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These were the first words by Pastor Dave Kennedy welcoming more than 140 members and guests at the official inaugural worship of the new church plant in Downtown Denver. The new congregation was established by Parker’s Newday Christian Seventh-day Adventist Church, referred to as a “church in two locations,” and meets in the Five Point neighborhood at a well-known historic African-American church -- Cleaves Memorial CME Church.
On Sabbath afternoon, March 31, Kennedy did not hide excitement about the mission potential of the church in reaching out into the community, “seeking the good of the city.”
As the launch was taking place on the Easter weekend, Kennedy preached a sermon on the meaning of resurrection of Jesus Christ. He challenged the doubters and skeptics of what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, he listed historical facts surrounding the belief in the Jesus’ being “raised from the dead,” and declared that “Resurrection [of Jesus] is the foundation of Christianity,” he told the congregation.
For the ministers and their team the launch was the culmination of nine months of praying and planning and working. Kennedy also commented that their “team has really sacrificed a lot to leave the comfort of the church they knew in Parker and to come to this new place to start a new work. But what we saw today was a great payoff. To see such a diverse gathering from so many different backgrounds was amazing.”
The Sabbath gathering saw new families from the neighborhood, friends and family the Newday church members personally invited. The congregation also included members from other local churches who came out to support the new church plant. “It was such a high day!” Kennedy remarked.
Welcoming the new church community, Eric Nelson, VP for administration of the Rocky Mountain Conference, said that “we don’t just need another church, but we need a group of people who will reach out to the community with the love of Jesus. We don’t just need to share religion, but we need a body of believers that experience a real relationship with Jesus and share this with those they come in contact with.”
He added, “We pray for the success of the efforts of Pastors David Kennedy and Edwin Vargas, and those who join to be led and blessed by the Lord as they take up this work.”
Commenting for the NewsNuggets, Dave Kennedy shared that their “goal is to be a blessing to our community that if we were ever to leave, they would grieve losing us. We want to be an asset. We want to be a light shining in the midst of darkness. That means we’re going to continue to assess needs, find the best places to serve, and learn the best ways to make an impact.”
He also encourages Adventists from the greater Denver area “to come and visit, if they have a heart for city ministry, or if they know people in the downtown area they’d like to bring.”
As participants left the service, they received a bag of supplies to be given out to the homeless on their route home.
--Text and photos by Rajmund Dabrowski