group have raised travel and supply funding to visit the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation in South Dakota. It is a materially destitute community which seeks to maintain its culture and spirit in the face of less than adequate housing, water, medical, food, and education resources. Summer mission trips rebuild damaged houses and trailers and weatherproof those and other structures.
One day we arrived to church and discovered we were being picketed because we had stated that we would be willing to read from the Quran during worship.
We have also collaborated with local Muslim leaders for dialogue sermons.
We hosted Temple Micah - a Reform Jewish synagogue - for 37 years and shared in joint services, studies, and outreach projects - particularly an annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) service and Mitzvah Day.
An interfaith knitting group meets twice monthly and we provide offices for Knitting 4 Peace.
We have been Open and Affirming since 1991 and were one of the first churches to march and/or have a booth at the Pride Festival. Our pastor in the early 2000s was the organizer of Clergy for Marriage Equality. Today we have LGBTQ members, staff and even our pastor.
In addition, we advocate gun violence prevention, immigration justice, criminal justice reform, green initiatives, and more - especially through our Mission Partner program.