Grand County’s religious leaders will address matters of faith in Sky-Hi Daily News | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County’s religious leaders will address matters of faith in Sky-Hi Daily News

Eighty-seven percent of Americans agree with the statement, “I never doubt the existence of God,” according to a study by the PEW Research Institute.

Yet, the rule of etiquette still remains: Don’t discuss religion or politics in polite company.

For proof that discussion of religion is not only frowned upon but dangerous, take a look at history.

The words that we use to describe our relationship with God and the rules we make to please that God are the stuff that wars are made of.

Beliefs are such a personal thing ” pieced together by life experience. But, because we know how divisive “beliefs” can be, we self-edit comments that might reveal our deepest core unless we are with the like-minded.

Because I am the product of a strict Baptist upbringing with my own set of spiritual hang ups, I was a little nervous as I walked into the Commons at the YMCA of the Rockies last Tuesday morning.

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A group of pastors from different denominations meet once a month at the YMCA to eat breakfast and discuss the issues they face in common.

I was there as a guest to drink too much coffee and bring them into the Sky-Hi Daily News fold.

At first, both sides were a bit guarded. Religion and the media have not always been friends. (I doubt you’ll find a bigger understatement in today’s edition.) But we quickly warmed up to each other.

And I’m excited about the project we started that morning over buffet omelets.

In my mission to make this paper a true reflection of all pieces of the community, I had reached out to the local religious leaders to offer them a page to use as they please.

Since we launched the new paper on Oct. 15, I have run a page every Friday with the heading “Faith Matters.” Until last week, it was not much more than a placeholder. We filled that page with religion stories from the Associated Press, but my real goal was to turn that page into a platform for a different kind of discussion.

When I offered the pastors use of that page, I asked them not to preach from their denominational pulpits, but to search for topics that would touch and inspire and do what religion should do ” bring people together.

There isn’t a one of us who hasn’t asked: Is there a God? Is there a soul and where does it go when we die? Why are we here?

Those questions and others will be discussed on page 5 Fridays in the Sky-Hi Daily News from now until the pastors run out of insightful things to say.

We started last week.

Pastor Brent Christian from the Hot Sulphur Springs Community Church wrote a column about what it was like to deliver his daughter on the side of I-70, and Winter Park Christian Church Youth Pastor Chad Warren wrote a column reflecting on the meaning of Easter.

The following spiritual leaders have signed up to contribute: Jim Weber, Doug Toller, Spencer Carr, Samuel Ruiz, Brent Christian, Marlon Anderson, Chad Warren, Bill Blake, Pat O’Connell and Joel Martin. If we left anyone out, call me. It amounts to a writing assignment about once every three months.

As we move forward with this project, I’ll be interested to hear from you. Call me at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600, e-mail aphillips@grandcountynews.com or stop by the office at 424 E. Agate Ave. in Granby.

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