DeeAnn Bragaw Takes Over RMC Prayer Ministry » Imagine Rocky Mountain Conference churches filled with people who’ve allowed the Holy Spirit to overshadow the cares of daily life. They love to pray and they’ve simplified their lives so they can put prayer and mission ahead of most everything else. Their church culture is infused with this most elementary of instructions: “Pray without ceasing.
Such is the vision of DeeAnn Bragaw, newly appointed Rocky Mountain Conference prayer coordinator.
A Colorado native, she has tackled many jobs in her life including Taskforce worker, elementary teacher, Sabbath School curriculum writer, women’s ministries resource writer, speaker and trainer, as well as speaker and writer for Group Publishing, a Christian organization in Loveland. Currently, she is working on a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Andrews University.
But it was the “struggles and heartaches” of life that drove her deeper into prayer and convinced her that Jesus loves her, not because of anything she has done for Him, but because she is His precious daughter.
As Miss Clara says in War Room, a TV drama that explores the power of prayer, “God used it all. He used the hard times to draw her closer.”
DeeAnn’s desire is for Rocky Mountain Conference members to see themselves as people of prayer. “There will be times we must “go to battle in prayer, but we don’t all have to be prayer warriors,” she says. What we all can be is pray-ers that God is developing into champions of prayer.
“Everyone should know that their prayers are heard before the throne of God,” DeeAnn comments, “and that their prayers are important to Him. It is the beautiful symphony of those prayers,” she adds, “that makes the difference and allows God to work mightily.”
As prayer ministry coordinator, DeeAnn plans to hold prayer summits in the various regions of the conference where local churches can come together and pray. There, they can collect tools to help them draw closer to Jesus in their own churches and in their personal lives. There, prayer partnerships can be formed.
Colorado Springs Central Church recently held a Ten Days of Prayer event, where rather than inviting members to meet at the church, they held a conference call each day. One participant said the experience was “so impactful because more people could take part” and because a guest from SW regional conference led them through the psalms as he helped them to understand Jesus more deeply.
“There is no one ‘right way’ to do prayer ministry,” says DeeAnn. The Colorado Springs Central Church figured out a way to make the Ten Days of Prayer work for their congregation and still see maximum results.
[Carol Bolden; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Prayer Ministry Events »
RMC Prayer Call--Wednesday mornings 7-7:30am; 712-432-0232 Access code 1010801#
NAD All Night Prayer Call--First Thursday of each month--Join anytime 8pm-3am MST nadprayerministries.org Call 401-891-6338 access code prayer# or 772937#
Day of Prayer and Fasting--First Sabbath of each quarter: April 1, July 1, Oct 7;
Find resources at revivalandreformation.org
Women's Day of Prayer--March 4, Find resources at adventistwomensministries.org
Youth Week of Prayer--March 18-25; Find resources at gcyouthministries.org
Ten Days of Prayer--ANYTIME! tendaysofprayer.org
Outreach Diversity Celebrated at RMC Ministers Meeting » If comments about the Rocky Mountain Conference Pastors’ Meeting, January 29-31, were an indication of what the ministers from across the vast RMC territory of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming experienced, diversity of evangelistic outreach methods and successes would come to the top of the list.
“Coming away from RMC pastors meetings, you realize the wide array of pastors and churches across the three states represented. I love hearing how each pastor tailors their ministry to better serve the community they serve. We are under one mission with a variety of different methods,” commented Jessyka Albert, an associate pastor from Boulder.
Outreach varieties showcased at the meeting showed the “talents and creativity of our pastors and the willingness of the churches to think inside and outside the boundaries of traditional evangelism has reaped dividends of growth,” said Craig Carr, ministerial director and organizer of the gathering. That’s “what blessed my soul the most,” he added.
The gathering offered networking opportunities, time spent in prayer, and the exchanging of the challenges Adventist ministers face. But it was the sharing of stories of how God is blessing His church for which the 2017 event will be remembered by the sixty participating clergy.
Participants heard from a dozen different pastors of the wide variety of methods that have resulted in baptisms in their churches. Ed Barnett, RMC president echoed the sentiment pointing out the diversity of talents, uniquely creative events and intentionality around RMC. “What a variety of ways of doing evangelism!” he commented about the evening programs. “The Conference is not telling you how to do evangelism,” he said.
For Bob McAlpine, pastor of Alamosa and Monte Vista churches, the RMC “does not have pre-programmed pastors following the Conference program. We have pastors who are doing ministry as the Holy Spirit leads them. It fits with their talents and personalities. That’s the strength of our Conference,” he commented on what stood out for him at the Glacier View meeting.
Fritz Krieger who pastors the Montrose, Orchard Valley and Gunnison churches commented on how he “enjoyed hearing the preachers and how they are doing evangelism.” He referred to his colleagues “a motley crew” who “came to learn about how to do evangelism and each [is] doing something different.”
For Fritz, diversity is an asset in evangelistic methodology. “It works. … That’s what is good about this Conference. They don’t tell you exactly what it is [for you to do],” Fritz added.
As with each such gathering, special visitors included presentations by Charles Byrd, speaker/director of Breath of Life media ministry who presented a unique way of sharing prophecy presentations called, “Thunder in the Holy Land.”
On the closing day, Shawn Boonstra, speaker/director of the Voice of Prophecy, shared his philosophy of evangelism. Boonstra’s presentations challenged the participants to evaluate their approaches and methods. Sharing his own discovery about the ethos of evangelistic outreach, he explained, that “you don’t have to know people when you are leading them to Christ. You have to care about them.”
“God has been in our communities long before we came. … God wakes people up and sends them to us,” Boonstra emphasized. He believes in a minister being a leader. “Ministry belongs in a pew,” he explained.
An internationally known and sought-after evangelist, Boonstra offered a critique of the many methods used by pastors. “If only we spent more more time observing people, rather than preaching at them,” he said.
[Text and photos by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Educator Maxine Gerst Retires After 47 Years at MHA » We’re in the Kindergarten classroom. The only chairs available are sized for smaller people than I. Barely a foot off the ground, I’m almost afraid to sit in one, but I pull it up to Maxine Gerst’s desk and sit. Instead of her own comfy swivel chair, she chooses the same type of chair and sits across from me. This says everything about Maxine Gerst.
Mrs. Gerst has taught at Mile High Academy since January 5, 1970. She only knows the exact date because she’s been reviewing her retirement papers since this will be her last year. And that’s the reason we’re sitting here today talking. Because if it were up to Mrs. Gerst, this interview would not be happening. She would rather be in front of her kids teaching or walking the halls with purpose, anything but talking about herself. Still, we want to know a little more about this woman who has dedicated 47 years of her life to children and to Seventh-day Adventist education.
Agape Hammond: What have you loved most about your time at Mile High Academy?
Maxine Gerst: I guess it’s that I can share Jesus and that I love the kids. I can have a conversation with each of them about who Jesus is and pray with them.
AH: What have you learned from your students over the years?
MG: That first half year, I learned a lot. I taught seventh grade and it was a steep learning curve. I felt so young and they thought I was just a student teacher instead of their actual teacher. But really, I’ve learned that kids are individuals. They all learn in different ways and not everything works the first time. And to pray every day.
AH: So you haven’t always taught Kindergarten?
MG: No. I’ve taught everything but 5th and 6th grade over the years. But Kindergarten has been since my son started school. So I’ve taught it the longest.
AH: What has been your philosophy of teaching?
MG: Exposure to all kinds of things. If kids get to see and experience, they will learn. Every child arrives in Kindergarten at a different stage, but giving them opportunities to develop in all areas will allow them to learn. Also, that Jesus loves them!
AH: What are your plans for retirement?
MG: I was just reading a devotional about “Seasons of Transition” and it was about asking the Lord how best to use my time. I also want to spend time with my family and, if possible, get out into the mountains.
AH: What legacy would you like to leave your students?
MG: The biggest legacy is that they love the Lord. I would like to see each of them love and serve Him in whatever capacity. It’s interesting to see specific students, I could name--not necessarily the world’s definition of successful, but they are serving the Lord daily. They have chosen mission and caring for others. That’s what I want.
Maxine Gerst has served her students for 47 years at Mile High Academy. This year the Academy and scores of RMC educators will say goodbye to this giant of an educator we have had the privilege of getting to know. She taught the love of Christ and has lived it daily in her classroom. Her students have gone out into the world better for it. Thank you, Mrs. Gerst, for being a light to us.
[Text and photo by Agape Hammond]
Following in Christ's Footsteps, ADU Denver Nursing Student Provides Foot Care for Homeless » Community service can be viewed as a requirement that must be fulfilled to pass a class rather than an opportunity to help those less fortunate than we. This, however, was not the case with fourth-year Denver BSN Nursing student, Heidi Pennock. When her Community Health class included a community service element, the wheels in her head instantly started turning.
Once a week, churches from all over Denver meet at Church in the City for an event co-sponsored by Christ’s Body Ministries. The goal is to help the underserved and homeless population of the Denver Metro Area. When she first attended, Heidi became aware of one of the most prominent needs for this population--foot care. With this knowledge in mind, Heidi’s community service project began to take shape. She began collecting new and gently-used socks from the ADU Denver campus family for her project.
When I sat down with Heidi to talk about her Sock Drive project, she described the level of trust involved with foot care. "When someone allows you to take care of their feet, they are much more likely to open up and share details of their lives," she explained. As I continued to talk with Heidi, I could tell she wasn’t treating this as just a requirement to be fulfilled for class. It was a project she was truly passionate about.
In addition to socks, Heidi says foot-washing seemed like an obvious service to provide. The idea is to provide a foot-washing service for Christ’s Body’s Ministries once a week during meal times. They wash the feet of the homeless and underserved, and then provide them with fresh socks in exchange for their dirty ones. They are able to connect with them through this ministry and then provide them with other needed services ranging from legal to housing services. Recently, when Heidi arrived to fulfill this project, she had eight people waiting in line ready to have their feet washed and to receive a fresh pair of socks.
“The act of washing feet has been like a portal,” Heidi says. Through this, she has not only been able to provide much needed foot care to a portion of the Denver population, but also to practice healthcare as a ministry.
Anyone who has the same passion to help people is welcome to provide fresh socks and shoes for the Sock Drive. For more information or to get involved, contact ADU Denver Executive Director, Katie Shaw, at Katie.Shaw@adu.edu.
As Heidi hopes to eventually use her nursing degree to work in community health, I get the feeling that this is just beginning of the impact that Heidi will make.
[Chris Feldbush; Photo by Katie Shaw shows Heidi Pennock with donated socks and boots]
God is at Work in the Sheridan Church » Testimonies have always been a part of the Adventist experience. Here we have two stories from Pastor Chuck Gadway we hope will be of encouragement to you.
I knocked on the door of a house one day to visit someone no longer attending the Sheridan Church. When there was no answer to my knock, I went on my way.
On a Friday morning a few days later, I was impressed to go back to that house and knock again. A gentleman opened the door--someone I didn’t recognize. He told me the previous occupant no longer lived at that address.
I introduced myself as the visitation pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and asked if he knew the old occupant’s new address. It had been awhile since the previous occupant had lived there, he said, and he didn’t know where he had moved.
Then he asked excitedly, “Did you say you’re with the Seventh-day Adventist Church?” His grandmother had attended an Adventist church when he was young and she had taken him. He wanted to come to church and to study.
We see him now in Sabbath School, church, Sabbath afternoon Bible study class, and other functions of our church. The Sheridan church is his choice of a home church. We’ve become his family—especially so when his son suddenly passed away. We are thrilled to have this gentleman fellowshipping with us.
Two sixteen-year young ladies were in church one Sabbath when I walked in after returning from vacation. Introducing myself, I learned that this was their second Sabbath in attendance. After church we were able to visit a bit more. That’s when I learned that one of the girls’ mothers worked at the same nursing home where my wife works.
A week or two later, the mother came to church with her daughter. Since then, the mother and daughter are both taking Bible studies and have become involved in our Binding Broken Hearts ministry. The mother even attended our Understanding Daniel seminar.
The Sheridan church has reached out to this mother and daughter and embraced them as family. They’re both thrilled to be a part of our church and often thank me after Bible studies for allowing them to join us.
ONEL1FE Costume/Movie Night » The first ONEL1FE event of 2017 -- a costume/movie night at the church from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, February 4. Enjoy dinner and watch a remake of The Jungle Book. Youth are encouraged to dress as a character from the movie. A prize will be given for the best costume! RSVP to Pastor David at email@example.com.
Linda Aalborg Memorial Service » Because Linda gave her heart to ministry at the Littleton Church, Bruce and his daughters invite gifts to be given in her memory to children's ministry and to community outreach. Please bring picture prints, if you can, to the memorial service at 4 p.m., February 11 and tape them to the glass in her honor.
Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea » It's tea time! Ladies' Night Out and PQRST invite ladies of all ages to an English afternoon tea at the Boulder Adventist Church Community Room on Valentine's Day, February 14. With the theme "A Valentine's Day London Ritz Afternoon Tea," you can dress up in a fashionable hat, gloves, and heels--casual attire is also fine--and bring a savory or sweet vegetarian finger food to share. Also bring a canned food item, a new article of clothing or a stuffed animal to donate to EFAA or The Bridge House. RSVP to Jackie at 303-919-2837 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program » The Durango Church is holding a depression and anxiety treatment program which offers non-drug solutions designed to combat depression through improving energy levels, sleep quality, mood, relationships and emotional intelligence. The eight-week program begins January 23 and contiues through March 20 at the church, 1775 Florida Road. For more information, call Marley at 970-749-1860.
Rocky Mountain Singles » All singles are invited to attend a RM Singles Ministry social on Sabbath February 18 at the Chapel Haven Church. Vespers will begin at 5 p.m. with Pastor Ed Barnett, followed by a light meal of pizza and salad. A time for mixing will precede a business meeting to fill open offices on the Singles Ministry board. For questions, call Mary Lou Bowers at 720-416-8462 or Alice Ray at 303-332-2595.
Diabetes Undone » The new Castle Rock church plant is holding an eight-week Diabetes Undone program from 7-8:30 p.m. continuing through March 7 to help stomp out this medical epidemic. Held at the Douglas County Library in Castle Pines, it is open to all -- those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, those who want to prevent it or have friends who want to prevent it, or those who want to learn how to organize their own event. The cost is $15 with optional workbook and cookbook available for $45. For more information, call Rick Mautz at 530-521-7429 or send an email to email@example.com. Visit our website at http://castlerockadventist.church.
Celebrating Life in Recovery » Twin Peaks Church is holding a 14-week program presented by Cheri Peters to help with recovery from domestic abuse, perfectionism, alcoholism, drug addiction, anger, dependency, and so much more. Join this FREE program at 7 p.m. Thursdays beginning February 2 and continuing through May 11. Preregister at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, call 720-890-3767. The Twin Peaks Church is located at 9696 Paschal Drive, Louisville, CO.
Mile High Academy Summer Camps » MHA's Kids University Camp is a great way to keep your children engaged and active all summer long. From a half-day sports camp to full-day weekly camps, we have choices for everyone. Each camp includes special activities, art, outdoor play and dynamic learning. Our special pricing is available until March 10. You can find out more by going to milehighacademy.org/summercamp or by calling 303-744-1069. We can't wait to have fun this summer!
Women's Ministries Leadership Certification » Women are invited to attend a Level One Leadership Certification Seminar beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, and continuing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sabbath, April 8 at the Rocky Mountain Conference Office Meeting Room, 2520 S. Downing Street. Carla Baker, Women’s Ministries Director for the North American Division will conduct this seminar along with her team. Two meals will be provided on Sabbath.
Any woman desiring to enhance leadership in ministry should attend. It will include a series of sessions on subjects such as “Principles of Effective Leadership”, “Visioning and Goal Setting” and more. Each woman completing the seminar will receive a certificate. There is no charge to attend. You are responsible for your own lodging.
Registration is essential. Contact Ginger Bell at 720-980-9006 or email@example.com by March 31.
Women's Ministry Retreats 2017 » RMC Women’s Ministries is excited to announce the Area Women’s Retreats for 2017:
Wyoming: Seaside Escape–a study of Sarah and Hagar
Mills Spring Ranch on Casper Mountain
Fall (date announced soon)
Contact: Rhonda McDonald: 307-259-8147
Colorado Western Slope: Falling in Love Again
Speaker: Darla Sherman
Mountain Top Retreat (15 miles from Montrose)
Contact: Linda Johnson: 970-245-2294
Colorado Metro, NE/SE: The Best Is Yet To Come
Speaker: Jaclynn Huse with daughter Shelby-16
Location in Metro area (announced soon)
Concert: Jaclynn/Shelby, Saturday Eve, Sept 16
Contact: Ginger Bell: 720-980-9006
The Voice of Prophecy is looking for a digital content specialist/webmaster to work at the ministry headquarters in Loveland. For more information, visit http://vop.com/jobs.
H. M. S. Richards Adventist School is looking for a full-time teacher for Grades 3-4 who can also lead out in the music program for Grades 1-8 for the 2017-18 school year. Send resume to Diane Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 23.
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known