Current Newsletter

Ecumenical Brief Volume 2
(To view previous editions, go to Click on Publications and then Newsletter Archive.)

To learn more about how together we are living in unity and working for justice, go to

Colorado Council of Churches Announces Important Progress in Health Care Reform Initiative

Under the leadership of Becky Updike, the Colorado Council of Churches is entering the second year of health care reform work through a project called Colorado Voices for Coverage (CVC). This year CCC will continue to work to influence state and federal leaders to create health care reforms that increase accessibility, affordability, efficiency, and transparency of the health care system for all people.

As stated in the Colorado Council of Churches Justice Commission’s Public Policy Statements, health care resources are often rationed based on ability to pay rather than on need. We believe the faith community is called to support and participate in health care reform as a matter of social justice and in the interest of the greater good, and that improving health care for all is especially important and relevant given our current state and national economic challenges.

Throughout the coming year, your congregation will have opportunities to become informed on this vital issue as the Colorado Council of Churches joins with its three partner organizations to build public will by providing faith/scripture based education materials, holding events and forums statewide, and engaging in public policy advocacy around health care reform. Communities of faith and interested individuals are invited to join these efforts by contacting Colorado Council of Churches at

“In the Spirit” – Message from Council Executive

I greet you in the Spirit of the One who prayed that we might all be one. The Colorado Council of Churches is the expression of twelve member denominations. The individual denominations do not relate to the C.C.C. The Colorado Council of Churches serves as the avenue which enables the individual denominations to relate to each other.

The Colorado Council of Churches is not itself the Body of Christ; rather it enables the member denominations to come together to be a fuller expression of our unity in the Body of Christ and a more powerful witness for justice than any one denomination can be by itself. To learn more about the Council, our member denominations, and our understanding of unity, go to and click on “Who We Are.”

Peace and grace,
Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan

Words from President and Spotlight from Member Denomination


New officers: Dr. Jim Ryan; Rev. Sandy Boyd, outgoing President; Jim Logan, Treasurer; Rev. Andrew Simpson, President; Rev. Gordon Kieft, Vice President; Rev. Sondra Tilsley, Secretary.

Rev. Andrew L. Simpson, Jr.
Presiding Elder – Rocky Mountain District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

I am grateful for this opportunity to greet each of you comprising the body of this essential organization who strive to live in unity while working for justice.

On November 4, 2008 I stood in my living room watching the National Presidential Election results and the faces in the crowd gathered at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois for an anticipated victory rally. It was not long before the newscasters made the early call that Senator Barack Obama had won the Presidency of the United States of America. At that historically significant moment my knees buckled and I was on the floor weeping like a child. My tears were of joy and relief over being a living part of a moment in history in which something so powerfully right and long-awaited had just happened, and the significance of it I would not outlive!

I believe in that moment, all that was happening to me physiologically, psychologically and spiritually was the result of a very real “generational connectivity” in which I, as a part of this generation of great potential and possibility, was touched with the silent affirmations of many past generations who, guided by unrelenting hope and extraordinary courage, pressed on, thus making possible this very real moment of reconciliation and transformation for a nation and the world. (Click here to read more.)

Colorado says NO to Amendment 46

On November 4, Colorado became the first state to defeat the effort aimed at eliminating the progress that has been made in equal opportunity for women and people of color. The ballot amendment, deceptively called the “Civil Rights Amendment,” was described by the interfaith community as, “It’s not civil and it’s NOT right!” Our thanks to Rev. Dawn Duval (AME) who through the Colorado Council of Churches led the interfaith communities successful effort to “Say NO to 46.”

Colorado Interfaith Pledge on Immigration

On September 25, 2008 at a press conference on the west steps of the Capital, Governor Bill Ritter and a diverse group of interfaith leaders of Colorado announced the kickoff of a campaign to have people of faith sign the Colorado Interfaith Pledge on Immigration.

A broad interfaith coalition is asking all Coloradans of faith to sign on to recognizing the sacred humanity of all immigrants and to work towards just, workable and humane immigration reform.

You may go online to “sign” the pledge at Or print copies of the pledge and make them available to members of your congregation.

Who is My Neighbor? A Faith Discussion on Immigration

Sunday School DVD Curriculum

A four session professionally produced DVD curriculum with a 60 page study guide and supporting documents can be ordered from the Colorado Council of Churches. Go to and click on immigration for info and the order form. Cost $20. Help your congregation examine the issue of immigration through the lens of our Christian faith.

Ministering to Returning Military Personnel and their Families

We grieve the loss of life and physical injuries that are happening among our military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the emotional and mental damage as they attempt to reunite with their family is also devastating as born out in the rate of divorces, suicide and family violence. For an outstanding resource to assist you and your congregation in ministering to the families and to the military personnel can be found on at and click on Helping Military Personnel. Additional personal services can be found in Denver at

New Christian – Muslim Dialogue

For the first time, the Unity Commission of the Colorado Council of Churches has initiated a formal dialogue between local Christian clergy and leaders in the Islamic community. The dialogue group was begun in response to the issuance of the document A Common Word Between Us and You, a statement composed by 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals. The Common Word document boldly declares the existence of common ground between Christianity and Islam. In the past year, it has become the basis for Christian/Muslim discussions around the world. The local Muslim/Christian dialogue group began meeting in October, 2008 and to date has met three times. The goal of the group is quite simple: To foster new understanding between Christians and Muslims by providing a place for honest discussion. Please keep this important dialogue group in your thoughts and prayers.

Rev. Jerry Lang,
Convener for the Unity Commission

Working to Stop Domestic Violence

In addition to all the ongoing programs, the Justice Commission has decided to focus on Domestic Violence in 2009. We will be partnering with F.A.I.T.H. (Fighting Abuse in the Home) and the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence to develop ways that congregations can make a positive impact on this issue in their community.


Denominational Executives gathered to lead the opening worship of the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches/Church World Service in Denver in November, 2008.

You Can Help!

If you or your congregation would like to support the ministry of “Living in unity, working for justice”, you may send a check made payable to:

Colorado Council of Churches
3690 Cherry Creek South Drive
Denver, CO 80209

Donations are tax-deductible.

Table of Contents

Health Care Reform News

Message from Council Executive

Words from Council President

Colorado Says NO to Amendment 46

Colorado Interfaith Pledge on Immigration

Who is My Neighbor? A Faith Discussion on Immigration

Ministering to Returning Military Personnel and their Families

New Christian – Muslim Dialogue