Friday, February 16, 2018

Judgement: An Act of Love or Condemnation?

Post by: Reid Lester

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday on the same day, I’ve been spending the week thinking about both how we love each other and how we repent from our sins. These two important days have always made me feel very different emotions. Love and bliss are the focus of Valentine’s Day, while repentance and sacrifice are the focus of Ash Wednesday. It made me wonder, is there is an intersection between love and repentance?

Whenever I think about repentance, it makes me think about judgement. I’ve always been more comfortable than most with the idea of judgement. Perhaps it’s because my job outside of church is as a professional sports official. I get paid to make hundreds of judgements every night on both actions and intentions.

Where it gets difficult for me (and I think we need to be careful) is when we judge another person’s intentions. It has been famously said that we often judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. That being said, I believe it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to repent from our sins if we don’t know about our sin. I believe the Holy Spirit brings us conviction and helps us realize that we are sinning, but I also believe the Holy Spirit speaks through spiritual leaders and those we trust to point out the areas in which we are missing the mark.

This past week I read an interesting blog about judgement vs feeling welcomed. It started off saying

“It was decided some decades ago that no one must ever feel uncomfortable, guilty, or, worst of all, judged. They especially must not feel this way at church. Church is a place where all must be welcomed, we’re told.”

The point of the blog is that we as Christians would rather feel comfortable as we continue down the destructive path of sin, than have someone point out our sin and make us feel uncomfortable, even though that revelation would give us a chance to correct our behavior and grow in our relationship with God.

Since a big part of my job is making sure everyone feels welcome at our church, I was intrigued, and I had to read the rest of the blog. I didn’t agree with everything in the article, but it did raise some interesting questions about how we in modern society feel about judgement.

I struggled a little with how we define judgement, the motivation behind judgement, and how that correlates to our relationship with other Christians. Judgement can be defined as “to distinguish or to decide.” “The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.” We all make hundreds of judgements every day. We make judgements about what we eat, how we spend our time, what we wear, and who we listen to.

So what is the motivation behind judgement? Does judgement equal condemnation, or are we able to separate the two? I believe equating judgement with condemnation is why people have a visceral reaction to judgment. After the Gospels, the majority of the New Testament is made up of spiritual leaders offering judgment and corrective feedback to followers of Christ and their churches. Can we as Christians get over our discomfort around judgement and be able to both offer and receive judgment understanding love is the motivation.

As parents, you have to lead your children in the understanding of what is right and wrong. You must judge their behavior and give corrective feedback. This is done to make them better people as they grow up.

The new language heard in churches across the nation on Sunday mornings goes something like this… “We just want to come along side you in your own personal journey. We don’t want to make you uncomfortable.” My personal belief is this language is unproductive and destructive. The blog went on to say,

“If I'm lost and moments away from walking over a cliff, I'd much prefer that you point me in the right direction than "accompany" me over the edge and "welcome" me to my demise and see that I am "included" at the morgue. That is all very polite, I guess, but your pleasant manners won't be much help to me when I'm a pancake. And what if I'm very lost? What if I'm distracted in my wandering, and obstinate, and arrogant, and unable to hear or unwilling to listen to your gentle reminders and subtle nudges? Well, then maybe you'll have to shout. Maybe you'll have to get in my face a little. Maybe, God forbid, you'll have to cast harsh judgments on my chosen path and make me feel bad and icky inside. If that's the only way to get my attention, I should be grateful that you took such a "harsh" and "judgmental" approach.”

I believe we as Christians need to be brave. I think of it a little like when I finally got up the courage to ask RuthAnn (now my wife) out on a date. I needed courage in the moment. There was a chance it could be awkward or that I might get rejected, but the possibility of building a relationship outweighed my fear. We need that same courage when we feel led to speak out.

In the Wednesday Word of the Day Pastor Ken talked about “wilderness.” Ken spoke about being brave and having the ability to speak out. He referenced BrenĂ© Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness. In the book BrenĂ© shares a quote from another author about how difficult it can be to step out in the wilderness.

“Standing on the precipice of the wilderness is bone-chilling. Because belonging is so primal, so necessary, the threat of losing your tribe or going alone feels so terrifying as to keep most of us distanced from the wilderness our whole lives. Human approval is one of the most treasured idols, and the offering we must lay at its hungry feet is keeping others comfortable. I’m convinced that discomfort is the great deterrent of our generation.”

We are willing to sacrifice truth to fit in. We give up the courage in our desire to be accepted. Can you think of a time when you knew someone was making a mistake, but you were too afraid to say something? We need to follow the example of Jesus in John Chapter 8. When talking with the woman at the well and being fully aware of her sin, Jesus says “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus speaks to her from a place of love, while still addressing the fact that she needs to stop her sinful behavior.

Your willingness to say something might be what keeps someone from experiencing pain or tragedy. We need to step out of our comfort zone, step into the wilderness, and be willing to offer judgement and corrective feedback to those we care about. We need to care more about each other and our eternal salvation than about the possibility of making someone uncomfortable.

Reid Lester is the Director of Servant Ministries at Broomfield United Methodist Church. Reid’s job is to help people find ways to serve our Church and the community through our Church Ministries and our Community Partnerships. Reid and his wife RuthAnn have been attending BUMC for 2 years. When Reid isn’t at BUMC he serves as a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. Reid also umpires Division 1 baseball for the NCAA.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Post by: Kyle Rasmussen 

Honestly, 2 weeks ago I had a completely different blog planned. I had an epic baseball-inspired reflection of faith that would have stoked discipleship (and spring fever) into all-out contagion.

God’s timing is perfect and mine is not, however. He comes along and demands a rewrite. Where I was stretching the ties of my faith to the love of baseball, He welded the core tenets of what it means to be a Christian to the events of the other week.

Most of you are probably well aware, January is Girl Scout cookie season. My daughter, Noellyn is a Brownie this year and going through her third season of cookie sales. She’s set lofty goals the past two years and even if she doesn’t meet them this year she’s blown last year’s impressive number out of the water already. When I’m walking the neighborhood with her, about 4 out of every 5 people who answer their door order cookies! Pretty sure you couldn’t sell free beer at that percentage here…

What’s mind-blowing to me is that about 80% of houses in the neighborhood also have some sort of “No Soliciting” sign on their front door. Honestly I always have this prepared speech in my head to potentially apologize to an irate home owner who challenges our literacy. I guess there’s a universal exception for Thin Mints within that mandate. Some people literally joked about their signs saying, “It should say ‘except for Girl Scouts selling cookies’ under there…”

But I wonder, behind our closed blinds and “No Soliciting” signs, how many of our neighbors are propelling themselves privately toward rock bottom? I heard an interview with journalist Sam Quinones this fall about his research into the opioid epidemic. He was amazed at how much of the root cause can be assigned to cultural issues within the US, not economic or political issues in the countries where most illegal drugs are manufactured. “We have destroyed community. We have exalted the private,” he says. We don’t even need shady drug dealers anymore, we’ve got doctors and pharmaceutical companies lining up to pass drugs legally into our hands to feed our addictions. And we drive in our $50,000 SUV to our million dollar suburban homes with perfectly manicured lawns to make it look to our neighbors like we’ve got the perfect life going; so whatever you’re selling, we’re not interested.

Jesus clearly had something to say about our neighbors and how we should think of them. Luke’s Gospel tells us that those who prefer to “cross to the other side of the road” and ignore our neighbors in need are disobeying God’s essential commandment. Jesus asks the lawyer, “Which of these three (the priest, Levite, or Samaritan), do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37 ESV)

So on a recent Monday evening, Noellyn walked up to a door a couple blocks from our house and rang the doorbell. She had already decided it was her last cookie sales pitch of the day as the sun was setting. An elderly woman (we’ll call her Mary) answered the door and was beyond delighted to have visitors. She claimed Noellyn and my wife, Jenn were the first walk-up visitors they’ve had in the 20 years they’ve lived in Centerville. Stop and let that wash over you for a minute: 20 years, no visitors at the door.

As Noellyn rolled her cookie pitch, Jenn could tell something wasn’t normal about this suburban house. Portable space heaters were being used in the living room. When Jenn asked about them, Mary disclosed that their furnace hadn’t been working for a couple weeks. Again, this is January, let that wash over you as well. They talked for the better part of 40 minutes (they were the first visitors in a long time after all) and then Jenn and Noellyn walked through the now dark evening back home.

I was working out of town and got a call from Jenn telling me about their encounter. We both pondered, “That’s really weird” but I could tell in Jenn’s voice this was moving her to action. Sure enough, the next day she called our pastor and told him about Mary. She asked if there were any programs he knew of that could help or if there was something we, as the church could do. Our church has an amazing and talented jack-of-all-trades handyman, Brian. He is usually less busy in the winter so an impromptu house call in January was no problem. Almost if scripted, Pastor Loren happened to be having lunch with Brian that day. Together, Jenn and Brian decided they would go to visit Mary in hopes that Brian could fix the furnace. Jenn perceived that Mary’s pride would try to keep them from helping, so they kept their visit unannounced.

So Wednesday they dropped in on Mary and found out that, in addition to no heat, their water had also been off for over a month. Mary’s husband had brought a plumber in to diagnose the problem, but he had left the water off and not returned. She was using any receptacle possible (bowls, empty detergent bottles) to catch the water from the still leaking pipe for use in cooking and cleaning. Let me just throw in the fact that the median household income in our city is over $82,000 and the median home value is north of $275,000. So why would anyone assume their neighbors would be living with no working heat or running water, right?

In no time, Brian had the thermostat and furnace switch fixed, and the furnace roared to life. A couple parts runs later, he had bypassed the surge tank (which was the cause of the leaks), getting the water running again. Again, I was still out of town, but knowing Brian I can only imagine that every time Mary thanked him he said, “Don’t thank me. I’m just being Jesus’s hands.” Brian invited Mary and her husband to church (offering a ride as well - Did I mention their car isn’t working right now too?)

Jenn called me later that afternoon and told me what had happened and started to fill in more details of Mary’s story. In self disclosure, I got pretty angry. Angry that in this Utah culture that espouses family, community, helping our neighbors, etc. was an elderly couple who were in dire straits lacking basic needs. “How stuck in self-righteousness do we need to be that either nobody took notice or nobody cared?” I thought to myself. “Are we so lost in our ‘doing’ that we forget what has been ‘done’ for us?”

Again, Jesus hits us head on in Matthew’s Gospel when it comes to what service looks like to our almighty King: “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25: 37-40 ESV) I fail miserably at this every day, though I’m continually trying to put my own needs on the shelf and look to others’ needs first. And I sincerely hope that someday in future (because I don’t think she gets it yet), Noellyn will realize that because she was selling cookies to pay for summer camp, she made sure an elderly couple got heat and running water back. Most importantly, she showed someone God’s love.

I think Jesus is telling us in Luke and Matthew, “Look, I know you don’t really like all your neighbors. I know you think you’re too busy and it looks like they’re probably fine. But I LOVE YOU, and I LOVE THEM, and I put YOU close to THEM to make sure they know ME.”

Kyle Rasmussen and his family currently live in Centerville, UT and attend The Bridge Community Church. He is a Quality Control Specialist with Holly Energy Partners in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Friday, February 2, 2018

What Do You Do To Grow Your Faith?

Post by: Vicki Cromarty

I am fortunate to be in a small group with some great ladies. We meet every Friday morning and study God’s Word and support and encourage each other. I’ve been with many of these ladies for several years – and I look forward to seeing all of these precious people each week. They motivate and inspire me to keep growing and to draw closer to the God who is always with us, helping and guiding us- if we just look for Him and pay attention!

We just finished a great study by Andy Stanley (a pastor in Atlanta) that is really sticking with me beyond our lessons. Each week had fairly simple concepts but brought new perspectives and thought provoking ideas about 5 things that God uses to GROW our faith. I’m still a work in progress on ALL of them, but imagine how different our outlook could be if we were absolutely confident that God is with us!

Andy begins the study by reminding us that the original break in humankind’s relationship with God happened because of a refusal to trust Him. God has been working with us on this trust issue ever since. His desire is to draw us into a relationship built around our absolute, perfect confidence in Him.

Finding that absolute perfect confidence is hard, but below are the 5 things that Andy’s church has noticed that God uses regularly to grow BIG faith, again, if we are paying attention! I’m using some of Andy’s words in the description of each of the 5 things below.

#1 Practical Teaching. Can you remember a time when for the first time you heard the Bible taught in a practical, life-impacting way? This usually begins us on a path of applying scripture to our everyday lives- families, finances, work, morality, ethics. Suddenly God comes alive and we begin to respond with action!

I remember very vividly when God came alive in new way for me. I had just started working at a church in FL, and we took a bunch of teens to a Christian music day at a Disney water park. There were Christian bands there sharing messages and their music. Geoff Moore and The Distance was a band back then (I’m dating myself here! J) and the message Geoff shared included teaching about God that hit me in a way that I’d never experienced before. I stood in that wave pool with tears running down my face and couldn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t feeling what I was. I’d like to say God took my knowledge of Him from my head to my heart that day, and a deeper relationship began. What was your moment when teaching really impacted your head and heart and moved you closer to God?

#2 Providential Relationships. As you think about your life, has there been a particular person who helped spark your interest in God? Someone God used to help make your faith bigger and stronger? Someone who has pushed you to grow in your thinking about God?

My mom was always a role model for my faith journey as I was growing up (and still is). She has counted on God and trusted Him through the good times and bad, and always gives Him the glory. My relationship with my mom gave me a foundation on my journey of understanding God. Then in my younger adult years, I was blessed with a few amazing friends who loved God with all they had, and were more mature in their faith than me. They opened my eyes to how active God is and can be in my daily life. They helped me to begin to trust God and count on Him in ways I hadn’t before. Who are these people in your life? Or do you feel you have met them yet?

#3 Private Disciplines. The word “discipline” can bring about negative feelings – it’s all about something we’re supposed to do but don’t always want to do or have time to do. But when it’s a part of your lifestyle, what begins as a discipline can later become a pleasure. Discipline brings progress and eventually results in freedom. This is especially true of disciplines that stimulate your faith journey.

If I’m honest, this is a hard one for me. I start out of the gate with great disciplines but don’t go the long haul. I get distracted by life and fail to keep up- therefore needing to start all over again. I’ve realized a few things that work for me in this busy season of life. I listen to Christian radio and am blessed by the lyrics of the songs and the stories and short messages that they share. I get a devotion as well as some other Christian encouragement in my email inbox each day. And I’m a diehard for my small group that I mentioned. I’m there almost every single time we meet. I pray that one day I will be consistent in what a favorite pastor of mine calls “chair time”. Picking a place in your house – a comfortable chair – to go to each day for 15 minutes to be with God either in prayer or reading God’s word. That is my goal. Every day! What are some of your spiritual disciplines that you’ve had success with, or some of your goals for this area?

#4 Personal Ministry. Have you ever felt God tugging at you to do something that you don’t feel equipped or qualified to do? Then when you step out in faith, you began to see your gifts and passion in service for a greater good? God wants us to stretch our faith muscles and build our trust in Him.

Thinking about doing work for God is a pretty huge thing. Are any of us really equipped to do God’s work? Have you felt that tug but are too scared to walk toward it? If God is tugging on us to do a certain thing that can help others or make a difference, it is like He is saying to us “Just bring what you have”. A good friend told me long ago that “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” What a huge relief! That is kind of like getting permission to do something you aren’t that good at yet. Where are you feeling led to serve or be in ministry, but don‘t feel qualified?

#5 Pivotal Circumstances. It happens all the time: people go through the most difficult circumstances imaginable and come out on the other side with a rock-solid, unshakable faith. People describe their stories and say they wouldn’t wish their circumstances on anyone or wouldn’t choose to go through it again, but God did something in the middle of the circumstances that they don’t think he could have done any other way. James tells us that trials are for the purpose of testing our faith, and that testing produces perseverance (James 1:2-4).

This last concept is a tough one. My small group struggled a bit with this. All of us go through rough times at some point in our lives, some more than others. When we are walking through these trials, it can be hard to understand why a loving God would allow the hardship for us. Time and time again, however, people share stories of how God drew them closer or helped them grow through their hard time. I like to have faith that God will bring something good from the hard – but how do we justify that thought when a spouse or a child dies? Often we may not ever know where God brought good until we’re in heaven one day. But even if our hard story can help us empathize and relate with someone just freshly going through the same circumstances, God can help us be a blessing to that person. And that is the good. Can you see good that has come from the hard seasons of life you have endured? Do you believe God can use your trials for future good?

I encourage you to think about these 5 concepts and ask yourself the questions above. Ultimately, what can you do to grow your faith?? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 Please share in the comments below!

Vicki Cromarty is the Director of Family Ministries at BUMC. She loves getting to know families and kids and having the privilege to learn with them about God’s amazing love. Vicki and her husband Dave of 19 years, have a beautiful daughter, Lauren, who is 15 years old. Their family also includes Sadie, the Lhasa Apso, and a fairly new family member, Baylee, a chocolate lab puppy! Vicki loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoying all that beautiful Colorado has to offer! You can contact her 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Welcome Home

Post by: Mike Orr

Snowbound is a weekend winter camp for middle schoolers. We just got back from Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista where we played, sang, worshipped, learned, and got messy with 500 other middle schoolers and leaders! It was amazing, and our students will never forget the experience. Our speaker for the weekend, Ben, talked about the story of the Lost Son. You might know it as the parable of the Prodigal Son. Before you continue reading this, you should read the story for yourself in Luke 15:11-32.

For many of us, this is a story so familiar that we might zone out while hearing it. At camp we looked at the story from the perspectives of each of the three main characters: the younger son, the older son, and the father. One thing you may not have noticed before about the story is what was going on when the father noticed the younger son returning. We read in verse 20, “But while he [the younger son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

If the father saw him “while he was still a long way off,” that must mean that the father had been watching for his son. I can picture an older man, watching the road to his home, eyes fixed on the horizon, waiting. Did the father wait and watch every day? What a patient and forgiving father! Jesus told parables to give us images of what God is like. In this parable, the father represents our Heavenly Father.

Jesus is telling us that God is watching and waiting for you to return. And when you do make that turn, you won’t even make it all the way back before you find yourself in the arms of God, welcoming you home. The creator of heaven and earth is ready to run out to meet you. Many of us initially identify with the older son, thinking that we’ve never turned away from God. I think if you’re completely honest, there have at least been times when you haven’t kept in tune with God’s movement in your life. This story offers very good news; God stands ready to run out and meet you as you turn your heart back to the Father.

This is also good news for our friends. Many of us know people who don’t believe there is a God, or they have a very negative impression of God. It’s easy to end up with a picture of God as a vengeful, angry, uncaring being. Jesus paints a picture of a gentle, forgiving Father who longs to embrace each of his children. So, next time you’re feeling far from home, remember all you have to do is turn toward your Heavenly Father. And if you have a friend who has a negative impression of God, Jesus has given you the gift of this story to share. God is yearning to say, “Welcome home!”

Mike is the Director of Student Ministries at BUMC. He’s done ministry with students in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, and now Colorado. Mike recently finished his MDiv degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, and his passion is to lead kids of all ages toward adoption into the family of God. If he’s not hanging out with Middle School or High School students, you’ll probably find him on a bicycle or on skis. He makes killer chocolate chip cookies. Reach him at

Friday, January 19, 2018

Faster Horses

Post by: Andrea Laser

A few years ago, as part of my school district’s initiative toward more innovative practices, I was fortunate enough to be on a team that received training in “Design Thinking.” It has truly changed the way I think about solving problems and has made me consider the best approaches to innovation and creativity. One of the exercises they had us complete was trying to solve a problem as a team, and we were given prompts such as brainstorming solutions, if your budget was $100 million dollars, if all you could use was magic, etc. At first it seemed ridiculous, and my usually practical, efficient, and somewhat cynical brain went to a pattern of “that won’t work, because…” The lesson out of the activity? Some of the greatest innovations and solutions to problems have come from ideas that were once considered magic or unreasonable (think about an iPhone 100 years ago).

A quote they shared from Henry Ford is now one of my favorites, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Yeah, we would have. Things that seem so common now were once unimaginable, non-existent, even in our imagination.

Recently I have been praying for very specific solutions I have come up with to my problems. And to be honest, I haven’t yet seen those prayers being answered. It’s a feeling I don’t like- that unsure, anxiety filled place where the next step isn’t always clear or the timing isn’t always laid out in front of me. I’ve been trying to take a new perspective- God is the original innovator, and his plan for us is always different than we ever imagined it to be. Even Jesus, who was the Savior the world had been praying for, was not what most people imagined he would be, but he was exactly who we needed. His gift of grace and love to his people were more than likely not the gifts that many people were imagining, but they have changed the world forever.

That’s the thing about God; he doesn’t show up and just hand us what we ask for. He isn’t our “yes man,” or someone who always answers our prayers in the way we want him to. God works on problems we don’t even know exist yet, and deals with our problems in ways that don’t always make sense at the moment. If we accept that and can give that control over to him, we might just see that his solutions and path are exactly what we need.

They may even seem magical.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton and Wyatt. She and her husband Steve, have been members of BUMC since 2009.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Things I'm Not Going To Do in 2018

Resolutions for a new year are great. Even if they aren't always kept, it's good to look at a new season  in life and resolve to do things differently. Inspired by a recent podcast that I heard, I decided to instead make a list of things that I am NOT going to do this year. Let me know if any of these resonate with you.

In 2018, I am not going to...

Ignore family or friends to look at my phone
I’ve got a friend on Facebook who recently posted that she was deleting her Facebook account and getting a flip phone. I’m not doing that anytime soon - I think that online community and the ability to keep in touch with others far away is a great thing. But living life in front of a screen while missing out on things going on around me is not going to happen in 2018. I may not be getting a flip phone, but I’m keeping my phone in my pocket more often when there’s real life to participate in.

Be hard on others
Pastor Ken shared a quote in a recent message that said, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I admit to not doing this all the time. I can be quick to judge people who annoy me. I want to stop doing that and instead give others the grace that I would want to receive. God knows I need it. This includes pointing out others’ mistakes or flaws. I don’t need mine pointed out to me, I’m well aware of them. I’m going under the assumption that other people don’t need me to point theirs out either.

Dismiss people whose beliefs are not the same as mine
Religious, political, philosophical. We all have differences and we can all learn from one another. It’s so much easier to dismiss others and stick with my own ways, but this year I would rather put forth the effort to hear and learn from them.

Stay quiet about things I believe in
Along those same lines, I tend to be quiet about things I believe in when I know that the resulting conversation is just going to be one where we “agree to disagree.” This was especially tough in 2017, and I don’t imagine it getting much easier this year. However, the few times I did open up there were definitely “agree to disagree” moments but there were many more moments of great conversation. When I feel the urge to just keep quiet, I’m going to try to speak up in an effort to have more great conversations.

Go through the year on autopilot
Sometimes, I’m pretty good at just going through the motions. Whether due to boredom or fatigue, I can quickly make one day blend into the next, not noticing the beauty and excitement of the world around me. Routines are great, but I’m trying to catch myself when I feel that I’m on autopilot and snap out of it.

Let myself stay the same
I like change to happen fast. But it most often happens slowly. Instead of abandoning new practices when they don’t produce change right away, I’m going to stick with them. Read one more book. Spend 5 more minutes in prayer. Run an extra half mile. Over the course of 2018, these small changes will result in a different person.

Feel free to email me with your list of things you're not going to do this year! I'd love to read them.

Joe Mazza is the Director of Worship Arts at Broomfield UMC and leads worship at our 8:30 and 9:45 worship services. He and his wife Theresa and son JJ can always be found making music around the church as a part of the Worship Arts family. Joe also plays guitar with local Colorado artists and if you friend him on Facebook, you can find out where he's playing and catch a show.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Strength in Community

Post by: Cristen underwood

As the wife of a police officer, I was shaken by the shootings of four Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies and one Castle Rock Police Officer that occurred early in the morning of New Year’s Eve. As you’ve probably seen on the news, one of the Deputies, 29-year-old Zackari Parrish was killed. He left behind his parents, his wife and two daughters.

There is always an element of fear when you’re the spouse of a Law Enforcement Officer. It is a dangerous job. There will always be fear while your spouse is on duty that the doorbell will ring and an officer will be standing there, hat in hand, to deliver the very worst news of your life.

During the live-broadcasted service, Deputy Parrish’s wife, Gracie was able to get up and speak, I can’t fathom the courage and composure that took. She talked about how when her husband was sworn in, his blood turned blue. She talked about how when it was time for their daughters to learn to drive, she would lean on Deputy Parrish’s brothers in blue to teach them. She talked about how much her husband loved the job, loved helping and serving a community that needed him.

Everyone who spoke during the service mentioned the pride that Deputy Parrish had in the job that he was blessed to be able to do. How strong he was and how much he cared for everyone with whom he came in contact. How he worked so hard to serve his community.

That community came out en masse to show their support for the family. The line of first responder vehicles that accompanied Deputy Parrish’s body and his family on the way to the service was a mile long. Lights flashed on police motorcycles, ambulances, and police cruisers. The highways were closed, for the processional to have a clear path. There were people on every bridge waving flags, the roads were lined, in many places three deep with supporters. I teared up every time I saw all of those cars, in perfect, precise lines following the body of their fallen brother.

This is a difficult time to be a Law Enforcement Officer. They are trashed in the news, they’re demonized and hated as often as appreciated. My husband is a School Resource Officer and works directly with a local high school. He has amazing relationships with many of the kids in school, he works very long hours to assure that all of the students are in a safe place and receive the best support that he can give. Giving their all is the norm for Law Enforcement Officers, not the exception.

I hope that on January 5, the day of Deputy Parrish’s service, Gracie Parrish felt that community support. That the thousands and thousands of people and fellow Law Enforcement Officers who came to show their respect were a small comfort during such a horrific time in her life. Hopefully, in these challenging times, communities continue to offer love and support to all of the officers who work tirelessly to ensure their safety.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” Matthew 5:9

Cristen Underwood has been a member of BUMC since 2010.   She lives in Westminster with her husband, six-year old son, three-year old son, a very sweet black lab and a really fat cat.