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


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.