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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.
January 13, 2019
"Hiding in Plain Sight"
Join Steve as he continues our Advent theme of "Find and you will seek". Even though Jesus’ parents searched him all over Jerusalem, he was not lost. Sometimes the truth is in obvious and in plain sight. Maybe the truth is already within us and we just need to stop looking everywhere else! In our search for Jesus, might we find him hiding in plain sight?
“Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being?” — Swami Vivekananda
“Seek not good from without: seek it within yourselves, or you will never find it.” — Bertha von Suttne
“We come to church not to hide our problems but to heal them.”
— Dieter F. Uchtdorf
We're Published Again: Service and Lockers for the Homeless
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)
We also enjoyed local coverage for our locker project on September 17 and 25, 2018. Click to read articles or view videos by:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 419-8944
Stop the Haters …
Spread the Love!
It seems we are constantly bombarded by hate-filled messages from the media and from the Administration.
Every day it seems someone or something is under attack: the earth, wildlife, women, minorities, immigrants, the poor … the list goes on and on.
What can we do? We can do our part – whatever we define that to be -- whatever thoughts, words, and actions resist hate, nurture others, and take care of ourselves.
One way to do this is with physical signs that everyone can see. Signs that say, “I am NOT a hater” – signs that remind people that we are all connected. Put the signs up in a prominent place for ALL to see.
Here are two great signs and HOW to get them:
Buy this sign from our church. The suggested donation is $7 to $10. Contact Pastor Steve at: email@example.com
This sign is available from www.northernsun.com for $9 (add shipping costs
We've Got Photos!
Check out our new Photos page. We've got an ever-changing photo collage plus links to our Facebook Photos and our brand, spanking new Google Photos album.
Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship is hosting food and showers on SATURDAY nights, NOT Friday nights. Murphy Center is now open from 5 to 10 pm, Mondays through Fridays for showers, lockers, laundry, mail, computers, phones, coffee, and snacks.
Starting SATURDAY, December 15, are open each Saturday at 5 pm for food, showers, and fellowship at 300 East Oak Street.
2018 Theme: "Find and You Will Seek!"
Our theme sounds kind of backwards, don't you think? Or is it exactly the sort of "upside down" idea that is Advent? Each year we travel again to that dirty little shed longing for re-birth, to begin fresh and new — to start over.
But the seed of Hope is already inside us, dormant, needing some time and nurture, just waiting to sprout into Faith. The journey's destination is actually it's beginning as this sudden realization renews our tired bodies and souls with Joy. What we sought all along was already there, waiting to be born, leading us forward on our new journey toward Peace.
Real-Life "Loaves and Fishes" Moment
This season we celebrate and affirm our commitment to a ministry of love and hospitality for the most vulnerable in our community.
What an amazing Community Thanksgiving! We planned to feed 30 or so, almost 100 people showed up, and we still managed to have food for everyone!
Delicious food, a warm room, plenty of conversation, and a sense of real community were experienced by all.
Our focus is establishing relationships with those who are experiencing homelessness so they begin to feel like they are part of our community. Relationships are the most important factor in life transformations!
Maybe one day, our fair City will care enough about those without homes, that folks won't have to stand in line for one home-cooked meal a year on Thanksgiving, and then wait outdoors in the cold for hours until the shelters open!
And maybe, just maybe, our City will figure out a way to provide affordable housing for all. Hope springs eternal!
"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?
Want to ask lots of questions ans share lots of ideas?
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!
Locker Project Under Way: We Need Your Help!
After gaining approval from the Planning & Zoning Board on 7/19/2018, we are slowly implementing our locker application and approval process and assigning lockers.
Those who received lockers are grateful beyond belief! One recipient is 8+ months pregnant and another is disabled. You can imagine how hard it was for them to carry their belongings with them everywhere they went. And when they couldn't carry them, they got stolen.
However, some neighbors are quite upset with the locker program and want to appeal it. Some have had unfortunate experiences with the homeless, and believe that ALL homeless are dangerous and will use the lockers to store nefarious items. We know this is NOT the case. In fact, statistics show that the homeless are 80% more likely to be VICTIMS of crimes ... not perpetrators.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
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 (security system, 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.
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