February 5, 2013
March 6, 2014
I broke my leg last week. This has given me the opportunity to sit and think, read and write more than I am use to. It has gives me time to reflect. I highly recommend it (minus the painful bone breaking part!)
I have been about to think about my life and patterns I have seen form. I have been a lot of things over the past 50 years of my life. I have been a doorman & a bartender, a salesman & a DJ. I have spent time telling jokes and running Hula Hoop contests and I have given sermons and handed out PB&J’s. In some ways it feels like I have had ever job under the sun (even mall santa and karaoke host.).
As different as they seem on the surface, I have come to realize there is a thru line. There is something that has been at the core of every job I have had any success in and enjoyed. It has taken many different forms, but it has always come down to one thing. It is the one thing I think now after 50 years of living I can say I do well….either one-on-one or with a thousand people….face-to-face or across social media. It might be the ONLY thing I do well. If this is all I was put here to do, I’m find with that.
It is simply this: I CREATE JOY.
Whether it has come in the form of helping someone pick out special clothes for a big event at Neiman Marcus, or making strangers laugh at the Improv, or putting a smile on someone’s face because I put a sandwich in their hand.
I am a creator of joy.
And that, is my personal two word mission statement:
March 1, 2014
C.S. Lewis once said, “We don’t want to be rich, successful and good looking. We just want to be MORE rich, MORE successful and MORE good looking that THAT GUY!” Truer words have rarely been spoken.
I sometimes think the core of most peoples problems (mine included) is our constant comparison to others. It drives us to always want more.
We see stars homes on Lake Como in magazines and our friends on Facebook on some killer beach and catch our selves saying, “Why don’t I have a second home in Italy and why don’t we take awesome vacations. (Never mind the fact we know MOST people don’t have a second home in Italy, deal with it, AND…people only post the cool stuff on Facebook…never their credit card bills).
Discontentment is the poison that robs us of the now. I have more crap than 90% of people and am doing far better than most folks on this planet, and yet, I still catch myself saying, “More please…”. It sucks.
I saw it a lot when I worked in entertainment in L.A. but make no mistake: it’s in the God business as well.
How good is your church attendance? How well is the church plant taking off? How many visitors have come to your blog? How many folks are in your Sunday school class?
I am thinking gratitude is the antidote. I see it with the homeless in the park. They are more thankful for a brown bag lunch on the grass than I have been for a steak dinner at Capital Grille
The homeless set me straight. They remind me how good I got it and to remember to be thankful for it. They are my cure to “More please.”
Do you have a cure? How do you battle the disease of “More please…”?
January 16, 2014
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.”
Thank you, thank you thank you to everyone who participated in Christmas in the Park this year! Thank you for your gifts, your time, for dressing up like Santa and being the feet and hands of Jesus. And since there were about 400 volunteers- that’s a lot of hands and feet!
And a special thanks to Mary Jane Lawhon and Chanelle Leslie for sharing your photos with us!
AfterHours also got a little bit of press from the folks at 9 News. You can see their piece on Christmas in the Park here!
December 20, 2013
Channel Seven got the Everyday Hero Clip up on their website. If you have a spare 3:07 seconds, take a peek here:
(We know the video is tiny, try it in full screen mode!)
December 6, 2013
The AfterHours community had a blast last Tuesday surprising Rev. Jerry Herships with the Channel 7 Everyday Hero Award. Members of the community had nominated him, and then upon discovering that he was getting the award, promptly kept it a huge secret. Because secrets are fun. We’re pretty sure jetlag was the only reason he wasn’t suspicious that everyone kept texting and calling to make sure he would be there that Tuesday…
Suspicious, Jerry notices the camera man…
Close up on communion- still no idea why the press are here…
It’s really, really cold. (A good reminder of the importance of sleeping bags!)
Presentation of the award!
Which camera are we supposed to look at?
Filming the interview…
A lot of folks managed to come down to the park, from all iterations of AfterHours. Friends without homes, current congregants (is that what we are?), friends who used to be without homes, folks from St. Andrews, even Jamie, the bartender from Don’s Club Tavern, came down. And we know, Jerry, that you consider this an award for the whole AH community, but someone’s got to spearhead this crazy adventure, and we couldn’t think of a more deserving guy. Congratulations!
You can see Jerry’s spot on Channel 7 at these times:
Sunday, Dec 8 at 10 pm
Dec 9 at 5 am
Dec 12 at 11 am
Dec 14 at 5 pm
Dec 15 at 7 am
It will also go up on their website- we’ll post a link here once it does.
December 6, 2013
Tis’ the season to buy sleeping bag and save lives. It’s gotten cold. Really cold. A lot of our guys are still outdoors all night long. We are sending out the link to pick up some two sleeping bag packs from Walmart online. They are TWO for $40! Great deal. If your Christmas budget can afford it, order some and help our guys stay warm this Winter season.
The address to have them delivered to is:
St. Paul UMC
1615 Ogden St
Denver, CO 80218
Attn: Rev. Jessica Nelson
You would be all KINDS of awesomeness to order some for our least and lost this year!
December 5, 2013
It’s time for our 4th annual CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK!
Gonna be a blow OUT this year.
It’s actually pretty simple.:
Figure out what you would like to give away to our friends without homes.
Show up at Lincoln Park (the park RIGHT in front of the Capital Downtown) a little before noon on Christmas day.
Bring a card table to put your stuff on.
At noon, give it away with a smile and a “Merry Christmas”
Ain’t brain surgery. (But just as life saving…)
The only thing we ask you to do prior is to shoot an email to Jenny Ricklefs (firstname.lastname@example.org )and tell her what you would like to bring (i.e. we don’t want 900 hats and no gloves!) Think gloves, scarves, winter hats, hand warmers, long johns, socks, travel size toothpaste and razors and shaving cream, etc. Think camping in the winter!
Really hope you can make it. Last year we had over 200 volunteers and more than 300 homeless. It was KILLER!
See ya then for CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK 2013
November 30, 2013
Pictures from our second annual Thanksgiving drive for long johns! There are many places every year that take care of lunches and dinners on Thanksgiving day, so instead we try to keep our friends without homes warm by delivering long johns instead. This year we even had a bunch of coats, gloves, socks and hats to help too!
Thank you guys in the AfterHours community for taking time with your families to help others. You guys are truly awesome.
(A note about pictures: We rarely take pictures at the park- usually only on special occasions. We know lots of folks might have lots of reasons not to want their photo taken. If you see an AH person with a camera, just let them know (respectfully of course) and we’ll either keep you out of the shot or happily take a photo on the website down.)
April 17, 2013
AfterHours heard about this great project coming up at the end of May. One of our Iliff friends is producing a play called “Intersections,” opening May 31st at the Black Box theatre on Auraria Campus, about (and starring) youth experiencing homelessness – it will showcase their identities and experiences with religion and spirituality.
You can click the link below to see a video with the youth, read more about the project, and throw a few dollars our way to produce it if you’re interested and able!
Also, tell all your friends (Facebook, email, message in a bottle).
Thanks in advance!
April 7, 2013
TODAY is the big day!
The last count had 75 groups in 27 states participating in PBJ for Hunger. AfterHours is making our sandwiches at Don’s Mixed Drinks today, April 7, at 4:00 pm.
Here’s a sample of what’s been going down:
“The Rev and I made about 40 sack lunches and passed them out after church today…..literally in the shadow of First UMC, just a couple blocks up North Blvd. We also took the extra water bottles and granola bars. In less than 30 minutes, we were blessed by the gratitude of a few dozen hungry men, women and children. Jesus said to “feed my sheep”…..Guys, it is SO EASY to do it!”
Thanks to all who are participating. May we always SPREAD THE LOVE!