Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book Recommendation - A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith

Recommended by Rev. Lee Anderson-Harris

Brian McLaren has written books, delivered presentations and led discussions that have helped form the faith of Christians around the world. He wrote the book that began my journey to understanding Jesus in a whole new way, thus reviving my faith. I was privileged to hear him speak at an Annual Conference — yes, our own Rocky Mountain Annual Conference held each June. And in this book, he has once again breathed new life into a faith that is so dear to many, but so often misunderstood.

Don’t let the title mislead you: McLaren is not creating a new kind of Christianity, but I would say he is going back to the roots of it to help modern Christians understand it in a way that is new to us, perhaps the way it was originally intended to be understood all along. He unpacks the long-held (but not necessarily original) and commonly understood meaning of the overarching message of the Christian Bible, showing readers where this may be in error and the consequences of that misunderstanding. He presents another interpretation, one that I believe is life-giving. It is a thorough book, exploring questions such as “Is God violent?” “Who is Jesus and why is he important?” “Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it?” and more. As a faith leader who loves the Bible and seeks to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ, I appreciate McLaren’s knowledge, pastoral guidance and support, and experience shared in this book.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AMANDA WILLIAMS AWARDED BARNES SCHOLARSHIP

By Julia Williams


Amanda Williams was awarded the 2017 James E. and Mary H. Barnes Scholarship of $5,000 given annually to a deserving high school student who is a member of Trinity. Amanda is a 2017 graduate of Golden High School in Golden and has been selected as a full-time student at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, where she plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering. With Amanda’s permission I quote her: “I have chosen civil engineering because of my experiences with a Trinity Youth Mission Trip to Guatemala. It created a passion and a vision within me to serve others with love and understanding. I might not have come to that conclusion about service if it were not for the time I spent in Guatemala.” While attending university she desires to participate in “Engineers Without Borders,” which sends engineering students to developing countries to build water filtration systems and other necessities like bridges. After university she would like to serve with the Peace Corps to continue to help others around the world.

During her high school years she participated in various projects, clubs and organizations which included “Senior Seminar,” a program for seniors to visit different religious institutions to interact with those in attendance; “Link Leader,” a program at her high school which challenged juniors and seniors to mentor freshmen; the “Rotary Youth Leadership Awards,” a full-scholarship camp which taught high school students team building, leadership and confidence skills; and the “Mentor Program,” which enabled her to mentor a blind student who taught her how to read braille. Her time with him made her realize she should never determine her opinion of someone based on a disability.

The Barnes Scholarship was created in 2009 by the Pioneer Fund, a private foundation funded by the late Helen McLoraine, a former member of Trinity, a community philanthropist and a close friend of
Reverend and Mrs. Barnes. The scholarship was established to honor their lives and ministries at Trinity.

The application process for the annual scholarship recipient considers essay questions about the applicant’s chosen field of study, grade point average, test scores, recommendations, honors and awards in high school, church activities and how the scholarship will benefit the recipient.

Congratulations, Amanda, and God’s richest blessings from your Trinity family!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Welcome, Donna!

Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference announced last month the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Donna Dempewolf to serve as Executive Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church. Donna is a spiritual and executive leader who is passionate about following Jesus and building up the reign of God. She has experience in pastoral and organizational leadership, and has served both urban and suburban congregations. Most recently, she was the lead pastor for seven years at Living Spirit United Methodist Church, a multicultural, multiracial congregation in south Minneapolis that became younger and more diverse during her pastorate.

Before entering ministry, Donna worked at 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in Cergy, France. She has extensive experience in finance, business development, and strategic planning, including staff supervision. She has an MBA from the University of Minnesota, an M.Div. from Boston University, an M.A. in religion from United Theological Seminary in Ohio, and a D. Min. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She is an ordained elder in the Minnesota Conference where she has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and co-chaired the Commission on Religion and Race.

Donna writes: “I envision a church that shares the love of Jesus with all generations by being welcoming, inclusive and engaged in its local community; a church that dreams about its future, and then collaborates with the Spirit to put stepping stones in place to guide them there.”

“I enjoy working with all generations, and especially developing, equipping and mentoring staff and lay leaders for fruitful ministry. I value spirituality that touches the heart and engages the head, and organizational effectiveness and efficiency. I look forward to serving as Trinity’s new Executive Pastor, which blends organizational leadership and pastoral responsibilities. I am excited to join the Trinity team, and to partner with you to share the love of Jesus in downtown Denver.”

Donna will arrive in Denver in mid-June, in time to attend and be welcomed at the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference June 15–18. She will be in worship leadership on June 25. The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is planning an event to formally welcome Donna later in the summer.

Senior Pastor Mike Dent says, “We are pleased to welcome Donna to our congregation, staff and pastoral team. She brings significant secular and sacred work experience to our ministry team, and a track record of effective leadership. I look forward to you meeting and welcoming her to Trinity, Denver and Colorado.” She plans to live downtown. Watch for invitations to get acquainted with Donna. Thanks to the SPRC and Chair Susan Turman for their vision, support and engagement to restore this vital position to our staff.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The King Cake

From Brian Lee, Trinity Lay Leader

This year, February 26th was the last Sunday before the start of Lent. At Trinity, we marked this last Sunday before Lent with a “Dimanche Gras” party. In other parts of the US (particularly New Orleans) and the world, there are large celebrations before the start of Lent, most notably Mardi Gras. This year, we were blessed to have homemade King Cake as part of the celebration.

The tradition of King Cake in New Orleans is believed to have started in the 1870s. There is a lot of symbolism with King Cake. Its oval shape symbolizes the unity faiths. Each King Cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors - purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. Usually, a small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is hidden inside the King Cake. At Trinity, dark jelly beans were placed inside after the King Cake was baked.

In New Orleans, King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season. In offices, classrooms, and homes throughout the city, King Cakes are sliced and enjoyed by all. Like the Biblical story, the "search for the baby" adds excitement, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who "finds" the baby will be rewarded with good luck, that person is also traditionally responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

For those who found the jelly bean “babies", here’s the recipe that Myrt Dorroh used for her King Cake! Myrt recommends planning ahead as this recipe takes a fair amount of time.

KING CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE AND FRUIT FILLING RECIPE

DOUGH
·         1 envelope of dry yeast
·         1/4 c. warm water (not hot)
·         1/2 c. milk
·         1 c. (2 sticks) butter
·         1/2 c. sugar
·         2 egg yolks
·         2 whole eggs
·         4 c. (approximately), unbleached flour

Mix the yeast with the warm water. Stir 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the flour into the yeast and set aside. By the time you have measured the other ingredients, the yeast should be beginning to bubble and show signs of life.

Bring the milk to a boil and stir in the butter and the sugar. Pour into a large bowl; the mixture should be lukewarm. Beat in the egg yolks, whole eggs and the yeast.

Beat in approximately 2 cups of flour, until the dough is fairly smooth, then gradually add enough additional flour to make a soft dough that you can form into a ball. Kneed it, by hand or machine, until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl, turn the dough once or twice in it to grease it lightly all over, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Pat the dough down and cover the bowl with a damp towel, plastic film over that and refrigerate until the next day. This recipe makes enough dough for two king cakes. Extra dough may be frozen, or make two king cakes and freeze one. (If you are going to add a filling the recipe is below.) Thaw frozen cake and reheat 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

FILLING
·         1/2 recipe king cake (above)
·         1 (16 oz.) can cherry, apple or apricot pie filling
·         8 ounces cream cheese
·         1/4 c. sugar
·         2 T. flour
·         2 egg yolks
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         1 plastic baby Jesus (or a dark colored jelly bean)

Colored sugars (purple, yellow and green); or these same colors of food coloring if you want to just make colored icing.

Remove dough from refrigerator and with well-floured hands, while it's firm and cold, shape it into a long sausage shape. Using a floured roller on a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 30-by-9-inch rectangle as thin as pie crust. Let dough rest.

If necessary, drain extra juice from pie filling. Mix the cream cheese with the sugar, flour, egg yolks and vanilla. Spoon an inch-wide strip of the fruit filling the length of the dough, about 3 inches from one edge. Spoon the cream cheese mixture alongside the fruit, about 3 inches from the other edge. Brush both sides of dough with egg wash.

Fold on edge of dough over the cream cheese and fruit, then fold the other edge over. Gently place on end of the filled roll onto a greased pizza pan or large cookie sheet. Ease the rest of the roll onto the pan, joining the ends to form a circle or oval. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Brush again with egg wash and cut deep vents into the cake. Sprinkle with colored sugar at this time if you are only using colored sugar. If you want to brush a light icing of mixed powdered sugar, water & a little vanilla after baked and cooled, then wait and sprinkle colored sugar last.

Bake 40-45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cake is well risen and golden. Time depends on how thick of a cake you have created. The thinner you roll out the dough, the less time it takes to bake. Watch it and take note of the smell. It smells wonderful when is done, also when it is golden brown it is done.

If you are icing it, cool before icing. Mix confectioner's sugar with enough water to make a spreadable paste and a little vanilla for flavor. You can make 3 small bowls of the icing and color one purple, one green and one yellow; or if using just white icing, brush over the cake and sprinkle the three colors of sugar over top. Slice the cake into serving sizes and insert the dark jelly bean or plastic baby Jesus. You can either insert it from the bottom of the cake or into one of the slices of the cake. Be sure to put the slices back close together so it is not evident where you have hidden it.