New Season Begins at Friendship Fellowship in Colorado!



Den-COS. “Hello everybody! I brought you flowers,” the pastor tells the congregation. “I missed you this summer, and I can hardly wait to talk to you about what God did in your lives when we went our different ways, with friends and family.” The last time Pastor Rich got together with his friends was in the Spring. Last year the congregation of people with disabilities became an official church plant, with baptisms; testimonies, prayer and praise at the communion service. For many of the people with intellectual disabilities this was the first communion that they received. One man, a theology student with a physical disability was installed as an elder in the new church, housed at a day program at an agency. Pastor Rich explains to the group the summer missions that he was on in the inner city of Denver, training and equipping youth and leaders to reach out to the inner-city poor; as well as the homeless and people in Denver who have intellectual disabilities.

MAP-Motive;approach and power

Last season the unit on Psalms discussed God’s creation; and the truth that God created each and one of us with strengths and gifts as well as weaknesses and disabilities and He uses (or can use) both, if we choose to be used. The Psalms morphed into a series on “expressing faith and people with disabilities experiencing full membership into the body of Christ.” On this day, Pastor Rich explains the beauty of creation. “Did anyone see the sun rise this morning?” He begins with the hymn, “Morning has Broken.” Then he hands out empty pages of paper folded in fours. On one side- nothing. On the other side  a circle in the center. Then he goes into the creation story from Genesis. When he gets to the part of how God made man and woman, and out of all the precious resources God made- ‘He made us as His most precious resource.” God’s mind-set is that He made men and women in charge of the earth. Each one of us is made as a unique human being and God’s plan for us is like the circle on the page- where He can show us, his purpose for our lives. So the Pastor continues reading….and then he goes around the room, and he talks and prays with each one of the men and women; the caregivers and interviews them, while filling the empty page with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

Progressive street church

Through the circle He draws a cross- God’s motive for your life is written in the upper left quadrant; in the upper right is learning a Christ-like approach in your life; In the lower left, everyone talks about how to fill and refill in the power of the Holy Spirit. he brings out a map- and uses it as an acrostic. “God is using everyone at Friendship Fellowship to be a mission map to explain God’s [MOTIVE], living and approaching our lives and other people the way Jesus did [APPROACH]; and then our source to power our purpose [POWER]. “God uses and made us all with core strengths and core weaknesses and He uses both.” The apostle Paul said on many occasions that God uses and builds us through our gifts and talents and when we let Him use our weakness; our disabilities for his Glory He powers us, when we allow Him to take our weakness, our disabilities and raise them for His glory and testimony.”  He sent a friend, to live among us so we could have the power- to face this world and He gave us each other to encourage, to help and to go the distance through songs; through prayers and through Friends and Fellowship. “Calling and purpose are coming together and it is here at Friendship Fellowship where we come to understand all that God has for our community.”

Proactive words of wisdom

Pastor Rich is writing a new book and curriculum based on Proverbs. “31 Flavors of Wisdom” is a book that will be part of the curriculum to train; equip; and send out leaders in churches to start, support and sustain,  Friendship Fellowship, in their churches. “It is very musically based” explains Pastor Rich. In planning out what God’s purpose for everyday life, He used Solomon, who when God promised Him anything, Solomon asked for “Wisdom.”  “So we will close with the main theme of Proverbs 1.” The memory verse for today is “Don’t Lose Touch”

“Don’t Lose Touch” Richard Beattie

Listen my son-when you’re on your own

when you’re left alone,

and whether you’re in the city, on the road, or what you have in view-

carry these thoughts with you.


Don’t lose touch now

remember what you’ve been taught

Don’t lose touch now

the wisdom you’re father and mother brought

It is easy to be turned around in all the wrong ways

but turn around and see- follow the Ancient of Days.

Don’t lose touch-now… Don’t lose touch.

Verse: Listen my daughters- watch out and discern

Remember all you’ve learned

and whether you’re with friends, or strangers

or in someone else s shoes- Carry His Word with you



Don’t lose touch now

remember what you’ve been taught

Don’t lose touch now

the wisdom you’re father and mother brought

It is easy to be turned around in all the wrong ways

but turn around and see- follow the Ancient of Days.

Don’t lose touch-now… Don’t lose touch.


Bridge: and there is wisdom hidden in your heart

and there is heart within your mind

and there is fire in your soul

live on – with what you’ve been told. There is wisdom there.

You will find it.

Verse: Listen my friends- I’ve been on the road

Taking on a heavier load; and so when i am in New York or Boston

and even in DC, I carry your prayers with me.


Don’t lose touch now

remember what you’ve been taught

Don’t lose touch now

the wisdom you’re father and mother brought

It is easy to be turned around in all the wrong ways

but turn around and see- follow the Ancient of Days.

Don’t lose touch-now… Don’t lose touch.

(C) Urban Praise Movement, BMI, Richard Beattie, Friendship Fellowship


Would you like to start and equip people in your congregation to start an outreach to people with disabilities, their caregivers and family members? E Mail Pastor Rich at or call 719.314.7709. For a digital guide All proceeds go to planting Friendship Fellowship in communities like yours.






Ministry-Leadership and Communications Institute


A Guide to Message-Mission and Music

Thru 5 Points of the ministry of industry

An approach from A-Z

Fiscal Year 2014


Executive Summary:

Dear supporters and friends;

Just a few short years ago I closed what was known as Envoy Creative Media and looked around for the next thing God would have me do. As a creative writer; artist; and composer and lyricist with some entrepreneurial skills in January 2011, things looked bleak. The economy; the work and for ministries I sent resumes out and was even offered jobs; and as 2011 was in its second week; I saw four doors that were wide open, blow shut.

Message; Mission and Music

At the same time I was being called in a direction to start churches for people with special needs; their caregivers and families. That was another matter that I had to raise my own support which at that time was prohibitive. Yet we kept on driving to Denver and back; leading Friendship and writing my columns and planning for my friend Brett Bixler to move and start Mission Coffee Roasters at a warehouse suite Envoy Creative was looking at to start a studio.  We survived that winter thanks to family and friends; a summer missions project that paid in the fall and then the phone rang. I was invited to work on an interim basis at Focus on the Family, where I had worked for 11 years, and had as an Envoy Creative client for 3 and half years.

The Ancient Path, Gate and  Road

So that was two years ago and since then Friendship Fellowship has grown to three gatherings; I am in my fourth year with Ancient Paths where I am on staff and an elder; I am working on getting ordained by Word and Spirit churches; Mission Coffee is up and running and has exciting new ventures that we are part of; and I am starting a new media platform, which you can read about in this guide. Please continue to pray for me and my teammates as we continue in evangelism; special needs ministry; creating media that feeds a hungry culture; planning through praise and prayer and planting churches and growing businesses that foster the building of real and deep community.

Pastor Richard Beattie-Friendship Fellowship Den-COS/ September 2, 2013

Ancient Paths Planting churches at home

In 2010 I reunited with my friend Bruce Duell to get involved with a movement in Denver to plant house churches in a network throughout the inner-city. Every year Bruce and his wife Karen, Carrie Schnur and Jill and I participate in leading Summer Missions to inner city Denver; lead Prayer walks; and minister to people in Denver neighborhoods. This year the vision that “God uses people as his most precious resource” is a theme that I will lead with in all my initiatives and integrate within my personal and corporate messaging. A men’s group that meets on Wednesdays is an addition to the work I am doing with APHC and will continue in adding Colorado Springs to the ministry at Ancient Paths. The group will meet at Mission Coffee Roasters from 6:30 PM-9PM every Wednesday.

Breakthrough Management      The ministry of industry is a mindset in all businesses that we start or mentor and coach. From property management and real estate; to caregiving, retail and research and product and service development BT Management finds breakthroughs by asking the right question and then working it out on paper and in practice. BT MGT. leads in five points of managing the ministry of industry: evangelism; special needs and caregiving; media that feeds a hungry culture; praise and prayer; community building. Our mission is to practice leadership by God’s Word and motive for us; approach everything with a Christ-like approach; and fill and refill our power base with the Holy Spirit.





Cause Central In a fact-finding mission based on looking at our strengths, weaknesses; opportunities and threats we found that SWOT analysis revealed the strongpoints as management and coaching creative, production and distribution of media. Weaknesses of our organizations are fund-raising; administration; capital management; team-building; and sales. Our opportunities are in technology; editorial, and in church planting and idea generation. Threats are under-capitalization and growth management. Our conclusion is to take courses in grant writing; and set a foundation for evangelism; special needs and caregiving; media and culture; praise and prayer in planning; and community building.

Daily Balance From finances to work and study; spiritual quiet time and initiatives; health, nutrition and fitness; our relationship at home; in work; and throughout our community need to be better balanced through a purposeful and meaningful course and schedule. Daily Balance is a tool that we are developing for ministry leaders and communicators so that we can be more efficient in Word; in Spirit; in thought and action. It is a dashboard that calculates key measurable in study; in building relationships and in outreach and takes into account our finances; nutritional and fitness concerns so that we can balance out at the top of our game. It allows us to correct and be corrected; rise and to encourage challenges and help one another change or feel compelled to seek change and measure our growth in the process.


 Editorial Calendar  Since 2009 our leadership team has been publishing articles at We are trained journalists who have 5 titles that are published daily. We renew that commitment and even go 5 steps further beginning today. Ministry, Leadership and Communications will release an editorial calendar for The Denver Evangelical Examiner; The Denver Special Needs ministry Examiner; The Denver Media and Culture Examiner; The National Prayer Examiner and The Front Range-Community Building Examiner. On Vantage Point NY we will have a five minute audio examiner story Monday thru Friday starting in October.

Friendship Fellowship The FY 2014 season will start in Denver and in Colorado Springs in the next two weeks. Friendship Fellowship is a special church for people with special needs and their caregivers and families. In Denver MLC began the journey and have grown it to 3 locations reaching over 80 men and women with Intellectual Disabilities. Last year our theme was to “enable people to express their faith in Christ.” This year the emphasis will be on the Old Testament and our relationship with God. “The theme through all of our work and outreach is that people are God’s most precious resource.” We meet Mondays; Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.

3 G: Giving; Growing and Guidance Group: In all of our ministries and businesses we have advising boards of investors, leaders and mentors that guide us and hold us accountable The 3 G Network is a group of men and women who give and manage giving; grow and guide our organizations and help us stay balanced in all of our visions and timing. These are CEO’s; counselors and people who have been part of the leadership. It is our peer group of pastors and ministry leaders who we respect and listen to.  Every organization needs these folks.

Homestand People tell us what they are against all the time. Homestand tells what we are working for. Most of us travel a bit and when we are at home we don’t need to be fighting to get what we want in our communities. So we are developing resources and gathering areas where we can encourage each other; raise new leadership and support leadership that works on the things we believe in. “We have examined and pointed out what we are against; it’s time to join together and support the things we are for.”

The Inn Group:  We are a group of men who are innovators; who take product and business to market; and who travel a bit. The Inn Group is a place where we help inaugurate and take inventory on new inventive ways to use and integrate our work into improving the quality of life of people around us.

Join the Junction: The junction is a place where we can discuss and where ministry entrepreneurs meet and develop a regular dialogue. In Orlando; NY and Boston the junction will be to discuss plans to integrate ministries and business in the communities. Join the junction, ask us how…

Knowledge Base: The brains behind our organizations are only as clever as the knowledge base is. The knowledge base of experts and planners in evangelism; special needs ministries; media and culture; prayer in planning; and community building grows wider by the day. The family of Blogs; the café discussions and the theological, historical and business knowledge is something we share through media; and social media on a daily basis. Take advantage of our experts or at  least the people who know where to find the answers!




Likewise: The NY ad firm:  Likewise is thrilled to be creating, producing and distributing your advertising. We are an advertising firm that prides itself on going up against major Madison Avenue firms but with a totally different business concept. We feel that the Ministry of Business is more important than the Business of Ministry. We know that you feel the same way in encouraging people to use their gifts and talents and equipping them to grow together. Like us you give your clients a break and a sliding scale while getting the message; the mission and the music out to the world. We feel likewise and vow to do our very best in creating a series of eight, six week campaigns for you.

Mission Café: Where church and coffee create community: There is nothing more exciting than the concept of a church opening up a café, and reaching people who would not come in normally. Mission Coffee offers free consulting and discounted rates for churches and communities that open a Mission Café at their church. Furthermore Ministry, Leadership and Communication can help book great speakers and teachers; musicians as well as digital studies when you contract us for a year and buy your supply of “really good coffee with a mission, changing lives, one cup at a time!”

Net -Works:  The curators of Biblical mindset; Systematic approach; and the evangelical power through media, arts, and industry show up in the net works of writers; artists; songwriters; producers and studios. Our networks pay respect to men and women whose talent; vocation and art converge with their purpose and calling. “when your net worth is a result of your faith combined with your art a new look at net-worth from an investment standpoint is found in the detail.”

Orchards:  “By their fruit you shall know them,” the Biblical verse reads. “By the fruit of the people inspired by the studios and designs of our ministers; leaders and communicators will you know us and by the standard of the offering, you may judge us,” says a pastor in our community.

Progressive Street Church: Message; mission and music in the inner city is a true “beyond the walls” ministry at Ancient Paths. Block to block on a prayer walk down the street in the inner city of Denver, people are encouraged, fed and invited in a monthly worship service that is led in some of the hardest sections of the city. The goal is to duplicate the effort in urban areas around the US and Canada. The other goal is to lead PSC every week and give true pastoral care to the people in the streets.

Quintessential Elements: 5 senses of five points give an earthy tone to the elements of faith. See what is good; those with ears should hear; speak and sing of the goodness of the Lord and “Taste and see what the Lord has done.” The aroma of worship; is a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Our offering is evangelism; special needs ministries; media that feeds a hungry culture; prayer and praise, voices lifted up and a true sense of invitation to the table in the community. These are the quintessential elements of Five Points Ministry- drink deep.

RE: The revealing nature of re-vitalization; restoration; renewing your mind and heart is seeing it with a new perspective and in fat “new eyes.” This is a concept that we pass on to our readers, listeners and viewers- and we will exhaustively re-port on the words that begin with re, and try to give you a fresh view and review of what it means to ministry, leadership and communications.

Sweet Spot Affiliates: One of Likewise clients is the nature of the affiliate business and adding ways we can grow the idea of affiliate marketing with radio and TV. Between the banner ads and the e-blasts Sweet Spot Affiliates is taking national brands and branding the sound and the visual images for a percentage of a buy.

Triology: The publishing division of Vantage Point for audio, video and multiple platforms available to our clients. Chapter X Chapter is one of the platform and the partnership with Truli Media is helping us distribute this work.

Urban Praise Movement: World Music-Christian Approach, is our way to bring an urban sound in many styles of music to worship. We are curators of the sound and we are exploring all venues and starting this publishing company through BMI.

Vantage Point  NY: World Media Christian Approach is how we look at VPNY. Tested this summer VPNY is an on-demand platform that we will bring the audience programs with a message; mission and music from and to the urban core of cities.

Word and Spirit Network: Our church planting network from Mountain Springs Church in Colorado is where we will train and ordain men to pastor and plant churches throughout the world. Friendship Fellowship and Progressive Street Church are two examples; then there is also a connection with Mission Café in areas where we can reach people and build communities through great teaching; worship and fellowship.

X-Road Travel: Management style for those of us who travel need help with the arrangements and expense reports. We started a mission travel group that seeks discounted fares and travel for our ministers; leaders, and communicators.

Zenith Conferences : The ministry of leadership and communications is holding Zenith Conferences to develop leaders in 26 areas and also to help them write Ministry of Business Plans. For 26 different types of industry. Conferences and meetings are in Denver; Colorado Springs; Orlando; NY, Boston; New England; Nashville; Louisville; Cincinnati and Indiana. From the industry of Advertising to Healthcare; sports; music and media; the Zenith Conferences are for Business Leaders; Church Leaders and even Political Leaders.




Ministry-Leadership-Communications 5 Points of Leadership

Evangelism Special Needs Media and Culture Prayer, Planning and Praising Community Building
Ancient Paths Friendship Fellowship Briargate Media

Progressive Street Church Breakthrough Management
Cause Central Cause Central Cause Central Cause Central Cause Central
Daily Balance Triology Publishing Daily Balance Daily Balance Daily Balance
Three G-Giving ;growing; guidance   Orchard Studio and gallery The Inn Group Homestand
Knowledge Base Knowledge Base Knowledge Base Knowledge Base Junction
Quintessential Elements   Likewise Ads Orchard Programming Knowledge Base
RE   Sweet spot affiliates Urban Praise Movement BMI


Mission Café
Word and Spirit Network   Triology Publishing

Chapter X Chapter audio books

    Urban Praise Movement BMI   X-Road Travels
    Vantage Point NY    
Zenith Summit Zenith Conference Yardstick Zenith Conference Zenith Summits



Mission Maps- where ministry is the treasure


Friendship Fellowship in Denver and Colorado Springs has been busy this summer training and starting new outreach in both Colorado Springs and Denver that hopes to grow beyond the Front Range of Colorado and train and equip pastors, mentors and guides in Orlando; Brooklyn and Queens and in Boston. Friendship Fellowship is a special church for people with special needs; their caregivers and families that was started in 2010 at Washington Park Chapel. Since then in Denver the mission has moved to Pilgrim Church where summer missions are happening again in July. Pilgrim Church is an inner-city church and is located at 47th and Vine Streets off of Interstate 70. A blog website to lend support to people with special needs; their caregivers and their families is a resource for people around the world. as well as a digitally published guide called Friends and Fellowship.

Go deeper

Part of the outreach has been reaching out to nursing and Health Care Homes in our cities while in Colorado Springs Friendship Fellowship has a church that meets at one of the agencies. “Doing the most for the least of these is the least we can do,” quipped one of the pastors in a planning meeting with the Ministry, Leadership and Communications Institute based in Denver. The planning group recently started The Progressive Street Church; that holds a church service- block to block in major cities. The group is headquartered at Mission Coffee Roasters on Ridgeline in Colorado Springs. The connection with Mission Coffee is both meeting space and foundational planning for the movement. Brett Bixler the owner and founder of Mission Coffee tells the Special Needs ministry Examiner, “With every 12 ounce bag of Friendship Fellowship labeled coffee, Friendship Fellowship gets around $5.” This goes to the missionaries who are planting Friendship Fellowship through Word and Spirit Churches in major cities and even rural areas.

Mission Map

On Wednesday evenings starting in September, Friends and Fellowship will begin a small group who will engage in Bible Studies; Relationship Building and Outreach activities at Mission Coffee Roasters. The group is a multiple church network and is centrally located in Colorado Springs at Mission Coffee Roasters. “Every week a new digitally based article and workshop will be published through Vantage Point NY, a new media platform of original urban praise music; a Bible Study and a mission map where a group of 12 married couples in the community will participate. “These 24 people will be the movers and shakers of the community in  weekly study; in forming strong cell groups and friendships and then participating in outreach like Friendship Fellowship and Progressive Street Church.  “We want to open it up to parents who have dropped their kids off at one of the many churches on a Wednesday night  and invite them in to a community that will participate in building strong friendships and engage in fellowship.

Study, relationships and outreach

To equip married couples in studying together, building strong relationships and participating in mission outreach at home, through work and community, we will be building the body of Christ in ways Christ designed the church. This will strengthen marriages; converge calling and purpose for people and start family teams of missionaries giving their most for the least of these. The Ministry-Leadership and Communications Institute is expanding to East Coast Cities. If you are interested in having MLC Institute begin a weekend workshop please e-mail For a free guide to the Five Points of Influence Movement please e-mail



Webinars on Friendship to air on Vantage Point


Vantage Point Network is a new platform that contains digital publishing; web and phone content; digital radio/audio; and digital TV/Cinema with webinars from ministries and workshops that are designed to train and equip people to participate in community building in five key areas. A web based press conference was announced today by the Ministry of Leadership and Communications to explain the impact the webinars will have in community building and reaching out to people with special needs; their families and caregivers as well as agencies and church partners.

1. Evangelism: From the urban praise music movement to studies, relationships and outreach programs range from The Daily Audio Bible to Guidepost Audio Magazine. There is a new program that is in development that takes an audio and/or video sermon and shows how that sermon impacts the neighborhood where the church serves. There is also a small group program that integrates text with audio and video. Vantage Point is working with authors to produce an audio series called “Chapter X Chapter” which includes practical guides to many subjects. Triology is a theological interview show that deals with the Mindset and Motive for God; approaching one and other like Jesus does; and renewing the power of The Holy Spirit in our thoughts and actions. The Denver Evangelical Examiner can be found in the pages of Vantage Point every Monday.

2. The Least of These: This includes message, mission and music to inner cities and includes overviews on counseling; special needs ministries; bi-lingual and mission work. Friendship Fellowship is a series of webinars from Friendship Ministries on Lifestyle Guides and Biblical Workshops and guide mentors in getting involved in reaching out to special needs adults and children; their families and caregivers. This Tuesday column can be found in Blog Form on Vantage Point as well as archives and digital materials relating to Friendship Ministries and Friendship Fellowship Churches. Communications links and interviews will be available including and Rita Schulte’s counseling programs.

3. Media that feeds a hungry culture– The platform will be working with a new film festival. “Churches making movies” is one program that will feature a new film weekly and get instant feedback from our readers, listeners and viewers. The Media and Culture column can also be found here as well as a future newsroom that will cover major stories in audio and video magazine form.   Cause Central is a funding foundation to research and develop new media that Vantage Point will create, produce and distribute. All of this speaks to the ministries of Friendship Fellowship Churches to lay a foundation of hope and expression and to train and equip leaders and advocates to do as Jesus did when he equipped leaders and advocates to reach out to the least of these.”

4. Prayer Point- From inner city prayer walking to planning sessions the Prayer area takes prayer calls from a prayer line and will air stories of prayer every Thursday. The National Prayer Examiner   column can be found here every Thursday as well as archives, special guests and interviews.  This is the fourth of the Five Points of influence and it is the center of Ministry, Leadership and Communications.

5. Front Range Burner- Community Building: This is the area where Vantage Point will concentrate on community building, coffee house and backyard fence conversations that effect how we join together as communities in the areas where you live; work and gather.

If you have original praise and worship music Vantage Point may be the place for you. The platform is looking for concert; gatherings; audio and video files that you would let us act as your music publisher- if chosen of course. We are doing the same for authors; pastors, and filmmakers who major in original works that contain the gospel message; are on mission; and who are part of the melting pot of styles and nationalities, but have the common union of Christ. Please send any files to Join the Blog at

Vantage Point is in the gathering and development stage and will officially debut with world media, Christian approach in September.




The communication cure


“The strongest organizational unit in the world’s history would appear to be that which we call a cell,” writes the noted historian,  Herbert Butterfield. Butterfield at the end of his life called the small group which includes the house church the “preserver of community, a remorseful self-multiplier,” and notes that the cell group is “exceptionally difficult to destroy; it can defy the power of governments; and it is the “appointed way by which a handful of people may open up a new chapter in the history of civilization.”

Friendship Fellowship-a special church

With Ancient Paths, a house church network in Denver, and the work that Pastor Steve Holt has begun with the Word and Spirit movement in and beyond Colorado Springs, the need to plant Friendship Fellowship, a special church for people with special needs and in particular (but not limited to) people with intellectual disabilities is founded on the small group; life group and cell groups in which Butterfield writes about. “There are so many perceived government and church government rules and regulations that it prohibits churches from opening doors to people who have special needs,” writes one of the Pastor’s to his prayer and financial supporters.  “There are few places where family members can go; and increasingly it is harder for caregivers, professional and volunteers to find respite and places to express their faith,” he continues. “What we do at Friendship Fellowship is to invite people in and now in half of the places we meet them where they are at Day Programs in agencies; neighborhood churches; coffee houses and nursing homes.”

Guides and Mentors

While the church takes the summer off, pastoral care is still available to the families involved at Friendship Fellowship. Just recently, Friendship leadership engaged in a dialogue with a special needs couple and group homes in Suffolk County, New York, to make provision for the newlywed couple who were separated by the system, because the group homes wrote that “the couple was incapable of making a decision of marriage, nor could they live together,” because of their disability. The families found a group home that would take the couple in. Friendship Fellowship also participates and leads training for guides and mentors  at churches through next week’s summer mission program in inner city Denver. “In order to extend Friendship we need to multiply the leaders who will take Friendship back to their communities,” says the pastor.

Studies, relationships and outreach

Ancient Paths and Word and Spirit in conjunction with Friendship Fellowship embrace the SRO method of community. “In all our gatherings we are purposeful in studying the Word of God and guiding people into community through relationship building; friendship and fellowship.” Then the third aspect  is outreach. When married couples come together in a life group atmosphere, they take their rightful place in leading people by example and invitation to study what God says about every life issue; relate and collaborate on everything from education to communications and lovingly commit to the community through outreach.” This includes families with special needs and group and host homes who house adults with disabilities. “When marriage and families come together, they are the backbone and the foundation of community.” Friendship Fellowship has become more than a place where people with Intellectual Disabilities can express their faith. It is becoming a strong community influence that “welcomes people into community that loves God with all they’ve got and extends that love to their neighbors.” To start friendship in your community e-mail Pastor Rich,

As  mentioned- “in our weakness God can make us strong” and through learning good communication’s skills we can be stronger by communicating what we feel without shutting others down. Test drive, and find out what skills you can develop in communicating to your children, your spouse; your neighbor and even your boss! Counselor Keith Dorscht has spent years talking to people who are looking for a cure for their insomnia; their phobias; and their addictions. After years in practice and in theory, the cure to preventing almost anything can be found through great communications. So in developing and launching, he just may have prevented you from getting anything else you may be looking to cure. Go to the You might not be able to negotiate a raise, but at least you’re talking!

Cause we care there’s cause central


Grand Rapids: What do you do when a dynamic leader is suddenly gone? That is the question that the Ministry of Leadership and Communications posed to the staff members at Friendship Ministries in Grand Rapids this week. Nella Uitulugt, the executive director of Friendship Ministries a resource organization whose motto is “Sharing God’s love with people who have Intellectual Disabilities,” passed away sometime before Palm Sunday in April. DSNE has learned that an interim director will be named in the next few weeks and that there is interest from a few men and women who are uniquely qualified to run the outreach.

Friendship Fellowship III

At Ministry of Leadership and Communications, the leadership thrived on Nella’s enthusiasm and took her wise advice in planting Friendship Fellowship along the Front Range of Colorado. Since the time of Nella’s death, the special needs pastor at Friendship Fellowship planted the second Friendship Fellowship church at a day program in Colorado Springs, and now a third at a nursing home in Old Colorado City, Friendship Fellowship has started a Monday group to Senior Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities. “Our churches are on mission this summer with two weeks planned to reach out to inner city Denver.” This is the 4th summer that Friendship Fellowship has been involved in Summer Missions and the third where the church is actively recruiting special needs pastors; new places of worship; and training people to get involved, to start Friendship in their communities.

The Melting Pot of Message; Mission and Music

At a coffee house in Colorado Springs, a new network called Five Points Communications is being discussed. 5 PTS is a media group that is cultivating new ways of creating; producing and broad and pod casting materials that would be based on their five points of impact in the community. Evangelism; Special Needs and the Least of these; Media that feeds a hungry culture; Prayer and prayer walks; and Community Building are the main components of influence. The breakthrough question is “How do we gather, produce and fund great messages and stories; remain on-mission in our approach; and gather an organic music publishing company that will be a melting pot of praise and worship music?” This would also be a new adverting agency for sponsors and affiliates (Likewise).

Cause we care

Based in New York, Likewise is creating; producing and distributing great audio commercials that help to sponsor new Christian-based programs; organic praise and worship music (The Melting Pot) and a digital publishing tool called Triology that publishes studies; relationship building and outreach to local communities. This includes bringing Friendship Fellowship; Ancient Paths and The Word and Spirit Network to communities like yours. One of the ways all these MLC’s get funded and supported are through adverting; creating resources; and then the third is opening cafes in churches. Mission Coffee Roasters based in Colorado Springs is a cornerstone in raising funds for missions. “When you sell a bag of coffee at your church cafe, the church or ministry receives $5 a bag;” Brett Bixler explains. the founder and roaster, whose branding statement is “really good coffee with a mission,” is on board with starting cafes or simply selling coffee to the churches at wholesale. Bixler roasts coffee for mission brands like Windfarm which supports Daily Audio Bible. A new label is being discussed for Five Points Media that will support all of their causes that are based on Five points Communications under the umbrella of “Cause Central.”

“You buy coffee anyway, what if you supported the ministries that focused on evangelism; special needs, better media that feeds the culture; prayer groups and worship and then community building and influence in your neighborhood. That and a better cup of coffee!” E-mail us at

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We are all convicted in Philadelphia


For many years it has been an unspoken practice. Yet many parents have faced an aching conflict on what to do when they get the results that list the chances of having a child with an intellectual disability. Gabe Lyons the author of “Un-Christian” and more recently “The Next Christians,” explains his personal experience of his son with Down Syndrome  and the journey his wife and he were about to embark on. Yet there was fear and trepidation at first. “Very few Down syndrome babies make it into the world,” Lyons writes. “Many pregnant and expectant parents who are presented with a prenatal diagnosis terminate their baby.”

Better Information

While the Lyon’s chose life for their son, they ached for the parents who chose to end the pregnancy and in doing so came up with a pamphlet that “leveled the playing field. Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis is distributed to every ob-gyn’s office in Atlanta. With that and the news from Philadelphia this afternoon, this poses good news for people with Intellectual Disabilities and their parents.

Human Rights or Civil Rights?

The question this brings up helps to bring up a new conversation regarding women’s health, children’s lives and what human and civil rights have been violated in the guise of privacy. The question this morning is if this is an isolated incident or do conditions like what was found in Philadelphia, run rampant in this country? Planned Parenthood is spinning it as an abnormality that justifies their method, and clinics funded by government so abortion is safe and private. Yet in looking into some of the Planned Parenthood clinics and history Planned Parenthood may be safer in comparison to the clinic in Philadelphia, yet the record and long term physical and mental health care of women is subject to question and investigation. At no time has Planned Parenthood done a reliable follow up survey that can prove better health for the mother because of an abortion. In all cases, human rights violations against the unborn child have been violated because of abortion.

Deciding when life begins and ends

The case of civil rights against women and children can also be made with the cultural and political perception of when life begins. It blurs the vision of medical personnel like, (yet not limited to) Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who for too many years became the judge of when life ends, therefore violating the civil rights of many children, and showing a reckless regard for life. It is the hope of many in every community that the Gosnell’s in their neighborhoods will be stopped now.


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Between one disability and another


The newlywed Forziano’s in Wading River, NY

On a promising April day in the county of Suffolk, one man and one woman were married in Long Island, New York. The groom is Paul Forziano (29) and the bride Hava Samuels (35) have known each other for years and wanted to make their relationship official. But hold on a moment. The couple has been kept apart since they both were living in group homes and both homes have claimed them to be “too intellectually disabled to live together.” Claiming that they don’t have the intellectual ability to live together as husband and wife is an opinion that will have to be decided by the courts. That is unless the group homes come to an agreement and make arrangements or transfer the couple to a “host home.” It seems ironic that politicians are fighting so hard for gay marriage that the rights and expression of love between one man and one woman is being denied based on their intellectual disability.

Attorneys for the couple are taking the matter to Federal Court claiming that the two group homes and the state are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. Surprisingly the judge is considering the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

The Forziano’s are only permitted to see each other once a week for dinner, and spend the weekends together at their families’ homes from Friday night to Sunday.

Mrs. Forziano, resides at Independent Group Home Living, and Paul Forziano,  lives at Maryhaven Center for Hope, both in Manorville, NY.

In other cases Intellectually Disabled people have been married and have lived together and some have even had children. At Friendship Fellowship in Colorado there has been a movement to start churches based on people’s intellectual disability and to encourage expression of faith. “Marriage is an expression of faith,” one of the pastors told us. Just last month in Colorado Springs many people received their first communion at Friendship at Easter time. “there were questions and answers and there was joy and blessing, but most of all their was understanding and expression of that understanding. Marriage is the same thing. To get to the point in your life to ask someone to spend the rest of your life with them, shows understanding. According to the disabilities newspaper Able News, a Long Island publication, “the agencies have no legitimate reason for denying housing to The Forzianos.” The fear of the group homes is “if the plaintiffs do win the case, it would set a precedent.” This is not the case because similar agencies in New York State have housed married couples successfully for many years.

“The agencies believe that people who need supervised group homes are too intellectually disabled to live in the same home as a couple,” said Coleman. “For some reason, the agencies think it would cause problems. But there are several group homes in this region that have accommodated married couples with no problems.“

The couple met seven years ago at a day rehabilitation program. Nearly 200 guests attended the Forziano wedding, in Wading River, NY.

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Seasons of Friendship


New Season- Friendship

The Friendship Fellowship season for 2012/2013 has come to an end. Yet it is a beginning in another sense and a time of giving, guiding and growing this ministry to people with special needs; their families and caregivers. In Denver and Colorado Springs the growth season is short and this year because of water restrictions limited to two days a week. Friendship Fellowship with Ancient Paths and Word and Spirit church networks has moved their Denver location to Pilgrim Church in the Elyria/Swansea area. In Colorado Springs the church saw growth by adding a Tuesday fellowship at Mosaic’s Day program on Garden of the Gods Road. There was also a small Friendship Fellowship at a local nursing home and in September and there is talk of beginning a student group at Roundup School. It costs the Friendship staff and volunteers $22 a month per person.

Friends and Family

This last season the church combined reached 65 people with disabilities. The total budget for Friendship in terms of giving was $7200 incoming allowing Friendship Fellowship to purchase curriculum and supplies for nine months. Since 2010, the Friendship season has run from mid September to May. “We have run two or three groups and Pastor Rich is also a consultant to Evangelical Free Churches in the Rocky Mountain District. “There has been interest from churches in Canon City and in Centennial but there is also hesitation on commitment. It’s like re-building the temple, you do not want to start something that the cost is not counted and the workers don’t show up, only to disappoint the  people who we are ministering to,” he says. That’s why we need the summer to ask people to give; to help guide and to grow our outreach.

Mission Coffee

In September Friendship Fellowship will begin Wednesday night studies, relationship building and outreach at Mission Coffee Roasters. For every 12 ounce bag Friendship Fellowship sells Mission donates $5.00 to Friendship Fellowship. The Friends and Fellowship guide and curriculum that will be studied is a digital publication that costs $4.00 “What we want to do is to help people learn about this ministry, study the Biblical, participate in praise and worship and then train teams to reach out and work with this population.” It is all about giving ( and when you buy a 12 oz bag of coffee you are giving $5 to reach 1 person with special needs a week.).

Give, Guide, Grow

It is also about guiding, when you learn and then guide one person, once a month in helping them express their faith, you become a Friend and Fellowship guide. Then the third part of giving, guiding and growing is for some who want to start Friendship Fellowship at their church or community center. There are thousands of people who are in group homes and host homes, and their are families and caregivers who need a couple of hours a week of respite or participation in church. To get give, to learn to guide and to grow Friendship along the Front Range and beyond e-mail

Three in one community and Triads


Progressions. Triads. 3 in one. Progressive, without parameters, sense of disorder and chaos. There is a strong correlation between the theology and relationship with God and the 88 keys on a keyboard and there is quite a difference between progressive thinking, free thinking and progressive music. A Biblical mindset and worldview with a systematic approach and lifestyle, are powered by evangelical sharing and design utilizing our unique gifts and talents. At Friendship Fellowship the members are often concrete thinkers. People with intellectual disabilities work well with Biblical concepts, a system of living, and they long to share the experience. That is what Tri-ology is all about and that is why acts of worship begin with singing the theologically based hymns; praise and worship songs; and choruses. There is a distinct connection and a longing to share it with one another.

Free Thinking and experimental music

On the other hand free thinking is just that, you get what you pay for and in this case it is free. Daily discipline and daily balance in the creative mind and heart winds up to be controlled improvisation. Jazz and Bluegrass, and classically trained musicians know the parameters, the rules and the regimen that understands the progressions, get what it means to be in relationship to one another in rhythm; in progressions, and in melody and lead solos.

Life progression

Theology is important and when you work within the rules of the mindset of God’s creation you can bring order to art, beauty and creativity because the foundation has been laid for us and we follow His lead. Jesus was the great improviser of coming to a situation and approaching people with power to heal; redeem, and he was easy to follow where he was going in our life song. When we approach everything in an act of worship to God, we rely on His sound foundation in prayer and dialogue, and once you understand the progression, and you follow the servant leadership of Christ, you become adept at step by step faith and intervals; healing; freeing; and following the lead. When you are ready to do it on His strength, you and I are communicating through message; on message; and in music. It is what relationships are all about.

A grant from the Holy Spirit

What are you powered by? One concept at Friendship that the leaders are trying to ensure and communicate is the concept that Paul told to the Romans (Romans 12:1). The renewing of our minds is Biblical and a renewing of our hearts is also a daily progression and the result and outcome is that our time; our gifts and our investment is the living sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  Again this is the mind that needs to be renewed in reading the Bible daily; then systematically doing what the Word says; and then there is a chemical reaction that takes our knowledge; and lives out God’s desire and gives us power that comes from the Holy Spirit. Musicians understand this concept. The musical mind takes the design of the composer and then begins to apply the knowledge to the instrument and then through everyday usage; everyday practice and everyday worship; everything begins to come together.

Flying solo

There is another part of that equation that the writer of the letter to the Hebrews writes” “Don’t forsake the Fellowship.” The musician, the worship leader understands this better than anyone. The free thinker and the progressive is often alone in a room with his or her books. Along with that they are constantly bored and looking for their own progression, living in their own room, and cutting off the flow of community. Stuck in our own ideas brings on a path of the grieving process that lacks relational flow. The solo artist begins to deny; experiences loneliness with no give and take. There is anger in the words and music, there is doubt in the existence of God and there is little hope or effort to seek out community because when it is the general practice, there is no accountability; no correction or challenge and that leads to depression. This is where we need to reach out to the isolated; and lovingly invite them into community.

The Triad Community

That is the difference between free thinking and Biblical mindset; it is the difference between a finger-pointing; legalistic approach and a  loving approach and a systematic process. Evangelism and Evangelical Theology is an integrated lifestyle of refilling the mind and the heart and living on the power of the Holy Spirit in community. That may not sound progressive but it is a progression to community. The composer has the song in mind that he or she creates, the lead takes that song and approaches it, teaches it to the band, the rehearse it, at first alone to an audience of one, it penetrates the mind and the heart and then the other instruments and voices come together. The experience of mind and heart rehearsals-to an audience of one-varies. Then they come together in community. Individuals empowered by God to their calling and on the same page, playing each part. The foundation of the progression; the approach of improvisation and making music flows into a power; that is beyond a singular platform; bringing on dimensions. Progression. Triad. Three in one.

Who we are: The Mission Experience is one that you can participate where you are and beyond. At Mission Coffee Roasters in Colorado Springs there is room to raise support; share in mission work and experience fellowship. You can also bring “really good coffee with a mission” back to your church by starting a Mission Coffee House where you worship. Please contact Richard Beattie at

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