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Posted by on Apr 8, 2021 in Faith and Work Movement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

CityGate: Launching a New Initiative for Leaders

CityGate: Launching a New Initiative for Leaders

It was 2016. I was two years into launching Denver Institute. One day I woke up and realized a painful truth. I have no idea what I’m doing.  So, I got on the phone and started calling friends and peers around the US. Geoff Hsu at Flourish San Diego; Lisa Slayton, then at Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation; David Kim at the Center for Faith & Work. I invited about 15 leaders from Atlanta to Toronto for three days in Breckenridge to eat, share, discuss, and learn from each other. I gave a simple name to that first gathering: CityGate.  At about the same time, we were launching our first class of 5280 Fellows. To be honest, as Jill (Hamilton) Anschutz was designing the website and Brian was designing the curriculum, we had no idea if this would fly either. But behold, at our first retreat we met 27 bright, faithful, engaged emerging leaders working in law, architecture, social entrepreneurships, psychiatry, engineering, and more.  Each of these two communities was a gift of...

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2021 in Culture, Theology, Work | 0 comments

Easter is More than a Metaphor (Op-Ed for the Denver Gazette)

Easter is More than a Metaphor (Op-Ed for the Denver Gazette)

When I think of Easter, I think of the pink crabapple trees blossoming in early April along the north side of Caley Avenue in my home town of Littleton.  I think of Easter egg hunts on budding green church lawns packed with girls in pastel dresses and boys in clip-on ties, carrying baskets filled with eggs, chocolate, and plastic green grass (that ends up on my carpet). I think of Easter brunch: fruit, egg bakes, and mimosas. And I think of leisurely walks through garden centers, smelling fresh soil, fresh seeds and new beginnings.  Yet for me at least, the metaphor of Easter as a mere symbol is falling short. This year was simply filled with too much pain.  This last year, I remember looking into a hazy, yellow sky and feeling the ash fall on my face from raging Colorado wildfires. I remember a friend of mine telling me about the piercing anxiety he felt as he watched from his balcony the dumpster fires move closer to home...

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2021 in Uncategorized, Work | 0 comments

How Effective is the 5280 Fellowship?

How Effective is the 5280 Fellowship?

“How do you measure your results?” It’s usually not the first question I receive from a donor interested in our work, but it is the second or third. And it’s not always easy to answer.  Measuring impact in the nonprofit sector can be tricky business. In the business world, it’s much more straightforward: profitability is still the standard-bearer for an “effective business.” But in the nonprofit sector, especially educational organizations like Denver Institute, our goal is to shape human lives. How would we know if we were effective at a program like, say, the 5280 Fellowship?  The Process In early 2020, we recruited two outside researchers — Stephen Assink (MAR) and Andrew Lynn (PhD), both from the University of Virginia — to help us with that question. As trained social scientists with experience doing research for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and the Thriving Cities Group, Stephen and Andrew brought both objectivity and expertise to our question. So, how did we tackle this question of impact? First,...

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

Responding to the Changing World of Work (Part 2)

Responding to the Changing World of Work (Part 2)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble,” writes the author of Psalm 46. “Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts…. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” The changes to the world of work since the pandemic began feel like this psalm: waters roar, mountains quake, nations are in uproar, and my daily work rhythms just got blown up.   Yet in this cultural context of change, Christians bring a unique perspective: the unchanging reality of God. If you’re a secular person, focused just on the individual and your ability to control your own destiny, the storyline is actually chaos. Each day is a grasping attempt to bring security and stability in a world being tossed by the fierce winds of an economic, social, and cultural storm. In contrast, the Christian can breathe. “The Lord...

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Posted by on Feb 18, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

The World of Work Has Changed  (Part One)

The World of Work Has Changed (Part One)

It was the second week of the pandemic. Late March 2020. I was driving back home from the office, trying to figure out what this would mean for Denver Institute, and for my own work. As I headed south on Santa Fe, just across from Aspen Grove mall, I stopped at a stoplight. I could feel my scalp tingling, at the base of my neck. At that moment, I realized I was holding my breath. I put my hand over my chest. My heart was racing. I could feel in my body the tension and anxiety of a changing world. At a recent online event we hosted for nearly 200 people from all walks of life, 86% said they had felt deep anxiety in their work since the pandemic began. The news cycle often drives this constant stream of anxiety, but rarely do we have a chance to really step back and take a look at the big picture and calmly evaluate our role in that big picture. First, in...

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2021 in Politics, Work | 0 comments

Faith & Immigration (Op-Ed for the Boulder Weekly)

Faith & Immigration (Op-Ed for the Boulder Weekly)

by Jeff Haanen Scrolling through my Facebook feed, last week I noticed a rare delight: Edith Franco was beaming. Recently graduated with a masters degree, she posed in black cap and gown in front of the Texas State University sign smiling ear to ear.  Almost a decade ago I was her youth pastor at a small church in Brighton. Optimistic, kind and bright, Edith was the first to volunteer, the last to complain and she ran circles around her AP classes in high school. As I wondered where the time had went, I also worried for her: What will an undocumented immigrant do with all that potential?  This week I was one of 180 entities and individuals representing business, law enforcement and faith communities to urge the new Biden administration to reform our nation’s outdated and broken immigration system.  I come to this debate not as a business leader, clamoring for an updated immigration system that meets employment needs of our modern economy, nor as a police officer, wanting...

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