›› It’s an unusual setting for a church service. A diverse group of about 30 parishioners file into the cafeteria of West Middle School in north Aurora on a Sunday morning. They sit at tables that seventh graders with brown-bag lunches vacated the previous Friday and they sing prayer songs to the tune of two guitars at the front of the room.
Some are dressed in their Sunday best—suits, spring dresses and iron-pressed shirts. For others, it’s just typical Sunday—a Run DMC T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. At Mosaic Church, there is no dress code, no formality, no judgment. The church’s mission is to bring people together, regardless of money or appearances, to make lasting, positive impacts in poverty, homelessness and crime that are synonymous with north Aurora.
“We see a community that has broken pieces of all different shapes and colors,” Pastor Reid Hettich says. “We think God is going to help us put together those broken pieces into something that’s incredibly significant and beautiful.”
Mosaic is an offshoot of the Cherry Creek Wesleyan Church in north Aurora that officially launched in January. Church members are still searching for a brick-and-mortar building in Original Aurora to call home, but they haven’t wasted any time planning ways to meet their lofty goals.
There are people living on the streets of East Colfax Avenue who are broken, Hettich says. They are struggling to pay for basic necessities like food and shelter. They are single parents, trying desperately to give their kids a good life. They are suffering, and their dreams are shattered. Hettich says Mosaic can give these people hope.
“Sometimes they’re just overwhelmed with the circumstances of life, and they need a good church,” Hettich says. “We believe strongly that when Jesus was here on Earth he went to people and neighborhoods like that, and he’s calling on us to do the same thing.”
Mosaic aims to bring these broken souls together, connect them with nonprofit and government resources in Aurora and encourage them to make a positive impact in their own neighborhoods.
Because of that, Mosaic’s church service is a unique combination of biblical lessons and pep rally.
After singing “Amazing Grace” in English, Spanish and Korean, Hettich’s voice bellows into the microphone. He talks about the vast number of children in north Aurora who are not proficient in reading by the time they reach third grade. “That’s simply not acceptable,” he tells the congregation.
If kids can’t read by third grade, Hettich says, then they can’t learn. If they can’t learn, they won’t thrive in school. By partnering with elementary schools in the area, the parishioners will be able to make a difference in these kids’ futures, Hettich says.
Hettich concludes the church service with a sermon.
This summer, members of the congregation are gearing up to give children in north Aurora school lunches during summer months. Men in the congregation have also signed up to mentor third- and fourth-grade boys who don’t have strong male role models in their lives. They hope that when they find a permanent home for Mosaic, they can offer after-school programs for children of working parents.
Mosaic’s commitment to neighborhood volunteer work is what attracts members of the congregation like Claudia Miguel. Miguel, 35, says she’s been to other churches in the past where parishioners attend Sunday services to feel better about themselves. Mosaic is different, she says. Mending the hearts of broken souls through prayer and volunteer work is a church mission that Miguel says she’s proud to be a part of.
“These people want to work with people in need,” she says. “They’re willing to take a step way beyond themselves and help others, pull them out, show them and teach them.”
“From broken to beautiful,” according to the church. According to the church’s spokespeople, the offshoot of Cherry Creek Wesleyan Church would like to be known as the church for Original Aurora. The church’s founders Reid Hettich and Blaine Derck maintain blogs where worshippers can follow the church’s progress as it sets up shop in north Aurora.