Denver’s Next Generation Seeks New Rocky Mountain High

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Christian Twenty and Thirty-Somethings Growing Away from Tradition Unite at Fusion Conference by Colorado Native Son to Find and Redefine Passion-Filled Ministry

Colorado-native Marc McCartney, son to Denver’s Coach Bill McCartney who founded the Promise Keepers movement, believes the more than one thousand young adults expected to attend a new conference on Saturday, April 29, called Fusion + Denver (http://www.fusionconferences.com), will walk away with “non-traditional ways to leverage their talents, passions and skills for God.”

“Denver is a hotbed for young adults to work and live,” said McCartney, 32, who grew up in nearby Boulder. Marc learned the art of coordinating catalytic events hands-on from his dad, and now is events director for the Rightnow Campaign (http://www.Rightnow.org) , the Texas-based organization that launched Fusion in Dallas in 2004. “There is a free spirit and a welcoming atmosphere that is very conducive to the biblical principles of mission and community. I love it! We really hope to see hundreds of young adults in Denver making new commitments to put their faith into action,” he said.

Fusion + Denver—a one-day conference for Christian twenty and thirty-somethings coming to Denver First Church—is designed to be a bridge of understanding between traditional and progressive thinkers in Denver’s local church, while providing common ground where churches can unify across denominational lines.

During roundtable meetings in Denver last November, Marc and Brian Mosley— 27-year-old founder of the Rightnow Campaign who was named one of the most influential leaders under 30 years old in the future of the Christian Church (Charisma Magazine, 2005)—learned from Colorado church leaders that many young adults are turned off by denominational barriers and divisiveness in the church.

Reza Zadeh, 28, young adults pastor at Timberline Church in Fort Collins, who plans to bring about 20 people including his leadership team to Fusion + Denver, defined challenges he thinks Fusion will help fix: “We are growing away from tradition, and we aren’t essentially going toward anything else. Denver is one of the fasting growing cities for young adults, yet a lot of people who come to this area say, because they can’t find a place to plug-in, they will stop attending church altogether.”

Jeff Davenport, 32, who leads an emergent service at First Presbyterian Church in Boulder each week, will bring members in search of authenticity during what he called a “rare opportunity for ecumenism.” Davenport said of his group’s goal, “They just want to be as contemporary as possible as we walk alongside the culture…They want to go change the world—but they want to make sure the church is about God’s business.”

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In 2004, Mosley and McCartney launched Fusion conferences to address statistics that show Gen Busters are likely to grow inactive in their faith by age 30 (Barna, 2003). Since then, 5,000 young adults and more than 500 churches representing many denominations, races and cultures have participated in Fusion’s edgy and interactive program.

“I am not aware of any other conferences that target 20 and 30-somethings with a very intentional message,” said Mosley after completing Fusion+ Orlando in February 2006. Featuring headline speakers Gracia Burnham and Dan Kimball and music by Caedman’s Call, the event attracted 1,200 Christian twenty and thirtysomethings and exhibits by 37 mission-sending organizations.

“There are plenty of Christian concerts and festivals that appeal to people’s connection with music and entertainment—but not much that addresses their purpose and direction in life. I think they need encouragement to go for it and some help in finding the specific opportunities where they can have maximum impact,” he added.

In Denver, Fusion’s experiential learning activities will include a short film festival, a one-act play, the Connection Café, and an interactive multi-media prayer journey, called Dokime´ (Greek word for proven character, pronounced do-kee-may). This coupled with forward-thinking biblical messages and alternative music from:

  •     Margaret Feinberg, author of Twentysomethings
  •     Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church
  •     Todd Phillips, author of Spiritual CPR: Reviving a Flat-lined Generation
  •     Voddie Baucham, author of The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture
  •     Caedman’s Call, alternative folk band with albums Share The Well, and 40 Acres, who will lead praise and worship sessions
  •     And, Amena Brown, spoken-word poet with new album “You.”

The Rightnow Campaign and Fusion conferences are based in Richardson, Texas. For additional information and tickets, visit the ministry websites: http://www.Rightnow.org or http://www.fusionconferences.com.

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