Cross of Glory has many outreach opportunities for you to participate in with us. Our goal is to support initiatives that are meaningful to our community and congregation.

OUTREACH FOR SEPTEMBER

CROSS OF GLORY’S HELPING HANDS PROGRAM

Helping Hands is our special congregational program to support people in our midst who quietly struggle day-to-day but don’t qualify for assistance through established organizations.  Since 2011, we have helped many who have a real need for just a little extra help.  There are no administrative costs and every dollar you designate to the Helping Hands program goes directly to those who need assistance.  In the past, we have helped with the purchase of school supplies, baby diapers, groceries or RTD bus passes.  Financial assistance has also been given to pay for medical expenses, utility bills, or car repairs.

Please consider supporting Helping Hands with a designated gift.  You can also notify Pastor Mike if you are able to offer your time or personal services to help others.  If you or someone you know needs assistance from Helping Hands, confidential requests should be directed to Pastor Mike.  Thank you to all who have blessed others with your generous support.

METRO CARING ITEM OF THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER; OLIVE OR CANOLA OIL    

Our food focus item for September is olive or canola oil.  All of our food donations are delivered to Metro Caring, Denver’s food bank located in the Capitol Hill area.  You can bring your food donations to our Rally Day Outdoor Worship Service on September 13 or you can feed “BOB”, our big orange box, any time day or night.  ANY food donation is most welcome to help those who struggle financially.  The need for food donations is especially great at this time. Thank you for caring and sharing!

Julie Prange, Outreach and Evangelism Chairperson

FROM YOUR PRESIDENT…

For everything there is a season,
A time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Soon we will be drifting into autumn. A season of transition and preparation for the winter season. Daylight is shortening and the weather is cooling, plants and trees stop producing and animals prepare for winter.

But now it is summer, and it is hot!  The world seems to be on fire with the pandemic, elections, struggles for freedom, many are living under oppression, cruelty, and starvation. Colorado, California, and other locations are actually on fire with only a small percentage of the fires contained. Another battle to be fought, more soldiers needed to fight; more to die. In what season are we now living?  Where and when is the time to laugh and dance?

Just three scriptures of many to remember:

Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.  (Psalm 94:19)       For the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Our time of dancing and rejoicing is in the promise of everlasting life and is always with us through all the seasons.

John Test, President

                                                                                    

FROM YOUR PRESIDENT…

We are Still Here!
Five months ago, Pastor Mike and the Church Council, with the recommendation of Bishop Jim Gonia, made the decision to temporarily close our Church.  A difficult decision to be sure.  But it was a time of global concern, uncertainty and even shock that required immediate and drastic changes to our lives.  Cross of Glory quickly transitioned to our new circumstances of self-quarantine which later became a mandatory shut down of non-essential businesses, all churches, sporting events and restaurants.  Eventually, masks were required both inside and outside any public establishment.  Steve Reid and Pastor Mike immediately began working on bringing Sunday Worship Services to our members by ZOOM… and not a Sunday of worship was missed.

Our church was moving on and continuing to be a family.  Pastor Mike, as always, and other members were checking in on fellow members to make sure they were doing okay and if they needed assistance of any type.  Contributions and support continued as people were able… and some more fortunate… during the crisis to even increase their assistance.  Tuesday Bible Studies and council meetings were offered on ZOOM.  Steve Reid offered help to those that needed a bit more assistance in setting up ZOOM so they could participate in worship.  He even went directly into some homes to assist.

Mary Lemke continued sending out our newsletter and started emailing reminders for Sunday worship along with the selected Scriptures and hymns.  Pastor Mike kept us informed and updated with information concerning our members and the church and when the next services/studies would be held.  He is constant in his visits to shut-ins and others.  Julie Prange continued managing our Outreach projects and donations.  Bills and expenses were kept up to date by Vada Danforth.  Shelly Blakely and those helping her are diligently working to continue fundraisers (shredding day, lawn sale) given current restrictions.  Council meetings are being held.  Cross of Glory is clicking right along!

Even so, it is becoming difficult for us to not be able to be around people, give them a hug or send them some fresh baked cookies.  We miss our sanctuary, the gift of communion, “sharing the peace” and singing together with the assistance of Karen’s organ accompaniment.  This shutdown is lasting longer than any of us anticipated and it appears we are not close to the end.  Virus cases are resurging after the probably too early reopening, some states are rolling back to previous restrictions and a vaccine doesn’t seem to be around the corner as promised.  Understandably, many people are hesitant to be the first ones to be vaccinated.  Bishop Gonia is now thinking it may be the first of the year before ELCA churches reopen.

CEO’s of large companies are now admitting that “working from home” is not what they had hoped.  Work and orders are taking longer. Problems that used to take an hour to correct are now taking a day.  Employees often seem bored and miss the comradery and collaboration of fellow workers.  The CEO’s even suggest that young professionals are not coming along as quickly as they used to when being able to be around other longer-employed workers, soaking up some of their knowledge and experience.

So obviously, our current circumstances are not without losses and sacrifices.  And COG is not immune from these losses.  But with God’s help, we are all still here!  We are still taking care of each other!  COG is a functioning church, a solid unit, and, we are still a family… a family praying for the health and safety of others and a resolution to this terrible virus!

John Test, President

AUGUST OUTREACH FOCUS

We are supporting our two Colorado Lutheran camps – Sky Ranch and Rainbow Trail – as our August Outreach focus.  Sky Ranch is located 55 miles west of Fort Collins.  Rainbow Trail is southwest of Canon City.  Due to COVID-19, both Rocky Mountain camps have experienced significant challenges this year, resulting in difficult program decisions.  Sky Ranch has suspended all planned summer programs until at least August 7, and possibly longer.  In the meantime, it has developed on-line resources to support and strength faith formation.  Rainbow Trail has also chosen to provide summer ministry with on-line day camps.  Rainbow Trail has pledged to pay their summer staff this year even if they do not hold any summer youth camps – a $174,000 financial commitment.  You can obtain more information about these Lutheran camps on their websites – www.skyranchcolorado.org and www.rainbowtrail.org.

In addition to youth ministry, Rainbow Trail and Sky Ranch have historically sponsored special programs for confirmation groups, men’s and women’s retreats and family advent events.  Both camps have actively worked to improve their facilities in recent years.  Sky Ranch completed a new retreat center last fall and Rainbow Trail is continuing their land exchange program with the National Forest Service to own land previously leased at their camp site.

If you care to support these outdoor ministry programs, please consider making a designated offering to Cross of Glory.  Simply mark “Summer Camps” in the memo line of your check, or you can designate either “Rainbow Trail” or “Sky Ranch” if you prefer to direct your financial support to a particular camp.  Any gift will be appreciated as we help these special ministries during this difficult year.

METRO CARING ITEM OF THE MONTH OF AUGUST: PEANUT BUTTER

In August, we are asking for peanut butter donations which will be delivered to Metro Caring.  Metro Caring operates one of the largest hunger relief programs in Denver.  If you plan to attend our August 9 Outdoor Worship Service, please help others by bringing your food donations to church that day.  Remember too that you can drop off canned food donations any time, day, or night, in “BOB”, our big orange box located outside the building.  ANY food donation will make a difference in someone’s life as the need continues to be especially great during the pandemic.  Thank you for caring and sharing with others in need.

Julie Prange, Outreach and Evangelism Chairperson

FROM YOUR PRESIDENT…HEROS

The Fourth of July is fast approaching and is always a time of celebration and honoring our heroes.  In our comparatively short history as a country (241 years), we began with heroism, a commitment to create a free country uniting 13 colonies and with independence from England. We celebrate the well-known brave leaders and founding fathers who had the vision and dedication to begin our country. We also remember those nameless heroes who fought and risked their lives in the Revolutionary War to ensure our future. The cost was 25,000 lives lost (17,000 due to illnesses and diseases caused by unsanitary and dangerous conditions).  Another 25,000 wounded.

Throughout our history since 1776, we have continued to fight both on the battlefield and off for the rights and freedoms for our citizens and others.

This year is a very different time and sometimes we forget that true heroes are walking among us. They may not wear capes or shoot webs from their wrists, but their feats are far more impressive. The danger they experience is genuine, the stakes just as high. They go beyond the call of duty, often risking their own lives to help others. How about High School football coach Keanon Lowe who took away a loaded shotgun from a 19-year-old high school shooter and then hugged him because no one else did?

Then there was Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old student who was determined to be an engineer. Just days away from his high school graduation at STEM School Highlands Ranch, Castillo died trying to stop one of the armed suspects from firing, allowing his classmates to escape. Just a few examples of countless acts of heroism.  

We can’t forget Dr. Fauci for his guidance in preventing less Covid-19 cases, how many people has he saved?  We must add thousands of front-line workers and others helping and contributing to the well being of their neighbors and communities during this corona virus pandemic.  Many of them fellow Cross of Glory members.  All heroes!  And most are unknown and faceless and go without thanks.

Yes, this Fourth of July is a very different Fourth.
John Test, President

METRO CARING FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED

“BOB”, our Big Orange Box, is ready and waiting for non-perishable donations for Metro Caring’s food bank.  There is a great need these days for any nutritious foods, but especially for canned meat or tuna, peanut butter, canola/vegetable oil, dry beans, brown rice and whole-grain cereal.  BOB is available 24/7, and all donations are promptly delivered to Metro Caring to help those who find themselves in need of a helping hand.  Thank you for sharing with those less fortunate.

THANK YOU FOR CARING AND SHARING! Julie Prange, Outreach and Evangelism Chairperson

JULY OUTREACH FOCUS PETS FOR VETS IS OUR JULY OUTREACH FOCUS ORGANIZATION

The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to supporting military veterans and providing a second chance to shelter pets.  Many brave military personnel return home with scars, both visible and unseen, that make it difficult to transition back to civilian life.  When a veteran is matched with the right pet, a special bond develops which changes the lives of both the veteran and the animal for the better.  The pet provides unconditional love and support to the veteran, easing stress, depression, loneliness and anxiety.  The veteran saves the animal by giving it a loving home.

Professional animal trainers rehabilitate shelter animals, training and pairing them with veterans who could benefit from a companion animal.  Training can include desensitization to wheelchairs or crutches, and learning to recognize panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.  Special attention is given to find the perfect match based on the personality, temperament, needs, wants and expectations of both the veteran and the animal.

This is a win-win situation – a second chance at life for shelter dogs and a second chance at health and happiness for veterans.  The Pets for Vets program doesn’t only place dogs.  They have also placed cats and even rabbits.  Any U.S. veteran who could benefit from a skilled companion animal is eligible to apply to the program.  There are currently 23 Pets for Vets chapters across the United States, including a Denver chapter.  If you wish to support this special organization, you can make a designated offering to Cross of Glory.  Simply indicate “Pets for Vets” on your check.

Thank you to all our military veterans for your dedication and sacrifice

 to our country.  We are better for what you have given of yourself.

OUR MAY OUTREACH FOCUS INNER CITY HEALTH CENTER

In recent times there has been news about people of color being more susceptible to the Coronavirus due to underlying medical concerns and compromised health care. Inner City Health Center has been a health service pioneer, offering medical and dental care to the underserved for decades. Since 1983, ICHC has rendered medical and dental services to the Denver community and surrounding metro area regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Inner City Health Center has two care clinics – one in north Denver and a satellite location in Wheat Ridge. A grant from The Colorado Health Foundation funded the construction of dental care suites in Wheat Ridge last year. Dental care, a critical component to good overall health, is now available at both clinic locations.

IHCH’s staff consists of skilled providers who offer comprehensive medical services, including prenatal, pediatric, adult and geriatric care. ICHC also offers dental care and behavioral health counseling. Services are provided on a sliding-scale basis, with all patients being treated equally with dignity. Approximately 60% of ICHC’s patients are uninsured; another 30% are on Medicaid. Hispanics account for more than half of the ICHC’s patients, and African-Americans account for another 12-15%. Over 22,000 patients will receive medical and dental services this year from ICHC.

Inner City Health Center’s mission statement: “Inner City Health Center is a Christ Centered healthcare home for underserved individuals where consistent, high quality treatment is provided in an atmosphere of genuine respect. We express our love for Jesus Christ and our compassion for those in need through deep concern for their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.”
We are grateful for the vision and commitment of Inner City Health Center. If you wish to personally support Inner City Health Center, you can make a designated offering to Cross of Glory, noting “Inner City Health Center” in the memo line of your check.

Metro Caring’s May Food Item of the Month ANY NON-PERISHABLE FOOD

Non-perishable food items are desperately needed at Metro Caring, Denver’s largest food bank. The need is even greater than usual at this time. In response to the pandemic, Metro Caring is currently providing emergency food boxes to people and delivering food to community members aged 60 years or older in addition to their usual services.

While Cross of Glory’s church building is currently closed, you can still help others by dropping off food donations at any time in “BOB”, our Big Orange Box by our front door. Please purchase a few extra food supplies when you are grocery shopping or check your food pantry for surplus items you can donate. Any non-perishable food donations will be greatly appreciated.
Metro Caring has other needs at this time as well. If you have sturdy unused or washed reusable grocery bags, they can be dropped off any time in “BOB”. Metro Caring is also in need of additional volunteer help. Please call Deena Duwaik at 303-860-7200 for more information.

Julie Prange,
Outreach and Evangelism Chairperson

SUPER SOUPS!

Super Bowl LIV is a thing of the past, but the soup donations brought on by the big game challenges are still with us.  The first challenge was to have 49 different kinds of soup brought in on the first Sunday of the challenge.  (Sorry, 49ers, for your loss.)  Another challenge was to accumulate 605 cans of soup in recognition of the distance from Denver to Kansas City.  (Congratulations, Chiefs!)  All challenges were met, and we have witnessed a soup blow-out!

The final count is yet to be completed but we know we have far surpassed all soup challenges.  We even had help from others in the community near and far, including a young friend of the congregation who has lived on the streets himself for years.  How amazing is that??  Thank you to all who so generously provided designated funds, soup donations, or gave of themselves to shop for the best soup bargains in town.  Your love and concern for others is truly inspiring and heartwarming.

Julie Prange, Outreach and Evangelism Chairperson

Metro Caring’s March Food Item of the Month TUNA OR CANNED MEAT

Metro Caring is the largest food pantry in Denver.  Our food donations are greatly appreciated and make a real difference in people’s lives.  In addition to food pantry services, Metro Caring takes a holistic approach to fighting hunger by offering cooking and nutrition classes, utility and tax assistance, and employment-readiness training.  This month, our food focus item is tuna or canned meat.  However, any food donation is welcome. Please place your donations in the specially marked boxes in the narthex.  Thank you for sharing with those less fortunate.

MARCH OUTREACH – HELPING HANDS PROGRAM

Cross of Glory has had a strong, steadfast outreach program for decades. However, in 2011 we realized that there were people right in our own community who had needs that we could additionally address. The Helping Hands Program was created to help those people and has been a true blessing to many people over the past nine years. The needs are varied and the help is appreciated. The greatest need in recent times has been financial help with health care expenses. Other needs have also been met, including the purchase of school supplies, groceries, RTD bus passes, eye exams, even diapers! There has been help with utility bills and car repairs.

You can support Helping Hands with a designated gift or by letting Pastor Mike know if you are able to offer your time or personal services to help others.  If you or someone you know needs assistance from our Helping Hands Program, confidential requests can be made to Pastor Mike either personally or via request cards in the narthex. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Metro Caring February Item of the Month SOUP! SOUP! SOUP!

With Super Bowl LIV in early February, it’s logical for us to stock Metro Caring’s shelves with cans of soup this month.  Our challenge is to have 49 different kinds of soup donated on Super Bowl Sunday, and to accumulate 605 cans of soup by the end of the February.  It’s a good thing 2020 is leap year – we have an extra day to meet this challenge!  Any kind of soup will bring good, warm nutrition to hungry individuals on a cold winter’s day.  Please place your soup donations, or any other food items you care to give, in the Metro Caring boxes in the narthex.  Thank you for giving generously!

Julie Prange, Outreach Chairperson

FEBRUARY OUTREACH – THE DELORES PROJECT

The Delores Project, our February outreach focus organization, works with individuals experiencing barriers to housing.  Each year, the organization serves approximately 450 individuals, providing 20,000 nights of shelter to unaccompanied women and transgender individuals aged 18 or older.  The Delores Project has several major programs, one of which is its Emergency Shelter.  This is not a domestic violence shelter.  Through a lottery system, dorm-style beds are available for homeless individuals for a one-week stay.  Guests must meet certain intake requirements, perform a daily chore and meet curfew hours.

Another program of The Delores Project is its Community Re-entry Program.  This serves homeless women and transgender individuals following release from the Department of Corrections.  An individual must be referred by a community re-entry specialist for a predetermined length of stay.  These individuals work with their re-entry specialists to find a more permanent stable housing solution while staying at The Delores Shelter.  They must also perform a daily chore and be in by curfew.

Steps to Stability is a program providing long-term nightly shelter and case management services.  This comprehensive program is geared towards women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness who do not have access to case management services elsewhere.  A transitional advocate works with guests to assess their strengths and needs.  An individualized plan is developed, the goal of which is to have guests develop an external network of support to sustain a stable, healthy life.  Reliable shelter, this with onsite support services, empowers guests to overcome challenges by completing small steps to achieve larger goals.  Only guests staying at The Delores Shelter can apply for this program.

Arroyo Village, a collaboration of The Delores Project and Rocky Mountain Communities (an affordable housing developer), is a unique community.  This low-income, permanent supportive housing project was made possible through a federal program.  Arroyo Village includes a new shelter facility as well as 35 units of low-income permanent housing.  Supportive services are available to help ensure ongoing needs of individual residents are met.  In addition, 95 units will be operated by Rocky Mountain Communities, offering affordable housing for individuals and families in the workforce.

The Delores Project is always in need of various in-kind donations.  They have an Amazon Wish List for purchase of specific items.  A complete list of currently-needed items is also available from ushers at our worship services.  In-kind donations can be placed in the specially marked box in the fellowship room.

NEW YEAR’S THOUGHTS…

Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.
Everyone has beauty but not everyone sees it.
It’s important for parents to live the same things they teach.
Man looks at outward appearance but the Lord looks within.
The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow.
If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it.
The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.
Harsh words break no bones but they do break hearts.

WHEN GOD SENDS YOU HELP, DON’T ASK QUESTIONS

She hurried to the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, “I don’t know how to use this.”

She bowed her head and asked God to send her some HELP. Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag. He got off his cycle and asked if he could help.

She said: “Yes, my daughter is sick. I’ve locked my keys in my car. I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?”

He said, “Sure.” He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open. She hugged the man and through tears said, “Thank You, God, for sending me such a very nice man.”

The man heard her little prayer and replied, “Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday; I was in prison for car theft.”

The woman hugged the man again, sobbing, “Oh, thank you, God! You even sent me a Professional!”

 REMEMBER THIS…

  • God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but He’ll ask how many people you helped get where they needed to go.
  • God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
  • God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.   
  • God won’t ask how many friends you had, but He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.  
  • God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors. 
  • God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but He’ll ask about the content of your character. 
  • Always put yourself in others’ shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, It probably hurts the other person, too.

OUR OUTREACH FOCUS FOR JANUARY IS OUR ELCA GOOD GIFTS PROGRAM.

ELCA Good Gifts provides community support in 77 countries.  Each community identifies its own specific needs and priorities.  The ELCA Good Gifts program then gives the community the exact support it has identified, distributing sponsored gifts to communities where the need is the greatest for each particular gift.  By stocking a health clinic for a week, Cross of Glory members have already committed to buying chicks, a rooster, pigs, goats, and a share of a cow. Sponsorship is easy!  A full list of gifts and payment instructions is posted on the Outreach Committee bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall or in our January newsletter. Cross of Glory will be submitting one large Good Gifts order in late January.  Let’s stock the farm or improve the health in a community!

Here’s a sampling of the gifts you can sponsor:
Chicks $10                       
Rooster $15                     
Piglet $30                         
Goat $50                          
Honeybees $20               
Fruit Tree Seedling $10
Solar-Powered Lantern $30
Vaccinations for a Child $30
Mosquito Net $10
Water Filter $30

A full list of gifts is posted on the Outreach Committee bulletin board in the fellowship room. Sponsorship is easy! You can pay cash or make your check payable to Cross of Glory and simply put it in the offering plate. Be sure to identify your chosen gift(s) on your check or offering envelope. Cross of Glory will be submitting one large Good Gifts order in late January.  Let’s stock the farm or improve the health in a community! This is God’s Work, Our Hands.

METRO CARING JANUARY FOOD FOCUS:

Metro Caring is the largest food pantry in Denver.  It takes a holistic approach to fighting hunger by providing other services such as nutrition and cooking classes, diabetes programs, ID and tax assistance, and public benefits enrollment.

Our Metro Caring food focus item for January is shelf-stable milk/milk substitutes.  However, any food donation is helpful.  Please help those in need by giving generously.  Collection boxes are located in the narthex or you can feed “BOB”, our Big Orange Box.  (BOB is always hungry!)  Also, be sure to take home a Cross of Glory reusable grocery tote bag, available from the ushers or inside “BOB”.  Thank you for helping others!
Julie Prange, Outreach Chairperson

STEWARDSHIP

Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited to introduce Shelly Blakely as the 2020-2022 Stewardship Chairperson! Shelly will bring a whole new level of creative energy to the task, reminding all of us that everything that we have is as a result of our most merciful God! Sharing our time, talents and treasures is one of our best expressions of our faith. I want to thank everyone who was able to fill out their 2020 Time and Talents Sheet. This will greatly help Shelly. I’d also like to thank Vada Danforth for all her help in receiving and compiling the sheets this year!

I will be one of Shelly’s committee members, so guess what…. I will continue to remind all of you about the upcoming Summer Yard Sale! I know it seems like it is so far off, but now is the time to get yourself a box, set it aside, and begin filling it with any items you are ready to donate. We so appreciate your attention to this matter as it is one of Cross of Glory’s main fundraising efforts. 

Thank you, Shelly, for stepping up to the call of Stewardship Chairperson! I know everyone appreciates your willingness to help as we know you are one busy lady with family and business life. 

I want to thank everyone for all of your support over the last two years. Serving Cross of Glory has been such an honor! Happy 2020!
Blessings and JOY,
Helen Devantery, Stewardship Committee