About this Church Plant
When my wife Diane and I came to East Colfax, we felt that Jesus was pretty clear about the first steps of the journey. Our job was not to bring Jesus to East Colfax-- he was already there! Our job was first to figure out where he was working and then simply join in that work.We have developed many great relationships and have been able to minister alongside of brothers and sisters in Jesus even as we have served those who live on the outer margins of society. As we have done that, we sense that there will be a wide range of ways Jesus will call us to minister here in the coming years in what we have come to think of as our parish, connecting with things like employment, addiction, ex-convict ministry, families etc.
At the same time, we believe that our primary work as we start is to minister in the motels that string East Colfax. There are about 25 of them, built in the 1940's and 50's when Colfax (Highway 40) was a major cross country road. But when Interstate 70 was built to the north, it was the beginning of a slide into poverty that has held this area in its grip for decades. The motels are home to those who are just one step away from being on the street. Most would qualify as being homeless themselves with no fixed address. Some are the working poor, many are on assistance. Some stay for years while others are extremely transient. In our work there, we encounter violence, addictions, gangs, folks just out of prison and others who are simply poor and on the edge. It is a broken, needy and beautiful mix.
We sense that our first major push as "Jesus on Colfax Ministries" is to invest ourselves in those motels, functioning as missionary pastors to the people who live there. Our sense is that our ministry is to first be one of presence, simply being the presence of Jesus to those who live there. Second, our ministry is that of sharing Jesus' word and calling people to faith in him. Third, our ministry is to join in doing what we can to be a part of caring for real human needs and seeking, in partnership with others, practical solutions that will lead people into a healthier life. As we do that, we hope to also tap into our network of those we served in the suburbs of Aurora for 25 years to be a part of the work we are doing, recognizing that rich and poor need each other . We expect that the knowledge we will gain about the needs of that community will also shape other ministries and programs that we will see flow out of this year.