July 8: Week One of Vision 20/20+
Hindsight is 20/20: Looking back on God’s providence over the long history of CEH.
The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. God has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything (Deut 2:7).
Sunday, July 8 was a day of much celebration. Not only did we start the morning by kicking off our July “Mission of the Month” of Habitat for Humanity Grand County, but the President of HFHGC, Steve Morrison, attended to present Bud Crawford the very first “Habitat Hero Award” for efforts above and beyond the ordinary volunteer.
CEH’s efforts in HFH for Grand County are just one way we can look back and celebrate our wonderful past. Celebrating our past and seeing how God has guided CEH since 1905 is the first step we will take as we begin to look forward.
Like the children of Israel, who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before settling in the Promised Land, God has guided and provided for CEH through some very lean times. God also provided CEH with vision: first for a missionary church to be located far away in Granby, CO (in 1939. . . before there was a highway 40 or any convenient way to get from Fraser to Granby); and then for the two churches to be united in one space in 2002. Both efforts seemed to be miraculous by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, it’s so rare for two congregations to be combined so successfully that the story of CEH and how they “Weaved” themselves together into one congregation is featured in a textbook on how to do church right!
One thing that has made a difference in CEH’s history has been the nature of the congregation. From the first building (the historic Fraser Church, dedicated in 1911 after congregants gathered river rock and worked together to build the little church) to the current beautiful site in Tabernash, the hands of the congregants have worked together to vision, plan, and build the church buildings. Bud Crawford will be quick to point out that in the working together, relationships are built and strengthened as well.
Which is probably why “Relational Ministry” ranked so high in what CEH is good at when we pulled our New Beginnings information together. A bit over a year ago we set out as a congregation to begin to look forward. For help, our Presbytery of Denver sponsored our participation in the New Hope “New Beginnings” Process. This process began with an assessment by an outside consultant, who came in to see the building and listen to people talk about the church and what is important to them. After the initial visit, we were issued a report and moved onto the second phase where we grouped ourselves into “House Groups” and met five times over the next two or three months.
After the House Groups met, all their data was collected and processed by our Transition Team, headed up by Elder Matt Nixon.
Our New Beginnings process informed us that once people have walked through our doors, they feel loved and included. The relational aspect of CEH is so strong that it brings people back to the church for worship and fellowship long after they have moved away from the county. What a wonderful thing to celebrate as we look over the history of our congregation. What a wonderful thing to keep as a focus as we look into the near future for where God is leading us!
Looking back, we can certainly see God’s loving hand guiding us through a tremendous history. There are many sources available to you if you’re interested in reading our history. There are pictures and paintings with narratives in our foyer, and a new print out of the history is available on the old Communion Table under the pictures. You can also check our website for an abbreviated version of the history.
Our hope in the next several weeks is that we can see God’s hand in our future vision as well. Proverbs 29:18 reminds us that “Without a vision, God’s people will perish.” Let’s tune in and listen for God’s direction, as we seek to move into God’s future for CEH.