Who We are
for those who have been hurt by Christianity – we have a Safe Church Policy and a Ministerial Code of Ethics and we have Gender Neutral bathrooms – and we are open to constructive critique and dialogue when we do not live up to our goals
in that children are included, and their specific needs considered, in all aspects of our life together including worship, communion, justice work, spirituality, education and community life
Open and Affirming
of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, officially since 1997
in the language we use, including non-sexist and gender-neutral language for God and each other and attention to each person’s preferred pronouns
as we compost and recycle, use green products, limit our use of paper products, and use xeriscaping
in our theology, liturgy, communal life and ministry
About our minister and staff
Rev. Erin Tyler (she/her), Interim Minister
Rev. Erin Tyler serves as the Interim Minister for Cairn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University in 2019 and Master of Divinity in 2022 from Claremont School of Theology. She was ordained into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in July 2022. Erin is also the Lead Police Chaplain for Fort Collins Police Services and is one of the co-leads for Community Chaplaincy in Larimer County, which is part of Larimer County's Behavioral Health Team that responds in disasters.
Erin and her partner, Jeremy, live on a farm near Wellington, where they enjoy beekeeping, gardening, and sharing their labyrinth with visitors.
Nicole Vickey (she/her), Ministerial Intern
Cairn is thrilled to welcome Nicole Vickey as our intern for the summer and autumn seasons. Nicole has worked in disaster ministry through the United Methodist Committee on Relief, as well as served in a variety of lay ministry roles throughout her adult life. Most recently she served as a pastor for three years at Envision Community Church, a progressive and non-denominational church in Longmont.
Nicole is in the middle of completing her Master of Divinity at Duke University, via a hybrid program that allows her to stay living in Lafayette and travel to Duke's campus several times a year.
She has a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment and spent a long first career working for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
Nicole lives in Lafayette with her husband, Jesse, their two children (Elle, 18 and Beck 13), and their beloved bulldog Grace.
Alanna Hunter-Lawley (she/they),
Director of Communications, Children, and Youth
Alanna Received her Masters in Social Justice and Ethics in May of 2019. They have a passion for working with kids and youth as they discover the world and explore spirituality. At Cairn, Alanna develops our children and youth programs with our Family Ministries Team, manages our communications, and helps implement our Sunday morning Worship.
Rebecca Hirsch (she/her), Music Director
Becca came to Cairn Christian Church in 2006. She is a pianist, singer, accompanist, choral director, and woodwind player based in Berthoud. She comes from a musical family, full of pianists, conductors, opera singers, jazz players, and symphony musicians. Becca graduated from Hastings College with degrees in Music Performance and Psychology. She also earned a Master’s in Special Education from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and worked as a teacher and case manager to students with significant physical and intellectual disabilities. Before returning to her hometown of Berthoud, Becca taught music at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. Courses taught include Music Theory, Ear Training and Sight-Singing, Music Appreciation, Music History, private lessons, and choirs. She has extensive experience teaching private lessons on saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe, piano, and voice. Becca is well-versed in various styles, but has a passion for jazz. She plays saxophone with various jazz groups throughout the front range, and has recorded and studied with noted Denver jazz saxophonist, Jim Riley. Becca also currently serves on the faculty of the Face Academy of Music. She also has a CHt certificate in Counseling Hypnotherapy and is a Reiki practitioner. Becca is passionate about the energetic transformations that can take place with Reiki energy work, and feels strongly that it has affected her musical practice and performing in a deeply spiritual way.
Sarah Schneider (she/her), Accompanist
Sarah hails originally from Southern Indiana, where she began her musical journey at age 7 with piano lessons, at her mother's insistence, along with her siblings. Finding joy in learning at the keyboard, she began playing for her parents' church at the age of 12 and continued that all throughout high school and her early college years. Since then, she has played piano and organ for many different churches and while she has enjoyed multiple opportunities to work making music, no other musical experience has been as fulfilling and joyful as playing at Cairn Christian Church. Sarah and her partner Dave live in Coal Creek Canyon, and she spends her time away from Cairn working as a metalsmith/jewelry designer and is trying to develop and grow her own business.
Satsuki Howell (she/her), Nursery Attendant
Satsuki Howell has been the Nursery Attendant at Cairn since the autumn of 2015. Originally from Japan, Satsuki now lives in Lafayette with her husband Mark and their two young children Emma Mae and Jay. Satsuki brings both passion and experience to her work with our young children at Cairn.
We are cairn christian church
What Binds Us Together: A Theological Statement
Understanding that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is not bound by any creed and has no tests of faith, we share the following theological statement as a starting point for an open, communal and covenental faith journey.
We seek the expansive mystery of God and celebrate our human capacity to imagine, experience, and serve God in diverse ways.
We explore the way of Jesus, the stories of scripture, and our different interpretations, as pathways to deepen our human experience and encourage lives of justice and compassion.
We participate in the open table of bread and wine shared by Jesus, where all are invited and none excluded, as central to our experience of God’s love, healing and hope.
We celebrate the Church as a web of relationships through which we can experience God, share the love and vision of Jesus with others, and participate in the healing of all of creation.
We believe in the beauty and value of each individual and in our need to open the selfish, destructive and wounded parts of our own lives and our human society to the meanings and possibilities of forgiveness, salvation and grace.
We understand faith as a journey of questioning, discovery and love of neighbor.
Our name is unusual. A cairn is a mound or stack of rocks built at the side of a pathway. They are found all over the world. They are a place to rest. They are signs to show the way when the path is confusing, or we are lost. They are symbols of balance and harmony. They are markers of holy places where individuals and groups have experienced God’s presence and decided to leave a lasting reminder. They are beautiful, spontaneous pieces of art that celebrate earth. Cairns are built by many hands working together over time or sometimes by a single person. They can be very simple or extremely elaborate. When we see a cairn, we are drawn to add our own stone to the pile. In all these ways, cairn is a metaphor for our life together and a reminder that we are always in process. We don’t claim to have it all figured out, but we do claim to love and honor the journey.
Who We Desire to Be: Our Vision
We are a vibrant, inter-generational community engaged in sharing God’s love and grace through daring, hands-on explorations of faith, service, justice and peace in our complex and evolving world.
How We Desire to Live Together: Our Values
We will understand and celebrate our multiple differences.
We will be imaginative and innovative.
We will create a shared ministry that welcomes the gifts of every person.
We will limit negative impact and promote positive impact on the environment.
We will act and speak with civility and consideration.
We will respect the needs of body, mind and spirit.
We will pay attention to integrating all ages – especially children, youth, and seniors – into all aspects of our ministry.
What We Desire to Do: Our Mission
We will practice radical inclusion, create bold and honest relationships, and provide a space of sanctuary and compassion.
We will honor and explore our human experience of “thin places” – those sacred spaces, times and places, where mystery and the human spirit touch.
We will engage in rigorous study and deep conversation to broaden our faith, know our tradition, and expand our commitment to justice and peace.
We will share our gifts for the well-being of the congregation and for ministries of service, justice and peace.
We will advocate for and partner with marginalized people in our community and our world, with special focus on racial and economic equality, and the rights of children and youth, people with disabilities and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community.
We will practice conflict management and reconciliation in our own lives and support peacemakers around the globe.