Project Greatest Gift works with the Health and Human Services departments of Weld, Adams, and Boulder Counties to provide Christmas gifts, as well as help with groceries and clothing for families in kinship and foster care at this time of the year. This is a practical way we, as the Body of Christ, can show the heart of God and the love of Jesus to those in need in our community.
Last year I sat down with Christine, the founder of Project Greatest Gift, to discuss its origins, the vision behind it, and how God has used it over the past 10+ years. You can watch that discussion in the video below.
You can participate in Project Greatest Gift no matter where you are located since sign-ups for sponsoring children and caretakers are now completely online!
I was given a copy of Dominic’s book when it first came out, and it sat on my shelf until I picked it up one Saturday to thumb through it, and next thing I knew I had read every word and used up an entire highlighter. I read the whole thing in one sitting because it was so fascinating, well-written, and applicable.
More recently, in September of 2021, I got to spend some time with Dominic in Colorado Springs at an Expositors Collective training weekend where he was one of our guest speakers.
We are excited for Dominic to come and speak at our church on November 14, and I encourage you: if you are within driving distance of Longmont, make sure to join us and bring someone with you who needs to here this important, helpful, and relevant message!
If you have ever struggled with doubts, or if you are curious about deconstruction: what it means, if it is a good thing or a dangerous thing – join us for this special Sunday!
This past Sunday, we studied the second half of chapter 1, in which Paul talks about “the message of the cross.” In doing so, Paul makes clear between 1:17 and 1:18 that the message of the cross is the gospel, and the gospel is the message of the cross. This message is “the power of God” for all who believe; precisely the same thing Paul says about the gospel in Romans 1:16. In other words, the gospel (the central message of Christianity) is the message of the cross.
Martin Luther wrote about the difference between a “theology of glory” and the “theology of the cross.” In this week’s Sermon Extra, I explain some of this historical context for Luther’s differentiation between the theology of glory and the theology of the cross, as well as how we can recognize theologies of glory in our modern times.
You can also listen to the podcast of this episode here:
In this week's sermon extra, Pastors Nick Cady and Michael Payne discuss Martin Luther's description of Theology of Glory vs the Theology of the Cross and how it works out in modern thinking, as well as the way to be happy.
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/whitefieldschurch/support
You can watch the entire message from this past Sunday, “The Message of the Cross & the Power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:17-31), here:
Did you know that children in the foster system form an at-risk people group within our own communities?
In almost every case, the reason these children end up in foster care care is because of an unsuitable home environment, which may involve violence, neglect, drugs, crime, etc. These environments not only result in trauma many times, but they also tend to result in or be associated with poverty. Many foster care situations are kinship care, which means the child is cared for by a relative, which can create a financial burden.
Poverty has a profound impact on a child’s mental and physical well-being. Children living in poverty have higher rates of absenteeism from school. Students who come from low income families are six times more likely to drop out of high school. Adults without a high school diploma are 4 times more likely to be unemployed and live in poverty, which means raising their children in poverty, perpetuating a cycle of poverty which may persist for generations: poverty affects education which affects poverty. (source 1, source 2)
One of the ways that we can help kids break out of this cycle of poverty is by encouraging them to stay in school – and one of the ways we can do that is by helping them have the things they need to be confident and excited about going to school, so they can succeed!
Our church, White Fields Community Church, has a history of ministering to children in the foster system, and five years ago we began a new ministry: Project Back to School.
We are working with Weld County Department of Human Services, and this year they have identified over 100 at-risk kids who need help with school supplies, clothes, and shoes. They have provided us with a list of needed items, which we will share with those who sign up to help.
We are trusting that God will raise up people to bless these families in the name of Jesus. It’s a way for us to love not only in words and in speech, but in action as well (1 John 3:18).
We will be taking sign-ups beginning Sunday, July 4 and asking items to be returned by Sunday, July 25.
How to Get Involved and Make a Difference
1. Sign up in-person
If you live in or near Longmont, visit White Fields Church on a Sunday morning this July and sign up to sponsor one or more children.
2. Sign up online
If you can’t make it on a Sunday morning, but are still local and could drop off items to us for delivery, leave a comment below, or contact the church here.
3. Contribute Financially
All monies that come in designated for Project Back to School will go directly towards buying school supplies for at risk children. You can make a tax-deductible donation on our church’s website here: whitefieldschurch.com/give/ (choose Project Back to School on the drop-down menu).
Join us in praying for these kids, and that God uses this initiative to bless them.
Our radio ministry has been expanding and we felt this was a good time for some rebranding. As of April 1, 2021, “Life in the Field” has become “Be Set Free”
Our program airs Monday-Friday at 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM, and Sundays at 1:00 PM on GraceFM: 89.7 FM along the Northern Front Range (Cheyenne, WY – Castle Rock, CO) and 101.7 in Colorado Springs, CO. We can also be heard online at gracefm.com and on the GraceFM app.
Along with this rebranding, we have started a dedicated webpage for Be Set Free, where you can find each day’s message from the radio: besetfreeradio.com. You can even sign up on the site to have those messages delivered directly to your inbox.
You can also subscribe to the Be Set Free Podcast, and every day you will get that day’s episode delivered directly to your podcast app. Go to: Be Set Free Podcast
Be Set Free is a listener-supported ministry, and if you would like to contribute to helping to spread the gospel over the airwaves through clear, relevant expository Bible teaching, you can donate here.
Airing date: June 30
In John 15:1-11 we learn that Jesus is the true vine who enables us to be connected to God, to have a fruitful life, and to experience lasting joy, if we abide in Him.
From our series: Jesus Is
This week I sat down with Christine Appel to discuss the history of Project Greatest Gift, a home-grown ministry that serves kids in kinship and foster care in northern Colorado at Christmastime.
Every year during the month of November, we partner with the Health and Human Services departments of Weld, Adams, and Boulder Counties to provide for children and families in the kinship and foster care systems.
In this interview, Christine tells the story of how Project Greatest Gift got started, the vision behind it, and how God has used it over the past few years.
Importantly, we also discuss what is different this year in 2020, as Project Greatest Gift expands to an online platform.
The Bible Learning Center is something that has been on my heart for a long time, and I’m excited to see it begin.
In the past we have taught classroom-style classes at White Fields on topics such as Church History, Christocentric Hermeneutics, and more, but over the past year I handed the development of the Bible Learning Center off to a team who have really laid the groundwork for this to become more of what we originally envisioned:
I like to describe it as: “Bible college for people who don’t have time to go to Bible college.” Think: community college meets Bible college.
The Bible Learning Center will have a two-year non-accredited credit based curriculum, aimed at preparing believers for ministry in the world, whether relational or vocational. If you only want to take a few classes which interest you, that’s possible. If you want to do the entire program, which seeks to give a well-rounded offering of essential and elective classes, that is also possible.
This first semester will be limited because of COVID-19, but we will be offering three 6-week classes starting October 5, 2020:
Monday nights, 7:00 PM: Walk Through the Bible with Pastor Nick Cady
Monday nights, 7:00 PM: Worship Guitar Workshop with Pastor Michael Payne
Tuesday nights, 7:00 PM: Spiritual Transformation – a study of 1 Peter with Pastor Ken Cartlidge
Project Greatest Gift is White Fields’ annual outreach to children in foster and kinship care in Northern Colorado.
Last year we were able to provide for 241 kids and their caretakers, and this year the Health and Human Services departments from the counties we partner with asked if we could do more, and of course we said ‘yes’! So this year we are aiming to cover 314; the most we’ve ever done.
Clearly Project Greatest Gift is meeting a real need which is not going away.
In this video, Christine Appel shares some information about the great needs that these families face and how we can help:
Project Greatest Gift runs throughout the month of November, which means that we are already two weeks in, and over half of the kids and caretakers still need sponsorship.
It’s not too late to sign up to sponsor a family this year to help make Christmas more joyful, and ultimately to introduce them to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
Did you know that children in the foster system are an at-risk people group within our communities?
In almost every case, the reason children end up in foster care is because of an unsuitable home environment, which often involves violence, neglect, drugs and crime. These environments not only result in trauma, but they are also associated with poverty. Many foster care situations are kinship care, which means the child is cared for by a relative, which can create a financial burden, especially in the case of grandparents living on pension.
Poverty has a profound impact on a child’s mental and physical well-being. In other words, the suffering that a child who is raised in this environment endures is not only limited to their childhood, but can adversely impact the rest of their life.
Our church, White Fields Community Church, has a history of ministering to children in the foster system. Through some of our leaders, we have developed a great relationship with the Health and Human Services departments in Weld and Adams Counties, and we are able to make an impact in the lives of needy families in our area. In recent years, we have had the special opportunity to get to meet and serve these families at a Christmas event we help put on for them in Greeley at which the gifts are distributed.
If you would like to be involved, visit us on a Sunday morning this November, leave a comment below, or contact the church here.
If you can’t participate but would like to support this endeavor financially, you can make a donation by clicking here, and choosing Project Greatest Gift from the drop-down menu. 100% of your donation will go straight to the kids and their families.
Michael Payne, who serves as worship pastor at White Fields Community Church in Longmont, just released an original song called “My Times”. Check it out on YouTube here:
Here’s what Mike wrote about the song:
The story of this song starts back in 1996 when I arrived in Debrecen, Hungary with my backpack and guitar. It comes from Psalms 73 and 31 and encapsulated the start of my journey as a missionary. This song would become a mainstay for our Monday night English language Bible study with the medical students. But then I left the song behind in Debrecen as we moved to Budapest where I felt God call me to invest in Hungarian songwriters and song-writing. Since our move to the States 21 years later, this song has taken on new meaning as my family declares this same endless truth to God again – “My times are in Your hands”, stepping out into a new chapter in life.
Music is not only about the song itself, but who you play it with and it was a great joy to record this with great friends.
I hope the story and the words of this song resonate with you wherever you are in your walk with God.
Mike is going to be featured in the Longmont Times-Call’s 100 People of the St. Vrain Valley feature, in which they highlight notable people from the area.