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Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Work | 0 comments

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Boulder Daily Camera on January 27, 2016.  Erik Nelson, a former VP with a large financial service company, is on the hunt for meaningful work. He recently moved from Texas to Colorado to find a job in the nonprofit sector, hoping to discover a career with more than monetary benefits. But after a few months, his search became a maze. He recently asked me, “Honestly, can work be anything other than mundane, routine,  and pressure packed?” In other words, isn’t there more to life that working a 9-5—and then escaping to the mountains for the weekend? Like the 19th century gold rush, Erik is one of thousands of people are flocking to Colorado. As the economic center of the United States shiftswestward, cities like Boulder are brimming with new faces – especially millenials. We seem to be following Henry David Thoreau’s prophetic words, “Eastward I go only by force, but westward I go free. This is the prevailing tendency of my...

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 4 comments

Want an Affordable Home? Thank a Craftsman

Want an Affordable Home? Thank a Craftsman

  What is causing soaring home prices in Denver right now? This is the question on many would-be buyers’ minds. In June, the average home price in Denver was $366,419 — the highest in Colorado state history. The Denver City Council has spent significant time trying to find solutions to the shortage of affordable housing. (Recently, The Denver Post reported that Mayor Michael Hancock wants to raise $15 million a year to subsidize projects as part of a much larger plan.) But how did we get here? My wife and I asked our real estate agent, Trish Hopkins of RE/MAX, the same question. As we sat down to coffee, expressing our woeful prospects of ever finding a house we could afford, Hopkins said at least one problem is obvious. Inventory. She told us the average number of houses on the market for the Denver area is around 12,000 at any given time. Right now, it’s less than 3,500. With Colorado’s population boom, it just comes down to math. So...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Finance, Media, Nonprofit, Politics, Science, Technology, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Today is a big day. Today my colleagues and I at Denver Institute for Faith & Work, in partnership with Gordon College, announce the launch of the 5280 Fellowship, a 9 month experience for emerging leaders beginning in the fall of 2016. After years of planning, design and forging partnerships, each element of the program has fallen into place. And now what we are now offering is, I believe, one of the best faith-based fellowship programs in the US, and perhaps Denver’s premiere leadership experience for young professionals. I know those are big claims. But I believe the 5280 Fellowship has the potential to deeply impact Denver for generations to come. And I’m not alone. Some of Denver’s finest pastors – like Robert Gelinas (Colorado Community Church), Brad Strait (Cherry Creek Presbyterian), Rob Brendle (Denver United), Brian Brown (Park Church) and Hunter Beaumont (Fellowship Denver) – believe the Fellowship can be a life-changing experience for young professionals who want to deeply engage themes of calling, work, and culture. Young...

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Culture, Theology, Work | 2 comments

What Greg Thompson Can Teach Us About Living as Christians in Cities

What Greg Thompson Can Teach Us About Living as Christians in Cities

Occasionally you meet somebody that shines with such virtue that you are, perhaps for the first time, made aware of your own poverty of spirit. When I met Greg Thompson during our Thriving Cities symposium in late October, I almost immediately felt the weight of his glory. Before speaking to the crowd, he almost desperately asked me to let him know if there was anybody I knew at the event who had a particular hurt or pain that he could pray for. Unlike my concerns (Will the event be a success? Will people “like” the evening?), it seemed to me that his vision for the renewal of cities was almost completely driven by an other-worldly love. It’s rare that I go back over a talk that a DIFW speaker has given several times to take notes, underline, and to pray. But when Greg spoke about our “shared wound and shared calling” to reimagine what a virtuous civic life might look like, it was not just my mind, but through...

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Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Nonprofit, Work | 0 comments

Stories of Hope: A Reason to Be Generous

Stories of Hope: A Reason to Be Generous

  Today is Colorado Gives Day, Colorado’s biggest one-day event to give to your favorite nonprofit. As I take a look at the past year, I can see all kinds of reasons to give to Denver Institute for Faith & Work (but hey, since I’m the Executive Director, I’m biased!). But perhaps one of the best reasons to give is the stories of hope we’ve told this past year. As you give today to your favorite charities, enjoy these stories of men and women in Colorado being a cultural witness to the “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10) through their work. Merry Christmas! Jim DeWeese, Owner of Trademark Electric, shares about his calling to hire a man from transitional housing and the satisfaction he finds in being a part of “God’s redemptive story” as an electrician. Jim DeWeese – Trademark Electric from Denver Institute on Vimeo.   Ellen Snyder, a 91 year old volunteer, shares about her calling to serve at the St. Francis Center and live a more redemptive retirement....

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Culture, Work | 4 comments

An Open Letter to Howard Schultz: Why I Love the Red Starbucks Christmas Cups

An Open Letter to Howard Schultz: Why I Love the Red Starbucks Christmas Cups

  Dear Howard, Right now I’m at a Starbucks in Littleton, Colorado, sipping a double shot Americano, using your WiFi, and listening to Christmas music. I also noticed what fine, festive cups you’ve chosen to adorn your stores across the land. As I admired their white, green and red simplicity, I also thought of all the flak you’ve received from Christians who apparently don’t like your red cups. I’m sorry about this. They don’t speak for all of us. Let me give you the top ten reasons why I appreciate the red Starbucks Christmas cups: 10. They hold delicious beverages that I purchase several times a week. 9. They allow nearly 191,000 employees to serve their customers worldwide – and provide for their own livelihood as well. 8. They have a sticker with my name and drink order on it because of the highly efficient system you and your team have created to get my drink order right nearly every time I’ve ever been to a Starbucks. 7. They’re...

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