LATEST UPDATES

Mountain Life's Response to our current reality.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Dear Mountain Life Family,

I want to invite everyone to make the time to join our church family in a special day of prayer, this Friday, June 12. With all the unique and ongoing challenges we are facing at this difficult chapter in history, dedicating time to pray in a united fashion this Friday is the best thing to do. It need not take your whole day, but it will take an intentional commitment to join in and pray. I am praying that we will all make this most important commitment.

The attached prayer guide came together in a God-inspired kind of way. Use it to be a source of encouragement for you on Friday and in the future as well.

Lovingly for Christ and His Kingdom,
Pastor Scott
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Dear MLC Church Family,

We are excited as we prepare to offer two onsite services, starting June 14, 2020, at 9:00 and 10:45 am. We look forward to welcoming those of you who would like to come to onsite worship, while we continue our 9:00 am online livestream for those who are more comfortable staying at home for worship. We ask everyone to prayerfully consider either option, as there is no right or more spiritual answer and we will respect where everyone is at in regards to these decisions.

We will have quite a few safety and sanitation features in place, so I want to give all of you a clear understanding of what to expect. Understanding these features will help you decide whether or not you are comfortable coming, and will also give you time to prepare so you can have the best possible experience.

RSVP: Since safety and health is uppermost in our mind, we have established social distancing protocols and will ask everyone to abide by them. The worship center is set up with 6 foot spacing between seats or seat clusters for families. Since this significantly reduces the total number of available seats, we will be introducing an RSVP system. The RSVP link will be made available (on our website, app, and social media) to everyone on the Monday through Friday before each Sunday and, once capacity is reached, reservations will be closed for a given service. We will have a check-in table for those who have reservations and our ushers will then escort you to your seat(s). We will not be able to guarantee anyone a seat without an RSVP. RESERVE YOUR SEATS

MASKS: We strongly urge everyone to wear masks on the way to your seat and as you exit your seat, in a spirit of consideration toward each other. Our church staff and volunteers will all be wearing masks unless they are on the stage. During congregational singing, we also recommend wearing masks. We will have our windows open during the service. We ask everyone to not judge others in their decision about the wearing of masks.

COFFEE: Feel free to bring your own coffee, as it will not be provided at this time.

RISKS: We do not want anyone to come if they are not feeling 100 percent plus. We also ask everyone who considers themselves in a high-risk category to not push the envelope, as we want you to take the safest road possible, which is staying home and enjoying online worship.

CHILDREN: We will not be having a separate kids ministry for the time being, so parents who choose to come with children will sit together as a family.

FELLOWSHIP: Immediately after each service we will have a fellowship opportunity on the church patio rather than in the church lobby. Again, we ask everyone to abide by 6 foot social distancing on the patio, and to abstain from handshakes and hugs. We know this will be hard for some of us, but we want to err on the side of caution.

TIME: We urge you to come a bit early to allow for everyone to be seated for the start of the service as
1) it will take a bit longer to seat everyone than at a typical service and
2) our services will be shortened to a maximum of 60 minutes.

CONNECTION & OFFERING: We will not be handing out bulletins, but ask everyone to fill out a connection card on our MLC PC app. We also will not be passing an offering basket. Offering boxes will be available as well as online giving.

BATHROOMS: Bathrooms will be available for urgent needs only.

SANITIZING: We will be sanitizing the worship center and bathrooms before and between services. We are also providing several hand sanitizer locations.

While we realize these safety protocols will make our worship experience different in some ways, we look forward to the joyful privilege of lifting up Jesus together. We know that there is no perfect way to re-open a church building during a pandemic but, after much prayer and discussion, we know that the way we have chosen is both consistent with the most current CDC and governmental guidelines and it captures our best judgment in light of our value of the safety and well being of everyone. Therefore, we ask everyone to be understanding, patient and considerate of others.

After each Sunday, the staff will be evaluating to help make this the best experience possible, given all factors in play.

If you have any questions about any of the above, do not hesitate to send an email to scott@mountainlife.org , andrew@mountainlife.org or laura@mountainlife.org.

Finally, we will be asking everyone participate in a MLC Day of Prayer on June 12. This is very timely in light of our need for greater compassion as we respond to all the people in our land who are hurting due to racial tension, who are fearful, who are angry, and who feel misunderstood. It is also timely as we continue to pray for those who are battling the coronavirus and for God's protection over us. We are asking everyone to set aside anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour to pray in our home settings. We will be providing a prayer guide for you next week to help make this a meaningful and heartfelt time of prayer for our church, our community, and the world.

Trusting in Jesus with you,
Pastor Scott
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We can all thank God for this great spring weather! In the midst of this challenging time, God has a way of bringing us encouragement, often in the little things in life. It is my prayer that you are experiencing God’s comfort and strength in these times.

One of the most challenging things for us as a church family is figuring out ways to minister effectively in light of the pandemic. I am very thankful for the gift of technology that has allowed us to provide safe and meaningful worship experiences online, something we plan to continue and are in the process of improving.

At the same time, the leadership team and I are well aware that some of our people are very desirous of meeting together onsite for corporate worship. In response to this, and in keeping with our desire to meet needs without violating good safety, we are planning to hold onsite worship services starting Sunday, June 14, at 9:00 and 10:45 am.

Despite limitations, providing an onsite worship option is going to bless those who would like to come. We are diligently preparing for this with a high value on the safety of everyone who attends. We will be following safety and sanitation protocols that will significantly impact the way we experience onsite worship, including, among other things, significantly limited seating capacity, with an RSVP sign-up system and social distancing in place. It will impact how we enter, how we are seated, how we exit and how we interact. It means we will not be able to provide a separate Kids Ministry for the time being, as children do not understand social distancing.

Though it means our gathering will be noticeably different, they will be good! Next week, I will send an email with clear guidelines for our services, which will help you determine whether or not you would be comfortable attending. But for now, I wanted to prepare everyone for what we see happening and to ask you to pray for God’s wisdom, grace and protection as we move forward.

We all know that living in a pandemic is a dynamic process - what makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow. We will make changes according to our understanding within changing circumstances. As important as any decisions are, in regard to onsite worship, even more important is our heart condition and how we interact with one another. At Mountain Life, we want to be loving, grace-filled believers. One expression of love is to be “considerate” of others rather than demanding “my way.” Our leadership team, staff and I know that people have quite a variety of viewpoints in terms of what is good and right in light of this pandemic; there is no way we are all going to see things the same way, but we can still journey together and maintain unity in the main thing - lifting up Jesus and relating to all people with love!

I want us all to be humble, as all of our understandings are limited. Let’s be willing to learn from each other and allow room for differing viewpoints. Above all, I am asking everyone to be considerate of others. This is not about getting what any one of us wants, but about thinking in terms of how God can use us to bless people as we protect each other.

We will honor and respect everyone’s decision in regard to worshiping onsite or at home through our continued online worship services. Re-opening the church for onsite worship will be a slow process with a tall learning curve, but we believe it can be a really good experience if those who attend come with grace, consideration of others, patience and understanding.

I am greatly looking forward to our online worship tomorrow, including the honoring of over 20 High School Seniors who are graduating and entering a new chapter in their life. I will be sharing a message on “Trusting God.” Join me in praying that God will touch us all and that our seniors will experience just how much we love them as well.

In the Grip of His Grace,
Pastor Scott

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Dear MLC Family,

This is turning out to be a most interesting and difficult chapter in human history. I know I am not alone in saying that the learning curve has been, and continues to be, very steep for all of us.

Thankfully, it will not be long before Mountain Life will begin to offer onsite worship services again. I am greatly anticipating this experience with you; this season has been hard on all of us. We know that, while some of us are more than ready to meet together, others of us will not yet be ready to be present. For this reason our online worship will not only continue, but we are working to make it better by investing in appropriate upgraded technology.

The big question is: “When will we be able to offer a quality and safe worship experience for those who are ready?” I have been working with our full-time staff to both understand and plan for this. I have also been in contact with leading churches in Salt Lake and Ogden to gain collective insight and discernment.

We have all been surprised at how quickly the colors have moved from red to orange to yellow. Now we are focusing a great amount of thought and energy on our reopening plan in light of these developments. We want to do it as well and as safely as possible.

So, in concert with the leadership team, a decision for a reopening date for onsite worship will be made next week. In the meantime we are working hard at both making plans and securing the needed volunteers to do this as best we can. We know that the feel will be somewhat different in light of social distancing, reduced seating capacity, no separate Kids
Ministry for a while, and other sanitary protocols that will be in place. However, the goal will be the same - to lift up Jesus, worship God in the power of the Spirit, share God's Word and draw people to Jesus!

I want to thank you in advance for your prayers, understanding and support as we move strongly in this direction.

Rejoicing in Jesus,
Pastor Scott

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear Mountain Life Church Family,
I want to give everyone an update on a few things.

First of all, Pastor Steve and Leanne have accepted a call for Steve to become the Executive Pastor at First Baptist Church in Venice, Florida. Their last official Sunday with us will be this Sunday, May 10. Pastor Steve has been very instrumental in helping us reach our potential over this time and has faithfully served us in innumerable ways. Not only so, but he and Leanne are a great example of Christ-centered living and family life. This is now a great time for us to express our appreciation for Steve and Leanne by sending them an email letter of encouragement and gratitude for their 8-1/2 years of giving us all their best leadership, efforts and love as we have journeyed together as a church community. Steve’s email is steve@mountainlife.org.

Secondly, as the pandemic continues to grow in our country and around the world, it is truly a sobering time for the human race. How thankful we are for all those who are working so hard in the medical field to both take care and discover best treatment methods going forward. How thankful we can be, as believers in Jesus, that our future is as certain as the promises of God and our comfort and security are in our resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

We have always placed a high value as a church family on being a safe community and having a safe place to worship and grow together. In this season of pandemic, the safety of all of our people and staff is of paramount importance. Though there are no perfect solutions to our current situation, we are choosing to respect Summit County’s updated joint public health order as of May 1, when it comes to making adjustments to what was our normal routine, in hopes of minimizing the spread of this virus for the long-term benefit of everyone. This becomes nothing short of a highly co-operative, community-wide effort. So we agree that it is too early to open up our facility and return to church as we knew it before mid-March. For now, we think it is best for all staff members to work from home, though they can come to church if it is essential to a given task. You can reach out to them at any time.

We believe that we can be effective in ministry even in these days. This, we are learning, requires high degrees of patience, creativity and innovation. I am very thankful for the very good response we are receiving from our Sunday online worship service. We are working on ways to make it even better in the coming weeks. We have some really good stuff to offer both our kids and students each week. The best way to stay connected is through the Kids and Students social media platforms. You can access those by going to our app or website and clicking to the Kids and Students pages where you will find social media links. You can also reach out directly to Cullen Wood (Director of Kids Ministry) at cullen@mountainlife.org or Jordan Price (Student Ministries Pastor) at jordan@mountainlife.org. I love how many of our Life Groups are meeting via Zoom and we still encourage our Life Groups to meet online as their safest option. We also know that some Life Groups may choose to meet in person. If they make that choice, we strongly recommend they follow the guidelines for such groups, which Andrew has shared with all Life Group leaders. We know the updated regulations do open up meetings in person with pastors when necessary, and by appointment, as long as social distance is not compromised. Do know we are here for you! If you would like to meet with me, or any of our pastors, do not hesitate to contact us and we will find the best and most appropriate way to do so. You can also reach out for help via our new HelpLine at 435.200.5988 or help@mountainlife.org.

I am personally seeing the benefit of people, in their personal lives, finding safe ways to meet with several others as their comfort level permits, including hiking, golfing, bike rides, sitting on the lawn or patio, and spending time in person while keeping social distancing in place. Our social needs are some of our strongest needs and we can find creative and safe ways to better meet those needs. In my personal experience with Jeanne, we have had some great conversations and met some new friends in walks around our neighborhood. I hope you have as well.

I have talked to enough people to know that we all have different levels of response and comfort in deciding what activities we want to personally attend. At Mountain Life we will respect everyone’s decisions and we will not put anyone down if they are - or are not - comfortable with any particular social gathering opportunity. We also ask everyone to respect any guidelines we put in place as we represent a broad constituency with differing viewpoints.

So I ask everyone to be understanding, gracious and patient in this process. This, in a number of ways, is stretching us all. As this pandemic continues on, let us not stop praying for God to intervene and help us defeat this virus and to show us ways that He can use us to bless people who are in our sphere of influence!

In the midst of the tall learning curve we are in, we find our confidence in knowing that God is on the throne and He will see us through this! In this confidence we continue to pray for wisdom and grace so that as things continue to change, we will be a church that is faithful in living out our mission and vision as we seek to advance God’s kingdom in Park City, our region and the world.

For God’s glory and the advancement of His Kingdom,
Pastor Scott
Thursday, April 9, 2020

New HelpLine for Mountain Life Church and the Park City Community
During this pandemic, Mountain Life has created a dedicated HelpLine and email for those of you in need. If you find yourself needing help, whether that is physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual, please reach out to us. Mountain Life Church is here for you and our community.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dear MLC Church Family,

We are living in very unique, difficult and unprecedented times. In such times the opportunities to share God’s love and the good news of Jesus increase significantly. This is the time for MLC to shine the light and share the love of Jesus in new and God-inspired ways. I am happy to share with you that our pastors and staff are stepping up to the challenge to find creative ways to lead and minister effectively to our church family and community. The people of MLC are stepping up as well. We sense that God is getting the attention of both believers and non-believers and that He is working to bring more and more people to faith in Jesus. We want God to use all of us!

If you want to see some of the latest developments in key areas of ministry, scroll down below this letter and click the button to read a brief update from some of our ministry staff. I know you will be encouraged as you realize the good things that are going on and the leadership our staff is providing.

As you know, the major shift is for us to discover ways to use online communication tools and adapt our ministry and connections in this way. Little did we know, when we created our own MLC app a few months ago, that it would prove to be a vital tool for communication, ministry and connection! Over 500 Mountain Life Church PC apps have been downloaded; if you have not done so, I urge you to download this app, as you will find it extremely helpful in providing you with easy access to things we offer. With the app, you can access live stream services and weekday devotions, share prayer requests, learn what’s going on and give offerings in a simple, online way.

Speaking of online services, for the last two weeks we have had over 1,000 Facebook views of our Sunday 9:00 am service, and hundreds more are watching on our MLC app and website. Thanks to our Latino Ministry Pastor, Ruben Navarrete, we are also now providing an online Spanish service each Sunday at 10:15 am during this pandemic season. We are getting positive response from people close to home, and in many parts of the U.S. as well. In some ways, our impact is broadening during this time.

A major value of MLC is connection. Over the past week we assembled a team, under the leadership of our Care & Connections Director, Laura Behnke, and our Spiritual Growth Pastor, Andrew Camp, to make calls to everyone we could reach who are members and regulars at MLC. These calls allowed us to both encourage our people and to learn more how they are doing so we can find creative ways to minister and care for everyone. Many of our people stepped up to make these calls, demonstrating the caring heart that has always been a big part of MLC.

Connection through Life Group participation is now more important than ever. Many of our Life Groups are not only continuing to meet via formats like Zoom, but the value of caring and growing and making a Kingdom impact is becoming more and more real. It’s never too late to join a Life Group! If you are looking for more connection and growth at this time, I strongly urge you to join (or start!) a Life Group. Contact Pastor Andrew Camp at andrew@mountainlife.org. Andrew is also willing to provide some coaching on the effective use of Zoom for your Life Group, if you would find that helpful.

I am also happy to report that we are giving a special gift of $10,000 (from our reserve fund) to one of our strategic partners, the Christian Center of Park City, to help them provide food and assistance to the growing number of hurting people in our area. At the same time, our own benevolent fund is growing as our people give to it, which will enable us to provide help to our people as best we can.

I also want to thank everyone for your generosity in giving to MLC in and through this pandemic. We want to keep strong at all levels of our ministry so we can minister most effectively. For many, it will take a bit more effort and intentionality to give to your church, but if each of us does our part – generosity will happen to the glory of God. Also, more and more of our people are giving online and discovering it to be an easy way to fulfill their giving goals. If you want help with online giving or setting up recurring giving, email Carol Clark at carol@mountainlife.org and she will walk you through the simple steps to get going with this. Online giving can be found on the MLC app or website.

I want to urge everyone to continue to pray to God for protection, provision and miracles of healing for each other. With the spread of this virus into our community, we know that people who are part of our church family will also be fighting this virus and will appreciate our prayers and God’s answers. We also know that the impact of this virus is taking a toll on some people more than others in emotional, spiritual, relational and financial ways. Do not hesitate to contact any of our staff with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here for you!

Please click the button below this letter to read a brief update on five of Mountain Life’s key ministry areas. I believe you will be encouraged by all God is doing!

Lovingly,
Pastor Scott
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Major All-Church Update for Mountain Life Church Family
Please take the time to read this info! 
During these weeks when our physical church building is closed per governmental mandate, it is the earnest desire and intent of our leadership team, and all of our staff, that we find creative and safe ways to stay in touch and minister to each other as well as reach out to those around us with God's love.

In times like these, a church family can be very alive in the power of God's Spirit! We want to make the most of the opportunities God is bringing to all of us! We know that
difficult times can cause us to fully depend on the Lord in ways we might not have otherwise. He is clearly getting our full attention, even throwing an earthquake with aftershocks into the mix. Let’s remember, a loving God wants to gain our full attention for our full benefit. One thing is for sure: we need to make time for prayer and growing our love relationship with Jesus.

We thank God for the very good response we received to our first all-church online worship experience this past Sunday! We also had over 60 new downloads of our app last week, close to 1,000 have clicked on our Facebook video message, and we are approaching 400 app downloads to date! We are wise to assume that people have a heightened sense of spiritual openness during these times. We are already looking forward to our next online worship experience this Sunday, March 22 at 9 am, in which I will share Part 2 of the message entitled, In Times Like These.

Many of our Life Groups are finding ways to meet remotely as well. I strongly encourage all Life Groups to keep meeting during these weeks, using a remote video format approach like Zoom!  Life Groups are foundational in our vision to be a church that provides care and spiritual growth, and that makes kingdom impact! In these challenging times, Life Groups will prove to be an incredible source of support and strength. If you would like to join a Life Group, or start one, I invite you to email Andrew Camp (andrew@mountainlife.org),  our Spiritual Growth Pastor, and he will help you get plugged in or show you how to get a new group going.

Our pastoral staff are in easy reach to all of us by email, phone. text, etc. Do not hesitate to contact us as we are here for you! Contact info is easy to find on our website (www.mountainlife.org).  Also, I want to urge everyone to make contact with at least two people this week that God puts on your heart. I am already getting reports of how significant these connections have been.  The right call at the right time to let people know we are thinking about them and truly care, can and will make a huge difference in times like these! 

Starting today, I will be creating and sending out a weekday daily devotional to help us all journey with God and His Word together. I believe many of you will find these to be edifying and helpful. We strongly believe in the vital importance of spending quality time with God each day. These devotionals will often tie into the Sunday messages and allow God's truth to take hold in a deep and personal way!   

You can find these weekday daily devotionals on our website and app.  
  • Go to the Daily Devotions web page then be sure to bookmark it so you can easily access it each day OR 
  • Click the Daily Devotions tile on the MLC app to read each day's devotional. 
  • We will also post a daily reminder on Facebook and Instagram to read each day's devotional.

Our pastoral and full-time ministry staff want to create touch points and administer care to people who consider MLC their church family.  Along these lines, Laura Behnke is recruiting a team of folks from our church to help reach out to people by phone so we learn how everyone is doing, and what we can do to lend more support where it may be needed. If you would like to be part of this new MLC Support Team, send Laura an email at laura@mountainlife.org and she will let you know how you can make a real difference in this effort as we reach out to our people and support each other in reaching out to others in the larger community.

We are also starting a special live stream Latino Service each Sunday at 10:15 am, which we believe will be of great benefit to our growing Latino community. This will be led by Ruben Navarrete each Sunday during the weeks that our facility is closed. This service will be available on our Facebook page as well as our website and app. 

Cullen Wood, our Kids Ministry Director, and Jordan Price, our Student Ministry Pastor, are also working on ways to minister and stay connected with our kids and youth. We will be updating you on this as well in the near future, along with other pertinent updates!

One of our local strategic partners, the Christian Center of Park City, is on the front line and has food available for anyone in need on a grab and go basis (Pantry guests must pre-register at https://www.ccofpc.org/fighting-hunger). Currently, they are in pretty good shape with canned goods, though fresh foods, which need to be purchased, will be more challenging. A basic needs assistance fund is in place for rent, utility bills, etc. and all gifts are appreciated, especially as more weeks go by.  So, their need is not food donations, but financial gifts and prayer support. To donate to the Christian Center, go to https://www.ccofpc.org then click on the green DONATE button in the upper right. As of now, for health reasons, regular volunteers are not needed, but there is a need for people who would be willing to deliver goods to needy people in a safe way with simple instructions.  

Finally, our general fund has taken quite a hit these last two weeks with significantly lower giving, while at the same time we have a growing number of tangible needs that are beginning to surface within our church family. So, besides your ongoing regular giving, which is crucial at this time, we urge everyone who is so inclined to give over and above to our Benevolence fund to help people in need. Online giving is easy to do on our app or website (Jeanne and I are shifting our giving to online as it is so handy). We have a designation option at https://mountainlife.org/give that you can use to make sure your gift goes where you want it to go.  

The ministry learning curve in all of this is steep and the bottom line is that we need God and each other to get through this temporary, difficult season to better days on the other side. I find that when I am engaged in helping others I do much better than when I just sit home and stew.

God’s peace to you,
Pastor Scott
Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,

The Leadership of Mountain Life Church has been closely monitoring the situation with Covid-19. We firmly believe that God is in control and we trust him with the big things as well as the small things. We also believe that he calls us to act with wisdom regarding the safety of our church and our witness to our community.

Yesterday Governor Herbert announced recommendations for Utah’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was followed closely by a similar statement from the Summit County Health Department. Among other things, these statements include the request that there be no public gatherings of more than 100 people. We have prayerfully determined that beginning this weekend our worship service will be online rather than in person.

We will live stream Pastor Scott’s message at 9:00am on Sunday, March 15. Scott’s message will include comments on the Virus and MLC’s response. We encourage you to join us.
- On our Facebook page
- On our Website
- On the MLC App

As you join us, keep in mind that you can submit prayer requests, connection cards and you can give online and through the app. After 9:00 you will be able to watch, or listen to, the recorded sermon on our Facebook page or the web.

Please note that the church facility itself will be closed for the weekend. Life Groups and other ministries will continue to fellowship and serve throughout the week. Watch for further communication from your Mountain Life Church leadership as we continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly.

The church is more than a building and more than a large group gathering. The church is God’s people. The church is us. We have an incredible opportunity to represent Christ to a frightened world. May God provide direction and courage as we serve him.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. -Psalm 62:8

Steve White
Executive Pastor