Last Sunday we worshiped with our daughter at her church in Edwards, Colorado. It’s the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration that worships out of two Interfaith Chapels that double as community centers, one in Vail and the other in Edwards. We worshiped at the one in Edwards. Jennifer has always been ebullient about her church, which is great, but I had the idea that it was little more than a house church struggling to stay alive, and renting space in an old gym somewhere.
What we encountered was a large, growing, healthy congregation of adults of every age and a slew of children. On the second Sunday of Easter, with ski season over and only locals hanging around, well over a hundred attended the 10:00 a.m. service in Edwards. I have no idea how many attended the earlier service in Vail. That was surprise number one.
Surprise number two was learning that the Interfaith Chapel and Community Center is home to several congregations, each worshiping on their own day and at their own time. The local synagogue, for example, was holding Hebrew classes at the same time we were worshiping. During the week, the building is used for a charter school, Salvation Army services, and more. The building itself is new, and designed especially to meet the needs of the multiple ministries envisioned by the local foundation that was created to own and manage it.
Transfiguration’s rector, Brooks Keith, told me that a dozen years ago the congregation was small and struggling to stay alive. I’d like to know more about what led to the change. Whatever it was, it generated at least one congregation filled with energetic members who willingly enter into the work of discipleship both within the congregation and out in the community.