Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Moving Forward in 2018

February 20, 2018

Dear CCC Family,

We are moving forward!  I wanted to give you an update from our annual meeting as God has great things on the horizon for CCC.  Our meeting February 4, was a productive time of vision casting, discussion, and decision making. 

First, we welcome Josh Nelson as the newest addition to our elder team at CCC.  We are looking forward to his continued partnership and leadership as we reach this community for Christ.  Josh has already shown himself to be a prayer warrior, and he is planning to prayerfully lead in the restart of Cowboy Church coming officially in April.  Stay tuned!

Second, we had good discussion around the budget, and approved the proposed amount of $333,000.  Additionally, a motion was made to add the $50,000 to this year’s budget for the hiring of an Associate Pastor of Worship and Arts.  This was also approved taking our Total budget to $383,000 for 2018.

With this additional amount approved, we are in the process of posting the job description and request for resumes beginning the hiring process.  As the description is posted, if you know of someone qualified for the position, please direct them to the website in order for them to decide if they would like to apply.  We will also assemble a team to review resumes and conduct interviews.  It is anticipated that the process will take a minimum of four months and possibly much longer as we want to find the best fit for CCC.

It is important to note that the hiring process will proceed in as much as we see financially feasible.  This means that we are looking to see a considerable increase in congregational giving so that the position will be financially supported for the coming year and years.  It was mentioned during the meeting that the vote to proceed with this hiring process is not just a verbal commitment recognizing a need for our church, but it is also a commitment on the part of the congregation to increase giving to the needed amount.

Third, the current facility prioritization is continuing and we will make those needs known as the list is finalized.  These items will be taken from our special projects fund which is not included in the annual budget.  You can contribute to this fund by simply designating it as “Special Projects.” 

Fourth, the search is on for additional land for a future CCC campus.  As usable acreage is identified we will be communicating with land owners to negotiate an agreeable price for us to pursue.  Updates will continue as progress is made.

Finally, in order to see these things through to reality, we trust that God will use His people to provide financially.  If you feel inspired to give to one of these projects, you can do so through our regular worship service offering collection, online through our website, or via regular mail addressed to:

Conifer Community Church
P.O. Box 53
Conifer, CO 80433

Let’s join together in prayer, worship, and generosity to see what God will do next as we seek to become the church God has called us to be.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Lance

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Revision 2018

 Dear CCC Family,

The beginning of 2018 is met with great anticipation as we seek God’s best for CCC.  If you are new to CCC, we hold our annual business meeting on the first Sunday of February which includes a, state of the church update, budget presentation and vote, and any other matters of church business that need to be addressed.  This year the “other matters” include an approval of Josh Nelson as candidate for elder and an update from the Revision team. 

Many meetings have occurred in the last two weeks including revision, leadership retreat, congregational meeting, and elders special meeting.  These have had at least one common factor, the revision process. Within this common theme has emerged a threefold recommendation from the Revision team to the elders.  The elders would like these to be communicated and opened for discussion at the business meeting leading to a vote at a possible later date.  Below you will find information to get the discussion started, and it will prepare the way for decisions to be made in appropriate time.

Revision Background
It was in June of last year that the Revision team was assembled from a cross section of congregants and opened to the congregation for volunteers to participate in order to pray, research, and brainstorm possibilities for future facility expansion.  Due to continued and projected numeric growth the current facility will soon not be able to house the congregation on a Sunday morning.  A complete consideration of all options was needed to determine a faithful recommendation to the elders and congregation on how to proceed.  One of the driving components of this process was the elder’s decision a few years back that we want to intentionally remove barriers from growth that may naturally occur in the life of CCC.  Over the course of the last eight months we have considered current facility options, purchase of land adjacent to the current property, leveling and rebuilding, parking concerns, outside meeting options (such as school and storefront), new land, and staffing needs as possible options.

The first agenda item for the Revision team was to outline a prayer plan for us and the congregation, so as God leads us through, we are all looking to Him first for guidance.  We want this to be His best for CCC not simply our best ideas.  After almost four months of praying and meeting, we held a congregational meeting sharing findings to that point.  It was our understanding from that meeting and conversations resulting from that meeting that the congregation is on board with the process and excited to seek God for the plan of action.

Recommendations from Revision Team
The Revision team has met three times since the congregational meeting in September coming to a threefold recommendation (based on findings) to the elders.  After a review of these recommendations the elders decided to place them in front of the congregation for consideration and possibly vote on one item in the near future.  The recommendations are as follows:

The Revision team recommends adding a new staff position to the budget in 2018 covering 50% of that staff position for the year estimated at $50,000 for salary, programming increase, and missions tithe.  Why only 50% of that position? It will take a few months to formulate the full picture of the package, job description, and hiring process to locate the best candidate.
It is recommended that the current facility needs be addressed in a prioritized and systematic way so that we fully utilize the current facility as long as feasible to continue growth.  This may include adding some larger items such as parking lot and outdoor lighting to a capital campaign due to the size of the expense.
It is recommended that we work to “secure” land by determining what type of contract and price would be acceptable in order to raise funds in a capital campaign for new land to be the future campus of Conifer Community Church.

We will be looking for a strong dialogue on Sunday in order to call us to more focused prayer, answer questions and gauge support for these pursuits.

Budget Proposed for 2018
The budget proposal for 2018 is an important piece as we consider these recommendations from the Revision Team. The 2017 budget was approved at $313,000.  As a calendar year comes toward its end, the trustees estimate final giving and possible increases in order to propose the following year’s budget to the elders for approval by December and to be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting.  This is important for you to understand because the trustees propose a budget based on projected income in current year and anticipated growth in the following year.  2017 proved to be an anomaly to prior years possibly due to emphasis on giving in August/September and anticipated Revision progress. 

The budget to be presented for 2018 will be a total of $333,000 (A more complete rationale will be provided at the business meeting).  Usually this number is an increase from the prior year’s actual income, but in 2017 our actual income exceeded $335,000.  With this unanticipated increase, the recommendation of money for staff addition appears more feasible than when the budget was drawn up and approved.  Having an addition of this magnitude is important to have strong congregational support both by vote and by giving.

We look forward to the meeting on Sunday and the feedback it provides for this process.  Please pray over these items, and if you are unable to join us on Sunday you may send your comments to conifercc@gmail.com.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Lance

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What's Next?

Dear CCC Friends and Family,

What a start to 2016!  We have approved a budget expected to stretch us, and we have hired a part-time Children’s Ministry Director.  Our study of the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 has challenged us as disciples, and the youth ministry is preparing to multiply into Middle School and High School groups under the leadership of Beth Griffin.  Outreach is ramping up as we approach Easter followed quickly by Summer Sports Camp, Youth Retreat, and Elevation Celebration.  We are also working through the rezoning process in order to launch a capital campaign with its goal to finish the remaining incomplete construction on our campus.

As we left budget plans during the annual meeting, the Trustees and Elders have been watching the weekly giving totals closely.  It was determined at the end of February that giving has increased to meet and in some cases exceed the budget approved for 2016 enough to approve the hiring of Kirstin Pulioff as Children’s Ministry Director.  How exciting it is to expand the staff as we grow and set ourselves up to reach our community in a more effective way into the future!  

What’s next?  With both attendance and giving on the increase, we will be working to accommodate more people and increasing funding to programs and facility.  In the mean time here are a few ways you can make a difference right now…

  1. Parking is a growing issue with increased attendance.  Any who are able to arrive a few minutes early and wouldn’t mind walking across Barkley Rd. can help open existing parking at the church by parking at West Jeff Elementary School.  This would allow our guests to have the opportunity to park in our church parking lot as they determine if CCC will become their church home in the future.   
  2. Designated Giving is a way to help us move forward on a few special projects that our current budget doesn’t contain.  This would be a special offering designated as “Special Projects” outside of regular giving.  There are two $3,000 projects (Overflow monitors and sanctuary remodel) pending the funds available for their completion.  These projects would improve the overall experience for our Sunday morning worship services and allow the youth and children’s ministries to launch some outreach efforts in a more immediate way.  If you would like to help with these projects, you may give through our website online giving option or by writing a check designated to “Special Projects.”
  3. Volunteer to help our church continue it’s effective growth and impact on our community.  April 3 we will be hosting our first Volunteer Fair to make it clear and simple how to join with a ministry team in furthering our great eternal cause of building the Kingdom of God.  Plan to stay for the potluck lunch following the 9:15 service and take some time to talk with ministry leaders while checking out opportunities in our church to join the volunteer team. 
  4. Continue in kindness…  It is very encouraging to hear stories of kindness spreading in our community through CCC.  Please continue to act kindly and share the stories as we seek to build a community of kindness here in the Conifer area.

There are many things to celebrate right now in the life of our church!  And we want to continue the momentum as we move toward Summer.  After Easter, we will begin a new series studying the book of Nehemiah.  This book will help us develop a deeper burden for the work of God in our community and develop our vision for what God wants to do today through His church as we seek Him with all our mind and strength.  Let’s continue to march together in step with our savior and with all grace and kindness.  

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Lance

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Announcing Children's Ministry Director Kirstin Pulioff

We are excited to announce the hiring of Kirstin Pulioff as the Interim Children's Director at Conifer Community Church.

Kirstin and her family moved to Evergreen, CO two years ago from Oregon. Immediately, they found a church home here at CCC. Leaving a staff positon at her previous church, she became involved with the children’s ministry program here: volunteering in the nursery, teaching Sunday School, family nights, and sports camp.

Kirstin is a substitute teacher with the Jeffco School District and para-professional at Marshdale Elementary working with students from Kindergarten through 5th grade. She has a passion for working with and teaching children and is excited to step up into the role of Director of Children’s Ministry at Conifer Community Church.

Building upon the strong foundation created by Barb Ludwig, some of her plans are to build a cohesion between the Sunday School programs, provide engaging curriculum in family night classes, build a fun and purposeful summer program, and have the children perform worship songs regularly.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Continuing to Grow in 2016

Continuing to Grow in 2016

“We are carrying on a great work, and we cannot come down.”
Nehemiah 6:3

Dear CCC Family,

I believe God has some tremendous things in store for 2016 at Conifer Community Church.  In preparation for our annual meeting on February 7, 2016, I wanted to cast a vision for what is ahead, give you some detail on our proposed budget, talk about how we will address space concerns, and allow you to ask questions in preparation for the big day, which will launch us together into the heart of 2016.

I.               Vision

Creating a Community of Kindness in 2016 is our overarching thrust both in awareness and action.  As agents of the gospel, all that CCC puts its heart and hands to should be in some way an expression of God’s loving-kindness both internally as a church and externally toward our community.  One way we have sought to express kindness to our community is opening our doors for groups to utilize the facility.  We currently have support groups, educational groups, networking groups, boy’s and girl’s scout groups, social groups, etc. using our building as an act of CCC’s kindness.  We are also serving a growing congregation through worship on Sunday, children’s ministry, student ministry, men’s discipleship, women’s discipleship, and compass groups.  Our average weekly Sunday attendance has grown from 141 in 2014 to 166 in 2015.  My hope is that we will grow closer if not exceed 200 on a weekly basis in 2016.  Those numbers represent lives of adults, teens, and children who are here to connect with God and others.  While this growth is exciting, it has created some issues with space and staffing.  These are areas we will address in 2016 to meet needs and utilize our tithes and offerings so that we may continue the pattern of growth and influence in the Conifer area proclaiming the gospel in word and deed. 

II.             Budget

The congregation sent a clear message in 2015 that the trustees and elders should seek to expand our ministry reach through the annual budget.  We met during the summer and voted to increase our budget for staffing.  With Stuart’s departure in August, the elders prayed over the next steps in staffing for CCC evaluating what has worked and what adjustments need to be made as we grow.  The desire to bring in a full time Associate Pastor was expressed and is needed in the near future as growth continues.  This would impact the annual budget in a very substantial way, and in the mean time, we have created two “interim” positions to keep ministries on track as we grow toward another full time staff member.  One interim position is the Director of Student Ministries, which has been filled as Beth Griffin came on staff in December.  Adding the second interim position, Director of Children’s Ministry, is the single largest increase to the 2016 proposed budget.  We have a candidate ready to begin this role when the appropriate time is upon us.  So we will be asking CCC to vote on a budget of $280,800.  This is an increase over the actual income of 2015 being $264,796.  If the congregational giving increases as our attendance increases, this should not only be doable, but we should be able to come back mid year with more increases proposed to continue fostering growth.  Please take some time to pray over your giving commitment for 2016, and allow God to stretch you in order that He may accomplish more through CCC.

III.           Space Concerns

Two big things from 2015 to celebrate and ride momentum into 2016: CCC IS DEBT FREE and we added both overflow seating and an additional worship service.  These great changes allow us to set our sites on completing the next phase of our building project, which would include worship space for 300 and a commercial kitchen.  We are currently working through the rezoning process to allow us more people inside our facility for church and other events.  The three areas outside the space itself that will be addressed in this will be water, septic, and parking.  When completed, we should be able to have up to 500 people on campus for church or an event.  We would also be able to serve our community with one of the largest commercial banqueting spaces available in the Conifer area.  What an opportunity for more lives to be impacted for the gospel with this facility fully completed and operational!  As we get closer to the completion of the rezoning to allow more people in the building, we will launch a new capital campaign to accomplish these goals.  It is our commitment to “pay as we go” so that there will not be another debt incurred at Conifer Community Church.  Having no debt allows us to more freely serve our community with God’s loving-kindness.

IV.           Feedback

Hopefully this message is both exciting and motivating to launch into 2016 with many exciting things on the horizon.  It probably also generated some questions that need to be addressed before we are jumping into this together.  Since there will be limited time for the business meeting(placed between our two Sunday worship services), we would like to have the opportunity to address as many of these questions ahead of the meeting as possible.  If you follow the link here to the question form, we will do our best to adequately answer questions and concerns in a timely manner before the annual meeting. 

Thank you for your participation in CCC and God’s Kingdom work here!  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in 2016!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Lance

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Before" a poem by Elise Clark from our children's Christmas program

by Elise Clark

Before there were sleigh bells ringing
Before there was tinsel and garland
Before there were gingerbread houses

There were angels

Before the stockings were hung with care
Before the lights twinkled in the crisp night air
Before the cookies and fudge

There was a manger

Before the joyful caroling
Before the snowman making
Before the eggnog drinking

There was a star

Before there were sugar plums
Before the parties and toasting
Before the hustle and bustle

There was a gift

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Introducing Our Interim Youth Director

Dear CCC Family,

Please join me in welcoming Beth Griffin as the Interim Youth Director at Conifer Community Church.  Beth has been serving with our students this fall, and she brings an exciting vision for our students to reach their peers, grow in their relationship with Christ, and become a vital part of our church body.  Beth currently is a substitute teacher in the Jeff Co School District.  As she gets started in this position many exciting opportunities and activities will be offered to our students.  The middle school Christmas party will be at CCC December 5, 6-9PM, and the senior high Christmas party will be  at Beth’s home December 12, 6-10PM.  If you are interested in serving with the student ministry at CCC, Beth will be offering volunteer training January 5.  This will come a week before Ignite resumes for the New Year on January 13.  One event to mark on your calendar will be the TobyMac concert March 18.  Tickets will be available very soon!  So, let’s continue building our student ministry and reaching the Conifer area for Christ as we follow Beth’s leadership as Interim Youth Director.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Lance