GVIN Minutes

July 16, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. – ONLINE via ZOOM

Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” – Kellene Mortensen

Introductions/Check-In : Carla Ryan- President, Dave Edwards- Vice President, Kellene Mortensen- Secretary, Joan Brighton- Treasurer, Sherry Cole, David Dethmers

We each spent a few minutes sharing some of our life’s happenings and feelings during these challenging times.  We agreed that we need to remain flexible and creative as we stay safe and keep our social distance.

Approval of Minutes from last meeting ( 6/18/2020  )  Dave Edwards moved to accept with a second from Sherry Cole.

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer

·        Bank balance update :

o   $45.33- expenses for web domain and supplies

o   $275.00 from IRS refund … plus 07 ȼ from bank interest

o   $1668.07- Balance

·        Update on new banking arrangements-Will transfer existing funds to Alpine Bank at the Clifton Branch with the new name (and DBA GVIN name) and new organizational documents.

Old Business:

·        Reminder: regarding “application process” for GVIN membership. NEW application form attached per GVIN Task Force and at request of GVIN community. Please email application forms to:  [email protected]

·        “Confirmed” members’ organizations: applications in and approved

 Carla Ryan, Joan Brighton, Kellene Mortensen, Dave Edwards, David Dethmers, Sherry Cole

Status of 501c3 application – Dave Edwards, VP – Still waiting to hear from IRS. Changes will be complete once the new bank account is open and money is transferred.  Old organization will then formally be closed.

New Business:

·        Interfaith Awareness Week –

o   Proclamation was received from City of GJ on 07/15/2020 by Carla Ryan

o   Proclamation from Town of Fruita will be received 08/04/2020 by Carlene Goldthwaite

o   Proclamation submitted to Town of Palisade and will be followed up by Dave Edwards 

o   Ideas for Interfaith Awareness Week: 

o   Virtual Discussion – an idea presented by Carlene- “Name 2 things you should know about my religion or faith that you would want others to know about.” Submit to [email protected]  to include in the newsletter and on the GVIN website.

o   How are we as GVIN members helping to resolve the hunger issue in the Grand Valley?  Sherry and Carla will work on a list of charities to support during Interfaith Awareness Week that we can support.

                                 “Virtual” and other options to include

·        FB postings or links to the GVIN website and possibly create a YouTube channel. Please share URL and educational materials to [email protected] ASAP to be included in the next GVIN newsletter.

·        Press Release: August 1 to the GJ Sentinel (Carla will submit)

·        Blood Drive- Please schedule appointment at 970-298-2555 

·        ThanksGVIN service at 1st Congregational United Church of Christ (host)

o   Discussion RE: theme… “Gratitude in the Midst of Crisis” (proposed by Pastor David at FCUCC)

Other options discussed:  Gratitude in Crisis, Gratitude during Crisis. Consider and bring final ideas to AUG. meeting.

o   Discussion regarding how to hold the service. 

§  It was a general consensus that a virtual service should be planned. 

§  It would not be feasible to invite a large gathering or congregation to attend. 

§  Proposed to have it pre-recorded and then shared on the night with the public via you tube or another online source. Pastor David offered to have his church/staff help with recording some of the speaker(s). More discussion at August meeting.

o   Speakers:  proposed to have 1 main speaker to develop the theme and then have several other shorter presentations – poems, prayers, music, or a brief messages.

·        Member Announcements– Dave Edwards is running for Mesa County Commissioner District 3 and has invited each of us to please review his site for style and content. His webpage at:

Closing – Another delightful gathering as friends and Interfaith community members today.  Please join with us next month- August 20, 2020 via ZOOM. 11:30-1:00

Future 2020 Meeting dates                                      

Aug 3-9 Interfaith Awareness Wk

August 20

September 17

October 15

November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service

Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD


GVIN Meeting via ZOOM Conference Call:  June 18, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. 

Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” Kellene Mortensen

In Attendance:  Carla Ryan- President, Dave Edwards- Vice President, Kellene Mortensen- Secretary, Joan Brighton- Treasurer, Stan McNeese, Ché Bou-Matar

Approval of Minutes from 5/21/2020 – Motion to amend and to include the wording – ZOOM – in regards to GVIN Meeting. Motion to approve – Dave Edwards, 2nd Joan Brighton. Motion passed.

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer-

Expenses- $370 for refiling with the IRS and State of Colorado. Original IRS fee is still to be refunded.  Current Balance:  $1,438.33

Old Business:

·         Pride Celebration – Contact Carlene Goldthwaite for event being supported by ALC.  Carlene was not able to attend today’s meeting.

·         501c3 application – David Edwards, VP – status update:

o   Application is in with the new name being Grand Valley Interfaith Nexus.  DBA-Grand Valley Interfaith Network or GVIN

o   New name will be added to the Bylaws.

o   Now we have control of the name GVIN and Grand Valley Interfaith Network

o   Will need to close old bank account and reopen with new name and including DBA GVIN – Motion to proceed was made by Dave Edwards.  2nd Ché Bou-Matar. Motion passed.

·     Discussion and Q&A regarding “application process” for GVIN membership. NEW application form attached per GVIN Task Force and at request of GVIN community Please email application forms to:  [email protected]

New Business:

Brainstormed ideas for the Interfaith Awareness Week : We decided to postpone the Human Family Picnic because of the issues around food, and gathering and safety during COVID.  Other ideas we would still like to consider are the blood drive, a no-contact food drive, and a virtual option to gather and speak and share ideas and thoughts on specific topics via ZOOM or pre-recorded video. Carla and Dave will check on GJ and Palisade Proclamations, respectively. 

ThanksGVIN service at 1st Congregational United Church of Christ – Nov 24, 2020 

Next meeting we will discuss speakers, theme, and what help or support is needed with Pastor David. Meanwhile, Carla will contact Pastor David for an update to his plans.

Member Announcements/Events/Updates –

Stan McNeese shared an event that will be held June 19th at Lincoln Park. 1st Annual Juneteenth Celebration- “A Celebration of Proclamations” on Friday evening. 4:00-6:00- Bring your own BBQ. Program from 6:00-7:00 following.

Carla Ryan: Requesting submissions for newsletter to be sent ASAP.  Also please look for Labyrinth Tour information in upcoming newsletter.  Hosted by Carla Ryan on July 11, 2020. 

Closing – Thanks to each of you for offering prayers of unity—Dave Edwards

Next meeting:         July 16, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. online via ZOOM


MINUTES for GVIN meeting – May 21, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. 

WELCOME & OPENING: Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” – David Dethmers

INTRODUCTIONS/CHECK-IN:  Carla Ryan, Kellene Mortensen, Joan Brighton, Dave Edwards, Carlene Goldthwaite, David Dethmers, Gale Alves

Comments from attendees:  Great to touch base with all in attendance, missing each other, over snacking, need more exercise, doing well, feeling tired, staying positive, staying sensible, becoming better neighbors and being more helpful! GVIN membership encouraged to review RESOURCES list in each newsletter, which may be of help to your congregants and spiritual communities. Carla will contact Sherry at Peace & Justice for their most current resource list and include in the next GVIN newsletter.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: from last meeting (4/16/2020) Unanimous approval- Carlene moved to approve and David D 2nd.

FINANCIALS: Joan Brighton, Treasurer

Donation- $100

$1808.26- Current balance


·         Pride Parade – Will not be held in June; maybe later in the year. Carlene will report later as information becomes available.

o    Carlene shared information and encouragement to support and to remember the June 12 anniversary of the Night Club shooting. She suggested some ways to encourage unity and recognition and grieving. We need forgiveness and a way to heal the damage. There is a “White Party” that is intended to honor those who lost their lives for LGBTQ causes. A suggestion was a community walk in Remembrance. This GVIN event will be explored.

o    Carlene will write an article reviewing the history and suggestions so each faith community can support this in their own way… for the upcoming GVIN newsletter. 

·         501c3 application – David Edwards, VP – Following is an overview of steps being taken to correct federal filing mistakes from 10 years ago and bring GVIN into position to have federal non-profit status approved.

1.       The IRS refused GVIN’s recent 1023EZ application to have charitable organization status. Confusion over EIN and former name of COSMICOS and non-filing of appropriate tax forms around 2010.

2.       We failed to submit taxes for 3 years in a row or correct the non-filing errors within 15 months later. Thus, GVIN lost federal non-profit status. Now, it cannot be reinstated in the organization’s current state. But there are steps we can take to correct this:

a.       First, the GVIN name will be changed back to the original name of COSMICOS used in 1977, at the State level.

b.       Then, COSMICOS (as an organization and with the current EIN) will need to be “retired” or dissolved as an entity. Dissolving the organization under the OLD name, protects GVIN’s current name for future DBA use (see below).

c.        We will need to reapply/incorporate as a NEW organization and a slightly different/new name… Grand Valley Interfaith Nexus—GVIN – because we can’t incorporate using an official business name that has already been in both the State and Federal filing systems.

d.       So, we establish Grand Valley Interfaith Nexus with the State of Colorado… as a non-profit religious organization.

e.       Then we apply to the IRS as “Grand Valley Interfaith Nexus” to obtain a new EIN as a new organization. Done online in about 10 minutes.

f.         After receiving our new EIN, we amend our Articles of Incorporation (and new Bylaws) with the State of Colorado and apply for a DBA name (Doing Business As): that is, “Grand Valley Interfaith Nexus, DBA Grand Valley Interfaith Network (GVIN).” We then transfer assets to this “new” organization/EIN (i.e., new bank account, etc.) and close the old account.

g.       Then we will reapply to the IRS with the new EIN/name and file a new 1023EZ for the tax-exempt status once again.

h.       This whole process could take 2-6 months, depending on the approval rate of the IRS.

i.         Carla will work with David to provide a “second set of eyes” prior to documents being submitted to various agencies.

Carlene moved to go forward as described above; Gale 2nd.  Motion was carried unanimously… to allow these steps to proceed and to reimburse David for costs incurred during this process when filing with the State of Colorado. NOTE:  The IRS informed David that they would REFUND the original $275 paid for the 1023EZ application, which can be used when we re-apply.


·         Bylaws –  

o    Vote by members in attendance taken – Approved final draft of Bylaws. Joan moved to accept and Gale 2nd. Motion passed unanimously. 

o    Vote by members in attendance taken to approve 2020/2021 Officers – All candidates approved and no opposition.

§  Carla Ryan – President

§  David Edwards – Vice President

§  Kellene Mortensen – Secretary

§  Joan Brighton – Treasurer

·         Discussion and Q&A regarding definition of Members and Friends and “application process” for GVIN membership – It was decided that the Task Force would gather/email to create a standardized application form to ease the application process. New form to be presented at June meeting.

·         Insurance (business) for GVIN – After two bids received and lengthy discussion, those present agreed to put this on “hold” for now. Cost is more than anticipated and the organization has not had insurance for the last 45 years. We will act in good faith and avoid gross negligence and intent to do damage.

·         Interfaith Awareness Week – Topic moved to June meeting

·         ThanksGVIN service at 1st Congregational United Church of Christ (host)- Topic moved to June meeting

Member Announcements/Events/Updates – Our condolences go out to Julie Mamo – her dear husband passed away last week due to a heart condition and stroke. Please keep her and her two young sons in your thoughts and prayers.

Next meeting:      June 18, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. – Location to be determined.  Zoom or at a physical location, depending on State’s distancing requirements for groups of 10 or more. Carla will explore options.

Future 2020 Meeting dates (11:30a to 1:00p):

June 18 – July 16 – Aug 3-9 Interfaith Awareness Wk – August 20 – September 17 – October 15 – November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service – Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD


Minutes GVIN meeting – April 16, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. ONLINE via ZOOM

Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” (approved 3/20/2020 )- by Kellene Mortensen

Introductions/Check-In :

Carla Ryan- President, Kellene Mortensen- Secretary, Dave Edwards- Vice President, Joan Brighton-Treasurer, David Dethmers, Gale Alves, Sherry Cole, Wendy Jones, Carlene Goldthwaite, Audrey Brainard

Each person present shared ups and downs of quarantine and what is and isn’t working for each congregation.  Challenges included Zoom safety, logistics, and how to encourage and accept offerings virtually.

Approval of Minutes : approved as submitted. 

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer

·         $1708.38 current balance

·         Expenses: $275 to IRS renewal as a non profit, $600 to 6 charities for April Foods Day

·         Income: $100 donation, $9.61 donation, .11 interest—Total $109.72

·         Contributions can be mailed to : Joan Brighton 681 Crestone Ct GJ, CO 8150 

Old Business:

·         Pride Parade – Not able to plan at this time due to Stay at home orders Covid 19.

·         501c3 application – David Edwards, VP- filed 1023 EZ . Application and data have been entered, but have not heard back yet.

New Business:

·         Task Force update –Carla Ryan

o   Bylaws – “final” draft will be voted on during May 21 GVIN meeting – 30-day requirement for a vote is now given.

o   Member vs Friend: discussion on this and all will be required to apply and have a formal record of membership. 

o   Members come from an organizational level- representing their membership.

o   Donation required (for MEMBERS), but no minimum or maximum required or set.

o   Task force dissolved after vote at May meeting.

o   2020/2021 Officers will be elected at May 21 GVIN meeting

·         Interfaith Awareness Week – Proclamation request submitted for this year – Aug 3-9

o   Carlene will submit to Fruita

o   Dave will submit to Palisade

o   Carla will contact Mesa County for possible submission as well.

·         Brainstorm ideas for the week’s events- Not able to plan at this time, but will act swiftly to incorporate food drives, blood drives, human family picnic if stay at home orders are lifted and we are able.

·         Kellene volunteered outdoor space at the LDS G Rd building on Aug 8 for the potluck picnic, if we are able.

·         ThanksGVIN service – 2020 host volunteer is David Dethmers from First Congregational United Church of Christ

·         2021 ThanksGVIN host will be Wendy Jones from Unitarian Universalists

Member Announcements/Events/Updates – Sherry Cole reminded us all of the great need that is in our community for foods and toiletry needs.  GVPJ has crates outside their doors on 7th and Gunnison and are in need of simple foods that clients can take in a backpack.  Also wipes and TP.

Gale Alves reminded all regarding Religious Sharing meeting that will be held April 21 via ZOOM. Topic to be discussed is “Purpose of Life.” Each attendee will have 10 minutes. Questions allowed, but not a debate. This is a time to build bridges. 

Closing – It was great to connect at this meeting! Live safely and well!

Next meeting: May 21, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. online via ZOOM (emailed under separate cover)

Future 2020 Meeting dates (11:30a to 1:00p):       

June 18 – July 16 – Aug 3-9 Interfaith Awareness – August 20 – September 17 – October 15 – November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service – Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD


for GVIN meeting

March 19, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.


Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” (as adopted 11/21/2019) – By Kellene Mortensen

Introductions of those in attendance:

Carla Ryan, Kellene Mortensen, Joan Brighton, Sherry Cole, Gale Alvez, Audrey Brainard, Wendy Jones, Father Jeremy Troy

Old Business:

·         Saturday, April (18th) Foods Drive –Proposed to hold food drive “virtually”

·         Inviting all community members and those of congregations to please donate thru cash donations to our 6 charities that we sponsor each year rather than our traditional canned food drive.  Because of recent circumstances this is the only way we can hold this event.  We will reschedule and set another date later once we are able to be out in our community   more freely.  Here are the charities that are in need and count on our gatherings and donations.  Please encourage any and all to donate freely thru monetary means this time.

·         It was proposed and voted that GVIN will donate $100 to each of these 6 charities.

·        AGAPE- PO Box 534 Fruita CO 81521

·        Kid’s Aid- 2978 Gunnison Av Grand Junction, CO 81504

·        Child and Migrant Services- PO Box 1038 Palisade, CO 81526

·        Grand Valley Catholic Outreach- 245 S 1st St Grand Junction, CO 81501

·        Clifton Christian Church- 3241 F ¼ Rd Clifton, CO 81520

·        Community Food Bank- PO Box 3614 Grand Junction, CO 81502

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer

Current balance: $2473.66

Reimbursement check will be sent to Kellene Mortensen for copies for April Foods Day- $60.32

New Business: Task Force update:

o    Review and RE-approval of “Covenant of Cooperation” (two words changed at FEB meeting) Approved

o    Next Step: Bylaws – “Purpose” and “Vision” statements incorporated into new draft –

o    Main points discussed are the Member vs Friend of GVIN  

o    Voting position discussed- See bylaws that were attached to Agenda.

o     Also an insurance policy is being looked into that is estimated to be about $60 a month to protect GVIN as an organization and the officers that act in its name.

o    Headings were also added for clarity purposes.


·         501c3 application process update – David Edwards, VP

o    Working on reinstating GVIN at a Federal Level  Aprox $275 to do this.

·         Interfaith Awareness Week –

·         Proclamation submission again this year – Voted on  by attendees – YES- (no word changes)

·         Dates will be August 3-9

Member Announcements/Events/Updates –

New member in attendance is Father Jeremy Troy – Welcome!

Wendy Jones:

Delivered information regarding workshops on Responding to violence in Churches.  Typically it has been cost prohibitive…but there is a grant that could potentially work for our GVIN community.  We will  look into sponsoring this grant.

Carla made the formal motion for GVIN to be the non profit organization name used for the safe church training grant.  All agreed.

Sherry Cole:

The mini resources fair scheduled for April 1, 2020 will be postponed.

GVPJ is encouraging donations for food and essentials.  They are opened M-Th 9:00 – 2:00

Next meeting:    April 16, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at Koinonia church (730  25 Road, GJ 81505) Stay tuned as we get closer for an update on meeting or z00m meeting

Future 2020 Meeting dates (11:30a to 1:00p):                                                                                              

April 16 at Koinonia

April 18, April Foods Day – Virtual

May 21

June 18
July 16

Aug 3-9 Interfaith Awareness Wk

August 20

September 17

October 15
November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service

Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD

MINUTES – February 20, 2020

Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation”

Introductions of those in attendance:

Carla Ryan: GVIN President-New Thought Grand Valley

Kellene Mortensen: GVIN Secretary- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Janice Curtis: Postvention Alliance

Carlene Goldthwaite: American Lutheran Church

Jay Mashburn: MC2 4 Justice

Stan McNeese: Koinonia

Audrey Brainard : Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Sherry Cole : Global Heart

David Dethmers: First Congregational United Church of Christ

Ché Bou-Matar:  Two Rivers Mosque

Gale Alves: Family Federation for World Peace

Old Business:

·         April Foods Day- (18th) food drive – Downtown Vineyard Church 9:00-12:00

·         Copies of charity wish lists and bags will be distributed at next GVIN meeting- March 19, 2020

·         GVIN Newsletter – will be published two times a month. 

·         Communications will be made available thru Facebook page, Newsletters, and emails to GVIN gmail acct.

·         [email protected]

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer- not in attendance, but reported by Kellene Mortensen

·         Annual periodic report for 2020 (due April 30-paid)- Paid to Carla Ryan

·         Balance of funds:  $2,533.88

New Business:

·         Task Force update – Carlene Goldthwaite

o    New “Purpose” and “Vision” statements drafted for Members to consider and discuss 


The historical churches and congregations, faith-based agencies, spiritual communities, and other established religious traditions in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado join in forming the Grand Valley Interfaith Network (also referred to as GVIN ) so as to:

*Cooperate in efforts that will serve the community as proponents of human dignity and agents of compassion in seeking to meet essential human needs:

*Offer opportunities for community worship, spiritual celebrations, shared learning activities, fellowship, and service;

*Exchange ideas and resources among members;

*Enrich our common ties around shared principles and hopes; and

*Demonstrate positive acceptance of religious diversity and share such information in the Grand Valley communities.


To create a harmonious life for all.

·         New Idea:  Stan McNeese—proposing GVIN meeting rotate locations- members of GVIN host communities.  Will set a schedule after next month to rotate location of meetings.

Member Announcements/Events/Updates –

Jay Mashburn- presented information on Fair Food Program Producers for stores or restaurants- protection for workers and rights for farm workers.

Pride Festival- June 21-28

Visitors– Janice Curtis:

Presentation- Postvention Alliance (suicide prevention)

Volunteering her time and help and vision with those that have been touched by suicide.  What happens “after?”

There are support groups and peer support groups that meet on a weekly basis.  All information will be sent on a flier along with her contact information.  970-216-6441 is a number she can be reached at for immediate information.

Please contact her for support for your church member communities.

Next meeting:  March 19, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. with Census presentation

Future 2020 Meeting dates (11:30a to 1:00p 

April 16 – meeting to be held at Koinonia church/center (updated info 2/24/2020)

April 18, April Foods Day

May 21

June 18
July 16

Aug 3-9 Interfaith Awareness Wk

August 20

September 17

October 15
November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service

Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD


MINUTES – January 16, 2020

[All MINUTES notes are in BOLD and/or HIGHLIGHTED… and follow the AGENDA as distributed previously.]

Welcome & Opening – Carla Ryan, President

Reading of the “Covenant of Cooperation” (adopted 11/21/2019 and on the GVIN website) – Everyone

Introductions by those in attendance:

  • ·         Stan McNeese, Koinonia
  • ·         Carlene Goldthwaite, American Lutheran Church
  • ·         Dave Edwards, Ohr Shalom
  • ·         Janice Curtis, Postvention Alliance, guest
  • ·         Carla Ryan, New Thought Colorado & New Thought Grand Valley
  • ·         Sherry Cole, Global Heart & Grand Valley Peace & Justice
  • ·         David Dethmers, First Congregational United Church of Christ
  • ·         Kaila Armbruster, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
  • ·         Joan Brighton, Baha’i

Old Business:

·         Recap/review of ThanksGVIN Interfaith service held 11/26/2019 – Everyone

o    Overall discussion was positive: Amphitheater seating, pies, weather impact on attendance, abundant donations, brevity of presenters (applauded!),

·         Update to membership of Loka Hatha Yoga – Carla Ryan

o    Email content shared with members present per aaron’s written request. Discussion included the Good that has resulted from the disagreements of recent months, such as the creation of the GVIN Task Force to analyze GVIN’s “Purpose” statement and By-Laws, the new “Covenant of Cooperation,” and other upcoming projects. Well wishes were mentioned about aaron and Loka Hatha Yoga, especially for his family and the birth of his daughter.

·         Stan McKeese to provide update of MLK details at CMU on Jan. 20, 2020

o    One change to the MLK FLYER: Sunday’s (Jan. 19) 1:00 “Ceremony to Celebrate MLK with Leaders of Faith” has been moved from Handy Chapel to the Unitarian Universalist church.

o    MLK March activities will begin at 3:00 at GJ City Hall. FREE shuttle buses will be available to help transport to/from the March.

o    Jeriel from Western Colorado Alliance is looking for volunteers to place flags along the March route. Contact her at:  [email protected] if you can help before the March.

o    GVIN will have a table/presence to display members’ info.

o    Set-up is at 4:00 (right after the MLK March) until about 5:30. Carla will be there to set up; other GVIN members are welcome to help with table (about 60-90 minutes total).

§  Bring your brochures/pamphlets to CMU for the table… in the Moss Performing Arts Center/ Robinson Theater area.

§  Carla will create a half-sheet informational piece about GVIN, including a list of its current members, as a hand-out at the event. Content to be pulled from the GVIN website.

§  The GVIN banner will be used on the table as well. ALC/Carlene will bring vertical banners for background color.

o    Full MLK Celebration information can also be found on FB @Black Citizens and Friends of Grand Junction

o    Discussion/consensus also supported having the Women’s March event noted on the GVIN website calendar as part of GVIN’s purpose to be “proponents of human dignity.”

Financials – Joan Brighton, Treasurer


o    The donations (over $1,200) from the ThanksGVIN service were mailed to The House with a cover letter provided by Carla Ryan on behalf of GVIN. The check has already cleared the bank.

o    A donation TO GVIN was received from ALC for $150 and will be included in the February report.

o    Current balance (as of 12/31/2019) is $2,393.78, including interest through December.

New Business:

·         Election of Officer (VP) to complete term to May 2020

o    Candidates:  David Edwards – Motion by Carlene, seconded by Sherry, to accept Dave as GVIN’s  VP for the January to May period, at which time the annual meeting and voting of officers will take place. A vote by “acclamation” was suggested.

o    All Members present enthusiastically voiced “YAY!” to accept Dave as VP (no opposing votes were heard).

o    Carla will update the website to reflect the new team of GVIN officers.

·         Task Force update – Carlene Goldthwaite

o    Carlene read aloud the new “Purpose” statement draft (see below). Discussion followed.

o    Consensus agreed to use active verbs at the beginning of each bullet point. See strike-out words below.

o    Suggestion/Consensus agreed that a separate bullet point was needed to “Demonstrate positive acceptance of religious diversity and share such information in the Grand Valley communities to create/build a harmonious life for all.” [example text]

o    The Task Force will take these suggestions to their next meeting to fine-tune the PURPOSE statement and bring a new revision to the next GVIN meeting.

§  Task Force will meet Thursday, FEB. 6 at 11:30a-1:00p to address this topic. (Carla, Carlene, Dave, Stand, Joan, Kellene)


The historical churches and congregations, church-based agencies, spiritual communities, and other established faith traditions in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado join in forming the Grand Valley Interfaith Network (also referred to as GVIN) so as to:

·         Seek to Cooperate in efforts that will serve the community as proponents of human dignity and agents of compassion in seeking to meet essential human needs;

·         Offer opportunities for common worship, shared learning activities, fellowship, and service;

·         Provide Be a forum for exchanging ideas and resources among the members; and

·         Gather together to Enrich our common ties around shared principles [and] hopes, and respect for a positive and harmonious life in the Grand Valley communities.      

         (above revised at meeting 1/16/2020)

[Current 2013 version on GVIN website at:]

Member Announcements/Events/Updates – None offered

Visitors & Other Topics –

·         Janice Curtis, Postvention Alliance, guest –

o    announced a FREE Men’s Workshop on March 7 (first Saturday) at St. Mary’s hospital. For more information, visit their website:    Janice will offer a short (10-15 minutes) presentation at the FEBRUARY 20th GVIN meeting about and how it can assist our GVIN members in their organizations.

·         Date for April Foods Drive – based on availability of location – Sherry Cole

o    Sherry has emailed Vineyard church for possible April dates to utilize their parking lot location. No response yet. We will likely avoid 4/11 due to Easter weekend.

o    Sherry and Kellene will work together on contacting the organizations and creating the grocery lists/bags.

·         IDEA:  join the GJ Chamber to get discount printing costs vs. not joining (break-even proposition at $375/year)

o    Discussion on comparing cost and time to be part of the Chamber vs. GVIN just paying for the printing in the most cost-efficient way possible.

o    One suggestion: maybe Member churches can do a portion of the list printing if color paper is provided to them. For example… One church does pink, one does green, etc.

o    Final consensus: Participation in the Chamber (GJ’s or the Latino) does not seem to benefit GVIN enough to justify the annual membership fee. No need to pursue further.

·         Newsletter for 2020: Shall we continue? – Communications Committee

o    Discussion ensued as to whether to continue the newsletter in its current format and/or schedule.

o    Carla is willing to continue the monthly newsletter schedule as long as members contribute portions of the content for its creation. Sherry supported its continuance as it provides a means of communication about GVIN we don’t usually get in the meetings.

o    Suggestions: 

§  Minutes could be added as a LINK in the newsletter, rather than posted on the BLOGGER website “home” page. NOTE:  Most GVIN Member organizations do NOT post their meeting Minutes on their websites, but keep them confidential to their congregations.

§  Website is not user-friendly. A reorganization or redesign may be warranted. WIX and WORDPRESS options offered to replace current BLOGGER platform, although BLOGGER is free and the other two platforms are not. Carla will look into options RE: pricing and platforms to compare to current site… or what changes can be made.

·         NOTE – FOLLOW-UP ACTION TAKEN 1/17/2020:  Carla made changes to the current site on the BLOGGER platform. Pages added, content moved or consolidated to a different page, menu titles adjusted. Site is more user-friendly.

·         Will also do research as directed for comparison.

o    The Communications Committee (CC) welcomes Dave Edwards as a new CC team member. The CC now includes: Carla, Carlene, Stan, and Dave. The CC will meet THURSDAY, FEB. 6 at 1:15-2:30p, following the Task Force meeting that morning… to discuss the newsletter and GVIN’s promotional plan. Bring ideas.

Closing – Gratitudes & Take-Aways

Next meeting: February 20, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

Future 2020 Meeting dates (11:30a to 1:00p):

March 19

April ____ Foods Drive (TBD)

April 16

May 21

June 18
July 16

Aug. 3-9 Interfaith Awareness Wk

August 20

September 17

Oct. ____ Fall Foods Drive (TBD)

October 15
November 19

Nov. 24 ThanksGVIN service

Dec. 17 Holiday Potluck TBD


No December 2019 meeting

GVIN Nov. 21, 2019 Meeting Minutes


Carla Ryan- GVIN President

Carla shared with the group a passage from the book “Oneness” by Jeffrey Moses

Definitions of Religion- “Within the scripture of each religion is the definition of religion itself.  These essences, or self-referral descriptions, clearly express the practices, beliefs and understanding that enable a person to build a firm and positive structure in life…”

Introduction of those in attendance:

·         Carla Ryan- New Thought Grand Valley

·         Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

·         Joan Brighton- Bahá’i

·         Sherry Cole- Global Heart

·         Stan McNeese- Koinonia

·         Audrey Brainard- Unitarian Universalist

·         David Dethmers- First Congregational United Church of Christ

·         Dave Edwards- Ohr Shalom

·         Wendy Jones- Unitarian Universalist

·         Carlene Goldthwaite- American Lutheran Church

·         Gale Alves- Family Federation of World Peace

·         Janice Curtis- Postvention Alliance, guest

Old Business:
Review of final program/event schedule for upcoming ThanksGVIN celebration: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. 3133 F RD. Interfaith Choir practice will be held at 6:00 for all interested. Press release has been submitted to GJ Sentinel for publication on Saturday’s FAITH page. Information is also posted as an ‘event’ on GVIN’s Facebook page.  All members are encouraged to invite friends and congregants to the event.

New Business:

Resignation of GVIN Vice President- Aaron Michelson. It was clarified in the meeting that, while Aaron has resigned as VP, he still considers Loka Hatha Yoga as a member organization of GVIN.

Interested candidates- please submit your names by email to: [email protected].  A vote may take place at the Jan. 16 meeting to complete the term. Annual voting for officers is normally held in May.

Task Force Update– Carlene Goldthwaite

After members presented the idea at the Oct. 17 meeting, a Task Force was formed to work on creating a “Covenant of Cooperation.” The Task Force met on Nov. 14 to modify an initial draft created by combining content from three of its members’ covenants or operating agreements, and then created a second revised version to present to members at the Nov. 21 meeting. It was read and then modified again by all present. After discussion and revisions were complete, members present “accepted” the revised Covenant by consensus and agreed to operate per the statements contained therein during meetings and in other interactions going forward.

It was also understood that, as this is a dynamic document to be used at each meeting, GVIN members may offer changes to it in the future. A suggestion was made for it to be read at the beginning of each GVIN meeting to remind us of why we are here! Copies will be sent to all GVIN members via email and the Covenant will be posted to the GVIN website as part of its “official” documents.

The next steps of the Task Force will be to focus on survey results submitted by GVIN members, starting with the PURPOSE of GVIN… and how it might impact GVIN’s Bylaws or other organizational documents. Members were encouraged to complete the survey by Dec. 1 (included in the recent NOV newsletter) so they may be represented as part of the overall analysis of GVIN’s membership. The Task Force will also look at definitions, membership, branding, and dues as it goes forward in this project.

Financials– Joan Brighton, Treasurer

No expenses to report. There was an increase of 10 cents in interest. The balance = $2,393.56.


Kriya Yoga- “Breath Control is Self-Control.”  Representatives visiting from the Denver Temple introduced themselves to faith leaders present, after meeting with Koinonia and the Unitarian Universalist groups. They are considering whether to bring their organization and practices to the Grand Valley. Brochures were provided to everyone at the meeting for future reference.

Janice Curtis from Postvention Alliance reminded us about an event Nov. 23, 2019 at 9:00-12:00 at St Mary’s – 5th floor. It will direct attention to suicide awareness and support resources for survivors. It was mentioned that Janice may do a short presentation to GVIN members in early 2020 about her organization.

Member Announcements/Updates/Events:

·         Rev. Wendy spoke about a Together Colorado project — planning for the renewal of the Inclusivity Proclamation at City Hall on Feb. 19.  UU will have an event on Feb. 11, 6:30-8:30 pm at UU church. Details to follow. 

·         Dave Edwards presented a Gratitude in Action document—which will be emailed to each GVIN member on our list and printed for the Tuesday ThanksGVIN service as a handout.

·         Stan McKeese gave a quick update about the MLK walk in Jan. 2020. He will provide more details before the Jan. 16, 2020 GVIN meeting.

Closing with Gratitude for all!

Next meeting – January 16, 2020 11:30 a.m.  (No December meeting)


GVIN Minutes – October 17, 2019


Carla Ryan:  New Thought Grand Valley

Kellene Mortensen:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Joan Brighton: Bahài Faith

Gretchen Annan: Bahái Faith

Wendy Jones and guest:  Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Carlene Goldthwaite:  American Lutheran Church

Laurie Holzbauer:  Ohr Shalom

Ellen Ireland:  Koinonia

Kaila Armbruster: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran


After introductions… those church/groups present exchanged invitations/fliers about upcoming celebrations, education/workshops, and hymn/concert festivals. Details of Member events posted to GVIN Facebook page (and newsletter when provided by 10th of each month).

Old Business

  •         Review of the Film Festival – “Warm and Inviting” – Those who attended provided feedback on the project.
  •         A reminder of Fall Foods Day (which was a great success!).  It was held Saturday, October 19.  There were lots of volunteers to unload the drop-offs, and a great amount of donations!  Thank you!
  •         MLK event – Stay tuned.  Hold the date of Jan. 20, 2020 – 3:00 City Hall

Financial Report:  Joan Brighton – GVIN Treasure

Balances:  8/31/19 – $2,577.36

                  9/30/19 – $2,393.46  –  Debit: $184.00 – Donation mailed to CIRC from donations collected at our film showings during Interfaith Awareness Week in August. [Interest earned = 10 cents.]

New Business:

  •        Proclamations (Fruita and GJ) handed off to Pastor Kaila Armbruster to be displayed at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church thru January 2020.
  •         ThanksGVIN – Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 – 7:00 p.m. at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

o   Please find all the details in a separate email sent out Sunday, October 20, 2019.  A flier was attached that can be used to advertise and to invite members of your congregation and the community at-large. All logistics are included.

o   Pastor Kaila Armbruster is heading up the celebration and can be contacted BY Nov. 11, 2019 if you would like to volunteer to participate on the program or find out more info.

o   The theme this year is:  WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS

o   And the charity we have chosen is The House – A short term housing program for homeless teens here on the Western Slope.  The mission is simple == “We want to see every youth that is experiencing homelessness to find hope and a future.”

DISCUSSION:  GVIN and its membership

  •         Opening statement by our president – Carla Ryan.  She expressed her values of choice, honesty, service, and harmony.  She spoke about how she relates these values to GVIN. 
  •          Brief organizational history of GVIN reviewed. See agenda for more specifics. 
  •         Those present described about WHAT GVIN is and what it is not (to them) as an organization … including how to define more clearly who we are, what we are, and to lay a foundation of our identity and membership.
  •         The group decided to form a task force to gather at ideas to start the process and to become clear about who we are as an organization. Members will be surveyed (via email or phone calls) for their input. This task force will report at the November meeting.
  •         Topics of discussion included, but are not limited to:

o   Name of organization, dues for members, meeting requirements to be a member. 

o   Should we have “members” and “friends of GVIN” that form our network?

o   What do our bylaws look like? What needs to be change?

o   Are we a religious network?  A club?  A non-profit? 

o   Are members to be recruited or invited? 

o   What kind of “covenants” (guidelines) should be set up? (to guide our meetings and decision process)

o   There was a lot of lively and heartfelt sharing throughout the discussion… with more to follow.

Next GVIN meeting will be held Nov. 21 at 11:30 a.m.

            No December meeting.


Kellene Mortensen, GVIN Secretary


GVIN Minutes:  September 19, 2019

Those in attendance:

Carla Ryan, Chair – New Thought Colorado

Kellene Mortensen, Secretary – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Antonio Alves – FFWP

Carlene Goldthwaite -ALC

Stan McNeese – Koinonia

Abdelghani Essaifi – Two Rivers Mosque

Ché Bou-Matar – Two Rivers Mosque

Gretchen Annan – Bahá’i Faith

Aaron Michelson, Vice Chair – Loka Hatha Yoga

Kaila Armbruster – Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Sherry Cole – Global Heart

Wendy Jones – Unitarian Universalist Congregation


A mindful moment and shared thoughts from Carla Ryan

Our Global Community—Robert F. Kennedy

“It is not more bigness that should be our goal.  It must be to bring people back to…the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility… and of individuals working together as a community to better their lives and their children’s future.”

Meeting Recap:

*Ché began with expressed gratitude for the support they received during the difficult last days—the defacing of the Two Rivers Mosque.  He said it was awesome to have new and familiar faces there to offer support during the face of adversity.

“Love is more powerful than violence,” offered Aaron.

*Email came in from Mary Endres suggesting a stand against hate.  This was talked about as a great idea and will be considered as an ongoing topic to visit and in which GVIN members may participate.  She suggested a candlelight vigil with all faiths gathering in the evening and sharing word, prayer or song. Carla will contact her to gather more details.

*Agenda items—

Farmer’s market– glad to have a presence there with Together Colorado.  Great to have many faiths represented.

Western Living Colorado publication came out- 9-15-19- Take a look!

Fall Foods Day—Mark your calendars and please pick up bags with “wish lists” from the 6 charities that we will gather for. Bags and return contributions can be handled at front desk at Grand Valley Peace & Justice. Share the bags/ distribute to friends, family, neighbors, congregations…. Food collection is on Oct 19.  9-12 at 5th and Grand in the east parking lot of Downtown Vineyard Church.

Film Festival:  will be held at the Avalon on October 6.  Tickets in advance are approx $7.99 + fees.  Showing that Aaron produced will air at approx. 3:45 pm and is titled “Enter Faith.”

Proclamations (Interfaith Awareness Week) were handed off from Carlene from ALC to Stan from Koinonia.  He will display these from Sept 19-Oct 17.

ThanksGVIN– will be held at 7:00 on November 26, 2019 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F Rd. Those that would like to share and or participate on the program please reach out to Kaila Armbruster so that she can begin arranging the program.  [email protected]

Ideas were brainstormed regarding music, theme, charity to sponsor, speakers. Bring your suggestions to next month’s GVIN meeting to solidify and finalize these decisions.

MLK event—Stan briefed us on the planning and the events that are in the making.  A tentative schedule is being formed and will be sent out after their meeting October 9. Theme will be:  We are the change!

GVIN Membership – This was a lengthy and passionate discussion.  One that will need further conversation and looking into.  Times and dates forthcoming….

Discussion included the By-Laws vs. opinions, membership dues, history and goals of GVIN and what we want membership to look like, recruiting vs. inviting new members, and what is GVIN about so we can all be sharing the same message.  As changes to the By-Laws were suggested, this discussion will continue through the next couple of months.

Please join us next time and weigh in on the many things that we are trying to accomplish with each other in our lovely Grand Valley!

Minutes for GVIN Meeting- August 15, 2019


 A story shared by Aaron- A king and his shoes!  How things can run by themselves when we all work together and share the burden.


Kellene Mortensen Carlene Goldthwaite, Aaron Michelson, Kaila Armbruster, Wendy Jones, Joan Brighton, Sherry Cole, Ché Bou-Matar

Review :

 Farmer’s Market:  A booth will be set up joining GVIN and Together Colorado on Sept 12- 5:30-8:30.  It is fully staffed, but any are welcome to come and support.  Materials from GVIN need to be brought that evening to be distributed.

Interfaith Awareness Week:

All felt it was a success—more activities and participation than last year and see it as a work in progress.  We need to have more outreach to faith leaders and congregations so members know when and what is going on.

Ideas for next year:  A movie held at the Avalon?  A panel of Interfaith leaders for Q & A or discussions on various topics.  Set dates earlier and more publicity.

New Business:  Proclamations  were given to Carlene from ALC to have displayed at their church.  These will travel and another faith group will receive it next month.

ThnksGVIN- Will be held at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

3133 F Road.  7:00 pm November 26, 2019

Treasure position:

Ché Bou-Matar  has officially stepped down as acting Treasure.  Joan Brighton was nominated by Aaron Brachfeld- GVIN Vice President –with a unanimous second and also a unanimous vote.  Joan  Brighton will occupy the Treasurer position for GVIN immediately and will be transitioned by Ché. During the next month.

Fall Foods Day

This year’s food drive will be October 19 from 9-12.  Sherry Cole will gather charities wish lists and Kellene will make copies, gather bags and bring to GVIN to distribute within our faith communities.

Other Topics– Discussed the dynamics of hunger, and being able to access necessity items.   I

INVITATION:  As you gather food and form drives within your communities please consider GVIN as your recipient!  We will gladly distribute foods and items to appropriate charities to help alleviate hunger, and cold. 

MINUTES –  GVIN meeting on July 18, 2019
at Peace & Justice (atrium conference room)

The meeting began by honoring those who showed up on time.

Comment was made on Rev. Kaila’s T-shirt, a quote from Harry Potter, “I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble finds me.”

Rev. Kaila opened meeting with a prayer, asking that everyone be present on this holy ground at this holy moment to do our work together.

Present at the meeting were:

Carla, New Thought Colorado
Audrey, Unity GJ
Kaila, ALC
Joe, Dharma Mountain Zen Center, visiting
Tom, Dharma Mountain Zen Center, visiting
Stan, Koinonia
Aaron, Loka Hatha Yoga
Che, Islamic Center
Carlene, ALC
Gale Averez, Church of Rev. Moon
Wendy Jones, Unitarian Universalist
Sherry, Global Heart
Dave, Ohr Shalom
Joan, Baha’i
Chuck McDaniel, visiting in his capacity as a City Councilor

We first discussed the Farmers Market: additional volunteers were needed to staff the booth, hand out bookmarks, and invite people to Interfaith week. The booth is outside the Goat and Clover restaurant. Different members agreed to bring ice water and the banner. The next booth will be September 12.

President Carla noticed that the state records now indicate GVIN is headquartered at her home address.

Treasurer Che presented that there is $2528.58 in our account. Treasurer Che noticed he had been serving for two years, and wants to give someone else the opportunity to serve as Treasurer: please consider volunteering. An election will be scheduled at the next meeting.

A report was given on the Pride Parade: it was very good. Carla recommends everyone participate in the future. It was good to see such support of the LGBTQIA community. Carlene reports that their new pastor says that Grand Junction is more supportive of the LGBTQIA community than where she came from in California. It was remarked that Councilman Chuck McDaniel’s supportive presence at the parade was appreciated.

Interfaith Awareness Week is coming. Councilman McDaniel took a group photo. A press release was approved, as was a bulletin. Aaron volunteered to send these to the radio and television stations. And put it on the website. Carla will put it on FB and send it to the GJ Sentinel and GVIN members.

Councilman Chuck McDaniel said the Proclamation for Interfaith Awareness week was approved and related the way this was accomplished. This was met with applause. Councilman McDaniel wants to deliver the proclamation personally at Interfaith Week, reading it aloud. He was welcomed to do so.

Carlene announced that the Town of Fruita is also looking at such a proclamation and will let GVIN know of progress. It may likely happen on Tuesday, Aug. 6th at 7pm. Carlene also announced that a host church has been found for the Human Family Reunion & Picnic. Press releases and other materials will be updated to reflect the inclusion of First Congregational United Church of Christ.

There will be a blood drive during Interfaith Awareness Week. Apparently, even if your blood type is not needed, if you volunteer to give, you still qualify to get a pint of iced cream. Next year, we will try to get the bloodmobile.

A discussion was made on who the fundraising during Interfaith Awareness Week should benefit (love offerings collected at movie events). It was decided unanimously that CIRC – Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition – would benefit from our fundraising due to its public education efforts aligning with that of GVIN’s. That information will be included in the press release.

Dave then opened a discussion, regarding his observations on the mistreatment of Muslims and Islam-aphobia in general, both here in Grand Junction, in Colorado, and as a nation. He compared it to his experiences of anti-semitism. He posed the questions about what more we can do to support our Muslim neighbors. There was some speculation on the origin and cause of the mistreatment.

As the discussion progressed, GVIN members expressed personal reactions, optimism (or not), the transformative nature of society, what support has/has not been experienced locally, and what actions we can take to help and/or educate the community about our GVIN brothers and sisters of this faith or others. The conversation included the human rights abuses on the border, racism in our nation’s history and today, and what we (GVIN members) can do.

Suggestions included:
To invite guest speakers to our congregations and integrate Interfaith topics into our communities.
Put the symbols of other faiths on your websites and in your bulletins. Embrace the interfaith movement and differing cultures. Expand personal horizons.
Talk to people about these topics; gain understanding. It takes courage for these discussions.
Explore and confront personal biases and reactions regarding those who are “different” whether in religious beliefs, color, gender, etc.
Educate ourselves and those around us. Rev. Wendy offered curriculum to help with this; UU offers training. Stan said Harvard also has free training on implicit bias.
Participate in helping members within the GVIN community and the Grand Junction area, too. This is a good way to help one another – to encourage each other to seek help and support.

Those present then posed for a group photo to be used for promotional purposes of Interfaith Awareness Week and on social media.

The meeting gradually came to a close in friendship as attendees had to leave. Conversations continued even an hour later on how to be better friends, and how we are similar…

Minutes respectfully submitted by, Aaron with the help of Carla

from June 20, 2019

In Attendance:
Carla Ryan- GVIN President
Aaron Michelson- GVIN Vice President
Kellene Mortensen- GVIN Secretary
Audrey Gest
Jay Mashburn
Stan McNeese
Carlene Goldthwaite
Joan Brighton
Dave Edwards
Audrey Brainard
Sherry Cole

Meeting opened with Yoga Tradition- Aaron Michelson

Introduction of new members- Audrey Gest and Audrey Brainard- Welcome!

Agenda Items:
*Bookmarks have been printed and brought for all to distribute and share.

*Parade:  Colorado West Pride Parade
When: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Where:  Old City Market Parking lot- gathering site
Time: Gather 11:35-12:00
Leader Meeting:  12:05- Carla and Aaron-in front of parade line
Order- Group 5
Reminder:  no throwing anything into the crowd—pass out bookmarks

*GVIN address of record will be changed to Carla Ryan’s address

* Website renewal- due the end of June.  Will let go of the .com site and stay with

*Interfaith Awareness Week- Trying to solicit support for the council meeting that will be held Aug 7 if approved ahead of time.  Reading of the Proclamation.

Carlene will be contacting vendors to request donation of ice cream pints for our blood drive- pint for a pint.
Aug 4-10 at St Mary’s Blood Center.

Aaron- info on parks and reservations and usage- can use for free, but a fee is required to reserve.

Discussion on Movie choices—what is the purpose?  Must be family friendly.  What message?  Time length- 90 minutes or less
Date suggested- Aug 9.  Locations discussed- Mesa County Library and GVPJ.

REQUEST—-faith Leaders and members please send in suggestions of a movie or movie that you would like considered.

Picnic- Human Family Reunion- want to gather for an interfaith Potluck and get to know you activities—will be planned  after Pride Parade.

*Recap of Roundtable meeting- Kellene Mortensen.  Goal is to work together with church members and other faith groups to support our needs in our GJ community.

*Newsletter: July’s theme “Words and symbols”
Please send ideas to Carla about ways you communicate in your particular religious practices .  All submissions need to be in by the 10th of the month to go out in the newsletter by the 15 th of the month.

* Needs- The jail is requesting soft cover non fiction books for the inmates.  Also a need for constant help leading yoga and meditation.  Contact Aaron Michelson – [email protected]

*Dave requested that his faith group can always use support, friendship and additional kitchen goods- platters, and serving utensils.  They would welcome a visit on Fridays after 2:00 pm.

*Farmer’s Market- Will join together with Together Colorado on July 18 and Sept 12

Meeting closed with words of encouragement by Carla Ryan- communicate- collaborate and cooperate in service together.

Next meeting will be held at 11:30 at GVPJ- July  18

GVIN Minutes–May 16, 2019

In attendance:
Sherry Cole-Global Heart
Kellene Mortensen- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Carla Ryan-Colorado Center for Conscious Learning
Dave Edwards-Congregation of Ohr Shalom
Joan Brighton-Bahái Faith GJ
Wendy Jones-Unitarian Universalists Congregation

Meeting opened with Love- Sherry Cole

Reminded us that so many good things are going on over the years and that is very satisfying!

*We have received much thanks from participants receiving foods from the April 27 th food drive. Catholic Outreach weighed theirs and reported they received over 900 lbs!!! So thanks to all the GJ folks and congregations for participating!

*Discussion regarding farmer’s market and booth sharing. Reviewed pricing and logistics. Together Colorado is already looking and applying. We talked about joining with them and Wendy Jones will be the liaison to see if that is a possibility. Also talked about what we would have as our goal—the diversity of faiths, but coming together as one community and letting: “Love win”! We need to drown out hate! Let love be the louder voice! Talked about creating a book mark to share and pass out at the booth.

*Pride Fest Parade: June 23
11:30 Gathering
12:30 Parade
Carla Ryan will fill out application- no fees
Discussed having GVIN banner lead out with other congregations and faith groups marching behind, but together as one…..Love Wins!

* Interfaith Awareness Team –
Will meet to organize the August 4-10 activities- discussion about a Human Family reunion, blood drive, music…more to come

* Celebration with our neighbors—join together on events that are important to them. Talked about end of fast days with Baháis, and end of Ramadan. We need to support, love and be one with our fellow faiths.

*Newsletter—please send announcements or important events you would like included to Carla Ryan. We can support each other this way. Again—Love wins!

No change to treasure until Che Bou-Matar returns from his travels in late June. There were no oppositions or additions to nominations form the April meeting-

The slate is accepted by a unanimous vote-
Carla Ryan- President
Aaron Brachfeld Michelson: Vice President
Kellene Mortensen- Secretary
Che Bou-Matar-Treasure

Future meetings will continue to be held at Grand Valley Peace and Justice and on the 3 rd Thursday at 11:30 until further notified. All are welcome!

Dave from Ohr Shalom let us know that they could use some kitchen supplies in their newly renovated kitchen.

GVIN Minutes – April 18, 2019

Sherry Cole, Kellene Mortensen, Carla Ryan, Gretchen Annan, Jay Mashburn , Stan
McNeese, Joan Brighton, Carlene Goldthwaite, Aaron Michelson

Welcome: Sherry Cole
There is room for all! Thank you for coming!

Opening with Prayer: Kellene Mortensen

April Foods Day- April 27 th 9:00-12:00

A lot of good energy surrounding this event and positive stories shared

Calendaring: 4/27 is Earth Day—we need to be good stewards. Talk about the “whys” and “if “ we would participate this year- not time to pull resources together at this time. Also same day as Food drive.

Next year—talked about ideas for give aways if we had a booth

*Book marks, affirmations, potted plants—asking for donations to support GVIN

Pride Fest: June 15-16
No charge for parade
Charge for exhibit table—Ideas were to have GVIN banner as an organization, but all faiths to represent individually to promote togetherness and working together as a whole.

August 4-10—Interfaith Awareness Week.—will form a committee Carlene proposed moving ThanksGVIN to this time frame. No final determination was made. Talked about keeping it in November because of long standing tradition, but adding events to Interfaith week.

Idea from Aaron—Human Family Reunion!!! A picnic in the park which includes us all!

Carlene also proposed the blood drive again as well as a musical evening of sharing.

Sherry also added that speakers would be a nice touch as well.

Officers were nominated – A vote will take place at the May 16 th meeting
Carla Ryan- president
Aaron Michelson- Vice Pres
Kellene Mortensen- Secretary
Che Bou-Matar- Treasure

A big thanks to Carla Ryan for the newsletter. It will also be posted to Face Book
and the web sight.

GVIN Meeting Minutes March 21, 2019

As a reminder, we meet the 3 rd Thursday of each month at 11:30 at the Grand Valley Peace and Justice Building. All are
In attendance:
· Sherry Cole, Global Heart
· Aaron Brachfeld, Loka Hatha Yoga
· Carla Ryan, Colorado Center for Conscious Learning
· Stan McNeese, Koinonia
· Carlene Goldthwaite, American Lutheran Church
· Gale Alves, Family Federation for World Peace
· Dave Edwards, Congregation of Ohr Shalom

Meeting opened with Love – Carlene Goldthwaite
In relation to S.P.R.I.N.G. – choose a word related to LOVE that begins with one of the letters in SPRING.
· Welcome to Dave Edwards, new representative to GVIN from Ohr Shalom.
· Sherry announced that in the months ahead she will be stepping down from the role of GVIN’s President.

· From Che’: Islam Center of GJ invites all GVIN members to Friday prayer (3/22/19) at the mosque. Sherry read
the times and address to those present.
· From Gale: She shared her invitation of the inter-religious sharing group being formed (see attached PDF) in
Fruita on June 6 (6:30p to 8:30p) at Fruita United Methodist Church.
· From Stan: All are welcome on April 15, 6:30p, a monthly meeting of the Interfaith Coalition on Racism,
Diversity, and Inclusivity (ICRDI) at First Congregational United Church of Christ (fireplace room).
· From Aaron: All GVIN members are invited to share announcements/events happening within their
organizations via the new GVIN-TAKE newsletter. Submit details to : [email protected]
by the 10 th of each month for publication on the 15 th .
Committee Report on Advertising & Promotion (Aaron, Carlene, Carla)
· RE: GJ Sentinel advertising – may not be the best way to spend ad dollars.
· RE: Farmers Market – slightly better than Sentinel, but could be pricey for little recognition. Plus, it is time-
intensive for those who do booth duty, and we don’t have marketing materials (yet) to hand out.
· RE: Parades – could be the way to gain recognition of GVIN’s presence in the community.
o Loosely organized.
o Costs could be minimal; fees dependent on which parade we attend.
o Would want to have banner or signs for GVIN. Initial signage costs. Stan and Carla will investigate costs
local vs. online for printing a banner.
o All church groups could join GVIN as one large group. Demonstrates inclusivity.
o Recognition of GVIN comes from continually showing up… in addition to the food drives and the annual
Thanks GVIN service.
§ PrideFest
§ Veterans

§ July 4 th (GJ)
§ Earth Day participation will also be researched.

April Food’s Day (4/27/19) (Sherry)
· Delivery is 9:00a – Noon (downtown Vineyard Church).
· Anyone can pick up misc. lists/grocery bags in Lobby at Peace & Justice Center if not associated with a specific
church group.
· Press release to go out by end of March RE: the Food’s Day details.
· Discussion ensued regarding ways of assisting the poor at the county level vs. other parts of available
government funding.

“We’re in this together.”

Interfaith Awareness Week discussion
· GV Peace & Justice want to participate (Rev. Jeffrey) with a guest speaker they know to address inclusivity and
how to do it.
· Carlene will check with Blood Bank to see if/when they will offer ice cream like they did in 2018.
· Stan encouraged us to re-submit the proclamation for “Interfaith Awareness Week” as it is likely the City Council
was never made aware of our 2018 request… and with the recent Inclusivity Proclamation, it may be easier to
approve our request.
· Carla suggested the week of August 4-10, 2019 (1 st full week in August) as the time of Interfaith recognition. This
will give us time to expand GVIN’s participation in parades, submit the proclamation request, create events, and
build interest within the community.
· Sherry offered clarification of “members” for various organizations and who may want to be part of Interfaith
Awareness Week:
o GVIN members: faith leaders, laymen, congregants, board members
o ICRDI members: everyone interested in these topics
o Together Colorado members: faith leaders, schools, 220 congregations

· Sherry gave permission to use her cell phone number as a contact point on the new GVIN-TAKE newsletter.

“Speak Truth to power.” – Quaker (offered by Dave Edwards)


GVIN Meeting Minutes – Feb 21 2019

Sherry Cole- Global Heart
Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter – day Saints
Carla Ryan- CO Center of Conscious Learning
Carlene Goldthwaite- American Lutheran Church
Aaron Michelson- Loka Hatha Yoga
Joan Brighton-Bahaís of GJ
Bill Yett- Quakers from Montrose
Gale Alves-Family Federation for World Peace
Jennifer Campos- The Daily Sentinel
Alisha Hull- The Daily Sentinel
Andreya Krieves- Volunteer for GJ community center initiative

Today we opened with a moment of silence offered by Aaron Michelson.

Sherry Cole then introduced new comers and first time attendees:

Bill Yett, Rev Gale Alves, Andreya Krieves, Jennifer Campos, and Alisha Hull.

Agenda items:
· City Council Meeting Review- “ All traditions together show how we love
people and can work together.” Our hope…..
· Proclamation of Inclusivity
· Community Center initiative- addressed by Andreya Krieves. Seeking votes
to establish 2 centers- Matchett Park and Orchard mesa. Please feel free to
contact her directly for information- [email protected]
· Daily Sentinel- info given regarding process, price and ideas on how GVIN
could utilize space in the paper- printed and electronically. Two ideas were
using Press Release for upcoming activities and the Community Calendar.
· Please contact Alisha Hull 980-256-4309 or [email protected]
· Also contact Jennifer Campos 970-234-0872 or
[email protected]
· Joan Brighton invited all to “Winter Festival”- Sunday 2-4 pm 2/24/19 held
at Mesa County Library and sponsored by the Bahaís. A lovely time to be had
with the children! Arts and crafts, stories, snacks, games and balloon animals.
All are welcome. 443 N 6th street. Upstairs community Rm.
· April Foods Day- April 27th, 2019. Downtown Vineyards Church. 9-12. Food
lists are being submitted. Kellene Mortensen will make and distribute 180
copies of each of the 6 charities we collect for . Please invite your
congregations to participate and help in this community effort.
· Interfaith Celebration Day- brainstorming and talk of a day to celebrate! Not
conclusive at this point. Would like to celebrate it on a day of warmth and
utilize the outdoor venue.
· Bill Yett- a new member spoke about abolishing the death penalty in
Colorado. He is asking faith communities to support abolishing the death
penalty. He will attach an abolition handout and other supporting literature
on a future email that each of you will receive. He can be reached at:
[email protected]


Those Present:  Aaron, Sherry, Joan, Stan and Carlene
Open Meeting with Love:
The meeting opened by focusing love on those who are ill or who might need support in any way.  Joan shared that it is her one-year anniversary as a representative and participant in GVIN.

Aaron shared that he is running for City Council and will resign as Vice President and minimize other responsibilities with GVIN until after the election in April.  He will be focusing on moving beyond hostility between people in order to build trust and interact in civil ways.  He would like to spotlight groups and their good works in the community, asking that we let him know of groups he could mention.  He can be reached at [email protected] or

Sherry announced that the Emergency Shelter Overflow Program could use additional overnight volunteers.  Volunteers are at the overnight site from approximately 7:15pm to 7:15am so that single men from HomewardBound have a safe space to stay when the shelter is full this winter.  Our volunteers “Overflow Love” so that our guests are not out in the elements and vulnerable.  Please share this volunteer need and have interested individuals contact Sherry at [email protected] or 970.985.4253.

Stan asked all to encourage our City Council to support an Inclusivity Proclamation.  To do so, go online to the City Council page and write individually or to The City Council as a group.

Follow up on GVIN in Faith Page of Daily Sentinel:
Sherry read an email from the Sentinel stating that they could not change the format of The Faith Page to accommodate a crossword puzzle, however they would be happy to include us in their regular format.  $18 for 10 lines of copy would cost $216 for a monthly ad over one year’s time.  Discussion included using questions, quotes or other creative ways to stimulate interest with people going to GVIN website for answers.  Carlene, Aaron and anyone else who is interested can meet together to begin creating our ad.  Sherry will contact new person at Daily Sentinel to let them know we will be looking at a regular spot.

Dates were discussed and narrowed to either April 6th or 27th as the 20th is the day before Easter as well as a Baha’i Holy Day.  Sherry will contact Downtown Vineyard Church to ascertain availability of the parking lot for drop off on those dates.

Interfaith Awareness/City Council and Planning for any Event:
The group felt it would be best to discuss more upon Carla’s return.  It was noted that World Religion Day is the third Sunday of January and that other groups (United Nations and World Parliament of Religions) also celebrate faith at different times.  More to come on this.

Other topics:
Joan asked if we could de-brief the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service since we did not meet in December.  All had very positive comments which included:
*Loved the joyful, beautiful spirit of the experience and the different ways in which people shared
*Let’s invite those who presented at the service to become regular participants in our meetings and activities
*Next year, let’s thank the site with a greeting card that all members of GVIN sign by hand making it a more personal expression of gratitude

Submitted by
Sherry Cole, President

November 15, 2018 GVIN Minutes

In attendance today:

Kellene Mortensen
Alane Currier Griggs
Sherry Cole
Wendy Jones
Paul Béen
Joan Brighton
Carla Ryan
Carlene Goldthwaite
Stan McNeese
Aaron Brachfeld
Jeffrey Dodson

Today’s meeting was opened by Sherry Cole reminding us that the power is within us- we are supported, guided and loved!

The ThanksGVIN program was talked about, and final adjustments were made to the program.  It will be held this coming Tuesday, November 20, 2018. 7:00 pm. 2542 G rd.  An Interfaith choir will be singing a piece and will have a practice there at 6:00 PM.
Host site will be:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  All are welcome!

The topic of our Interfaith awareness week proclamation was then reviewed.  It was denied attention at the City Council .  Much discussion on Church and state and prayer in government…there seems to be guidelines that are not congruent.  They will allow prayer, but won’t back the initiative to support religious groups proclamations.
Carla Ryan will be further looking into this and the discussion as to what we would like to do will continue.  It was agreed that an expanded definition would be appropriate .
We discussed the Faith Page in the paper and talked about ideas for submissions.  It seemed a good idea to introduce ideas for education to the community for awareness.  Sherry will check on monthly pricing for the Faith Page.

The meeting was then ended by some good reminders from Paul- we need to act in love—otherwise we are moved by fear.  (Not quoted- just my take away from his words.)

Our next GVIN meeting will be held January 17, 2019 at 11:30 A.M.

Hello all!
Today’s GVIN meeting was opened by Jeffrey Dodson- “May we see–blessings, love and gratitude for all around us!”

We then discussed the upcoming fall foods drive that will be held this Saturday from 9-12.  Please drop foods off at this time  at the Downtown Vineyard Church- 5th and Grand.

 The bulk of the meeting was then spent to  organize our traditional ThanksGVIN program.  I have attached a rough draft of the program and participants.  Please, please, please let me know soon if there are additions, changes or anything you’d like to see altered.  I will need to solidify the program by early November because I will be working out of town until the day before!
You should find all of the info needed to invite all of your faith communities and friends!
Jeffrey Dodson will send out links for posters and information for you to distribute for the event.

Nov 1, 2018- Grand Valley Peace and Justice is sponsoring a mini resource Fair:  9-4.  740 Gunnison Av.  Sherry Cole will send a flier updating us of all the services offered that day,

Friday- October 19, 2018- All invited to a movie night hosted by Loka Hatha Yoga.  5:15 pm.  1227 N 23rd- Metta Yoga.  the movie will be:
Indiana Jones- The Temple of doom!

Thanks to you all for your kindness, goodness and charity!  I feel blessed to know you and work along side you.

Kellene Mortensen. GVIN Secretary

Kellene Mortensen
Sherry Cole
Joan Brighton
Aaron Brachfeld- Michelson
Jeffrey Dodson
Stan McNeese
Carlene Goldthwaite

September 20, 2018
GVIN Minutes

Please find included a summary of today’s topics. If you would like clarification or
more detail please reach out to any of us in attendance! This will be just a shorter,
more bullet pointed list.

As a reminder, we meet the 3 rd Thursday of each month at 11:30 at the Grand Valley
Peace and Justice Building. All are welcome!

In attendance:
Sherry Cole
Aaron Brachfeld
Kellene Mortensen
Susan Hall
Carla Ryan
Paul Been
Stan McNeese
Connie Pyle
Joan Brighton
Carlene Goldthwaite

“ Fear makes strangers out of people who should be friends…” Shirley MacLaine. Shared by Chaplain Paul Been

Meeting opened with Love- Sherry Cole

We are here participating in good, oneness, similarities and love!

Introductions made-

New Clarifications:

ALC- American Lutheran Church is seeking a name change and will keep us updated
as that comes to pass. Steering away from the traditional name of Evangelical

LDS/Mormons- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—Not a name change,
but an emphasis on the name of Jesus Christ .

Agenda items:
Fall Foods Day—October 20- 9-12. Please see flier attached in previous email sent
out today with all details.

Farms- produce- harvesting- sharing—Aaron Brachfeld- is working on this to find
ways to gather and share more food within our community. Discussion on this and
how this could look for next season.

Carlene Goldthwaite- please look for attached flier in previous email from her as
well regarding the topic- “Building an inclusive Church”

Stan McNeese- working on signatures for abolishing slavery on our Constitution on
Amendment A.

Carla Ryan- attended City Council and we discussed the topic of prayer and
separating church and state.

Thanks GVIN service- Nov 20, 7:00 pm 2542 G rd. Theme and charity discussed.
Please find your invitation with all details in a previous sent email today
For participation, questions: please contact Kellene Mortensen: 970-201-0012

Those in attendance:

Kellene Mortensen- LDS, Che Bou-Matar- Islamic Center, Steven Slaughter-LDS,
Carlene Goldthwaite- ALC, Carla Ryan-CO Center for Conscious Learning, Paul Been-
Hope West, Sherry Cole- Global Heart, Aaron Brachfeld- Loka Hatha Yoga, Joan
Brighton- Bahais of GV, Julie Mamo-GV Peace and Justice.

The meeting began with a lot of discussion regarding the coming together in one purpose and not dwelling on differences of theology. Sherry reminded us to look forward and to focus on being of service and one purpose.

Kellene offered an opening prayer.

Introductions were made- 2 new attendees were welcomed and introduced:
Paul Been a Hope West Chaplain and Steven Slaughter from the LDS church.

Sherry Cole- Resource Fair
July 27-28 9-5 on Friday and 9-3 on Saturday
First Congregational Church- 5 th and Kennedy
This is a one stop shop offering a variety of service for homeless, low income, veterans, families, seniors and persons of disabilities.
For more information please call Sherry: 970-985-4253 or 970-261-7695

Interfaith Awareness Week: Aug 5-11.
Congregations from all faiths are being invited and encouraged to participate in an Interfaith Blood Drive – Coordinated by the faith leaders and members of: GVIN- Grand Valley Interfaith
Blood Donations Accepted: August 6-11, 2018
Mon-Fri: 8:00a—5:30p Saturday: 8:00a-12:00p
St. Mary’s Blood Center 750 Wellington, Entrance 22 .
Drop by during these hours to support our friends in the community. (Please bring your driver’s license) Thank you for serving those in our community!

Update from Carla Ryan regarding Proclamation
“Our City Clerk met with the Mayor yesterday, and we were unable to get approval to move forward with this proclamation. According to the Mayor, City Council does not issue proclamations for religious events or groups. I am very sorry for the delay in getting you a response on this. Please feel to contact our office if you have any questions. Most Sincerely, Selestina Sandoval Deputy City Clerk, City of Grand Junction”

ThanksGVIN—This all faith service will be held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving-Nov 20 , 2018.
We are looking for a space to host it….volunteers? Please reply to this email if you are interested in hosting this delightful, annual service. Fall Foods Day- food drive. Dates not set yet ,but will be soon once we find out the church’s availability for drop off.

Jobs available- Directors, staff and volunteers: Riverside Educational Center.
They are an organization dedicated to helping, mentoring and tutoring our community’s children in after school programs: if interested or need more information contact:
Joy Hudak: 970-589-5039 [email protected]

Also discussed was constant need for Foster Homes- it was agreed to forward this GVIN list to Ariel Clinical Services to let them arrange with congregations individually to inform more about the need and the path for being a foster care home or provider.

Also read today was message from Carlene regarding feelings of apology from a banner she had seen regarding insensitivities toward Pride Week. See attached copy of message on banner.

A close up of a sign

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Next GVIN meeting to be held: August 16, 2018 -11:30 at Grand Valley Peace and Justice Bldg- upstairs skylight lounge. 7 th and Gunnison

Minutes from GVIN meeting held on June 21, 2018
Those in attendance: Kellene Mortensen
Carla Ryan
Carlene Goldthwaite
Aaron Brachfeld
Stan McNeese
Sherry Cole
Che Bou-Matar

The meeting was begun with a “Happy Yoga Day!” encouraging a connect of body
and mind.

Aaron invited any of us to cross train in Yoga- he can be contacted at: 970-778-
2835. Or at [email protected]

GVIN_TAKE was announced to be held on Sunday June 24, 2018. Arrangements
made by Jim Hale and will be held at Colorado Coalition for Regional
Transformation in Clifton. Discussion will be held rather to continue or to finalize .

Aug 5-12 is Inter faith Awareness Week:

We will invite congregations and communities to participate in a Blood Drive.

We will begin drafts to get a proclamation started.

A possible panel of religious representatives will be on site along with refreshments.

Suggestions made to get a calendar made for the 2019 year- to get main events

Discussed Ramadan- Che shared his feelings and growth experiences . A way to
work on inner struggles. Suggestions for success included pacing yourself, teaching
yourself good habits and a good mind set.

Membership in GVIN was discussed: no dues, fees or forms. Bring love, fellowship
and come as you like to participate in an activity.

Continued talk about outreach- website, facebook and twitter. How best to get info
to the public.

Hunger was addressed- there are over 32 organizations in the valley that currently
supply food. Continued need for food donations….

Next meeting will be held on July19, 2018 at 11:30.

Please feel free to attend!

Kellene Mortensen- GVIN secretary
I am writing to report on the minutes and the meeting that was held on May 17,
2018 For the Grand Valley Interfaith Network- GVIN.

Attendees included:
Sherry Cole- Global Heart
Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- LDS
Aaron Brachfeld- Loka Hatha Yoga
Rafael Collazo- Mesa County Baha’i
Joan Brighton-Grand Junction Baha’i
Carla Ryan – New Thought- Religious Science
Carlene Goldthwaite-ALC

The meeting opened with Carla Ryan sharing some beautiful words of hope and
love, awareness and good timing.

Sherry Cole announced the open mic to be held at Yoga West on the 20 th at 6-8 pm.
Carlene from ALC invited others to have a presence during Pride festivities. There
will be a parade on June 24 th .

Aaron reported on GVIN –TAKE . There will be a final meeting that he is organizing
to be held on Sunday May 27 th at 2:00 pm at American Lutheran Church.

A lively discussion was had about things that have been accomplished, things both
positive and negative and about future concerns and how to address them.

The topic of minute taking was addressed and decided that we will not quote others
as we are engaging in discussion and not being reporters . This is to protect those
involved in the discussion as to not be misunderstood or misrepresented.

The minutes will be more general in nature: keeping it simple.
Ideas expressed belong to the group- we will not attribute thoughts or specific
discussion to one individual so as they are not “on record.”
Time was a discussion: How do we spend our time? Do you take time to heal
yourself and to care for yourself? We need to choose carefully the activities that will
be most beneficial for the use of our own personal time.

Website: Please use to invite and post upcoming activities your congregations
might be interested in attending:

Just Serve- a tool that can be used by anyone to find service opportunities in the
Grand Valley. The LDS church has developed it and invites all to use it to better
know and help within our communities. You can download the app and see all
current projects that are in need. If you have something you need help with –
contact Kellene Mortensen to get the project up on the app.

Thanks GVIN Service was addressed and will be held November 20- site to be

A blood drive was also discussed and will be brought up at the next GVIN- TAKE
meeting—-to bring together all faiths and to support our community.


April 22, Earthday.  Same location: American Lutheran Church.  Same time: 2pm.

Thank you for your continued hospitality.

Non-Religious social meetings

* April 21 – 2pm, Loka Hatha Yoga invites everyone and their families to a non-religious opportunity to support Mavs Softball.  Free seating.


With no suggestions for a next topic, i would propose:

What is your greatest prejudice against, criticism of, or conflict with your own faith? And, what is your greatest prejudice against, criticism of, or conflict with another faith – whose membership is represented at that meeting? 


New – Jay Mashburn, Anglicans, Western Conference of Interfaith Coalition

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Holt, LDS

Bob and Lisa, Zen 

Carlene and Pastor Paul, American Lutheran Church

Che Bou-Matar, Islamic Center

Jim Hale and Galen Daily – Ministerial Alliance

aaron, Ashram of Loka Hatha Yoga


Before the meeting –

Cookies were served by Carlene.  Everyone agreed they were delicious.  And appreciated.  Some sharing of religious practices regarding Easter, Lent, saint days, and other holidays coming up soon was made through small talk.

The meeting opened with Pastor Paul explaining that in the past, suicide was opposed as a sin.  Suicides were not buried in cemeteries, and survivors and even the family members of the suicide were shunned.   But recently a more compassionate approach has been adopted as new information has been obtained.  

Galen – desired to hear the Catholic perspective

aaron – had asked Julie for this out of the same curiosity (Julie could not be at the meeting) and suggested Galen also inquire with Julie.  From what aaron understood, suicide was made a sin by the universal church (precedent to the Catholic Church) to discourage Christians from killing themselves to get to heaven sooner than by other forms of death.  

Carlene – had heard that story, and others.  It apparently was a problem for the early Church.  There has been some resistance to a compassionate approach to suicide.  A common compromise is to “love the sinner, hate the sin” but Carlene personally finds this inadequate to either, and contradictory to her practice.  

Jim – explained the context of sin, his belief that suicide is necessarily an act of hopelessness, and this is an expression of lack of faith – in this sense it is a sin.  Shared a personal story of seeing an assisted suicide at a hospital.  

NOTE: This resulted in confusion among those present: Jim described the removal of life support, not euthanasia.  However, this he understood as a kind of suicide.  This confusion in vocabulary would be a common theme during the meeting – what constituted a suicide? what made some suicides acceptable, and others not?

Jim (continued).  The patient who had life support removed wasn’t ready to die.  However, Jim helped him prepare for death with spiritual counseling and during the week that he was dying, read the bible, and ate cheesecake and drank mountain dew, and died peacefully in his sleep.  Jim asserted that he believed prematurely assisting suicide is wrong – never a good solution.  Believes that there is a danger to the concept of perfectionism in Christianity: that either God takes away all pain, or that the pain will go away if healing is being made.  When the pain doesn’t go away, there is despair – and despair was the cause of suicide.

aaron – asked clarification on whether all suicide was a sin, or if prematurely ending one’s life to save another, or if there were any circumstances in which despair or hopelessness might result in a suicide that was not a sin?

Jim – it is the despair and hopelessness which makes it a sin.  A death motivated by love is not hopeless or despairing.  

Jim (continued) – we have taught children they are the product of time and chance, with no plan and no god, no consequence to their living – so why shouldn’t they kill themselves.

aaron – plenty of atheists and non-theists do not kill themselves and do not require purpose or plan or god.

paul – described a man he knew who’s child kill themselves.  The parent said “we thought we did everything right [referencing Jim’s comment – teaching about god, plan, purpose] but he still killed himself.”  Suicide will take anyone – even if you have the holy spirit, this is not a guaranty or safety net.  

Galen – Life is a bumpy road, even with faith.

Paul – agreed with Galen

Paul (cont.) – what can be done?  It is a complicated problem.

Carlene – those who are most at risk are not children, but white males over the age of 35.  Why?

aaron – hormones?

Carlene – expectations.  We haven’t changed expectations – a man can’t live up to the standards of their beliefs – one job cannot result in financial success.  This breadwinner mentality results in failure, and despair.

Galen – incredulously asked if Carlene proposed women needed to work?

Carlene – we women already do.  We have to.  [And this is causing men to kill themselves.]

[At this time, the conversation began to be undertaken simultaneously with many small short dialogues between individual members, with each participant also participating in other side group conversations.  i wrote down as many as i could-aaron]

Paul – only sure that the cause of suicide is unknown

aaron – there are many kinds of suicide, some causes are known – like mental illness, beliefs, social pressure, or stupidity.

Galen – in a meeting with the county health department, the role of bullying on social media was blamed: children feel pressure to have an excellent facebook page.

Jim – children seem to think of suicide with nobility – doing the earth a favor by removing the self.

aaron – some suicides are noble.  Some aren’t.

Paul – [responding to Jim] the problem is that children will talk to each other about suicide, but not their adults because adults don’t know how to talk about it and even are afraid to talk about it.

aaron – agreed, explained how his parents and family were very open about suicide, and the conditions of its necessity. It was a life-choice, like marriage, one to be shared, but ultimately the decision of the individual. The decision making process was explored.

Jay – in chattanooga, there were group suicides by carbon monoxide – many children would get in a car and kill themselves while listening to their favorite music.  Their tragedies became a cause for celebrity – they were seen as tragic heroes, whose deaths spoke to a larger cause for despair.  

aaron – what does zen teach about suicide?

lisa – I don’t know if it does. zen teaches non-judgment.  Not having an opinion, taking the middle.  It should not be encouraged or discouraged or judged at all.  If a person or family is struggling, then they need help – we should be compassionate, act with compassion – not just give loving words.

aaron – thoughts and prayers not enough?

Paul – doesn’t zen teach not to judge the self, too?  To consider suicidal thoughts as just thoughts, to consider despair as just despair?

Lisa – true.  We don’t know what it is to be that kid about to commit suicide, to be that kid who committed suicide – or to be the parent of a child who has killed themselves.  To be that parent of that child who killed themselves.  Regarding whether they have sinned or not, I cannot judge them.

Paul – I think the suicidal thoughts are common, but not everyone acts on them.  There must be a lot of shame before action is taken.  A lot of self-judgement – I would assume.

Lisa – I am a retired nurse, and cared for a lot of unsuccessful suicides at the hospital.  Lots are physically damaged from the attempt so that they cannot recover wholly – pill overdoses can result in a survivor requiring dialysis for the rest of their life, shooting a bullet into your head frequently only blows off part of your face. These injuries themselves result in shame.  

Galen – like scars from cutting?

Paul – recommended a book he saw at a conference – the thoughtful child.  The first and second ten years are difficult – what kids are doing as they grow up is to develop spiritually, that’s their purpose task – like a job.  The crisis is in the spiritual journey.  One of the factors to prevent drugs or suicide is a sense of spiritual self.  When that is present, it is like a lifesaver, or security blanket – a way of dealing with it to keep a person stable.  Some people have lost themselves.  They are afraid they will get more bad thoughts by talking about them.  

Sister Holt – I don’t even understand where a 10 year old gets the idea of suicide? Media? Society?

aaron – thoughts of suicide are normal, and human.

Paul – natural?

aaron – yes, they serve the purpose of —- 

Che – i blame life getting more and more chaotic, less human connection, more violent movies and games, less grounding in nature, less outside activity.  People get outside, and they relax, it is therapeutic.  

aaron – i am not sure, there is reason to —-

Paul – [agreeing with Che] they are drifting around on their own – they need a field of love, surrounded by a community of love, surrounded by love in whatever direction they turn.

Jim – the problem is also magnification – small problems can seem big.  Who is listening to a despairing 12 year old? Their problems seem small to us.

Galen – blamed the breakdown of nuclear families – dads are killing themselves too.

Paul – agreed, the absence of a father can result in harm to boys.

Galen – there is no solution. This is beyond what society can fix – and requires God almighty, then referenced revelations.

Paul – but we have a saying, “god’s work, our hands.”

Jim – agreed.  

[general discussion about whether talking about suicide glorifies the suicide victim, and encourages additional suicides – Jay referenced experience with this]

Carlene – not wanting to talk about it, not wanting to put it in someone’s head is the reason we fail at teaching reproductive health.  Kids have sex anyway – whether we teach them about it or not.  I wish my grandkids got sex ed, and education about suicide.  I bristle at the thought that if we talk about it, they will do it.

aaron – agreed with Carlene, suicidal thoughts are natural, and not without purpose ——-

Paul – we can only get better at talking about it by trying.  

Sister Holt – the LDS church has a new website with directions and questions and links to help families prevent suicide.  Apostles met with Utah government to address the issue.  Showing a reinactment of a person successfully avoiding suicide has had some success.  We have too many people who feel alone.  

aaron – we are all working independently on this issue, is there any way we can work together on it?

Jim – people can’t get along, there is no hope, no sense of mutual honor or respect.  We need to develop a sense of community – and encourage interfaith action also in the schools.  We all bleed the same.  Our coming together here with GVIN-TAKE could be a model for the community at large.

Sister Holt – wanted to show video from website.  It encouraged hope against despair, with the phrase “we are all children of god.”

aaron – how would this work if someone doesn’t believe in god?

Paul – a better phrase might be “we have common humanity” we share more in common than we do in difference.

Joshua Holt – there are no boundaries, or any differences in terms of how suicide impacts a community.  We must think of life, and value life.  We need to talk about changes in our values, parents need to put the needs of kids first – not themselves.  In teen pregnancy, this is impossible, as children would be raising children – the parents are too immature and not ready for the burdens of childcare.  In schools, there are suicide games, like choking, which push the limits to find out ———

Galen – like the movie, flatliners?

Holt – yes

Carlene – likes the Kevin Bacon version better than the new version

Galen – also a fan of Kevin Bacon

Paul – we need to be talking about building relationships – that’s what’s missing in the lives of children.

Joshua Holt – part of the purpose of this gathering is to find commonality, the point is that we cannot sit idly, wondering at the deterioration of society. We believe lives can be saved and look at it as a chance to love.

Bob – despair is in both youth and middle age.  These are cries – not for help, just cries.  

[numerous discussions on statistics and causes] [ is cutting is a way of saying “help me” or an expression of disease?]

Lisa – there is a big AA and NA organization already working against despair.  We could help them.  What if we went to a meeting? we could pass on this field of love.  The path of alcohol, the path of child abuse, that path is where we should meet and help.

Jim and aaron – AA is not open to outsiders, not only undermines the anonymous nature of the organization, but their religious doctrines prevent interference.

Jim – similar might be NAMI (national association of mental illness).  We could help them.  There seems to be two causes – social and medical.  People are not able to be intimate with each other.  Cross-culturally, we can promote intimate friendship.  

Paul – we might never be able to do enough to help people mentally or socially.  Our strength is in spirituality.  We have all dealt with the darkness in our lives.  We would have compassion for a child ——–

Galen – we might seek an intermediary, or third party – if people knew that they could bring a troubled student to us for counseling, and get all our perspectives, Christian, Buddhist ——

Che – kids need hope and purpose. Kids are young, vulnerable. They don’t need us to make them think like we do.  That could cause more harm.  They just need love and support.

Bob – we are thinking of solutions we can undertake as a group but personally I am getting such spiritual growth.  When we go out from this group, i take this message in my own words and actions. I found myself making friends with people who are not like me, with an attitude of love, kindness and sharing

aaron – that’s wonderful to hear!

Sister Holt – we could take what we learn here back to our own congregations?

Bob – or even to the people we relate to every day – more often than not these are not the people in our congregations

Joshua Holt – true

Jay – I worked on reservations, and there’s a lot of people there who came to fix things.  Sometimes to fix things that don’t need fixing.  When we go to help, we take our agenda with us.  We need to simply be open and available.

Carlene – we may want to fix things for others, but what can we do in our own lives, in our own families, and with the people we meet? [agrees with Bob].  If you treat your own family crappy, it makes things worse.  If we were as divided as we fear, we couldn’t have functional electricity – we obviously work well enough together.  Pop culture teaches us that relationships have to be perfect – and if they are not perfect, something is wrong with you. We need to become comfortable with imperfection.

aaron – agrees with jay and carlene.

Jim – just ask questions – visit with people, speak with them. Speak peace.  The last thing to do is minister.  Just bless them with friendship.  If they need something, they will tell you.  Assuming you know what they need is silly. We are so lonely as a culture but when one person is harmed, we are all harmed. 

Carlene – we’re not ready to do a project together. Our bandwidth is too full – we are curious to find the spiritual factor of GVIN-TAKE, but we have to be sure to honor those who have no spirituality [referenced the absence of the Atheists and Freethinkers].  We need to be welcoming to everyone.

Paul – we don’t have a vocabulary for our common humanity.

Jay – there is always a problem in helping someone else – we put our own agenda with it.  With the Western Conference of Interfaith Coalition, we look to see if there is injustice in the valley today – we then take action so it will go away tomorrow.  We focus on race, diversity, inclusivity.  We begin with basic questions to get basic answers.

Carlene – that’s wonderful!

Paul – wanted to express he enjoys these meetings, and being with everyone.  We can all push agendas too fast.  I am ok if we don’t do anything at all – doing is important, but even meeting is doing something.

Lisa – we are all doing something by sharing.

Holts had to leave for an appointment.

aaron – why don’t we wrap up by sharing our own experience with a suicide, and an attempted suicide, and a prevented suicide?

[Due to the personal nature of the stories, and that these minutes will be posted on the GVIN website, i have decided to not include details of them, but only generalizations]

* Story of a man who was angry by nature, then got tired, killed himself and it “almost seemed to make sense.”

* eating disorders are a very lethal illness, very sad.  

* a man who cut himself repeatedly struggled spiritually, saw himself on a spiritual quest.

* having talked down suicides, seems people actually don’t want to die or kill themselves.

* not all communities respond to suicide the same way – for some, it is highly traumatic, bringing life to a standstill. For others, it is natural, and expected.  This has to do with both culture and religion.

* Had a friend whose child almost killed himself, and sent the child to live with him – by the change of environment, the child stabilized.

* some participants chose not to share stories, as it was too traumatic to recall

* having seen failed suicides, most clearly and cogently wanted to die, and frequently would try again – with greater success.

* best friend’s father was a suicide after a break-in in which both wife and husband were brutalized and robbed.  Though a successful man, the victimization humiliated him, and his shame drove him to suicide. 

* There can be a difference between what a person expresses on the outside and what they feel on the inside – cheerfulness, hopefulness, these can be masks, founded in shame.  

* shame of sin can be motivation for suicide, the importance of learning forgiveness can reduce these sorts of suicide.

* loss of a friend can result in suicide – sometimes a friend is a necessary support

* PTSD can be cause for suicide as well – even decades later.

* Homosexuality can be cause for suicide due to social shunning, shame of sin, and self-loathing, as well as confusion by how a loving god could hate the homosexuality of the homosexual.  Many homosexuals are close to suicide.

* some clergy members commit suicide because of homosexuality and other sins because they feel held to a higher standard

* perfectionism can result in suicide, as it results in dissatisfaction with life and a desire for heaven, or the end of struggle.

* parents who are too hard on children deprive them of a support and friendship

* mental illness can be contagious: the story was told of a mental health worker who, after years of service, developed mental illnesses of his own, eventually taking his own life. 

* sometimes one little thing can unravel a life: a door jammed, making a man late for an important day at work, consequently he lost his job. Consequently, his fiance cancelled their marriage.  Consequently, he moved back in with his parents, and unemployed and rejected, killed himself.

* sometimes people are going to do what they are going to do, it is unfortunate.

* story was told of a man who despaired of recovering his health, so he volunteered for an experimental treatment that likely would be fatal, and did in fact result in his death – but this was not understood as a kind of suicide by others in the meeting.

* story was told of atheist woman who wanted assisted suicide upon diagnosis of advanced alzheimer’s, but whose christian children kept her alive, even though she daily begged for death – and subjected her to Christian rituals against her protestations.

* story was told of a child who suffered from depression and anxiety, killed himself. His brother felt he was responsible, so he then killed himself shortly afterward.  Parents separated, each feeling guilt, then each killed themselves.

Aaron is filling in for Secretary.  If i have made errors, they were unintentional, and a result of the limitations of my hearing, writing, memory or understanding – for these, i beg patience.  


Sherry Cole (Global Heart)

Carlene Goldthwaite (ALC)

Jerry Johnson (Mesa County Bahai)

Joan Brighton (Grand Junction Bahai)

Julie Mamo (GVPJ)

Aaron (Loka Hatha Yoga)

OPENING – sherry, “with love” 

carlene – very much enjoyed the opening

general – agreed with carlene


Sherry – ordered “GVIN LOVE” signs – to be used in activities out in the community.  It is purple and weatherproof.  Will be big enough to be seen by volunteers so they know they are in the right place.  Also will help in communications of our activities.  The font is comic sans. PLAZA REPROGRAPHICS, NEAR 1ST AND ORCHARD was very helpful in providing this sign.  It cost $40, which was wholly paid for by Sherry.

carlene – plaza infographics does right by you.  

general – agreement: approval

Jerry – provided list of holy days of the Bahai, for addition to the GVIN calendar.  

Aaron – asked Jerry to provide descriptions of these holidays as well, so that other GVIN members could learn about them.  Aaron, at least, was interested to learn what they celebrated, why and the history of the tradition.

Jerry – will provide that information.

Aaron – will add to website when provided.

Jerry and Joan – invited all GVIN members to the Bahai New Year celebration at the Fruita Community Center, 6pm wed March 21.  There will be singing, and dinner: persian rice and chicken, additionally some vegetarian and gluten free options.  

Aaron – is persian food traditional?  Rice and Chicken?

Jerry – more a reflection of cultural tastes. Espoused the deliciousness of persian food.

Sherry – agreed persian food is delicious, but is vegan and cannot enjoy all the dishes.

Jerry – asked Aaron if he was also a vegetarian.

Aaron – vegetarian since 2005

Jerry – due to religious requirement?

Aaron – no, for health reasons.  Vegan since 2015, for the same reasons.

Sherry – became vegetarian in 1997 for health reasons, and vegan in 2005 – but has found it shaped her ethics in the treatment of animals.  Could not eat pet fish, for example. 

General – discussion on the particular nutritional guidelines of vegetarianism and veganism: supplementation of essential nutrients, etc.  Discussion on whether Omega fatty acids could be obtained from non-fish sources, like algae.  Discussion of religious requirements (or lack thereof) regarding diet.  

Carlene – in a national geographic article, Paul McCartney described how he became vegetarian after experience as a shepherd.  

Jerry – endorsed omnivorous diet.

Aaron – announced that the City of Grand Junction still requires volunteers: congregants and members should be encouraged to volunteer or submit their name for nomination to policy advisory panels.  

Sherry – the Mesa County library also requires volunteers

Carlene – wished to express she is very disappointed in the City Council’s vote maintaining the new policy of prayers before meetings.  

General agreement – the prayers accomplish nothing except the harm of atheists and non-Christians, damage the interests of organized religion, and has numerous other moral equivocations.  

Sherry – suggested that a formal response be developed in future meetings.

Sherry – announced the open mic at Global Heart will be moved to March 25, 2-4 pm at Yoga West.  There will be herbal tea, flavored water, snacks, and fun.  Last year it was lovely.  There may be a ukulele this year.  And a comedian will return.


OFFICE DEPOT helped donate most of the cost of photocopies for the shopping lists, and the LDS church picked up the rest of the cost.  Everything ready.  


It was agreed that there would be at least one event scheduled.  The day and time of the events will be decided at the next meeting . Recommended to spread out events over the year, rather than all in one week.

name of event: “LOVE FEST” 

May include:

Panel discussion

Blood drive

Picnic or Potluck


Booths and tabling

Arts festival to fundraise for charity 

name of event: “BLOOD PANEL” 

Symbolically showing we share one blood, one humanity, and one city.  Combined with a panel discussion.

name of event “BLOOD PANEL.”


Next meeting March 25, 2018 2pm at the American Lutheran Church, who is kind enough to host.

Has failed to the extent that those not interested in exchanging theological knowledge, friendship, cooperation, coexistence and coordination are not participating.

Has succeeded to the extent that those who would be interested in it are: there has been considerable information shared, and friendship and harmony restored.

Aaron expressed his personal satisfaction in a deepening understanding Christianity and Atheism.

Next subject for discussion is suicide – both in terms of how to engage suicides in the community, and spiritually.

Aaron – asked Julie why suicide is such an important topic for Christians?

Julie – it is the worst sin, explained history of how universal church tried to prevent early Christians who sought to enter heaven prematurely from killing themselves by declaring that suicide would result in the punishments of hell.

Joan – intends on attending the next GVIN-TAKE, excited to be able to come. Had schedule conflicts on the last meetings.

1pm, concluded due to reservations on space terminating.

Good Afternoon All!
I am writing to report on the minutes and the meeting that was held on February 15,
2018 for the GVIN meeting.
Attendees included:
Sherry Cole- Global Heart
Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- LDS
Julie Mamo- GV Peace and Justice
Aaron Brachfeld- Loka Hatha Yoga
Jerry Johnson- Mesa County Baha’i
Rafael Collazo- Mesa County Baha’i
Joan Brighton-Grand Junction Baha’i
Stacy Legrand- GVPJ
Carla Ryan CO Center for Conscious Learning
Carlene Goldthwaite-ALC
Steve Staneart- Salvation Army
Sherry began our gathering with a moment of silence and an invite to remember
those that are suffering from the recent High School shooting.
Introductions were made.
Day Center will be remodeling on Feb 28 for the next 5-6 months. Clients need to
check in with Catholic Outreach for assistance and to receive additional direction
Global Heart is sponsoring an open mic event – info on that has been sent to
members via a separate email .
Liz Howell is working on finding an interfaith space on the CMU campus- we will
address involvement we could have at a later date.
Joan- passed out fliers inviting the public to a Children’s Festival: Sunday, Feb 25,
2018. 2-4 pm Mesa County public Library. Community Rooms.
April Foods Day is underway and getting organized: April 7, 2018. 9-12. Donations
received at the Downtown vineyards Church. Bags and lists are being compiled and
will be ready for each person/ congregation to pick up and begin filling in the next 2
weeks. See Sherry Cole or Kellene Mortensen for pick up.
Clifton Cleanup was a great success. 19 helpers and participation from the
neighbors and the Sheriff’s dept.

Discussion about creating water and weather proof signs so that people will be
aware of our GVIN Love projects! Sherry will look into this. Thank you to Jerry for a
donation towards these signs!
Put aside differences and find things that we have in common! This will help each of
us deepen our own spiritual practices as we do this and have these warm and kind
Next gathering: Feb 25, 2018 2:00 American Lutheran Church
631 26 ½ rd GJ
Rev Carla Ryan: spoke about Interfaith Awareness Week- honoring similarities and
respecting differences. Discussion about bringing in to our interfaith communities.
March will further this discussion.
We need to let our deeds guide us!

Thanks for all of your attendance, your goodness, your strength, your determination
and good will towards all in our community!
I appreciate knowing and working with each of you.
Kellene Mortensen-GVIN secretary

Good afternoon! 1-18- 2018

I am reporting on the discussion, the announcements and the agenda of the GVIN meeting held today- 1-18- 18.

There were several new attendees, lots of new ideas and plenty of great discussion. I will attempt to highlight some of those points. My apologies if I misquote any of you. Hopefully the intent of your thoughts and message will come through. Please feel free to reply and add anything else you would like the members to know or be aware of.

Returning members-
Sherry Cole- Global Heart
Kellene Mortensen- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- LDS
Julie Mamo- GV Peace and Justice
Aaron Brachfeld- Loka Hatha Yoga
New members or others in attendance:
Gretchen Annan- Fruita Baha’i
Jerry Johnson- Mesa County Baha’i
Rafael Collazo- Mesa County Baha’i
Joan Brighton-Grand Junction Baha’i
Anne Landman- Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers

Introductions were made and Sherry welcomed each with an invitation to be here
as a community forum where love, openness and good things can be shared.

At the December City Council meeting Sherry gave the invocation. She felt it was a
good experience. Child and Migrant Services in Palisade are low on food and would welcome
donations. Karalyn Dorn is their contact person at: 970-464- 5226.

Joan announced and invited GVIN to a film at the Mesa county Library to be held on January 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm, They invite all to attend and share in the goal of progress, optimism and hope.

Kellene invited GVIN members to a musical event to be held at the Avalon on Feb 17,
2018 at 7:00 pm. Interested? Call her for complimentary tickets. The group is an
all male A capella group from Brigham Young University called: Vocal Point.

Aaron is investigating volunteer services within the community. As he finds out more about opportunities or boards to volunteer on he will inform this group.

Kellene shared information about “Just Serve”- a program through the LDS church that allows for each of us to become aware and to volunteer for service activities within our own community. It is open to anyone and can work as a community bulletin board. As needs arise we can post the activity on Just Serve to gather laborers and volunteers.

Anne Landman came today to let us know about the discrimination that they are feeling and facing within the Atheist and Freethinkers Community. She gave multiple examples and is concerned with the messages that are going out to students within the school district. They feel unsupported and feel they are at times harassed because of their beliefs.

A lengthy discussion took place regarding this topic—
We need to be aware of what makes others uncomfortable.
Also the notion to try to not be offended. We are very tradition oriented- we don’t try to offend when we worship differently than others. We need to focus on community- love. We need to move toward appreciation rather than just tolerance.
We need to be in control of our pride and to be open and aware.
We should try to give others the benefit of the doubt—assume they are not trying to offend.
We need to focus on the big things- like hunger and peace.
We need to be role models- not offended
We need to be a unified group that is doing good for humanity.

A new group is in the beginning stages: GVIN Take— Grand Valley Interfaith Network-Theological And Knowledge Exchange

This will act as a forum regarding theology and sharing of beliefs. Learning and appreciating others.

The first meeting to plan what this will look like will be held on January 28, 2018 at 2:00. Aaron will have more details to come. It will be held at the American Lutheran Church. Please see additional forwarded email from Aaron.

Julie invited all to participate in a service- clean up crew at a woman’s house that is in some serious need. Sat Feb 3, 2018 11:00-2:00 This will be sponsored by The Crime Reduction Unit…more info to follow.

September 21, 2017 Meeting Minutes – Grand Valley Interfaith Network

THOSE PRESENT: Che’ Bou-matar; Sr. Karen Bland; Carlene Goldthwaite; Bev Goodrich; Julie Mamoand; Sherry Cole. Guests included Hank White and Stacy Legrand from the GVPJ Outreach Team.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: New monthly meeting location begins in October

Location: Grand Valley Peace & Justice 740 Gunnison Avenue
Enter Office Suites Entrance Meeting in Skylight Lounge on 2 nd Floor
Bring Your Own Lunch!!! 3 rd Thursday of the month at 11:30am!!!!
Thank you Sr. Karen for years of support and delicious food!

Grand Valley Catholic Outreach Empty Bowls Fundraiser
Saturday, October 14 th from 11am – 1:30pm
Get your tickets if you haven’t already….

American Lutheran Church is having a class in which they would like to
have a variety of speakers participate to share Fasting Practices from their
faiths. If you would like to share, please contact Carlene Goldthwaite at
[email protected]

Clifton Clean-Up: Julie reported on the details for the first Clean-Up from 9am to Noon-ish on
Saturday, September 30th as follows:
Meet at the intersection of 32 Rd. Bridge and 1-70B. Please park on the West side of 32 Rd near the
GVT Bus Transfer Point (Jiffy Lube and Jimmy Johns are also there). WestCAP will do a brief training at 9am on handling anything that might appear dangerous to touch. We are being supplied water, bags, gloves, the company of the Sheriff’s Office Crime Reduction Unit Deputies and anything else we might need for the clean-up. Dress in layers so that you will be comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws our way! *Please wear closed-toed shoes. Julie is still trying to obtain stick-it sticks with which to pick up trash.
Please, RSVP (individuals, families, youth groups, etc.) with Julie Mamo (GV Peace & Justice) at 260-4301 or [email protected] by Thursday, Sept 28th!

*Our second Clean-Up will be on Saturday, October 28 th , honoring Make A Difference Day. That event will consist of picking up trash at a gentleman’s home located at 519 ½ Florence. Tentative time is 10am to 1pm. Many people have used his backyard as a place to dump their trash and also squatted on the property. The Sheriff’s Department will do mitigation of any dangerous items prior to our Clean-Up on the property. Our goal is to help this gentleman, Sean, to make his property presentable again and uplift him. Sean plans to attend the Clean-Up on September 30 th to meet people.

Fall Food Bank Drive: Grocery bags have been prepared with the help of GV Peace & Justice
volunteers. Press Release will go next week for the Religion Briefs and it was suggested to try to also
have the event posted in the Calendar in the Daily Sentinel. Please be sure to contact Sherry and let
her know how many bags you will need. They will be available for pick up at GV Peace & Justice

Resource Desk located inside the Office Suites entrance at 740 Gunnison Avenue. The Desk is open
from 9:30am to 4pm Monday through Thursday. Sherry has also begun contacting other spiritual
communities outside of GVIN to participate including those involved in the Palisade Ministerial
Association. Let your friends know, all are welcome to participate!

All Faiths Thanksgiving Service: The service is scheduled this year for Tuesday evening, November 21, beginning at 7pm at American Lutheran Church. Many faiths are invited to share their ways of giving gratitude. This usually means 5 to 7 minutes per spiritual community depending on the number of groups participating. GVIN will open the service and introduce the host church to speak briefly. The Thanksgiving Service Committee will research and offer the entire group a charity to confirm as the recipient of the offering at The Service. If you would like to be on the committee preparing for the service, please reply all to the email for the minutes.

40 th Anniversary Art Show/Community Unity/Celebrating Diversity of Faith, Heritage and Traditions: A discussion of venues brought up the idea to contact someone Julie knows at The City to see if they will host some or all of the show. More details to come as a site is firmed up and a group of judges drawn together who have more expertise to advise on organization of the event. 40 th Anniversary Year begins on November 2 nd . The goal is to celebrate the collaboration and fellowship that GVIN has experienced over 40 years and share that in a visual way in our community.

Minutes Submitted by:
Sherry Cole, President
September 25, 2017
June 2017 – GVIN Meeting Minutes

Sherry Cole ( Global Heart), Julie Mamo ( GVPJ), James L Case (Ohr Shalom), Aaron Brachfeld ( Loka Hatha Yoga), Che’ Bou-Matar (ICGJ), Kellene Mortensen ( LDS),

A. Opening with prayer- Kellene Mortensen

B. Che’ – honored for Ramadan: He helped us understand the significance and meaning of this period of fasting. Fasting not just from food, but fasting within your whole body. You use the energy you have wisely and for recharging. This helps in spiritual training and helps one to become more God conscience and to find more room for God in ones life. It is a period of cleansing- for 30 days. You will abstain from sunup to sun sundown.

C. Sherry Cole- addressed the topic of being good neighbors- taking care of each other. GVIN will celebrate this ideal as it celebrates its 40th year anniversary.

D. The remainder of the meeting was on topic of: developing relationships within our communities and congregations. What kind of service can we do together to help drop the barriers?

James, Che’ and Aaron discussed their meeting with the Sheriff’s department and ways we might serve our community collectively as an Interfaith council. We will seek direction and projects from the Sheriff’s department.

As a group we brainstormed on ways to involve our congregations and work together.

An idea was presented to post service opportunities on the LDS website- JustServe- a bulletin board type web location where individuals or groups can go to find service opportunities and work together.

E. A meeting is planned on June 28 th with Scott McInnis to discuss problems within our community and how and what we can do together. A few GVIN members will attend together.

F. The next GVIN meeting will be held on July 20, 2017 at 11:30 – Catholic Outreach.

May 18, 2017 – GVIN Meeting minutes

Present: James L Case (Ohr Shalom), Aaron Brockfeld (Loka Hatha Yoga), Bev Goodrich (IHM), Kellene Mortensen (LDS), Sherry Cole (Global Heart), Sr. Karen Bland, (GVCO), Anna Scott (Center for Spiritual Living), Julie Mamo (GVP&J).

A. Introductions were made for the benefit of Rev. Anna Scott.

B. The slate of officers formed during the April meeting was affirmed and accepted for 2017-2018.

President: Sherry Cole

Vice-president: Aaron Brachfeld

Secretary: Kellene Mortensen

Treasurer: Ché Bou-Matar

C. Sherry Cole addressed with John Mok-Lamme regarding his request to be included as a recipient of goods from food drives. John understood that the food drives directly benefit food banks.

D. Sherry Cole announced that thank you’s have been received from all agencies included in the food drive.

E. The Palisade Ministerial Association has expressed interest in GVIN. Members are invited to participate in activities and to sit at the table.

F. Conversation was held regarding hate crime incidents being experienced in the community and what GVIN might offer to counteract negative views and activity. As a result of conversation held between Aaron and James several ideas emerged:

a) Continue the conversation between Aaron and James via radio – KWSI one option – utilize the knowledge and contacts of Annie Payne for other stations

b) Write a guest editorial for the local paper

c) Let local Muslim community know members of GVIN offer their support and help in any needs they may have –

d) Members of all member congregations are invited to join this sub-committee in its work to combat hate and increase understanding of one another

e) Form a subcommittee to continue to address the issue – approaching media – celebrate what we have in common – holding a festival celebrating each other

· Members: Aaron, James and possibly Ché · Messages to be put out by this subcommittee can be shared via email or on the web site for feedback website

G. GVIN was officially founded on November 2, 1977 (as COSMICOS) – this being the 40th year anniversary, proper acknowledgement of the event will be discussed at the next GVIN meeting which will be June 15, 2017.
April 21, 2017 – GVIN Meeting Minutes

Present: Ché Bou-Matar (ICGJ), James L Case (Ohr Shalom), Aaron Brachfeld (Loka Hatha Yoga), Bev Goodrich (IHM), Kellene Mortensen (LDS), Sherry Cole (Global Heart), Sr. Karen Bland, (GVCO).

The meeting began with prayer offered by Ché Bou-Matar

A. Report on April Food Day which was held April 1, 2017.

· The following food banks together received over 9,000 pounds of donated food:

Agape Food Bank (Fruita), Community Food Bank (Grand Junction), Kids Aid (Grand Junction) Catholic Outreach (Grand Junction) and Child and Migrant Services (Palisade).

· A discussion regarding the criteria to participate as recipients in GVIN’s food collection programs grew out of a program’s petition to participate in these collections and receive food. Discussion resulted in the following motion: The brown bag food drives will be used for large broad based food banks in the Grand Valley that serve individuals and families. This motion passed unanimously. A suggestion was offered that GVIN check dates next year so that distribution of the bags to be filled does not conflict with spring break.

B. Bank Account: GVIN’s bank account is now active and contains $2,325.88. GVIN is legal with the Secretary of State. GVIN has to be reinstated and Global Heart Congregation provided the $100 fee to do this.

C. Ché announced that the Islamic Center has acquired property at 801 Gunnison and will be moving in April 21, 2017.

D. GVIN Website: Aaron has developed the current website. It is structured so that a member can put up a sermon, add to the calendar, list event etc. The direction is

E. Pastor Barbara is retiring from American Lutheran Church. A farewell party is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 nd from 2 to 5. All are invited.

F. Shelter Program: The final gathering for all who participated in any way in this winter’s alternative shelter via the churches will be held Sunday, April 23 from 1 to 3 at the Juniper Shelter in Sherwood Park.

G. 2017-18 Officers. Those gathered discussed the duties associated with each officer. The following slate was drawn up and will be voted on at the May meeting:

President: Sherry Cole
Vice-president: Aaron Brockfeld
Secretary: Kalleen Mortensen
Treasurer: Ché Bou-Matar

H. Volunteers at the Jail: There is a growing need for more volunteers to assist with yoga and meditation at the jail. Commitment involves 1 to 1 ½ hours weekly. There is a long waiting list of inmates who would like to partake in these practices. Those interested in volunteering should contact Loka Hatha Yoga.

I. Earth Day Meditation – Saturday, April 22 – Yoga West 1025 Main- 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

J. Next GVIN meeting is May 18, 2017.
NOTE:  GVIN Meeting Minutes prior to April 2017 were created in paper format and kept in binders. The GVIN Secretary and President/Chair have access to those documents should someone wish to view the historical meetings in further detail.