Monday, December 9, 2019

GVIN Nov. 21, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Carla Ryan- GVIN President

Carla shared with the group a passage from the book “Oneness” by Jeffrey Moses
Definitions of Religion- “Within the scripture of each religion is the definition of religion itself.  These essences, or self-referral descriptions, clearly express the practices, beliefs and understanding that enable a person to build a firm and positive structure in life…”

Introduction of those in attendance:
·         Carla Ryan- New Thought Grand Valley
·         Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
·         Joan Brighton- Bahá’i
·         Sherry Cole- Global Heart
·         Stan McNeese- Koinonia
·         Audrey Brainard- Unitarian Universalist
·         David Dethmers- First Congregational United Church of Christ
·         Dave Edwards- Ohr Shalom
·         Wendy Jones- Unitarian Universalist
·         Carlene Goldthwaite- American Lutheran Church
·         Gale Alves- Family Federation of World Peace
·         Janice Curtis- Postvention Alliance, guest

Old Business:
Review of final program/event schedule for upcoming ThanksGVIN celebration: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. 3133 F RD. Interfaith Choir practice will be held at 6:00 for all interested. Press release has been submitted to GJ Sentinel for publication on Saturday’s FAITH page. Information is also posted as an ‘event’ on GVIN’s Facebook page.  All members are encouraged to invite friends and congregants to the event.

New Business:
Resignation of GVIN Vice President- Aaron Michelson. It was clarified in the meeting that, while Aaron has resigned as VP, he still considers Loka Hatha Yoga as a member organization of GVIN.

Interested candidates- please submit your names by email to:  A vote may take place at the Jan. 16 meeting to complete the term. Annual voting for officers is normally held in May.

Task Force Update- Carlene Goldthwaite
After members presented the idea at the Oct. 17 meeting, a Task Force was formed to work on creating a “Covenant of Cooperation.” The Task Force met on Nov. 14 to modify an initial draft created by combining content from three of its members’ covenants or operating agreements, and then created a second revised version to present to members at the Nov. 21 meeting. It was read and then modified again by all present. After discussion and revisions were complete, members present “accepted” the revised Covenant by consensus and agreed to operate per the statements contained therein during meetings and in other interactions going forward.

It was also understood that, as this is a dynamic document to be used at each meeting, GVIN members may offer changes to it in the future. A suggestion was made for it to be read at the beginning of each GVIN meeting to remind us of why we are here! Copies will be sent to all GVIN members via email and the Covenant will be posted to the GVIN website as part of its “official” documents.

The next steps of the Task Force will be to focus on survey results submitted by GVIN members, starting with the PURPOSE of GVIN… and how it might impact GVIN’s Bylaws or other organizational documents. Members were encouraged to complete the survey by Dec. 1 (included in the recent NOV newsletter) so they may be represented as part of the overall analysis of GVIN’s membership. The Task Force will also look at definitions, membership, branding, and dues as it goes forward in this project.

Financials- Joan Brighton, Treasurer
No expenses to report. There was an increase of 10 cents in interest. The balance = $2,393.56.

Kriya Yoga- “Breath Control is Self-Control.”  Representatives visiting from the Denver Temple introduced themselves to faith leaders present, after meeting with Koinonia and the Unitarian Universalist groups. They are considering whether to bring their organization and practices to the Grand Valley. Brochures were provided to everyone at the meeting for future reference.

Janice Curtis from Postvention Alliance reminded us about an event Nov. 23, 2019 at 9:00-12:00 at St Mary’s - 5th floor. It will direct attention to suicide awareness and support resources for survivors. It was mentioned that Janice may do a short presentation to GVIN members in early 2020 about her organization.

Member Announcements/Updates/Events:

·         Rev. Wendy spoke about a Together Colorado project -- planning for the renewal of the Inclusivity Proclamation at City Hall on Feb. 19.  UU will have an event on Feb. 11, 6:30-8:30 pm at UU church. Details to follow. 

·         Dave Edwards presented a Gratitude in Action document—which will be emailed to each GVIN member on our list and printed for the Tuesday ThanksGVIN service as a handout.

·         Stan McKeese gave a quick update about the MLK walk in Jan. 2020. He will provide more details before the Jan. 16, 2020 GVIN meeting.

Closing with Gratitude for all!

Next meeting - January 16, 2020 11:30 a.m.  (No December meeting)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Annual ThanksGVIN Celebration on Nov. 26

Grand Valley Interfaith Network (GVIN) invites the community to its annual “ThanksGVIN Interfaith Celebration of Gratitude” event on Tuesday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m. This year’s host is Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (3133 F. Road, Grand Junction 81504). The theme is “With Grateful Hearts.”

Rev. Kaila Armbruster and her team are organizing the 2019 event, including the pie feast and fellowship that follow the gratitude service. The event will be filled with music and various presentations from several leaders of GVIN’s member organizations.

Donations will be collected by GVIN at the event for The House Youth Shelter, a short-term housing program for homeless teens here on the Western Slope. Their mission is simple: “We want to see every youth that is experiencing homelessness to find hope and a future.” Check donations are to be made payable to The House. For information about this organization, visit:

Grand Valley Interfaith Network is a community of historical churches and congregations, church-based agencies, and other established faith traditions in the Grand Valley. GVIN’s purpose is to foster cooperation among its members, to provide a means for coordinated community service and action, to foster opportunities for learning and mutual support, and to serve as a clearing house of information and resources between the community and the members.

In addition to the annual ThanksGVIN service, GVIN organizes two major food drives each year for local charities, collecting thousands of pounds of food from their member organizations and congregations. For more information, visit our website:

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Meeting Minutes - June 20, 2019

from June 20, 2019 (posted 10/21/19)

In Attendance:
Carla Ryan- GVIN President
Aaron Michelson- GVIN Vice President
Kellene Mortensen- GVIN Secretary
Audrey Gest
Jay Mashburn
Stan McNeese
Carlene Goldthwaite
Joan Brighton
Dave Edwards
Audrey Brainard
Sherry Cole

Meeting opened with Yoga Tradition- Aaron Michelson

Introduction of new members- Audrey Gest and Audrey Brainard- Welcome!

Agenda Items:
*Bookmarks have been printed and brought for all to distribute and share.

*Parade:  Colorado West Pride Parade
When: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Where:  Old City Market Parking lot- gathering site
Time: Gather 11:35-12:00
Leader Meeting:  12:05- Carla and Aaron-in front of parade line
Order- Group 5
Reminder:  no throwing anything into the crowd—pass out bookmarks

*GVIN address of record will be changed to Carla Ryan’s address

* Website renewal- due the end of June.  Will let go of the .com site and stay with

*Interfaith Awareness Week- Trying to solicit support for the council meeting that will be held Aug 7 if approved ahead of time.  Reading of the Proclamation.

Carlene will be contacting vendors to request donation of ice cream pints for our blood drive- pint for a pint.
Aug 4-10 at St Mary’s Blood Center.

Aaron- info on parks and reservations and usage- can use for free, but a fee is required to reserve.

Discussion on Movie choices—what is the purpose?  Must be family friendly.  What message?  Time length- 90 minutes or less
Date suggested- Aug 9.  Locations discussed- Mesa County Library and GVPJ.

REQUEST----faith Leaders and members please send in suggestions of a movie or movie that you would like considered.

Picnic- Human Family Reunion- want to gather for an interfaith Potluck and get to know you activities—will be planned  after Pride Parade.

*Recap of Roundtable meeting- Kellene Mortensen.  Goal is to work together with church members and other faith groups to support our needs in our GJ community.

*Newsletter: July’s theme “Words and symbols”
Please send ideas to Carla about ways you communicate in your particular religious practices .  All submissions need to be in by the 10th of the month to go out in the newsletter by the 15 th of the month.

* Needs- The jail is requesting soft cover non fiction books for the inmates.  Also a need for constant help leading yoga and meditation.  Contact Aaron Michelson –

*Dave requested that his faith group can always use support, friendship and additional kitchen goods- platters, and serving utensils.  They would welcome a visit on Fridays after 2:00 pm.

*Farmer’s Market- Will join together with Together Colorado on July 18 and Sept 12

Meeting closed with words of encouragement by Carla Ryan- communicate- collaborate and cooperate in service together.

Next meeting will be held at 11:30 at GVPJ- July  18

GVIN Minutes
October 17, 2019

Carla Ryan:  New Thought Grand Valley
Kellene Mortensen:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Joan Brighton: Bahài Faith
Gretchen Annan: Bahái Faith
Wendy Jones and guest:  Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Carlene Goldthwaite:  American Lutheran Church
Laurie Holzbauer:  Ohr Shalom
Ellen Ireland:  Koinonia
Kaila Armbruster: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran

After introductions… those church/groups present exchanged invitations/fliers about upcoming celebrations, education/workshops, and hymn/concert festivals. Details of Member events posted to GVIN Facebook page (and newsletter when provided by 10th of each month).

Old Business: 
  •         Review of the Film Festival – “Warm and Inviting” – Those who attended provided feedback on the project.
  •         A reminder of Fall Foods Day (which was a great success!).  It was held Saturday, October 19.  There were lots of volunteers to unload the drop-offs, and a great amount of donations!  Thank you!
  •         MLK event - Stay tuned.  Hold the date of Jan. 20, 2020 - 3:00 City Hall

Financial Report:  Joan Brighton - GVIN Treasure
Balances:  8/31/19 - $2,577.36
                  9/30/19 - $2,393.46  -  Debit: $184.00 - Donation mailed to CIRC from donations collected at our film showings during Interfaith Awareness Week in August. [Interest earned = 10 cents.]

New Business:
  •        Proclamations (Fruita and GJ) handed off to Pastor Kaila Armbruster to be displayed at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church thru January 2020.
  •         ThanksGVIN – Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

o   Please find all the details in a separate email sent out Sunday, October 20, 2019.  A flier was attached that can be used to advertise and to invite members of your congregation and the community at-large. All logistics are included.
o   Pastor Kaila Armbruster is heading up the celebration and can be contacted BY Nov. 11, 2019 if you would like to volunteer to participate on the program or find out more info.
o   The theme this year is:  WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS
o   And the charity we have chosen is The House - A short term housing program for homeless teens here on the Western Slope.  The mission is simple == “We want to see every youth that is experiencing homelessness to find hope and a future.”

DISCUSSION:  GVIN and its membership
  •         Opening statement by our president - Carla Ryan.  She expressed her values of choice, honesty, service, and harmony.  She spoke about how she relates these values to GVIN. 
  •          Brief organizational history of GVIN reviewed. See agenda for more specifics. 
  •         Those present described about WHAT GVIN is and what it is not (to them) as an organization … including how to define more clearly who we are, what we are, and to lay a foundation of our identity and membership.
  •         The group decided to form a task force to gather at ideas to start the process and to become clear about who we are as an organization. Members will be surveyed (via email or phone calls) for their input. This task force will report at the November meeting.
  •         Topics of discussion included, but are not limited to:

o   Name of organization, dues for members, meeting requirements to be a member. 
o   Should we have “members” and “friends of GVIN” that form our network?
o   What do our bylaws look like? What needs to be change?
o   Are we a religious network?  A club?  A non-profit? 
o   Are members to be recruited or invited? 
o   What kind of “covenants” (guidelines) should be set up? (to guide our meetings and decision process)
o   There was a lot of lively and heartfelt sharing throughout the discussion… with more to follow.

Next GVIN meeting will be held Nov. 21 at 11:30 a.m.
            No December meeting.

Kellene Mortensen, GVIN Secretary

GVIN Minutes:  September 19, 2019

Those in attendance:
Carla Ryan, Chair - New Thought Colorado
Kellene Mortensen, Secretary - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Antonio Alves - FFWP
Carlene Goldthwaite -ALC
Stan McNeese - Koinonia
Abdelghani Essaifi - Two Rivers Mosque
Ché Bou-Matar - Two Rivers Mosque
Gretchen Annan – Bahá’i Faith
Aaron Michelson, Vice Chair - Loka Hatha Yoga
Kaila Armbruster - Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
Sherry Cole - Global Heart
Wendy Jones – Unitarian Universalist Congregation

A mindful moment and shared thoughts from Carla Ryan

Our Global Community—Robert F. Kennedy
“It is not more bigness that should be our goal.  It must be to bring people back to…the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility… and of individuals working together as a community to better their lives and their children’s future.”

Meeting Recap:

*Ché began with expressed gratitude for the support they received during the difficult last days—the defacing of the Two Rivers Mosque.  He said it was awesome to have new and familiar faces there to offer support during the face of adversity.
“Love is more powerful than violence,” offered Aaron.

*Email came in from Mary Endres suggesting a stand against hate.  This was talked about as a great idea and will be considered as an ongoing topic to visit and in which GVIN members may participate.  She suggested a candlelight vigil with all faiths gathering in the evening and sharing word, prayer or song. Carla will contact her to gather more details.

*Agenda items—

Farmer’s market- glad to have a presence there with Together Colorado.  Great to have many faiths represented.

Western Living Colorado publication came out- 9-15-19- Take a look!

Fall Foods Day—Mark your calendars and please pick up bags with “wish lists” from the 6 charities that we will gather for. Bags and return contributions can be handled at front desk at Grand Valley Peace & Justice. Share the bags/ distribute to friends, family, neighbors, congregations…. Food collection is on Oct 19.  9-12 at 5th and Grand in the east parking lot of Downtown Vineyard Church.

Film Festival:  will be held at the Avalon on October 6.  Tickets in advance are approx $7.99 + fees.  Showing that Aaron produced will air at approx. 3:45 pm and is titled “Enter Faith.”

Proclamations (Interfaith Awareness Week) were handed off from Carlene from ALC to Stan from Koinonia.  He will display these from Sept 19-Oct 17.

ThanksGVIN- will be held at 7:00 on November 26, 2019 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F Rd. Those that would like to share and or participate on the program please reach out to Kaila Armbruster so that she can begin arranging the program.

Ideas were brainstormed regarding music, theme, charity to sponsor, speakers. Bring your suggestions to next month’s GVIN meeting to solidify and finalize these decisions.

MLK event—Stan briefed us on the planning and the events that are in the making.  A tentative schedule is being formed and will be sent out after their meeting October 9. Theme will be:  We are the change!

GVIN Membership – This was a lengthy and passionate discussion.  One that will need further conversation and looking into.  Times and dates forthcoming….

Discussion included the By-Laws vs. opinions, membership dues, history and goals of GVIN and what we want membership to look like, recruiting vs. inviting new members, and what is GVIN about so we can all be sharing the same message.  As changes to the By-Laws were suggested, this discussion will continue through the next couple of months.

Please join us next time and weigh in on the many things that we are trying to accomplish with each other in our lovely Grand Valley!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The GVIN-TAKE September newsletter is now out. CLICK HERE to read all the details... and see what activities and events are coming up in the weeks ahead... including the "Enter Faith" film that was accepted into the Grand Junction Arts Film Festival, showing on October 6. You can see the film in the upper left corner or join us at the Avalon Theater for a special showing and celebration.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Enter Faith: Our entry to the Grand Junction Downtown Arts Festival Film Festival

This is our film entry to the film festival, produced and filmed by our Vice Chair, aaron.  We will keep you posted as to the results of our entry.  Please consider how your congregation can support the arts in accomplishing your purposes.