I was a little nervous going into the first day of the Life Church retreat in Boulder, Colorado.
The church’s mission statement reads like a manifesto for a new religion: “Life is a gift from God.
It is the most precious gift in the universe.”
But my biggest fear was that the spiritual community at the retreat would be a bit like a church for the uneducated and non-believers who don’t belong to any of the other churches on the campus.
“This is a new experience for me,” I told my guide.
“But the fact that you’re going there is a step in the right direction.
It feels like an extension of your faith.”
That’s exactly what happened.
“The first couple of days, it was great,” said Rachel Givens, a junior in Colorado State University’s history program.
“There were some very real issues we could have handled better, but it was good to be able to experience it in the presence of people who are really open-minded about what’s going on.”
Givins attended the retreat for the first time this week and is now excited about how it was going to help her in her career.
“I’ve been in this industry for so long, so I have this understanding that I’m in a position to help people out,” she said.
“So it was an opportunity to experience the life of a young woman.
And it’s a very different experience for people who don’ even think about being in this field.”
One of the biggest differences between the Life and Life Church communities is that Life’s mission is to “make the world a better place.”
But Life Church has a much more traditional approach to life, one that stresses a positive, compassionate approach to everyone.
“They really put themselves in the shoes of people, and the way they relate to people is that they really are like family,” said Givans.
“When you go into the Life community, you’re like family to them.”
Life is also a community of women, with a large number of female leaders.
Givons, for example, is a member of the church’s Women’s Committee.
“A lot of women have had very difficult experiences in this life,” she explained.
“Being part of the women’s committee, it really opened my eyes to the impact that women can have in the community.”
Another difference between Life and the Life Community is that the Life church has a lot of money.
Life has raised more than $3.5 million in its first year, according to the Life website.
“Our biggest focus is making sure that people are empowered to be who they want to be and that the people around them feel good about their choices,” said Stephanie Rizzo, the church chairwoman.
“We try to be as welcoming and welcoming as we can, and so that the church community feels as comfortable as possible.
That’s the one thing I can say is that, if you’re a woman, there’s no reason not to go to a church.
It’s a community where everyone is welcomed.”
The Life Church’s mission doesn’t come cheap.
The average cost of attending a life-church retreat is around $250 per person, according the Life Website.
The cost of staying at a Life Community has risen to about $500 per person from $300 per person.
That money can be invested in programs like “Prayer, Music and Dance for the Heart,” which is a three-day retreat where people can receive spiritual guidance and learn how to sing and dance.
A portion of the funds go to the churches emergency fund, which provides cash assistance to people in need.
“You can’t get a church without a budget,” said Rizzoo.
“It’s important that people understand that we are all here to make a difference in the world.”
But the retreats biggest draw comes in the form of money from the congregation.
In 2015, the Life Department made a grant of $50,000 to Life Church to help pay for its social-service programs, which include food pantries, shelters, food distribution centers, and other community services.
The grants are paid out of the Community Foundation Fund, which Life has set aside for each of the churches budgeted for 2017.
According to Life’s website, the Community Fund “provides grants to churches to help them fund programs for their churches’ youth, youth services, social services, and environmental services.”
A portion goes to LifeChurch.org, which helps people find services and support in the local community.
But for now, Life is the largest nonprofit church on campus.
According, the average donation per person at Life is $9, which is $20 more than the average church on the Boulder campus.
In a world where a lot more people are using social media, the Lifecycle Foundation is hoping to tap into that and increase the number of people coming to Life.
“One of the big trends in this country is people are increasingly sharing their stories,” said Tim Schmalzer,