Looking back on 2012 and looking forward to 2013 anyone who lives along the I-25 corridor has a lot to hopeful for as residents of this part of the state reflect. The stories were mixed but never boring. The mission was to ask breakthrough questions about our past, present and future from lifestyle and community building to industry and innovation, and to talk about how values on the Front Range could influence other communities, towns and cities in other parts of the world. Because parts of our world were on fire last summer we had to dig deep in our Front Range thinking. Many people were being tested and we shared that testing as church, state, city and county came together from Larimer County to El Paso County. The burnt burgundy of the Front Range left us holding on to one another and in many ways our communities came together. Smoke dominated our lives and the usually festive Colorado Summer’s were mournful and in two words literally and emotionally, burnt out. Churches began 24 hour prayer as the winds changed during the Waldo Canyon Fire, and in that 24 hours many of the faithful felt like God moved and spared further damage.
Frex and Fire
As many of us ride the range we do not do this by bus very often. The FREX, for which this column is nicknamed became a thing of the past. Two young entrepreneurial types wanted to take over the responsibility and yet it has not caught on. The wi-fi work being done on those buses by commuters was often augmented by the outline of Mount Evans, Byers Peak and all the way down with a stunning view of Pikes Peak. A group named Breakthrough 52 launched an informal group of men and women who would ask 52 questions in 52 weeks on issues, ideas, business and economic and spiritual growth along the range. “These are fun questions and ideas that we have taken to a new level in different areas as we reach out,” one of the founding 52 tells FREX.
Sandy and Sandy Hook
Some ideas were used on summer missions in Denver and by fall had made the mission fields of Detroit, DC and New York. In the midst of the NY trip the election and Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath of a Nor’ Easter a contingent of Breakthrough 52 reported on the damage to the infrastructure and were surprised to hear the governor of New York pontificate and point fingers rather than to take care of people who were suffering. “It was the common problem of legalism over human compassion. It lead Breakthrough 52 to come up with 12 ways to build (and rebuild) community. “We were shocked that while we were in New York that marijuana was legalized in our state,” said one of the 52. “We realized that we did not do a good job by staying out of the political system.” Outside of the political system and in some ways not so much, the Front Range was hit by the Aurora Theater slayings in Colorado and more recently what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. “It does get back to asking the right questions,” says our BT-52 interview. “The brain behind the gun or the gun behind the brain still needs to be connected.” “The privacy statements; the isolation and the out of control person and to make sure that they don’t get their hands on an arsenal all seems to be common sense.”
Advent all year long
The main thing about Front Range thinking and doing is a willingness to accept correction. A way to be and to challenge one another to “love God with all our heart soul and mind and our neighbor as we would like to be loved.” Everything else falls into place. Let evangelists- evangelize. Reach out to people and families with special needs. Innovate instead of legislate in all kinds of industries that will create jobs and change our minds about what media we feed our culture. When we love God and our neighbor it falls into place that people will pray for one another and that together they can build and rebuild our fractured communities. That is what Front Range thinking and doing is.
The right questions
Politicians and lawyers, religion and media rarely have succeeded in bringing us hope. We can’t find true peace on our streets, let alone in the Middle East! We will not find true love without defining and strengthening God’s plan for marriage and family, and we will not find love through the pornographic industry and human trafficking. Then there is joy. Joy is not a relativistic term, you either have it or you don’t! But what is true joy and where do you find it?
Finding Joy in the midst of tragedy
Along the Front Range we have a common union and from evangelism, reaching out to people with special needs and their families, having a say on what the media feeds the culture; praying together are all building blocks in preparing for the second coming of Christ. At a time when people are “freaking out” with the Mayan calendar we don’t know the hour or the day. So we continue to prepare for His coming by building and rebuilding communities. Thinking and doing, giving and receiving, and acting on the biblical motive of God, the systematic lifestyle and approach of Christ and the evangelical living out the message, the mission and the music of the Holy Spirit in our communities is getting and being prepared. That is the plan to prepare people with a message of hope from January through March. Get ready with a mission of peace from April-June 2013. From July through September we will prepare, singing new music of love and finish 2013 by integrating the gospel message with the mission we are called to and sing the songs of praise to a God who love us and communicates joy to the world.
The Ministry of Leadership and Communications is a community building group who engages the culture through evangelism; special needs ministries, media and culture, through prayer and community building worldwide. The Denver Front Range is the headquarters and The Denver Front Range Examiner continues to find ways where community can be built and to define values while influencing, impacting and promoting an evangelical lifestyle. For more e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.