november 2020 Newsletter
Pastor Jim Chapman
Little Things Matter
2 Chronicles 20
Thankfulness is not always easy. COVID, wildfires, elections, droughts, etc., the list for 2020 goes on and on! For most of us, it has been a year of anguish, heartache, and inconveniences. But, if we think about it, there are many little things that we can still be thankful for.
Jehoshaphat was an ancient king of Israel, who faced life and death circumstances. In his time and place, the nation he ruled was in mortal peril, threatened with national extinction. A vast hostile army had gathered on the edge of Israel. They would invade and offer no mercy. Either the Israelites would prevail, or they would be exterminated. Remarkably, before his army plunged into the fight, Jehoshaphat stopped and began to sing!
That is right. He put a choir in front of his army, singing “give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” How does one do something like this? Either he was crazy, or it would save the day!
It was just a little thing with huge consequences upon the story. Jehoshaphat knew something about faith in God. He knew that little things mattered. His small step in putting a worship group ahead of his army was brilliant! It demonstrated his remarkable mature faith in God. No matter the outcome of the battle, he would give thanks by singing to God knowing that His love endures forever. With that, his army plunged into the desert wilderness for a fight.
It can be awfully hard to be thankful when the circumstances of life appear aligned against you, your family, and friends. The COVID virus has been no respecter of age, ethnicity, or gender. Yet, in this pandemic, there are things to be thankful for. Our thankfulness is always a choice. Josaphat’s choice would save his nation!
Thankfulness is a tough sell to those who are homeless on the streets. Many will laugh in our faces when we offer such words of encouragement. Yet, there are precious moments when new hope can seep into a conversation. A new hope which offers the possibility of a life-changing moment.
Recently, I had a conversation with Austin, a mostly toothless, middle-aged man on the streets in Golden. The first time I met him, he had just been released from prison. He had the clothes on his back and a few pennies in his pocket. When he got a warm coat from us last week, he was joyful. But more importantly, he was open to the words of Jesus. This makes me sing!
It is a small start for him, but I am thankful that he is finding a new way.
Little things matter.
Pray for him and for those from Christ’s Body who will be sharing with Austin and others who find themselves homeless this year.
Finally, over the years, Christ Body has worked to be lean and nimble and able to change in order to meet our mission, which is to feed, clothe and share the Gospel 365 days per year with Denver’s poor and homeless. Thank you for your prayers and ongoing support of our ministry.
Seize the Moment
AN INVITATION by Pastor Jim Chapman
I want to invite you to join the Christ’s Body Ministries team and other supporters on Thursday, December 3rd for our first end-of-year virtual event, scheduled from 12:30-1pm on Facebook. This event will be a great time of sharing with you our story of 2020 and how Christ’s Body has pivoted back to the “streets” to reach our homeless friends. Plus, we want to share with you some exciting plans for 2021 and how you can be a part of it. If you are interested in watching, please email Sterling Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on December 3rd!
We are so grateful for how God continues to provide in this season of ministry.
Wednesday is a big day here at Christ's Body Ministries! We have many volunteers who come in to make burritos and organize clothing donations in support of our mobile outreach.
lot's going on here on a wednesday!
We also have small groups from local churches who contribute burritos and meals that have been made at home in support of our outreach ministry as well!
We are also seeing more volunteers coming to serve on the streets! We are thankful for the support that we receive from our amazing volunteers. Volunteer support is growing and it serves as a wonderful affirmation of God's hand in this ministry!
all smiles after street outreach
meet karen of mission arvada
Meet Karen Cowling, director of Mission Arvada. Mission Arvada is the only homeless day shelter in Jefferson County. This shelter is located at The Rising Church, pastored by Pastor Steve Byers, in sunny Olde Towne, Arvada. We’ve been fortunate to partner with Karen and Pastor Steve over the last several months to host a Wednesday Night ministry and meal at Mission Arvada. This outreach has been a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with Karen as we fellowship with many of her dear clients.
Ministering alongside Karen will always leave you feeling blessed to spend time with her and fired up to work under the same Boss, Boss being spelled with a capital B! Her heart of compassion for walking alongside her clients, coupled with her solid trust in the LORD, is truly an inspiration. Karen sees people with the love and compassion of Christ and it shows in her every interaction with her guests. So, when you’ve spent some time with Karen you just can’t help to ask – how did you land here?
Karen began caring for individuals at a clinical level back in college during her tenure to become a speech pathologist. In these formative years, Karen was introduced to working with individuals in various residential treatment programs. She recalls seeing some of the ways that we all, as humans, live out our brokenness. It was here that her desire to help others began to grow as she was introduced to coming alongside and encouraging people who are walking through some tough roads in life. Shortly thereafter, Karen met her husband and together they explored this passion of helping others and began ministering to kids who are dealing with various forms of childhood trauma. Karen so beautifully comes alongside others who are walking through trauma and in need of experiencing God’s healing in their lives.
In starting their own family, God led Karen and her husband to adopt three boys. Walking through adoptive parenting together as a family led them to develop a support group for foster adoptive families. They led this group for over 8 years, and over the years the group grew to over 200-300 people! This served as a strong faith-based support system for adoptive parents. Pastor Steve and his wife were also adoptive parents, and it was through this group where Karen and Pastor Steve originally crossed paths.
As her children grew, the Holy Spirit urged Karen to be even more involved in helping people. She attended a severe shelter network info meeting to check it out and explore helping homeless individuals. It was at this meeting that Karen bumped into Pastor Steve again and learned that he had started a day shelter at The Rising Church. So, back in November 2017 Karen popped in to check out the shelter. She stayed to volunteer, and she never left! Karen quickly became co-director of Mission Arvada and then assumed her current role as Director of Mission Arvada.
Don’t let a title of Director fool you, though. Karen has a special gift of ministering to people and loving them exactly where they are at, as who they are. “I don’t see people for their brokenness, for their addictions, their anger… I see people for the gifts that they have and for how beautiful they are!” Amen, Karen! “It’s been through a lot of pain and life trials that God has enabled me to be the person that He needs me to be to minister. And I have hope for them. I know that God has done a work in me and I know that He can do that in other people too.” Karen’s warm smile, her listening heart, and her beautiful testimony point to our God of hope and who we become in Christ. Shine your light sister! It is a privilege to partner with you!
We have been so blessed by having 6 Valor High School students come and volunteer at Christ’s Body Ministries in October. These students gave up their fall break to help us and serve the homeless in Denver. They brought a fun, vibrant energy to our building as they made burritos and processed clothing donations for us to distribute on our outreaches. They also did some not so fun jobs such as pulling weeds, cleaning around the outside of the building, and shampooing carpets. Somehow they even enjoyed these menial tasks. It was a joy and a blessing to work with these great kiddos.
hundreds of burritos made with love
“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures, forever.” - Psalm 106:1 (ESV)