Holy Comforter bids farewell to one of its founding members today. Bob and Patty Davenport were one of twelve families that petitioned the Bishop in 1958 to start an Episcopal mission in Broomfield. Tired of the long Sunday drives to a downtown parish, they envisioned a nearby congregation for their families to participate throughout the week.
Initially gathering in a home basement (with a wet bar as the altar!), then moving to a location on Hemlock Street, the fledgling congregation grew and soon purchased our current location. In 1960, 287 was a two lane country road and Broomfield had a population of 4,000.
The chapel was largely constructed by members putting in long hours on evenings and weekends after their day jobs. The vestments and altar linens were sewn by hand. The first pipe organ modified from a home instrument. The first priest, the Bishop’s son. The community thrived in the decades that followed. In the 1980s Holy Comforter purchased the residence next door, expanding its property to nearly five acres and providing needed space for an expanding Sunday school. In 2000, a capital campaign funded a new sanctuary and parish hall.
Fast forward nearly sixty years from its founding: 287 is now a major six lane highway and Broomfield boasts 65,000 residents. What began as a hopeful vision of 12 young families has grown into a vibrant reality of over 200 households.
As we lay Bob to rest today, I give thanks for him and all the other founding members who dreamed to plant and sacrificed to grow this amazing community of faith. I cannot imagine Broomfield without Holy Comforter. For three generations, this Episcopal Church has provided faithful worship, beautiful music, comfort and compassion to the hurting, and substantive Christian formation.
In order to move Forward in Faith, sometimes it’s useful to look back. To remember where we’ve come from can be an indicator of where we’re going next.
I hope you’ll join me in coming weeks as we celebrate the community of saints, those whom we love but see no longer. Music for All Souls on October 28 at 7 pm is a haunting concert of sacred music; and Choral Evensong for All Saints on November 1 at 7 pm remembers those on whose shoulders we stand. Our columbarium courtyard and labyrinth is always open for contemplation. I hope you’ll take some time in this sacred season to sit for a moment and listen: What dreams are arising in you? What is the sacrifice you are being called to make? And can you hear your saints cheering you on as you move Forward in Faith?