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The Week Ahead at Community Spirit Church (UCC)
Thursday, July 22, 2021

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Love Notes

A few words from our pastor

Friends are posting pictures of their gardens in full swing—flowers going to town, veggies green and generous, berries waiting to be plucked and savored. I’ve been following a Navajo man on TikTok who has slowly turned his arid acreage into a veritable Eden; having spent time living nearby, I’m in awe of his vision and tenacity, and am truly astounded by the bounty he has coaxed from a challenging landscape.

Someone asked me a question the other day that got me thinking about the seeds God plants in our lives. Some take hold easily and grow fairly quickly, others take a long time to germinate, mature, and bear fruit. Most of us prefer our rewards to come quickly; a season is about all we’re willing to wait. But God has time on God’s side—and so seeds that were planted even in our childhoods can, under the right conditions, rise from soil we had no idea was fertile and go on to produce a beautiful, bountiful harvest.

One of the blessings of being part of a church that invites us to try new things and then supports us when we do is that God can surprise us all with a gift none of us were expecting. No matter our age, interests, life experiences, or aptitudes, none of us has any idea what seeds God’s planted deep in the soil of our lives that are, even now, eager to sprout. By the time we’ve got some experience under our belts, we may think we know who we are and who we aren’t, what we have talents for an what we don’t. I’m not sure we’re right! As a way to leave the door open to God and God’s ongoing activity in our lives, I want to encourage all of us to welcome opportunities to take on new projects and try new responsibilities on for size. If you give something a go and it’s not for you, that’s OK. But who knows—God may have something ready to grow in your garden you didn’t expect to find there. And when it comes to the fore and is watered by the love of a supportive, safe church community, we all wind up being blessed by an unexpected patch of possibilities.

With you on the journey,


Be the Church, wherever you are
working for the common good of the whole
as faithful followers of Christ
in community with one another and others.

(Community Spirit Church Guidepost)

Worship With Us This Sunday

Community Spirit UCC gathers each Sunday morning for an online worship service via Zoom. Log in between 10:15 and 10:25 AM. Worship begins at 10:30 AM.

All you need is a phone or a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone AND a weekly email invitation from Pastor Karen with the link to follow. (Reach out to her at if you're not receiving these invitations.)

Please check your email inbox on Saturday to make sure you’ve received your worship link for worship the following day. This will give you time to be in touch with Pat if you need help. If you’re running late on Sunday morning and run into trouble, please reach out to a fellow church member who may be able to forward their Zoom link or help you troubleshoot.

Inreach/Outreach Lunch Meeting Tomorrow

The Inreach/Outreach Ministry is holding their monthly meeting on Friday, July 23rd at 11:30 AM.

Come and enjoy a delicious lunch with some really nice people at Camp Robber on South Townsend (across from Home Depot). As usual, they will set up at a private table for us in the lounge. Fresh new ideas are always welcome, so please let Mary or Joani know about any agenda items you'd like to bring to the table.

Mary Loncar 970-417-7792 (call or text)
Joan Dilts 303-229-4020 (call or text)


What's It All About?

Our mission is to spread love and support our community.

"Inreach" focuses on ways that we can take care of one another at Community Spirit UCC, including a birthday card ministry, meals for shut-ins, potlucks, and other opportunities to get to know each other better and grow in our faith.

"Outreach" addresses ways that we can serve the community, such as road cleanups, food bank collections, hygiene kits for the homeless shelter, and other projects. In the spirit of learning "the habit of giving", we try to provide at least one opportunity each month for our congregation to participate in an outreach project that makes life better for others.

Pastor’s Column

Watch the Montrose Daily Press this Saturday. It’s Pastor Karen’s turn to offer a few thoughts—this time on how life-giving it is to be asked what we need rather than have someone assume they know.  (This column will be added to the ever-growing list on our website News page.)

Continuing the Conversation—This Sunday at 9:50 AM

Please join me, Pat Riddell, for a pre-worship conversation this Sunday to debunk the following:
Myth: “The people who need Community Spirit Church have already found us.”

Woven into this article are some questions you are invited to sit with and perhaps answer for yourself.

In preparation for our conversation together think about how you answer the following question:
“What initially drew you to Community Spirit Church AND what keeps you here?”

  • For some it is community
  • For some it is that all are welcome…
  • For some it is the freedom to be on their own faith journey…
  • For some it is the challenging and enlivening sermons…
  • For some it is being unencumbered by a building…
  • For some it is that CSC can be a safe place for those who have been deeply hurt by the church…
  • For some it is the belief that this world matters and caring for all creation matters to God…
  • For some it is the freedom to be fully ourselves…
  • For some it is the reality that questions are welcome…
  • For some it is that hate, fear, injustice don’t get the last word… God’s LOVE does.
One of the messages on the church’s Facebook page is “Community Spirit Church is a real, relevant and relational church.
What does that mean to you?

If our conversation on Sunday is encouraging and enlivening to us in the moment, can you imagine that there are others who haven’t found us yet who might feel the same way? I can!

If we believe we are a community gathered by the Spirit, enlivened by a progressive faith, and aching to make a difference in the world, it might be helpful to remind ourselves of what the world beyond our “doors” looks like. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Montrose is growing fast, and folks are moving from urban areas. Some estimates are that the county’s population will grow to 50,000 by 2050.
  • Many are early retirees or are folks seeking the lifestyle and have the ability to work remotely.
  • Construction isn’t keeping up with demand – there is a significant shortage of single-family homes, and affordable apartments … affordable to those who will work in expanding retail opportunities earning minimum wage
  • At the same time, Medicaid is expanding as is the population of people without Insurance
  • Mental health issues are growing among the population, and we are facing a work force shortage in several industries
  • More and more of our neighbors are dealing with food insecurity
  • We are not out of the pandemic although there are glimpses of the pre-pandemic familiar
  • Conversations with our gay friends serve as stark reminders of the hurt they have suffered historically at the hands of the church
  • Traditional Church membership continues to decline especially among Millennials for example. In a Pew research study Pastor Karen shared with me recently Millennials are:
    • leaving organized religion (they feel it is irrelevant)
    • they have lost trust in organized religion — it is less about “form” and more about content and it isn’t only about Sunday
    • they are finding their way back to communities in which they can be themselves, explore their spirituality and feel an unconditional welcome.

This is the beginning of an important conversation… but if we believe the CSC is real, relevant, and relational then I would suggest there are empty seats waiting for those who haven’t found us yet.

Later this week, Pastor Karen will send a Zoom link for you to use to access what will surely be an engaging online gathering. It will begin promptly at 9:50 AM and continue until 10:20 AM, giving you a short break before our worship service begins at 10:30 AM.


Planning for Pride

Walt Anderson and Kori Keil will be meeting with fellow UCCer and LGBTQ activist Heidi Hess via Zoom on Wednesday, July 28th at 6 PM to explore how Community Spirit might be a blessing after the Pride Parade in Grand Junction on September 12th. (We will be marching in the parade that morning.) If being part of this conversation is of interest to you, let Pastor Karen know and she’ll be sure you get a Zoom link.

Reminder:  Ouray County is hosting its first annual Pride event on Sunday, July 25th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Hartwell Park in Ridgway. Let’s go and show our support!  Reach out to Pastor Karen if you’d like to carpool. Otherwise, see you there!

Happy 4th of July!
11 Donald Vincent
12 Nancy Henry
24 Kori Zapletal

Updated Contact Lists

If your information has changed or you wish to be added to these lists, please send an email to with the details.

What does God require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? MICAH 6:8

Real. Relevant. Relational.


1516 Barbara Street
Montrose CO 81401-5114

970-765-7070  Church Office
970-765-6615  Finance Team

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Community Spirit Church (UCC) · 1516 Barbara Street · Montrose, CO 81401-5114 · USA

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