Park Church Downtown had its last Sunday on January 16

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Park Church Downtown Update

From Sunday, January 9

Park Church,

Two months ago, we shared about some areas of tension and challenge we were experiencing at Park Church Downtown in regards to leadership. Park Church Downtown was created out of a merger between two existing, like-minded churches: Park Church and Grace City Church. We knew this merger would be a risk and a challenge, but believed it would better allow us to advance the mission of God in Denver. And truly, we’ve seen God do so much.

However, leadership challenges and differences have continued to inhibit our ability to lead together in a healthy, sustainable way. These challenges have been complex, and the process we’ve been working through has revealed areas of misalignment and conflict on key issues related to philosophy of ministry, leadership structure, and leadership values between leaders from Park Church and leaders from Grace City.

To be candid, the experience has caused a lot of pain for several of our leaders, and even in our attempts to work toward unity, there have been numerous points of disagreement about the nature of those challenges and the best way to address them. Though we are united in our commitment to God’s Kingdom, and we truly desire to pursue reconciliation, the process we’ve been working through has revealed fundamental disagreements and ultimately an impasse that keeps us from being able to lead together as a united team.

As we’ve discussed and processed with all 13 of our elders and with outside counsel from CrossPoint Ministry, we have come to the unanimous conclusion that the best path forward is to return to being two separate churches: Park Church in the Highlands, and Grace City Church downtown. Sunday, January 16 will be our last Sunday as Park Church Downtown.

This decision is deeply painful for our church family. It’s humbling—we tried something and we failed. That failure caused and will continue to cause real pain for people we care about. It’s disorienting—many at the Downtown congregation are still adjusting to the original merger, yet are now picturing the complexity of adjusting “back.” Lastly, it’s disappointing—Park Church Downtown represents a lot of effort for so many families and individuals, and many haven’t even felt these decision-driving tensions personally.

As the leader of the pastoral team that led Park Church and so many of its families and members into this merger, I’m truly sorry.

We are committed to walking through this process in ways that glorify God and honor one another. We believe that God will work in and through this in more ways than we can understand, but that doesn’t negate the sadness or the pain that this has caused for many. Whether or not you or your family was part of Park Church Downtown, and to whatever degree you feel impacted by this, we’d like to ask you to respond in a few ways:

  • Please pray for our church as we walk through this, especially for those who have been a part of the Downtown congregation.
  • If you’re a member of the Highlands congregation, be an empathetic presence for those who will return to the Highlands. Many people feel complex emotions around this, and we want to be a community that cares for and supports one another when we walk through challenging times.
  • Wherever you feel personal questions, pain, or confusion, lean into Jesus and His people. Jesus desires to meet with us in the pain and challenges of life, and we want to help each other experience more of His grace and love as we walk through this together. If you or others you know have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our elders. We have planned lots of time for these important conversations.

In the hope of the Gospel,

Gary McQuinn
On behalf of the Elders of Park Church