Through a series of Listening Groups held in members’ homes and the results of a Survey Monkey, the following priorities and concerns were most often expressed by the congregation.


As a group, we hold service to each other within our congregation and to others throughout our community as extremely important. We feel projects for local children, such as LOGOS, are a top priority and include reaching out to low income families and the homeless in and around our facility as equally essential goals. Identifying the needs of our immediate downtown neighbors and responding to them appropriately is a major concern. We remain an open and accepting congregation that is always looking for ways to improve, and anticipate our new pastor will provide us with additional opportunities for growth and commitment.


Being situated downtown, we are located near many of the local mission activities and have been involved in founding several local, ongoing programs. The Angel House temporary residence program for families in transition was begun in our church as well as this year opening our facility for housing for a local homeless gentleman. We desire using our facility for more of these types of programs and expanding the services we presently provide.


We often ask the question: What does God want me to do right now? And, we follow His response with activism. We continue to find new places to be useful and of service with both our time and finances. Our attitude is one of providing for others rather than spending our available dollars on projects for ourselves.


Generally, we are a moderate to progressive people with theological pluralism in our attitudes of reaching out to those in need within our community. We are interested in social justice programs and sharing our blessings with others. Stepping out to fill needs in our community has come in many forms from a fundraising concert for the Syrian refugees relocating into our area to starting a soccer league this summer for underserved Hispanic youth.


Recently added programs within the church include more diverse Adult Education classes, an expanded Youth Group with a new staff member dedicated to their activities as well as a confirmation class for our youth. We hope to grow our population with racially and ethnically diverse membership and additional new youth members to strengthen our congregation. Adding adult study groups on week nights and Bible study for younger adult demographics is a priority.


As our current congregation ages, we desire to reach out more to our own members with home and hospital visits by both our Deacons and Pastor and rethinking our service times to better meet the needs of all members. To meet the needs of a growing congregation, we need to reactivate/refurbish our nursery to meet those necessities and design programs that will be vibrant and compelling for all members. As change is inevitable, we are prepared for redesigning ourselves to carry FUPC forward into the future as a thriving, committed and involved church.


We seek a Pastor who will challenge us in our faith, in our commitment to our community and the world as well as focus our energies so we are in service to our neighbors and to God. As a smaller church, we recognize that we are not able to have the same level of programming as provided by the larger churches but as committed Christians, we are ready to direct our energies to serve others in a responsible, caring way. 

Community Stakeholder Interviews  

with Mayor Cecil Gutierrez,  Captain Tim Brown, Loveland Police and Alison Hade, Director of the Loveland Community Partnership Office


1. What are some of the challenges facing Loveland?

 Growth – pace and infrastructure support

 Increasing issues with drug addictions, mental illness and associated social ills with an unwillingness of people to engage with problem-solving.

 Housing, extended case management and service navigation. I am almost solely concerned with challenges of people in poverty.


2. With rapid population growth along the Front Range, are there some growing pains that we can help address?

 Not sure how the Church can help address the traffic issues and growth pains associated with shrinking open space and affordable housing.

 Growth in Loveland has been steady at 2.5 %. More of the growth has been in Weld County with the oil and gas boom.

 Concerns about the legalization of marijuana driving some of the population growth


3. How can our faith communities assist with the increased racial ethnic diversity and socio-economic disparities?

 Continuing to have conversations about this with congregants and with all faith leaders.

 Supporting the need for affordable housing and helping to insure that racial/ethnic diversity is embraced by all in the community.

 Mayor Gutierrez shared the possibility of Habitat and congregations helping with revitalization of certain blocks that struggle with blight and disrepair.

 Income disparity is more of an issue than racial tensions.

 12 percent of the Loveland population is Hispanic. Over the years integration into the community has improved.

 Several congregations have been helpful with supporting a trailer home community between Loveland and Fort Collins


4. How have our faith communities been most helpful in meeting the needs in our community?

 By supporting those in need while connecting and working with the neighbors and other service providers to minimize duplication of services.

 Support for struggling families. Overnight shelter.

 Churches were the first volunteers to call after the flood

 Congregations are already supportive with the Loveland PD chaplain program

 Community Kitchen, 137 and House of Neighborly Services

 Churches tutoring elementary and middle school youth

 Habitat for Humanity builds

 One Faith, One Village Model Congregations adopt a homeless family for a long term support

 City is in the process of purchasing 4 RVs and replicating the Fort Collins One Faith, One Village.

 Family reunification 5. Are there instances where the faith community has been less than helpful?

 If a church group is helping a family but doesn’t understand that religious participation needs to be voluntary.

 Well-intended efforts to support homeless and transient people sometimes has led to unintended consequences related to aggressive panhandling and enabling addicted people to remain addicted and homeless rather than addressing their other ills.


6. Are there some gaps in the support services for vulnerable populations, where you see the church being able to help?

 Continuing to provide educational support and employment; even temporary employment can be a significant assist to those truly seeking to resolve their issues.

 The Loveland office of Community Partnerships is working on this issue and will report back to our downtown Loveland ecumenical group.


7. Are there some events in Loveland where the faith community could assist more in community building?

 Virtually all present an opportunity to assist in Community building; Corn Roast and Fair Parades, July 4th Celebration.

 Most events are not city driven but faith community partners continue to have an active presence.


Community Stakeholder Survey:

with Mary Alice McComb

Occupation: Licensed Psychologist

Current Church Partners/Agencies: Murphy Center, Homeless Gear Board, All Saints Episcopal Church


1. What are some of the challenges facing Loveland?

Homelessness and poverty, Lack of affordable housing, Lack of adequate child care, Services are not coordinated, Insularity, Community media is less than adequate, Aging (retirement) population.


2. With rapid population growth along the Front Range, are there some growing pains that we can help address?

Lack of coordinated, continuing conversation about public issues could be addressed. When there is rapid population growth, people do not have stable communication systems already set up and in place. One start might be a more formalized and active group. Another might be public-issue meetings conducted by the Center for Public Deliberation from CSU (Martin Carcasson is director and easily found).


3. How can our faith communities assist with the increased racial ethnic diversity and socio-economic disparities?

Again, public conversations, book study, and stated public consensus. The “Who Is My Neighbor?” curriculum put out by the Colorado Council of Churches is useful and can be expanded easily.


4. How have our faith communities been most helpful in meeting the needs in our community?

Shelter rotations, food pantries, mentoring programs, transportation help (very rare)


5. Are there instances where the faith community has been less than helpful?

Handouts from individual churches are often less than helpful. Continuing to enable dysfunctional agency efforts because of congregational devotion is usually counterproductive. My own church’s charity of Beyond Our Four Walls gives small amounts to a hodgepodge of agencies, and that is probably less than useful. It’s probably a respectable way of giving, but akin to giving money to panhandlers; it’s too small an amount to count.


6. Are there some gaps in the support services for vulnerable populations, where you see the church being able to help?

Joint efforts from faith groups for both child care and an overnight shelter (non-emergency) would allow for more productive programming. Programs in the larger (county) that would be useful to Loveland are Homeless Prevention Initiative (HPI), One Village, One Family, and Dedicated Navigators. Since some very progressive agencies for the whole area are housed in Fort Collins, a definite transportation system to them would be useful. Salvation Army and the City of Loveland give transportation vouchers, but the van that used to run from House of Neighborly Service on a regular basis might be helpful. Some sort of system could be supported by a coalition of faith groups. As it is, those agencies serve Loveland, but only to people with transportation—thus, it discriminates.


7. Are there some events in Loveland where the faith community could assist more in community building?

I don’t really know the answer to that.


8. Additional comments/suggestions:

I commend the Loveland faith groups for being active in the dialogue. 

Who Is our Neighbor?

CHURCH REPORT - 2015

 PIN Number 8521                                                  Presbytery Number 300550

 Church:                                                                  First United

 Address                                                                 400 E 4th St, Loveland, CO 80537 

 Phone                                                                    970-667-0605

 Email                                                                      1ston4th@gmail.com

 Web Site                                                                 www.1ston4th.com

 Membership

 Prior Active Members 130

 Gains                                                                     Losses

   17 & Under                   0                                         Certificate    1

   18 & Over                     1                                         Deaths         2

    Certificate                    1                                         Other            5

    Total Gains                  2                                         Total Losses 8


 Total Active Members 124

 Baptized                        22

 Other Participants         25

 Total Adherents           171

 Female Members          78

 Average Attendance     83

 Affiliate Members            0

 Baptisms                                                               Officers

   Child Baptisms            3                                         Male Session       4

   Adult Baptisms            1                                         Female Session   6  

                                                                                  Male Deacons      2

                                                                                  Female Deacons  6


 Age Distribution of Active Members                       Male                          Female

     25 & Under                                        10                   3                                        7

     26 - 45                                               28                  11                                      17

     46 - 55                                               20                   7                                       13

     56 - 65                                               24                   8                                       16

    Over 65                                              42                  17                                      25

 Total Distribution                              124                  46                                      78


 People with Disabilities

 Hearing    14

 Sight          6

 Mobility    15

 Other         1


 Christian Education

 Birth – Age 3                         3                                          Grade 7                  6

 Age 4                                     2                                          Grade 8                 4

 Kindergarten                          2                                          Grade 9                 3

 Grade 1                                 1                                          Grade 10                6 

 Grade 2                                 0                                          Grade 11                1

 Grade 3                                 0                                          Grade 12                0

 Grade 4                                 3                                    Young Adults                0

 Grade 5                                 2                                         Over 25                 20

 Grade 6                                 2                           Teachers/Officers               12

Total                                      67


 Racial Ethnic           Membership        Elders           Deacons           Male    Female

 Asian

 African American  

 Middle Eastern

 Hispanic

 Native American

 White                         124                       10                    8                      46          78

 Other

 Totals                        124                       10                    8                      46          78


 Potential Giving Units    84

 Budgeted Income          146,966

 Budgeted Expense       146,966


 Receipts

 Regular Contributions      139,094                       Bequests

 Capital Building Fund                                           Other Income             80

 Investment Income                                              Subsidy or Aid


 Expenditures

 Local Program               132,014                         Per Capital Apportionment      4,600

 Local Mission                 4,214                             Validated Mission                    8,210

 Capital Expenditures                                           Theological Fund

 Investment Expenditures                                     Other Mission                         5,916

Overview

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Sunday School and Confirmation:

Sunday School, serving Elementary (K-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12) customarily starts in September and January with breaks during the holidays and summer months. At least one adult class also meets year-round. This year we also started a Confirmation class for kids grade 6-8. Sunday School and Confirmation takes place Sunday mornings after worship and fellowship time. To help keep the amount of preparation manageable for our volunteer teachers, we continued with the format that requires our teachers to provide lessons for two Sundays per month, with the remaining two Sundays filled with the kids participating in the Kids Pack program (in conjunction with the Loveland Rotary, delivering snacks to many of our community’s school-aged kids in need), and an activity with the entire congregation, including setting up for the Angel House families, and the stewardship pot luck. Jeannie and Steve Stuntz offer their musical talents every third Sunday by providing the monthly ‘Music Sunday’ program, where kids perform music during the worship service.


Vacation Bible School:

We were happy to have teamed up with Highlands Camp for Vacation Bible School this year, and thank them for providing counselors as well as all the lessons, activities, songs, and games throughout the week. We had a great turnout with 16 kids and 5 youth helpers. Volunteers also provided lunch for all the participants and their families each day, feeding as many as 45 people. On the final day of VBS we traveled up to Highlands Camp for a day of camp activities including hiking and canoeing.


Adult Sunday School:

Thank you to all the adults who help lead as well as participate in adult Sunday School. In the Spring of 2015, the class was mostly self-taught with occasional input from Pastor Laurie. After the summer hiatus, we’ve enjoyed a variety of subjects from sizzle and romance, to the Great Themes of Paul. Thank you to Kellie and Mark Weihman for leading Adult Sunday School for the first two months in the fall, and for John Gwin for leading the class thereafter.


Christopher Thorp, Elder 

PERSONNEL AND STEWARDSHIP

The Personnel Team’s overall responsibility is to facilitate communication between the Session, the Church Staff, and the Congregation. At least annually, we meet individually with each of our staff members to discuss how they feel their job is going, and whether additional support or adjustments are needed. As of August, 2016, two members of the team met with Interim Pastor Howard Dotson, Music Director Angela Steiner, Secretary Pam Erickson, and Youth Director Heather Rubald. The transition between Pastor Laurie and the interim Pastor has gone remarkably well, largely due to the flexibility of all concerned.


The congregation seems deeply appreciative of the unique contributions and dedication of each of our staff. Pam continues to be the cheerful voice of the church, greeting visitors, and providing the weekly bulletin and “Timely News” as well as the more extensive monthly newsletters. Angela provides leadership of the choir, and has encouraged members to share their musical talents, while also demonstrating her versatility with vocal, piano and organ music, enhancing our worship experience. Heather has shepherded many of our youth from middle school to the verge of college, providing them opportunities for spiritual growth, camaraderie, and fun. Pastor Howard has demonstrated superb pastoral care skills, and has introduced the congregation to many potential mission opportunities as a downtown church. We are truly blessed by all of them.


Jeanette Minnich, Elder

BUILDING & GROUNDS

The Building & Grounds team has accomplished many items on our “to-do” list, while the many hands (backs and knees) have cared for our lovely perennial flower garden. Improvements have been made to several parts of our historic building, including:

Installation of the old choir chairs in the attic space for youth group and small groups use. Repaired and fixed balcony seating. Super cleaned all 3 levels of the church to include steam cleaning carpets. Painted downstairs bathrooms. Completed phase 1 of kitchen remodel and planning Phase 2 to begin in January 2016. Semi-circular stairs were custom built leading up to the pulpit creating a seamless access where beauty meets function and safety. Continued maintenance and repairs will be reviewed and performed on a scheduled, and as needed basis.


Dawn Welding, Elder (2015-Q2 2016)

FELLOWSHIP AND COMMUNICATION

For the most part the Fellowship and Communications teams functioned as one team with some very varied projects.


The first big project for the Communications Team in 2015 was the new pictorial directory. Linda Saxbury spearheaded the effort and was instrumental in contacting and confirming everyone’s information. The new directory is beautiful and very helpful for attaching names to faces. We want to keep it as accurate as possible so if you have corrections or updates, please let Pam know at her new email, secretaryfirstonfourth@gmail.com . It would be helpful if you put “update to directory” in the subject line. There is an exciting reason for Pam to have this new email address. It is the second project of the Communication’s Team, our new website, www.1ston4th.com.


The Fellowship side of the team successfully sponsored a series of events beginning in February with an Open House on the Friday Night on the Town/Fire and Ice Festival. It was a casual, and fairly well attended evening of popcorn and hot cider. Many thanks to Jim and Janice Ianson for donating their popcorn machine! March included a Pizza Party Celebration of the beautiful new kitchen remodel. It was yummy and fun and included the Angel House families as well as many congregational members. In May, because of National Historical Month the Fellowship Team coordinated with the Youth Group Carnival to create an Open House including an Artisan Marketplace, tours, refreshments and live music. It was a great success, and really added to the credibility of the fundraising of the Carnival for the kids. August brought the Presbytery Meeting and Fellowship handled the refreshments and lunch. It all seemed to go off without a hitch. It was a busy year and of course all of this happened while the team still made sure that each and every Sunday there was coffee and snacks to encourage the tremendous weekly interaction that fosters real friendships and “fellowship” among us all. A special thanks to Marcia Wiener for keeping this going. Please help us continue this simple but very important tradition by signing up to bring simple snacks some Sunday soon.


Heather Rubald, Elder

Following Christ, we strive to welcome all people to First United Presbyterian Church. We seek to share God’s love with open minds and compassionate hearts as we serve humanity in downtown Loveland and beyond. 

Findings from Survey and Listening Sessions 

 Desired Pastoral Qualities

2016 MISSION STUDY

WORSHIP

AND MUSIC

2015 had been quite the learning adventure for me and the worship team. It started off with excitement and challenges with Pastor Laurie leading the way. We were able to have a great Lenten season, even though the weather made it challenging at times. Then we had a lovely outdoor service at the McCreery House, thanks to Jeanne and Steve Stuntz and moved into summer getting excited about the youth trip and feeling the enthusiasm they brought to the church.


In late summer 2015 Pastor Laurie announced that she would be leaving, and almost immediately the role of the worship team grew much larger. Filling the pulpit every week was certainly a challenge, but thanks to the members of this congregation and staff we got through the tough times and in the process were privileged to hear inspiring messages that spoke to our hearts.


It has been exciting working with Rev. Howard Dotson, our interim pastor, who is here to prepare us for the journey of finding a new pastor!


Gail Tyler, Elder

We are an inclusive, loving community with a broad spectrum of theologies, philosophies, and life perspectives. Our worship tends to be a thoughtful exploration of our walk with Christ, with an emphasis on the more challenging aspects of scripture and traditional hymns that allow us to enjoy our beautiful pipe organ. Our members combine their wisdom, energy, and passion for the world to create a community that is compassionate, socially aware, open-minded, and grace-filled.


We are members of the Plains and Peaks Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church USA. Our church is located in downtown Loveland at the corner of Fourth and Jefferson, and there is easy street parking available. Just look for the red door. We are handicap-accessible from the East side ramp entrance. Worship is held at 9:30 on Sundays followed by fellowship and Sunday School.


First United Presbyterian Church (FUPC) in Loveland, Colorado formed the Mission Study Team (MST), comprised of 7 volunteer members. In accordance with Presbytery guidelines, two members of the team – Kathy Busse and Ginger Treadwell – are currently serving on the Session. The other members of the team are Cherlyn Gwin, John Gwin, AnnMarie Arbo, Michael Wrought, Tom Ryan, and Lily Busse. Rev. Hansen Wendlandt, assigned by Plains and Peaks Presbytery as our Committee on Ministry (COM) liaison, has been advising us, along with our Interim Pastor, the Rev. Howard Dotson.


This report, has been submitted and approved by the FUPC Session, has been presented and accepted by the Committee on Ministry (COM) of the Plains and Peaks Presbytery.  The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) was elected by the congregation, will use this report to develop the Church Information Form (CIF). The CIF will be the document that prospective pastors will examine to discover what our church is like, and the direction in which we are headed.


The MST listened to the members of FUPC during 6 separate listening sessions resulting in 45 participants. The sessions were held at various times in members’ homes with the final overview presentation held at the church in conjunction with a potluck lunch attended by 67 members and friends. A congregational survey was developed and an electronic version was emailed to all members and friends of FUPC with a hard copy available if preferred by others. 54 responses were received. The demographic data included in this report was compiled by Percept Group, Inc. which used the following sources: Percept, Census Bureau and Nielsen. Each member of the Mission Study Team contributed to the report, based on what we heard from the congregation in general, at listening sessions and from the survey/questioner. Community input was provided by surveys and interviews conducted by Reverend Howard Dotson with Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, Captain Tim Brown, Loveland Police, Alison Hade, Director of the Loveland Community Partnership Office, and Mary Alice McComb, Psychologist - Murphy Center, Homeless Gear Board and All Saints Episcopal Church.

MISSION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Wells in Africa:

The King Sooper card fundraiser has made it possible to purchase another two wells bringing the total to three. The first was in December of 2014 followed by the second one in July 2015 and the third $400 was sent in January 2016 to the Marion Medical Mission who will provide a picture of the well once it is installed. The second one went into the village of Kabumba in Zambia and it will serve 110 people. We will get notification when the last well purchased in December will be installed. You can find more information at the web site www.mmmwater.org


Special Offerings:

The four offerings are, One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace & Global Witness Offering and the Christmas Joy Offering. Of these, we are able to share a percentage of the money donated. The first donation was to Turning Point/Well Day Treatment Program in the amount of $490.15 (this is a program for troubled youth and the second one was to support the Lutheran Family Services Refugee Program in the amount of $447.50 to assist the Syrian refugees who enter this country to seek a better life. “Our congregation’s participation in 2015 the four Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is one of the many ways we reach out far beyond the walls of our building and touch the lives of people around the world. This year $5,710 was received for these offerings. Your gift to the offering in the Easter Season (One Great Hour of Sharing) of $1,610 was divided between the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Disaster Assistance and the Self-development of People programs. The Pentecost Offering was $1,225. It supports ministries to youth especially the Young Adult Volunteer Program, and FUPC’s portion went to Turning Point (see above info). The Peacemaking offering totaled $1,790 with the FUPC portion going to Lutheran Family Services (see above info). The Christmas Joy Offering was $1,085 and it is used to support racial ethnic schools and colleges that provide assistance to retired church workers, lay and clergy in times of special needs. The generosity of the people in the First United Presbyterian Church for these offerings is outstanding for a church of our size. The Session and Mission and Social Justice Team is thankful for this response to these needs in this country and around the world.” In the summer of 2015 a special collection was made at FUPC when the Presbytery had their meeting with a donation being made in the amount of $832.00 to the 137 Homeless Connection through the House of Neighborly Services to support the “New Life Program”.


Highlands Camp:

FUPC had three of our young people go to Highlands in 2015. The M & SJ Team was able to offer a payment of $150 towards the cost of the course chosen. With the continued support of the congregation there is still $2,000+ in the restricted funds that will be available for the coming years.


King Sooper/Albertson Food Cards:

Having the cards from both of these local food stores is probably the best fundraiser that FUPC could have; a total of $854 was received. Towards the end of the year 20 more cards were purchased at $5 per card. With this funding we have purchased 2 wells and also boot warmer/dryers for people who have no home – see more about this under Marion Medical Mission and 137 Homeless Connection.


KIVA:

We continue to use the original $200+ dollars to support multiple people both men and women who want to make life for their families better. We have not had one loan not be paid back and M & SJ will continue to choose men and women who are helping themselves to support their families.


Kids Pak:

We still continue to support this program through the Rotary Club and the local food bank and our wonderful Gary Burianek. Gary collects the healthy snacks that the youth put together in the basement of FUPC and they are distributed to children in the local school district who may not have enough food over the weekend. The children take the backpacks home with them on Fridays and we are sure they come back empty on Mondays.


Angel House:

This is an amazing program that is run through the House of Neighborly Services for families that have become homeless. The families move each week to a church in the rotation, but we know when they come to FUPC (about every 10 weeks) they are greeted with love, respect, good food and shelter for the family. It is difficult for some of the families to make this transition each week and the children are often very shy and reserved because of the uncertainties they face and the parents are often very concerned but for a week they are safe with us. It is a rewarding experience for everyone who provides a meal, reads to a child, and the best fun is to stay with the families overnight.


137 Connection:

This year FUPC ventured into a new territory by working with 137 to encourage a person that found himself in a homeless situation to carve out a better life by taking part in the “New Life Program”. We have been able to invite an amazing person to come and allow FUPC to put a roof over his head. Mike Albert you are a great asset to FUPC and you are wished a great deal of success as you work with 137 and the program similar to the Angel House, you are trusted there and you are trusted here….thank you MIKE.


Congregational Nurse:

Kay Robinson will take your blood pressure and answer questions about your health. She also provides the blankets to keep you warm while in church, and can usually find the medical items if you or a family member fall ill. Kay can also be found at the Community Kitchen taking blood pressures and giving out little items to help those in need. Keep up the amazing work Kay you are loved and respected.


Crop Walk:

Sylvia Spearman continues to be the cheer leader for the Crop Walk and FUPC still continues to be one of the highest fund raising groups in Loveland. Sheri Roos provided the dollar information on last year’s walk $23,133.50 was the final collective amount with FUPC donating $5,115.50. Sylvia is assisted by a dedicated group of walkers and volunteers who help with keeping all the walkers under control. Come and join us and raise funds to purchase crops.


Community Kitchen:

Janice Ianson leads a small group of volunteers who once a month help serve the good healthy food at the Community Kitchen. What a time you will have encouraging the guest to eat their veggies, telling and listening to stories and generally having fun while meeting some of the people who are having a tough time making ends meet or just need the company of another person for a short while.


We continued to try having a relationship with a sister church in Africa. The Alternative Market is growing and becoming more involved with artists in the local community and through the involvement of Think Humanity we are still having great success in the sale of fair trade products and the local economy. The Gumbo, Chili, Soup and Cupcake Cook-Off continues to be a great opportunity for the members of this church to compete in their cooking skills and the rest of us to enjoy those skills. In 2016 we are hoping to again open the church on Friday Night on the Town to allow the local community to enjoy this beautiful old church.


AnnMarie Arbo, Elder (2015)

Consolidated Synopsis of Member Responses to Questions 19-28 on Survey



 19. What do we do that nurtures faith?

  Music, adult education, worship, loving congregation, youth group

  Service to each other and our community


 20. What is God calling us to do in mission?

  A program similar to LOGOS to enable latchkey children a space to do homework,  provide mentoring for the students and provide ESL for parents while children do  homework.

  Reach out more to the congregation and downtown involvement by using the building in  a more balanced fashion by what is being offered.


 21. What is the personality of our congregation and how does it inform our choice  of pastoral leadership?

  Though we have members on both ends of the spectrum the majority tends to be liberal.

  Some members feel they are the conservative minority.

  The congregation as a whole is very interested in social justice.


 22. What are the strengths of this congregation?

  Being downtown, we are located near many of the mission activities and were the first   in Loveland to have someone (Michael) living in the church and developed the first Angel  House location in our church. We are an open and accepting people.

  We are often asking “What does God want me to do right now?” and follow the r  response with activism by finding a place to be useful and of service. We are generous  with our funds and time and would rather feed the people than fix the church building.


 23. What are the weaknesses of this congregation?

  As a smaller church, we won’t be able to have the same level of programming that  larger churches offer therefore we need to balance our expectations as a smaller church.

  Need to reach out more to our own members – when they stop coming, ask why.

  As a small congregation that tends to be white privileged, we can be a little too insular.

  There should be more ongoing training for the Deacons, encourage folks to join the 20%  that are managing the church activities. The nursery needs to be cleaned, the toys  sanitized and old ones thrown out so it can be used again.

 

 24. If you could make one change in this congregation what would it be?

  Nursery activated. Rethink worship times. Like to see the organ used more often. Have  Greeters (not Ushers) on Sunday morning who are focused on welcoming and engaging  visitors.  More members – racial and ethnic diversity. The Youth are our strength and we  need to nurture them and grow their numbers.

  Identify the needs of our immediate neighbors and expand connection with the  homeless.

  Add another Bible study that supports younger adult demographic. Maybe Tues eve at  peoples’ homes.


 25. What have the recent conflicts been in church, how were they resolved, and  what was learned from them?

  Removal of the flag in the Sanctuary. It kept being moved and now is in the upper level.  Further conflict avoided.

  Lone rangers, have a hard time with Presbyterian consensus.

  When a conflict happens it is dealt with by Pastor and Session but not always to the  agreement of come congregants.


 26. Programs/Qualities in previous pastors that were appreciated and helpful?

  LOGOS, Vacation Bible School.

  Programs/activities for the youth.

  Sermons.


 27. Activities previous pastors could have done more frequently?

  Establish website.

  More adult study.

  More visiting. Some past clergy did not provide adequate Pastoral care for the elderly.

  A pastor who knows and is concerned with the needs of the world AND takes care of  business at home first.


 28. Any other thoughts or comments for the Mission Study Team?

  Be prepared for change.

  Future Pastor – what will be the change?

  For the future Pastor, we need to look for someone who will build on the youth  programs.

  Really think about who and what we will need to carry FUPC into the future.

  For new Pastor to challenge us to be involved because we thrive on action.

  Corral our energies so we are focused in service and not scattered in too many  directions

HISTORY

Who Are We?

Session Team Member Summaries

CONCLUSION 

Although this document highlights the commitment, demographics and desires of this congregation, there is so much more to First United Presbyterian Church. We are anxious to visit with interested candidates and discuss more fully the opportunities in Loveland. We look forward to working with a pastor who will lead us in our outreach, both within our congregation and with our neighbors. 

First United Presbyterian Church is one of Loveland’s oldest congregations, with roots going back to 1875 when the United Presbyterian Church (UPC) was established, six years before the city was incorporated. It is the city’s third-oldest continuously operating church. The current church building is the third incarnation, dedicated in 1906, and resides one block to the east of the original location of the first two structures to house the congregation. It was designed by architect M.W. Fuller, fusing the Late Victorian and Romanesque Revival styles, and was erected for a cost of $22,000. Notable items still in use today include the pulpit, built in 1878, and a Moller pipe organ installed in 1914 – one of only two remaining in the state of Colorado. In 2003 the building was listed in city, state, and national historic registries.


Religious affiliation and church membership were staples of American life through the mid-20th century. UPC was no exception; membership grew steadily, and in the 1950s reached its zenith of nearly 500 members. However, during the second half of the 20th century, cultural shifts brought with them challenges to our identity and existence. In 1959, the Boulder Presbytery sought to merge the United Presbyterian Church with the town’s other Presbyterian congregation, First Presbyterian Church. The proposal was put before the congregation, with a majority voting in agreement. Those who remained opposed to the union petitioned the Presbytery to reestablish UPC as a separate congregation. The Presbytery agreed, and First United Presbyterian Church was established, but at a cost of over half of its membership.


In the early 1980s, a pronouncement was made by the General Assembly encouraging the election of women elders. Strong yet divergent views began to emerge in the FUPC congregation regarding the roles of women in ministry. A schism erupted in 1984, leading to the departure of the pastor and over half of the members, and the birthing of a new church body at a separate location in Loveland. Membership continued to erode through the rest of the decade, reaching a nadir of just 45 members by 1990. As the remaining members struggled to sustain operations, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the congregation’s future.


Recognizing the inherent value of FUPC in the community, the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks in 1990 designated FUPC a redevelopment church, financially sustaining operations through much of the 1990s until membership had recovered to a sustainable level. This endeavor was begun by the Rev. Roe Johnston, who came out of retirement to lead the congregation for four years, and continued by the Rev. Peggy Christiansen. Under her leadership, FUPC began some of its most effective outreach activities. We provided meeting space for the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. The Community Kitchen and the Angel House/Interfaith Hospitality Network are two ministries that began in our church building, and continue to operate in downtown Loveland to this day. The Rev. Christiansen faithfully led us into the 21st century before moving on in 2001. The Rev. Wayne Nickerson came to FUPC in 2002 and quickly endeared himself to the congregation. He was lauded for his challenging sermons, and served with vigor and compassion until his retirement at the end of 2009. It was during this time that we expanded the Christian Education ministry by adding co-directors to the paid staff, and also added paid nursery attendants. After Rev. Nickerson’s retirement in 2011, we were served by our Interim Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Edie Gause, who gently and effectively shepherded us through the transitional period. In the spring of 2011 Rev. Laurie Lyter-Bright became the new pastor serving until August 2015. During her time with us, she was very instrumental in building an active and engaged youth group necessitating the hiring of a part-time Youth Director who currently serves our congregation. The Rev. Howard Dotson currently serves as Interim Pastor. As you will read in the Personnel team’s summary, Pastor Howard has demonstrated superb pastoral care skills, and has introduced the congregation to many potential mission opportunities as a downtown church.

First United Presbyterian Church

400 E. 4th Street, Loveland, Colorado, 80537

970-667-0605

YOUTH GROUP

The centerpiece of the Youth Group’s focus in 2015 was the summer Mission Trip. Fund raising began during the 2014 Christmas Season, with the sale of handmade Christmas Cards. During Lent we folded 1000 paper cranes as a combined project to earn money for the trip and to donate over $100 to the Make A Wish Foundation. The kids hung the cranes over the pews for Easter Sunday. They also helped cook pancakes for everyone at the Annual Pancake Breakfast in March, and were very helpful in setting up the beautiful “Walk in the Garden” for Maundy Thursday. In May the Youth Group held a fundraising Carnival. Each member created a game and ran it for the day. It was a great day for the whole church, and the kids felt very supported. In July 2015 we held a Lock-In where the kids presented information about the different religions and sites that we were going to see on the Mission Trip. Part of the Mission Trip entailed service projects for host churches, so as a kick off the group also cleaned all the trash and dead leaves from under the wheelchair ramp. This also helped the church as it was preparing to host the Presbytery Meeting.


The Mission Trip itself was a group of 17: 12 youth and five chaperones. We drove from Loveland to Taos, where we stayed at The First Presbyterian Church. We weeded their labyrinth and saw the Taos Pueblo. The next night was spent at Ojo Caliente, where we could swim and soak and sleep in real beds. On Wednesday we drove through Amish Country and saw the beautiful San Luis Stations of the Cross and spent the night in Alamosa at the Alamosa Presbyterian Church. Thursday morning we spent in Alamosa with the PALS program. Each of the Youth Groupers was paired up with a young child in the program and we spent the whole morning reading to them at the library and playing in the park. Thursday afternoon we moved on to the Great Sand Dunes and stopped at the UFO Watch Tower along the way. It was interesting to discuss beliefs of all kinds on this trip, and the watchtower was a good catalyst for this. We camped at the Sand Dunes. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and then tried to get some sleep during a very sandy windstorm. Friday morning we were pretty tired. It was one of our longer days of driving but we managed to squeeze in a trip to Crestone to a Buddhist Stupa and a refreshing swim in Masonville before having a great dinner at Mataam Fez in Denver. We slept on the floor of Grace Church in Littleton that night and headed up to Highlands Presbyterian Camp in Allenspark for our last night together. The kids hiked, and got to say a private goodbye to Pastor Laurie and we had one last prayer circle together. The next morning we all got up early to be back to church in time for Laurie’s last service. Two weeks later in Pastor Laurie’s absence, all the kids helped with “pulpit supply” by presenting their trip and some insights as a sermon.


Besides all that, the group also found time (in no particular order) to bake cookies, go bowling, play a lot of Sardines, clean up the Attic to make it our own, begin Movies in the Attic, run around town on treasure hunts, paint their own pottery, carve pumpkins, have the 3rd annual fancy Thanksgiving Potluck, “Swanksgiving”, sing at Pastor Laurie’s wedding, tie-dye shirts, go swimming, go to Elitches, go to the pumpkin farm, and make the 2 nd annual Christmas Card fundraiser.


This past summer has been a bit less eventful for the Youth Group, Creating and fund raising for a mission trip every year was deemed to be too a big a job so 2016, being a “non-Trip” year, was a bit lower key. We did take 11 kids with two adult chaperones on an overnight retreat to Highlands Presbyterian Camp. It was a great getaway where we played and planned for next year. We agreed on continuing many traditions: Creating and selling Christmas Cards, Celebrating a Elegant Potluck Dinner at our Annual Swanksgiving Party and planning a Mission Trip for next summer We also discussed taking on new projects, including an on-going Service project in the community helping with the homeless or the elderly and working with the Mission Team to support their projects and creating and executing the Sunday School Christmas program. We also discussed the difference between being a group of friends (which they are) and a youth group of a church and how that might modify their behavior. So we created the Mission statement below;


YOUTH GROUP MISSION STATEMENT

We are an inclusive group of dedicated, creative youth, who seek to find a balance between religion, service and fun.


Heather Rubald, Youth director