Nuggets make a play for Christ

Nissa LaPoint

After the Denver Nuggets steamrolled the Orlando Magic in their fifth-consecutive win Saturday, several athletes and coaches returned to the shiny court that night to make another winning play—praise Jesus Christ.

Star players on the NBA basketball team appeared for the annual Faith Night gathering at the Pepsi Center in Denver to testify to their faith in God and encourage discipleship.

“If we are serious about God, if we are serious enough to go out and serve the Lord, he will do  marvelous things in our lives,” said assistant coach Patrick Mutombo.

Mutombo led the testimonies before hundreds of fans in the stands. He bowed his head and raised an arm in prayer with forward Quincy Miller and guard Randy Foye, who scored double- digit points earlier during the game.

He said at some point Jesus will ask each person, “Who do you say I am?”

Mutombo faced this question at 19 years old after coming to the United States to play basketball.

“I was broken, I was hurt and at that point the Lord asked me, ‘Who will you serve?'” he told the fans. “And I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.”

The crowd belted “Amen” to proclamations that Jesus is the answer to life. They also raised their hands with the Nuggets’ J.J. Hickson, Jordan Hamilton, Anthony Randolph and Nate Robinson who gathered to pray.

K-Love FM-91.1 Christian music station and the Colorado Christian University partnered to sponsor the Faith Night intended to reach out and minister to new people, said Kayleigh Bland, promotions manager for the station.

“Our main goal is letting them see the love of Christ,” she said.

The station also sponsored a concert by contemporary Christian musician Chris August, whose popular song “Starry Night” topped Christian billboards.

Before August’s performance, Mutombo closed the testimonies saying the “world needs believers.”

“It is OK to praise God in public. It is OK to say alleluia to Jesus Christ,” Mutombo told the crowd. “We need to show love and compassion, because the spirit of God is within us and the world is starving for love.”

COMING UP: Archdiocese of Denver’s news publications honored with 15 Catholic Press Awards

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Coverage of the More Than You Realize conference and reporting on social justice issues were among the 15 honors the Catholic Press Association awarded the Denver Catholic and El Pueblo Catolico at the recent Catholic media conference in Florida, June 18-21.

Bishop Jorge Rodriguez was also awarded first place for a regular column by a bishop or archbishop in a Spanish publication.

The Denver Catholic received seven awards, including first place best news writing on a local or regional event for the staff’s collaborative coverage of the MTYR conference June 11, 2018, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

El Pueblo Catolico received eight awards, including first place for reporting on social justice issues for a story on preventing suicide, and second place for in-depth analysis for a story on the debates surrounding “caravans” of immigrants coming to the United States.

Staff writer Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez, who was recently named the new editor of El Pueblo Catolico, took home four awards – two for articles in the Denver Catholic and two for articles in El Pueblo. For the Denver Catholic, he received a second-place editorial award for a story on the Facebook privacy scandal, and an honorable mention award for a feature story on Blind Faith Brewing.

The publications were also honored with awards for layout, design, interviews and reports.

“I want to congratulate the staff of the Denver Catholic and El Pueblo Catolico for their accomplishments over the past year and the much-deserved recognition they’ve received for their incredible talents,” said Aaron Lambert, Managing Editor. “More importantly, I am thankful for each of their witnesses to Jesus Christ, without whom we would not be able to carry out this mission we’ve been entrusted with. Last but not least, I want to thank the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver for their support, encouragement, comments and feedback, and most of all, for allowing us to tell your stories.”

Denver Catholic

1st Place – Best News Writing on a Local or Regional Event – “Be Not Afraid” https://denvercatholic.org/past-25-years-remembered-next-25-anticipated-at-more-than-you-realize-conference/

2nd Place – Best Editorial on a National or International Issue – “Facebook privacy scandal a wake-up call for Catholics” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez) https://denvercatholic.org/facebook-privacy-scandal-a-wake-up-call-for-catholics-experts-say/

2nd Place – Best Annual Report http://read.uberflip.com/i/1079667-financial-report-2018

2nd Place – Most Effective Use of Small Space – Bethlehem Handicrafts (Simona Fava, Kim Grace)

3rd Place – Best Print Circulation Promotion Campaign – Julia Greeley Anniversary Mass (Simona Fava)

Honorable Mention – Beat Feature Writing – “Blind Faith Brewing: the new Catholic taproom in town” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez) https://denvercatholic.org/blind-faith-brewing-new-catholic-taproom-town/

Honorable Mention – Best Layout of Article or Column – “From the Passover Seder to the Eucharist” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez, Simona Fava)

El Pueblo Catolico

1st Place – Best Reporting on Social Justice Issues – “El suicidio es prevenible, pongamos manos a la obra” (Mavi Barraza)

1st Place – Best Regular Column by a Bishop or Archbishop – “Joven, Cristo te necesita” (Bishop Jorge Rodriguez)

2nd Place – Best In-Depth Analysis – “Mas allá del debate político la ‘caravana’ son nuestros hermanos” (Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez)

2nd Place – Best Coverage – ‘”Bautiza a tu hijo’ Insistió su amiga. Hoy él es sacerdote.” (Carmen Elena Villa)

3rd Place – Best Reporting – “Propuesta de matrimonio en una obra de teatro” (Carmen Elana Villa)

Honorable Mention – Best Interview – “Monseñor Romero me enseñó que vale la pena sacrificarse por el Señor” (Caren Elena Villa)

Honorable Mention – Best Personality Profile – “Maria Antonia: madre que siempre supo decir sí a Dios”(Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez)

Honorable Mention – Best Cover Magazine or Newspaper – El Pueblo Catolico (Simona Fava)