HYGIENE – The United Methodist Church has had a positive influence on the lives of Hygiene families for over a hundred years.
In 1903 the Colorado conference of the Methodist Church began procedures for establishing a Hygiene church. Charles Bickerdike, a local merchant, sold an acre of land for the church for $200. The membership had developed to 26 people when they made plans to build a church for $3,500. With the help of volunteer labor, the church was erected in 1905. In 1915, the final payment was made for the church piano. In addition, the Burch family, in remembrance of Lawrence Burch, donated the Baldwin organ. Stained glass windows were donated from the Longmont Methodist church. Historian Dianne Benedict of Lyons wrote this information in her newly published book, Hygiene, Colorado, From Hoofbeats to Pickups, now for sale at the Boulder County General Store. The present interior of the church is elegantly simple and very pleasing, with the stained glass windows adding to the subtle beauty.
Pastor Amos Kariuki has been officiating in Hygiene since last summer. He has a great appreciation for the informality of the congregation which creates a freedom where everyone feels welcome. I first came to the church in January and found the experience to be authentic and very loving. This congregation feels like a family of caring individuals who, without judgment, accept everyone just as they are.
“The theology of the church becomes relevant when it address the needs of the people,” Pastor Kariuki said. He is involved in the lives of the congregation andsupports involvement in the wider community. On Earth Day Sunday after many women in the church shared with us the ways to be more conscious in preserving our natural resources, we gathered and with garbage bags in hand and picked up trash along 75th Street. The churchgoers are looking into being a recycling center for our community. Another example of outreach to our community is the partnership with Hygiene Elementary School. Many of the congregation tutor students. The ladies knit mittens and hats for students who needed them this last winter. This summer, the congregation is focusing on collecting school supplies for children in need. This relationship with the elementary school has been very rewarding for everyone involved.
For many years now, congregation members have shared their talents in cooking and entertaining by offering a St. Patrick’s Day dinner with live music. The hall was bustling with happy folks enjoying delicious corned beef dinner and of course, a bake sale. Over 300 people enjoyed an evening out with friends. The HoBo dinner in the fall is equally well attended.
This coming Saturday, June 19, the Antique Truck and Tractor Show will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come and join us in the fun of seeing vintage vehicles!
The Old Car Club meets at church, the Boy Scouts gather for meetings and to work on projects too. AA meetings will be held there in the future. This church is active in offering assistance to many aspects of our community.
Pastor Kariuki has a gift in touching souls. He is from Kenya, married to Njeri, with three children, one just finishing his first year of collage, another son in high school, and a daughter in elementary school. They moved to the States many years ago so that he could further his ministerial studies.
During the winter months the church choir of about a dozen lovely and inspiring voices is directed by J.R. Homan. Music is a rich part of the Sunday service, with old favorite hymns played on the organ as well as the piano by Jeanette McKinney. A few weeks ago, John and Ruth Mischler lead us in singing. Their angelic voices brought out the best in us. The congregation participates in every service; this outpouring of dedicated love makes you feel right at home. Andi Ernst chairs the board of trustees and is the lay leader. His recent talk when Pastor Kariuki was away was very informative on the ways that we block God from our lives and how to remove those blocks so that we can be a light unto the world.
I wanted to attend services because it is right here in my community. I was so pleased with the sincerity of the people, the inclusive feeling, the simplicity of the powerful message. The presence of God is truly felt in this special place. Pastor Kariuki invites the children to come forward in the service where he talks to them about the many aspects of God in their lives; I sense that the children feel “held” by the people. We sing a song called This is where the children belong, and I do believe that they feel they belong here.
The United Methodists say everyone is welcome. This is a very hospitable group and the social time after the service is wonderful. These are some of the best cooks in rural Boulder County, and at the last Sunday of the month, everyone joins in a potluck, you will be amazed at the feast that is shared by all. I have found a new fellowship here in Hygiene, and it is making a difference in my life. Services are held on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. The fabulous old bell rings everyone together for worship. For more information call the United Methodist Church in Hygiene or call 303-776-0700.Back to Top