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FCMF: Authentic, Compassionate, and Inclusive!
Here at Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship (FCMF), we practice the "radical inclusivity" of Jesus. This means working with, having compassion for, and getting to know people who, as Jesus said, are the “least of us” and are often on the margins of society.
Whether it’s welcoming sexual and gender minorities into our community, hosting homeless families in the Faith Family Hospitality program, welcoming homeless individuals who visit us for warmth, food, and fellowship, helping immigrants, or working for a healthcare system that benefits all, we try to walk in the footsteps of Jesus as best we can.
We use our hands to do God's work, focusing on issues of social justice, peace, and helping those in need.
July 15 at 10:00 am
"It’s Christmas in July as Mothers Again Weep for Their Children!"
God slipped into our world surrounded by the poor and the outcast; a child whose parents were homeless transients in Bethlehem; parents who had to smuggle him across the border into Egypt to save his life. Today, we see a similar scenario played out along our southern border as children are being separated from their parent. We must stand up and declare that ALL families are Holy.
“We live in the age of the refugee, the age of the exile.”
— Ariel Dorfman
"I think a lot of Americans forget that they are not originally from here, that somebody in their past was a refugee.— Milana Vayntrub
We're Published Again!
Michael Ranieri's article, "On Sundays, the earliest 'service' is for the homeless," was recently accepted for publication by the The World Mennonite Review. The international Mennonite newspaper published his article on page 14 of the July 2, 2018 edition.
The article focused on the work our Fellowship has been doing in collaboration with Pacto de Fe, providing food and fellowship on Sunday mornings to the homeless.
Click to read the article (scroll down to page 14)
Get Involved: Fight the Criminalization of Homelessness!
We take our cue from Jesus’ statement:
"What you do to the least of us, you do to me."
How do you feel about people without homes being prevented from sitting and resting without getting fined? Not having access to adequate public water fountains or bathrooms? Not having access to safe shelters? Not having access to lockers to safely store their belongings?
If you feel this is wrong, consider getting involved with the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition. The organization is looking for new members who want to participate and get loud!
Today our City seems to be working to criminalize homelessness, one ordinance at a time, to preserve the "image" of our Old Town.
However, we want to live in a city where ALL members of the population are treated with respect and dignity. Not just those who are fortunate enough to be able to rent an apartment or buy a house. Not just those who have the money to go to the hair dressers or barbers and get a haircut. Not just those who can afford to buy new clothes online or at a store. Not just those with high-paying high-tech jobs and spiffy new cars. But everyone!
Fort Collins Homeless Coalition meetings are Monday at 2 pm in the glass-walled Collaboration Room in the Old Town Library.
For details, contact Cherly Distaso: email@example.com or (970) 419-8944
Log Jam of Obstacles!
It’s time to turn up the heat with the City and attack the log jam of obstacles they are putting in front of our locker project.
The issue will be discussed at the July 19 P&Z meeting. Please plan to attend. And make sure to write to Clay Frickey, City Planner at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Deputy City Manager, Jeff Mihelich at: email@example.com.
Read the latest news about the locker in this Coloradoan article:
"Murphy Center expanded locker access?"
First the City asked for groups to host lockers for the homeless and FCMF was the only group to volunteer. Then they promised funding for locker purchase and installation. Next, they pulled the locker funding. Then they told us us lockers were allowed on our property if we raised the money … so we raised the money with our GoFundMe campaign.
Recently, Planning and Zoning said we had to hold a “development under proposal” meeting to get our lockers approved. We filled out the the necessary "Minor Adjustment Application," paid the $350 fee, and submitted the paperwork.
Fortunately, P&Z staff recommended that the P&Z Board approve our locker plan. But within 24 hours of the P&Z Board meeting, the City Manager’s office pulled the locker topic off the agenda. Guess they didn’t like P&Z’s recommendation.
However, after discussing the storage lockers with other City staff the City Planner determined they needed time to ”properly analyze the safety issues” regarding storage lockers. It seems that some people who live near Library Park worry that the lockers will attract "criminal elements" ... never mind that we are vetting all individuals and many of them are members of our own congregation!
And now the City is suddenly getting excited about possibly funding the Murphy Center so they can expand their hours and make their lockers more accessible. But who knows when that will happen! And besides, they currently do not have enough lockers and they are not large-sized lockers.
We must remind the City that lockers were needed years ago! The City could have have provided funding to Murphy Center for larger lockers and extended hours last year, but they did NOT. They could have funded the lockers themselves and installed them in a safe place, but they did not. They left it up to the "rest of us," and FCMF was the only group willing to take on the task.
And now they are putting obstacle after obstacle in our way!
The Little Church that Could ... Did!
Yes, we did it. We reached and exceeded our initial Go Fund Me goal of $8,000 for lockers!
So many people have already been telling us they can't wait for a locker! Some have contacted us in person and others via Facebook to share their gratitude and excitement!
We will be installing the first 13 large-size lockers for our homeless brothers and sisters. These lockers and locks were donated with a value of at least $1,800!
We will use our collected Go Fund Me funds to purchase the rest of the lockers. We are still waiting on some additional funding from various grants to pay for security lights, cameras, and an enclosure to make the lockers safe to access late at night.
We just learned that we did NOT get one of our grants. This means we need extra Go Fund Me money to purchase the security items we listed above.
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all who donated. You are making a huge difference in the lives of all those who are without homes.
So please press the Donate button if you have not yet done so!
When the City chose not to fund our locker project for the homeless, we raised the money on our own. But now we need more money for security items for the lockers (lights, cameras, enclosure).
Click the button to learn more and donate today!
Why Lockers for the homeless?
The 2015 Fort Collins Homeless Coalition Survey found that lockers are a high priority among the homeless. 40% of those surveyed said they were NEVER able to store their belongings securely. 75% experienced harassment, discrimination, difficulty with employment, were told to move or sit elsewhere, and were banned from stores because of their backpacks. All had to stash their belongings outdoors, resulting in a high rate of theft. 90% said they would use a free, large-sized locker if available.
"Non-Bible" Bible Study
Are you between the ages of 18 and 30? Wonder why people believe what they believe .... and how their beliefs impact their actions?
Feel like getting into some cultural anthropology and philosophy discussions while enjoying food and drink at a coffee house?
Then this study group is for you: Click here to learn more!
Services and Activities
We're the "little church that could" ... small in size but mighty in action. If you'd like to help us financially, please make out a check to FCMF and mail it to the address listed to the right. --Thanks!
Our pastor is Steve Ramer:
Our address is:
300 East Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524