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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Art, Culture, Work | 0 comments

The Christian Retreat from the World: Chatting with Hans Rookmaaker on the Back Porch

The Christian Retreat from the World: Chatting with Hans Rookmaaker on the Back Porch

We all struggle to explain what we do. I’m no different. Actually, I have rehearsed a set of responses for when people ask the inevitable question: “What do you do for work?” “I lead an educational nonprofit in Denver.” If I can get them to bite with this amorphous answer, they’ll often ask, “Oh, really? What kind?” “I direct an organization called Denver Institute for Faith & Work. We offer educational programming on how Christianity can shape and influence a wide variety of work we do, from business to law to art to education.” At this point, they pause, tip their head sideways, and say, “Oh, how interesting.” And…I lost them. It’s not that they’re uninterested. But there’s really no category in most people’s minds for this kind of work. It’s just strange. Perhaps esoteric. Sheet metal manufacturing and folding clothes at The Gap — these kinds of work make sense. We need metal. We need clothes. But why on earth do we need Denver Institute for Faith &...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Finance, Media, Nonprofit, Politics, Science, Technology, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Today is a big day. Today my colleagues and I at Denver Institute for Faith & Work, in partnership with Gordon College, announce the launch of the 5280 Fellowship, a 9 month experience for emerging leaders beginning in the fall of 2016. After years of planning, design and forging partnerships, each element of the program has fallen into place. And now what we are now offering is, I believe, one of the best faith-based fellowship programs in the US, and perhaps Denver’s premiere leadership experience for young professionals. I know those are big claims. But I believe the 5280 Fellowship has the potential to deeply impact Denver for generations to come. And I’m not alone. Some of Denver’s finest pastors – like Robert Gelinas (Colorado Community Church), Brad Strait (Cherry Creek Presbyterian), Rob Brendle (Denver United), Brian Brown (Park Church) and Hunter Beaumont (Fellowship Denver) – believe the Fellowship can be a life-changing experience for young professionals who want to deeply engage themes of calling, work, and culture. Young...

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Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Art, Culture | 0 comments

The Calling of Jayber Crow

The Calling of Jayber Crow

“It seems to me,” David Buschart told us over one dollar beers at Old Mill, “that the idea of calling depends on the doctrine of God’s providence.” The four of us had invited David, a theologian from the seminary, to help us make sense of Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic. Of course, the book was just an excuse for four guys in our twenties to get together, look smart, and talk about our lives, wives, and jobs. And by choosing Old Mill’s cheapest possible beer, we confessed to the world we were both woefully ignorant of the what a beer should be—and we were utterly broke. That night I was intent on trying to figure out my winding, seemingly aimless, career path. I got my master’s degree, now had a job in a completely unrelated field, and could barely support my wife and newborn daughter. In my head, the script was never supposed to work out like this. And so when the local wiseman tells me the key to understanding...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Art | 0 comments

David Lopes: Facilities Manager, Artist

David Lopes: Facilities Manager, Artist

  [Editor’s Note: This interview tells the story of David Lopes, a Facilities Manager at Colorado Community Church and an artist. David shares his theological vision for both art as well as his daily work of cleaning and maintaining the facilities.] Jeff: Tell me briefly who you are and where you come from. David: I’m originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I have two brothers and two step-sisters. Growing up in Cape Cod was really nice. My dad ended up working at the air force base there. I grew up there till I was about 12 or 13 years old until I moved to the suburbs in Rhode Island. I graduated from there and joined the Navy for four years. After I got out of the service, I went to Florida for construction but I met a girl who lived in Denver and so that’s how I ended up here. I’ve been out here for the last good 20-30 years. Jeff: What have you been doing out here in Denver since...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Art, Work | 0 comments

Where Love and Need Are One: A Vision For Work

Where Love and Need Are One: A Vision For Work

  In the Fall 2013 Issue of Comment magazine, James K.A. Smith tells the story of a beautiful vision of work. In 2009, US Supreme Court Justice David Souter retired to his New Hampshire home. Chief Justice Roberts wrote, on behalf of the court, “We understand your desire to trade white marble for White Mountains, and to return to your land of ‘easy wind and downy flake,’” citing a Robert Frost Poem. Justice Souter responded with a quote from a Robert Frost poem of his own: “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” Souter wrote that Frost set out “the ideal of a life engaged,” when he wrote work should be “where love and need are one.” The finest moments of Souter’s professional life were described by this unity of love and need, work and passion. In the context of the simple task of splitting wood, Frost wrote about his vision more fully: My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one...

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Posted by on Jan 3, 2013 in Art, Theology | 0 comments

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An Act of Creation

An Act of Creation

  I was supposed to be networking. That’s what normal people do when surrounded by a city’s top leaders, as I was at a recent Q Ideas Conference at the Denver Performing Arts Center. But during the break between sessions, I found myself sipping coffee, standing alone amidst the buzzing conversation, and utterly transfixed by the artwork of Jake Weidmann. Three paintings of a lion sat on easels. The first lion’s mane was ablaze, representing God the Father, a consuming fire (Deut. 4.24). The second lion’s mane was a barbed wire, an allusion to the suffering of God the Son. And the third lion’s mane was a river, the Living Water given by God the Spirit (Jn. 7:38). As I beheld Weidmann’s arresting creativity and Trinitarian imagination, I quietly thought to myself,“We are at our best when our daily work reflects the creative work of God himself.” Made in the Image of the Maker When looking for a model for work, the best place to start is God’s own work....

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