February 2, 2014 Updated: February 2, 2014 at 6:35 am
First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs will kick off worship services on Super Bowl Sunday with the singing of an ode created especially for the occasion. The words to "Here Comes Denver!" were written by music minister Jim DeJarnette. The familiar tune to which it is sung - "Ode To Joy!" - is by "Ludwig van BeatSeattle."
That's Broncospeak for Beethoven.
"The last time the Broncos went to the Super Bowl, we did something similar. It's been just sort of a community-building, fun thing to do and we've had a lot of fun singing it," said DeJarnette, who also wrote the lyrics to a 1998 Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers-inspired fight song. "The thing that's funny about this is trying to get all the names in there. There are some names that are hard to rhyme, like Demaryius."
The Broncos' inclusion in the Super Bowl has created unique fellowship opportunities at congregations around the Springs.
"Everyone just loves to follow Denver and when we make it to the Super Bowl that's what's on everybody's minds," said DeJarnette, a seasoned songwriter. "We just decided to have fun with it."
Victory Outreach Colorado Springs will celebrate "Super Soul Sunday" at morning worship services, and senior pastor Al Loma will lead a sermon on the NFL.
"It's a play on words. It's our New Found Life," he said.
Sunday evening belongs to the game, though, with a potluck and the action playing out on the church's 9-foot screen. The event is open to the community.
"On Sunday morning, we're asking everyone to wear their favorite team jersey. It doesn't have to be Seahawks or Broncos. We're just going to have some fun," Loma said.
Young members of the congregation at Family of Christ Lutheran Church will gather in the church's youth room to watch the game and try their luck at a lighthearted football quiz.
"We'll just watch the game, play dodgeball during halftime and root for the Broncos," said Jeremy Hetzel, director of student ministries.
First Baptist Church of Black Forest will cater to the many families in its congregation with a showing of the game - sans commercials or the halftime show - on two large screens in the sanctuary.
"They are going to try to do a live streaming with a delay so it's family friendly," ministry assistant Michele Tate said. A special area where "die-hard fans" can watch and listen to the game unedited may be designated, "but it might be kind of noisy," Tate said.
Pastor David Tomme of First Southern Baptist Church encouraged his congregation to meet in small groups in members' homes to watch the big game. "Having those smaller groups helps to build relationships," Tomme said. "They may know each other by name or face, but to be able to sit in a home setting and watch a football game together builds the relationship."
The fellowship of football - especially when you're not all rooting for the same team - can teach valuable life lessons, he added.
"We're all diverse. There will be Broncos fans and Seahawks fans, but we can still all get along together. That should bleed over into every area of life," he said.