Thursday, April 2, 2020
The Wildwood Word Weekly
We are God's progressive voice in the Ute Pass of Colorado. Join us at Church in the Wildwood, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation in the United Church of Christ, as we extend Christ's radical welcome to all.
Good News!
God doesn't always give us what we want, but often gives us what we need.

The Wildwood Food Pantry has become a much beloved mission of the church. It is an important part of the lives of many of our guests, providing food, comfort, and fellowship. Like many of you, we haven't ever had to face a challenge like the current COVID-19 situation. One of the ironic opportunities of this pandemic is that it challenged the Pantry team and gave us a chance to stretch, to rethink, and to demonstrate again the love and commitment of the church to the community.

As the economic and social realities of the Coronavirus began to materialize, we knew the need for assistance would greatly increase among our neighbors. We also knew that we needed to meet this increased need while keeping our volunteers, our guests, and everyone we each come into contact with safe and healthy. This required a complete change to how we operate. Some food pantries have chosen to close down operations, and it was the right choice for them. Your pantry's leadership team felt that that was not an option for this community.  The team arrived at a drive-up model, maintaining social distancing, utilizing personal protective equipment, and re-configuring the roles of the team members. A "guest's choice" model allows us to provide our guests with what they need and helps us to analyze demand and manage our inventory better. A process has also been put in place to temporarily "quarantine" and disinfect food donations to ensure that the food we provide our guests is safe.

The church and community have responded wonderfully. New volunteers have come forward to fill the new roles. Donations to the pantry have been steady and very generous. Other agencies have been in contact to help us publicize our continued service. Our guests have been patient, cooperative and understanding.

A key part of pantry's growth is new leadership for the food pantry. Over the past few months, Yvonne Pierson has been assisting me, driving most of the changes to our processes. Yvonne has agreed to take over as the Coordinator of the Wildwood Food Pantry, effective March 31. Yvonne has a deep connection to the Church in the Wildwood: she is the daughter-in-law of beloved long-time member Doris Pierson. For some time, Yvonne has felt a call to support this mission and we welcome her enthusiasm, energy, thoughtfulness, and innovation. Please welcome and thank her for her commitment.

I want to thank the church membership and friends for your love and support of the pantry over the nearly nine years that I have led it. It has been very fulfilling, and it is hard to step away. But it is time for someone else to help the pantry grow and change. I will still be volunteering at the pantry as much as I am able. I know your support and prayers will continue.
--Craig Gooding
Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, we had to postpone the Wildwood Pantry’s 10 th Anniversary celebration. Rest assured, when we can resume normal activities, we will appropriately toast not only this precious community ministry, but the man who built it to last: Craig Gooding
Prudence, Not Panic: CWW’s Compassionate Measures to Mitigate COVID-19
Please check our website (click the box below) for up to date information on our little church's operations during COVID-19 mitigation.
RevDar's Reflections
Home Communion with Virtual Worship: Returning to Our Historical and Theological Roots

Sunday April 5 will be Palm/Passion Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. It will also be Communion Sunday. You are invited to set a communion feast in your own home before worship, and take communion along with our live-streamed or recorded service.

At first, the idea of setting up communion yourself at home might seem strange, even slightly scandalous. But Jesus met with his disciples in an “upper room” for his last supper, probably in a home, not the Temple or a synagogue. The Christus movement largely shared worship in people's homes during difficult times, until Emperor Constantine converted and coopted it for his Roman Empire. During our difficult times, doing communion at home as part of virtual worship might be very faithful to the adaptations our earliest disciples made. 

The sacramental mystery of communion may seem impossible without an authorized celebrant present to bless communion elements. But the substance of this sacrament extends from our belief that our Christ was both fully human and fully divine. Thus our risen Christ is now present in all things, physical and spiritual, in all places and times, not bound by them. Why wouldn’t God meet us at all our tables, invoked by a “virtual” blessing of elements and our most faithful intentions, as we lean more deeply into the Mystery of our faith? 

Choose a plate and cup of significance to you. Choose forms of bread and drink that symbolize how you understand the significance of this holy meal. Then follow along with our online communion liturgy and experience, in a new way, what it means to become one with Christ and one with each other, as we feast at his heavenly banquet.

2020 Census
The 2020 Census Is "On! "

COVID-19 is not postponing the 2020 national Census! It is vital that we all complete it. The census determines how your tax dollars are allocated for so many vital services and resources your own community, from healthcare to education to roads and other infrastructure. For the first time, you can choose to respond online, by phone, or by mail. For more information, go to:
Book Club
Community Book/Discussion Group POSTPONED
Many of you have been reading the book Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal in preparation for community discussion groups -- and then COVID-19 hit. In our current situation, the irony of one of the central premises of this book cannot be denied. The book suggests that the divisiveness of our culture has been exacerbated by our lack of actual social contact and gathering, replaced the pseudo-relationality of social media. Due to lack of online participation, we are postponing this book group until we can resume in person. No doubt, there will be that much more to discuss about the nature of social cohesion and unity in our world!
Weekly Services at the Church
Watch our Services Any Time on YouTube
You can watch the service as it happens, or you can go back later and watch the ones you've missed.  takes you to all of our past videos. takes you to our stream when we're live. If you subscribe and turn on notifications , you'll be notified when we're live!

 Due to extraordinary increases in online usage in our country, it can be difficult to access our live services or recordings at "peak" times. Fear not: our worship services will be uploaded for viewing as soon as systems permit. If you can't access them when you first try, please try again later.
Watch our Services Any Time on FaceBook
You can watch the service as it happens, or you can go back later and watch the ones you've missed.  takes you to all of our past videos. takes you to our stream when we're live.

Due to extraordinary increases in online usage in our country, it can be difficult to access our live services or recordings at "peak" times. Fear not: our worship services will be uploaded for viewing as soon as systems permit. If you can't access them when you first try, please try again later. Note, last week, Facebook worked fine livestreaming, YouTube was delayed 2 hours.
Lenten Study with Rev. Darlene, Wednesdays at 12 p.m.
Join Rev. Darlene and others at the Church for Lenten scripture study and practice on Wednesdays from 12 am to 1 pm. We will be exploring "Quadratos," using the four Gospels as guides through the four stages of spiritual transformation.

Our Bible Study will be meeting virtually via Zoom, which you can access directly or dial in to by phone. (Please scroll down to the bottom for directions on using Zoom or phoning in.)
The Prayer Team/Notebook
We are maintaining our prayer team and book, as well as our Prayers of Joy & Concern during worship. Please communicate your prayer requests to Coordinator Sue Frindt ( or Pastor Darlene (
Read the Entire Bible in a Year
Click here to open an Excel document that lists the daily scriptures to read through the Bible in one year. Each month is on a separate page, which you can access by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of your screen.
Also check out these links to suggested free online Bible apps:
Getting Fit at the Church in the Wildwood
While Social Distancing practices are in effect Yoga, Tae-Kwon-Do and T.O.P.S programs will not meet at Church in the Wildwood. Please contact the coordinators of those programs to find out what alternative arrangements they may be making. Rest assured, as soon as Church in the Wildwood resumes physical gatherings, these programs will be invited to resume.
Support Our Mission Efforts
Wildwood Food Pantry
  • Our Food Pantry is on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Tuesday each month. (April 14th and 28th)

The Wildwood Food Pantry is still open!

During this challenging time, the Wildwood Pantry is considered an "essential service" by health and government authorities and our volunteers have chosen to continue this mission. For the protection of our neighbors and our volunteers, we are making some changes to our process. Please note:
  • Community Meals are suspended for now.
  • Instead of distributing food inside the building, there will be drive up, curbside service from 6:00-7:30pm on Pantry Tuesdays.Please remain in your vehicles and a volunteer will guide you through taking your food and supply order, then fill and return your order to your car (subject to availability)
  • We are accepting food/supply donations during our Tuesday Pantry Hours. A donation station is set up across the street from the Church during those hours. To donate during other hours, please contact the church via phone or email to arrange a drop off:

All contributions to our pantry are gratefully accepted. However, any food or supply donations we currently receive will have to be disinfected and isolated before we can stock and use them, which slows down their availability. Cash, checks or gift cards are the most immediately helpful right now. Our current needs include:
  • Canned Ham
  • BBQ Sauce
  • SpaghettiOs
  • Baked Beans
  • Manwich
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Applesauce
  • Papertowels
  • Lotion
Westside Cares
Westside Cares is currently closed to the public, except for distributing mail to neighbors who receive it there. They are supplying food and supplies to our Wildwood Food Pantry as we continue to serve our neighbors. Of course, they still joyfully accept cash or check donations. Please be in direct contact with them by phone or email about dropping off food donations. You can donate directly to the Wildwood Pantry in our commuity (see above).

Our Westside CARES Liaison/Volunteers Vicki Samuelson and Pam Hurt are currently helping at our Wildwood Pantry, and we love having them with us!
Sisters Helping Sisters

We are wondering if our fantastic CWW SHS community might want to join together for a different (non menstrual!) 
and urgent mission? 
Our health care systems have been and will continue to be challenged to meet the needs of patients who may be COVID-19 positive. Many facilities lack the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) they need, including face masks. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued guidance approving the use of cloth masks. These are not the surgical "M95" grade but can provide a level of protection that will help hugely and can be washed and reused. (some docs are putting the homemade masks over their scarce M95 so they last longer)
We are starting a group of people sewing masks for both Teller County and Penrose Hospital. We can distribute them to 3 local assisted living & long-term care centers, plus the hospital in Teller County that have immediate need.   The Teller County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) is coordinating the effort, including offering donated fabric for volunteers and washing/sanitizing all finished masks in their commercial machines at the TC Jail. Our team will also donate to Penrose Hospital.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Jane Scanlon and she'll provide more information:
10 Day Wildwood Calendar
Thursday, April 2
Office and Pastor
(By Appt Only)
Friday, April 3
(By Appt Only)
Saturday, April 4
Church Closed
Sunday, April 5
Palm Sunday
Virtual Worship
10:30 a.m.
Worship (live-Streamed from sanctuary, see links above)
Monday, Apirl 6
Church Closed
Tuesday, April 7
Office and Pastor
(By Appt Only)
Wednesday, April 8
Office and Pastor
(By Appt Only)
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Lenten Study with Rev. Darlene (on Zoom, see instructions below)
Thursday, April 9
Office and Pastor
(By Appt Only)
6:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday Worship
(live-Streamed from sanctuary, see links above)
Friday, April 10
Office and Pastor
(By Appt Only)
Available by Good Friday online at your convenience
Good Friday Stations of the Cross
Saturday, April 11
Church Closed
Sunday, April 12
Easter Sunday
Virtual Worship
10:30 a.m.
Worship (live-Streamed from sanctuary, see links above)
More information can be found at
Upcoming Dates and Events
Other Upcoming Dates to Note (2020)
  • Sunday, April 12 - Easter Sunday
Want to Help Host Virtual Potlucks?
Potlucks will resume when CWW is able to gather again. We are considering creative ways to "share" food with each virtually while we are social distancing. Perhaps we could post simple but tasty recipes here for us all to make "together" in our homes on Potluck Sunday. Could we could Zoom in together or send in pictures of our home tables.? If you feel called to coordinate this effort (with technical assistance), please Contact Administrator Vaughn or Pastor Darlene.
Ways to Support Your Church
While we are not gathering physically for worship, the church and staff are working harder than ever! If you are used to dropping your offering in the Sunday plate, here are ways to continue giving:
  • While watching worship online, write a check (Made out to "Church in the Wildwood"), put it in a mailing envelope and send it to:
P.O. Box 26, Green Mountain Falls, CO 80819.

  • Donate via PayPal online or sign up for automated giving at:
Other Newsletters
Weekly words from the editor
Virtual Worship

As I am sure you all know, our worship service has transitioned from a "in person" service to a "virtual" service. That being said, there are still "Pew Attendance" numbers. Those are the people on the chancel and behind the scenes working to bring you the online service every week.
Our March 22nd service had almost double the number of people watching it than our March 15th service, despite having 21 less people in the church. I believe this speaks to our congregation's ability to "switch gears" and attend "virtually". I know it's hard to stay at home and watch a screen instead of come to church and see everyone in person. Once all this "COVID-19" stuff is over, we can come back to church and celebrate. Until then, this is the best for everyone. It allows us to maintain that "social distance" and prevent the spread. We hope to see you this Sunday (virtually) and ask everyone to leave a comment in the comment section while you watch the video, even if it's just to tell everyone "hello".

May your day be filled with peace,
March Offerings and Attendance
Joining Us in Virtual Church

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For directions on using Zoom, click here.

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Meeting ID: 362 387 7141
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Church in the Wildwood United Church of Christ | 719-684-9427
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