Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Download

Easter weekend is like a spiritual Superbowl for us. From Good Friday through Easter we roll through 4 services and this year, 22,000 plus people. Also we added a prime time TV Special,
(see it at: www.wakeupabq.org) The Charlie Hall band is a premier worship group, and the weather cooperated. So, it was an excellent weekend, lots of motion, lots of fruit.

Altar Call

Easter brunch with the southern tribe at Flying Star

Becca, Jaxon, Jason & Bridgette, soaking up the rays at the 11:15 service
OH, Happy Day!
Skip, Nick and myself received our ipad units- my Apple laptop is expressing jealousy.

What a difference a day makes! Here's a shot of our Easter Stage Saturday evening.....
And then- Sunday morning! 15,000 plus ! As you see, it is a Sunrise Service.

Levi & Jennie Lusko & Fam. Lenya is less than excited about the early Easter service time.
Get used to it sweetheart, your dad will be doing this as long as he lives. It is genetic.

Here a couple of videos from Charlie and, and one of Jaxon going deep at Lobo stadium.
He is being chased by a little girl named Jasmine. May not be the last time for him.

Easter Headlines from Montana:

Church will now own three buildings; First Avenue East Café closing down

Still Growing: Fresh Life Expands to Another Downtown Building

Fresh Life Church, which purchased the Liberty Theater last year, is buying the neighboring First Avenue East Cafe. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

To accommodate its rapid growth, Fresh Life Church is purchasing the building currently occupied by First Avenue East Café in downtown Kalispell.

The church will also close on the purchase of the Strand Theatre, which it was previously leasing, on April 30. It already owns the Liberty Theatre. The two theaters and café location were formerly owned by Phil Harris, the developer of Hutton Ranch Plaza.

First Avenue East Café, a popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, will have its last day on April 8, according to owner Beth Sparby. Sparby, who owns and operates the restaurant with her mother, said she has found a buyer for most of her major restaurant equipment but will hold a sale on April 9-10 at the restaurant to get rid of what’s left.

Sparby said the recession has been rough on her business, and she said the road doesn’t appear to get any easier with the Montana Club moving into town and more restaurants starting to serve breakfast. When she heard Fresh Life Church was looking to purchase the building at the beginning of the year, she started searching for people interested in purchasing her equipment. She said she was fortunate to find a buyer.

With no kitchen-ready locations available for an affordable lease, Sparby said she has no plans to reopen a restaurant.

“It’s going to be sad, but we would like to thank everybody who has supported us,” Sparby said.

Since being established in Kalispell in 2007, Fresh Life Church has grown to about 1,500 congregants and has established a prominent presence downtown, occupying both the Strand and Liberty theaters, along with a rented space on the corner of Second Street East and First Avenue East. The rented space is used for a kids’ ministry.

The church has services on Wednesdays and Sundays at the Strand and Liberty, with one theater holding the service and the other offering live-streamed feeds. The Liberty has an espresso bar in its foyer. In the upstairs of the Strand, the church has offices, classrooms and other spaces.

The café location will be called “The Lab,” according to the church’s 27-year-old pastor Levi Lusko. Lusko said it will be used as a meeting spot for the church’s college and high school ministries, and to host any other event, including wedding receptions and meet-and-greet sessions for the many bands the church brings to town.

Currently, Lusko said the church doesn’t have an appropriately sized meeting venue to accommodate crowds in between classroom and theater size. Lusko said Fresh Life is under contract to buy the café building and will close on the deal on June 30.

“Our goal isn’t snatching up properties,” Lusko said. “Our goal is to accommodate the growth of the church.”

He added: “All of the purchasing and the buildings are for the people who are stranded in sin so they can find liberty and life in Jesus Christ.”

Though Lusko said the church doesn’t have an official membership, he has a good idea of how many people attend the services.

“We’re seeing about 1,500 with adults and kids,” he said. “In January of ’07, it was just me and my wife and a few friends.”

Though only 27, Lusko already has a ministry resume that spans several states. He has also done missionary work across the world. Before starting Fresh Life in 2007, Lusko had served as youth pastor at Calvary of Albuquerque, one of the largest churches in New Mexico, and was the director of student ministries at Ocean Hills Church in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., another large church. Today he lives in the Flathead with his wife and their two daughters.

Fresh Life Church is a non-denominational Christian church that takes a modern, laid-back approach to religion. The church has a radio station and an interactive Web site with streaming videos and podcasts to better broadcast the church’s services and messages. Both pastors and congregants alike often dress in casual attire.

With its “Skull Church,” Lusko said Fresh Life is able to preach in a way that is relevant to young people and folks who aren’t heavily involved in religion. Lusko said many young people have skull tattoos or skulls on their snowboards or elsewhere in their lives.

Using the skull as a “relatable point of reference,” the church meets every Wednesday and attracts a large youth following. Out-of-state Christian bands frequently play.

“People are coming to Skull Church who haven’t been to church for years or ever,” Lusko said.

Lusko said church officials looked at other spaces downtown, but when they heard about First Avenue East Café’s availability, it seemed like the right location.

“To us, it was a fully opened door,” Lusko said. “We didn’t have to kick her out, she was really sweet. It was perfect.”
On 04-06-10, awmontana commented....
Next obvious question is, have you been to Fresh Life or have you just decided that because it is a church and is succssesful,and doing things differently (skull church)that it is bad?And the church gets accused of being narrow minded! This is a good thing that is happening people.Just…

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