Make a Big Hope in the People Around Us

By: Tara Malouf

Wellspring Englewood

I sat at Panera and the tears threatened to come. They rose up to the edge of my eyelids and only silent deep breaths and a few long blinks could make them retreat. Instead of allowing those joy-filled drops to roll down my face, I gave my companions a hearty smile. I sat there with three men - 2 Christian American, 1 Muslim Afghan - in awe at the relationship that was forming in our couple of short hours together. Two weeks before, the Afghan, Azim, had asked me some questions when I visited his family at their home. He is trained in civil and mechanical engineering, worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for our military in Afghanistan, yet when he came to this country as a refugee seven months ago, the only job he could find was filling orders at a hardware store’s distribution center. It has been a long seven months for him and his family. He describes it as “dizzy” - trying to get his bearings in a new culture, grieving the separation from his extended family and country, trying to provide for his family, and working hard to learn new ways of living (and speaking)!

As I visited his family, my friend, Azim, began our conversation by asking me how he could find a place to volunteer as an engineer and the question puzzled me. As we dug deeper, I realized his intense longing to be back in a field of work that he loved and was trained in. Everyday at the hardware store’s distribution center is eating away at his hope. He doesn’t interact much with his co-workers, listens to Colorado Public Radio in an attempt to better his English, and is feeling the heaviness of a functional depression. (He gets up, goes to work, does what he needs to do, but feels lost and hopeless.)   During our conversation, I realized two things: 1) Azim needs someone (or a network) in the industry who can guide him and 2) I am not that person!  However, I told him I would ask at my church to see if there were any engineers who might be willing to be a “neighbor” and meet with him to help him figure out what could be the next steps for his career in America.  I told him that I believed God is a big God and was praying that He would help us find such a person.

The following Sunday, as we gathered for worship, I asked Pastor Katie if she knew anyone who was an engineer who might be willing to help and she told me to email the request to her (which I did on Monday morning). To my surprise, by Tuesday morning, she was email introducing me to an engineer (Ed Trotter). By Wednesday, Ed and I had a 40 minute phone conversation - explaining the situation, asking questions, assessing whether or not he could help. At the end of the phone call, he made it clear he was willing to help.  I reached out to Azim and we coordinated a meeting of Azim, Ed, David and me for Sunday morning.

So that’s how I ended up at Panera last Sunday.  Azim talked about his life, his education, and his experience. Ed asked him questions, gave him information to begin navigating the hiring process in the US, and encouraged him...a lot! David offered to help Azim craft his resume into something hiring managers understand. And I sat back in awe, watching two American men bringing hope to the Afghan man. At the end of our meeting, I asked if I could pray for us and thank God for our time together, and we did. Later that evening, this is the text message I received from Azim:

“Good evening Tara. Thank you a lot for making today morning meeting with Ed and you. This makes more sense and hope and it is a shiny light in my dark path. Also your pray makes a big hope in me that I am not alone here. Thanks very much again from you and David. God bless you.”

My heart response? “No Azim, you are not alone here.” I hope he will always know that. I remembered our pastor preaching about the Good Samaritan a few Sundays ago and how that man came to the aid of one who was beaten up in life and was technically really different from himself. I hope, like that Samaritan, followers of Jesus will always choose to be neighbors to the “stranger” among us (whether we can see their wounds or not).   I hope we will more and more grow to “treat others as we would want to be treated.” Moreover, I pray, as we walk in the way of Jesus, we “make a big hope” in the people around us.

Life Groups at Wellspring Englewood

by Katie Gayle, Wellspring Englewood

Life Groups seek to follow the life of Christ, which was characterized by UP (worship and study), IN (intentional relationships) and OUT (mission).

Life groups are the best way to dive deeper into community at Wellspring Englewood. We now have a great new online tool to see our available Life Groups, when and where they meet, and connect with the leaders. Check it out here

On Sunday, October 2nd we will have a Life Group Fair after both services so you have a chance to meet Life Group Leaders and sign up to get more information about groups. 

We want to help you get connected into deeper community as we grow together in our life in Christ! If you have any questions about getting involved in Life Groups or want to lead a Life Group, contact Katie Gayle.

Pastoral Reflection: The Importance of Church Planting

By: Billy Waters, Lead Pastor

Wellspring Englewood

A couple of weeks ago, Wellspring was privileged to host the Always Forward Church Planting conference.  Always Forward is the church planting initiative of the Anglican Church in North America.  At the conference, we welcomed over 100 potential church planters, current church planters, and church planting leaders from around the country.  Our goal was to cultivate relationships, provoke thought, and provide practical training for this new work.  I am thrilled to say that it was a huge success!  A hearty thanks to the entire Wellspring staff and especially Leah Robin who carried the lion share of the administrative and logistical load.  

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to worship Him with all our heart, be formed into His image, and be a people sent on mission.  The mission of Wellspring is not only to reach into our community with the gospel (youth, the Well, Beloved, Medical clinic, Neighborhood Rehab project, etc…) but also send new congregations into gospel deficient neighborhoods.  In starting and sending new communities, we are participating in God’s narrative throughout history.  

The need to plant churches is growing daily.  There are two billion people on planet earth who have never heard of Jesus.  Because most of the radically unchurched are in places like Europe and North Africa, “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God” (John Stott).  As we look at church planting globally, we are also invited to look at church planting locally.  George Hunter says that in the Unites States, we have 180 million people with no connection to the local church, making it "the largest mission field in the Western Hemisphere.”  Winfield Bevins writes, “with more than 337 languages, the Unites States has become the most multicultural and multilingual nation on earth.”  

According to the Denver Post, Colorado grew by 102,000 people in 2015.  We have a staggering opportunity to reach the nations in our own backyard and the best way to do that is the starting of new gospel communities around the Denver Metro area. 

During this conference, I couldn’t help but think about Wellspring.  I am so deeply thankful for this community and how as a church plant, God has used us to plant two other churches.  May God continue to use us to advance His Kingdom.  The commission thatArchbishop Foley has given us is, “Forward, Forward, Always Forward.” 

Serving the Littleton Community: Men's Ministry Reaches Out

By: Mary Feeney

Wellspring Littleton

Without community, to whom do you turn to with a physical need you cannot meet yourself? That’s the position that some in the Littleton community have found themselves in lately. Through connections at Bemis Library and the Life Center, the men of Wellspring Littleton have been able to help a single mom and a disabled lady in the neighborhood of the church plant. Luke Miller and Derek Roberts showed up to wrestle old appliances out of the basement town home of a mom who had no family and friends to call on for help. This upcoming week, Derek will come alongside a disabled woman with a troubled garbage disposal giving assistance using his handyman skills. Plans are forming for men to serve more regularly in this capacity.

While it is easy for many of us to take for granted the convenience of calling in a few friends to help us haul heavy items, or shelling out the money for a plumber, those without resources do not have this luxury. Addressing this lack of physical and relational resources, the men of Wellspring Littleton aim to use these service opportunities to be the church body outside the walls of the church. They do not know how their service will impact the single moms and disabled people they have and will serve; yet they do know that they have loved and served the least of their neighbors—doing so from the abundance our Lord has given his beloved sons and daughters.  

Reflections of a Pastor

Reflections of a Pastor

Colossians 1: 15-20 "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things

Serving God in Uganda after a Season of Waiting

By: Micah and Avrey Hughes

Wellspring Englewood

Two weeks ago, Billy preached on the topic of waiting. He had a very profound statement:  “Faith in a patient God requires waiting.” I believe that waiting is a tool that God has used in powerful ways in my life. Many times I have hoped that God would use blessings to draw me closer to His Holy Spirit and into a deeper understanding of Him, but the reality is that the crucible of God’s love and the incubator of his plan for my life and most of his children is not blessings, but waiting.

For me personally, the largest season of waiting thus far was about God’s calling on my life. In some ways from 2001 - 2015, but most specifically from December 18, 2009 - October 15, 2015, I was in a very intense season of waiting on the Lord while not understanding exactly how or why I was in the situation I was in. During those six intense years of waiting, our first child was born, we had a difficult miscarriage, and my wife and I shed many tears. We asked many questions. The Lord was with us, but many, many times we could not hear his voice. We regularly were on our knees in prayer and often one of us would wake up in the middle of the night because we could not sleep. God’s presence was quiet and yet so close.

Eventually, God orchestrated seasons of my life from before those six years and during those six years all together in amazing ways. He brought pain and joy together in a way that brought Him glory rather than my comfort. On October 15, 2015 His calling became perfectly clear. As a result, our family (including our 6 year old and 5 month old) moved to Uganda on January 2, 2016. We were asked to direct a new global health study abroad program at Uganda Christian University and we are so blessed to mentor college students from Christian universities across North America during their semester abroad in Uganda. The University sends us home each summer for a home leave and that is how we have been able to attend Wellspring in these past weeks. We have such deep gratitude for the Lord’s calling and for what HE is doing in and through our family!

We have also led a non-profit and ministry in Uganda since 2008 called The Mango Project. The Mango Project, by fostering partnerships with local communities across various faiths and ethnicities, is empowering individuals with the skills and techniques necessary to preserve and sell produce. By increasing the local economy and improving nutrition, communities in the West Nile are able to remain in rural villages with new resources. You can learn more about The Mango Project at http://www.themangoproject.com.

God has brought so many of our passions together as we are truly living out our calling in Uganda. We get to equip American students who desire to serve God in the medical field with a global vision of God’s kingdom, we get to create partnerships with all different religious backgrounds in order to help fight malnutrition, and we get to serve the Lord in Africa which has been on our hearts for years. We would never have thought that this was what God would do through our season of waiting, but our God is an Awesome God!

Tomorrow night, Thursday, July 7th from 6:00-8:30pm at the Space Gallery on Santa Fe, is the annual event for The Mango Project. We would love to have more members from our Wellspring community join us for this event and hear about what God is doing on the other side of the world. It is $35 a person and this covers a great dinner, two beverages, live music (by Jeff Gayle’s new band), and supports the work of the Non-Profit in Uganda. My wife and I will both speak at the event and it would be an honor to have you join us.

In regards to waiting, I pray that this brief write up can speak into the lives of those currently waiting. I have learned that when things in your life seem so incongruent and you continue to ask for God’s will to be done and seek his face… don’t stop waiting. Lean hard into His Holy Spirit and the community of His Church. The more that your situation does not make sense to the world, then it is usually a good sign that God has a profound plan for your life! He is always faithful and His love can reach your heart no matter how far away you feel from HIM.

For more information on The Mango Project event, go to http://www.themangoproject.comor contact Micah Hughes at micah@themangoproject.com.

Serving Lunch at The Well

By: John Nordlander, Pastor of Compassions

Wellspring Englewood For almost 10 years now, Wellspring Church has served a lunch for the people of Englewood and the Wellspring community.  Whether you are homeless, in transition, down on your luck, a hungry seminary student or just want to enjoy the community of The Well, there is a plate of food and a table to sit down at and enjoy the people around you.This summer we are struggling to find people willing to prepare a lunch and serve it to our community.  Things are busy, lots of activities and it’s hot down in the basement.  But let me give you a 5 and 8 year old’s view of serving this past weekend.

Last week, my son, his wife and 2 boys arrived in Denver for a visit.  The boys spent the night with us on Friday and as we were talking they wanted to know what Papa did. I told them about The Well.  I then invited them to come down and help us serve lunch after church.  It happened to be a Sunday when we did not have another family or Life Group volunteer to prepare lunch and serve it, so we really were in need of help. This turned out to be a great opportunity for both The Well and the boys.

We had salad, pizza, cookies and cake for dessert.  The 5 year old stepped up on a stool so he could help serve the pizza. At one point he asked one of our guests who was headed for the dessert before he got his pizza, “sir please get back in line and wait your turn” and the guest got back in line.  Wow, the power of a 5 year old…

The 8 year old had a ball moving around the room with a giant plate of cookies, asking people if they would like another cookie. I think this is an 8 year old boy’s dream holding a giant plate of cookies, offering cookies to everyone in sight and probably having one himself on occasion.

My grandsons had a wonderful time.  They found that people are just people no matter what their economic status might be.  People enjoy cookies and pizza and a place to sit down and enjoy the company of others.  They had fun and were full of questions.  They got to see the body of Christ at work.

These are not the first kids to help serve in The Well.  We have many Life Groups and families come down to serve and everyone gets to have a part.  We have adults and kids that look forward to being a part of helping by serving food, cleaning up tables or talking with our guests.

We need help! Almost every Sunday this summer is in need of a Life Group or family to volunteer to make and serve lunch. I want to encourage you to drop me an email or give me a call and we will find you a Sunday to serve in The Well.  Or to sit and have a conversation around a meal and to enjoy community by being the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in need of His Love and care.

John Nordlander, Pastor of Compassion

john@wellspringcolorado.com

303-807-0063

Being a Good Neighbor

By: Katie Gayle

Wellspring Englewood

The other day, I was making a quick stop to the Starbucks on the corner to get through the afternoon slump when I waved at the neighbor across the street from Wellspring. He is an older man and many of the staff have tried to start a conversation with him, but normally he has kept his distance. On this day, he returned my wave and we talked about the beautiful sunshine and the greatness of coffee to perk us up.

As I was walking back to the church, I saw that he had left his yard and was standing in front of our building. As I came towards him, I introduced myself and he wanted to hear all about the construction we were doing since he saw the dumpster in the parking lot. His name was Larry and he has lived in the home across from Wellspring for 70 years, since he was 7 years old! He has seen so much change in our neighborhood. He could tell me about when the church was built and even when the sanctuary was added on to the existing building. He has seen several different churches in our building and many different cars parked in front of his house!

I thanked him for being such a good neighbor and putting up with us on Sunday mornings. For many of our neighbors, Sundays between 9:00am-12:30pm are a stressful time. They have a hard time getting in and out of their driveways and they have to accommodate more people than they probably want to!

Hospitality is a concept I think a lot about and something that is commanded throughout Scripture (ex: Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9).  I spend quite a bit of time thinking about what is looks like to welcome people who come through our doors at Wellspring.  Or how can I open my home and create space for people to connect and feel loved. Or how we experience the gracious hospitality of the Lord as we come to the communion table each week. These are all important aspects of hospitality, but showing hospitality can start even before people walk through the doors of our church. This means being considerate and caring to our immediate neighbors at Wellspring Englewood.

As you drive up on Sundays, think about parking on Quincy so you don’t have to park in front of someone’s house and possibly take up a spot for a neighbor’s car. You can also park at the Bank of the West on Broadway and Quincy or the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Lincoln and Radcliff to leave the neighborhoods more open. If you do park in the neighborhood, make sure you don’t block someone into their driveway (this happens more than you think!). As you walk to church, pick up trash and help to make the neighborhood more beautiful than it was. As you pass the houses, pray for our neighbors; pray that God would bless them, that he would show himself to them, that Wellspring would be a light to our neighbors, not a burden. May we show the hospitality of the Lord to the people living around our building, as we proclaim the hope of the Gospel.

Update on Beloved :: A Ministry to the Strip Clubs

By: Rebecca Cooper

Wellspring Englewood

In the past few months, Beloved has experienced a lot of God’s WILD way of working and it has been AWESOME! I won’t be able to tell y’all about all of them but I will tell you about my top favorites.

A little over a month ago, I got to experience the most unexpected and by far one of the most divine, sacred, and incredible moments that I have ever witnessed in Beloved. I was on outreach with Melissa (our Outreach Program Director) and we were inside the dressing room of the club we have been going to since the very beginning. It quickly became intense (in all the best ways!) and Melissa was asked by a dancer to pray for her. So of course, Melissa prayed over her. And then something we’ve never experienced happened…

THE DANCER PRAYED OVER MELISSA.

And y’all, she didn’t just pray a quiet prayer. She prayed so loudly and boldly that it stopped all the other dancers in their tracks. She prayed with such intensity that everyone felt and knew the Holy Spirit was SO present in the dressing room. She prayed that God would protect, favor, and bless us. She THANKED and praised Him for us. When she ended her prayer, she looked at us and said “just y’all wait…I’m going to be standing where y’all are in a month. I’m going to be on y’alls side of this…just y’all wait” (she even said that many y’alls!! my kind of girl!). The Lord was good to us that night and affirmed us in ways we could never have expected.

Another awesome thing happened on Memorial Day. BELOVED THREW OUR FIRST BABY SHOWER. I met a woman at the very beginning of Beloved and have slowly built a great friendship with her. One day back in October, she pulled me aside to let me know she was pregnant again with her third baby. She is only 22 and has a 2 and 4 year old. She told me she was thinking about aborting the baby because she couldn’t imagine bringing one more child into the mix since the babies’ daddy is unreliable and is always cheating on her. She asked if I would go with her should she choose that route and I asked her to pray about the decision and to wait a few weeks before deciding. I let her know she was strong and that babies were a miracle from God and that she could do it, and she wouldn’t be doing it alone! Beloved would help however we can.

7 months later, here we are throwing her a baby shower! It was a beautiful day. She brought some of her family and her 2 little girls who we got to spoil rotten. She asked that I invited some of my “church friends” and about 25 women showed up to celebrate her and new life. We even had a group of mamas from Wellspring donate gifts even though they couldn’t attend the shower. Which brings me to my next thing…

Wellspring continues to blow my mind. When I started Beloved, I knew that I wanted a church to be at the center of everything we do. I thought to myself, “if I brought a friend who I met in the club to church with me, where will she experience God’s love and hear God’s truth the most?” Wellspring. BUT, what I wasn’t expecting was how many people in the congregation were going to respond to the practical and tangible needs of the women we are building friendships with.

For instance, sometime in April I posted a status asking if anyone could take in a girl who was running away from her pimp/trafficker and needed a place to stay for a few nights. THIRTEEN people responded to this request and NINE of these people were from Wellspring. They offered rooms in their homes, money to put her in a safe hotel, gift cards for groceries/food, bus passes, etc. I was in awe of the courage and willingness of these families and how God was once again using the body of Christ.

And for this baby shower, we had a group of mamas who couldn't attend the shower but still sent thoughtful, practical, and beautifully wrapped gifts for her and her children. We also had  several women from Wellspring come to the shower and love her SO well.

So THANK Y’ALL for rallying around us and supporting us. It is an honor to have Wellspring at the center of this ministry. God is so good!

Englewood Needs Assessment

Exciting things are happening down in The Well!  For the past several months, The Well staff members have been conducting a Community Needs Assessment of Englewood.  We have interviewed many clients of The Well, organized a focus group discussion of Wellspring members who live in Englewood, and interviewed several prominent figures in the city’s leadership and social service realms.  It has been an exciting and enlightening process, and we are happy to report that the results are in!

Included in this article is a copy of our detailed report, outlining our data collection methods, an overview of the current social climate of Englewood, details of the current “underserved demographics” in the city, and several potential ideas for action in response to our findings.  We hope you’ll take some time to read this document.  Some highlights of our findings include:

  • 17% of the student body at Englewood High School fits the city’s definition of “displaced” (or homeless)
  • 54% of the houses in Englewood are rentals, rather than permanent residencies
  • Englewood (like the rest of the Denver Metro Area) is currently experiencing a high level of gentrification, which leads to both positive and negative results

As we begin the process of determining Wellspring’s response to this assessment, we would deeply appreciate your prayer.  In fact, we will soon be gathering a prayer team to seek God’s guidance as we develop an action plan.  We anticipate a large amount of opportunities for congregational involvement in this process, so we hope you will keep The Well on you radar.  Any of The Well’s staff members (John Nordlander, Mike Sandgren, and Marlene McGuire) would love to talk about the assessment, so feel free to approach us with any questions.  We look forward to keeping you updated as the process of serving our community continues!

Wellspring Littleton's New Pastoral Apprentice

By: Wes Trevor

Wellspring Network

My Youth and Family Intern, Kyle Stanton has been a HUGE blessing to Flood Student Ministry this year and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.  We like him so much, in fact, that we have opted to keep him on board in a more permanent position as the Pastoral Apprentice with Youth Ministry over at Wellspring Littleton.

We have a unique relationship with our church plant in that we get to serve with both churches and share one student ministry as our little church plant grows and matures in its infrastructure.  However, this also presents a problem...in that I can't be in two places at once!  So, Kyle will be joining the Littleton team, but will still be working with me in leading this shared Student Ministry for the foreseeable future.

We are looking forward to increasing Kyle's leadership responsibilities as well as better serving our Littleton families with a more consistent Youth Ministry presence on their campus for Sunday worship.   He officially will start this position in June.  Please join me in congratulating Kyle in this new role!

Reflections on Wellspring Internship

By: Brent Christian

Wellspring Englewood

In case you didn’t know, we have an intern program at Wellspring! We started this program because we believe in preparing and sending out emerging leaders who follow Jesus and are characterized by worship, formation, and mission. For this first year we had four interns each focused on a specific area in the church and each working directly with a pastor in their area. Kyle worked with the youth and their families, Jon with the children and their families, Zach with the connecting ministry, and Mike with The Well.

I had the awesome privilege of spending the year serving alongside of these four leaders and look forward to seeing what God will continue to do in and through them in the future. In reflecting upon this year I want to share a few highlights.

First, I really enjoyed our meetings every other week for prayer, discussion, and just catching up on life. We took turns leading these meetings which often became a space to encourage one another and pray for one another. During the year we also read some ministry related books and this time was used to discuss what we were learning from those readings.

Another highlight for the year was our retreat to Fraser, CO. We got to do some high-speed tubing, sleep in a rustic cabin, eat some great meals, try to take over the world in a friendly game of Risk, and snowshoe up Second Creek on Berthoud Pass. But for as fun as all those things were, what I really enjoyed about the weekend was the conversations that occurred, some ridiculous and many serious.

Lastly, I have been encouraged to see how each of these men will continue to use their gifts for the good of others. Zach will continue to pour into the Life Group that he started. Mike will continue to invest in The Well. Jon will continue to volunteer with the kids ministry and work in an urban school with the Boys & Girls Club. And Kyle is going to be a pastoral apprentice at our church plant in Littleton. Each is following Jesus into the next season of their life.

If you get a chance, take a moment sometime in May and thank each of these interns for their faithfulness in using their gifts to serve our community. We are truly grateful for them!

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When Planting A Church

By: Tim Soots

Wellspring Littleton

When planting a church, there are things that you wish we could change, things you hope last forever, and moments where you get entirely blindsided. Our one year anniversary happened to be all three.

If you remember the weekend of April 17th, you will remember the unexpected arrival of April showers, showers of snow that is. Many churches chose to cancel, many people stayed home, and Wellspring Littleton celebrated Word and Sacrament. However, unlike other weeks where we set up an entire gymnasium with sound equipment and staging, this week our service was simple; voices, a guitar, some chairs, a table, bread and wine. The unthinkable happened, our trailer was snowed in, and the snow was making the ramp too slick to remove our equipment. So we reluctantly held an acoustic service.

Some of you may remember that one year prior we lost our building for the first week of services. As a result, we crammed 100 people into a house basement. Likewise, at our one year anniversary we crammed the majority of our church, with ten visitors, into a cafeteria with no staging, no amplification, no physical beauty to speak of, except the people present.

The beauty of being part of a church plant is that it forces you to ask the question, “what is really necessary for the church?” Do we need our projectors, or will printed liturgies work? Do we need loud microphones, or can my frail voice carry God’s Word over the cries of children? Do we need a nursery, or can the squeaks and squeals of infants remind us that our talk of God is like the babbling of a child?

Our one year anniversary, just like our first Sunday of existence, is proof that the church does not need much. God’s presence will be realized in the Eucharist. God’s Word will be spoken during the sermon and liturgy. People’s hearts will be formed. The church does not need much.

On our snowy Sunday, the majority of the church showed up to celebrate Christ’s glory. I think church planting makes you realize that the church doesn’t need much, but it does need the Body gathered together. The church doesn’t need microphones, but it does need the voices of the people. The church doesn’t need staging to elevate the worship leader, but it does need the elevated hearts of the people. The church doesn’t need comfortable chairs, but it does need men and women who sit under the Word of God. But most of all, the church needs the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and they always come to church, even without microphones.

When planting a church there are things that you wish you could change, things you hope last forever, and moments where you get entirely blindsided. Our one year anniversary was thankfully all three.

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Introducing David Norris!

By David Norris

Wellspring Englewood

It is such a gift to be able to look back and remember the many ways that God has extended his grace to me and my family. Although life has not always been easy, we have lived a life marked by God’s blessing and don’t deserve any of it. He has been so good to us. Here’s a bit of our story.

When I was in high school I was given the opportunity to lead worship for a small church plant that my parents helped start. I was young and inexperienced, but it became clear to the leadership of the church that I had been given a spiritual gift to help lead others in worship, specifically through music. I believe that part of my calling in life is to help people understand and articulate the core doctrines of Christianity, and to authentically express their gratitude to God—Father, Son, and Spirit—for who He is, what He has done, and what He continues to do to redeem all things. Leading others in worship is a privilege and responsibility that I don’t take lightly—it is a solemn thing. And it is also a great joy—something special happens when believers come together and sing praise to the one true God.

My musical interests are quite diverse. Of course, as a worship leader in the 21st century, my iPhone is loaded with hundreds of songs from Hillsong, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and many other “big name” worship leaders/writers of the contemporary Christian music scene. Recently I’ve really been getting into John Mark McMillan, Dustin Kensrue, Citizens and Saints, King’s Kaleidoscope, All Sons and Daughters, and Bethel, among others. If you caught me listening to music that is outside the sphere of corporate “worship music” it would probably be the Avett Brothers, Coldplay, The Lumineers, Charles Bradley, Dr. Dog, or anything that came out of Motown. And there are a few artist that seem to be able to cross the sacred/secular barrier pretty well, which I respect and admire—artists like Jon Foreman, Ivan and Alyosha, and The Oh Hellos.

A few interesting facts about me—I love to read, my favorite candy is original Sprees, I enjoy cooking—especially breakfast, and I am colorblind.

In the Fall of 2011 I married the love of my life, Taylor, and 8 months later we moved from Florida to Colorado so that I could study theology at Denver Seminary. We have lived here ever since and absolutely love the mountains, the lack of humidity, the snow, and the culture here.

We welcomed our first child—Norah Laine—into the world on January 16, 2016. Aside from our salvation in Christ, she is our greatest source of joy.

God gave us the gift of clarity when the opportunity to join Wellspring came to us. We are certain that He brought us here and we are thrilled to be a part of this loving, spirit-filled, gospel-centered community. Wellspring is such a unique church, blending ancient truths and traditions with contemporary expressions and applications. After our first Sunday, it was clear that we were at home here, and we couldn’t be more grateful. God is so good.

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Wellspring Women :: Celebrating the arts and our Creative God

By Leah Robin

Wellspring Englewood

We all started with the same blank canvas. The same base colors, the same brushes. The finished template was there, resting on an easel, front and center. We were given the same instructions and even the order in which to bring the painting to life: background, sun, bird, outline, shadows foreground, and so on.

Yet to see each woman create her own piece of art was to see them drawing forth something unique from within themselves, something that reflected their own personality. Some mixed bold red with white or yellow to create rosy pinks and sunset orange glows; some followed the template with meticulous attention to detail while others went off the script completely and created pieces of abstract art or silhouettes of the Rocky Mountains. As I walked around the room of women painting at our last Wellspring Women gathering, I was struck by the utter uniqueness of each canvas and was reminded of how God created each of us by hand.

The intimacy, joy and creativity in which God creates and sustains us came to mind in the words of Psalm 139: “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me…you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” One of God’s very first creative acts was to make you and me! But no generic human prototype: there’s nothing generic about us. That phrase “inmost being” – refers to God’s intentionality in crafting our spirits, our personalities, our desires, our loves, our nephesh - the very parts of us that make us come alive, our very souls. All of this was God’s design. Lovingly, skillfully he crafted each one of us, singing us into existence. His creative powers knew no limit – no two humans are exactly alike – not even identical twins.

As I continued to watch the women painting, I thought about how we are created in His image, and therefore, we are innate artists. We are little creators imitating the Ultimate Creator.

Every time we make something – whether it’s a painting or a feast to share with friends, a hand stenciled card or a spontaneous dance in the kitchen, an artful arrangement of lilies on the Easter altar, or a created safe space in one of our children’s rooms – we are reflecting a bit of God’s glory and beauty back into the world.

For hundreds of years, Christians led the way in The Arts. Because literacy was often an issue for the masses, the visual arts were the primary educator for people to learn the story of the gospel and the history of the faith. Think about the world-famous artists commissioned to adorn the grand cathedrals during the height of Christendom, which still fill our imaginations (and travel plans) to this day. I remember seeing Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel when I was in high school. The life-like details of God’s divine hand, reaching for Adam’s human one, still vividly come to mind. I had to crane my neck to fully take in the splendor of the canvas of the entire ceiling – but I could have gazed upon the scene all day.

It seems Christians do not engage The Arts the way we once did, and I think we are missing not only an opportunity to engage our culture with the redemption of the gospel, but also activate the creative parts of ourselves that reflect the Imago Dei. As humans, we make art because we are, by nature, little artists created in the image of the Ultimate Artist. And as Christians, we have an even deeper calling to create, promote, and support the arts. Every Sunday during the communion liturgy we lift up our hands toward heavens and say: “We are the Redeemed (People of God).” We bring the narrative of redemption into all that we do – especially art.

As I walked around the room again at the end of the night, we laughed and celebrated the distinctness of each of our personalities and how they were reflected in our paintings. Twenty women following the same template- and not a single one alike. What a creative God we have!

Today, may you celebrate the absolute unique ways in which God has created and equipped you. May you use what’s inside of you, to place beauty, bit by bit, back into this world that so desperately needs to see the Most Beautiful One.

If you would like to know about the next Wellspring Women gathering, contact Leah Robin at leah@wellspringcolorado.com.

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Happy Birthday Wellspring Littleton!

Written by Rachel Miller

Wellspring Littleton

One year.  We’ve been together a year.  Worshipping in a gym for a year.  Setting up and tearing down for a year.  Greeting newcomers for a year.  Our kids have been learning about God’s love on a cafeteria floor for a year.  Recounting God’s great faithfulness to each other for a year.  Growing closer through serving, gathering, and loving well for a year.  Sharing the Gospel with the people of Littleton for a year.  A year.

When my husband, Luke, and I were praying a year ago about going with the plant or staying at Englewood, we were very unsure.  I wasn’t hearing anything from the Lord, and frankly, I liked our community at Englewood and I wasn’t interested in leaving them.  Tim Soots asked my husband if he would be willing to run the set up and tear down team, and it really gave us pause.  It seemed clear that God wanted to use Luke’s gifts in Littleton.  But still, God was silent in my prayers.  I kept asking, “Lord, I need you to speak to me about this.  I need you to tell me what to do.”

I was walking with a sweet friend of mine one day and recounting this confusing state of my heart and mind, and she said, “I wonder if God has already spoken to you.”  I quickly interjected, “No, He hasn’t said a word to me.”  She smiled sweetly and said, “I think He has.  I think He’s just speaking to you through your husband.  The question is whether you can trust that.”  I knew she was right.  God had been speaking to me.  God was asking me to trust the call he had clearly given to my husband, and to go with him in that.  And am I ever glad I did.  Being able to engage in Kingdom work alongside my husband has been so fulfilling and strengthening to our marriage.

Additionally, because we serve a God who gives really good gifts, He has been faithful to give us friendships that bloomed quickly as we have served beside each other.  Yes, the work of a church plant is difficult at times.  Never feeling like we have a physical space that’s ours.  But that’s also beautiful, because it reminds us what church really is.  The church isn’t our building, it’s our people, and being in a gym every week makes that the reality.  We are the church, and our lack of a traditional worship space keeps that at the forefront.

So church, let’s celebrate a year together!  You’re invited to a birthday party!  Wellspring Littleton will be celebrating on Sunday, April 17th from 6-8pm at Littleton Community Center.

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Walking in your Neighborhood

By: Joe Anderson

Wellspring Englewood

A friend recently asked me what I love about living in Englewood. The question came as a surprise to me. I really do love living here, but I’d never really thought about why. There are good things about this city: a lot of diversity, it has a small-town, close-knit community feel... but those aren’t the reasons that I love Englewood.

When Becca and I first moved to Englewood, we ended up living within walking distance of both of our jobs and it became a regular habit for us to walk the streets of our neighborhood. After our first child was born, we found that she slept best in the stroller while we walked, so the habit continued. Over time, we had walked all the streets within a reasonable walking distance numerous times. We knew where the sprawling maple grew; we knew which blocks had children living on them, we knew what our neighborhood felt like in all kinds of weather. We got to know the houses, some falling apart, some glorious. We felt the wet grass on our ankles as we walked through the park in the morning. As time passed, we felt that it wasn’t just that we were walking in our neighborhood; our neighborhood was walking in us. We don’t love Englewood because it’s particularly lovable, but because it’s ours.

Likewise, we don’t love our neighbors because they’re lovable, though they may be; we love them because they’re our neighbors. Jesus said to love your neighbors. I am convinced that doing this can change the world, but that’s not exactly the point. Loving your neighbors will change you first. To say it another way: God has put you and me in our particular places for both the good of that place and for our own sanctification.

Over the last year, we have had the joy of seeing both sides of this dynamic in action as we have met monthly with our Neighboring Life Group. We started this group for a simple purpose, to encourage each other to get to know and love our neighbors and help each other out wherever we can. When we gather together, we spend time sharing stories about our relationships with our neighbors. Usually the stories are encouraging; we celebrate those. Sometimes they are challenging or sad; we pray about those situations. And we always leave motivated and encouraged to take the next step of faith in our own neighborhoods.

On several occasions in the last year we’ve teamed up to do a project on someone's block. We’ve trimmed trees and moved rocks, and through that, we’ve developed relationships with our friends’ neighbors. We’ve even seen one neighbor come to know Jesus!

On May 15th we’re going to offer a neighboring workshop that will take you through three simple exercises to help you figure what God is doing in your neighborhood and how you can join Him. If you’d like to get involved in a neighboring group, we’d love to help get you plugged in there too.

Contact Joe Anderson at joe@gracenow.org to learn more and get involved!

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Church of the Advent Update

By: Rob Paris

Church of the Advent

Five years can fly by! It is hard to believe that Church of the Advent was sent out from Wellspring in January of 2011. Wellspring has changed a lot and so has Advent. I miss those of you I had the privilege of serving alongside of for 7 years at Wellspring very much. I know many of you are new since I left and might not know much about Advent. I’d love to share a little about Advent’s past and invite you to participate with us in a small but significant way as we continue to move forward in the call of our great and gracious God.

I never expected or wanted to plant a church. Through the discernment of many, and the participation of a core team of 18, however, we dreamed of a church in the Baker neighborhood that would extend the impact of God’s grace that has been so evident at Wellspring.

We retained the focus on dynamic Anglican worship and neighborhood ministry that Wellspring has always been known for and sought to include a particular concern for relational discipleship, utilizing a curriculum we developed. It has been a challenging five years with a lot of transition (we have trained and sent out five full time pastors), but we have been tremendously blessed. Through potlucks in the park, tutoring elementary kids, working with the mentally challenged, cleaning alleys and yards, prayer walking, and game nights at Hirschfeld Towers (a low income high rise for seniors) our little community has impacted many lives.  And we have grown from the initial 45 Wellspring sent out into a small but mighty church of just over 100 people.

From our first Sunday we have been meeting in the Mi Casa Resource Center at 4th and Acoma. It has been a great space for us, but, Mi Casa is selling their building. When we became aware of this a year ago, we started preparing immediately and began fundraising to purchase our own space in the Fall.

A couple months ago, we sensed that we might have to move out of Baker, a very hard truth for us. And then, a few weeks ago, an amazing opportunity opened up on a beautiful church at 678 King St. Long story short, our offer was accepted and we signed the contract the day after Easter. It will be a bit of a death for us to leave Baker, but we believe God is raising us up to a new life and ministry in Villa Park, a nearby, lower income neighborhood, where we can continue the legacy that we began 5 years ago.

The discernment process will continue as we work through inspections and a congregational vote, but the indications are that this historic church building from 1916 will provide us with a wonderful space from which to serve both the neighborhood and our people. There is so much more to share and to celebrate, so we hope you will join us on April 23rd for our Silent Auction (“Bluegrass, Brews, and Bids”) in Greenwood Village at 7:00pm (early bidding begins at 6:30pm). It is going to be a spectacular night in a beautiful location with bluegrass music, craft beer from Former Future, great appetizers, and over 40 wonderful items to bid on: broncos tickets, artwork, photography sessions, and so much more.  Proceeds will go towards our building campaign and contribute to the future God has for us.

Tickets are $20 and you can purchase them online at adventdenver.com or at the door. And, of course, if you would like to help with our effort but cannot come that night, feel free to donate by sending checks to Church of the Advent: PO Box 9146 Denver, CO 80209.

Thanks so much for all Wellspring has done through the past five years. I pray our partnership can continue to remain strong and even grow in this new chapter of our ministry. If you have any thoughts or questions (or just want to catch up), I would love to chat more. You can reach me at rob@adventdenver.com. God’s richest blessings upon Wellspring!!

God’s Peace,

Rob

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Online Giving Update

Greetings Wellspring Church!

My name is Seth Joraanstad and it’s my pleasure to serve as your treasurer on the Board of Directors.

Did you know that you can give to Wellspring online? We lunched the system last fall and it’s a wonderful tool. In addition to credit and debit cards you can now give via ACH (direct bank transfer). For all of these giving options you can setup recurring donations weekly or monthly so you don't have to remember to!

Head to www.wellspringcolorado.com/give to get started.

Questions or comments?  Please don't hesitate to email Leah Robin, our Administrative Pastor.  She will either get you an answer, or get you to the person who has one!

Thanks for reading.

Blessings,

Seth Joraanstad

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The Hands and Feet of Jesus

By: Wes Trevor, Youth and Family Pastor

Wellspring Network

Hey Wellspring Family!

The Students of Flood are once again getting a great opportunity to go serve as the Hands and Feet of Jesus while also gleaning lessons from a community that is much different than ours!  This time however, our trip has an international flavor!  This June, we are headed to Duncans, Jamaica with a team of students and adults, totalling 19 people!  We are excited about this opportunity and what the Lord has in store for us.

We will be partnering with Praying Pelican Missions (based in Duluth, MN) who have had a relationship with local churches and ministries in Jamaica for over 20 years.  Our primary project will be working with local schools to help primary school children with literacy and spelling.  Our side project will be running a VBS-type after school program that will include plenty of activity and proclamation of the Gospel.  We are also part of a larger project in the Duncans/Montego Bay area that is a partnership with the Youth Cartel and will be joining five other churches from around the States. These five youth groups will be working in various communities and neighborhoods throughout the day, while gathering in the evening for a time of communal worship and recreation.

 

Our team has started meeting and fundraising, as our trip costs are significantly more than last year. On Friday, April 8th, we invite you to our Black Tie Fundraiser in the Sanctuary from 6:00-9:00pm. There will be a plated dinner, silent auction and a chance to see our team in action.  Look for the formal invitation in the next few weeks.  If you are unable to attend our Fundraiser, but would still like to support our team, we will have an online option for you to directly donate.  Alternatively, you can make checks out to Wellspring Church and put Team Jamaica in the memo line so we know that you would like to financially support our efforts.

We are so blessed to get to represent this church community as we travel internationally. Please be praying for our students and adults as we prepare to react to what the Lord has in store!

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