Galvanize Denver, CO

Thriving Cities: How Can Our Work Help Denver Flourish?

Wednesday, Oct. 21 6:30 p.m.



Held on October 21, 2015.

Cities have become the primary context in which most human beings will live out their lives—make their homes, foster meaningful relationships, earn a living, and pursue their dreams. But what makes these diverse microcosms of humanity thrive? And, what role does the Church play in the health and welfare of this city?

Thriving Cities, was an evening devoted to answering three critical questions:
What does it mean for a city like Denver to flourish?
What role does the Church, and its members, play in renewing this city?
How can our work help Denver thrive?

For this event, we welcomed Joshua Yates, director of the University of Virginia’s “Thriving City Project”–an interdisciplinary research project designed to help city leaders, citizens, and professionals effectively engage their communities–and Greg Thompson and Emily Gum of New City Commons–a consulting team that strengthens churches in the work of serving their neighbors.

Throughout the evening, we identified areas in our community that are broken and ways we can use our faithful presence to bring Denver healing and hope.


Greg Thompson

Clayborn Reborn

Greg Thompson, formerly senior pastor at Trinity Presbyterian, directs research and strategy at Clayborn Reborn. Prior to that, he directed New City Commons, an education and consulting team that seeks to support the church in its work of reimagining the common good, reinvigorating cultural institutions and renewing civic life. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia. In addition to his work with New City Commons, Greg is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

Joshua Yates

Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

Joshua Yates, Ph.D. — Director at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia. As Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Professor Yates is a sociologist specializing in the study of culture and cultural change in the modern world. Dr. Yates directs the “Thriving Cities Project”, an interdisciplinary initiative that researches the cultural dimensions of contemporary urban contexts and develops strategic resources for community renewal. The project’s framework and forthcoming toolkit for community assessment helps city leaders, professionals, and residents ask better questions about how their city works across multiple domains, including: education, public health, the built environment, government, civic engagement, arts and leisure and public works. In addition to his work with the “Thriving Cities Project,” Dr. Yates co-authored Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present with James Davidson Hunter.

Dave Runyon


Dave Runyon is the co-founder and director of CityUnite, which helps government, business, and faith leaders unite around common causes.  He also serves as a consultant for businesses that have a desire to make a difference in their communities. Previously, Dave served as a pastor for nine years at Foothills Community Church and The Next Level Church. In 2010 he launched a neighboring movement that mobilized over 70 churches and 40,000 people in the Denver Metro area. He graduated from Colorado State University, where he studied history and secondary education. He speaks locally and nationally encouraging leaders to work together for the good of their cities. Dave and his wife, Lauren, have four kids.

Trevor Lee

Trailhead Church

Trevor Lee is the lead pastor at Trailhead Church in Denver and is a part of our Church Partnership Network.