Evangelism is an interesting part of the Denver landscape. I have been on prayer walks, coffee house tours, medical and homeless expeditions in the Denver area with my feet on the ground and my eyes wide open. Like most large cities Denver has some major needs. Sure there are window dressings and we are gift wrapped with beautiful wall paper on the Front Range, but when you check closer, life in Denver can be tough to handle. Ancient Paths Network of House churches and Mission Coffee Roasters are two organizations that are serious about reaching people along the Front Range.
Starting next Wednesday (October 5, 2011) the second season of Friendship Fellowship will begin at Washington Park Chapel (1001 East Tennessee at Pearl). Pastor Bruce Duell and Education Director Carrie Schnur are hopeful that the second year of this church plant will be vibrant, inviting and fun. “This is a great time to start as Fall has begun and people are looking for indoor activities. Washington Park Chapel has invited so many agencies to take part in this congregation made up of adults from 21-65 who are learning about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, in a fun way.”
Only one agency in Denver took Duell and team up on the invitation but it seems to be enough. “We have two vans pull up and this congregation is part of a bigger congregation in our house churches in City Park, Park Hill and other homes in the Denver Metro area. Roundup Fellowship is the agency that has a daily program to get people with intellectual disabilities out in the community. They travel the city and visit museums, parks, and even lectures at area colleges! Pete of Roundup Fellowship says “Everyone wants to go to Friendship Fellowship on Wednesdays. We have to make sure the people going and the staff that participates works well together. It is like going to a church with the message being simplified and concrete, but not watered down!”
Friendship Fellowship Springs
In the coming months missionaries from Mountain Springs and Ancient Paths are looking to expand the mission to special needs congregations in January 2012. Along with an international coffee business Pastor Rich and Brett Bixler are hoping to found Mission Fields, a ministry and Missionary Incubator in the Northgate area. Bixler is a succesful Coffee Roaster who works with farmers all over the world to provide Fair Trade Coffee. “We moved our operations and family to Colorado Springs because we felt God calling to us to help other missionaries and ministries grow in study, relationships and outreach.” Pastor Rich adds, “In June of 2010 we had the opportunity to partner with Ancient Paths in Denver to begin Friendship Fellowship at Washington Park Chapel. Now we feel that along with Bruce and Carrie and with Mountain Springs Church in Colorado Springs, that God is allowing us to partner with ministries, churches and businesses to reach out to a population that makes up a lot of the Front Range. They are often forgotten and spiritually malnourished and my job is to pastor this flock, bring up mentors and caregivers that they may live a full life in the context of home, work and community.”
The partnership with Friendship Fellowship among others is two ways. We supply coffee to raise funds for the missionaries and their projects, and people find out what we are doing around the world. It is where business meets ministry and not so much forms industry. There is a relational pull here and we are pursuing it with God intentions.
For more information on the Denver or Colorado Springs Friendship Fellowship churches call 1-800-724-1839.