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The Week Ahead at Community Spirit Church (UCC)
Thursday, July 29, 2021

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Love Notes

A few words from our pastor

In my sermon on Sunday, I made mention of a statement on the church Facebook page that is as old as Community Spirit itself is. That statement reads: “We are gathered by the Spirit, enlivened by progressive Christian faith, aching to make a difference in the world.” In my message, I suggested that the aches we experience spark and inform our efforts to make a difference.

That ache (or grief or welling up of compassion and concern) is God’s fertile field, I offered. Jesus felt it at every turn—and its why he was so focused in making the differences he could. In us, this ache is where the Spirit begins to stir us to act or respond.

Let’s be honest. Without the ache, we can still make a difference in the world—and we often do, as with donations to the Salvation Army at Christmastime or when we roll our recycling bins to the curb several times a month. That ache, though, is what engages our passion and creativity when we let it move in us, it’s the fuel that propels our efforts and then circles back to us in the form of a felt sense of purpose and meaning.

As part of the sermon, I gave a homework assignment: call or email me with the aches you feel when you consider the needs and realities of the world. Also let me know your sense of what aches our church feels.

Because I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself, here’s my homework assignment for you to learn from.

The first adult ache I remember feeling was when two friends invited me to their gay club in the mid 1980s. The community was incredibly homophobic and my friends were both very closeted. I went not knowing what to expect and later found myself unable to bear the thought of anyone having to keep an essential part of himself/herself hidden. That painful awareness made me an immediate ally and advocate and has fueled countless to make a difference over the course of decades.

The second great ache I felt was when I learned first-hand the harm the church had done to the Navajo when they came as missionaries in the late 1880s. That awareness so grieved me that I found myself compelled to volunteer at a mission church outside Monument Valley. I knew I couldn’t change history but perhaps I could make quiet amends and affect the lives of a few Navajo people. It was responding to this ache that would eventually lead me to seminary.

One ache I feel as part of my life with Community Spirit is for those who can’t imagine that there’s a church in town that would welcome their questions and doubts or a church that would seek to help them heal from injuries sustained in faith communities with rigid beliefs and/or expectations. This is why all my sermons get posted on our website—to provide ample proof to anyone visiting us electronically that we’re a different kind of church with a different take on things. It’s also why I am generous with my time when someone I don’t know calls to say “Tell me about this church of yours.”

I look forward to your responses!

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.)

Read last week's sermon: Blessed, Broken, Given
If you would like to view last week's service online, please reach out to Pastor Karen for the link.

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.

Update from Your Leadership Team

Thanks to those of you who participated in the four pre-worship discussions in June and July. Thanks, too, to Carol Keeney, Aljean Greenacre, Mari-Emilie Sweigart Anderson, and Pat Riddell for facilitating these discussions.

Here are a few tidbits from the Leadership Team’s most recent meeting on Monday night:

  • There is quite a bit of interest in holding a worship service outside. The date for the service will be either August 15th or 22nd; we are waiting confirmation of space availability. In the meantime, watch this space!  Plan to bring a brown-bag lunch so you can participate in the Congregational Conversation (see below).
  • A Congregational Conversation will follow our outdoor worship service. It will be an important opportunity for the congregation to:
    • Learn about the numerous ways we can participate in Grand Junction’s Pride Parade on Sunday, September 12th;
    • Review the current budget and anticipated expenses through year-end;
    • Discuss the challenges of returning to in-person worship;
    • And any other items that may come up between now and then!

From your Leadership Team,

Mary Loncar 970-417-7792
Pat Riddell 970-275-0687
Rev. Karen Winkel 970-275-1725

Pastor's Column

In case you missed it, Karen’s occasional column appeared last Saturday in the Montrose Daily Press.  You can read it on our website: Pastor's Perspective: What do you want me to do for you?

The RMC has its own custom app!

For anyone wanting to be in the know about all things RMC, there’s a brand new app that puts news and information in one convenient location.  Here’s a short video that explains how to download and use the RMC’s new custom app:

The app is easy to use and incredibly convenient!  Here are the step-by-step instructions for downloading and using the app. 

  1. Go to your phone's App Store,
  2. Search for Church App
  3. Open the Church App and search for Rocky Mountain Conference
  4. Opt into messages for select groups
  5. Explore the RMC App!
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

We are unable to receive mail at the Ute Museum, so please always use the address shown above.

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

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