Buddhist Center relocates to the Heart of Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Buddhist Center relocates to the Heart of Steamboat

The Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church at 736 Oak St. will host weekly meetings for the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs.
Derek Maiolo/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

After 26 years as an important entity in Steamboat Springs, the Buddhist Center has moved to the center of town.

This week, members of the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs will officially settle into their new downtown location, the Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church at 736 Oak St. The Methodist church will host the Buddhist Center’s weekly services at 6:30 p.m. each Monday.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Pastor Tim Selby of the Methodist Church. “We’ve had good friendships with the Buddhist community for years.”

The spiritual director of the Buddhist Center Tim Olmsted and Selby have been good friends for years, dating back to their involvement with Exploring the Sacred, a local group of faith and spirituality leaders who host forums of diverse spiritual opinions and ideas.

Weekly services will take place in the Spiritual Life Center, a 5,600-square-foot expansion of the Heart of Steamboat that was built in 2017. The Spiritual Life Center also hosts services for the Jewish community and prayer for the Muslim community.

For years, Selby had invited Olmsted and his community to join at the Heart of Steamboat. One of the last challenges before the move was finding a home for a large statue of Buddha. After Olmsted found a fitting home for the statue in Crestone, moving services over to the Heart of Steamboat became feasible.

“I love the way that Tim has created such a beautiful community in the Methodist Church,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted and Selby have hosted many open dialogues on the similarities and differences between their faiths and share a great deal of respect for one another.

“We both come from a worldview that everyone is fundamentally perfect, fundamentally born good, and that the journey is to rediscover that fundamental goodness,” Olmsted said.

Previously, the Buddhist Center was located on the west end of town off Elk River Road. According to the Buddhist Center, the new location has a kitchen as well as access to nearby childcare, bus lines and accessible parking.

Ever since the pandemic, the Buddhist Center has made services available online as well, and even after returning to in-person meetings, online participation is still available through a hybrid format.

Olmsted credits the shift toward online services for growing his community beyond the town’s limits, saying it brought in new members from all over the world.

On Thursday, April 28, Olmsted and Selby hosted an open house at the new location and online via Zoom. There, they led a discussion about the key tenets of their respective faiths. They also shared a few laughs.

“If I go over an hour I’m in trouble,” Selby said, referring to his sermons.

“I’m warmed up after an hour,” Olmsted said.

The Interior of the recently added Spiritual Life Center of the Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church, where The Buddhist Center will now host their meetings
Spencer Powell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

From 9 a.m. to noon May 18, the Heart of Steamboat Springs will be the site of the Interfaith Day of Caring. The event will be managed by the United Way who will connect local members of various faiths with local nonprofit groups in need of volunteer work. An appreciation luncheon will go from noon-1 p.m.

The Oak Street location for the Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church has been passed down through the Methodist Church since 1895. The first Methodist church on the site was finished in 1902, while the current building was dedicated in 1960.

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