Blackham knew it would be a sacrifice to give up his guitar and music while on
his mission, but inspiration he felt in the Denver Temple gave him peace, “Give
it to me and I can make it so much more.” With the help of other inspired
elders and sisters, Elder Blackham was able to lend his talents to what became
a beautiful musical presentation, “Meet the Missionaries.”
Presented by the Colorado Denver North Mission, “Meet the Missionaries” toured the northern front range giving 14 performances between February and April. The program is a fun, energetic, and inspiring performance. Through fifteen songs intermixed with video, four elders and four sisters shared their musical talents, their love of the Savior, and what it means to be a missionary.
President and Sister Savage both served as missionaries in Denver in the early 1980s and had the idea to renew a similar musical program that was a success on their missions. Around the same time the Book of Mormon musical came to Denver. Elder Blackham and Elder Brown pulled out their guitars and began singing on 16th Street in downtown Denver, replying to curious onlookers that they weren’t in the musical, but were the actual missionaries. From there 11 original songs were written by Elders Blackham, Brown, Fenske, and Hasse. In 2018 “Meet the Elders” went on tour.
This fall, as John Fielding Toronto was preparing to plan and organize an Eagle Scout project, his father suggested that he contact Mark Hahn, who is over Volunteer and Parish Relations at Catholic Charities, for service project ideas. Mark was a great help to John Fielding, putting him in touch with Denver’s Samaritan House, a Catholic Charities shelter for homeless members of the Denver community. Mark also volunteered that Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc Catholic church might also be interested in announcing and supporting the project.
Inspired by these contacts, and leveraging relationships of his own, John Fielding immediately set to work organizing a project to collect travel-sized personal hygiene and other related items to be donated to the Samaritan House. In particular, John coordinated announcements at Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc parish as well as in his own home congregation (the Arvada First Ward) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in addition to using the “Nextdoor” neighborhood social media platform and making door to door contacts throughout his own neighborhood.
Following weeks of announcements, distribution of flyers and posters, and ultimately coordination of an extensive collection process, John Fielding and a number of fellow scouts, friends and family members gathered and organized products donated for the project.
For all who have volunteered time, talent or energy to others in need, it’s easy to understand the feeling of wanting to do more. You might wish for deeper pockets or unlimited resources to make your giving more significant. Today is the day where a bit of that wish comes true. December 4 is Colorado Gives Day, which means that as each of us goes online to give, our donations have potential to be magnified by the $1 Million Incentive Fund. You can help through ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving website featuring more than 2,300 nonprofits. Last year brought in $36 million in a 24-hour period.
Wondering where to start? Below are a few JustServe partners who stand in extra need and would benefit from a boost on this day of giving.
Lutheran Family Services (LFS) is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the Rocky Mountain region. Every year LFS responds to needs of 30,000 people. One simple but constant need is for diaper donations. Clients often have large families and always need diapers. You can also help with creating baby baskets for refugee families who are either expecting or have just had a new baby.
In this season of giving, and as we Light the World, we hope you will consider joining in this day as Colorado Gives.
Have you seen a few of these around? Wondering what the big deal is?
For the third year in a row, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is choosing to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas via a campaign known as “Light the World.” Each year some of the details change but there are always a few things you can count on…
Earlier in 2018, a group of talented missionaries put together a musical presentation called “Meet the Elders.” The presentation aimed to inspire and educate members of the church and their friends and neighbors about the life and goals of a missionary.
During the course of several weeks, the “Meet the Elders” program was presented 6 different times across the Denver Metro from Parker to Boulder. Now the studio recordings of the songs featured in the program have been released.
This music was performed by:
Elder Brenden Blackham
Elder Connor Brown
Elder Alex Hasse
Elder Jacob Fenske
It is being published here with their permission.
Use the links below to download the MP3 files for each individual song to your computer or mobile device.
On the evening of October 28, 2018, several members of the Church’s Denver Public Affairs Council attended a special Community Solidarity Vigil, hosted by Jewish Colorado at Temple Emanuel in Denver. At the vigil, representatives of the Church were able to visit with Rabbi Joseph Black, who conducted the evening event, and convey the love, condeolences and support of Elder Thomas T. Priday (Area Seventy) and local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in response to this weekend’s senseless tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The vigil, which attracted thousands of members of the community and allowed for standing room only throughout the Synagogue, was an inspiring demonstration of love and interfaith unity within the greater Denver area. Program participants included representatives of the Anti Defamation League, Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, as well as members of the Denver and Aurora police departments and a number of prominent interfaith leaders from the community–representing Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs, among others. Speakers focused on the need for the elimination of hate and bias in our society as well as a feeling of safety and security in our places of worship.
Following the event, Sister Karen LaCouture, Interfaith specialist for the Church of Jesus Christ’s Denver area, stated “I was most grateful and impressed that so many people from all walks of life were drawn together to the vigil at Temple Emanuel in support of our Jewish brothers and sisters, as well as those of all faiths who may be the target of hate, violence or misunderstanding.” Her words echoed those of Church President Russell M. Nelson who, just this week while meeting with media in Uruguay, remarked that Church members and those of other faiths “need to work together to stem the tide of violence.” He added, “The teachings of the Lord are clear. There is to be no contention, no disputation. We should love one another. So violence has no place in society.”
There might be a reason why it seems members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don’t spend much time on the question: Are Mormons Christian? Perhaps it’s because it feels like an obvious conclusion. A straightforward definition of Christianity is believing Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Redeemer. And we do. With that, the discussion seems over. However, even as a child, I remember being challenged on this topic by classmates, and as an adult, it still comes up. It made no sense to me how a church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could be seen as anything but Christian. Yet in the meantime, I’ve learned that there are some Christians who have a more specific definition of Christianity, and that is where we might diverge. Here are the important basics:
Latter-day Saints do not accept the creeds, confessions, and formulations of post–New Testament Christianity.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not descend through the historical line of traditional Christianity. That is, Latter-day Saints are not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant.
In unequivocal terms, we as members of the church assert belief in God, our eternal Father, his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. Some creeds call for a belief in the Holy Trinity, where it is understood that all three are without form and are one. We do not believe in a trinity. From there, other distinctions include (more…)
On August 11th, the Denver Colorado Stake comprised of a number of LDS congregations in the city, participated in the city of Denver’s annual city celebration of community and service — Denver Days.
Five years ago Mayor Hancock set aside the first week of August as a week to encourage neighbors to get to know their neighbors by hosting block parties, picnics, and service projects with the focus on small organic gatherings.
The church members teamed with Denver Parks and Recreation to mulch, weed, pick up trash, and paint a large city park adjacent to a Denver LDS Church Building. With the help of about 50 members from the stake and 20 missionaries from the Denver North Mission, we spread 24 yards of mulch, used 1 gallon of paint, and collected 165 gallons of debris.
One of the highlights of the morning was a visit from the Mayor of Denver, Mayor Michael B. Hancock. He spent about 30 minutes visiting with members, missionaries, and local LDS leaders including Stake President Peter Krumholtz, public affairs leaders, and Elder Thomas T. Priday of the area Seventy.
It was a morning of hard work and many smiles from all who participated, old and young!
In response to the service from church members, Denver Parks and Recreation sent the following kind words. (more…)