Wright Opera House / Ouray, Colorado

Monday, May 28 - Thursday May 31


The times are changing.

The SAN JUANS SUMMIT is bringing together those working for a new kind of Christianity rooted in the practices of loving God with all our hearts and humankind just like ourselves. When love conflicts with belief, love must win. Every. Single. Time.

We are inviting those helping faith leaders and individuals leave behind the narratives of exclusion, violence, greed, sexism, exploitation, and racism, and embrace instead new narratives of reconciliation, inclusion, nonviolence, generosity, equality, and sustainability.

We are deeply distressed with the values being infused into American society by our current president, his administration, and the entire religious system that made his ascension possible. We find it antithetical to the way of Jesus. We believe in the future, however, and we are coming out.

It is often necessary to change public perception before changing public policy. We are in the business of changing people’s ideas and assumptions by telling and living out a better story. This summit is designed to encourage, connect, and equip forward-leaning, generous-hearted Christians.



Many of us feel the need to climb out of the valley, and head to the mountain-top.

We find ourselves wanting to get to the mountaintop not to ignore the crucial work of the valley, but to find new perspectives, be refreshed and connect with others on the same path and be inspired by what the future can look like.

In times of great importance, Jesus invited his friends to go to the mountain to seek clarity, understanding, and passion. Following in that spirit we are inviting people to a time in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado to seek paths of transformation for faith and civic life.   




You. You will be joined by others too.

DATES: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 6 pm - Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 12 noon

COST: Common Good Christians has graciously offered to host our gathering which will greatly help reduce our expenses. The key to this event is the people who are in attendance. Our time will be curated and facilitated to bring out the best in all the participants. The base cost of making this event happen are covered by Common Good Christians, each person is asked to contribute $99 this money will go toward lunch each day (which we will have together) and some shared experiences. If you can contribute more, we would greatly value your support.

HOSTED BY: Common Good Christians ( and Greater Things (

FACILITATORS: While all participants will lead, present and set the agenda for the summit, John Pavlovitz, Doug Pagitt, and Samir Selmanović will serve as facilitators.



We'll engage in vital conversations about what is emerging and converging among innovative, forward-leaning, generous-hearted Christians.

Our time together has five goals

Planning / Conspiring - Our group will include people who are doing exciting and meaningful work across the United States and Canada. We have designed this event for the purpose of discovering new possibilities, finding synergies among our existing groups, and committing ourselves to participation in an agile, sustainable, and gently-powerful movement that is already underway in US.

Specialized Conversations -  We will have plenty of opportunities for each person to suggest and host-specific conversations about issues you think are important.

Recreation for Re-Creation - There will be plenty of time for hikes, being outdoors, taking time to rest, eat great meals, and enjoy the town of Ouray, Ridgeway or take a day-trip to Telluride. We encourage you to come early for the Mountainfilm Festival that begins (Friday, May 25 in Telluride.

Mutual Inspiration / Encouragement - Some of us will come with our tanks pretty empty, and others with our tanks full to overflowing. We'll have time together each day to ensure that all will leave with full tanks - with questions answered, with dreams confirmed, with plans solidified, with allies enlisted, sharing the joy of being seen and heard by one another. We'll have time for prayer, teaching, and storytelling each day.

Relationship-Building - Perhaps most important of all, we will leave with a lot of new friends who share a common vision and heart.


LOCATION: Ouray, Colorado (in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado). Our meeting will be at the Historic Wright Opera House in Ouray (

REGISTRATION: This event is limited to 75 people and registration is guaranteed if completed by May 20th.

TRAVEL: You will be responsible for your own travel. If flying, consider using MTJ (Montrose) or GJT (Grand Junction) airports. Denver International is also an option but will require a 6-hour drive. We will arrange shuttles from the MTJ (Montrose) or GJT (Grand Junction) airports, or you can rent vehicles and share expenses too.

LODGING: You will be responsible for your own food and lodging. There are four good housing options in and around Ouray for The San Juan Mountains Meeting.

  • AirBnB

    or VRBO house or condo - we will have a Facebook group for you to connect with others to share a house or condo.

  • Hotels - There are a number of inexpensive hotels in Ouray

  • Camping - The KOA of Ouray -

  • Cabins - The Ouray RV Park and Cabins

SCHEDULE: Registration opens at noon, Monday, May 28. Events will begin at 6 pm. Our days will be arranged to facilitate the goals listed above. Each morning from 9-noon, we'll have large group gatherings and discussions. We'll break for you to have lunch and reconvene at 1:30. From 1:30 to 5, we'll meet in self-selected affinity groups. The evenings will be reserved for social connections. We'll wrap up by noon, Thursday, May 31.

SEE You Soon!


Summiteers for the Common Good (and Would-Be Attendees),

We are just 27 days away from what I expect to be one of the most-exhilarating gatherings I have ever attended. In my lifetime, the American Experiment has never seemed so imperiled and American Christianity never in such desperate decay. Trump and Trumpism have seemingly driven both to the brink (along with our individual psyches). So it seems incumbent upon all People of Good Will, those committed to upholding Good and resisting Evil, to devote their full energies and resources to begin to reverse this political-spiritual Plague upon our land by sweeping Trumpism’s enablers from power on November 6th. That’s what the San Juans Summit is primarily about.

I see two greater objectives beyond, which excite me even more:  

1.  Now that Trumpism has shown its true colors as an abjectly-selfish, nationalist, misogynist, white-supremacist belief system at complete odds with the evolved principles of America, we have a golden opportunity to recreate this country as the exemplar of freedom, facts, truth, absolute equality, and compassion it was always intended to be, but never truly achieved. That’s inherently so much easier to accomplish when the ugly opposites of those qualities are so apparent and so vivid.  And the threat to America so recent and so real.

2.  Secondly, a platinum opportunity (if that’s more precious than gold), in stark reaction  to the American Evangelical Betrayal, to remake Christianity, finally, in the image of Jesus. It’s been a long time since Jesus personally demonstrated the all-encompassing love, compassion for the sufferers, radical inclusiveness, and supreme selflessness which he called upon Humanity to emulate, but while his name has been hijacked for most of the intervening history, that shining vision has not been lost.  Now is the time to once again build, set, and populate his Bigger Table* at which all Humanity belongs and where each one is irreversibly treasured:  all ethnicities, all genders, all faiths, no faith.

But I’ve digressed, since this email is supposed to be about logistics. I just can’t help myself. . .


Now for some logistics . . .

A.  The Summit’s agenda is still under construction, with additional luminaries still being recruited, but we’ll share that with you in preliminary form soon.

B.  Registration & Kickoff will occur on Monday evening, the 28th, so please plan to arrive by mid-afternoon or earlier.

C.  For those of you arriving by air, we will have free airport transfers available from both Montrose (MTJ) and Grand Junction (GJT). It is incumbent upon you, of course, to give us your flight information in order to access those transfers. 

D.  Accommodations in Ouray run the gamut from simple to luxurious. Here are some additional suggestions, starting on the high end:

1.  The Beaumont Hotel is Ouray’s piece de resistance. Originally built in 1886, at the height of the San Juans’ Gold & Silver Rush, it was reconstructed in 2003. The current owners purchased it in 2010 and were married there a year later. In its original iteration, it hosted such notables as Chipeta, the widow of Chief Ouray of the Utes, who gave the town its name, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Sarah Bernhardt. The spectacular Beaumont is located almost directly across the street from our venue, the Wright Opera House.

2.   Another special spot is the Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings.  Ouray is renowned for its hot springs; the Wiesbaden’s vapor cave was used therapeutically and ceremonially by the Utes long before white man’s arrival. The original portion of the structure was built in 1879 as Mother Buchanan’s Bath House. It was later expanded to become the Bates Hospital and Sanitarium. If you are addicted to hot soaks or are drawn to the mystical, this is the place for you.

3.  A simpler lodging choice is the Ouray Chalet Inn, the classic two-level American motel. No remarkable history here, just clean rooms, free breakfast, and the breathtaking views shared by nearly every establishment in town.

4.  Many homes/condos are available for rent in Ouray. Find them at and

E.  Some of you may be joining us for Telluride’s amazing Mountainfilm Festival, which runs Friday through Monday ahead of the San Juans Summit. This will be its 40th Anniversary event, with a theme of Migration, particularly fitting for this group, I’d say. Mountainfilm’s joyous celebration of the Indomitable Spirit and passion for making the world a better place makes for a profoundly-uplifting holiday weekend! If you choose to attend, please alert us so that we can start to get to know you there.

F.  I’ve copied the leadership team for Common Good Christians and Greater Things, so don’t hesitate to reach out to any or all of us with any questions, comments, or suggestions. We’re committed to maximum impact for SJS—and that means maximum impact upon YOU and through YOU. So whatever we can do to better achieve that, we surely shall.

I’m counting down the days!

Your Local Host and Fellow Servant of Humanity,


                                                                                                        Rod Colburn

* Here is some homework!
If you haven’t yet read John Pavlovitz’s profoundly-motivating instant classic,  “A Bigger Table”, please do so before May 28th. 


Summiteers for the Common Good (and Would-Be Attendees),

Just seven days now until we gather in the Mountain Paradise for the best-possible purpose:  
To make the world a better place. No further pontificating from me this time, just straight to more details and logistics:



1.  Preview #3 will contain a detailed calendar, but here’s the Summit’s basic rhythm, as scored by Doug and Samir:  Monday evening’s session will be mostly welcoming and organizational, but Tuesday and Wednesday will each flow in similar fashion:  morning inspiration and ideas from both John and Frank, plus one or two each day of Keisha, Bob, Samir, and Doug. The afternoons will be devoted to Open Space sessions, a construct calculated to maximize participation and optimize outcomes.

2.  We’re not yet sure if it will be Tuesday or Wednesday, but one evening will feature Shannon Curtis ( in concert. Shannon is a seasoned songwriter and vocalist whose latest single was written for the Resistance:  “Armed With Joy”.

3. One evening, either Tuesday or Wednesday, we’ll take over the Ouray Brewery’s rooftop patio for dinner—and perhaps even stay there for our evening session.

4. Thanks to a clever suggestion from the Wright Opera House’s manager, a complimentary full breakfast will be served at the Secret Garden, a B&B located just two blocks from the Wright.


logistics . . .


2. The most popular activities in Ouray when one isn’t attending SJS are, in no particular order, (1) soaking in the hot springs, (2) hiking the Perimeter Trail (or any of the many others), and (3) Jeeping throughout mining country. The last will be somewhat limited by snowpack above 10,000 feet, but then there’s snow-Jeeping! So bring your hot-springs gear and your hiking shoes. Jeeps are rented at multiple locations in Ouray.

3. Ouray sits at approximately 7,800 feet above sea level, or almost exactly 1.5 miles. But they don’t call it the Mile-and-a-Half-High City, but rather the “Switzerland of America”. The punch line is, come prepared to feel the elevation. Elevation sickness is common, so be alert for it. And know that alcohol exacerbates the phenomenon. But most of those affected will fairly quickly acclimatize. Don’t panic, but do alert us if discomfort persists or increases.

4. We have one bedroom with a double / queen available Sun-Thurs in a house-share for $100/night. First claimant gets it.

5. If anyone has an extra bed Saturday night, the 26th, and/or Friday night, the 1st, we have a taker.

6. One Summiteer is seeking to carpool from the Colorado Springs area. Is anyone who’s driving from the Front Range able to offer an open seat?

Finally, the weather forecast looks spectacular! As those of you who know the San Juans are acutely aware, snow is common in late May. But we, blessedly, are told to expect mid-70s for highs (40s at night) and mostly sunshine for the entire Summit. And humidity way up there at 25% . . . Do pack your sunscreen—the sun’s mighty close up here! And heaven seems not far away. . .

Your Local Host and Wanna-Be Mountain Man,


                        Rod Colburn

* Here is some homework!
If you haven’t yet read John Pavlovitz’s profoundly-motivating instant classic,  “A Bigger Table”, please do so before May 28th.