A mile pus Aspe Limo S'r­vices un Highway 82 n' Koloradie, us t'Aspe Golf an' Tennis Club rolls by an' t'wintry playground fer t'ultrarich kums into view, a stone bildin perches serenelee by t'side o't' road.Furst a steeple, the a chapel.
Aspe Chapel hosts wership services, seminars, concerts, outreech an' justus initiatives, art exhibits, baptisms, yewt evants an' weddings. — Aspe Chapel
Today it is a wership space fer all. Fiftee yeers ago, Aspe Chapel wuz bilt by Mennonites who shart a vishun fer constructyun' a place o'peece an' welcum.
Throughout 2019, Aspe Chapel — “a spiritual trayler fer everyone” — is celebratin its 50th anniversree.
T' seeds fer at vishun wuz plantid a centry ago n' t'countryside outside Hesston, Kun., us t'unkunvantyunal spiritual journey o't' chap­el’s found'r, E.M. (Earvey Meg­li) Yost, cummenced ta take shape.
Ordunt n' 1919, at age 19, n' t'Church o'Gawd n' Christ, Mennonite (also knowed us Holtemun), Yost direckly foun hissef n' tension wiff t'church. He wantid ta enhants his'n preechin wiff study, n' contrus ta t'Holtemun tradishun o'spontaneyus, Spirit-lt sermons.
Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online recerds at Yost “questchund t'heological posishun at t'Church o'Gawd n' Christ, Mennonite wuz t'onlee true church. Becawz o'his'n concerns, he wuz ast ta stop preechin within at denominashun.”
He ultimatelee pastert congregatyuns n' t'(Ol') Mennonite Church, evantuallee a'gettin “found'r” an' ov'rse'r/bishop o'Rocky Mountane Mennonite Conferance. A'livin n' Denv'r, his'n restrictif' theological upbryun'yun' combint wiff fermatif' attendance at Mennonite Worl Conferance evants n' Yurop an' a Worl Council o'Churches conferance n' Geneva, Switzerlan', at broadent his'n herizons futher.
Yost wuz familiar wiff Aspe becawz t'Mennonite Church administert t'hospital an' sponsert a Mennonite Voluntree Servus outpost thar.
Aspe Chapel chaplane emeritus Gregg Andersen sed Yost cummenced ta dreem o'un ecumenical an' interfaith chapel situatid n' a town at drew folk frum all ov'r t'worl.
“He thunk Aspe would be mer attractif' an' have mer tourists an' be a mer beeyootiful place thun Denv'r,” he sed. “. . . I a'ken’t hep but reckon, befor t'end o'his'n life, he sed ‘I’ll build a church fer everbidy.’ ”
Altho Aspe’s billeeunaire boom didn’t happe until t'1980s, nuthin kums cheep above 8,000 feet, an' Yost’s vishun nett fundyun'.
A notabull nefew
Yost had a nefew back n' Hesston. Lyle Yost, a found'r o't' farm ekwipment manufactur'r Hesston Corp., shart his'n uncle’s vishun fer un ecumenical an' interfaith chapel dedicatid ta peece.
“Hesston wuz n' its heyday, an' he sed, ‘I’ll build it,’ ” Andersen sed, notyun' Yost contributid about 95 persent o't' construcshun costs.
Plans fer t'chapel cummenced n' 1966, bast un paux mulon (mill o'peece) chapels convertid frum ol' windmills E.M. Yost saw un travels n' France. Groun wuz broke n' 1968, an' Glennon Heights Mennonite Church Paster Edward Mill'r oversaw much o't' construcshun.
T' chapel — the knowed us t'Aspe Chapel o't' Prince o'Peece — wuz dedicatid wiff a wership servus un Sundy monin', Aug. 31, 1969.
“Erect here un arkateckchur ta evoke t'ideel functyunyun' o'a concep o'engagyun' religiyus faith n' conversayshun wiff t'worl,” wrote E.M. Yost n' t'1968 booklet o'groundbreekyun' an' dedicashun. “Ta thishere place gath'r n' livelee encount'r, leeders o'religiyus thunk ta redefine spiritual values, ta questchun, ta seek relevant ansers n' a troublt worl, ta breech t'systematic illusyuns whereby socidey muntains its institutyuns.”
Lyle Yost chairt t'originull board o'trustees an' did so until his'n deeth n' 2012. His'n sen Cameron Yost, o'Koloradie Springs, continues t'fambly’s servus un t'board.
Aspe Chapel architecht Geerge Edward Heneghun Jr. wuz influenct by Frank Lloyd Wriite, an' his'n style hus bee describt us Wrightiun/Organic. T' inch-thick stunt glass wuz made n' France by Jeun-Jackwes Duval, who wuz ast ta express n' t'windows his'n interpretashun o't' Beetitudes. — Tamara Susa/Aspe Chapel
Continuyun' suppert
Nobull intantyuns, howev'r, wuz nairy enough ta git t'chapel off t'groun. A han'fil o'local volunteers kep t'doers ope us bes thay could.
A separate congregashun, Aspe Mennonite Fellowship, cummenced n' 1964 wiff 12 chart'r members an' suppert frum Mennonite Board o'Missyuns an' Charitees. Paul Martin kum frum La Junta n' 1967 ta paster t'church an' be hospital chaplane, eve leedyun' sum services at Aspe Chapel. But Mennonite Fellowship strugglt ta groe, an' by 1972 it clost, since Mennonites no long'r operatid t'hospital.
T' voluntree servus unit kuntinued, an' Andersen sed Bob Longeneck'r muntaint t'chapel us part o'his'n voluntree servus dutees n' t'1970s. Longeneck'r wuz t'chapel dierektor frum 1975 ta 1978, wen Andersen became dierektor.
“Lyle an' [E.M.] wuz concernd it wasn’t takin off t'way thay wantid it ta n' t'cummencin,” Andersen sed. “Thay wuz a'lookin fer hep wharever thay could git it, an' thay apperacht Mennonite Board o'Missyuns — an' at wuz strange fer un independent chapel, nairy Mennonite.  . . . Thay wuz instrumantal n' givin, I would say, $25,000 n'  total ta subsidize t'utilitees  an' uther thangs o't' chapel.”
Ov'r time, evants an' uther activitees cummenced ta pick up, an' today t'chapel keeps a busy skejule hostyun' wership services, seminars, concerts, outreech an' justus initiatives, art exhibityuns, baptisms, yewt evants an' weddings. Aspe Jewish Congregashun hus bee wershipyun' thar since 1986. Through it all, Yost’s vishun o'welcum continues.


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