Reflections: Eric Barley

There are a lot of exciting developments happening at The Summit! In anticipation of planting our AM Congregation on February 15, we asked some of our members to share their experiences of what it's looked like to be part of the Summit family.

Last summer I had a good conversation with Justin Almas. It was right before my wedding and he wanted to know how I was doing and how the planning was coming along.  As we talked, we reminisced on when we first met. He reminded me that on that February day I had planned to look for jobs, but put it on hold after I realized it had snowed. We laughed, and he said “Eric, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve really come a long way since I first met you.” He was right.

When I first met Justin, I had just arrived in Denver. I was living with my brother and sister-in-law and heavily examining the post-graduate crossroads I had stumbled upon. Life had been pretty easy and planned up to this point, yet in recent months the difficulty had picked up. That year I completed my bachelor’s degree, but struggled to find consistent work, gone through a rough breakup and picked up some seriously unhealthy habits (don’t start smoking or rely on fast food for meals!). I just had this feeling there should be more to all of this and my immediate priorities didn’t offer sustainable hope.

It was right around that time I was welcomed to the Summit. Bryan and Megan invited me. I knew they were intimately involved with a church plant in Denver but upon my arrival church going really wasn’t a priority for me. I offered to go out of courtesy.

That night, the focus was on Jacob’s story in Genesis. He was at a crossroads, wrestling with God, and like myself, he was unwilling to face the challenges ahead of him. God intervened with fear, yet he provided safety. It felt like the sermon had been written for me. With the series of events in the prior year, it seemed like this moment had been planned. I wanted to know more.

It is easy to write off those blue cards that the Summit references each Sunday, yet they really were a gateway for the next step.  They led to conversations with leaders and involvement with a city group. Attendance led to new friendships and many of the next steps I was desperately in search of. I found a job through my friends at the Summit, I met my wife at the Summit and I was encouraged run my first 5K because of the Summit. The last three years with the Summit have been a crash course into one of God’s most wonderful provisions: the Church.

This year will mark three years since I had the opportunity to proclaim my faith in Christ through baptism. Now, as I continue to walk in community and faith I cling to the words that were spoken in that moment, “His death your death, His victory your victory.”