Responsibility of Every Church Member: Church Safety » Did you hear about the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina last year? Of course you did, but did you hear about the slip and fall that broke an arm in South Dakota? Or about the leaking janitor's faucet that caused $10,000 in damage in Kansas? The answer: probably not.
As it turns out, the slip and fall accident and the water damage are two accidents in churches that far surpass the danger and fear ushered in by the evening news. As one wise pundit said, "Don't be afraid of the things you hear about in the news; be afraid of the things you don't hear about." The vast majority of danger in our churches is boring. It is the result, not so often of a dramatic, news-making event, but from a church with no plan to salt the sidewalks. Or turn off a faucet. Or light the parking lot adequately.
I'd like you to consider forming a Safety Team at your church if you don't have one already. First, I'm talking about a "Safety" team, not a "Security" team. Security officers are the armed guards you see at big banks, airports and the like. They are not typically concerned about exit sign placement and accident mitigation. Security may be important, but that's a different topic. Safety is a broader topic and is concerned with all dimensions of -- you guessed it! -- keeping people safe.
What does a safety team look for? It looks for hazards and ways to mitigate them. Slippery sidewalks? Salt or sand. Trip hazard on a heaving sidewalk? Grind it down, mud-jack it, or re-pour it. Dark parking lots or missing exterior lighting? You get the idea.
When we first formed a Safety Team at The Adventure in Greeley, we were not sure where to start. We eventually found a gold mine of resources produced by Adventist Risk Management (ARM). Since ARM administers claims, they know where the risks are and have resources available to any church at no cost. Their link: http://www.adventistrisk.org/prevention-resources
They have videos, pdfs, checklists, tips, webinars and even an inspector that will come on site and help locate potential hazards and make suggestions on how to mitigate them. We intend to ask a risk management officer to inspect our church sometime this year. This is done through the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC). Since it makes sense for an out-of-state expert to see more than one site per visit, we're encouraging other churches (that's you!) to ask about being part of a risk-minimizing survey of your facility too. Contact Linda Reece at the RMC office: 303-282-3634.
Believe me, there is so much to think about, prepare for and do. The great news is that much of it costs little to nothing. What's your plan in case of a tornado? Fire? Disruptive visitor? Active shooter? Do you have un-observed and unlocked back doors during your functions? Do you have locks on all interior doors and are they locked as soon as the rooms are vacant? Are your janitor's closets locked? Utility room? Fresh batteries in smoke alarms? Is your carbon monoxide alarm unit in place? Do you have a real first-aid kit and do people know where it is and how to use what's in it? And the list goes on. This is far from comprehensive and every congregation has its own unique needs.
The point of all this is not to check off boxes or to wring hands. It's to prevent preventable injuries. It's the very practical application of James 4:17, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." (NIV). No guilt offered here, but encouragement. There is so much good that can be done by simple prevention and planning. Visit the ARM link and consider having a Safety Team form at your church. It's some good you can do! [Erik Stenbakken]
Newday Church Supports Launch of New Mobile Clinic in Nepal » As part of Newday Christian Seventh-day Adventist Church's -- http://newdaysda.com/ -- Christmas tradition, the church was challenged to spend a little less on themselves in order to make a gift that would last a lifetime for someone less fortunate. Joining the Centura Health's Global Health Initiatives' (GHI) support of the Scheer Memorial Hospital in Nepal, the church was able to raise $12,000 to contribute toward the launch of a mobile clinic to provide medical care in villages and towns affected by the 2015 earthquakes. Commenting on the Newday church's contribution, David Kennedy, lead pastor of the Parker congregation said, the church "believes Christmas can and should still change the world in the way we celebrate it. In Parker, we collect a Christmas offering and give it all away to causes and organizations that are in alignment with the things Jesus valued and spoke up about. Through Sheer Memorial Hospital, GHI is extending the healing ministry of Jesus to the poorest of the poor in Nepal." In the remote regions of Nepal, healthcare is very limited or extremely difficult to obtain. That's why Global Health Initiatives is dedicated to improving lives through medical missions. Since 2006, GHI has provided free medical care and educational programs to people in these rural communities. Generous gifts have helped save hundreds of lives, and together with Scheer Memorial Hospital, GHI increased its service for the people of Nepal. Many people living in the villages and towns are still suffering from the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. Forty-five of the fifty community health clinics in the Sindhupalchok district of Nepal were either destroyed or significantly damaged, essentially cutting off any access to healthcare. In order to help care for these long-term and still-untreated injuries caused by the earthquakes, GHI is starting a mobile clinic. It is expected that its operations will begin during the first quarter of 2016. Known for their varied community involvement and activities, Newday has also been a long-time supporter of GHI. Many members have gone on GHI medical mission trips and the church has helped raise money for other GHI international initiatives, including uterine prolapse and clubfoot. "We're honored to be a part of such great work," Kennedy added. According to church sources, the Newday congregation selected two global non-profit organizations and one local non-profit to raise a total of $32,000, of which $12,200 was designated to GHI. In addition, GHI also received $14,315 in gifts as a response to its end-of-year appeal. Referring to its medical activities in Nepal, GHI is partnering with Women-for-Women (WFWF), a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, who initiated the concept of the vehicle and invited GHI to collaborate in caring for the people of Nepal. WFWF raised $85,000 for the mobile clinic. [Kimberly (Kim) Kennedy; top photo by Linda Kithil; bottom photo by Greg Hodgson]
Brighton School Pays Off Operating Debt » When Wayne Morrison, pastor of the Brighton Church walked into the RMC office on January 19, the conference administrators did not expect to be surprised by what he gave them.
Wayne presented them with three checks to clear the school operating debt of $160,000 that Brighton Adventist Academy owed to the conference for several years. "It is because of a committed group of church members willing to give sacrificially that this operating debt to the conference has been cleared," said George Crumley, VP for finance.
According to Wayne Morrison, whose church is adjacent to the Brighton school, the debt was "from the school year 2011/12 or even before, so while we have been able to operate within budget in the last three school years, we were not able to reduce this old debt by more than just a few thousand per year. Now, with this behind us, we can look forward with great hope in the blessing and leading of our God. This was accomplished through the blessing of God both in the school and the lives of our generous church family. We are just so excited to see what God is going to do next!"
"It is always good to resolve outstanding issues, especially financial ones," he added.
Brighton Adventist Academy, established in 1916, currently has 36 students, grades K-10. The school operated for sixteen years teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, along with Christian principles. It was forced to close in 1932 because of financial difficulties associated with the Depression. The hope of re-opening the school became a reality in the late 1950s because of generous gifts of time, land, resources and energy from people who believed in the importance of teaching students in a Christian environment. Brighton Adventist Academy has operated continuously at its current address since 1958. (RMCNews; photo by Carol Bolden; pictured L to R: Eric Nelson, VP for administration; Wayne Morrison, Brighton pastor; and Ed Barnett, RMC president]
Pueblo Daystar Christian School Partners With Chamber of Commerce » "Our goal is to be a light in the community," said Michelle Velbis, principal of Daystar Christian School. "By joining The Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, we will be able to meet that goal and partner with our community." On January 21, Daystar Christian School had an official ribbon-cutting event to celebrate their new membership with the chamber and to celebrate the re-opening of the school, which had been closed for two years.
Some 30 people attended the event from the chamber and from Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist Church. Following a brief ceremony where Daystar was presented with a membership plaque, the school board members in attendance, along with the students and the principal, cut the red ribbon.
"This is the first time that Daystar has joined the Chamber of Commerce. Several business persons from the chamber were present and responded positively to the devotional and the student's song. They asked meaningful questions about the school," said retired pastor, Wayne Nazarenus.
"I think it left a very positive impression on the minds of chamber members. 'Yea' to the students of Daystar Adventist Christian School and their teacher Michelle Velbis," he added.
"Daystar Christian School is a blessing to the city of Pueblo. We are so blessed to have them here in our community," said Ava DeHerrera, membership coordinator for The Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. [Michelle Velbis; photo by Lauren Patton]
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Mansa Building Project in Zambia Plans June-July Mission Trip »
Church members in the Rocky Mountain Conference are invited to consider helping to keep a promise that was made to the Mansa Christian Education Center (MCEC) in Zambia, Africa, in 2014. At that time, the departing mission team from the Rocky Mountain Conference who had raised two-thirds of the walls of the school's new church, promised they would return in 2016 to paint and dedicate the church that local work crews would continue to build.
The mission trip is scheduled for June 20 - July 8. You are invited to join in the joy of completing a task and getting to know the students in the new school. Participants will work side-by-side with students and exchange testimonies with them in the evening devotional hours. The trip will end at Victoria Falls with a day for a safari at Chobe Game Park and a River Cruise Tour.
The Teen Trip will include Auburn Academy and Campion Academy students, June 13 - July 1. For further information, contact Jim Lynch at 970-670-0655 or email email@example.com, who is helping to organize these trips through "Give Back to Humanity." You can also call Lynne Eagan at 970-443-7398.
The students of the recently-established MCEC school moved this month from their temporary quarters to the newly-completed administration building on campus. The electricity has been hooked up, the girls' dorm construction has begun, a cement block security wall is going in, a bus for students and mission teams has been purchased and the church roof is being installed (see attached picture).
It all started through the gifts and encouragement of the 2014 mission trip of the Rocky Mountain Conference! [Lynne Eagan; photo by Pardon Mwansa]
For last week's article, "Castle Rock Adventist Hospital Embraces Culture of Natural Childbirth":
The epidural rate is 70 percent, rather than natural options at 70 percent.
Although Jacque Northrup meets with every family before childbirth, all the other services are offered through their expansive birth education classes.
The birth center has birthing "tubs" rather than birthing "pools" as stated in the article.
According to Christine Alexander, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, "There is no research to support that a medicated birth interferes with the bond of a mother and baby. This is not a statement our hospital would ever suggest without support of a major research study -- which to our knowledge does not exist."
"We NEVER reference a birth experience as a one-time medical event. We feel privileged to assist moms and families in the miracle of birth -- whichever their choice is. We provide the best options, whether natural options or medicated options. This is a very personal decision and we respect each and every mom's decision regarding their birth experience," according to Christine Alexander.
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.
Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation Open House » Come on over to a come-and-go open house for the new location at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 4. Meet the team and enjoy light refreshments while having your foundation questions answered. You'll find us at 2525 S Downing Street, Mason Hall, Second Floor behind Porter Adventist Hospital.
Safety Sabbath 2016 » Thousands of churches across North America will hold safety drills during their morning worship services in the month of March for a unified effort to promote safety in their congregations. This special event called Safety Sabbath is sponsored by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) and supported by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and General Conference Youth Ministries Department.
Safety Sabbath will focus on encouraging local churches to conduct emergency preparations and a safety drill with their congregations and leaders during the month of March culminating on March 26, the last chance to participate in the event. Churches in the Rocky Mountain Conference are encouraged to set aside a Sabbath to address this timely and contemporary issue of safety.
ARM will provide training resources through the Safety Sabbath website and ARM's weekly e-newsletter Solutions. Churches will choose one of three emergency drills -- fire, missing child or active shooter.
"With the Safety Sabbath event, we hope every church will join us in conducting safety drills and learn the importance of them along the way," said Bob Kyte, president of ARM. To get involved, register your church at SafetySabbath.com.
NAD Children's Ministries Certification» Coming to Denver South Church, March 25-26. Those interested in this certification should watch for further details or contact Patricia Rivera, 303-910-3548.
Mile High Academy has an immediate opening for a full-time accountant. The accountant is a key member of the Business office, reporting to the VP of Finance. The accountant's duties include general ledger, adjusting entries, restricted and non-restricted fund management, A/P, A/R, collections, and more. For a full job description and application, visit http://www.milehighacademy.org/employment-opportunities/. To apply, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Associate Producer -- Media, Production & Programming: The Voice of Prophecy is looking for a passionate person who loves using media and technology to share the Good News. The ideal candidate should be proficient with audio, video and digital media production. This person should also be a strong manager who can design engaging radio shows, produce compelling TV, manage teams, run multiple large projects, and think about the future of media technology.
Associate Director -- VOP Creative Department: Do you think and dream in the visually creative space? The Voice of Prophecy is seeking a creative professional who desires to use their talents for soul-winning and evangelism. Prospective candidates should be proficient and experienced in many creative areas such as: print design, brand creation, web design, UX design, motion graphics, 3D graphics and presentation graphics. Proficiency in the areas of video production and photography a plus.
Assistant Supervisor -- Mailroom: Are you someone who loves logistics and has an eye for detail and a knack for supervision? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for the Voice of Prophecy's Mailroom Assistant Supervisor position! In this position, you would assist with the development, implementation, coordination and monitoring of all phases of mailing services in addition to supervision of mailroom staff. As a direct result of your work, people worldwide would receive resources like Bible lessons and make decisions for Christ thanks, in part, to your efforts in getting resources to them in a timely manner.
FROM THE EDITOR
We want to share your news -- Change is a part of the communication age. With online media experiencing constant evolution, the NewsNuggets is also experiencing an increased access from our readers and contributors. We will continue to encourage news sharing from our churches, institutions, and individual church members.
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known