The staff of the Rocky Mountain Conference and the editors of NewsNuggets wish you joy, peace, and the love of Christ for the Christmas season.
A Smashed Camera and the Peace of Christmas » As a member of the teaching faculty in Southern California, I worked ith Tom Ekblad, 6th grade teacher, rock climber and top-notch educator and human being. The story I'm about to relate is one he told many years ago, back when cameras held film cartridges. It demonstrates not only the solid family Tom came from, but the solution to many of the ills we see in today's world.
Enthusiastic rock climbers, Tom and his brother, Mark, often climbed together. Sometime after Mark and his girlfriend married, the brothers went on a rock climbing trip to Cathedral Peak in Yosemite, a stunning peak with a small block of rock at the top large enough for two. With warming temperatures and lengthening days, it was perfect for a rock climbing adventure. Gathering their equipment -- rope, carabiners, belay devices, helmets, harnesses, etc., they headed to the base of the rock and prepared for the climb.
With Mark in the lead, Tom followed, carrying Mark’s camera, hoping to get a few good shots at the top if not on the way up. Mark easily found grips at first, but soon began driving pitons and aid climbing to tackle the more difficult sections. Very close in size, the brothers had the same reach, making them excellent climbing partners. As the day warmed, sweat beads pooled on foreheads and trickled into eyes.
With both hands engaged in climbing, Tom felt some alarm as he saw Mark’s camera, previously slung over his backpack, no longer secure, but edging outward. He tried to maintain a stance that would keep the camera from moving, but the act of climbing encouraged it to swing and caused it to slip further. He envisioned it crashing on the rocks below and imagined the anger he would face from his brother. This was no ordinary camera, but a very expensive, new camera given him by his bride as a wedding present. Tom was fully aware of the value it held for Mark – not only financial, but sentimental as well.
The brothers were halfway to the top when Tom knew he would not be able to save the camera. It was teetering on the edge of his backpack and there was no way for him to reach it. Tom felt the weight of it lift as it left his backpack and watched as it began to fall in slow motion. Looking down, he saw a long, slow trajectory toward a pile of rocks. When it finally hit, pieces flew in every direction -- camera lens one way, broken glass, another. The smashed camera ejected the film canister and the camera strap blithely followed the camera body.
Reaching the rock summit where he would have to face his brother was no longer something Tom was looking forward to. He felt terrible that he had been responsible for destroying something that meant so much to his brother. Not able to delay the inevitable, he finally threw his body up over the edge of the rock to join Mark at the top.
“I dropped your camera,” Tom confessed.
“Yeah, I saw it,” Mark responded.
Tom waited for the anger he knew was coming, but all was quiet.
“Aren’t you angry?” he asked.
“No,” Tyler responded. “You didn’t do it on purpose. Besides, people are more important than things.”
Even at his young age, Mark valued people even more than something precious to him. He had already forgiven his brother.
As we participate in another Christmas season, may we share the peace that Jesus came to offer. And may we remember what Mark instinctively knew -- that people are more important than things. Merry Christmas!
[As told to Carol Bolden by Tom Ekblad]
One-Hour Ministries at Boulder Church » Boulder Church is urging its members to get involved in 2018 by volunteering just one hour per week. Most people have little idea of how much work goes into running a church. The worship services alone require hundreds of hours and the dedicated participation of dozens of volunteers in addition to the work of full-time employees. “Our church does not function merely one day a week,” Pastor Japhet De Oliveira points out.
“In addition to working to fulfill the spiritual needs of our community through sermon preparation, Bible studies, pastoral visits and counseling, the church staff produces resources, manages the building, answers hundreds of emails and other forms of correspondence, makes the church presentable for worship each week, and manages our online and social media presence. They also create and produce special programs for holidays and other events, providing opportunities for engagement with the local community.
The list of tasks sometimes seems endless—and yet there is so much more we’d like to do.” Boulder Church has developed a list of “one hour ministries” ranging from scheduling to greeting to preparing pews for worship to shopping for snacks for meetings. “We’re really lucky at this church,” comments Pastor De Oliveira. “Even though our members are scattered over a wide geographical area, they give selflessly of their time and money. We appreciate it so much.”
[Becky De Oliveira]
Daystar Students Complete Kindness Project »
The Daystar Christian School students have now completed their PBL (project-based learning) Kindness Project. Here is a list of the things that they accomplished this semester:
* We read the book Wonder to help inspire us.
* We wrote and illustrated our own Kindness Book and then sold it for ACS.
* We raised almost $1000 for ACS for disaster relief at the "Bake to Make a Difference."
* We played chimes for the Pueblo First SDA Church.
* We went can collecting in the local neighborhoods.
* We made 10 Thanksgiving baskets for local families.
* We made anti-bully posters for our school.
* We made Veteran's Day cards for our service men at the Pueblo First SDA Church and local veteran's nursing home.
* We visited the local veteran's nursing home to deliver lap blankets, sing, and hand out cards.
* We raised over $130 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
* We made Christmas cards for Ugandan hospital prisoners.
* We made cards and said prayers everyday for loved ones near and far, and for those affected by the recent disasters and tragedies.
Here are some the students' responses:
"I learned that serving people makes me feel awesome!" -Audra, 7th grader
"The most important thing I learned is that I should show kindness to friends, family, and even enemies. Even if others treat you bad, you should show them kindness." -Jolyssa, 6th grader
"The most enjoyable part of this project was knowing that our hard work would be worth it." -Bella, 6th grader
"The most important thing I learned about this project is that a little school can do big things." -Luke, 7th grader
"I learned to look for opportunities to be kind and to get out of my comfort zone." -Collin, 8th grader
[Text and photo by Michelle Velbis]
Boulder Church Welcomes Former Politician Andre Wang » Join us for a very special first Sabbath of 2018 as we welcome guest speaker Andre Wang, who serves as General Counsel for the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He also teaches Business Law at Multnomah University and Mt. Hood Community College. In 2010, he ran as a candidate for the Oregon legislature and says, “Losing the election was one of the greatest blessings ever to happen to me.”
A product of Adventist education, Andre attended Portland Adventist Elementary School, Auburn Adventist Academy, and Pacific Union College. An accomplished violinist, Andre is the principal second violinist of the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra in Portland. He is a native Oregonian and lives in Portland with his wife, two children and black lab.
In addition to preaching during the morning worship service, Andre will present an afternoon session titled “A Current State of Affairs” that will focus on issues and topics that face the Adventist denomination from the world level to the local church. The worship service begins at 9:30 a.m. The afternoon program is at 2:30 p.m. Contact Pastor Japhet De Oliveira for further details by emailing (email@example.com)
[Becky De Oliveira]
Montrose Church Blesses Families During Holidays » The Montrose Church gave 45 boxes of food to community people in need during the week before Thanksgiving. Planned and organized by Judy Kelly and Jerilyn Pester, the event took a lot of coordination and help from the church and the community.
Weeks before the delivery, they distributed empty bags for the collection of food. Supplied by Safeway and City Market, the bags handed out to the community contained notes asking for help with this city-wide effort. The response from the community as well as the church was very good.
Each box contained a turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pies, and stuffing along with other canned and packaged foods. In past years 30-35 boxes were given away, but this year 45 boxes went out. Undoubtedly, the recipients of the boxes were grateful as the holidays can be a tough time for many. "The Thanksgiving dinner delivery, pick-up and distribution were a great chance for fellowship and stewardship with church members, young and old. A 35-year tradition was upheld and we're looking forward to next years' effort," said Zane Berry, Montrose Church member.
[Text and photo by Zane Berry]
SPECIAL DAY OF PRAYER
We have designated Friday, December 29 as a special day of prayer and fasting (if you choose) for the upcoming Revelation Speaks Peace meetings beginning in January. We will have a conference call to pray together for anyone available at noon on the 29th. 605-468-8026 access code 1010801# Please join us!
TEN DAYS OF PRAYER
Every new year starts with an opportunity to deepen our walk with Jesus through prayer! Ten Days of Prayer for 2018 is "officially" January 10-20, and the focus will be on "A Prayer Experience With Our High Priest." Incredible resources and ways to do 10 days of prayer at your church can be found at www.tendaysofprayer.org. Some churches do the 10 days as a conference call - others gather every night. Whatever way works best for your church, please, join in and be blessed! ALSO - If you cannot do the January dates, you are welcome to use the materials any 10 days throughout the year!!! Check it out - Let's PRAY!
January 6 - First Quarter Day of Prayer and Fasting
The first Sabbath of every new quarter is designated as a day of prayer and fasting. The focus for our first day of prayer/fasting is "Interceding for our Families," and you will find GREAT resources at www.revivalandreformation.org. If the first Sabbath is not the best for you, why not try another Sabbath? You'll be blessed! Let's PRAY!
the One project » The final gathering of the One project will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego February 11, 12. This grand finale promises to be a unique and moving experience.
RMC President Ed Barnett commented, "I get excited about programs in our church that really focus on Jesus. Those who attended the gatherings--and several of our church members went to more than one--have shared with me how valuable, biblically-anchored, and affirming they were for them as Seventh-day Adventists. The San Diego gathering is last, but still offers a chance for our RMC members to participate. They will be blessed, I am sure." No recordings will be made of this gathering, and since it will include an open session for everyone to share thoughts and experiences, we anticipate that it will be challenging and refreshing. According to Japhet De Oliveira, senior pastor of the Boulder Adventist Church, and co-founder of the One project, "We invite speakers and participants alike to proclaim "Oh, How I Love Jesus!" Register at www.the1project.org before December 31 for the best prices. Prices increase January 1 and the gathering is likely to sell out.
Denver West Church » Jesus Christ is why we celebrate!
Come at 6 p.m., Saturday, December 23, to help us celebrate the most promising birth ever in our history. Hear 12 voices give their stories of what they experienced. All are welcome! Denver West Church is at 290 S Quitman Street, Denver). Saturday Dec 23 at 6:00 pm.
Revelation Speaks Peace Volunteers Needed » Join us in equipping the world for Christ to come. The series begins January 5 and runs through February 3, 2018. To volunteer, click here for a volunteer form which can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
La Vida Mission » Partner with La Vida Mission in helping our Navajo friends! An anonymous donor is matching all donations from new donors to La Vida Mission from now until December 31, 2017. If you have not donated to the mission before or you know someone who has not donated before, please spread the word. That donation will be matched this month only. You can donate securely online by going to http://lavidamission.org and click on the donation button or call 505-786-5539 (with a credit card number) or send a check to La Vida Mission, PO Box 3308, Farmington, NM 87499 and be sure it is postmarked by December 31 to get the match. Thank you for partnering with us to help the underprivileged children of the Navajo Nation find Jesus and live a better, healthier life. La Vida Mission is a 501(c)3 non-profit and your donations are tax deductible.
Sign up to Receive The Daily Walk » The Daily Walk is a continuing seven-day Bible study course built around the sermons at Boulder Adventist Church. The Daily Walk offers an opportunity to connect with the Scriptures daily. To sign up for The Daily Walk online, go to: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/r/F60BDC64AEAA7A5A.
Campion's Study Abroad Trip » Reserve your spot now for the study-abroad trip to Spain next summer! Improve your language skills and earn college credits while immersing yourself in the beautiful and historical Spanish culture. The deadline for the initial down payment (chaperone fee) is due December 18. A minimum number of students must confirm and pay by December 18 in order to make this trip a reality -- so don't delay! Please email Jill Harlow at email@example.com for more information.
Become a Warrior for Campion » Our mission at Campion Academy is to bring young people into our school family and not only educate them for the future, but train them as disciples for Christ. We cherish our students deeply at Campion and want nothing but the best for their futures.
Golden Church » A New Year's Eve Communion Service will be held at 4 p.m., December 31. What better way to end the year than with a communion service? This is your opportunity to come worship God who sustained you throughout the year and to place yourself in His hands once again for the new year. Everybody is invited. Bring a friend!
However, we cannot do this alone - we need your help! Warriors for Campion is a new campaign geared toward raising money for our Worthy Student Fund that goes to give students who cannot afford full tuition financial help. As a Warrior for Campion, we are asking for a pledge of $100 a month for the two years or $1,000 per year for the next two years.
In raising this money, you will be guaranteeing that students and staff will be able to remain at Campion Academy and continue to grow in Christ.
Do you want to become a Warrior for Campion? Please click here to learn more! Deadline: February 1, 2018
Mile High Academy Kindergarten Visitation » Kindergarten Visitation at Mile High Academy is a great way for your child to get to know our teachers, meet new friends, and get to know what a future at MHA means. Join us from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, January 11. Designed especially for any family who has an interest in MHA and would like to try it out for themselves, families are encouraged to spend the morning with us at our Open House to talk about the programs we offer, meet Administration, discuss the application process, and enjoy a continental breakfast with us. Your child will want to start school right away. For any questions about Kindergarten Visitation or the Open House RSVP to Agape Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mile High Academy » MHA has an immediate opening for a PT Accountant (20 hours/week, Monday - Friday). The position reports to the Director of Finance, completing job duties such as check disbursements, reconciliations and billings. For more information regarding job duties, expectations and how to apply, visit the job posting at http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-accountant.
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FROM THE EDITOR
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known