loren Eric Swanson: Celebration Sunday at Calvary Bible in Boulder

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Celebration Sunday at Calvary Bible in Boulder

Last Sunday was "Celebration Sunday" for Liz's and my home church of 29 years--Calvary Bible Church in Boulder Colorado--a church that was started in 1889 as a mission outreach to Swedish immigrants. Pastor Tom Shirk has done a great job turning the church inside out. A couple of Sundays ago I looked around our congregation and saw some of individuals who are making an incredible impact. There is Jean Wood, who leads our community in caring for / mentoring Lost Boys of Sudan (who are now young men). Several came with her to the celebration. Then there is realtor Judy Pitt who works with homeless in her "On the Corner" ministry along with her continued global impact in Africa. I saw Frank and Linda Goodmanwho sit with the homeless of our congregation. I see Ray Fanberg who brings 3-5 delightful men who are mentally retarded. They are a joy to have in our congregation. These folks have discovered their Ephesians 2:10 calling...and loving it!

During the outdoor celebration Associate Pastor, Adrian gave a little recap of Calvary's externally focused ministry

At Thanksgiving and Christmas time hundreds of you—all ages and both campuses--packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, delivered gifts to low income families through Angel Tree, and served meals for the homeless in our community.

In March, a team of volunteer photographers, editors, and writers, under the leadership of John Boyle and Kim Cleaver launched the first edition of Calvary’s Roots magazine… and hasn’t that been an incredible publication for sharing the stories of God’s work in individual lives?
Around that time the high school ministry launched "Wednesday Night Thing" in Erie—

On April 29th, our Erie campus celebrated our one-year anniversary with around to 300 people in attendance. An unbelievable congregation of committed, prayerful, selfless leaders who are reaching that growing community.

Also during the Spring, several Calvary families launched a new orphan care ministry that is currently supporting some 13 Calvary family who have recently completed or who are going through the adoption process. That ministry has simply been the result of a passion and leadership that God implanted in several women at our Erie and Boulder campuses.

In October, 14 of you went on a medical mission trip to Brazil. In June 30 high school students and staff built homes and cared for families in Mexico. And in July and August, 12 Calvary folks shared the gospel, and distributed goods, and built churches in Kenya.

eyond these short-term trips, we’ve had three Calvary families: Brad and Janis Winslow, John and Becky Singleton, and Dennis and Donna Walsh move to Germany, Kenya, and Belize for longer term missionary service.

In June, 700 of you partnered with 1,700 others from 18 churches for Sharefest 2007. In our biggest Sharefest ever, we partnered with the body of Christ in Boulder County and Erie to demonstrate the unconditional love of God to 10 schools and seven community agencies.

During Pastor Tom Shirk's message he talked about the diversity of our congregation. Now this is radically different from what kind of church we were 5-6 years ago.

We are Calvary Bible Church.

We are Young. We are Old. We are Teenagers; we are Old-Agers. We are Single ; We are Married. We are Divorced, Remarried, We are Widowed.
We live in the Mountains. We live in the foothills. We live in the city; we live in the suburbs. We are Happy to live in Boulder; we are Happy to live outside of Boulder.

Live in homes, mansions, townhouses, apartments, condos, shelters
Have Children, grand-children, wish we had children. (We wish we had no children.)

We are employed; we are unemployed. We’re retired. We own our own business.
We are Elementary Teachers; we are University Professors.
We are Electrical Engineers, we are Molecular Biologists.
We are Meteorologists, we are Real Estate Brokers.
Computer Scientists, Software Developers, Stock Brokers,
Bankers, Small Business Owners. We are Corporate CEO’s, we are College Students. We are plumbers, Electricians, Dentists, Developers.
We are Physicians, Physicists, Physical Therapists.
Managers of people, managers of money. Carpenters, carpet layers, Engineers of too many varieties to name. Musicians, artists, salespeople.
We are Calvary.

We send our kids to Public School, private School, Charter Schools, Christian Schools, we home School.
We Drive Subarus, we Drive Suburbans; We ride motorcycles and mountain bikes; we Skateboard. We Ski; We Snowboard.

We’re CU Fans. We….

Prefer plastic. We Prefer paper
We prefer Tofu; we eat Red Meat.
We like the Traditional service; we prefer Contemporary Music.
We like Drums; we’d rather listen to the organ.

We’re Independents; we’re Democrats; we’re Republicans.
We ‘re Calvinists. We’re Arminians.
We attend the Boulder Campus; We’re at the Erie Campus.
We grew up in this church; being at church makes us nervous.



At Wednesday, August 29, 2007 1:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric ~ How do you remember all that detail? Thanks for taking the time to chronicle your life and God's work as you see it.

Deb H.


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