Where we’ve been
In 2006 Atlas Met in homes and borrowed buildings.
We found a more permanent home in what was previously known as the Beetle Beanery. We rooted ourselves deliberately on 16th Street with the mission that we would be Christ for 16th Street culture.
Our tiny round stage was where we held talks, meetings, and local concerts. In this building we started Mosaic shows- which to date have raised tens of thousands of dollars for outside charities.
In this building we knew we had a community worth building, and growing, and fighting for.
We moved out of the Beetle and were “homeless” for a season.
We met in a backyard and (blessedly) had no rain all summer, although there were plenty of bugs. Amazingly, people still came. They prayed, they hung out, they worshiped, they ate all of our food.
That fall we moved into 709 16th Street.
When we took possession we literally power-washed the walls with rented sprayers and hoses. Many of us had to throw away our shoes, they were so beyond dirty. After that the building was clean and it was ours.
We had (and have) a lot to do work-wise on this old girl. Bathrooms were one of our biggest accomplishments. Many an Atlas person can tell you about the days of going across the street to use the loo (Thank you Christian Congregational for being so generous).
This is where the John Galt Coffee Company would go- but not for many years. We waited and worked and scrimped and saved for everything.
Often progress was really slow. Some months the most we could do was cheer each other on and really really pray that we made the right decision to bet on this cinderblock structure as the future that God had for us.
Because we built it together, we just wouldn’t quit.
The very day we got the new Atlas theater building, and held our first service indoors and not in the back yard, it poured rain.
I remember thinking “this is God’s yes to us. ‘Yes, I will give you shelter and provision.'”
He did and He is.
We lit the space with lamps and sat on borrowed chairs. We knew were together, that we created this together and we were happy.
For 5 years since we have continued to make improvements and room to welcome anyone who would give God a chance.
Our gallery space has about four coats of paint to make the gray walls shine. Dozens of Atlasians have put their time and money where their mouth is to make this gallery one of the hubs of art in our city.
Hosting art and music and progressive culture draw people into the Theater, and we hope into more than that… in to a life that is different and full and real.
For most of the Atlas history our kids met in small and crowded spaces. They are troopers. Like all of Atlas, they are grateful what we have been given. The kids are the light and laughter and good cheer of this place.
In the summer of 2012 we opened doors to a clean and bright child space. Restoring a long-shuttered daycare just one building away (how did we not see that all this time!) we cleaned and painted and built our way to a fresh and inviting children’s space we call the PING building. On any given sunday we see 18-28 kids learning about Jesus and loving on each other.
With each holiday and each Atlas.City show we have more color and more progress on making our building reflect the people we hope to be.
We are a work in progress.
God will never be done with us. He will hang in there with His broken people as we try hard and mess up and try hard again.
What we have to show for it is a little corner of a Northern Colorado town that is getting better every year, and a group of people that will not quit on each other or the beliefe that God is brining His kingdom to this place.
And where are we going? Funny you should ask. We are not always sure, but we want to go there with you.
Talking to a friend the other day about how Atlas is different, he stopped me at one point and said “All Churches say that.”
“True,” I said “But I hope Atlas lives it.”
We strive, and long, and suffer andHOPEandPRAY to be different.
To. Be. Real.
To be a hospital for souls.
To be the place you come in as you.
To be God’s Kingdom on earth where Jesus is pleased to dwell.
We are here and you are welcome to come in our doors and find yourself. home.
( <3 Kelly Cook)