RMC Ministers Are Energized by Mark Finley Church Growth Seminar at RMC Pastors' Conference » "Every doctrine of our church is relevant to a society that is looking for meaning in life," said evangelist Mark Finley. Known for his passion to equip and train ministers for growth, Finley presented ways to evaluate church growth through a local church assessment. Sixty ministers of the Rocky Mountain Conference were asked to rate their church growth program.
"Are we intentional about church growth and [do we] consistently equip our members to use their spiritual gifts?" was one of several questions he asked as part of an evaluation. The presentation included consideration of ten areas that would assist ministers and their congregations in knowing their church growth potential, as well as enable them to maximize their strengths and strengthen areas of weakness. Among areas that can assist pastors in a practical way is an approach toward evaluating the public which "the church is to reach, as well as their needs," recognizing that each community offers us casual contacts, friendly relations and spiritual connectedness with people.
Finley also spoke of two ways of impacting the community. He said that we impact our audiences through programs, but also emphasized developing relationships within the community as equally important in the church's approach. This will make your church a center of warm, loving fellowship, a place to which people will be drawn and will want to return again, Finley said.
The three-day event, January 10-12, at Glacier View Ranch, included the "unpacking" of the ministerial core values which were recently adopted by the Rocky Mountain Conference. Six different groups of participants were led by Craig Carr, ministerial director, in discussing what constitutes the values identified as F.A.I.T.H. -- friendship, adaptability, integrity, teamwork and humility.
Commenting on the conference, Craig said he "hoped the pastors are encouraged, but also challenged with what they heard and experienced at Glacier View and that they were affirmed as we reviewed the core values." He also mentioned the importance of "thinking outside the box and broadening the circle representing our engagement with the community."
"We must not grow content and be stuck with the same methodologies, but have a willingness to try [new approaches] and perhaps fail, though we will never know until we try first," he added.
Following the Finley presentation, Wayne Morrison, pastor of the Brighton congregation, commented on the timeliness of the conference and is presentations. It coincided with an elders meeting at his church the previous week when the elders asked, "Who are we" What are we about? and How do we evaluate what we are doing?"
"Everything that Mark Finley presented was perfect. I am going home to a board meeting tonight and we are going to use the evaluation and start implementing exactly what we received here," Wayne commented for NewsNuggets.
"What I am taking from this conference is a renewed interest in planning for church growth in my churches," said Don Barnt, pastor of Cheyenne, Laramie and Torrington churches in Wyoming. "It's going to be intentional planning, not just whatever happens. I am going to meet with my church boards and talk about what we are going to do to help our churches grow this year. We will spend more time planning what we are going to do," he added.
The meeting ended with a recognition of and prayer of dedication for the new pastors employed in RMC in the past year.
According to Ed Barnett, RMC president, plans are being developed to hold a week-long series of public outreach events with Mark Finley in Denver in 2017, as announced last year. No date has yet been set for this event. [Text and photos by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Geography Exhibition Enhances Learning at Campion Academy » Project-based learning, which often raises the stakes for students by incorporating outside audiences in their assessment, aims to challenge students with problem solving and collaborative work. In Campion Academy's geography class, Nathaniel Marin's students feel the pressure at the end of the semester as they finish a model of a major landmark, prepare a four-course meal for the judges, make a video, and create a map of their chosen country. Then, geography students field questions about their country as judges and visitors tour their work in an exhibition during the last week of the semester. Senior Madi Uhrik and her team chose Turkey and created a model of the Hagia Sophia. She found the exhibition stressful, but learned a lot about teamwork and planning throughout the semester. "Having judges come encouraged me to strive higher in order to impress people I didn't know. You imagine they have higher expectations of you. They don't know about all the hard work it took to get that final project done; they only see the project itself," she said.
This is the fourth year Marin has invited judges to help assess the students' work at the end of the semester. He agrees that the learning environment provided by project-based learning is preparing our students for the 21st century workplace. Reflecting on the switch to group collaboration and authentic audiences, he said, "The improvement in quality and learning has been amazing."
The final exhibition also allows students to celebrate their efforts. "It's good for them to be able to show off their hard work, and it's good practice for them to be asked tough questions by an older, more experienced person," said Erin Johnson, a judge at the exhibition. Second semester geography class will be giving presentations in May. [Text and photo by Jenny Sigler; photo of seniors around their BMW plant model in Munich]
Two Young Women Share Message of Christ's Love » When headlines are filled with the problems of this world and with the young people, it's good to know there are still some who trust and rely on the Lord.
The December 19 Greeley church service featured the youth of the church. It included the youngest children singing their songs and older ones making the offering call. Gabrielle Williams and Shiloh Howard presented short sermons that were both thought-provoking and intriguing. "Earthly kings," said Shiloh Howard, "want finery for their prince, but God wanted His only Son to be born in a sheep's cereal bowl," she exclaimed during her message entitled, "My Upside Down and Perfect God. Instead of the highest people in the land coming to visit, it was the common, working people, she explained, citing Isaiah 55:8,9 which states that God's ways are different from our ways. This "upside-down God died the worst death possible, yet looked beyond his suffering to a sobbing woman. Her final thought was taken from I Corinthians 1:27,28 which states that God takes the weak things to confound the mighty. "The coolest thing about my upside-down and perfect God is this: Man's ways are not God's ways, but God's ways bring perfection."
Gabrielle's message looked at our identity and what forms it. Too often, she explained, it is found in what people say about us or from our actions. If we accept our true identity in Jesus, He promises to give us hope and a future. "He never says it will be easy, but in the end, it will be worth it," she explained.
It is refreshing to see the youth of our church on fire for our Lord. It is also a blessing to be a member of a church that supports our youth. [Text and photos by Jim Johnson; top photo: Gabrielle Williams; bottom photo: Shiloh Howard]
What to do With the New US Dietary Guidelines » Those who read last week's "Take 5" for health and actually started working on your sugar addiction are ahead of the game and will find yourself in very good company. The day after I wrote that piece, the new US Dietary Guidelines came out with sugar as the main culprit to avoid. The meat industry was happy that red meat was no longer the focus of scorn.
So, what does this mean to us and for our food choices? Are the US Dietary Guidelines based on good science alone or are these recommendations affected by political and economic pressure? I believe there is a little bit of both. Mounting scientific evidence does demand that sugar consumption be addressed and in a very public way. Public shopping choices do drive food-manufacturing changes -- look at all the gluten-free options today. And public health will benefit from less sugar in the food we eat.
But does that mean that red meat is now okay just because the spotlight is on something else? I am sure the meat industry hopes it will happen that way and I'm sure they had something to do with the wording of the Dietary Guidelines report.
The bottom line is, if you search for truth, you will find it. If you are looking for good news about your bad habits, you will surely find that as well. For more on this topic, check out the next issue of Mountain Views. [Rick Mautz}
Which Oils Are Best For You? » After last week's NewsNuggets came out, I received several comments regarding my article which mentioned Canola oil as a good source of Omega 3. It turns out I am in good company with Web MD and Mayo Clinic listing Canola oil as healthy and safe.
Having said that, I will also admit that even if it is considered safe by these trusted sources, it is probably not the best oil to use. One reason is that, unless it is labeled "organic", it is a GM product since it is processed with chemicals and high heat that add inflammatory products to the oil. My recommendation is to limit your use of any oil, but if you do use it, my two choices are olive oil and coconut oil. Olive oil is best used in its natural state (on salads), but not with high heat (stir-fry), because it is not very stable under high heat and the high heat causes it to change its state, making it an inflammatory product.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is much more stable under high heat and a better choice. It continues to get high marks as a healthy choice. Even though it is, primarily, a saturated fat, it is a medium chain fatty acid compared to animal sources which are the more heart damaging, long-chain fatty acid saturated fats.
Research is also discovering that coconut oil will improve thyroid function, is a natural antibiotic and tends to lower the bad LDL cholesterol. Reports give high marks to the Kirkland brand of coconut oil from Costco for being economical and processed without chemicals or high heat.
Everything we read continues to reinforce that the closer our dietary choices are to their natural state, the better they are for us. [Rick Mautz]
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB!
2016 RMC Teen Prayer Summit » Experience God's plan for you to be Flawless through prayer, BIble study, music and friendships, January 22-24 at Glacier View Ranch. Cost: $55/person. Save $10 if you register BEFORE January 11. Includes food and lodging. Visit RMCyouth.org to register. For questions, call 303-282-3664 or [email protected]
Jennifer LaMountain » Recording artist, Jennifer LaMountain, will present two concerts on Sabbath, January 23: Littleton Church -- 11 a.m. church service
LifeSource Fellowship -- 5 p.m. concert
These concerts are free. Littleton Church is located at 7400 S Windermere Street, Littleton 80120. LifeSource Adventist Fellowship is located at 6200 W Hampden Avenue, Denver 80227. For more information, call 303-798-5648 or 303-988-8371.
Akron Church » A plant-based cooking and wellness seminar will be given by Eric Aakko, MS MCHES, professional, plant-based chef/educator the weekend of January 29 and 30. Join us from 6:30 - 8 p.m. Friday, January 29 and 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sabbath, January 30 at the Akron Church, 217 Fir Avenue (corner of 2nd Street and Fir Avenue), Akron, CO. Classes are free and all are welcome.
Literacy Pie Night at Daystar Christian School » For Grades 4-8, a Literacy Pie (Parent Involvement in Education) Night will be held at 6:30 p.m. on January 26, with literacy games, tips and puzzles. Please invited family and friends to join us for an evening filled with fun, learning and, of course, pie! For more information: daystarchristianpueblo.com or 719-561-9120.
Greeley Church » Award-winning Steve Darmody will be in concert at 9 a.m., Sabbath, January 23, at the Greeley Church, 1002 21st Avenue, Greeley. This is a free gospel concert. For more information, contact Kelli Calderon at 970-690-1611 or [email protected]
Communion Table Giveaway » Denver South Church has a communion table they no longer need and will give it to the first church to call. Contact Gaby Delgado at 303-744-1271.
Laura E. Mason Christian Academy » Clean out your closets and donate your new or gently-used shoes for a great cause! This fundraiser will help individuals in a country from the developing world. Support the amazing Cheyenne church school and get rid of those extra shoes lying around. Contact the school at 307-638-2457 or Sylvia at 307-640-2358 for details and pick-up.
ACS Community LIFT is accepting applications for a part-time (32 hrs/wk, M-Th) Medical Assistant at its Denver location. Applicants must have at least two years experience working in a medical clinic, hospital, doctor's office or other health care setting. For a complete job description and application, visit http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-medical-assistant.
The Rocky Mountain Conference is currently accepting applications for a part-time (20 hours per week, M-Th) Assistant to help out in its Treasury Department. To learn more about this position and how to apply, please visit: http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-treasury-assistant.
The Rocky Mountain Conference has an immediate opening for a full-time Field Representative/Stewardship Coordinator in its Planned Giving and Trust Services Department. This position serves the Conference by visiting and fulfilling requests for assistance in estate planning, including information gathering and execution of documents. For more information about this position and how to apply, please visit http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-field-representativestewardship-coordinator.
FROM THE EDITOR
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