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Meet the new Minister of Missions

Let me introduce myself. I’m Reverend Heather McDuffee, your new Minister of Missions. I began ministry more than 20 years ago in Boulder, CO. Since that time, I attended Iliff School of Theology and was ordained in the United Church of Christ 12 years ago. I have been an Associate Minister in Boulder, CO, and in Canton, Ohio, and a Lead Pastor in Colorado Springs. I am passionate about missions and social justice ministry and action, from racial justice ministry to food and healthcare equity. I have led 18 mission trips, served countless hours in shelters, participated in creating mission relationships with under-resourced schools, given communion to our unhoused neighbors, and have been a pastoral presence in jails, courtrooms, grocery stores, and in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. I don’t see myself as an activist, but as a willing listener, an open-hearted pastor, and a curious witness to what God is doing in the world. In the winter of 2019, I began discernment on how my gifts could best meet the needs of the world. When Covid 19 hit the US, it became more clear that women were being affected by the pandemic in unique ways. In 2020, 2.3 million women left the traditional workforce to care for children and other family members. I began to think about how caregiving women can reimagine our "returnship" to work, which has been estimated to take several years to get back to pre-pandemic numbers. After conversations with the pastoral leadership at FUMC, I am bringing 2 dreams to life. Creations @ The Edge, a small gift shop at The Edge, will serve as a retail and maker space. Creations @ The Edge will sell upcycled and inspirational gifts as well as DIY crafting kits. In the basement of Creations, we will host playful workshops that will spark joy in the amateur maker. A portion of Creations will fund Project Rahab, Heather’s other dream that is becoming a ministry at FUMC. Project Rahab will serve women who have significant barriers to traditional work. Project Rahab will provide a 7 month program for a cohort of women who will gain one on one case management, group support, work experience, classes for life and work skills as well as meaningful mentorships. The hope is that Project Rahab will increase the capacity and confidence of women in order to discover creative solutions to their barriers to work.

Other than ministry, I live with my girlfriend, Brandy, and her two snarky tweenaged girls. I love singing, talking about the Enneagram, looking for art for my next tattoo, hiking with my Chihuahua, listening to '90's hip hop, working in my gardens, getting humble real quick, and trusting God with it all.

Please contact me at heatherm@fumc-cs.org if you have any questions about FUMC Missions or 1990’s hip hop or if you would like to contribute to Project Rahab or any of our missions at FUMC.

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New Sermon Reflection Small Groups Forming!

Would you enjoy getting to know a few others at FUMC and having weekly conversations about one of the sermons from Sunday worship? This Fall, we are offering some short-term Sermon Reflection Small Groups! Groups will likely meet only 6 times, will be made up of 3-9 persons, and will meet at various times and locations depending on each group's leaders. There will likely be one or two groups that meet via Zoom as well. If this sounds like a meaningful activity to you, be sure to sign up at the sign-up table on Sunday, August 29th, and Sunday, September 5th. For any other details, contact Dr. Todd Spencer at todds@fumc-cs.org or 719.471.8522.

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Thank you!

We wanted to extend a thank you for working around the church being closed for three days in August. Staff spent those days at John Wesley Ranch working on a couple of things.

First, our Just Cause (To find out more, you can watch Simon Sinek's video on the Infinite Game HERE). If you ask Kent the reason for the church he will tell you that it is about being in "right" relationship with God, After months of playing with that idea, we've settled on a statement that will help guide us going forward: First United Methodist Church is on an eternal journey to create a community of people living into whole, healthy relationships with God, one another, and the world.

Second, staff spent time getting to know one another. We know that leading a healthy faith community starts with a healthy leadership team. So, we spent a day led by an outside facilitator learning about being part of a team and practicing in a safe environment.

The work we did at the beginning of August was very fruitful. So, thank you congregation for allowing us the time and space for this very important work. (Mark your calendars! We will again work off-site in 2022! August 9, 10, and 11.)

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Rides For Rubbish Is Back!

Join us in walking with our neighbors to pick up trash in the downtown area. This relational ministry gives us opportunities to get to know people wherever they are on life's journey. At the end of our time together, bus tickets are distributed as is communion and a blessing. We meet at Catholic Charities Marian House at 1pm on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

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Sunday morning options for parents...

As you may have heard, we are moving children's music to Sunday mornings at 10:00. That means there are two hours of programming on Sunday mornings for your kids! We want to make sure you know you have options during that time also. First, there will be a new adult Sunday school class from about 10:00 to about 11:00. We expect the class will need a flexible start and end time to allow time for transitioning to and from various activities like kid drop-off. Another Sunday option during the children's music program is Heartstrings Worship Service in the theater. We would love to have you join us for Bluegrass - Worship - Wild Hearts. In addition, your children can head to children's music directly from Heartstrings, so it would save you from a journey to the second floor. Finally, we know you don't really need reminding, but we have a beautiful, vibrant downtown community. Sunday mornings are alive with good people, good food, arts, and just plain fun. So, feel free to leave your cell number with us, and take some "you-time" in downtown Colorado Springs.

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The New Mural On Nevada

In 2011, an outdoor mural was created by Amy Jean Jones to celebrate the activities of the Mission Arts Center (MAC) which is housed at The Edge on North Nevada. The MAC was an arts outreach program of First United Methodist Church, making creativity accessible to everyone.

Ten years later, Rev. Heather McDuffee is giving the space a makeover, both inside and out. Rev. McDuffee has commissioned the up-and-coming portrait artist, Molly McLure, to cover the old mural with a new mural of women who are expressing post-pandemic joy. Women of all walks of life have lost jobs, childcare, healthcare, and life as a result of COVID19. The five local women that posed for the mural have shared their stories of resilience. And now their common thread of “We are Rahab!” joy will inspire our community.

The legacy of this space will continue to be used for amateur artists, crafters, and makers, with an addition of a retail space that will help finance a social impact for women who are finding creative solutions to their employment barriers. Creations @ The Edge will have a maker space that will promote joy in the amateur creative. Through playful workshops, participants can express themselves in a fun and welcoming community.

A community-wide fundraiser began in June 2021. And now, you can join us in the effort to turn Molly’s sketch into a colorful downtown mural that celebrates joy out of the rubble. Sponsor a square inch, a square foot, or a square yard by contacting Pastor Heather at heatherm@fumc-cs.org.

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Message From Doug Grogan!

Greetings All! Thank you for the warm welcome to Colorado Springs. Your kind words and smiles are reassuring as I establish myself in a new church home.  It will take some time to learn names, so if I keep asking, please be patient...I will eventually remember.

It was a joy to worship with you in person for the first time this week at the downtown campus.  I appreciate hearing your voices raised in song as we worshipped together, and the opportunity to stand in front of the wonderful Chancel Choir to make music to glorify Almighty God.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to worship in the Crossroads service this past week and at the Prairie Campus two weeks prior.  Hopefully, this next week I will have the opportunity to connect with the Heartstrings worshipping community.   Each worship service has a different style, but one attribute remains the same - loving God and loving your neighbor!

As we all know, the pandemic has impacted all of our lives.  Therefore, post-pandemic is a perfect time to take the leap of faith and become involved in the music ministry of the church.   If you are looking for a new and exciting way to connect with others and serve the Lord, please reach out to me at dougg@fumc-cs.org.   This is the perfect time to start something new by joining one of the vocal or instrumental ensembles.  These ensembles are a wonderful way to make new friends, use your God- given talents, and grow in your music making abilities.   I pray you will venture out and try something new.  Don't worry, if music isn't your gift, I will assist you in finding a way to serve and be an integral part of this wonderful community of believers.

Thank you again for welcoming me to FUMC Colorado Springs!
Doug