Southern Colorado ULC Congregation Established
Can a church service include such diverse activities as listening to
Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, demonstrating a turn-of-the-century
disk musical box, reading from the Magna Carta, picking-up trash along
the sides of a highway, working in a vegetable garden, going on four-
mile hikes, discussing the true meaning of terms like "family values"
or attending art shows?
It can if the church in question is the Common Faith Chapel, ULC!
Sitting at 6100 feet above sea level, at the foot of the Sangre de
Cristo mountains in southern Colorado, the church is located in the
Victorian home of Rev. Karin Conover-Lewis and her husband Don. The
Common Faith Chapel was established in January of 1993, and became a
congregation of the Universal Life Church in March of the same year.
Services are presently held on alternate Sundays, at 2:00 in the
afternoon. The service begins with the question "Are you at peace with
your neighbour?" and a fellowship gathering, followed by communion and
the day's activity -- whatever that may be. Sometimes the service even
follows a more-or-less familiar structure, with a reading and sermon!
On such occasions the service is guided by the format(s) for The
Service, Universal, found in the Common Faith Handbook.
The Common Faith is an earth-centered religion which teaches personal
responsibility, reflective morality, and a deep sense of duty for
making the world a better place in which to live. To this end, it
borrows heavily from the various religions of the world, the writings
of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Dewey, and even secular
works like Mark Twain's "Letters from the Earth" or Gilbert and Sulli-
van's "The Pirates of Penzance". The Common Faith Handbook is the
church's primary text, containing the general teachings of the Common
Faith as well as many forms of The Service, Universal, but Rev. Lewis
stresses that it is NOT presented as the sole source of truth.
"Truth can be found anywhere, but no one religion or person can claim
to be the only source of universal truth" says Rev. Lewis. "Where
truth is found is irrelevant, but we must learn to be able to find and
apply it wherever it exists. The most important thing which we can
demand of ourselves is to be able to answer with a definate 'yes' this
question: 'Is the world better-off for my having been here?'. If we
aren't doing everything that we can to help ensure that we will leave
a better world for our children, then we are simply marking time."
Those who are visiting or passing-through southern Colorado and wish
to attend a Common Faith service are welcome to call Rev. Lewis at
(719)846-8539. The church's address is 711 W. Colorado Ave., Trinidad
Colorado, 81082. Since meeting times and structure are subject to
change, it is recommended that one should call first. Rev. Lewis is
also available for hospital visitations, weddings, or counseling, by