SHIFTing Into High Gear, Denver Students Fight Sex Trafficking » Katie McTavish was 14 years old when her Newday church held a fundraiser for International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Moved by statistics shared by Pastor Dave Kennedy that the average age of a sex-trafficked girl was 14 years old, she was struck by the thought, “It could be me!” Then she “heard the voice of God saying, ‘Katie, this is what you were made for.’”
As a senior at Valor Christian High School, Katie, along with six other students and a teacher, moved to do something to fight human trafficking, began to wrestle with what they could do to raise awareness. “What if you put on a conference?” their teacher asked.
Recognizing the difference between hearing about an issue and making the shift to do something about it, they named their group SHIFT, Empower to Prevent. SHIFTing into action, they recruited people from six organizations to speak at their conference. Represented, among others, were Hope Academy, a school created for girls coming out of human trafficking in the Denver area; and Face of Justice Ministries serving to defend, shelter, empower, and love survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Expecting around 100 people to attend the conference, the students were surprised to see almost 300 people show up. Afterward, students from other high schools asked how they could do something similar.
Now in their second year, SHIFT has grown to 40 students coming from three high schools, all working together, meeting weekly and planning this year’s conference which will take place this weekend, March 11. Their full line-up of speakers and break-out sessions include some pretty impressive and well-known organizations:
*A21, abolishing slavery in 21st century
*Dalit Freedom Network, standing with the Dalit
community for freedom
*Joy International, rescuing and preventing commercial
exploitation of children
*Girl Above, empowering females
*Free Indeed, educating on the dangers, lure and trap
*Tall Truth, promoting the value and worth of people
*Scarlet Cord, healing for sex-trafficked children
*FBI, and more Lisa Engelkemier, associate pastor at Newday where Katie attends, explains the church culture by saying, "Relieving human suffering in every way within our ability matters at Newday. Several thousand dollars of our Christmas offering went to organizations that are on the ground to end human trafficking."
"Katie's work to create awareness of and bring an end to sex trafficking brings purpose and passion into her life," explains Lisa. "Newday celebrates our young people like Katie, who follow Jesus' example of serving the least of these." She believes it is important to have young people involved in these types of issues because, "Young people are full of energy, passion, and creativity. It's an absolute gift to God, to the church, and to the world when young people invest themselves in areas of desperate need." No longer a high school student, Katie is a freshman at Colorado Christian University where she is majoring in communications and minoring in business. With a pretty heavy schedule, her involvement with SHIFT is not as hands-on as last year, but she will be attending the conference this weekend.
Katie’s life goal is to “work for an organization that fights human trafficking. I would love to work for International Justice Mission,” Katie says. She appreciates their effective approach toward working on several important strands at once – preventing human trafficking, rescuing victims, restoring survivors, and strengthening justice systems.
“Freedom,” Katie says, “is a fundamental, God-given right. Sex trafficking is completely against who God is. If we say we love God, then we have to love His people. We are called to justice, to be a voice for justice.”
Katie recognizes that full freedom comes only in Christ, that someone could be rescued from the sex-trade industry and still not be completely free. “If we come in and rescue them and say, ‘You are loved, valued, and unique because Jesus does this,’ then we can give them ultimate freedom,” Katie explains.
Laura McTavish, Katie’s sister, a sophomore at Valor Christian High School, is standing up for the cause and working with SHIFT conference planners, giving the sisters plenty to talk about at home.
The conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at 3775 Grace Blvd., Littleton CO. For tickets, go to shiftjustice.com and click on Purchase Your Ticket Now.
Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shiftjusticeconference
[Carol Bolden; photos courtesy of Facebook]
Regional Town Halls Discuss Constituency Issues; First Nominating Committee Members Chosen » In preparation for the Rocky Mountain Conference Constituency Session in July, two of six regional Town Hall meetings convened in Casper, Wyoming, and at Campion Church in Loveland, Colorado.
The purpose of the regional Town Hall meeting during the Constituency Session year is to review the agenda for the upcoming session, discuss issues in advance of the session, such as amendments to Bylaws of the Rocky Mountain Conference, gain input and advice from representatives of the local churches, and elect representatives from the regions to serve on the nominating committee.
The windy Wyoming weather did not stop the nearly sixty delegates, church members and ministers who met on March 4 at the Casper Seventh-day Adventist Church. Two regional delegates were selected to serve on the nominating committee, which will convene on May 7, chaired by Gary Thurber, president of the Mid-America Union Conference. Interest in the continuity of the "Awaken Wyoming" project was also addressed at the Casper meeting. More than 200 delegates at the Campion Town Hall elected five members for the nominating committee on March 5. Chaired by Ed Barnett, RMC president, participants heard reports regarding the 2016 performance of the conference, the health of its finances, and church growth. During a Q & A segment of the gathering, topics of interest included evangelistic outreach and its diversity of methods, which contributes to church growth. A desire to establish an education endowment was voiced during the Campion gathering.
Also, at Campion, opinions were expressed about the General Conference “Unity in Mission: Procedures in Church Reconciliation” document from the October 2016 Annual Council, which was already discussed by both the Mid-America Union and RMC. Ed Barnett explained that the document, which is the subject of consultation in the world divisions regarding adherence to working policies of the church, is currently under review by the North American Division and its unions. A recommendation of procedural steps will be received by the 2017 Annual Council.
Four more regional Town Halls will conclude in the next several weeks, ending with the final gathering at the Pinon Hills Church in New Mexico on April 8.
[Text and photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]
LifeSource Fellowship Connects Its Members With the Community Through Social Media » When a well-known public figure, a member of our faith community, makes controversial statements and draws negative press, the church may need to consider some positive media.
LifeSource Adventist Fellowship recently hired Dustin Comm as media pastor. A film production major at Pacific Union College, he has long enjoyed media, serving after graduation as media pastor for the Calimesa Church in Southern California.
Following a move to Denver, he became involved in sports radio at Mile High Sports and produced the morning drive-time show along with a 6 a.m. early-morning show.
Seeing the need for churches to communicate their story through media, he wrote the ebook, The Media Story, incorporating some of his own experience into the book. He saw that churches often produce lots of media for their congregations or to post on youtube, but that’s where it stops. Media should, he believes, build relationships with people outside the church and tell the overarching story of the church to its neighbors.
“Many churches don’t realize the story that’s being portrayed to their community,” Dustin says. He has worked with several churches over the past couple years helping them to identify a target focus, which they can communicate to their communities.
As media pastor for LifeSource, Dustin is “trying to engage the congregation with people in the church’s geographic area by running campaigns on Facebook and Instagram that put them in front of their neighbors.”
Holding various neighborhood events throughout the year -- the neighborhood party, Trunk or Treat, outdoor movie nights, etc. -- LifeSource members already have opportunity to build relationships, rapport and trust with the surrounding community. The neighborhood party, in its eighth year, attracted 400 neighbors last summer, Dustin explains. With this type of activity, “it’s easier to create a connection,” says Dustin, between the neighbors and “the media we’re putting out.”
Over the last few months, Dustin has been able to increase the online audience on Facebook and Instagram. By targeting a three-mile radius around the church, they’ve reached thousands of people through their campaigns – 4200 through the parenting seminar and 2200 through the Super Bowl party.
Dustin also manages the church website, maintaining an active presence online and helping to enhance the app they already have for Android and Apple. Church members use the app to download Pastor Dany Hernandez’ sermon notes to follow while listening to the sermon. Dustin makes sure the app is up to date and working correctly. Live streaming is also available for those not able to get to church.
Recently, a couple came to town from Nebraska, found the church on Facebook, and called saying, “We’re stranded. Can you help us?” Pastor Dany helped them get a hotel, they were able to find jobs and last week, moved into an apartment. This is just one example of how social media has made the connection between people. Dustin is producing a video that tells this story.
Ricky is a man from Louisiana who spent 15 years in prison from a drug-related incident. While doing his time, he received Bible studies from a pastor and was baptized. After his release, Ricky connected the dots, drawing the conclusion that the pastor was a Seventh-day Adventist. He knew this pastor kept the Sabbath and was a vegetarian, so he googled “Adventist”.
In the Why We Serve video produced in early March, Ricky explains he is only here [at LifeSource Fellowship] because of the website. He and his wife visited, felt welcomed, and began to volunteer and help out wherever they could.
The impact seen from the media ministry will come from “telling more and more stories,” believes Dustin. He does a weekly video that features the person of the week. It helps people become acquainted with other people at church that members may recognize, but don’t know. Many “Likes” and positive comments have come from this feature, says Dustin.
“As we continue to grow, we will expand these videos to feature people in our neighborhood, business owners, and people who’ve come to our events.” Then they’ll “take those videos into the community,” Dustin explains.
Using the social network, Nextdoor, a social media platform for geographic neighborhoods, Dustin is able to post videos for the neighborhood to view. On this site, the church can also promote special events and offer acts of kindness – lawn mowing services, car washing, landscaping.
“Everything we have in mind is constantly focused on building real relationships,” Dustin says. We’re constantly asking ourselves, “How can we actually connect our people to the people in the community?”
“We want to tell that story of what we’re all about.”
[Carol Bolden; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Watch the recent video presentation from LifeSource Fellowship.
Daystar School Pie Night Tradition Continues » Mathematics and delicious pie don’t usually get put in the same sentence, but at Daystar Christian School’s Math PIE (Parents Involved In Education) Night, that is exactly what happened. Local public school teachers, firefighters, business owners and public library personnel were all in attendance to help the Daystar students and their parents have an enriching and fun evening. All the activities had a math theme and students, parents and members of the Pueblo First Church experienced math in a fun way.
“The public school teachers and local business members helped to show different ways of learning. The event was well received by church members, who had a good time visiting and testing the different pies,” said Delbert Hayden, head deacon and elder.
“The Daystar PIE Night was a wonderful night filled with many exciting math activities. I appreciated the opportunity to be a part of this evening,” said Laurie Banta, a first-grade teacher at Cesar Chavez school in Pueblo.
The students and parents enjoyed learning about Fibonacci, tessellations, fire department math equations, estimating, and measuring. There was even a math treasure hunt!
Studies continue to show that when parents and children talk and interact together about school subjects, their tests score will increase.
Janet Vasquez, a Daystar parent, said, “I enjoyed PIE night very much. The projects and special guests were great. Thank you [to Daystar] for bringing families and church members together for a wonderful night.”
Micah Black, a Daystar first grader, summed it up best by saying, “It was lots of fun because I got to play lots of games and eat pie!” [Text and photos by Michelle Velbis]
World Church Membership Tops 20 Million » According to the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has surpassed 20 million members for the first time in its history. The Adventist Church had 20,008.779 members as of December 31, 2016, a net increase of 882,332 people, or 4.6 percent, from the previous year.
Dr. Arthur V Chadwick Videos » Southwestern Adventist University biology/geology professor, Dr. Arthur Chadwick, spoke on creation topics at at The Adventure Church during February. You can enjoy follow-up videos at Kress Theatre in March.
Kress Theatre: Videos shown at 7 p.m. each Wednesday
March 8: Metamorphosis: Beauty and Design of Butterflies
March 15: Flight: The Genius of Birds
March 22: Master Designer: The Song
Light vegetarian snacks served after each showing. Kress Theatre is located at 817 8th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80631. 970-515-5717
Mile High Academy Kids' University Summer Camps » Our summer camps provide a safe place for your kids to thrive. Between Fit For Life, Imagine It, Innovation Station and Math Central station, along with our sports and learning camps, your child will learn and grow in creative ways every day. Contact us for more information at milehighacademy.org/summercamp or call us at 303-744-1069. Be part of the fun!
FIRE REKINDLED 2017 » Be REKINDLED by His Word! Join us for an amazing experience at three different locations at 7 p.m. Fridays, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sabbaths, March 10 through April 22 at the Golden Church (March) and Denver West Church (April) or at 3 p.m. at Lakewood Fellowship (March and April). Come for Bible-based messages, kids' programs, music and more!
The Colorado Chorale Collaborates with Denver Pro Chorale » Greek treasures conjure up the thought of the Acropolis, toga-wearing gods and godesses, the black sands of Santorini and sunshine glistening off the crystal blue water. But what about the music? The Colorado Chorale presents a concert featuring Greek music and composers. Join us on March 19 as we collaborate with the Denver Pro Chorale, leaving you with the enticing and hauntingly stoic sounds of ancient and modern Greece. Tickets: $17; Seniors $15; 21 years and under Free Group discounts available. Concert Location: Denver South Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2675 S Downing Street, Denver CO 80210.
Prophecy Seminar » Aurora First Church will hold a Prophecy Seminar study on the books of Daniel and Revelation at 7 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning March 19 and continuing through May 30. Aurora First Church is located at 11400 E Mississippi Avenue, Aurora CO 80012. All are welcome!
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 continues through March 20 at the church, 1775 Florida Road. For more information, call Marley at 970-749-1860.
Coming to Littleton Church » Chad and Fadia Kreuzer of ANCHOR POINT FILMS present TRANSFORMED BRAIN: TRANSFORMED LIFE: Science, Health and Spiritual Principles to Better Health and a Better Life.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, Science, The Brain and The Bible
7 p.m. Friday, March 24, Media, The Brain and Overcoming
11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, Overcoming
4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, Transformed Life
The Littleton Church is located at 7400 S Windemere Street, Littleton, CO 80120.
Vista Fellowship » A Prophecy Series presented by David Steward of Amazing Facts will be held at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and at 6 p.m. Saturdays from March 24 through April 22. Vista Fellowship Church is at 701 Kimbark Street, Longmont. For more information, email Tim Jones at email@example.com.
Reformation and Remnant Seminars » The Reformation and Remnant Seminars will be hosted at Boulder Adventist Church on March 25. Dr Nicholas P. Miller, Professor of Church History and Director, International Religious Liberty Institute at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary will be presenting three sessions. During worship at 9:30 am "Why Listen to the Reformers?" Hebrews 12:1-2. Followed after at 11:00 am “The Reformers and the Word of God” and closing off in the afternoon at 2:00 pm with “The Reformers and Current Issues”. Please RSVP directly to Pastor Japhet De Oliveira (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can plan for lunch. We would recommend you buy his book and read it in advance - The Reformation and the Remnant: the Reformers Speak to Today's Church, Pacific Press, 2016
Safety Sabbath and Your Church » Your church is invited to join other churches in the North American Division and Adventist Risk Management, Inc. in making Adventist churches secure by holding a safety drill. Schedule Safety Sabbath for March 25 on your church calendar. Register your church to hold an Active Shooter or Fire Drill and access free videos, guides, children's activity sheets, and more emergency planning resources at SafetySabbath.com. Once you register, you will receive free Safety Sabbath 2017 resources.
It's April Fool's!
Let’s break the rules!
We know it might be late,
But trust us, it’s worth the wait.
So take a Sabbath afternoon nap,
And then eat a snack!
Join us for a late meal,
You won’t want to miss out on this fun deal!
Join us for
Saturday night, April 1st at 6:30 pm beginning with a special mission trip worship!
Brighton Church Annex
Kindly RSVP by March 25 to Tammy at 303-659-1999 or
Melissa at email@example.com
Proceeds to benefit BAA Worthy Student
VBX Training 2017 » You're invited to the RMC's VBX training from 2-3 p.m., April 1 at Denver South Hispanic Church. Learn the details of the new theme, Cactusville: Where Kids are Called to Follow Jesus. Please RSVP to Patty Rivera by March 15 at firstname.lastname@example.org. The church is located at 2005 S Lincoln Street, Denver 80210.
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.
Castle Rock Church Plant VisionVespers » As the new Castle Rock church plant is preparing for its opening Sabbath, April 8, God is placing a burden on people's hearts to be part of this mission adventure in some way. All are welcome to join us for the last of our pre-launch monthly Vision Vespers--6-7:30 p.m. Sabbath, March 18, at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital (Gateway Mesa Conference Room). VisionVespers is a time for worship, prayer, and visioning as we share plans and dreams for the Castle Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church. You'll have a chance to give feedback, ask questions, and meet others interested in being part of what God is up to here in Castle Rock. Find out more at castlerockadventist.church or facebook.com/castlerockadventist.
Health Partner Training Retreats » Be part of the revolution in health ministry reflecting Christ's character. In just one weekend, you can become a Health Partner and experience a transformation in your own health and in your evangelistic programs. Learn how to help people move from information to real-life changes through effective coaching skills. Form a group of 10-15 from your church, or join another group and gather with us to enjoy a weekend retreat in beautiful Silverthorne, Colorado, while learning, practicing new skills, relaxing, hiking and fellowshipping. Contact Rick Mautz for available dates for 2017 at 303-909-8274 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. For questions, call 720-890-3767. The Twin Peaks Church is located at 9696 Paschal Drive, Louisville, CO.
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
Vista Ridge Academy » is looking for a part-time group leader and part-time aide for its preschool program. For more information, contact Sandy Hodgson at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also looking for a full-time teacher for Grades 7-8 for the 2017-18 school year. Send resume to Diane Harris at email@example.com.
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.
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Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known