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January 27, 2023

Dear Grace Commons family,

Welcome to the last weekend of January 2023. In this leadership update you will find reflections on recent ministry work as well as updates on our pastoral search, building project and more. I hope that these updates continue to communicate effectively to you.

Ministry Highlights

As we think back to December, our Local Missions Team is so grateful for your generous support of the Grace Commons Giving Tree. You may not know that in addition to the tree placed in Sheldon Jackson Parlor, the Local Missions Team placed Giving Trees in 11 other local businesses in Boulder County. We collected over 1,000 gifts and $3,000 in gift cards which enabled our partner, Serve 6.8, to provide gifts for 74 families in Boulder County. Families received three gifts for each child and one gift card. Families served included many Marshall Fire survivors.

Our high school students shared an incredible day serving with Annex, our college ministry, at The Rising Church’s Homeless Shelter in Arvada in honor of Dr Martin Luther King’s Day of Service. This event was one small way that our Student Ministry continues to explore and pursue the ministry theme of trust.

Pastor Search

Our Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) held their first meeting with our search firm on Jan 14. Rob Lauer, with Agora is leading our search for a new Pastor/Head of Staff. Over the same weekend, Rob met with our staff, with Session and joined us for worship on Jan 15. We were very encouraged by the partnership we have forged with Agora. The next step in the process will be to finalize the Opportunity Profile which you will be able to read on our website in late February. The position will be widely advertised as we will conduct a nationwide search. Keep current on the work of the PNC through regular updates on our website.

Boulder Vision Project

At the January Session meeting, your elders received a unanimous recommendation from the trustees to pursue a modified plan and schedule for the construction of 1603 Walnut (also known as the Annex) as part of the Boulder Vision Project. The 4-story building project consists of 30 units of affordable housing, a ground floor cafe with workforce training and a fourth floor/roof-top event space.

In March we will hold an open forum to present the revised plan to the congregation and answer your questions. Watch in the coming weeks for details. If tax credit financing is approved by CHFA (Colorado Housing and Finance Authority) and other milestones are met, we anticipate a second congregational forum in early May to provide the most recent updates. On Sun, June 4 we plan to hold our Annual Congregational Meeting to elect new officers, at which time, assuming the project meets the trustees’ financial parameters, we will schedule a congregational vote to encumber the Annex property.

Pathways Learning Academy, our preschool partner, has steadied and currently enrolls 50 children. The new director, Megan Muller, and our Pastor of Family Ministry, Emily Crider, are working well together. I am very encouraged by the progress we are making to serve young families and children in our community.

Deacons’ Closet

I have been working with the leadership of Deacons’ Closet to re-imagine this ministry for the future. In order to align with the City of Boulder plans and to enlist the partnership of other churches and non-profit organizations, we will be relocating this ministry. Impacted by the construction at 1603 Walnut (aka the Annex), the Deacons’ Closet will move to another downtown church while the Deacons’ Closet leadership pursues the long term goal of finding a purpose-built location adjacent to the City of Boulder’s planned facility for outreach to the unhoused population of Boulder.  

Giving and Budget Update

Thank you for your generous giving during all of 2022, with a special thank you to those who gave year-end gifts. Giving statements will be distributed early next week. As of Dec 31, 2022, our total General Fund Giving was $1.493M and our total General Expense was $1.436M, which yields a $57K budget surplus heading into the second half of Ministry Year ‘23.

Our annual Stewardship Campaign begins in February and culminates with Stewardship Sunday on Mar 12. Watch for more details to come.

Looking Ahead

First, you are invited to attend worship with our college students during their weekly Tuesday night Annex, Feb 7 at 8pm in the Chapel. Come see what the Lord is doing in the midst of our University Ministry! 

Second, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, Feb 22. Join us at noon or 7pm in the Chapel to begin our 40-day Lenten journey. Holy Week is an important seven days in the Christian Church. Worship happening during Holy Week are listed below: 

  • Palm Sunday, Apr 2: 9:30am Worship
  • Maundy Thursday, Apr 6: 5:30pm Family Meal, Worship & Communion
  • Good Friday, Apr 7: 7pm Service 
  • Easter Sunday, Apr 9: 9 & 11am Worship with 10am Celebration & Easter Egg Hunt

Third, this is a really exciting time to be part of leadership at Grace Commons. We are beginning the process of discerning who God is calling as the next class of Trustees, Elders and Deacons. For those new to Grace Commons, the term T.E.D. stands for trustees, elders and deacons. The T.E.D. Team is made up of currently serving officers and covenant partners who lead the selection process. You can nominate yourself or another covenant partner using the form found on our website.

As we continue to discover together through our series Made for Us, may you experience the blessing of Sabbath rest in the weeks ahead. 

Warmly in Christ,

Randy Bare

Transitional Pastor

Past Leadership Updates

1820 15th St, Boulder, CO 80302 | 303.402.6400

Office Hours: M, 8:30–10:30am & noon–3pm; T–Th, 8:30am–3pm | |

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