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Five Churches Closing in Diocese of Colorado [TEC]
The Living Church Foundation ^ | 8/30/2006

Posted on 08/31/2006 5:52:33 PM PDT by sionnsar

Between July and November five congregations in the Diocese of Colorado will close for varied reasons. The closures are part of a 20-year period of decline that the leadership is attempting to reverse through redevelopment, according to the Rev. Canon Lou Blanchard, canon missioner, who provided details on four of the closings in an Aug. 19 letter to the clergy.

“[These congregations] have recognized on their own that they no longer have the energy or the resources to continue,” Canon Blanchard told The Living Church. “It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face up to reality. They had the integrity and courage to look at themselves honestly. They are not giving up. They are leaving a legacy behind with the possibility of new life and new congregations being planted as a result.”

All Saints’, Pueblo West, a collaborative church-planting effort between the Diocese of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, did not achieve a “critical mass” and closed July 26 after a two-year experiment. After a long period of decline St. Francis’ and Holy Spirit, located within a few miles of each other in Colorado Springs, were scheduled to hold final services Sept. 13 and the first week in October, respectively.

After a nine-month period of discernment with a consultant, the congregation of St. Michael’s, Paonia, has decided to close this fall. The San Luis Valley Mission, after six months of intentional discernment and prayer, has dissolved and formed three special congregations: St. Thomas’, Alamosa; St. Stephen’s, Monte Vista; and St. Francis’, South Fork. A sixth congregation, Holy Spirit, Highlands Ranch, will share space in the future with St. George’s, Cherry Hills Village.

Any funds realized from the sale of property will be placed in escrow to be used to help start other new congregations, Canon Blanchard said. She explained that the diocese has been working to encourage all congregations in the diocese to become more aware about the life cycle of congregations and the need for periodic redevelopment.

“There are no rules of thumb,” she said. “They really need to determine for themselves what it means to be viable, but doing that teaching has made some of those congregations more aware. They wanted to leave some sort of legacy behind.”

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: churchclosing; colorado; ecusa

1 posted on 08/31/2006 5:52:35 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 08/31/2006 5:53:13 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d, N0t Y0urs |)
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To: sionnsar

The afflicted are comforted...the comfortable are afflicted.

3 posted on 08/31/2006 6:22:54 PM PDT by Gman (AMiA Priest.)
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