Posts written by communityfaithinaction

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Reordering Charity

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Thoughts from Dan Thoemke …

I was listening to Dr. Robert Egger speak at an event this month. He was challenging those of us in the non-profit world with some new thinking that I believe resonates with true transformation within communities. To transform a community means being involved in the kind of change that is deeper than being good at charity. It addresses the change of the heart, creating justice for that individual or family, leading to transformed lives. Dr. Egger said: 

“Charity is more about the redemption of the 

giver than the liberation of the receiver”.

We must be honest with ourselves and ask the question “is the charitable giving we are involved in truly liberating for the receiver”? I am often struck with the realization that my charitable gifts of food, money or service is often in response to an immediate need, but falls short in truly liberating the receiver to not rely on those same gifts next month. This is why it is so important that we find dignified ways for receivers to get in on the giving side of a community’s charitable process!

I am reminded of one man who we were able to help through the Neighborhood Rehab Project, whose home was truly in need of a lot of care. The roof was leaking, the crawl space was wide open to the elements, his heater was at best firing at 40% and the railings were falling off his front porch. He was overwhelmed and discouraged with the kind of work and effort it would take to repair all these things.  We sent in 6 volunteers who worked along side him and in six hours, the work was complete. This man is now serving as one of our project managers, helping others find that same relief.  But here is the surprising thing. He said to me, “it was so good to get that help, but what’s  even better is that I met some good people and now I know they need me to be a part of helping others. That is what is truly rewarding.” 

I want to challenge each of you with a couple simple questions to ask:

– Are you a part of the “giving” redemptive side of transforming your community?

– Do you need to be a part of the process of rethinking how we do charity?  In the places you serve, are there efforts being  spent on truly liberating the receiver by involving them in the giving process?

Friends, we need to take serious the call to tap into the power of creating a community that truly is transformative and not just a pat on the back for our good deeds.

Places you can Tap Into your Community:

Did you know you have an opportunity to be involved in the development of a Better Block Project? Come join us in the revitalization of Miner’s Alley; a quest to create together a great space for community values on Saturday May 31st.  Contact Leslie if you are interested in learning more.

Are you a business leader in Golden wishing to connect with other leaders who have a heart to see their business practices follow their faith?  Then join us on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at “The Gathering”.

Are you a tool?  Each one of us has the opportunity to be a tool and make a difference in our community.  Sign up today as a volunteer for one of our future projects.  We have several projects starting in May 2014.  Go to and click on the “Volunteer” tab.

Build the “Tool Fund” Every guy wishes he had an accessible fund to buy a new TOOL!  We have a fund like that, but it is more rewarding than your typical tool fund.  This one helps senior adults, disabled folks, and people in need with the purchasing of materials in addressing those emergent repairs around their homes.  You build the “tool fund” and we will send the tools to help! Go here and click on the “give to a tool” tab!

Who is the Together Church of Golden?  Visit the new

CityUnite, a Metro Denver movement with a targeted focus on local municipalities.

Listen to a Message from Dan “The State of the City” taught at Hillside Community Church.

At a glance…To view a calender of Volunteer opportunities in Golden, click here:  April Volunteer Calendar

We had a great few days of teaching the Horncreek Interns about leadership, community and integrating their faith into their vocation.

We had a great few days of teaching the Horncreek Interns about leadership, community and integrating their faith into their future vocations.

The City Unite meeting was a valuable time with other area leaders as we focused on the Community Learning Model.

The City Unite meeting was a valuable time with other area leaders as we focused on the Community Learning Model.




Reflecting Back…Looking Forward

Community Faith in Action had the great privilege of facilitating collaboration and highlighting so many great organizations and relationships within Golden in 2013.  We have the great opportunity to bring folks together, see them use their gifting and watch true change happen within our city.

As we look back, here are some of the highlights as well as some of our HOPES and GOALS for 2014.

Beginning with the Neighborhood Rehab Project September 7th brought over 220 volunteers working on 33 homes in the Golden area, making this our biggest year yet! We are grateful to all those who gladly wore the slogan “I’m a Tool” on their shirt as they hammered, painted, lifted, cleaned, sanded, etc. all in the name of helping a neighbor.

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In addition to growing the number of helpers on the NRP day of service, we are developing  a data-base of volunteers and lead volunteer recruiters within churches and organizations who we can be empower for several monthly projects throughout 2014. We will also be working on organizational development as we appoint people to various leadership positions in order to allow NRP to flourish and strengthen in the coming months. The reward continues to be seeing the joy and gratefulness of neighbors working together, helping one another address practical needs and building relationships with our volunteers. A win, win.  Come and “Be a Tool”! and sign up here.

The Together Church of Golden continues to grow, not as an organization, but a Christ centered relationship between 9 different Christian Churches within the Golden Community.  These relationships continue to be solidified as the pastors faithfully meet each week to pray for the City of Golden,  meet for regular planning sessions and quarterly days away for relationship building.  Soon, a website will be up and running with the goal of communicating to the Together Church members their clear and succinct vision, tell inspiring stories and highlight current learning and service opportunities.  Community Faith in Action has the great privilege of facilitating this relationship throughout the year.

Other communities are beginning to take notice of the Golden Chaplaincy Program for Law Enforcement and have sought out the help of our chaplains in starting new programs!  This past year, two new chaplains were added to a nearby department where we have been able to help in the training and facilitating of their process. Several other departments are pursuing this same help.  One of our goals for the upcoming year is to host a networking and training event for Police Chaplains in the Denver metro area here in Golden.  We are so thankful for the Golden Police Department and it’s leadership team for their genuine desire to see chaplaincy care become a reality in departments across the Front Range.

Other CFIA updates….

Colorado Gives Day, a partnership with, had a very successful fundraising effort, collecting $3,423.98 in one day! Many thanks to those of you who supported this financial effort, living out the phrase “give where you live.”

The Gathering was created by Jeff Fox for businessmen and women in the Golden community to meet as they challenge one another to live our their faith in the workplace. This group will now be meeting twice a month — see the flyer below and help spread the word.


Hannah Corson served two years as our Administrative Assistant.   We had to say good bye to Hannah as she and her husband moved in December. Hannah brought so much to the table and we are so thankful for her sincere heart and dedication to the mission of CFIA and her relationships in Golden. She will be missed!

Welcome to Leslie Fox, who began in January as our new Administrative Assistant.  Leslie comes to us with a passion for the Golden Community, a desire to make a difference  and the right gifts for the job.  We are so blessed to have her on board!


It is always exciting to see local businesses partner with us and that’s just what Bob’s Atomic Burger did in December. For two weekends, they donated a portion of their profit to the Golden Rescue Fund and the Golden Chaplaincy Program. Thanks to all who supported this effort, getting a great burger in the process.  “If it is not messy it is not good!”


A word from DanAs I look back over my journey here in Golden, I am completely blown away by this community.  We live in a place where people truly want to work together and make a difference.  People always ask me, “so…explain again, what is it you do?”  Are you a Pastor? Yes, and a chaplain right? Yes, so what is the difference between those two, well, not too much…And the Neighborhood Rehab Project? Yes I do that as well, and of course you are always meeting with people from the City, businesses, churches…yes you are right.  Explain?”  I do all this with a sense of calling to see this community work together and move toward it’s God given purpose.  I believe the City of Golden was established early on as a place where individuals, families, businesses, schools and churches would thrive in their full God given potential.  I spend the majority of my time building relationships around common good interests, igniting collaborative opportunities to work together and sharing inspiring stories with the community.  Let us all continue to find our place in God’s story as we journey together through Golden, Colorado.

Thanks for taking the time to reflect back on these highlights and for your involvement in our connecting efforts looking forward! -Dan






Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



We hope that you all are making plans to enjoy this holiday season with family and friends, creating many new memories with the people you love. We have some cool stuff to share with you, and maybe you can plan some of it into your family’s Christmas celebrations!


Let’s help Bob’s Atomic Burgers “Stuff the Store”!

On December 7 & 14 we are working with Bob’s Atomic Burgers this Christmas season in rallying folks in the Golden community to support two organizations we work very closely with:

(1)   The Golden Chaplaincy is group of Christian leaders who emotionally and spiritually support the policemen and women at Golden Police Department. The money  raised on the December 7th will go towards a Christmas Meal that the Chaplains provide to show appreciation for the Golden Police  Department.


(2)   The Golden Rescue Fund provides support for Golden individuals and families that find themselves in need of temporary financial assistance. The money raised on December 14th  will go towards providing meals & gifts for 2 special families in the Golden Community to celebrate Christmas.

So maybe you’d want to invite some neighbors and come grab a burger on December 7 and 14!  (10% of proceeds will benefit the organizations listed above)


Another opportunity to make you aware of is Colorado Gives Day…

Colorado Gives Day

What is “Colorado Gives Day”?

Colorado Gives Day is a 24-hour period to “Give where you live” by making online donations to the hundreds of non-profits (including Community Faith in Action) featured on Community First Foundation’s online giving resource,


How it’s gonna work:

On December 10th, you can go online to and use their search engine to find Community Faith in Action. Once you’re there, you can donate directly to CFIA or you can also choose to donate to our Neighborhood Rehab Project fund raiser where we have a $5,000 goal for the 8 jobs we have ready to go for the first of the year. You can also schedule your donation for December 10 at this website,  ahead of time so that you don’t have to remember to log on 🙂


What else can YOU do?

(1)   For each dollar that YOU give on December 10th, your donation will be increased through First Bank’s incentive fund! First Bank has donated $250,000 for this incentive fund that will leverage each donation made through on December 10.

(2)   TRIVIA! If you are active on Facebook and enjoy answering trivia questions, then YOU can help us win some extra cash! On December 2-6 at 8am and 1pm, First Bank’s Facebook page  will have Colorado Gives Day trivia questions. If you get the answer correct, you can win $1,000 for any non-profit that is featured on ! (HINT: a good place to find many of the answers for the trivia will be on the website

(3)   Luck of the Draw Prize! First Bank will also be holding a drawing to give out 18 prizes worth $5,000 for non-profit that receives a minimum of 30 donations on December 10th. So you can help us be eligible for this prize by providing a donation of any amount on December 10th!

(4)   Connect with us on Facebook  and “like” and “share” our pictures, notes, and links!

Colorado Gives… do YOU? 🙂


We also want to welcome two new board members: Don & Taryn Bellavance!


Don & Taryn with their two kids, Ben & Natalie

The Bellavance family has lived in Golden for about 10 years after moving here from Southern California. Taryn is a loan officer at Pinnacle Mortgage Group which she really enjoys because of the flexibility and the fact it’s more about people than it is about numbers. Don is part owner of Brand Evolutions in Golden where he enjoys doing the merchandising and building e-stores for athletic events all over the state.  An avid cyclist himself, he especially loves working creatively with race directors in making their events more successful. Ben is 20 and a sophomore at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs where he lives in a loft on a church property and is a Young Life leader.  Natalie is 17 and a senior at Golden High School.  She’s currently saving money for college working at Jamba Juice and lots of babysitting jobs. The family loves to ski, hike, and celebrate special occasions with dinner at Sushi Den, their favorite restaurant in Denver. Don and Taryn will be joining the board to help Community Faith in Action better tell the story of what God is doing in Golden.

Thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year from CFIA!

Merry Christmas!

2013 Power of Community Collaboration

There is so much to be thankful for in this community.  We have had the great privilege of being part of some of these projects and relationships.  It is our passion at Community Faith in Action to facilitate opportunities within Golden that start and begin to foster sustainable change.  We desire to see the lives of community members transformed as they serve and receive service. Thank you for being involved in so many tangible ways this year!

This fall we are celebrating several events and community projects that have required much community collaboration… here’s a few of them:


First off, the Snack-N-Wagon finished its first summer serving lunch to kids around Golden. It was a wonderful pilot year of learning, serving and watching an amazing group of volunteers step up to the call.  We are looking forward to what 2014 will have in store for the S-n-W!   We were also able to use the Snack-N-Wagon to deliver lunches to over 220 volunteers during the 3rd Annual Neighborhood Rehab Project Day of Service on September 7th!


We also had the 8th Annual Buffalo Bill Days Together Church Service in the park! We had folks representing 11 different churches and heard personal stories from community members about the impact  the Together Church of Golden has made on their lives and neighborhoods. There was a moment during the morning when the church together was singing out to our Lord in one BIG voice that, I began to think, “this has to be a bit like heaven”.  This was a great time of celebrating the unity of the Church in Golden and a sweet time of worship together.


The Together Church Community Garden in Golden was also a huge success! From this garden, we received over 600lbs of  vegetables this summer! There were volunteers that harvested each week and brought the veggies to the Christian Action Guild, Canyon Gate Apartments, and the Lewis Court Apartments. If you are interested in participating next year, contact Amanda Strouth at or Melinda Warner


And also our 3rd Annual Neighborhood Rehab Project was a HUGE success!! Over 220 of you showed up and this huge horde of orange tackled over 33 projects! One homeowner said, “How wonderful it is to watch faith in action! I wish to convey my utmost, sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to you, to my crew of “tools” and to all those involved with coordinating this amazing project” and another said, “This work on our roof was perfect timing! If we had waited even a few more days, there would have been so much damage from the recent heavy rains”.  It was such a great day of connecting relationally all the while meeting physical, tangible needs. If you want more of the story on what projects were done, click on the Neighborhood Rehab Project blog  or on the Facebook page for more pictures.


Oh and it would be worth your time to sit back for about 17 minutes and watch the Day of Service VIDEO Documentary, called  “Beyond the Projects”, do it you won’t regret!









There are also several things this fall that we are looking forward to:

The Gathering.

The meeting for Christian businessmen and women has started up and they are continuing to meet every second Thursday at 7:30am at Century 21 downtown Golden. Next meeting is on November 14. Feel free to contact Jeff Fox


Wednesday Night Live.

For many years each church in Golden has participated in their own education classes weekly, whether that is on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings. This year, the Together Church of Golden wanted to collaborate and continue to build relationships and trust together by offering classes together once a week!  Wednesday Night Live has just recently started up and several churches in Golden are offering different programs and everyone is invited to participate in whatever class you are interested in.  Oh and be watching for the NEW site, it is coming and will highlight all the TC activity and opportunities!

AWANA – First Baptist Church begins Sept. 11, 6:30-8:00. Kids from age 3 to sixth grade. Call 303-279- 4605, go to or find them on Facebook.

Engaging the Old Testament – Hillside Community Church  (103 N. Ford St.) Sept. 4 – Dec. 18, 6:30-8:00. Contact Shawn Bowen at for more information.

Financial Peace University – Calvary Church (14th & Arapahoe) Sept. 4 – Nov. 7, 6:30-8:00.Cost is $100. Contact Mike Diener at or 303-525-9007.

Gospel of John, Part I – Calvary Church (14th & Arapahoe) Sept. 4 – Oct 9, 6:30-8:00. Contact Cathy Hitch at or 303-278-4436.

Gospel of John, Part II – Calvary Church (14th & Arapahoe) Oct 16 – Nov 20, 6:30-8:00.

Women’s Bible Study – Calvary Church (14th & Arapahoe) Sept. 11 – Nov. 20, 6:30-8:00.Contact Angela McLean at (303-989-1203) or Marissa Morris at (303-506-3282).

Contemplative Prayer Group – Calvary Church Sept 4 – Nov 20, 6:30-8:00. Contact John Wengrovius at 303-279-2188.

FaithLab: PRAYER – Faith Lutheran (17701 W. 16th Ave.) Oct. 9-23, 6:30-8:00. Call Judi at 303-279-5379.


Bell Middle School Prayer Group

There is a prayer group that meets every Friday morning to pray for the needs at Bell Middle School as well as community needs and events.  They meet in the education center at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church– the long 1-story building across the street from Bell. Here is a tentative schedule of what you can expect:

6:20 Arrive

6:25 Share prayer requests and prayers answered

6:30 Prayer time

6:55 Bell staff leaves, remaining parents and community folk can stay and pray if needed.

Anyone is welcome and if you have any questions, feel free to contact Amy Jones at 303-947-0805 or

Thanks for reading!! Let’s continue to be about the work of God’s Kingdom within our city.

CFIA Staff

Power of Community Part III

It’s that time of year again that we start gearing up for Neighborhood Rehab Project Day of Service!



Last year we had over 140 volunteers who worked over 1,100 hours on over 30 homes of Golden residents.This year we anticipate around 200 volunteers to work over 1,500 hours on even more homes!

So this is how we see this year going down:  Volunteers will meet at Hillside Community Church (103 N. Ford Street) at 8:30am for breakfast, coffee, and late registration. We’ll have a “vision meeting” to discuss the heart behind this project, which is to truly build community. Then we will discuss briefly why we do projects like this and then we’re off to the work sites throughout Golden for the day! As a volunteer, you can choose to work in several different ways based on your skill sets. If you enjoy more administrative jobs, we have a few tasks that we need folks to fill. We also need a few people that day to prepare and deliver lunches to the volunteers who are working at job sites around Golden via the newly rehabbed Snack-n-Wagon.  And of course we need people of all skill levels to do the actual rehab on the homes! Kids are welcome! Under 16 will be assigned to work with their parents or adult guardians. Around 3:30-4:00pm we’ll all head over to Parfet Park (10th & Washington) where the City of Golden will be hosting a Volunteerism Celebration for city volunteers and all the NRP volunteers. There will be a catered meal, live music, drinks, and even door prizes!

To register for this great day of service, go to and at the bottom of the page, click “register”.  Like Neighborhood Rehab Project on Facebook and stay updated on the projects throughout the year!  Our sponsors this year are the following:  City of Golden, Golden Rotary Club, Together Church of Golden, and Meyer Hardware


Buffalo Bill Days was July 26-28 and we had a great weekend! Saturday morning we had pancakes before the big parade made by the Golden Fire Department and served a meal Saturday evening to the Golden Police officers who were working the event. Sunday morning we had the 8th Annual Buffalo Bill Days Together Church Service where three community members shared their perspective on how the Together Church Cares, Feeds, and Loves.


We took an offering for the Neighborhood Rehab Project Day of Service on September 7 and raised approximately $2,400! The Snack-N-Wagon also made an appearance and folks were able to see the final product.  It was so wonderful to once again be together in worship in the heart of our city.  Thank you to the Buffalo Bill Days committee who always bends over backwards to make this event a special memory for so many.


Jeff Fox, who we introduced last blog as a Community Faith in Action board member, has felt the desire to start a new type of gathering in Golden called…well, The Gathering! This is intended for Christian businessmen and women to meet every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Century 21 in downtown Golden at 7:30am to hear a speaker share around relevant faith in the workplace topics, a prayer time, and networking to encourage one another’s roles within community. Contact Jeff at with questions or just show up as you are able!



Thanks for reading and keeping up with us in Golden! You can also like our Facebook page to stay up to date with events and connections in the community! Have a great week!