Who We Are

Our History

Village Exchange Center (VEC) began as a concept in late 2016 when the faith community of St. Matthew Lutheran Church considered ways to be responsive to and serve its diversifying neighborhood and the City of Aurora. Aurora, a city of more than 20% immigrants and refugees, is among an increasing number of cities across the U.S. grappling with the challenges of welcoming the growing numbers of immigrant and refugee communities. VEC was co-founded by Amanda Blaurock, and her step-father, the Pastor of St. Matthew at the time, Marcel Narucki, who led the congregation to unanimously donate the building and grounds located at 1609 Havana Street in March 2017 for them to establish a community center that celebrated religious and cultural diversity. In the first two years of operations, VEC has become an anchor in the community for support and empowerment. We continue to activate the building and develop connections with and between the surrounding communities, the majority of whom are foreign-born.

My Father’s House, a documentary film by Rob Shearer, and produced by our co-founder, Amanda Blaurock, tells the story of the inception of the Village Exchange Center. It highlights Pastor Marcel’s journey from the closure of the St. Matthew Lutheran Church to the establishment of a vibrant community center turned inside out to serve the new community in which it resides.

Our Purpose

Village Exchange Center is a non-profit organization formed to serve immigrants and refugees in the Aurora/Denver metro area. As a community center and multi-faith worship space, we seek to celebrate cultural and religious diversity by creating an inclusive environment where residents from all backgrounds interact, share, and develop together. We offer youth and adult programs and services as well as cultural and multifaith activities—both directly and through our collocated partners.

The overarching goal is creating bridges between people and communities, both locally and globally.