July 2022 – Thoughts from Pastor Paul

July 2022 – Thoughts from Pastor Paul

You probably know that Deacon Mandy is leading a book study this summer of The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus, by Rich Villodas. (There are still three copies of the book available in the narthex, by the way; it’s not too late to join us!) The first two chapters of the book are about cultivating “Contemplative Rhythms.” These chapters have taken my mind back to those times in my life when I longed for and pursued such rhythms for myself. I wanted to be a monk when I was younger. 

Well, not too young; for a while I wanted to be a priest. But in time my thoughts about the priesthood fizzled (perhaps around the time that puberty hit!). It was not until years later that my desire to be a monk arose. It was around the time that I first read Houston Smith’s The Religions of Man and developed an interest in Eastern religious traditions. That book inspired me to pick up a copy of The Way of Life, According to Lao Tzu, by Witter Bynner, one of the cornerstones of Buddhism. 

It was around that time that I first saw the film The Razor’s Edge, starring Bill Murray in a surprisingly brilliant dramatic performance. The film, based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel of the same name, is the story of a man named Larry Darrell. Disillusioned by his experiences in the First World War, he abandoned his comfortable upper-class American life and began a magnificent and tortuous journey of self-discovery. Along the way, he knocked around Europe, living simply and with meager means. He worked for a spell sweeping up after Parisienne fishmongers. He fell in love. He moved to Wales and worked in a coal mine. It was there that he befriended a Welshman who encouraged him to “go to the East” and to read the Upanishads, the sacred Hindu scriptures. Larry did go east, and he eventually found himself in a Buddhist monastery high in the Himalayas. Now, my western mind is tempted to distinguish between Hinduism, the religion to which the Upanishads belongs, and Buddhism, the eastern spirituality and monastic life that Larry Darrell ultimately embraced, but that’s really an apples-versus-oranges sort of distinction. To suggest that the Hindu scriptures have no place in a story of Buddhist discovery and enlightenment would be to deny that the Buddha himself was raised as a Hindu. So, I set aside my comparisons and simply take pleasure in what I discovered through The Razor’s Edge

The title of the book comes from a teaching in the Upanishads that reads, “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus, the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.” My Christian mind cannot help but see connections to Jesus’ metaphors for the path to heaven: as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of a needle, or a narrow gate through which few may pass. Indeed, the more I study, the clearer it becomes that all the major spiritual and religious traditions point to the same truth, albeit using different metaphors and imagery. This awareness helped me to conclude that life in a more familiar Christian monastic community would be just as valuable as life in a Buddhist one, perhaps more so. 

I eventually learned, though, that monkhood is not the life to which I have been called. Rather, God keeps sending me back into this messy and complicated world, where meditation and enlightenment seem rare, and human foibles and struggles the norm. But now, thanks to The Deeply Formed Life, I am coming to see more clearly that a quiet and contemplative life is indeed possible out here. Even in my service as chaplain to the community of unhoused persons at Purple Cliffs, I can find quiet when I need it. I can also find fellowship with these good people. For, just as solitude and contemplation are important elements of a spiritual life, so, the book reminds us, are friendships and communion with others. I am grateful for my communion with each of you, as well. 

Peace in Christ,

Pastor Paul

July 2022 – In Other News

July 2022 – In Other News

Worship Information

Sunday, 9:30 AM – INDOOR & LIVE STREAM 

We have updated our worship time! We hope you’ll join us in the CtK Sanctuary. All are welcome!

Wednesday “Behold!” 6:00PM – IN-PERSON – CtK Community Hall

Thank you for your help in making in-person worship a safe experience for all.  If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Mandy.

News You Can Use

CtK’s Post-pandemic Opening

As CtK begins to open post-pandemic, we are calling on everyone to prayerfully consider how you might use your time and talents to help propel CtK forward in this new hybrid in-person/techno-based way of doing church. We have the technology. Now, we need YOU! Currently, we are seeking to fill ALL categories of worship volunteers:

  • Altar Guild Assistants
  • Worship Assistants
    • Ushers
    • Readers
    • Communion assistants
    • Soundboard/camera operators
    • Presentation computer operators
    • Online church host. This person would be basically acting as a “virtual greeter/online chat person” for worship services.

If you feel you might be interested in any of these volunteer positions and/or if you have any questions, please give Deacon Mandy a call (970-247-5310) or touch base with him between Sunday services. Training will be provided for all volunteers. Thanks for your consideration.

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The Chancel Choir is once again filling the Sanctuary with their melodious voices.

We have also begun ringing the bells! Our new handbell ensemble will begin rehearsals and performing soon! Please contact Jared Wright, Choir/Music Director if you would like to sing. Jared can be reached at 970-759-1834 or email chancelchoir@ctkdurango.org  – All are welcome!

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CtK Summer Book Study

Join us for our summer book study! Pick up your books June 5th or 12th – Reading begins the week of June 13th! Discussion sessions are every Sunday following the 9:30am service, (Approximately 10:30am), in the Community Hall. 

Save the Dates – July

CtK’s Noisy Offering designee for the month

of July: Rainbow Trail 

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Habitat for Humanity – Many, Many Thanks!!!

A BIG thank you to all the guys and gals who turned out for the CtK Build Day in June in Bayfield.  In one capacity or another, this group included Larry Rardin, John Condie, Kim Hobby, Bev Dittmer, Jim May, Larry Hjermstad and Rap Fairley.  Between them and the other volunteers, they finished framing the interior walls on the 1st floor and began installing the floor joists for the 2nd floor in the west house.  Such talented people CtK has!  Everyone there had an excellent lunch, also provided by CtK.  Again, thank you one and all.  The two new Habitat Partners & families are that much closer to a new home!

Opportunities to Volunteer in Your Community

Alternative Horizons (Email: alternativehorizons.org)

Alternative Horizons has a 24/7/365 hotline.  We staff the hotline with volunteers.  Right now our numbers are down and we are in need of volunteers.  It takes 15 or more volunteer to fully staff the hotline.  Was wondering if there might be a chance for AH to talk with church members about the volunteer position. A lot of time with direct contact people get what they need to know about the volunteering more so than on a flyer.  Or maybe you could get an announcement in the Newsletter.  Really anything would help.  If an individual would just like to come and do the training, that would be fine too.  They would just have to let me know that they want to come. No commitment necessary.

For all events and activities, please check the CtK website for the most current updates.

Blessed with rain, CtKers enjoyed food and fellowship under the shelter of Chris Park pavilion on Sunday, June 26th. Thanks everyone for a fun camp out!

July 2022 — In Our Prayers

June 2022 – In Our Prayers

Military Prayer Requests

Please keep the following Military men and women in your prayers…

(To add or remove names from this list, please contact Jared)

  • 1st Lt. Mitch Bugaj stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA—Nephew of Ronnie Zaday
  • Major Ryan Bankhead—Brother of Eryn Orlowski
  • Sgt. Chris Gomez—Nephew of BJ and Danny Pierce
  • Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Airman Paul Herr—Nephew of Gary & Carol Orlowski
  • Hugh Jones, Jr. Sailor—Son of Rick & Janeann Jones
  • Sgt. Brandon Minser —Son in-law of Wendy Krull
  • LCDR Andy Schaaf—Son of Merilee and Mark Fleming
  • Major Clayton Stransky—Nephew of Kip and Laura Stransky
  • Master Sargent Stephen Van Dover—Nephew of Nancy Van Dover

CtK Family & Friends In Need of Prayer…

(To add or remove names from this list, please contact Jared) 

  • Ken Zipperer
  • The Family of Dan Graves
  • The Family of Dave Mitzlaff
  • Brigitte Cunningham
  • The Family of Jeff Wince
  • Stetson Keegan
  • The Family of Tom Duft
  • The Family of David Smith
  • The Family of Ann Duft
  • Pete Olson
  • Stella Welcher
  • Laura Stransky
  • Roger Landgren
  • Darlene Warring
  • Bonnie Rossmiller
  • Bev Brown
  • Lori Lachelt
  • Kayla Hefner
  • Carol Gunderson
  • CtK’s ministry and partnership with both the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ and San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church in Zaculeu, Guatemala.
  • CtK’s Homebound Ministry and all those who serve our homebound members through this ministry.
  • All those battling mental illness and addictions.
  • Each person in our CtK church family.
  • All K-12 and college students, their families, and their educators as they begin their summer season. Keep them safe in their travels and ready for a new school year to come.
  • All the front-line workers who continue to keep Durango and our surrounding communities safe, healthy, fed, educated, and mentally and spiritually fulfilled during the Covid-19/Delta variant crisis. May God bless and protect EVERYONE!
  • Tim Orlowski as he continues his renewal leave. Help him to carry your message of love and to be refreshed and renewed during this time of rest and reflection. For the Orlowski family in their travels and to all our congregational families during this time. Amen!

To add or remove names from this list, email Jared in the Church office or call: 970-247-5310.

July 2022 – Fellowship Group News

CtK Piecemaker Quilters 

The CTK quilting group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 10:00 A.M. in the community hall. We make Baptism and prayer quilts for members of our congregation as they are needed. We also make quilts for our local nursing homes and the Navajo Nation through NELM. This year we are also making new paraments for our sanctuary.

 If you are interested in quilting, please join us.  If you would like to guilt but don’t know how, join us and we will teach you. Judy Olson. judy_olson@yahoo.com or 651-303-8450.  

CtK Book Club 

Our Book Club meets in the Community Hall at 3:00 PM on the 2nd Thursday of the month. In July we are meeting on July 14 and will be discussing Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. It is a story of racism at its worst. 

The following months we will be reading:

August – The Lady’s Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan

September – Still Life by Louise Penny

October – The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

November – Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett 

If you like to read and discuss books, please join us.  We would love to have you. 
Judy Olson at judy_olson@yahoo.com or 651-303-8450. 


July 2022 – Bible Studies

Circle of Contemplative Prayer 

The Circle of Contemplative Prayer meets each Monday from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Silent meditation and prayer sessions are followed by a book discussion.  Currently, the discussion topics delve into the ways the contemplative path calls us to connect our inner search for transformational growth with the external realities of how we live and act, what we eat and wear, etc.

 NOTE: Meetings are currently being held via Zoom. For the Zoom link and other pertinent information, please text Sharyn Butler at 970-759-6355.  Thank you.  

Great Ol’ Broads of God (GoBoGs) 

GoBoGs invites you to join them in study and fellowship each Monday from 4:00-5:30 pm. Share the Care, GoBoGs’ outreach mission, is addressed upon requests. our new study is on Julian of Norwich, a 14th century English anchoress and mystic. We will be using readings, videos, the book “Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic- and Beyond” (Matthew Fox) and discussions to guide our study. For more information contact:  Sharyn Butler csharynb@yahoo.com and/or Dian Jenkins  jenkdian@gmail.com

 *NOTE:  During the health crisis, they are conferencing via Zoom at 592-847-8387; the password for this meeting is Testify.  The Zoom meeting ID is 966-5642-4190.  Please join them for study sessions that are deeply rewarding. For more information, contact Kayla Hefner at 970-759-1636.  

Midweek (Thursday) Bible Study led by Deacon Mandy 

Bible Study class meets on Thursdays from 12:00-1:15 PM.  We are studying and discussing the topic, “Rooted: Our Christian Heritage.”   Attendees can choose to meet for class in-person OR via Zoom. The link to access these meetings via Zoom is: 


 If you ever misplace this link, you can also find it on our website at:


 The “regular password” is needed to access the meeting via Zoom.  If you need the password, contact the church office at 970-247-5310.  We gladly invite and welcome all to join the class. I look forward to seeing each of you!!!  

Khuvara (“Circle of Friends”) 

We are a group of ladies that get together every Thursday at 1:15 P.M. In the community hall. We start a check of how everything one is doing and say a prayer for all of those in need with our group, our congregation and friends.  We are currently taking a few weeks off and will meet again on July 14. We will begin discussing The Deeply Formed Life by Rich Villodas. It is the same book that the church is reading and discussing with Deacon Mandy on Sundays. If you can’t meet on Sundays and would like to know more about the book, please join us. Judy Olson judy_olson@yahoo.com or 651-303-8450. 

Spiritual Study Group (SSG) 

Currently, the Spiritual Study Group meets on Thursdays from 3:00pm – 4:30pm on-site in the Chapel. (Unless Covid case numbers rise, in which case we will go back to Zoom). We’re studying “The Difficult Words of Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine. For more information, or the Zoom link, contact Aurora Rose. (970-382-1848)