Posts in CFIA

CFIA Fall 2015


BE A TOOL… SIGN UP HERE FOR Neighborhood Rehab Project Be A Tool Day of Service !

Day of Service: September 12 we will come together to serve the Golden community at our 5th Annual Be A Tool Day of Service.  If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late! Registration will close September 7.  Go to: to sign up!

Our 2nd annual Be A Tool 5K Elf Run will happen November 28, so mark those calendars, gather your elfin ware and be a part of this great event.  Sign up will be open by Sept. 12th!

Intern pic


This summer we had the privilege of having 3 amazing interns working with us.  Courtney Thoemke, Jordan Cunningham, and Casey Quinlisk partnered with Community Faith In Action and spent many hours investing in all that is happening at CFIA.  From movie help, construction projects, Leverage Youth Day of Service, to writing, logistics, social media research, data updating and just being who God has made them to be, what a joy and help it was to have them!  They are all off at college again, but before finishing out the summer, they took some time to give us feedback of their experience.  Here are a couple of highlights for each…

Courtney:  “I enjoyed the community aspect that I was able to experience during this internship. Being surrounded by so many different types of people the entire summer was so awesome because I was able to see the different skills and gifts that each person had and why they are working in the field that they work in.”

Jordan:  “If I were to break down all the learning done this summer I would have to say the construction experience was what I learned most about. However one of the more important things I have come to realize is that just one person, given the right motivation can change a life, or even a community.

Casey:  “I will be able to use just about everything I experienced this summer towards my future career. Learning about business has been more of a subconscious journey this summer. Simply observing people interact gave me knowledge about how to interact with people professionally and courteously.”



Bob Lupton on Neighboring

Have you ever wondered about the 2nd Greatest Commandment? You know the one that comes after, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind…? How does that verse end? “And love your neighbor as yourself”. In February 2015, Bob was in town and touched on this idea around neighboring. “The best practice in regards to community development is to move into a neighborhood and become a good neighbor.” It seems a simple concept, but with overwhelming results. As I read this quote – all I could think of was the impact a good neighbor can make in the lives of others. I can think of countless times that neighbors have stepped in and shown us  love through their hearts, souls, strengths and minds. What could that look like? Isn’t that the beauty of mankind?… It looks so many different ways! To one it could look like a listening ear, to another it could look like lending a trailer, to another an afternoon spent watching a neighbor’s children, to another an encouraging note, to another bringing a meal during a difficult time or just because, to another remembering a birthday, to another a phone call to check in, to another a lawn mowed or a dog walked. The list seriously could go on and on and on. But one thing that could stop this list short is the simple assumption that you know your neighbor. If we don’t know our neighbor we are limited in how we can extend love and grace to them. If we think about loving our neighbor as ourself – would that not include knowing them? We certainly know ourselves – our likes, dislikes, struggles, victories, our history, our dreams, gifts, talents, treasures, quirks, fears, etc… For many it’s taken years to even uncover some of those things personally – but what an amazing directive to love our neighbor as ourself. We have the opportunity to know others and love them how we love ourselves – and don’t we want the best for ourselves? Click here for a post from Bob Lupton titled Neighboring 101.

Summer Fun with CFIA!


Nathan Blair passing the video camera off to Dan Thoemke.

Nathan Blair passing the video camera off to Dan Thoemke.

2nd Greatest Film Update: Written by Courtney Thoemke The filming of 2nd Greatest, a narrative feature length film inspired by true stories, is finished and is now in the process of being edited and finalized by Kingdom Sights Studio. If you have not watched the full length trailer yet, here it is! See Trailer Here

Cop Cops Film FB

Leverage- Teens Becoming Tools: Written by Courtney Thoemke (CFIA Intern from CSU) Leverage
A couple weeks ago from June 24th to 26th, the annual Leverage Youth Outreach was held. About 30 youth from local Golden churches got together to serve the Golden community. They did everything from painting fences and decks, to repairing steps and building a Handicap accessible ramp in Mountainside Estates Mobile Home Park and Golden Terrace Mobile Home Park. It was amazing to see the youth going door to door, picking up as many projects as they could as they finished up the original projects we had planned. The kindness and passion to serve that came from every teen during this time was abundant.

More Take-Aways from Bob Lupton on Community Development Written by Casey Quinlisk (CFIA Intern from CSU)   Community-dev
Bob Lupton, as mentioned in the earlier blog post, is the creator of FCS Urban Ministries. In February, he shared his ideas on community development with our CityUnite group in Denver and we want to keep unpacking his thoughts! Bob will be back in our neck of the woods on October 15th at the Power in Partnership Conference in Jefferson County. Bob spoke about geographic focus and how vital it is. “The more narrow your focus, the deeper the impact. The wider your focus, the more diluted your efforts will be.” In other words, concentrate on the small projects, rather than the massive. This will enable you and your team to provide the best possible assistance to those who need it. When the effort is in the big picture, the less you will be able to listen to those you are helping because there will be too many projects and requirements on your plate. Secondly, “When you address a chronic problem with an emergency solution you hurt people.” What comes to mind when I hear this is, the same mind cannot solve the problem it created. An emergency solution is a last ditch effort, a leap of faith, and often rushed. Emergency solutions are supposed to be accomplished as quickly as possible. However, when serving and listening to those who need help, sometimes slow and logical in order to allow for learning, rather than giving. When you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but when you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. The same philosophy goes for community development. Simply giving and serving cannot help people for a lifetime. This idea ties into Bob’s third idea, “You can’t serve a community out of poverty.” Bob wrote a letter to a woman named Allison who needed help in understanding how to make the most out of a mission trip for the people in need as well as the volunteers. His first idea was “We go to Learn, not to Serve.” “Learners listen to others, servers do for others. Learners ask questions, servers offer answers. Learners marvel at the faith of the poor, servers pity the poor. Learners see ingenuity and servers see poverty. Learners affirm the worth of people and servers diminish their dignity.” Sometimes all people need is a shoulder to lean on and open ears to listen to their stories. Constant giving, Bob says, will only encourage begging behavior, something too many ministries are doing. Fourth, there is magic in the process of exchange. Parity is a higher form of charity. Working with kids has taught me that they listen best when you are at their level, literally. They respond much more when you are at their eye level. It allows them to feel equal to the person they are listening to, instead of often times being looked down on. Mission trips establish the same thinking. When working with people, parity, or equality, is huge. No one likes feeling like they are less of a person than someone else. Mission trips are a time to put the business world behind you and become equals with the rest of the world. Fifth, in order to improve education in at-risk communities, education cannot be the only task. The advancement of the whole community needs to happen; otherwise, those who become educated will simply leave the area and putting those who helped back at square one. Education and community development must go hand in hand in order to prosper like peanut butter and jelly, hot dogs and baseball games, and cookies and milk. Lastly, Bob discusses something very simple and obvious, give away as much as you can. Obviously Bob, that’s the whole point of a mission trip or community development project. But are you giving the right things? Time, effort, and love are all vital parts of why we do what we do, but what about physical things? Ministry credit, ownership, contacts, etc. in the business world, connections are everything. Whose hand you shake is sometimes more important than the grades you make. The same mentality applies here, by providing relevant contacts and sharing assets established friendship and loyalty. You don’t share contacts with random people, you share them with people you learn to love, trust, and want to succeed. Giving these to people who you are helping will give them a sense of trust and a will to prosper, since you who are equal to them, are providing more avenues for them to become the best person they can become. Bob Lupton is a logical, well orchestrated, and overall loving individual who really wants the best for the people in this world. He has elaborately thought, designed, and taught his findings and ideas to people in order to best help those who need it.   Letter to a Short Term Missionary Bob Lupton Profile Photo Credit to Americans Helping Americans

Happy Spring from CFIA…

2nd Greatest Postcard


2nd Greatest Film update: written by Dan Thoemke

YES Community Faith in Action is working in partnership with Kingdom Sights Studios to produce a narrative feature length film called 2nd Greatest, inspired by true stories.  If you have not watched the interview trailer yet check it out!  See Trailer Here

Many are asking what does “2nd Greatest” mean?  I have joked saying it will be the 2nd greatest film ever created!  Well let’s be honest, it is my first film so that might be a bit far fetched.  Jesus was asked by the religious leaders of his day what is the greatest commandment.  This question was asked by men who were trying to trap him into saying something against the law, hoping he would say something that would give them the right to ridicule him publicly.  Jesus responded that the 1st greatest was to love God and the second was like it, “to love your neighbor as yourself”.  So, this film will be about a community who learns to love well in the midst of conflict.  It will follow the lives of a pastor and his wife, a homeless man, a police officer and the town villain who is personally fighting this needed change.  We are almost done casting for all our main characters and let me tell you, we are finding some great talent and good hearts for this film.  We plan to start filming the end of May and hope to release this film before the end of the year.


Bob Lupton IMG_0874


Toxic Charity by Bob Lupton- “What is working what is not”

I (Dan) had the great privilege to be with Bob Lupton the author of Toxic Charity and a number of our leaders throughout the metro area this last month.  Bob and his family have led the way throughout the years as it relates to urban development and true sustainable change within their community. He was asked a number of candid questions around what he is seeing in our nation as it relates to charity and the true alleviation of poverty.  He unpacked for us some thoughts and principles worth sharing with our readers.  Over the course of the next few months I plan to explore the following thoughts through our blog.

1. Bob Lupton on Community Development… “You cannot serve a person out of poverty.”

2. Bob Lupton on Neighboring… “To truly help a neighborhood thrive spiritual, emotionally and physically it takes a wholistic approach which includes how we help people stay in their homes and see the value of their home increase over time just like the rest of America.”

3. Bob Lupton on Why the Poor Stay Poor… “Do we really think we can help the poor thrive by providing more free food?  We have to learn that meeting chronic needs in emergency ways will never solve the problem.”  

 4. Bob Lupton on Job Creation… A good job is the one thing that will move people out of poverty. Bob said, “all non-profit leaders who really want to be about community transformation must be actively involved in job creation!”

As I unpack these thoughts in the coming months, I welcome your thoughts and dialog around these topics!




CFIA Strategic Planning Update from Thom Norlund

Community Faith in Action’s (CFIA) Board of Directors embarked on a formal Strategic Planning process beginning in late 2014 and continuing into February 2015. The planning process included completion of a high-level Context Map followed by Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat Analysis (SWOT) at a CFIA level and for each of our five core Programs (Engaging Interns; facilitating The Together Church of Golden; The Gathering; Rocky Mountain Police Chaplains Program; and the Neighborhood Rehab Project). Each Program Leader was invited to present their program’s SWOT, future aspirations, and a budget to the Board during our January Planning Retreat.

CFIA is enjoying rapid growth within all of its programs and is receiving multiple requests to coach other communities in the development of collaborative, facilitative non-profits. The Board has identified Execution Initiatives that we believe will support the ongoing growth, well-being, and continuity of CFIA while also enabling the aspirations of Program Leaders.

CFIA and the Board are excited about our growth and are inspired by our opportunities. We are both humbled and encouraged by the support we receive from the communities we serve and for the ongoing growth and support of our volunteers, the cities and counties we service, our collaborating businesses, and our funding sources.  It has been wonderful to see how intentional planning and discernment has led to some great open doors and a strong collabortive way forward!  If you are interested in learning more about CFIA and finding ways to be involved please reach out we would love to hear from you!

We will be actively seeking some new board members and volunteers in 2015, let us know if you would like more information!




A Golden Opportunity To Give


Be A Tool 5 K Thanks


A BIG THANK YOU to all who were involved in our 1st Be A Tool 5K! With 219 5K or Elf Parade participants and over 40 volunteers you all made this event a great success! Special thanks to the Buy Golden Committee and 5 Star Gluten Free Bakery for an amazing pancake breakfast!  We are excited to see the impact of your gifts of time, energy, resources and support in our Golden Community as we invest in homeowners who need help with safe, dry and warm issues through the Neighborhood Rehab Project. Visit to learn more about on going opportunities to serve and invest.



CGD 2014_Master(WORKING)


We love that with Colorado Gives Day you can “give where you live”! There are 2 ways to partner with CFIA:

1. You’re invited to join us at Table Mountain Inn On December 9 anytime between 4-7p.m. for the Colorado Gives Day holiday celebration and expo. We will be set up with a booth there and would love to see you! Happy hour food and drinks as well as live music are a part of this evening. You will be able to make your online donation at our display table while also learning about other local non-profits and service organizations making a difference in the Golden community.

2. If you are unable to attend the Table Mountain Inn event, please consider CFIA in your end of year giving and go here to make your tax-deductible gift today and set it to withdraw from your account on December 9th. This will allow us to take advantage of the 1st Bank incentive funds that will be added to your gift.


Incentive to give on Colorado Gives Day 2014

Merry Christmas!

Community Faith in Action invites you to support our efforts in facilitating collaboration and partnership, which unifies and supports sustainable change within our community by donating to us on Colorado Gives Day, December 9, 2014.

Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. For the fifth consecutive year, Community First Foundation and FirstBank are partnering to present Colorado Gives Day.

As a participating nonprofit on, Community Faith in Action will benefit from this initiative in many ways.

“The donations we receive on Colorado Gives Day help us do more to support the community and ensure programs like the Neighborhood Rehab Project, Rocky Mountain Police Chaplaincy and the Together Church of Golden facilitation remain strong,” says Dan Thoemke, director of CFIA. “Our goal is to raise $15,000 this year toward these efforts as well as receive our share of the $1 Million Incentive Fund.”

Thanks to Community First Foundation and First Bank, Colorado Gives Day 2014, features a $1 Million Incentive Fund, one of the largest gives-day incentive funds in the country. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day receives a portion of the incentive fund, which increases the value of every dollar donated. For example, if Community Faith in Action receives 10 percent of the total donations made on Colorado Gives Day, CFIA also receives 10 percent of the $1 Million Incentive Fund. 

Thank you in advance for partnering with us. Together, let’s reach the $15,000 mark!

Visit us here to get involved in this Golden opportunity!