Mile High Academy Opens with a Celebration of God's Goodness » “If you want this facility for your kids, you’ll have to work out the details,” prayed Toakase Vunileva, principal of Mile High Academy as she stood in the parking lot of Colorado Christian School, a facility for sale off the C-470 and University Avenue. That was November 2014.
Nine months later, on August 16, after maneuvering through the buying, renovating and moving processes, the new Mile High Academy held its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and praise to God. The ceremony involved representatives from the building committee, Centura Health leadership, RMC leadership, the school board, and the graduating class of 2017.
Relatives of Vunileva flew in from Tonga and sang a worship song to the God who has done great things, the MHA choir, under the direction of Leandro Bizama, lifted up their voices while representatives gathered to cut the ribbon and a string ensemble made up of children from Mile High Academy played.
Eric Nelson, VP for administration for Rocky Mountain Conference dedicated the building and staff to communicate Jesus to the students and called it a day of “immense gratitude”.
Parents, students and other visitors toured the school with its cutting-edge design – study rooms with walls that can be used for writing, stools that move according to the need of the kinesthetic learner, desks that fit together for group projects or move apart to work individually, Smart Boards that remember what is written on them or display information from the internet -- and so much more.
Seeing the bank of gray-painted lockers, I pictured myself back in school. How much better would I have done, how much more would I have learned with all these advantages?
Participating in the event, students wandered the school looking excited to see their friends and to start the school year in this new and wonderful place. Never before had they had a bright orange lounging chair that could be used on three sides. Nor had they enjoyed world-class photography on their walls.
Walking through the campus, the mood changed from one area to another -- serious and worshipful during the opening ceremony, a back-to-school-night feel as parents checked out rooms and talked to teachers, and joyful celebrating with small children riding the train in the parking lot, jumping in the bounce house and eating shave ice on what turned out to be a hot day. [more]
Teacher's Convention Inspires Change » As the teachers across the Rocky Mountain Conference gathered in Denver for the 2015 Teacher’s Convention, there was a different spirit in the air. They had been told to come prepared for an adventure and they experienced firsthand what it means to be a learner in the 21st century.
The theme for the convention and for the 2015-2016 school year is Inspire Change: A – Authenticate Learning C – Create Community, T – Trust God’s Leading. It was coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Conference education leadership team: Toakase Vunileva, principal of Mile High Academy; Sandy Hodgson, principal of Vista Ridge Academy; Heather Blaire, principal of Brighton Adventist Academy; Michael Armstrong, principal of Springs Adventist Academy; and Lisa Venteicher, science teacher at Mile High Academy.
“It has been such a privilege to work alongside leaders who are willing to spend time studying best practices and what that looks like within the context of our Seventh-day Adventist worldview,” said Diane Harris, Associate Superintendent of RMC.
The goal of the leadership team was to plan an authentic learning experience for all of the educators in the conference. This entailed dividing nearly 90 teachers into groups of 5 and sending them to 8 different organizations across the city with the assignment of learning all they could within an hour and discovering each organization’s greatest challenge. They were then tasked with using the 4 C’s -- Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity -- as they presented solutions to the larger group.
Three of the groups went to the Gathering Place which provides food and a safe place for women and children. "They are doing wonderful things for the needs of the Denver-metro area," said Russell Palmer III, teacher from Mile High Academy. "Joseph, the housing stabilization director, is working tirelessly to ensure that people have a place to go home to at night," Palmer continued. "The heartbreaking reality is that the biggest challenge he faces is keeping the hope of potential future tenants alive. I know that my heart was touched to get involved with volunteering and to get my Bible class involved as well." It's important," Palmer added, "that our kids get exposed to this so that they can be a part of changing the world right where they are." [more]
Second Youth Guatemala Building Trip Engages in Evangelism » The last two weeks in July will not be forgotten by a group of young people from two Rifle churches, Spanish and English. Their trip followed an experience from 2014, when a group of nine daring and committed young people, led by Milton Rodas and his family, traveled to Guatemala to build a home for two needy families through what became known as Mision Caleb. The experience was so unique, that arrangements were made to visit La Blanca, a small town southwest of Guatemala city, about 6 miles east of the border with Mexico.
A new program was organized for July 16-31 and it aimed to tackle three projects -- help start the building process for three classrooms for the local Adventist school; sponsor tuition for 10 children, and hold an evangelistic series with all the churches in the district.
The members of both Rifle churches were able to donate enough money for the beginning phase of the construction with Mision Caleb assisting the local church to continue with the project. “We were also able to grant more than 10 scholarships to families in need to send their children to our Adventist school next year,” reports Herbert Hernandez, pastor from Rifle.
While the building project was on its way, evangelistic meetings were organized and resulted in 25 people committing their life to Christ through baptism. "I will never forget this experience", expressed Trevor Gee, one of the eight young people who joined the Mision Caleb project this year.
"Our desire is to continue to put together more mission trips that allow our young people to be blessed while becoming a blessing to others. We feel God allowed us to accomplish these two goals with our group", said Milton Rodas.
New future mission trips are being considered and those who would like to take part in them or donate toward upcoming projects may contact the Rifle Seventh-day Adventist church at Rifle Seventh-day Adventist Church
or by phone (970) 625-1215 [Herbert Hernandez; photo by Briseyda Rodas]
New Golden Member Baptized in Wheelchair » The first time Jennifer Blankenship attended the Golden Church was the day she was baptized. With multiple schlerosis, Jennifer cannot walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. She lives at home with help.
Six years ago, she had an Adventist caretaker who shared CDs and books with her on spiritual topics. Jennifer had studied many religions and felt that the message she was receiving was Bible truth.
Other Adventists entered her life when her caretaker moved to the Northwest. Pastor Ruddy Vivanco visited with her and they studied the Bible together. “Pastor Ruddy is a very powerful presenter and [he] draws us in,” enthuses Jennifer. “We can’t help but feel drawn to the Lord through his messages; he is so full of joy.”
Recently, she stated that she wanted to be baptized – somewhat of a challenge with a wheel chair involved, but they managed.
Because Jennifer was so welcomed into the Golden church, she asked Pastor Vivanco if she could talk to his boss. “[His name] is spelled L-O-R-D,” Vivanco explained. At her insistence, he finally gave the RMC conference number to Jennifer and she called the conference to share her story. [Eric Nelson with Carol Bolden; photo by Vivien Vasquez]
Ed Barnett Joins Evangelistic Outreach at Fruita
Church » At the invitation of Michael Shannon, Fruita church pastor, Ed Barnett, RMC president, is conducting a series of evangelistic outreach meetings, August 15-23.
In a text message from Fruita, Barnett shared a short report with NewsNuggets: “Tonight [August 19] we had 25 people in attendance, more than any other night. Each night we start with a half-hour healthful cooking class followed by my 30 - 40 minute Bible lecture. We have a few visitors who are not members of our church. I make a call each night and the Lord is blessing!”
He continued that, “there is one couple who seem interested in the message. I am anxious to see how they will react to my call for baptism as tonight they raised their hands for the Sabbath. They have been attending the church for a couple of years. It would be nice to see them join.”
The outreach will conclude on Sabbath morning, August 23. [Photo by Michael Shannon]
Old Classic Car Lovers Display Cars at Arvada Church » It was a beautiful day and an exciting one for car lovers in Arvada when the Arvada church hosted a car show and barbecue party for their neighbors on August 16.
“More than sixty vintage cars, from almost century-old classics to 1400hp (yes, fourteen-hundred horse power) modern hot rods were on display,” reported Milos Tomic, associate pastor. “The view was majestic,” he adds.
More than four hundred burgers and hotdogs were served and new neighborhood connections were created. The event was organized by Rich and Stephanie Banfe and a group of church volunteers assisted with the day’s activities. “It was a blessed time for our neighbors and members alike,” Tomic said. [Text and photo by Milos Tomic]
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB!
Franktown Church » Dr. Art Chadwick, Research Professor of Biology and Geology from Southwestern Adventist University will present a three-meeting creation symposium on August 22. A nationally-recognized Christian Scientist in the field of geology and paleontology is currently directing the excavation of one of the largest dinosaur sites in the world. For more information, call 303-688-8687.
Golden Church » A special Sabbath of Health on August 22 will feature Daniel McKibben, president of Eden Valley. He will present a journey through the healing ministry of Jesus. For details call: 303-526-9112
Littleton Church » Internationally-celebrated concert pianist, Jerry Nelson, is scheduled to perform during the worship hour on August 22. Wherever he has performed, he has richly blessed his audiences, sharing his faith, hope and music. For more information, call 303-798-5648.
The Adventure in Greeley » Shelley J Quinn, author, broadcaster and Bible teacher, will present how to know who we are in Christ and how to develop a personal relationship with the Lord, August 28-29. For more information call: 970-686-2411.
Copper Mountain Summit Fellowship » Phillip Sizemore, known for his appearances in Adventist media, will be preaching on August 29 at Summit Fellowship of Seventh-day Adventists at Copper Mountain. For more information, call: 970-513-7242.
Boulder Church » Experiencing God Through Prayer, a special presentation from Jerry and Janet Page, will be held the afternoon of August 29. Jerry is Ministerial Association Secretary for the General Conference Ministerial Association, and his wife, Janet, is Ministerial Associate Secretary for Prayer, Pastoral Spouses and Families for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. They will share their experience with prayer as a way to experience God’s power; improve your relationships; enjoy private and united prayer; really know Jesus; see the Scriptures come alive; know daily victory in your life. For more information call: 303-442-1522
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