In January 2023, Highlands Lutheran Church voted to enter into an intentional realtionship with New Beginnings Worshipping Community (NBWC) through a yoked ministry. "Yoked" means that we are drawn together to support each other's mission and to share resources. For example, the Pastor for Highlands also serves as the Pastor to NBWC. Highlands shares NBWC's mission, which is to "restore shattered lives to wholeness through the love of Jesus Christ." NBWC's vision is as follows: "New Beginnings affords an all-inclusive love of Christ. Everyone is welcome no matter who they choose to be. Our focus is on our community, who we care for by sharing God’s amazing grace and steadfast love, bringing hope to all who feel forgotten or alone, and connecting God's light to all who have experienced darkness."
Uniquely, NBWC is not a ministry of our congregation, but instead is their own congregation that meets inside the Denver Women's Corretional Facility. They have their own leadership team loaction inside, lead by residents, in addition to an outside leadership board. They are the only open and affirming Christian congregation that meets inside the walls of the prison and offers a consistent pastoral presence behind walls.
While our realtionship is still growing, we have supported NBWC in a number of ways. We continue to collect and sort greeting cards for their greeting card ministry, provide volunteers to assist with service, and provide financial assistance as needed. We are working towards developing a Prison Aftercare or Reentry Program, based out of the new "Love in Action Center" located at The Lutheran Center in Denver, where we hope to provide holistic support to those leaving prison. You can learn more about New Beginnings here.