The Sheepskin

The parish newsletter for Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.

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Delegates Needed for Fall Diocesan Convention

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

The Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Colorado will take place this year at the Grand Junction Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colorado on October 13 and 14, preceded by a festive Eucharist service at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Grand Junction on Thursday night October 12.

Good Shepherd is currently seeking parishioners who are interested in being delegates to the Convention, and the deadline for delegate registration is July 5.  Cost for the Convention is $175.  Good Shepherd is unable to pay the registration fees of delegates, and delegates must also pay for their own motel accomodations, but subsidies are available. If you are interested in serving as a Convention delegate this year or have questions about what is involved in being a delegate, please contact Senior Warden Shane Jones ASAP (

Summer Baptisms

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

Sunday, July 9, at the 9:45 am service, will be the next date for baptisms at Good Shepherd. For parents and godparents of children being baptized on that day, a baptism class is scheduled for 1:30 pm on Saturday, July 8. If you have a child you would like to be baptized, please contact Parish Administrator Kathy Hunter by July 3.  After this baptismal day, the next date for baptisms will be All Saints Sunday, November 5.

Vestry Meditation: The Magic Coffee Can

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

Each month, a member of the Good Shepherd Vestry is invited to offer a short meditation or devotion at the beginning of the meeting, and these meditations are then published in the Sheepskin. This meditation comes from Deborah Sampson, who was elected to the Vestry in 2017. Deb currently chairs the "Next Steps Committee," which is in the process of reviewing parishoners' responses to the Spiritual Life Inventory that was administered in May. 

Just about 25 years ago, I was recovering from major abdominal surgery where they discovered a rare tumor. Going into the surgery, the doctors expected to find that I had some form of lymphoma. It was scary, but they assured me that lymphoma was a “fairly good” cancer with known treatments. (I know better now).  After surgery, they told me I had some tumor with a mile-long name, only experimental drug combinations to treat it, and no cure. The only thoughts in my head were how soon I could press the button to get another hit of pain killer and “Why me, God?”

A friend gave me a strange little book called The Ethiopian Tattoo Shop with odd little stories in it. Another friend came to hang out with me and she started reading the book to me. One story from that book that resonated with me was “The Magic Folger’s Coffee Can.” In it, a young boy meets a troll who assures him he knows, and will share, the secret of happiness. I share a synopsis of the story:

“Here, this is a gift to you. It is a magic Folger’s Coffee Can – fill it to the brim and you will be happy always.” The little boy ran home and started cramming it full of everything he could find. As he grew up, he added top grades in high school and sports trophies and other honors. For some reason, the can was never full. In college, he added more accolades and honors, but still the can was not full. He added great business success, a lovely family, a huge house, but the can was never full. In his old age, he added a gigantic international corporate contract that would make him the most powerful and wealthy man in the world. As he put the contract in the can, he dropped dead of a heart attack. The can fell out of his hand, flew out the open window in his office, and rolled away.

The can rolled through the city and came to rest in front of a little girl having a tea party with her dolls. She picked up the can and noticed something the previous owner never noticed, had never seen because he was so busy trying to fill it – the coffee can had no bottom. If the man had stopped to look, he would have seen a long trail of possessions.

The tunnel of the can delighted the young girl. She turned it to the sky and filled it with the sun. She filled it with birds. Turning it to her yard, she filled it with her dolls, flowers and dog. She ran in the house, “Mother, Mother, look at this magic Folger’s coffee can! The whole world, everything, is in my magic Folger’s coffee can!”

Now, all these years later, I again have the scar of a new abdominal incision. I picked up my battered copy of The Ethiopian Tattoo Shop. I have always found that the stories have many layers of meanings and wisdom; each time I read them I see new truths for my life. As I reread this story this time, I realized that I have filled my Folger’s coffee can with companies, honors, travel and so much more since the first time I heard the story, but I forgot the true joy of the magic Folger’s coffee can. The secret is not to stuff the can with things or even experiences, but to use the can to let me see deeper and more fully.

Our faith tradition offers many magic Folger’s coffee cans – prayer, service, spiritual friends, challenging and enlightening books, worship, meditation, and much more. Which magic Folger’s coffee can will you explore this summer?

Deborah Sampson

Next Steps Committee Deep in Data Analysis

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

The Next Steps Committee is elbow deep in data right now. One might think demographic data is pretty straightforward – 69.89% of respondents identified as female, 51.61% were between 50 and 69 years old, 60.22% have attended Good Shepherd for 10 or more years. Now, the committee is getting into the wondering of it all; why so many women compared to men? Do we really have a parish that is heavy female? Why didn’t more men participate? Why did only two people under the age of 35 submit an inventory? Do the demographics cause us to discount our data?

We could hang out in just the demographics for a very long time, but what do the numbers tell us about Good Shepherd as a parish of people on a faith journey? One of the things we heard fairly often during the inventory stage of the process was how odd the questions seemed. There was a reason for those odd questions, they closely parallel the work of people who study the statistics of spiritual growth. Jay Sidebotham, author of Footsteps and one of the top researchers in the statistics of spiritual development, has compiled data from more than 30 Episcopal parishes and more than 1,000 congregations of other denominations. Using his questions allows us to see where we are in comparison with other Episcopal parishes who have taken a similar look at their parishioner’s spiritual journeys.

Sidebotham identified four stages on a spiritual growth continuum:

  1. Exploring a Life with God – People at this stage of the continuum are taking the first steps on an intentional spiritual journey. 17% of Episcopalians inventoried are at this stage while 16% of people in denominational and non-denominational churches are at this stage. About 25% of Good Shepherd’s respondents are at this stage.
  2. Growing a Life with God – At this stage, people are more committed to their faith, but still have a lot of questions. 55% of Episcopalians are at this stage and 45% of members from non-Episcopalian churches are at this stage. Initial calculations indicate about 30% of Good Shepherd folks are at this stage.
  3. Deepening in Life with God – The people in this group rely on God’s presence and power in their daily lives. About 23% of all respondents in Episcopal or other congregations are in this stage.
  4. Life with God in the Center – These people take full responsibility for their relationship with God and it is the most important relationship in their lives. 5% of Episcopalians and 15% of people in other churches are in this stage.

All of these stages are valid places to be in relationship with God. We are looking at where our parishioners are on the continuum and will be looking at how Good Shepherd supports members at each level. Good Shepherd will not be able to wave a magic wand to make all our members in the Life with God in the Center category, nor should we. But we should continuously check to be sure we offer clear pathways along the continuum for all members. You’ll be hearing more about the inventory and what it tells us about Good Shepherd as we prepare our reports in the next month. Pray for us and with us:

Almighty and ever living God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with us as we consider the renewal and mission of our church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us by your Holy Spirit to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From the Rector: A Time For Celebrating Our Church Volunteers

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

Transitions are a constant factor of life in suburban church congregations. Many years ago a clergy colleague who was the Rector of a large suburban Episcopal parish outside of Portland, told me that 10% of his congregation turned over every year. At the time, I had a hard time believing this, but, the reality is that over half of our current congregation was not here when I arrived in 2005, and over half of the congregation that was here in 2005 has moved on. That's a lot of transition!

The hardest part of transition is saying goodbye to church leaders who have served the congregation faithfully in a variety of different ministries. In July we will be saying goodbye to three women who will be very hard to replace: Mary Wybenga, Jackie Bond and Doug Hall. Mary and her husband Erwin will be moving to Austin, Texas; Jackie will be moving to Melbourne, Florida to be closer to her son; and Doug will be moving to Sheridan, Wyoming, where she will be building a new home on her daughter's ranch property. Mary's move to Texas was prompted by a recent illness, which compromised her breathing capacity, but the good news is that, at a lower altitude, she will be able to live a normal life without the oxygen she has needed to use for the past two years.

All three of these women have contributed to Good Shepherd in different ways. For many years, Mary coordinated and trained our Eucharistic Ministers and Acolytes, and oversaw our annual children's Christmas pageant. She also served as a Sunday School teacher and leader of the Tuesday morning Faith Club.

Jackie has served as a member of the Marthas hospitality team, the Altar Guild, and the Finance Committee, as well as coordinating our Congregation Care ministry and co-chairing the Pumpkin Patch outreach fundraiser and volunteering in the office. I have been especially appreciative of Jackie's quiet ministry of laundering acolyte and clergy vestements, re-organizing our church library, and helping to create  and update our Altar Guild manual. Such big shoes to fill for such a petite person!

We were so fortunate to draw Doug Hall back to the Episcopal Church several years ago and, like her colleague Jackie, she has been a faithful member of the Marthas team, and the Altar Guild, serving as Altar Guild Director for two years. Doug also served a three-year term on our church Vestry.

We recognized Jackie and Doug at both services on June 18, and will say goodbye to Mary and Erwin in early July. 

One of the wonderful qualities of this congregation is our ability to invite people to take on leadership at different levels. Not only do we invite, but we also provide training, mentoring and support for our lay leaders. At the same time, it is a challenge to consistently manage the many ministries that go on in a church our size. Occasionally, I hear parishioners express concern that we don't support our volunteers very well. People volunteer, but no one contacts them. Parishioners participate on a ministry team, but, over time, communication breaks down, expectations become fuzzy and they feel like their service has no value. The reality is that we are not always consistent in the way we support and manage volunteers. 

In order to address this situation, on Saturday, Sepember 16, our Junior Warden, Nora Earnest and the members of the "Grow" ministry team, will be leading a half-day workshop for all volunteers and ministry leaders that will focus on how we recruit, train and support volunteers at Good Shepherd.  I hope that you will save this date and plan to participate. Volunteers are the life-blood of any church congregation and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to let volunteers know that they are valued, by providing education, support and guidelines for all of our ministries. 

Have a blessed summer !

Yours in Chrst, 

Craig  +



Support Refugees Sunday, Sept. 10!

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

An unprecedented number of refugees--65.6 million people from around the world--have been displaced from their homes by war, violence, and persecution. The need is greater than it has ever been, and behind that colossal number are 65.6 million stories and faces of men, women, and children whose lives will never be the same. Many of these people live in terrible conditions for years in refugee camps waiting to be welcomed into a new home country, and many children grow up knowing little more than war and the uncertainty and poor conditions of over-crowded camps. The great news is that we have a chance to help here at Good Shepherd!

Join us Sept. 10 immediately after the 10am service for an all-ages program to learn about and serve local refugees. A free-will offering brunch will be offered with all profits going to support Rocky Mountain Lutheran Family Services, an organization that supports refugees and helps them resettle here in Colorado. A hands-on kids program will be offered downstairs to help children understand, in an age-appropriate way, what life is like for refugees their own age. Adults will hear from a local refugee about the refugee journey and experience. A service project at the church for the whole family will also be offered after the kids' program so we can help those resettling and recovering from war, violence, and trauma feel welcomed and supported.

Please join us for this unique chance to connect, to learn, and to serve!

Sunday Morning Worship Schedule Change on August 6

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

As I mentioned in last month's Sheepskin, on Sunday, August 6, Good Shepherd will be making a change to our worship schedule. The first service will start at 7:30 am instead of 7:45 am, and the the second service will start at 10 am instead of 9:45 am. The adult Faith Forum education class will now begin at 9:00 am, and Sunday School will begin at 9:45 am, instead of 9:30 am. 

This change is being made in order to allow our several music groups enough time to warm-up/rehearse. Currently, the choir, MorningSong contemporary group, bell choir and Black Sheep men's group, have only a limited amount of time to prepare for the second service, when they normally sing or play. Adding an extra 30 minutes in between the two services will enable these groups to rehearse, especially when more than one group is performing at the 9:45 am service. 

Be sure to mark your calendars as we get closer to August 6. 

Fr. Craig MacColl

Good Shepherd Capital Campaign 2017

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

On June 11, 18 and 25, at both the 7:45 and 9:45 am services, a presentation was made concerning our one-year, 2017 Capital Campaign for Good Shepherd. This Capital Campaign is to reduce our remaining debt, estimated at $128,000 as of June 1, with 15% of the pledges going to a fund for new furnaces and a hot water tank, which we were informed will need to be replaced in the next one to three years. 

We are attempting to have all pledges for the 2017 Capital Campaign returned by the end of June.  A letter and pledge card that were sent out to all parishioners are available in the church hallway, if you did not receive one in the mail.  As of the writing of this newsletter, we have $52,000 in pledges.  If you have questions contact Jim Wolfe.

Jim Lee Wolfe, Capital Campaign Chair


News from the High Plains Region

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

This month’s “What’s On in the High Plains Region,” article was written by the Rev. Terry McGugan, member of the High Plains Region Executive Committee.

Tearing Down Silos and Building Community

The Gathering, November 2017

There are 25 Churches in the High Plains Region and some are only a few miles apart from each other. But more often than not we don’t interact with each other. There is a sense in which over time we have become independent churches connected to the diocese but not each other. Part of the design of the Regions of the Diocese was to build collaborative and effective ministry partnerships and community. Unfortunately, we have been living in silos more than community. So the question is, ‘How do we tear down our silos and build community in the region?’ Well, the Region’s first step has been to gather clergy in small cluster groups based upon geography. The plan is to build community and relationship between clergy that will facilitate great relationship between parishes. 

Our second step to further relationship building among parishes, clergy, and lay leadership is in sponsoring a Gathering of the Region. The objective is to connect as leaders, rally around key missional initiatives going on in the region, build real and authentic relationships, and plan for the future together. This Gathering of the Region, Rejoicing in God’s Kingdom, is scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2017. More information about this event will be coming over the summer. All Episcopalians are encouraged to attend.

Finally, beyond the Gathering in November, our hope is new relationships will be built around common ministry and mission. These relationships will jump start new collaboration and connections, binding our parishes together and making us even more effective in ministry and witness. Perhaps Outreach leaders of parishes will connect and find ways to collaborate. Perhaps Christian Formation and Youth Leaders will connect and look at new ways to do things in partnership. Together we are stronger and more effective in ministry and mission. It’s time to start tearing down the silos and start building community. Please join us!

More news from the High Plains Region

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

High Plains Executive Committee member Deborah Sampson shares about Never on Sunday Choir. The choir has received funding from the High Plains Region to further their ministry objectives.

Introducing Never on Sunday Choir

“Good evening. Our choir is Never on Sunday. That is an odd name, but most of our members sing in church choirs, so I promised them if they would sing in this choir, I would never make them choose between us and their home choir.” That is how Joyce Culwell, founder and director of Never on Sunday, starts almost every concert after the choir sings their signature opening piece, “Give Me.” The choir came about after Culwell led a group of singers on a concert tour in England. When the group returned home, they wanted to continue to sing together. After Culwell retired from directing the choir at St. Timothy’s in Centennial, she called on some of her England singers and other singers she knew to start rehearsing. The High Plains Region gave the choir $600 in seed money to buy music and sometimes hire an accompanist. Most of the first concerts were at nursing homes and senior living centers, but the choir did sing for the anniversary of St. Gabriel’s in Greenwood Village, for Intercession in Thornton’s Garden Party, and has a regular gig whenever a month has a fifth Tuesday at St. Clare’s Mission. The choir’s second year began singing “Ubuntu,” a Zulu song about our interdependence, for the High Plains and Front Range Convocation.

While life usually gets a little easier for church choir members after Easter, that was definitely not the case for Never on Sunday singers who sang the day after Easter at Children’s Hospital. They performed their first public concert the Sunday after Easter, breaking with the Never on Sunday philosophy. The concert at St. James in Wheat Ridge raised money for Family Tree. Less than a week after that, the choir was an integral part of the Celebration of a New Ministry at St. Charles in Fort Morgan.

Members of Never on Sunday belong to several different Episcopal parishes, a couple of Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, the LDS and assorted other denominations, and they sing for many reasons.

“I like singing for different directors because each director gives me new techniques to apply to my singing,” Deborah Sampson, Good Shepherd in Centennial, said, “and I am committed to outreach as part of the Baptismal covenant.”

Never on Sunday members heard that St. Clare’s Mission was running a little short on money in December and individual members made donations to the Mission, but they also offered to sing a fundraising concert for the Mission that took place on June 9th at St. Peter and St. Mary, in Denver.

For more information about Never on Sunday, visit their website at If you are interested in singing with Never on Sunday or in having the choir perform at an outreach event, you can reach Joyce Culwell at or 303-888-9408.

Vacation Bilbe School and more

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

St Gabriel the Archangel church was filled with excitement June 19-23 as we joined together for Vacation Bible School.  Thank you so very much to Rachel Whipp (games leader), Jim Wolfe (storyteller who played multiple roles!), Liv Hornsby (co-leader for the 5-7 year-old kids), Jena Sexton (with Liv on Monday) and Kalina Mullen (helped Rachel Tuesday-Friday) for volunteering and being such a wonderful addition to this year’s VBS. The Oxenbury’s generously allowed us to use their new pop up shelter to keep the kids cooler during the record heat at the start of the week.  We had 19 kids who attended all 5 days and 2 additional who accompanied Rachel and joined us for 2 days.  Unfortunately none who were from Good Shepherd.

A special thank you to Elaine Oxenbury for joining me at the face painting table during the church picnic on June 4.  She is extremely talented!

Sunday school is held every Sunday at 9:30 downstairs.  Kids are then brought upstairs at 10:25 (after the Prayers) to join their family for the celebration of Holy Communion. 

During the summer, the combined Godly Play classrooms (3 years through 3rd grade), led by Elaine Oxenbury and helped by Sally VanWelden, Jackie Algermissen, Emma Laskarzewski or Skylar Orton, are learning about some of Jesus’ miracles each Sunday.  July 2 will focus on Jesus Calming the Storm, followed by Jesus Heals the Centurion’s Servant, Jesus Heals a Paralytic, Jesus Heals the Woman’s Hemorrhage and on July 30: Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter. 

The 4thand 5th graders continue to meet over the summer.  Chris Bergeron, Elaine Farrell, Lea Mullen and Jena Sexton are sharing their teaching talents with these kids.  They are using Living the Good News lessons that follow the adult liturgy.  July’s focus will be Offering Ourselves, Yoke of Jesus, Seed & Harvest, Freedom & Glory and Wisdom’s Treasure will be the topic for July 30.

Have a safe and fun summer!  We look forward to seeing all the children on Sunday mornings.


Sue LeFant                                                   


Help Make Jamaicia Bags for Medical/Dental Mission Next Winter

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

The Jamaica 2017 Medical and Dental mission trip was a huge success. It is time to start sewing for Jamaica 2018.  There are baskets of precut fabrics and instruction sheets on the table in the hallway. Samples are available to examine.  If you don’t have “cording” available to you, don’t worry about it.  We have several different kinds of cording available to us—ribbon, twine, braid etc.    However, we could use more.  So if you are cleaning out that ribbon/rope/cording drawer—we can use them.  Just leave them on the table by the baskets.

We need to have all the bags turned in by the end of November.  Shipping documentation has to be filed for in December.

Any questions, call me at home—303 791-2613.  Beverly Wolfe


Pumpkin Patch Is Coming; Tina Hubbard Joins Leadership Team

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

In June, Good Shepherd was saddened to learn that Jackie Bond, last year's co-director of the Pumpkin Patch outreach fundraiser, is moving to Melbourne, Florida to be closer to her son. Words can't describe the contribution Jackie has made to the smooth and efficient operation of the Patch over the last several years. With Jackie's departure, we are very happy to report that parishoner and long-time Pumpkin Patch volunteer, Tina Hubbard, will be stepping in to co-lead the Patch with Sally VanWelden. 

As reported last month, the off-load for the pumpkins this year will be on October 7th, 2017 at 9 am. Mark your calendars now so you won't miss the fellowship of this worthy fundraiser. Many hands make light work. Also, be thinking about how you might lend your talents to make this the best patch ever.  We need sales associates, counters, photographers, decorators, crowd wavers and pumpkin lifters and rollers. We welcome teens, friends, families, seniors and groups or individuals needing community service.  Hope to see you there.

For more information contact Sally VanWelden (  

New Nursery Attendant Joins Good Shepherd Staff

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

With the recent departure of Lizzie Schurman, I am pleased to announce that Virginia Peter will be our new Nursery Attendant. Virginia recently moved to Denver from Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and five-year-old son, Kyle. Virginia is a 2002 graduate of Arizona State University and is currently employed by American Sentinel University, where she is a Registrar Service Specialist. 

Please take a moment to stop by the Nursery and welcome Virginia!

Fr. Craig MacColl

Good Shepherd Men's Group in July

Sheepskin Issue: 
July 2017

In July, the Men’s group will meet for a full breakfast on July 8th in the Parish Hall at 7:30 AM and for coffee and donuts on July 22nd.  Our program follows breakfast from 8 to 9 AM in the Chapel and we always stop at 9 AM.  In July, we will be discussing the book “Meeting Jesus” and there will be two sessions: “Jesus the Storytelling Teacher” and “Jesus the Master over Fear.”  We have copies of the book “Meeting Jesus” at Church if you do not have one.  Each session stands on its own so men can come and enjoy each session even if they miss one or several meetings.

Mark your calendars for our regular meetings in July on the 8th and the 22nd and we especially welcome new men in the Church or new men to the Men’s group.  Questions? Contact Jim Wolfe (303-791-2613). 

Jim Lee Wolfe