COVID-19 Updates

Dear church family,

During this COVID season, our church staff have been memorizing Scripture together as we gather for weekly staff meetings. Our goal is to combat the constant flow of information about COVID-19 with the fresh, cool stream that is God’s Word, by hiding it in our hearts together. Our practice is to invite staff members each week to share a verse God has been using in their life for us to memorize together. Cheryl Blatchley, our Director of Children’s Ministry, brought Proverbs 3:5-6 to us several weeks ago:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

              And He will make straight your paths.

What a beautiful, timely promise! Join us as we consider the significance of this familiar passage during such unfamiliar circumstances. What are the ways during this pandemic that you find yourself leaning on your own understanding, or the understanding of someone besides the Lord, instead of trusting Him with your heart? Where do you struggle to acknowledge the Lord in your day to day life, decisions, conversation and social media engagement? This passage of God’s Word offers both soothing waters of encouragement and a faith-building challenge that invites us deeper into His purposes and plans for our days and hours.

How can we pray with you through your struggles, or celebrate with you as you see God work? No request or praise is too big or too small! Please visit www.sharethelife.org/connect or email us at elders@sharethelife.org so that we can gather in prayer!

Worship Gathering Update

Last week we shared the 6 Scriptural Principles that guide HOW and WHEN we will gather again in-person (the principles are appended at the end of this message for reference). It is our earnest desire to gather together again! Our staff and elders are building a plan that aligns with these principles. Next week we will learn more from the state about the next phase of guidelines and restrictions, at which time we hope to have the final details needed to begin rolling-out our plans. In the meantime, here is some of the fruit of our prayers and efforts, two primary elements shaping our plans:

  • PHASES: we are preparing phases that enable us to best capitalize on opportunities to begin gathering again, in alignment with the 6 Scriptural Principles established last week. Each phase requires different levels of volunteer availability and capacity in order to be successful. Enabling the church gathering for worship on an average Sunday before the pandemic required the efforts of over 100 volunteers! The phases we move through as we begin gathering again will require both new and familiar volunteer positions, along with new training. Please begin prayerfully considering how you might be called to help!
  • TRIGGER POINTS: each concurrent phase is initiated at “trigger points” based on gathering size limits. We will hit these trigger points as we are able to safely and ethically gather in groups of certain sizes, in alignment with the 6 Scriptural Principles established last week. This means we are not targeting dates, but rather gathering group size limits for introducing new phases. Keep in mind that these gathering size limits encompass the entire gathering: congregants, volunteers, and staff.

Please continue to pray for wisdom and unity. We believe that the potential for disunity we face as we begin this process of re-gathering poses one of the greatest threats to LifePointe Church in recent memory. Now more than ever we must follow the apostle Paul’s admonition to walk “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” found in Ephesians 4:2-3. Join us!

How can I help?

It is so good of you to ask! There are some great ways anyone can be involved in the ministry of LifePointe Church and our local partners right now.

Alpha Center virtual Baby Bottle Campaign: Message in a Bottle

The Alpha Center is a Christian Crisis Pregnancy Center serving the medical, spiritual and emotional needs of women and men involved in a crisis pregnancy or struggling with past abortion decisions (visit www.thealphacenter.org to learn about their services). They bring the light of Jesus to circumstances and situations that feel dark and hopeless! Between Mothers Day and Fathers Day we typically participate with the Alpha Center’s Baby Bottle campaign, filling baby bottles with small change & large checks to enable their ministry to continue. This initiative covers over 15% of their annual costs! Due to COVID, we cannot participate as we usually do – so please consider making a special financial gift this year. You can designate a gift to the Alpha Center via www.sharethelife.org/give or by mailing a check to the church (900 E Prospect Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80524). You can also give directly to Alpha Center.

Food Distribution

In partnership with Serve6.8, our food distribution ministry is aiming to help the families we serve move from relief to recovery as we transition from primarily distributing groceries to primarily distributing meals. This transitional initiative is called “Family Dinner Nights.” The goal is to help families engage the broader ministries offered through the church by Serve6.8 as they are able to re-open their resource center, by providing main-courses from local restaurants with sides donated by churches/individuals. Eventually we will need LifePointe volunteers to help staff the Serve6.8 resource center, but for now we need continued help with food distribution here at LifePointe through June!

  • Assembly on Tuesdays, 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • Distribution on Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:30pm
  • Register to help HERE or click “I can help” at sharethelife.org

Food Donations

During the “Family Dinner Nights” initiative Serve6.8 has secured special funding to purchase main courses from local restaurants each week, we still need non-perishable donations to include with the meals. Items needed will change week by week.

  • DONATIONS NEEDED THIS WEEK: Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Rice, Beans, Dessert
  • DROP-OFF: deliver donations on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30am-3:30pm inside the main/center front doors of the church.
  • SHIP DONATIONS via Amazon.com directly to Serve6.8 by clicking HERE.

Financial Update

Praise God with us! He is providing as the church demonstrates Christ-honoring, sacrificial generosity. The first three weeks of May represent a 34% increase over that period’s 5-year-average. This means that we are seeing an encouraging “recovery” trend in our giving. On behalf of your church family, thank you for your sacrificial gifts to LifePointe! God’s provision leaves us grateful and focused on ministry, instead of budget management and contingency plans. Praise God!

Survey Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the COVID survey last week! As we plan our next steps it is helpful to gather your thoughts and feedback on those items. LifePointeCovidSurveyResults to view the survey results.

With much love in Jesus,

The LifePointe Church elder team

 

6 Scriptural Principles that guide our decisions about WHEN and HOW we will gather again in-person:

  • We value the gathering of believers, by the best means available. Hebrews 10:24-25.

Our earnest desire is to gather again in-person, so we will work toward this end as soon as possible. We also recognize that gathering together in the building may not be the best option right away for some in our fellowship. So, as we re-enter the building for Sunday worship, we plan to continue streaming those gatherings online.

  • We are focused on fulfilling our mission. Matthew 28:16-20.

The way we respond to this crisis impacts our gospel-witness. Therefore, we will be diligent to make decisions that enable a winsome, God-honoring presence in our community that positions us to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

  • We will pursue God’s wisdom to guide our decisions. James 1:5-6; Ephesians 5:15-21.

All decisions will be prayerfully made, leveraging as best we can the wisdom of God promised to us in Scripture.

  • This is not a religious liberty issue for us; therefore, we will follow the regulations and guidelines issued by state, county and city officials. Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

Currently the Church in our community is NOT being singled-out with restrictions and regulations based upon our profession of faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, we are blessed with an ongoing cooperative working relationship with the governor’s office and local officials. Therefore, we do not regard current restrictions as a religious liberty issue; thus, Scripture calls us to honor the authorities that God has established for our good. Please, pray for these officials as they carry-out their responsibilities.

  • We will not operate in fear, but in love. Deuteronomy 31:8; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 4:18-21.

All precautions determined by church leadership to be necessary for physically gathering together again will be established in love for each other and for our community, as opposed to fear of a virus or of people.

  • We embrace unity over and above our own personal preferences. John 17:20-26; Ephesians 4:1-6.

Our unity in Jesus is directly tied to both our ability to glorify God and to the credibility of our witness in the world (John 17:20-26).  We who are the Church are called to exercise humility, gentleness and patience with one another when our personal preferences do not align; this is how we “walk in a manner worthy” of our calling (Ephesians 4:1-6). Though our preferences for how and when we re-enter the church may not be met, we will embrace unity.

Dear church family,

In James 1:2-8 the brother of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, tells us:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We believe that the Lord is working in us, even through the trials faced during this time, to produce in us a steadfastness of faith that is vital if we are to be mature and complete. We are praying both for the church as a whole and for each of us in our daily lives to receive the wisdom that God so freely gives to us, and to have the faith to walk in that wisdom. May we be single-minded, steadfast in the work of God, even during this season!

To that end, please let us know how we can pray for you today. Please either complete the form found at www.sharethelife.org/connect or email us at elders@sharethelife.org so that we can pray specifically for your circumstances, trials, and blessings.

COVID Survey: Re-entering Our Building
We are actively planning for when we can gather together again for worship in-person, at the church building. As we plan and prepare for that day, feedback from people who call LifePointe home is useful! We ask for you to complete our short 14-question and approx 3min survey. Survey responses will be received through this Sunday, May 17th. Thank you!

COVID19 LifePointe Church Survey

Worship Gathering Update
As elders, staff, and ministry leaders are prayerfully planning for how to best re-enter worship gathered together in the church building, we continue to covet your prayers for wisdom and unity.

As we consider the factors involved in re-entering our church building for Sunday gatherings, we have established the Scriptural principles that will guide our decisions about WHEN and HOW we will gather again in-person:

1) We value the gathering of believers, by the best means available. Hebrews 10:24-25.
Our earnest desire is to gather again in-person, so we will work toward this end as soon as possible. We also recognize that gathering together in the building may not be the best option right away for some in our fellowship. So, as we re-enter the building for Sunday worship, we plan to continue streaming those gatherings online.

2) We are focused on fulfilling our mission. Matthew 28:16-20.
The way we respond to this crisis impacts our gospel-witness. Therefore, we will be diligent in making decisions that enable a winsome, God-honoring presence in our community that positions us to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

3) We will pursue God’s wisdom to guide our decisions. James 1:5-6; Ephesians 5:15-21.
All decisions will be prayerfully made, leveraging as best we can the wisdom of God promised to us in Scripture.

4) This is not a religious liberty issue for us; therefore, we will follow the regulations and guidelines issued by state, county and city officials. Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Currently, the Church in our community is NOT being singled-out with restrictions and regulations based upon our profession of faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, we are blessed with an ongoing cooperative working relationship with the governor’s office and local officials. Therefore, we do not regard current restrictions as a religious liberty issue; thus, Scripture calls us to honor the authorities that God has established for our good. Please, pray for these officials as they carry-out their responsibilities.

5) We will not operate in fear, but in love. Deuteronomy 31:8; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 4:18-21.
All precautions determined by church leadership to be necessary for physically gathering together again will be established in love for each other and for our community, as opposed to fear of a virus or of people.

6) We embrace unity over and above our own personal preferences. John 17:20-26; Ephesians 4:1-6.
Our unity in Jesus is directly tied to both our ability to glorify God and to the credibility of our witness in the world (John 17:20-26).  We who are the Church are called to exercise humility, gentleness and patience with one another when our personal preferences do not align; this is how we “walk in a manner worthy” of our calling (Ephesians 4:1-6). Though our preferences for how and when we re-enter the church may not be met, we will embrace unity.

Coronavirus Business Relief Fund
We are grateful to partner with other churches via Serve6.8 to provide relief to NoCo-owned businesses! If you are looking for a way to minister to local businesses in the name of Jesus, visit www.sharethelife.org/give for details on giving to the Coronavirus Business Relief Fund. Every dollar given to this fund will be matched by a community member, and proceeds from these funds will be used by ambassadors from our church and other churches to purchase multiple gift cards from local businesses – while communicating the love of Jesus. This will provide immediate, vital cashflow to local businesses hurt by stay-at-home orders. Gift cards will be distributed through the churches into the community, prioritizing first responders, medical workers, and employees of other businesses that have stayed open or been severely impacted by COVID-19. When the economy opens again, these gift cards will be redeemed, helping to stimulate economic activity at businesses that received the relief.

For more details, or to give to the Coronavirus Business Relief Fund, visit www.sharethelife.org/give.

With much love in Jesus,
The LifePointe Church elder team

COVID-19 Update | May 6, 2020

Each week on Wednesday by 5pm, the elders will email an update that can also be found at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates.

Dear church family,

As we wrap-up our current sermon series – a journey traveling through the gospel of John that began last August – we cannot help but reflect back on some of the powerful imagery Jesus provided for us to know and understand Him better. In John, Scripture presents Jesus to us as: the Word made flesh; the savior of the world; the miracle worker; the great Healer; the Bread of Life; the light of the world; the Good Shepherd; the resurrection & the life; the True King; the suffering servant; the Way & the Truth & the Life; the True Vine; the giver of God’s Spirit; the crucified King; the resurrected Lord; and many others. God’s great love has provided so many ways for us to see and understand Jesus’ power, presence, mission and love… it is clear that our heavenly Father knows how easily our hearts and minds are distracted by the circumstances before us. How have you seen and understood Jesus today, this week, in the midst of your trials and joys?

Our hope and prayer through the ups and downs of these unique circumstances is that we would be a people firmly rooted in the hope and unexpected joy of a life more and more dependent on Jesus. To that end, please let us know how we can pray for you! (use the form at www.sharethelife.org/connect or email us at elders@sharethelife.org). Set aside time and space to be washed with the Word of God, even yet today.

Worship Gathering Update

We continue to monitor all of the factors involved with opening the doors to our building again for Sunday Worship Gatherings. We prayerfully balance our longing and desire to be with each other again with wisdom, prudence, and guidelines established by the authorities God has placed over us. Bearing all of this in mind, we will continue to gather online only through at least the month of May.

Currently, elders, staff and ministry leaders are prayerfully planning for how to best re-enter worship gathered together in the church building. We covet your prayers in 2 ways: wisdom and unity.

Please pray for wisdom for us (along with the faith to walk in it! See James 1:5-8) as we make plans, and for unity for all of us in the body of Christ at LifePointe as we follow those plans. We need unity because, similar to navigating other important issues, the Church now faces great danger if we each choose to embrace our personal preferences and perspectives over and above the unity that Jesus prayed over us in John 17.

Emergency Food Distribution Update

Since March 30, LifePointe has served an average of 20-30 families per week at our emergency food distribution. Beginning next week, we will distribute only on Wednesdays from 9:30am-12:30pm, and will pack/prepare for distribution on Tuesday mornings. To keep this vital community outreach running, we need your help! Please consider joining this effort:

  • DONATIONS: drop-off donations on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30am-3:30pm inside the main/center front doors of the church. Download the list of items needed.
  • VOLUNTEER: click here to register as a volunteer on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Coronavirus Business Relief Fund

We are grateful to partner with other churches via Serve6.8 to provide relief to NoCo-owned businesses! If you are looking for a way to minister to local businesses in the name of Jesus, visit www.sharethelife.org/give for details on giving to the Coronavirus Business Relief Fund. Every dollar given to this fund will be matched by a community member, and proceeds from these funds will be used by ambassadors from our church and other churches to purchase multiple gift cards from local businesses – while communicating the love of Jesus. This will provide immediate, vital cashflow to local businesses hurt by stay-at-home orders. Gift cards will be distributed through the churches into the community, prioritizing first responders, medical workers, and employees of other businesses that have stayed open or been severely impacted by COVID-19. When the economy opens again, these gift cards will be redeemed, helping to stimulate economic activity at businesses that received the relief.

For more details, or to give to the Coronavirus Business Relief Fund, visit www.sharethelife.org/give.

Financial Update

The best way to summarize our financial position as a church is “stable.” Praise God! Over the past several weeks we have seen His provision in 2 significant ways that have brought us to this position. First, the sacrificial giving of those who call LifePointe home has begun to move us out of the decline we observed for the first 2 months of the “COVID Period” which began in February. Giving from February through April compared to the same timeframe last year has gone from a decline of 15% to a decline now of only 7%. Praise God with us for the generosity of givers at LifePointe! Second, funds provided by the Lord through the CARES Act PPP program (see last week’s COVID update from April 29 for more details) have allowed the focus of our leadership to remain on ministry and re-entry plans instead of managing budget contingency plans that would have been implemented as our cash buffers began to hit pre-determined trigger-points. Join us as we praise God for His provision today, and continue to trust Him for tomorrow’s provision.

With much love in Jesus,

The LifePointe Church elder team

COVID-19 Update | April 29, 2020

Each week on Wednesday by 5pm, the elders will email an update that can also be found at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates.

 

Dear church family,

Greetings from your elders at LifePointe! As is our weekly practice, you are all in our prayers – both generally and specifically, as we receive prayer requests. We are all in this together! Please, if you need prayer or anything else, reach out to us at elders@sharethelife.org or through the website www.sharethelife.org.

Worship Livestream Update

Join us in thanking MANY people who are working hard behind the scenes to allow us to gather for worship together each Sunday at 9:30. Nancy Evans, Mark McDowell, Brian Fraaken, Ross Ridgeway, Matt Beall, Thomas Chen, all those serving on the worship teams, Jon Ceballos and Zach Yarbrough have all been working diligently to make this happen. Please thank and encourage them!

The technical difficulties we experienced two weeks ago were primarily connected to the internet service at the church. Our understanding from our internet provider is that that Sunday was a perfect storm of literal bad weather (lots of heavy wet snow) and heavier-than-normal neighborhood internet use that combined to disrupt our access to the internet that day. Unfortunately, they are making no guarantees for the future and are not taking any additional steps to help us. Until fiber-optic infrastructure is built in our area, there are no other options for a more reliable internet connection.

For this reason, beginning last week, we shifted our approach to the Sunday Worship Online Gathering and pre-recorded the service so that when it is time to stream live on Sundays at 9:30am it is already uploaded and ready to go. This means that we can consistently gather for worship together regardless of the status of our internet connection in the church building! Again, a HUGE thank-you to everyone involved in making that happen – lots of volunteer hours have been forced to shift to new days and times to provide all of us with a consistent Sunday Worship Online Gathering.

Worship Gathering Update

We continue to monitor all of the factors involved with opening the doors to our building again for Sunday Worship Gatherings. We prayerfully balance our longing and desire to be with each other again with wisdom, prudence, and guidelines established by the authorities God has placed over us. Bearing all of this in mind, we will continue to gather online only through at least the month of May.

Financial Update

How are we doing financially through the COVID-19 epidemic? We take seriously the call to steward wisely every resource that God provides. Thank you to everyone who has shifted the way you worship the Lord through giving!

Through March and into April, we tracked a sharp decline (-15%) in giving during the “COVID Period” beginning in February (February is when many believe that COVID started to impact the US economy) compared to the same period last year. As we shared in the April 15th update, if we finished the fiscal year on the same trajectory (giving down 15% through October), we would have a significant budget deficit of over $85,000. Together with you, we have been prayerfully attentive to our financial position.

Driven by our calling to steward wisely all of our resources & opportunities, knowing that the full financial impact of COVID-19 is still entirely unknown, and hearing from many financial experts that the most difficult financial fallout is yet to come, the Elders made the decision to pursue a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan through our local bank. PPP loans are part of the original CARES act passed by congress on March 30. We believe the PPP represents an opportunity provided by God that best positions us to fulfill our mission during this season and that pursuing the program is in the best interests of the church.

The PPP program is designed to allow employers of all types (businesses, not-for-profits, churches, and other religious organizations and ministries) to keep their staff on payroll through the COVID-19 quarantine period by providing an emergency loan to help cover their payroll. If participating businesses continue to pay their employees through June without layoffs, then the loan is forgiven.

Our Trustee Board did a commendable job evaluating the program to answer some big questions and address some obvious concerns, ultimately recommending to the Elder Board that we pursue a PPP loan. Here are the questions and concerns that were addressed:

  • Could a PPP loan put the church’s property at risk of foreclosure? The PPP loan is NOT secured by any property of the borrower.
  • Where does PPP loan money come from? Private banks make PPP loans, so loan disbursements are funded directly by participating banks. Banks with PPP loans that qualify for forgiveness are then reimbursed by the federal government via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Does receiving a PPP loan violate our separation of the church from the state, or give the government control over what we say or how we function as a church? The short answer is a resounding NO. This is a great question, and it represents our biggest concern as we considered whether or not to apply for a PPP loan. The bill was crafted with the intent of providing help for all employers of small businesses and organizations without discriminating. One expert, in addressing this very question from the point of view of the Church, likened receiving a PPP loan during the COVID-19 emergency to calling the fire department for help during a fire or medical emergency. We consulted with many other churches of all sizes, consulted directly with our bank, and sourced help from legal and financial experts all over the country. Ultimately, written guidance from the SBA specifically addressed this concern, and provided our final answer:

Nothing in [SBA nondiscrimination regulations] shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the membership or the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution or society of its religious activities.  (see pages 27 & 28)

  • Are there any fees or interest for PPP loans? Applying for a PPP loan involves zero up-front fees. The interest rate is 1% (not a typo) for the loans and is waived for the first 6 months. Loans that do not qualify for forgiveness must be repaid in 2 years; loans that are forgiven are assessed zero interest and zero fees.
  • How can we use PPP funds? We must use these funds primarily on payroll costs, including salaries/compensation, health care plans, and etc. The program allows for a portion (25%) of the funds to help off-set mortgage interest and utilities. We have 8 weeks to use these funds for these purchases.

Praise God with us for providing! Through God’s grace & provision and the hard work of the Trustee Board, our accounting firm, and our local bank, we were approved for a PPP loan of $114,900. Based on guidance from the SBA and our bank, we expect the full amount will be forgiven in July. This has enabled us to confidently continue operations and avoid considering layoffs of our staff or having to consider difficult decisions as we approached financial trigger-points for engaging contingency plans. Retaining our staff and ministries helps to bring stability to the entire church, and positions us to minister generously and effectively in our community and with our global partners. Praise God!

Our church’s governing documents both allow for the Elders to act on behalf of the congregation during emergencies and require a vote for incurring new debt. With this in mind, the Elders are putting together a plan to bring the PPP loan to the membership of LifePointe for a vote, though it is unclear when we are going to be able to safely and wisely gather for a congregational meeting. Stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, we took prayerful action on behalf of the congregation to best position us to continue to fulfill our mission.

With much love and care in Jesus,

The LifePointe Church elder team

COVID-19 Update | April 22, 2020
Each week on Wednesday by 5pm, the elders will email an update that can also be found at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates.

 

Dear church family,

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Celebrate some good news with us! Our partnership with SERVE 6.8 provided us the opportunity to give away 1,600 pounds of chicken and potatoes, corn, beans, gravy, and rolls to 160 families from 10am-12pm on Tuesday April 21st. This was an administrative accomplishment! Tuesday was a beautiful day for our people to distribute food and our collective hope in Jesus to many of these families as they waited in their cars at curbside. We heard stories of people losing their jobs ranging from a physical therapist to a worker at McDonald’s. When we asked for prayer requests, we heard things like “pray I get my job backpray for my Grandma who is at home recovering from surgery-alonepray for my relationship with my mother that is brokenpray that I can find hope.” And we prayed and shared and prayed some more!

We saw faithful people of LifePointe sweating, grunting, pulling and hauling all of this food into our church on Monday to distribute Tuesday through May 8, or until its gone. A big hearty thank you to Vicky Hicks coordinating loving people of LifePointe to bring hope and the love of Jesus to our neighbors! Thank you and way-to-go LifePointe! You are bringing the hope of the gospel to our friends and neighbors!

If you know someone who would benefit from receiving free food or you would like to help, go to www.sharethelife.org  and scroll down and click “I need help” or “I can help.” Thank you!

“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:34-40

Worship Livestream Update
Be sure to join us for last week’s worship service! CLICK HERE to access the service from this past Sunday April 19, and gather with those in your home to participate in worship by singing, praying, Scripture reading, preaching and giving.

Our teams are working hard to ensure that technical difficulties like what we experienced this past week do not hinder us from gathering online to worship together this Sunday morning. Thank you for your grace and patience!

Worship Gathering Update
We are monitoring all of the factors that impact how and when we are able to gather again in-person for worship and will keep you updated. For now, we will continue to gather for worship online through April, and likely beyond that. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.

Need Help? 
Scripture instructs the Church to be a community that provides for the needs of its members. If you are in need, please reach out so that we can live our calling as the Church by helping you! If you are not sure where to begin asking for help, we have set up 2 options:

  • If you have financial or other provisional needs, please visit our homepage at www.sharethelife.org and click “I need help.” You will be connected to a form with our ministry partners at Serve6.8, who are working directly with the LifePointe Benevolence Team to best enable us to meet financial or other physical needs in the church. Complete the form and be sure to select “LifePointe Church” as your home church.
  • If you have prayer requests or other needs, please email elders@sharethelife.org so that we can best care for you in this time.

We will navigate these challenging times together! Our God is faithful and He is present. He sees your needs, your challenges, your joys and your weaknesses – and he loves you more fully and more passionately than you can comprehend. We may not be able to gather physically, but we can certainly hold each other near in love, prayer, and provision through this time.

With much love in Jesus,

The LifePointe Church elder team

 

 

COVID-19 Update | April 15, 2020
Each week on Wednesday by 5pm, the elders will email an update that can also be found at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates

Dear church family,

Oh, how we miss everyone! We long to worship together.

Last Sunday on Easter Zack taught us from the book of John, challenging us that “Our vision problem is a preference problem.” Mary, and then the other disciples, all saw something different when they looked into the empty tomb.  This week let’s evaluate what we see with different eyes and a more prayerful, faithful mindset.  We desire to be slow to judge, and quick to pray.  As you go about your week, be encouraged to demonstrate the love of Christ resurrected as you see others and their predicaments during this challenging season.  May God bless you all this week.

Worship Gathering Update
Last week your elders made the decision to continue gathering for worship via livestream through at least the month of April, honoring the restrictions in place at the time that include stay-at-home orders by different agencies in-place through April 26thand 30th. We expect an update on these orders between now and April 23rd, which will help us know how to determine when we can gather in the church building again.

We are also taking steps to begin readying our facility for when we do open again. Bathrooms are being outfitted with touchless soap and paper towel dispensers; we are procuring hand sanitizing stations to set up throughout the facility; finally, we have established a supply of hospital-grade disinfectant that is safe for all of our surfaces.

We are also looking to establish a team of experienced medical experts to help us know how to wisely re-open the facility. If you have medical experience and expertise and are willing to help consult with us, please let us know via email at elders@sharethelife.org.

Food Donations Needed 
Praise God with us for the opportunity to love and care for our community through the emergency food distribution center that He established at LifePointe through Serve6.8! And praise God for a recent donation of 36,000 pounds of frozen chicken to distribute to families in need in northern Colorado. We will join the Serve6.8 network with a special distribution of this gift and would like to bless families with not just chicken but chicken meal packs. That’s where you come in!

We need donations of sides and ingredients for the chicken dinners. These donations can be brought to the church this Friday (4/17) or Monday (4/20) from 9:30am – 12:30pm using our contactless drive-up donation process in the front parking lot.  If you would like to donate but are not able to bring donations to the church, please call or text Brian Hoag at 970.988.4655 to arrange a pickup.

Items needed for donation:

  • Potatoes (in 5 or 10 pound bags)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Canned corn, green beans, veggies, etc.
  • Stuffing
  • Dinner rolls
  • Individually-packaged desserts

If you cannot or should not go out to do the shopping yourself, you can shop online at Amazon here and have the items shipped to the Serve 6.8 gift registry address. You can also make a donation at serve68.org/give and they will do the shopping for you!

Flannel Donations Needed
LifePointe’s Sharing the Love ministry is in immediate need of flannel donations to use for sewing masks. If you have flannel you can donate, please seal it in a plastic bag and drop it at the back office entrance of the church. Thank you!

Financial Update
Where do we stand financially? In summary: there are good reasons to be both encouraged and prayerfully attentive.

First, be encouraged! We believe that all giving, including financial giving, is an act of worship that God invites us to and uses to shape and transform us, and we are together grateful for how God is providing for LifePointe right now! Since the start of COVID-related quarantines, we have seen an increase of 50% in online giving, and many others have shifted to mailing-in their gifts. In the 11 weeks since the start of February we praise God for 28 new donors, which accounts for 60% of new donors this fiscal year (since November 1st). There is much to be encouraged by as we look at the church’s financial position, as we are currently able to continue operations without impact to our Global Partners (missionaries) or any cuts/layoffs to our staff teams.

Second, please be prayerfully attentive. Much remains unknown about the long-term economic impact COVID-19 will bring to businesses, individuals and organizations. For the “COVID Period” of February 1 through April 12, giving at LifePointe in 2020 is at about 86% of giving through the same weeks last year. If this pattern continues through October, we will finish the fiscal year with a budget shortfall of $85,309.94. It is too early to call this scenario “likely” or “expected”; we simply share it and ask that you join us in being prayerfully attentive to our current situation.

The Trustees and Elders are monitoring our finances closely, and are investigating and pursuing every opportunity that God provides for us to steward in this season. We will keep you informed, and we will continue to trust the scriptural promise that God will provide everything we need as each of us prayerfully determines what we should give. Thank you for your sacrificial support of God’s work at LifePointe!

With much love and thankfulness for you,

The LifePointe Church elder team

 

COVID-19 Update | April 8, 2020

Each week on Wednesday by 5pm, the elders will email an update that can also be found at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates.

Dear LifePointe family:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 1:3-7

Today our joy is found in the glorious truth that the resurrection of Jesus means a living hope for us and a faith that – though tested – does not perish and is more precious than gold. You are prayed for, you are loved, and you are part of this resurrected body of Christ… and we are so excited to worship together online this week as we remember Good Friday and celebrate Resurrection Sunday. In this, take heart!

Worship Gathering Update

As you may have heard already, the state and county governmental authorities that God has placed us under have extended stay-at-home orders through April 26thand April 30th, respectively. Your elders continue to believe that it is in our best interest on many levels to honor this restriction – so we are planning to continue gathering for online-only worship services through at least the month of April.

In addition to WHENwe will gather again in person, you may be asking HOWwill we gather when we can be together. That is a great question! For now, we are not yet prepared to answer it, other than to say that we will take every necessary step to ensure that our facility is prepared for us to safely gather. If you have medical experience and expertise and are willing to help consult with us to answer this question, please let us know via email at elders@sharethelife.org.

Live-Stream Preparation

As we approach the upcoming Good Friday and Easter live-stream worship services, please reach out to your personal IT expert for help updating your device’s internet browsers, operating systems and other software plug-ins. We don’t want anyone to miss out!

Easter Update

Have you picked-up your Easter Livestream yard sign yet? If not, drop by the church on your way to or from the grocery store or other essential activity and pickup a sign or two from the lawn on the west side (Ellis street side) of the building!

Let’s be faithful stewards of this great opportunity to invite neighbors, friends, family and strangers at the grocery store to join our Easter live-stream. People who may not be willing to join us in our building might be more likely to join us online, and receive the gospel! Please be praying for those the Lord calls you to invite, and let the elders join you in prayer by emailing us at elders@sharethelife.org.

As you and your family prepare for the Easter Sunday live-stream, plan to tune-in early (as early as 9:00am) and post a picture of you dressed-up (or down!) for Easter Sunday! If you don’t have Facebook but would like for us to post a picture for the rest of the church to see on Facebook, email it on Sunday morning to livestream@sharethelife.org.

Opportunity to Serve

The Emergency Food Distribution ministry is going very well! We have opened up more opportunities to join us in serving. Visit www.sharethelife.organd click “I Can Help” to register as a volunteer.

Financial Update

Again, a huge thank-you to all of you who have shifted your worship through giving to online or mail-in options during this crisis (www.sharethelife.org/give). We believe that giving is always to be a joyful overflow of the heart, never motivated by guilt or compulsion, and always done for God’s glory instead of our own. As we know that the current circumstances have economic impacts on every one of us, we trust God’s leading as we each prayerfully discern what we should give.

Where does our giving stand today? We value keeping everyone informed of our financial position and giving levels, and right now it is complicated to provide a clear picture of where we stand. Essentially, we are in the same position as we shared last week: strong giving early in the fiscal year helping our total giving amount, yet we continue to see a recent, significant downward trend (down about 15%) since the beginning of February.

We trust that God provides just what we need, and we have worked hard in the past to establish appropriate financial buffers to weather storms such as this. We will actively look at every way that God provides for us, as we seek to be faithful stewards of His resources and the sacrificial gifts of His people. We will continue to keep you updated – thank you for your sacrificial giving!

Good Friday Service

Join us online for communion and worship to celebrate Good Friday.

With much love and thankfulness for you,

The LifePointe Church elder team

 

Good Friday - get candles and communion prepared
Good Friday – get candles and communion prepared

COVID-19 Update | April 1, 2020

Good afternoon LifePointe family,

As we continue to navigate this unique season, remember that we are still knit together in unity by God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:2-6) who cannot be limited by social distancing. Praise God! You are prayed for by your church, and you have the great blessing and opportunity to lift one another up in prayer and encouragement. Please, take some time today to reach out to someone you know in the church to pray for them – by phone, email or text. Even as we are socially distancing, we can still dwell in the reality and the joy of fellowship by the Spirit Jesus has sent to us.

 

Easter Update

Once again, we continue to ask with eager hopefulness: when can we worship together in the same space again? Unfortunately – as we anticipated last week – we will be gathering via live-stream for our Easter Sunday service on April 12th (more details below).

This decision is made with hearts that are heavy because we will miss physically gathering together for Easter… and yet also hopeful as we consider the unexpected joy rooted in the reality that HE IS RISEN.

We are choosing to believe that the significance of Jesus’ resurrection is greater than even our feelings of disappointment and grief in these current circumstances. Please, join us in this intentional step of faith! Though we would much prefer physically gather to celebrate Easter, we trust that God is working in special, unique ways that are beyond our current field of vision. This trust drives us to plan creative ways for us to engage our community and invite friends and neighbors to join us for this celebration – so stay tuned.

 

 

Financial Update

As we shared last week, it is vital that as a church during this time we shift together the way we worship God through giving. Thank you for your response! Praise God: there were many new givers in the online system (www.sharethelife.org/give), and many people gave through mailing checks to the church. Remember, we believe that all giving is to be a joyful overflow of the heart, never motivated by guilt or compulsion, all for God’s glory. We trust God’s work in each of us as we prayerfully discern what we should give.

 

Where does our giving stand today? We value keeping everyone informed of our financial position and giving levels, and right now it is complicated to provide a clear picture of where we stand.

 

Our fiscal year began with remarkable giving. In January, giving was up as much as 15% over the same weeks last year! The generosity demonstrated from November through January is carrying our total for the fiscal-year thus far, meaning that at the moment our total giving is up 5% over last year. If we look at giving only during February and March when Corona Virus began to impact the economy, there is a significant downward trend evident as this years’ giving during those months is down 15% compared to last year.

 

What does it all mean? It is difficult to say at this point. God has provided just what we need, and we trust Him. As the coming months present economic uncertainties for each of us, we will continue to trust the Lord for both provision and wisdom, and pray for the faith to walk in what He provides to us. We will keep a close watch on the church’s finances, and will be faithful in our calling to steward every opportunity and resource that God provides. Thank you for your sacrificial giving!

 

Good Friday Service

 

Communion this Sunday

Finally, please watch this video as we prepare for sharing the sacrament of communion during worship both this Sunday and on Good Friday.

With much love and thankfulness for you,

The LifePointe Church elder team

COVID-19 Update March 25

Good afternoon LifePointe family,You are in the prayers of your elder board, and we are all in the faithful, reliable hands of our heavenly Father.

As we monitor and navigate the international pandemic of the COVID-19 virus – including today’s new “Stay-At-Home” order issued by Larimer County – we praise God that we can rely upon His nearness, His unchanging character, and His word that nourishes, refreshes, and enlivens us like cool water on a hot day. We can join King David who, after being captured by his enemies the Philistines, declared to God in Psalm 56: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” Join us as we put our trust in the Lord!

We all cherish the family of faith God has established at LifePointe, so we continue to ask with eager anticipation: when can we worship together in the same space again? As your elders, we prayerfully ask this question as we live in the tension of setting aside fear to take up faith while embracing God’s wisdom provided through His word, His Holy Spirit, medical experts, and the government leaders that He has established to work for our good. Last week we made the decision to only worship via live-stream through April 5th, holding out hope that we might be able to meet in-person to celebrate Easter Sunday. After our decision last week, the state government ordered that there be no gatherings larger than 10 people through April 17th, while we hear national leaders talk of opening the country before Easter. Today, Larimer County joined a number of Colorado cities and counties and issued a “Stay-At-Home” order in effect through April 17th.

Taking all of this into consideration, we anticipate needing to worship via live-stream for Easter Sunday services on April 12th; however, our final decision will be made next Wednesday, April 1st, by 5pm so as to include as much information as possible.

In the meantime, a fantastic team of volunteers and staff are working hard to provide an excellent worship experience for us to participate in together via live-stream. THANK YOU! Each week they are working to improve the experience. For this coming Sunday, we are working hard to provide this worship experience directly from our website (www.sharethelife.org) in addition to our Facebook page (https://bit.ly/3a16Nm1) so that we can all participate. Please keep this team in your prayers!

Also, be sure to check-out this video put together by Craig Fortunato – one of our pastors/elders – for some pointers on how to get the most out of a live-streamed, at-home worship experience.

As we shift how we gather for worship through singing praises and the ministry of the Word via live-stream, it is vital that as a church we also shift together the way we worship God through giving. Despite some savings in utilities and paper costs during this temporary season, the vast majority of our costs remain fixed. These costs, covered by our general offering, include: Global Partner (missionary) support; staff salaries; building loan mortgage; twice-yearly HVAC required maintenance; fire-system monitoring… the list goes on. Our staff are working hard to pivot the way each of our ministries functions, and are doing a remarkable job as they seek to equip God’s people for works of ministry (Ephesians 4).

If you have not yet tried giving online, please consider it! Head to www.sharethelife.org/give to access our safe and secure online giving system. You can set up gifts via ACH (electronic check), debit/credit card, or Apple Pay. The most cost-efficient way to give online is to set up giving through an ACH deposit. However, we thankfully enjoy the lowest electronic processing fees available anywhere for any electronic giving. All of these options allow for special one-time OR recurring gifts and will enable you to give both to the General Fund (includes global missions and our local operations) and the Benevolence Fund.

If you are unable or uncomfortable with online giving, please consider setting up gifts through your bank’s bill-pay system (mails a paper check to the church building) or mailing a check. These gifts can be sent to LifePointe Church c/o offering team, 900 E Prospect Rd Fort Collins CO 80524.

Finally, you may be asking, What can I do to help our community? We are EXCITED to share that our partnership with Serve6.8 is expanding, and soon we will have new opportunities to help those in our community and in the greater northern Colorado community who are most impacted by current events. Stay tuned!

God is on the move – both in us and in our community! Join us as we seek to see and embrace the ways that He is working for good, even through the current circumstances and despite the evil and brokenness in our world. Let’s trust His goodness together.

With much love and prayer for you,

The LifePointe Church elder team

The following was sent via email to the church email list on Wednesday, March 18th:

 

COVID-19 Update March 18

 

Dear Lifepointe Church Community,

 

Your elders are carefully and thoughtfully monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 virus. We met last night via video-conferencing for our weekly meeting, first to pray for the needs that we were made aware of, (as we do weekly), and then to discuss the business of the church. 

 

The question at the top of everyone’s mind continues to be, “When will we worship together again?”  We all wish we had a definitive answer to share! We discussed at length the guidelines issued by the CDC, and our state and federal government, as well as the leading of the Holy Spirit. With an overabundance of caution and an even greater abundance of love for you, we have decided that we will not meet for at least the next three Sundays (March 22nd, 29th and April 5th), with the hope of meeting in our worship center on Easter Sunday, April 12th.  We recognize that this time may be extended because of this rapidly changing situation.  

 

With this in mind, we will continue to meet every Sunday morning online at 9:30am, for a live streaming service.  You can find our live stream at https://bit.ly/3a16Nm1.   We received a lot of positive feedback from last week’s service, and are taking the steps to make it an even better worship experience for everyone.  This coming Sunday we will have a larger music ensemble, improved sound, and a higher-resolution camera.

 

We will always post updates for the next Sunday, by 5pm every Wednesday. Find those updates at sharethelife.org/corona-virus-updates.  That will be the day and time that you can rely on for any information about upcoming activities.  Please know that we love you, we want to be together, and that we will continue to do our best to protect our church family.  Please continue to send any requests and prayer needs to elders@sharethelife.org.

 

With love in Christ for all of you,

 

Your Elder Team

LifePointe Church

The following was sent via email to the church email list on Friday, March 13th:

Dear LifePointe Church family,

The elders are closely monitoring the situation caused by the new strain of Corona Virus (COVID – 19) and its impact on our community. As we monitor the situation, we are reminded of some beautiful truths from God’s Word:

  • Scripture commands us not to fear, even in the midst of danger, and calls us to instead put our trust in the Lord – Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 56:3
  • As followers of Jesus we are gifted with the peace of Jesus which we receive as we pray about that which might make us anxious – Philippians 4:6-7, John 14:27
  • We are called to love in the face of fear – 1 John 4:18

As we consider the situation created by the spread of COVID-19, we are overwhelmed with gratitude that God has created us to be a church family that includes every generation, and a great variety of people. This means that we have in our midst brothers and sisters who are considered “high risk” for contracting COVID-19, and who will suffer greatly – potentially to the point of death – if infected. COVID-19 can be passed along by an infected person for up to 5 days before they show any symptoms or have any idea that they are a carrier.

The threat presented by this virus is very real and very dangerous. As Christians, we have the freedom in Christ to respond to dangerous threats in love instead of fear. If we are to respond in love, we must understand the reality of the situation… and while the response of some may be panic-driven and irrational, the reality of this global pandemic cannot be ignored.

We reflect God’s deep love for our community, and long to demonstrate that love in sacrificial ways that position people to best receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. As stated above, we are blessed to be a church that God has created to include every generation, and a great variety of people – which means we have many who are more likely to contract the virus and who would suffer greatly under its effects.

Out of an abundance of caution – and an even greater abundance of love! – the Elders at LifePointe Church are taking the following steps, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Colorado Governor’s office and the Centers for Disease Control to slow the spread of this outbreak. These will be in-place for this week, with ongoing evaluation for future weeks in the days to follow:

  • This Sunday March 15th our worship services will ONLY be live-streamed for us to participate in our own homes. Visit sharethelife.org for details on the livestream. There will be no physical gathering this Sunday for the worship service OR for any 11am Community Life opportunities.
  • Groups not meeting through Saturday March 21st: Groups of 10 or more, or groups that include people considered by the CDC to be “high risk” (older adults, anyone with medical conditions such as Heart Disease, Diabetes, Lung Disease, compromised immune system, blood disorders, pregnancy, etc.), will not meet this week, through Saturday March 21st.
  • Outside groups that utilize our facility will not be meeting.

Though this decision is motivated by love, we understand that it is both a majorand a temporary disruption in how we function as God’s Church. Our strong desire is to resume gathering as soon as possible in a way that is both loving and responsible. With this in mind, we are committed to ongoing evaluation during future weeks to determine when we can gather in our building in a loving, responsible way. Please pay attention to your email inbox, LifePointe’s social media presence, and sharethelife.org for the latest information.

During this time, we need to BE THE CHURCH, both for the sake of our broader community and for the sake of each other in the church.It is vital that we maintain a personal, prayerful connection with the church and with our neighbors. Besides connecting with the livestream of the worship service this Sunday, please take some time to BE THE CHURCH by:

  • Calling the people in your LifeGroup or Bible Class to pray with/for them over the phone
  • Prayerfully consider who in the church you can minister to by sending a verse of Scripture, a written prayer, or other word of encouragement
  • Actively loving and caring for your neighbors in physical and spiritual ways (running to the grocery store for older or at-risk neighbors, praying with neighbors, checking on them, etc.)

If you have other ideas or ways that we can continue to be the church, please share them!

Please direct any questions about our LifePointe’s response to this situation to elders@sharethelife.org.

In the love and hope of Jesus,

your LifePointe Elders