The movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado has occupied the nation’s attention since the news broke on Friday morning. Mayor Steve Hogan has been a key figure coordinating the response. On Saturday morning, he also addressed the Mountain Plains District of The Wesleyan Church, which happened to be holding its annual conference at nearby Cherry Creek Wesleyan Church.
The Mountain Plains District, led by District Superintendent Wesley Smith, is launching a major urban initiative for the Denver area, and especially Aurora, a city of 1/3 million. They had invited Mayor Hogan and other community partners to the meeting because The Wesleyan Church is planting churches and other urban ministries there with the enthusiastic encouragement of the city.
Mayor Hogan, on a day which included national press conferences and meetings with the governor, kept his appointment with The Wesleyan Church to request prayer and address the district conference. At Cherry Creek, Mayor Hogan expressed gratitude for the growing Wesleyan involvement in his city, and affirmed his invitation and even the partnership of his administration with the proposed urban initiatives in underprivileged areas. He also requested prayer and compassionate outreach to those most affected by the tragic shooting.
District Superintendent Smith stated that under the name “Mosaic,” there are immediate plans to launch four new local churches and other needed urban ministries in the area. Rev. Reid Hettich, long-time Wesleyan pastor in Aurora, will lead Mosaic. He had already developed connections with community leaders, including Mayor Hogan, leading up to this event.