Eight years ago a new church was born in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Highlands Church. Since then Highlands Church has become a thriving community of 800 with a permanent home in the Holiday Theater on 32nd Avenue in Denver.
In 2016 the leaders at Highlands Church began to consider planting a daughter congregation north of Denver. Joining with other churches around the nation and a church planting ministry affiliated with the OPEN Network, in the spring of 2017 Highlands Church made the commitment to plant a new church in Boulder County. Pastors have been selected and monthly dinners have begun in preparation for Sunday services to start early in 2018.
The new church will be a progressive Christian church rooted in a Trinitarian understanding of God with roots in the evangelical traditions of worship.
While making plenty of room for people with a wide spectrum of beliefs, the teaching of the new church will be grounded in the beliefs about God consistent with the early followers of Jesus as expressed in the Apostle's Creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
and He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
(*catholic in this context simply means universal)
As a community, we are committed to living relationally according to the values of the Highlands Church ethos, which will be spoken at every gathering of the new church:
Married, divorced and single here, it’s one family that mingles here.
Conservative and liberal here, we’ve all gotta give a little here.
Big and small here, there’s room for us all here.
Doubt and believe here, we all can receive here.
LGBTQ and straight here, there’s no hate here
Woman and man here, everyone can here.
Whatever your race here, for all of us grace here.
In imitation of the ridiculous love Almighty God has for each of us and all of us,
let us live and love without labels!
(Ethos copyright Mark Tidd, Highlands Church Denver. Used with permission.)
We chose the name Left Hand Community Church because our location is on the south side of Longmont, Colorado, where Left Hand Creek joins the St. Vrain River. We wanted a name grounded in the earth, in a specific place on our vulnerable planet. We also believe trusting the flow of life is preferable to engineering results, so identifying with a body of water was natural. As a church committed to racial reconciliation, we also identify with the Native American chief after whom Left Hand Creek is named.
Chief Niwot, translated Left Hand, was a leader of the Southern Arapaho people in what is now called the Boulder Valley. Chief Niwot lived from 1825 to 1865. Even though their land was protected by treaty from intrusion by white settlers, during the Colorado Gold Rush Chief Niwot welcomed prospectors into their territory. For his generosity he was among those slaughtered by the Third Colorado Cavalry in the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.
Left Hand Canyon and Left Hand Creek were named after the chief. Left Hand Canyon is midway between Lyons and Boulder, and is the origin of the 34-mile long Left Hand Creek, a Class V kayaking river, which joins the St. Vrain River on the south side of Longmont.
Of course, many people know little of Chief Niwot, Left Hand Canyon or Left Hand Creek. But they do know of Left Hand Brewing Company, a brewery that shares our home in Boulder County.