CBF is a supportive home for those discerning and living out a call to church starting. Within CBF Church Starts, one finds a creative space for visioning, contextualization, coaching and training. CBF covenants with new churches to provide three years of professional coaching, site visits for leadership development, spiritual renewal retreats, financial grants and the development of partnerships. Church starts bless the Fellowship by modeling innovative practices for ministry.
This year’s commissioned church starters bring several “firsts.” Virginia, Kentucky and CBF West will commission their first church starters, and the Fellowship will partner with its first church created out of the need for community among immigrants and refugees resettling in the United States.
In the coming days, we will be introducing our six new CBF church starters and the five churches they lead.
Cole Chandler | Beloved Community Mennonite Church
Cole Chandler serves as co-pastor of Beloved Community Mennonite Church in Denver, Colorado, alongside Vern Rempel. When Rempel was in his 19th year as senior pastor of First Mennonite Church of Denver, he felt the call to take a risk and step out into the wilderness of establishing a new community. As he undertook this enterprise, he invited Chandler, a CBF- trained minister, to join him as co-pastor.
The result is Beloved Community Mennonite Church, a joyful, inclusive congregation with soulful, spiritual purpose. The congregation and its leadership draw from the deep streams of Mennonite peacemaking practices, courage and renewal work; they enjoy the joy and sorrow of blues music, and the justiceoriented community building of the Catholic Worker movement. The church exists to bring about creative, authentic, equitable, restorative, beloved community on the face of the earth in the Spirit of Christ.