Sunday, January 26, 2020

MLK Day 2020 - GVIN Love

Grand Valley Interfaith Network (GVIN) participated in several activities around Grand Junction on Martin Luther King Day on January 20, 2020. In fact, GVIN members were involved in week-long events and activities throughout the community.

From special movies at the Avalon Theater to the Inclusivity Proclamation at the City Council meeting to a special service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Church to offering materials and information at the CMU campus to a generous meal at Clifton Christian Church. There was MUCH going on! Here are just a few photos to recognize some of our GVIN members and many of the day's participants. A special thank you to Stan McKeese and his group for all the arrangements and oversight throughout the week.









Thursday, January 23, 2020

Aging in America

ADDRESSING THE PERSONAL CHALLENGES
OF AGING IN AMERICA

On the four Thursdays in February, First Congregational United Church of Christ will offer a series of one-hour presentations on the medical, relational, and emotional challenges of aging in the United States. The presentations will be based on Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal. The sessions will run from 10 AM to 11 AM weekly.

Americans face the same challenges in aging as people around the world, but we also face unique challenges based on our medical care system and our approach to end-of-life issues. The class will identify some of those challenges and offer various options for maximizing our aging and end-of-life experiences.

Reading the book, Being Mortal, is not required but will enhance your class experience. There is no fee for the series but individuals are asked to register by calling (970-242-0298) or emailing (office@uccgj.org) the church office. The series will be led by the Rev. Dr. David Dethmers.

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Clearing the Fog for the Journey

by Rev. Dr. Carla Ryan, Chair/President of GVIN


GVIN is currently doing an extensive re-examination of itself as an organization:
  • What is its purpose?
  • Who are its active Members? 
  • Do we include "Friends" who wish to affiliate from the sidelines?
  • In what projects do we get involved?
  • Do we have political interests? Social Justice? Educational? Human benevolence?
  • Do our organizational documents support our evolving focus and membership?
To see through the fog of this confusion, GVIN formed a Task Force to address these issues and to draft or update documents that reflect the current attitudes and focus of its members, and how the organization can support those intentions. (See "Covenant of Cooperation" on ABOUT page.) It is not the first time this self-examination has occurred. 

Over the past 43 years, GVIN members have asked these questions, made adjustments, and kept moving forward in projects that supported each other and specific aspects of the community. Leadership has come from within and may change annually as spiritual representatives or church leaders step forward and back, according to their interest and/or time commitments. However, the questions remain. The desires to grow, to serve, and to understand continue.

It is the intention of the current leadership, through the Task Force team and its active Members, to more clearly define the organization as a whole, so we can make better decisions today about where we choose to direct our energies in the future. The next generation of leadership will likely do the same.

Clearly, GVIN cannot be everything to everyone, nor should it be. And the current consensus has been that there are enough other organizations out there (even religious ones) getting involved in political measures that GVIN needs not do so.

In the past couple of years, GVIN has grown in its activities and meeting attendance. There's a renewed and vibrant interest to reach out into the community, especially in the area of education - to share with those in our Grand Junction area (churches, spiritual centers, and the population at-large) the benefits of greater understanding of religious diversity, but also to recognize the beauty of the similarities shared in our many faiths and beliefs. 

Truly, many of us want the same things in life. Love. Peace. Harmony. Joy. Abundance. Connection. There are as many ways of achieving those qualities as there are people. And it's not always a straight road toward our destinations. But rather than remain stuck in thoughts that no longer work nor provide us with a positive life filled with meaning, let's at least be willing to have a dialogue, an understanding, an acceptance, an openness to explore and consider new ideas. Think about it. Let's make the journey and see where it takes us... together.

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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: www.thehousegj.org

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: www.GrandValleyInterfaithNetwork.org

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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.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Change in MOVIE EVENT for Interfaith Awareness Week

(July 29, 2019)   The movie showing for "The Human Family Tree" will be hosted by American Lutheran Church (ALC) on WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7 at 7:00 p.m. ALC is located at 361 26-1/2 Road in north Grand Junction.  [ This was previously scheduled for Thursday evening at another location. ]  

GVIN is extremely grateful for ALC's willingness to host this event. We encourage all our member churches, groups, and faith leaders to support this showing and the other events during Interfaith Awareness Week.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

GVIN Expands 2nd Annual Interfaith Awareness Week


The Grand Valley Interfaith Network (GVIN) is coordinating several activities this year as part of its second annual “Interfaith Awareness Week” (August 4-10). The Grand Junction City Council approved a Proclamation on July 17th in recognition of this week-long event.

GVIN members / faith leaders and their respective congregations will participate in these inclusive activities that encourage learning about religious diversity and similarities. The public is invited to attend and support these activities.

The events allow GVIN to raise awareness about the organization and the way its faith leaders interact with, befriend, and support one another, regardless of a preferred religion, spiritual belief, or secular affiliation. It is a learning opportunity for all involved and is carried out with mutual respect and curiosity.

Details for the week’s events can be found on GVIN’s social media page, "invitation and schedule" (sent out in the "special edition" newsletter on 7/24/19) and includes information about:
  • interfaith messages;
  • a blood drive (donating throughout the week at St. Mary’s Blood Center on Patterson, 970-298-2555);
  • three movies at GVIN members’ churches (see synopsis below) –

                 - Aug. 5: "One Light. Many Candles." at Shepherd Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F (Patterson);
                 - Aug. 8: "The Human Family Tree" at Unity Grand Junction, 3205 N. 12th Street;
                 - Aug. 9: "The Gate: Dawn of the Baha'i Faith" at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley, 536 Ouray Ave.; and

                   a “Human Family Reunion & Potluck Picnic” on Saturday (Aug. 10... 11:30a to 1:00p) at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1425 N. 5th Street. Informal discussions with various faith leaders are encouraged during the picnic. Open discussions are meant to highlight the similarities many faiths have in common and to provide a forum to answer questions regarding religious practices.
Love offerings collected at the movie events will be donated to the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC).

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition’s (CIRC) believes in the inherent dignity and human rights of every person, regardless of immigration status. CIRC achieves this mission through non-partisan civic engagement, public education, and advocating for workable, fair and humane immigration policies. CIRC envisions a society in which all people are treated with dignity and respect and have equal access to fair and just work, housing, health care, and education and the opportunity to live united with family members. Visit www.ColoradoImmigrant.org for more information.

The Grand Valley Interfaith Network was originally incorporated on November 2, 1977. It consists of historical churches and congregations, faith-based agencies, chaplaincies, and other established faith traditions in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado.

The purpose of the GVIN is to foster friendship among its members, be examples of religious or spiritual coexistence, and to demonstrate constructive communication, collaboration, and cooperation between the faith and alternative communities of the Grand Valley.

For more information about GVIN, its members, or other details, visit their website at www.GrandValleyInterfaithNetwork.org,  Facebook page (@GrandValleyInterfaithNetwork) or send an email to: GrandValleyInterfaithNetwork@gmail.com .

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MOVIE DESCRIPTIONS - all start at 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 5:  "One Light. Many Candles." (60 min) - Rev. Betty became aware of the need for greater spiritual inclusivity among the large and culturally diverse student body at Northfield Mount Hermon School. She held monthly interfaith services with students of various faiths, reading from their holy books and accompanied by music indigenous to other cultures.


Aug. 8:  "The Human Family Tree" (1 h 33 min) - On a single day on a single street, with the DNA of just a couple of hundred random people, National Geographic Channel sets out to trace the ancestral footsteps of all humanity.

Aug. 9:  "The Gate: Dawn of the Baha'i Faith (60 min) - When a former tech entrepreneur declared himself a Bahá’i, he felt compelled to bring awareness to his new faith. But since members are not allowed to proselytize, he set off to make a documentary about the creation of the Bahá’i faith and its prophet the Báb.