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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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Posted by on Dec 23, 2020 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Why Faith & Work? (Pt. 1) – Gospel

Why Faith & Work? (Pt. 1) – Gospel

It was a Sunday afternoon. I walked out my back garage to toss the trash. I opened the green can, heaved in the white plastic bag, and breathed in … the stench of smoke. As I shut the can I moseyed out to my driveway to investigate. I looked up in the sky. The sun was a dull yellow, filtered through an unnatural cloud that covered the horizon. Smoke from the worst wildfires in Colorado history hung like a lingering ghost. Ash slowly fell around me and the street in my neighborhood was completely empty. As I turned to walk back inside I heard something. It was a song coming from a truck around the corner. As I paused and peered through the sullen glow, I saw an ice cream truck, driving as if children were going to happily skip outside, eager for an afternoon treat. Yet none emerged from their homes, sequestered by their parents from the pandemic. The truck jingled by, as if from the set of...

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2020 in Nonprofit, Work | 0 comments

Why Give? Kahlil Gibran on Generosity

Why Give? Kahlil Gibran on Generosity

Crammed in my drawer next to my bed are years of arts and crafts, given to me with almost ecstatic anticipation by my four daughters over the years. A Beauty and the Beast coloring page; a blue, yellow, and green woven bracelet; a pink and yellow glazed pot, just perfect for a few coins. In each instance, my daughters worked, wrapped, and then gave gifts to their daddy out of a freedom, delight, and self-forgetfulness.  Like my daughters, Americans are generous. Yet Americans aren’t exactly joyful. Today 3 of 5 Americans report being lonely and 1 in 6 struggle with mental illness. During the pandemic, as we see philanthropic needs mount, some are skeptical that generosity will really help the painful world we live in. Many are asking a basic question about their money: can my giving really make an impact on problems this big and far-reaching?  Motives for giving have shifted even in the past couple of decades. Fred Smith, president of the Gathering, a group of Christian philanthropists, has pointed out that a sophisticated industry has emerged...

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Posted by on Oct 15, 2020 in Work | 0 comments

What Is Denver Institute for Faith & Work?

What Is Denver Institute for Faith & Work?

The following is a brief introduction to my work at Denver Institute for Faith & Work that I gave at a recent fundraiser. It first appeared on the DIFW website. It doesn’t take much to make the case that the world is deeply broken.  Even as you read this, my guess is that today – in your own experience – you can feel the fallenness of our culture all around. From anger and fear in the news to our day-to-day experience of broken relationships, we know that something is amiss.  As the executive director and founder of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, I, too, feel that something is deeply wrong with the world. I’m often asked by donors, “What problem are you at Denver Institute trying to solve?” Let me try to answer by briefly sharing about the why, the how, and the what of our mission at Denver Institute. First, why? Take a moment to think about the ways you long for healing in our world today. We know that our society is deeply...

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