Walking our faith: Branching out in the Breckenridge vineyard (column)
When I arrived in Breckenridge in July 2015, I didn’t know a single person. Apart from my two enormous Newfoundland dogs and a feisty Yorkshire terrier, I was on my own. Being an introvert, my social skills are marginal, which means that I have a difficult time getting out and meeting new friends.
Luckily, my love of classical music and a chance meeting saved me from a summer of complete solitude.
A notice in The Summit Daily News informed me that there was a free concert by members of the Festival Orchestra at the rec center. Before the concert began, the woman next to me told me that dress rehearsals of the orchestra were free to the public. So, I began attending the dress rehearsals at the Riverwalk Center and bringing my knitting. From there, I met someone who told me about Applause!, the incredible fundraising and volunteer group that supports the Breckenridge Music Festival through numerous social and musical events throughout the year (Find out more at http://www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com/applause/)
I joined Applause!, where I met Maggie, an avid and active volunteer around Breckenridge. She invited me to a Wednesday knitting group that meets at The Next Page bookstore on Main Street in Frisco. This lively group of women knit shawls for cancer and hospice patients, as well as baby blankets and hats for newborns.
Once I joined the knitting group, I met Pat and Verne and Patti and was invited to join their team, cooking and serving dinner at the Tuesday night community dinner at Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church on French Street in Breckenridge (find out more here: http://www.stjohnsbreck.org/tuesday_community_meal). This weekly dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is free to the public and serves over one hundred meals during the height of the winter season. I enjoyed putting my cooking skills to good use and it’s great to see the happy faces of the young people we serve.
In six short months, I’ve begun to put down roots in my new hometown and through these volunteer opportunities I’ve met new friends. I’ve discovered that Breckenridge retains many qualities of a small town, along with its lively tourist industry. As always, when we give of ourselves we inevitably receive so much more in return.
In the Gospel of Matthew 21:33-43, Jesus tells a parable of the tenants who were given the responsibility of taking care of a landowner’s vineyard. When the owner sent first his servant and then his son to collect his harvest, the tenants chose to deny the landowner his rightful share and killed the messengers of the landowner.
Jesus asked his followers, “… when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
His followers replied: “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”
In the first part of Jesus’ reply he is of course, speaking of himself as the stone that was rejected and which becomes the cornerstone, the long awaited Messiah. However, in the last line of his dialogue, Jesus also points to our responsibility, that having received the love of God, we have a duty to produce good fruit in our communities.
I have shared my experiences with the first three volunteer groups that I encountered in my first months in Breckenridge, but I know there are so many others I have yet to discover. I want to learn how different churches and faith communities are walking their belief journey here in Summit County. If you would like me to write about how your church or religious organization is reaching out to share God’s love in Summit County, please contact me at: Suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com
I look forward to hearing from you!
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