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Sunday, August 18, 2019
"Hope in a Time of Mass Murder?”
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.
FFH Families are Here: Aug. 18-25
Family Housing Network has three programs: Faith Family Hospitality (FFH), Sherwood House, and the Day Center (currently housed at our church).
We are hosting FFH famlies during the week of Aug. 18-25 and are looking for volunteers.
To help, go to Signup Genius:
Current events may lead us to despair, anxiety, or fear. However, the antidote to these paralyzing emotions is hope, based upon acts of love. And being part of a loving community can restore hope.
“Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don't. You are in good company... You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.”
— John Piper
News Updates on our Locker Project
Fort Collins and the American Civil Liberties Union are approaching a settlement in the lawsuit our FCMF locker program for homeless people. The compromise would eliminate the city-imposed requirement for an FCMF representative to be on-site at all times and expand people's opportunities to access the lockers, according to ACLU. An FCMF representative will need to be available by phone, and the area will need security cameras. Of course, this compromise must be approved by City Council … so we will have to wait and see!
We also enjoyed local coverage for our locker project on July 2019 and September 2018. Click to read articles or view videos by:
Michael Ranieri's article, "On Sundays, the earliest 'service' is for the homeless," appeared in the July 2, 2019 edition of The World Mennonite Review (page 14).
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: 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.
Real-Life "Loaves and Fishes" Moment
During the holiday 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!
Gloria's Big Adventure: Lemonade, Homeless Outreach, and Paying off the Mortgage!
In Late May, 2019, Gloria Hallatt returned from an incredible journey that started May 1.
She was diagnosed with bilateral lung disease, the big “C” before she left. Despite the diagnosis, she decided to start an extraordinary adventure to help FCMF!
Gloria traveled more than 2,500 miles, to the northwest and back, on by foot and by car, along with her doggie Benji and her friend Marie. Her goal was to raise awareness of the "Homelessness Epidemic" and raise money for our FCMF Homeless Outreach program. She sold lemonade as she traveled (“when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”), spoke with the homed and the homeless, and urged her customers to donate on her GoFundMe site.
Now that she's returned, Gloria will be helping us with our "45 FOR 45" campaign to pay off our $45,000 mortgage in time for our 45th anniversary (2020). When we pay off our mortgage we will free up more funds each month to expand our Homeless Outreach program!
Thank you Gloria for getting us started!
Please keep Gloria in your prayers as she begins immunotherapy. Tell tell your friends about Gloria's efforts and visit her GoFundMe site to donate:
NOTE: The "Lemonade and Homeless Outreach" GoFundMe site will be retired once we start the "Pay Off the Mortgage" site.
Update on Meetings at County Commissioners Office and City Hall
FCMF Meals are On Vacation
For the rest of the Summer, Ft. Collins Mennonite Fellowship will NOT be providing Saturday night meals & showers, and Sunday morning breakfasts.
Pacto de Fe will serve breakfasts on Sunday in the Ft. Collins Rescue Mission parking lot.
Ft. Collins Mennonite Fellowship will resume the Saturday and Sunday meals in the autumn (Sept. 7 and 8, 2019).
2019 Pentacost Season
" Pentacost is a time when people experience the Spirit of God that dwells within them. This Spirit flows through the entire Universe, through everything on our planet — humans, animals, plants, the rocks, the air — everything! Those who are led by the Spirit of God are all children of God.
“Radical servanthood challenges us, while attempting persistently to overcome poverty, hunger, illness, and any other form of human misery, to reveal the gentle presence of our compassionate God in the midst of our broken world.”
― Henri Nouwen
New Group: 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: We Still 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