As of March 28th, 2020.
Dear Alpine Chapel Family,
Happy Saturday! I pray this finds you feeling well, staying safe, doing your best to enjoy family, and having special times with the Lord. We try and post updates, as they are happening on our church website and want to inform you of a few new and important things happening this week.
First, this Sunday we are asking that EVERYONE join us at 10:00am to watch the service TOGETHER. If you have Facebook, you will see that we’ll be on their “Facebook Live” feature. If you can tune in this way, you’ll be able to type in and comment as the service progresses. We’d LOVE to see you chime in, so that we all can have that sense of being together, even though it’s simply on-line. Please type in your prayer-requests or comments and we can all reply and pray. If you do not have Facebook, don’t worry, the service will be up on our church website at 10:00 am, as well (just go to the HOME page and scroll down… when you see the video, click the TITLE of the video underneath and it will take you to the page with all the questions, downloadable links, etc).
The service this Sunday is all from my living room and will have a short welcome, opening prayer, two worship songs led by Skye, my message from Luke 14:25-27, and then a short children’s message from Conor with an animated video for the kids on the life of Hosea & Gomer. The whole thing will be exactly 50 minutes long. On our website you will find downloadable pages for the children that include a coloring sheet, activity page, and family discussion questions. Parents, it is so vital that we show our children how important Jesus and His Church are to our families, especially during this time. You are building memories with them that they WILL NEVER FORGET. Remember the admonition of Hebrews 10:24-25; “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Also, for the teens, go the Young Life section of our website to see a quick 7 minute video of this week’s ‘Club Talk’ from Conor just for you.
On Tuesday, our Men’s Bible Study will meet, via a ZOOM call. Our Ladies Bible Study will meet on Thursdays at 10am. Here’s how you can join us, from your home, as we discuss the past weekend’s message and pray together. If you’ve never used Zoom before, it’s a video conferencing software. Go ahead and click this link (DOWNLOAD ZOOM APP) and download it to your computer so you’re all set for our midweek Bible studies:
Men’s Bible Study
Time: April 7th, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada) Every week on Tue, until May 12, 2020
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Weekly: CALENDAR REMINDER
Join Zoom Meeting Using This Link
Meeting ID: 986 237 557
Women’s Bible Study
Time: Apr 2, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada) Every week on Thu, until May 14, 2020
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Weekly: CALENDAR REMINDER FOR LADIES
Join Zoom Meeting
JOIN THE WOMEN’S MEETING – THURSDAYS AT 10AM – Mountain Time
Meeting ID: 105 880 008
Lastly, please remember to keep us in your prayers. Decisions we are needing to make are really big at this time. During these uncertain days your support is so important, both prayerfully and financially. We know that God has got each of us in the center of His hand!
Whew! That was a lot! Thank you for being a part of our family. If you are in need of anything, please feel free to contact me. Myself, Conor, Skye, and others are willing to help in any way we can. For example; If you need someone to make a run to the grocery store, post office, pharmacy, or just need prayer, we, your church family, are HERE. My personal cell phone number is: 970-708-9463.
I love and miss you and am thanking the Lord for each of you today!
Forever in HIS grip, Pastor Michael Craft
As of March 23rd, 2020.
Hello church family! I pray you are doing well and staying safe. We’ve gotten many reports that folks tuned in to our on-line church, which is wonderful! Each week we are working to make that a better experience. Hopefully, we’ll be able to show the video LIVE on Facebook, but in a quality way this next Sunday. It would be a situation where people could live chat, while they watch and perhaps give us a sense of worshipping TOGETHER. We’re working on that anyways.
We now are needing to shut down even the Men’s and Women’s Bible studies, as well as all other ministries scheduled at the church. The women are working on doing their Bible study via ZOOM, which will be cool if they get that going. If that works, and the men show interest, we guys will do the same thing.
If you need prayer, or someone to go to the store for you, please contact Pastor Michael (me) and I’d be happy to do my best to run errands for you if you are unable to get out of your home. If I can’t, I’ll do my best to find others who can. We are the church and we want to be here for you if you are in need.
I love you all and I’m praying Psalm 91 over each and every one of us:
1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say concerning the Lord, who is my refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust:
3 He himself will rescue you from the bird trap,
from the destructive plague.
4 He will cover you with his feathers;
you will take refuge under his wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in darkness,
or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand,
the pestilence will not reach you.
8 You will only see it with your eyes
and witness the punishment of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord—my refuge,
the Most High—your dwelling place,
10 no harm will come to you;
no plague will come near your tent.
11 For he will give his angels orders concerning you,
to protect you in all your ways.
12 They will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the young lion and the serpent.
14 Because he has his heart set on me,
I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows my name.
15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble.
I will rescue him and give him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with a long life
and show him my salvation.
As of March 16th, 2020.
As of today, the County Public Health and Environment has declared a state of emergency. Susan Lilly, public information officer for San Miguel County, issued an extensive statement that included a new public health order approved by BOCC: 1) Effective immediately Public gatherings are restricted to no more than 50 persons [previously this was a ‘recommendation’].
As we shared last week, “We will also comply with whatever our national, state, and local authorities advise.” For this reason, we are cancelling our service on Sundays at 10am for the foreseeable future. We will continue to have our messages on-line and available to all. We will continue our Tuesday 11am Men’s Bible-study (usually around 10 men), but will NOT gather for lunch afterwards. We will also continue our Women’s Bible-study on Thursdays at 10am (usually under 10 women). Of course, if you are not feeling well please do not attend these studies, but call and we will be praying for you.
Obviously, the COVID-19 virus has brought lots of fear, anxiety and questions to our society. As Christians we are not immune to those feelings. We can often walk the tight-rope of faith… and concern for the future. Scripture gives this beautiful reminder where Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32). Jesus speaks these words after talking about worry. No matter what chaos we see in the world around us, we remember that God still sits on His throne. He promises to be with us in all circumstances and we have a home in heaven because of what Jesus has done for us.
We are learning that we cannot make everyone happy. The criticism is unfortunate but unavoidable; non-Christians cannot be expected to understand the tenets and teachings of our faith… why we “Jesus-lovers” have such a desire to be together. But more painful is the criticism that has come from fellow Christians with every decision their leaders have to make. Decide to suspend services, and be castigated for a lack of faith. Decide to continue to gather, and be called “socially irresponsible.” We are prepared for unprecedented pressure from all levels. We understand that people will respond based on their own faith convictions and public health opinions. We are prepared to go deeper into prayer than we’ve ever gone. We are prepared for the reality that our decisions will not please everyone.
In time of fear and threat, people need the comfort of God’s Word preached, more so than ever. For this reason, although we do not have public services, we are committed to preaching the Word weekly, via our video podcast. We hope you’ll tune in and remember to support your church in prayer.
We love you… and we’re gonna make it. – Pastor Michael
As of March 11th, 2020:
The Word of God teaches us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” As Jesus-followers, I believe that we must make choices to be careful in times such as these to use ‘sound judgment’, while maintaining our trust and hope in God. At The Alpine Chapel we are taking measures to make our facility as clean as possible. We have ‘upped our game’ in disinfecting everything multiple times each and every week. We are advising people to stay home from our gatherings if they are not feeling well, but at the same time, to please let us know so that we can be praying. We have agreed to prayerfully and even practically help The Medical Center Foundation here in Telluride, because we know that the medical staff and first responders are under severe stress and pressure at this time. We will continue to observe the updates from the CDC (CDC UPDATES) and would advise all to do so as well, rather than believe everything that is posted on popular social media sites. We will also comply with whatever our national, state, and local authorities advise. If you are sixty-years old and older, especially if you have a condition which makes you more susceptible to contracting a virus, you may want to consider the possibility of not attending services, for a couple of weeks. Reports reveal elderly individuals have a higher chance of contracting the virus. If you decide to stay home, please join us by watching the service at our website or by visiting our Facebook page at 10am on Sunday.
Four things we can all do.
1) Pray – for God to aid scientists in discovering a vaccine quickly. And for the witness of the church; that we will not allow the coronavirus to quarantine our faith!
2) Act responsibly. Wash your hands, etc.
3) Respect the space of others.
4) Rest in God. “Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance[a] of true peace” (Jeremiah 33:6).
Below you will find an EXCELLENT article that I highly recommend concerning the subject: “Where is God when pandemics strike? A Biblical and practical response” by James C. Denison, PhD CVO. I pray it ministers to you. – Pastor Michael Craft