St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church
Denver CO


Who we are

As faithful followers of Jesus, St. Barnabas Parish strives to be a welcoming community of faith marked by Joyful worship, Spiritual growth, a Welcoming and progressive faith, Care for all creation, a Thirst for justice, and Responsible stewardship.

In Practical Terms…

We gather prayerfully around Word and Sacrament to proclaim, celebrate, and participate in God’s love through liturgy and music.

We walk a path of life-long learning and exploration of our personal faith, seeking authentic and deeper relationships with God.

We invite all from across God’s gloriously diverse spectrum of humanity to join our family and connect with us as we practice an expansive Christianity supported by Scripture, tradition, and reason.

We strive to be God’s hands in the world, working to restore the dignity and integrity of our Earth and all creation with selfless love.

We promote equity, justice, and peace among all people, advocating for social change in solidarity with those who are marginalized.

We draw upon the time, talent, and treasure of our community to continue St. Barnabas’ legacy as a faithful center for gathering and outreach.

Whether you're looking for a church community to call home or visiting from out of town, we welcome you exactly the way you are! Here's what to expect when you join us for worship.

While we are a casual and progressive congregation, our Sunday morning services follow the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church.

Children of all ages are welcome at all services. There are 'busy baskets,' books, and worship boxes available in the sanctuary and a soft space on the north side of the sanctuary for little ones who need to move. We also offer Godly Play (a biblical story telling experience) for ages three through eight during the 9:30 service. Children join the congregation at the Sharing of the Peace and stay for Communion. The classrooms are located on the second floor. A greeter will be happy to assist you.

At St Barnabas, all are welcome to receive Communion regardless of age or denomination. If you do not wish to receive Communion but would like a blessing, cross your arms over your chest. It's also completely acceptable to remain seated during Communion.

Following our service, we gather for refreshments and fellowship in Lukens Wing, the gathering space just outside the sanctuary. Please join us. We want to get to know you! From 11:00 - 12:00, we offer opportunities for spiritual exploration and growth for youth (grades 7-12), and adults.

St. Barnabas has a long history of advocacy in a variety of social justice issues. In the words of our Baptismal Covenant, we wish to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people; and to respect the dignity of every human being. We are a casual, friendly, and loving congregation, and we look forward to meeting you!

Church Address

St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church
1280 Vine St.
Denver, CO 80206-2912
United States
Phone: 303-388-6469
Fax: 303-333-0512
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Church Pastor

Fr. Jeffrey Nelson
Fr. Jeffrey Nelson
1280 Vine St.
Denver, CO 80206-2912
United States
Phone: 303-388-6469
Fax: 303-333-0512
Download Priest-in-Charge Fr. Jeffrey Nelson vCard with Bio   Edit

Quote of the Day
Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.




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Leader Name:
Fr. Jeffrey Nelson   Edit
Leader Position:
Priest-in-Charge   Edit
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303-333-0512   Edit
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Leader Bio:
Father Jeffrey Nelson was born and raised in Wisconsin. He received degrees from Valparaiso University (BA), The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (MDiv), and Luther Seminary (Th.D).

Ordained in 1986, Fr. Jeffrey served as a pastor, college professor, writer, and editor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from 1986 to 2010. He was received as a priest in The Episcopal Church at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, Minnesota in January 2010, where he served as Priest Associate until being called as Rector of Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte, Nebraska. He served there from November of 2010 until being called in January of 2019 to serve as Priest-in-Charge at St. Barnabas Parish.

Father Jeffrey is married to Curt Bennett. He has three children from a previous marriage, Katherine, Anna, and Kurt, three stepchildren, and two step-grandchildren. Father Jeffrey and Curt share dual residences in Denver and Johnson Lake, Nebraska with their Yorkies, Lila and Leo. Fr. Jeffrey enjoys reading, music, writing, travel, roller coasters, movies, and board games.   Edit
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Carol Van Dyke   Edit
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Parish Administrator   Edit
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303-333-0512   Edit
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1280 Vine St., Denver, CO
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On-street parking is available. Public parking is also available in Cheesman Park, about a seven-minute walk from the church.   Edit

St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church Denver Service Times

Join us every Sunday for Worship:

November 22, 2020
The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Worship Bulletin

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Service Times last updated on the 18th of November, 2020
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Sunday School / Children and Youth Activities

Under 12s:

At St Barnabas children of all ages are always welcome to worship with our congregation in both services. There are ‘Busy Baskets’ with soft toys and books under the pews as well as a large book basket under the front pew. Additionally, Worship Boxes are provided and include a variety of ways to engage with the service, sometimes just by keeping small hands busy. The blue carpet on the north side of the sanctuary is expressly offered as a soft space for little ones to move around and play.

There are also opportunities for children to participate in and lead worship, including the Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) pancake supper and liturgy, Palm Sunday and Easter, Pentecost, the Blessing of the Backpacks, the St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, and more.

Godly Play

Godly Play is for preschool through early elementary school children during the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the service, which includes readings and the sermon). Children return to worship at the exchange of The Peace, before communion. Godly Play is offered during the school year.


Spiritual formation for Middle School kids is also offered during the Liturgy of the Word, the first part of our Sunday worship. The youth engage the lectionary texts (the assigned Bible readings for each Sunday) in age-friendly ways and return to the worship service for the celebration of Holy Eucharist.   Edit
Under 18s:
St. Barnabas Youth Group

St. Barnabas Youth are encouraged to participate and lead in a variety of ways; by serving at the altar as acolytes and readers, by serving their community in the nursery and Godly Play classroom, and by joining their peers at twice monthly meetings as well as social gatherings, service projects and travel, and our annual Youth Group Camping Trip in August.

We introduce a new youth class of 6th and 7th graders every other year, and those groups remain together throughout middle and high school even while integrating with the full 6th-12th grade group frequently.

Every other year we hold a special liturgy called “Rite 13” to acknowledge and celebrate our young teenagers’ passage into young adulthood, even while renewing our baptismal vows and our commitment to presence for these young people.

On alternate years, our 9th and 10th graders prepare for and travel on Pilgrimage to the Navajo Nation and Four Corners Region. This trip is designed to help youth explore their relationship to God and themselves through sacred time, sacred space, and sacred journey.

St. Barnabas Youth participate each summer in service learning and travel through our collaboration with YES (Young Episcopalians in Service); a multi-parish ministry of the Episcopal Church in Colorado.   Edit

Local outreach & community activities


Other activities & ministries


Special Needs/Accessibility

St. Barnabas is ADA accessible with an elevator to the second floor.   Edit

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History of St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church Denver

Our Heritage, 1890-Present - 125 Years of Worship, Service, and Gratitude
The First Half-Century (1890 – 1940)

St. Barnabas began as Christ Church Mission in a rented storefront at Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street in 1890. The cornerstone of the present church was laid June 13, 1891. Bishop John Franklin Spalding conducted the opening service on September 6, 1891. An active, energetic, and enthusiastic laity and dynamic leadership from its Rectors have defined St. Barnabas Parish ever since.

The first Rector, Father Charles H. Marshall, expanded the sanctuary, added the parish house (now named Lukens Wing), and planted the elm tree and the garden. In his twenty-five years, he created the Altar Guild, Women’s Guild, and Ladies Auxiliary, beginning a legacy of leadership among the women of St. Barnabas, which continues to this day. Christ Church became St. Barnabas in 1895.

St. Barnabas continued to grow and thrive under the leadership of laity and the parish’s second Rector, Father Charles H. Brady, who served from 1920-1946. Father Brady’s service to St. Barnabas is significant for the establishment of the church school, a Boy Scout troop, and the Guilds of St. Elisabeth and St. Mary.
The Second Half-Century (1941 – 1990)

From 1946 to 1969 the congregation flourished under the pastoral care of Father Alexander Lukens, Sr. The parish house was enlarged and property adjacent to the church, which housed a livery stable, was purchased for the construction of Marshall House, the parish social hall. When Father Brady’s son, John, perished in World War II, the Brady family donated the fireplace in the Brady Room, an alcove of Marshall House. Parishioners helped to found two significant Denver institutions: Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, serving patients with strokes, brain injuries and complex orthopedic problems, and Sewall Child Development Center, specializing in diagnosis and treatment of children with birth defects and developmental delays.

In the 1960’s, St. Barnabas formed the 1280 Corporation, to help low-income families purchase renovated, affordable homes. Women in the parish were instrumental in starting Denver’s first chapter of Planned Parenthood.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, under Father Gilbert E. Dahlberg, parishioners created a community pre-school in the church, volunteered with a group trying to ease the conflicts of forced busing, and participated in a city-wide effort to help Cambodian refugees relocate to Denver.

In September 1984, St. Barnabas welcomed The Reverend Edward F. Ostertag as its Rector. “Father O,” as he was affectionately called, was characterized as a man who forthrightly expressed principles of equality and fairness. He was a sensitive, strong spokesperson for various cultures and diversity, and the person who helped characterize St. Barnabas as a parish that can reach the unreachable. He provided a temporary home for the Living Waters Native American Congregation and strengthened the foundation for St. Barnabas to become a community that welcomes people of many different life styles.

During Father O’s pastorate, a large roof beam crashed to the sanctuary floor. Fortunately, no one was injured. Upon further examination, structural weaknesses were also found in two walls and the basement, making repair a very major undertaking. The rallying spirit of St. Barnabas showed itself when, with the support of Bishop Frey and the unflinching resolve of Father O and the people of St. Barnabas, we creatively found the resources needed to rebuild. Parishioners served as project manager and architect. The Finance Committee used their skills to arrange financing through bonds.

Adaptability became a hallmark of the parish during the two years of construction. We had the experience of gathering around an altar and facing one another in Lukens Wing, so there was continuity in the transition to the new sanctuary. All but the north and south walls of the sanctuary were torn down and rebuilt. The sanctuary was dramatically redesigned as a place of worship with a central altar and seating around three sides of the altar, instead of a traditional long nave with the people separated from the altar by a screen. The sanctuary was painted with bright colors. The people of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, a downtown parish in the process of closure, donated the beautiful marble altar that is the centerpiece of the sanctuary. In 1990, St. Barnabas welcomed St. Mark’s congregation to use our facilities for their services. As time went on, some of them became members of St. Barnabas and brought their loving spirit with them.
The Second Century (1991 – present)

The Reverend Albert N. Halverstadt succeeded Father Ostertag as Rector in 1991 and presided over St. Barnabas’ centennial celebration and move into the new sanctuary. Father Al, as he preferred to be called, was impressed by the spirit of our vibrant, growing, welcoming congregation and our prayerful thankfulness for and pride in our achievements. He wonderfully complemented and enhanced the spirit of St. Barnabas, strongly promoting diversity and encouraging pursuit of the social message of the gospels. Under Father Al’s leadership and collaboration with parishioners, outreach programs that benefit the entire community were developed. Of special note is Project Angel Heart, which began in St. Barnabas’ kitchen, cooking and delivering meals to people suffering from HIV/AIDS. It now has its own facility and serves meals to thousands of clients in metropolitan Denver.

Membership drawn from many sources grew 40%, and the budget increased 80%. To help meet our increasing needs, in 1996 St. Barnabas called The Reverend Georgia L. Humphrey to join us as Associate Rector.

Upon Father Al’s retirement, Associate Rector Georgia Humphrey was installed as Rector in 2000. “Georgia” continued the informality of being on a first-name basis with the congregation. She enthusiastically continued to encourage lay leadership in all aspects of parish life and worship. In 2001, she wisely hired a lay Family Minister to serve the growing population of families with young children. The Family Minister inaugurated a Parents of Young Children group, with seven families and ten children under age 10. At present, the group consists of 37 families, many of them non-traditional, and 60 children. As the parish grew the Rev. Deb Angell was called as Associate Rector to broaden the pastoral ministry of the parish. A concern for social justice drove both Rector and laity and cemented our reputation as one of the most progressive parishes in the Diocese, an identity to which we are fully committed.

Following Georgia’s retirement in 2006 the parish was led by Interim Rector Sandra Boyd and Associate Rector Debra Angell. The interim period was alternately an exciting time of exploration of the life of the parish and a time of tense uncertainty. With the leadership of Rev. Deb, whose mantra was "Stay Calm and Carry On", the longstanding values of the parish were reasserted: to Faithfully follow Christ on the path he leads and to faithfully, pastorally and prophetically serve the diverse community in which we are placed.

In 2008 the Reverend Paul Garrett was called as the eighth Rector of St. Barnabas. This period has been characterized by growth in the Family Ministry program and an exciting outward focus and engagement with our community. We have partnered with the Colfax Community Network to reach out to homeless families living in motels along the Colfax Ave. corridor. We also are a host site one night a week for a small shelter for homeless women. Fr. Paul led the congregation through a revisit of much of the in-depth work conducted by the parish in the early 1990’s on issues of human sexuality and the full inclusion in the life of the church and parish of members of the LGBT community. As a result of this period of both historical and current self-study the parish has been authorized to once again conduct blessing of commitment for same sex couples! (The first gay union blessing in the Diocese was performed at St. Barnabas.) The parish is also committed to working with other religious groups through the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado to help move civil society to a place of full civil rights for members of the LGBT community.

In 2015 St Barnabas embarked on a journey to renew our buildings. We've remodeled our parish hall, including classrooms, office and work space and our kitchen. We've also opened the space between our Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall to accommodate a growing congregation. Following a successful Capital Campaign, architects and a contractor were chosen and hired, and our congregation moved temporarily to nearby Warren United Methodist Church. This time of pilgrimage granted our parish time and space to renew our legacy both in the space our ministries call home and in our commitment to who we are as a community called to faithful service in Christ's name. We celebrated the return to our iconic building at 13th and Vine St. on November 13, 2016.   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer "Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still."
E.M. Bounds
This page was last updated on the 18th of November, 2020
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