November 1, 2012
Colorado Council of Churches
1140 W. 5th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
I am officially offering notice of my retirement from the position of Council Executive effective May 31, 2013. This will conclude 13 years and 4 months of our shared ministry together.
Some of you will remember a retreat at which we talked of a new understanding of the Council of Churches not as a separate ecumenical agency, but rather the ecumenical expression of the member denominations, a more effective expression of the Body of Christ in Colorado than any one denomination could be by itself. I believe that for the last 13 years, we have been living into that vision of who we are together as well as what we do together. We have sought to make it clear that the member denominations do not relate to the Council. It is through the Council that the member denominations relate to each other.
During these years, together we have continued the tradition of the Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks where annually over 10,000 people join together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. We have been involved in ongoing dialogues with the Jewish and Muslim community. Together we have been a voice for the poor and marginalized through advocacy at the state legislature. From a faith perspective, we have publically addressed issues of the environment, immigration, health care, affordable housing, funding for
public education, domestic violence, child abuse, affirmative action, death penalty, criminal justice, the state budget as a moral document and how every sacred child of God should be included rather than excluded within our society.
I am pleased to say that in most of our work and ministries, we have sought out qualified experts and organizations active in that particular field and then partnered with them to bring the witness of the faith community to bear upon that issue. It has been a personal blessing to make those friendships with the committed folks who lead our partner organizations.
In addition to the witness we have made and the impact we have had, a great part of the joy of this ministry is located in the people with whom I have had the opportunity to share this ministry. People do not get involved in ecumenical work of the Church unless they have a true love of God, a commitment to Jesus Christ, an openness to the direction of the Holy Spirit and a deep and abiding compassion for ALL of God’s children. You have been faithful in representing your individual denomination and Christ’s Church as a whole. I deeply appreciate your support and commitment. You have been my joy.
Now, we have a new vision that allows us to emphasize our covenant relationship with each other and widen the doors for the participation of a broader spectrum of Christ’s Church and the faith community in our shared and common ministry. In these remaining months, I will focus on implementing the administration and structure of our new vision so that much will be in place enabling new leadership to come and guide the Colorado Council of Churches into a meaningful and faithful future of “Walking together in faith, working together for justice.”
May God bless you individually and collectively in your life and in your ministry.
Peace and grace,
Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan