Have Yourself a Tranquil, Little Christmas » We live in an increasingly digital age where books have become a rare commodity, making them even more meaningful as gifts. Write a personalized inscription on the flyleaf and a book becomes a gift to cherish.
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Expected to Create Adventist Public Awareness » Desmond Doss is a household name for many Seventh-day Adventists. On November 4, the Hacksaw Ridge hero will be introduced to thousands of people and audiences internationally with release of the movie directed by Mel Gibson, an Academy Award winner, actor and director.
It was the faith of Desmond Doss, a humble U.S. Army medic who refused to carry a gun during World War II, that led him to rescue, single-handedly, more than 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa. For his bravery, Pfc. Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor–the highest award for military personnel in the United States–and presented to him by U.S. President, Harry S. Truman, on October 12, 1945.
Hacksaw Ridge was not made for Seventh-day Adventist audiences, and will likely provide conversations about Adventist beliefs and about a hero who stood for his belief as a conscientious objector, refusing to bear arms.
The Desmond Doss Council, formed to preserve and protect Doss’ intellectual property, has asked Dick Stenbakken of Loveland, Colorado, a retired Seventh-day Adventist chaplain (Colonel, U.S. Army) and former director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries for the world church, to write a set of Bible studies to be used as follow-up to the Hacksaw Ridge movie. According to Stenbakken, the Bible study set is in its first printing of 25,000 units.
“The Doss Council will be sending materials to 6,000 churches in the North American Division for potential follow-up to the movie. This will be a unique opportunity for our churches to reach out to the community in ways that would not be possible without the movie,” Stenbakken says.
Several Adventist ministries have produced materials aiming to assist in sharing information about our church and its beliefs, among them It Is Written--www.itiswritten.com. A packet available to churches includes a re-issue of Terry Benedict’s 2004 Award-winning documentary, Conscientious Objector.
“Hacksaw Ridge is destined to be an award winner, but also an opportunity to see how a person who is true to their convictions can change lives,” Stenbakken believes.
[Rajmund Dabrowski; reproduction of cover by David Berthiaume]
Response to Unity in Mission document by NAD year-end meeting » After three hours of discussion, 2016 North American Division Year-End Meeting delegates voted on two motions pertaining to the General Conference (GC) Unity in Mission document. The discussion was broken into two segments, one on October 28; the second, on October 31. The first motion was made near the conclusion of the October 28 session. Randal Wisbey, president of La Sierra University, commented that the GC has not included Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference, in the church’s yearbook.
Wisbey’s statement reads: “The attendees of the North American Division Year-End Meeting respectfully request that the General Conference provide Elder Sandra Roberts, President of Southeastern California Conference, the same rights, respect, and privileges of office as any other conference president within the North American Division who has been duly elected by an official and legal constituency meeting of that conference. This will include inclusion in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook as president of Southeastern California Conference, and being provided with regular and official credentials at General Conference meetings, such as Annual Council, the same as any other North American Division conference president.”
A motion was made to submit the statement to the GC. The motion was seconded, and delegates voted by electronic device: 141, yes; 32 no; five abstentions.
A second motion was brought forth by Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Seventh-day Adventist Church, during the second half of the discussion on October 31. It reads:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church exists to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Three Angels’ Messages. Nothing should impede this prophetic mission.
It is thus with grave concern that the members of the North American Division (NAD) Executive Committee witnessed the passing of the Unity in Mission document at the recent Annual Council. The implementation of this document will create — indeed, is already creating — a profoundly divisive and demoralizing reality in many parts of the NAD.
While we wish to register our vigorous disagreement with the intent of the document, we do not wish to respond impulsively. Therefore, in light of this document, we move to authorize NADCOM to appoint a subcommittee to craft a thoughtful path forward.
Furthermore, recognizing that the underlying focus and context of the Unity in Mission document was the ordination of women to ministry in two unions in our Division, we wish to once again publicly affirm our unwavering support and steadfast intent to realize the full equality of women in ministry, in fulfillment of biblical principles, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In light of these realities, we do not want the Unity in Mission document to be a deterrent to the ongoing, proactive progress toward the full equality of women in ministry in our Division.
We invite earnest prayer for the leading of the Holy Spirit as we engage in this process.
Ivan Williams, director of the NAD Ministerial Association, addressed the purpose of the motion after it was made: “I rise on this last day of Clergy Appreciation Month to recommend that, as a part of our response to the GC Executive Committee, they no longer remain silent about its support of our current and future pastoral employees who are female. It has spoken loudly about their limitations, but has said nil about their appreciation for those who are working as employees who just so happen to be female.
“I rise because many of our pastors cannot wait another year to educate their congregations about this. . . . Instead of using the word ‘noncompliance,’ people in our pews are using the word ‘rebellion.’ We must have something to say to our workers, to our constituents. I stand in support of this motion.”
After a discussion period, delegates voted by electronic device: 163, yes; 35 no; one abstention.
Ed Barnett, RMC president who attended the NAD meetings said, “This is an interesting time for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. My prayer is that our church does not divide on this issue.We need to keep our focus on the mission of the church. I believe the Unity in Mission document, as presented to us, is actually more about the administrative authority of our church. If passed, it would give the church a hierarchical structure .”
“The issues are complex in a world church context, yet Christ’s commission compels us to seek a multitude of ways of bringing us closer to the return of our Lord, and do so in recognition of our local needs and opportunities. This is a task for all of us, irrespective of gender. We really need all hands on deck,” he further added.
Earlier in the day, the North American Division Executive Committee expressed their continued support for the mission of the world church. A motion was made from the floor that the NAD transition to paying 2 percent of their tithe to the GC, just as the other world divisions. This would have called for a reduction from the current 6.85 percent that is currently paid. Many delegates spoke against the motion, expressing their concern that such a rapid reduction would hurt the work of the church around the world, as the majority of the General Conference budget comes from the North American Division. The motion was voted down by a vote of 64 yes; 121 no.
[RMCNews with NAD Office of Communication]
Smoking Menace Still Haunting Humanity » November 1 came and went, and you may have not noted that another win was scored on behalf of children. A new law aimed at protecting children from secondhand smoke will make it illegal to smoke in private cars that have kids in them. A little step in a gigantic fight against one of the largest enemies of mankind: smoking.
This is not a problem for Seventh-day Adventists who are one of the world’s largest communities known for their abstinence from smoking tobacco. As a faith community we have elected to be doctrinal about it, and for decades have been known for our breathe-free outreach around the world.
Last week, I was reminded about being involved in a major nation-wide public health program in Poland in the early 1980s, when the then Five-Day Stop Smoking Plan* attracted literally thousands of smokers who flooded Adventist churches and public venues. The program, which was re-designed for TV, with manuals printed in daily newspapers, ignited a national debate and resulted in smoking being banned in public places. Perhaps it will be difficult to find a smoker in the world today who does not know that smoking tobacco is a “destroyer of health,” causes cancer deaths, and ignites numerous health hazards. This said, lecturing smokers about such dangers and making them fearful about the consequences is deemed to be obsolete.
Our church continues to pin our interests on the game by also developing new approaches which include scientific research, making our smoking cessation options current with technological advancement whilst maintaining that personal contacts with those who wish to quit smoking are essential in making them succeed.
A participant in national tobacco control programs, Dr. Mark Johnson, Public Health Executive Director, Jefferson County, Colorado, comments that, while we were refining our tobacco cessation program, “numerous other groups and organizations have developed similar [approaches] that are free of what some see as the ‘taint’ of religious involvement.”
He says that, in addition, “new medications and other devices have expanded the armamentarium that can be used to battle the physical and emotional addiction of nicotine. While experts in the field still know of the historic role the Seventh-day Adventist Church has played in the war on tobacco, the general public is, for the most part, not aware of our activities. This can be seen either as a lost opportunity for the church, or as a natural progression in the war on tobacco, for which we should be grateful for the part we played and continue to play.”
In the mid-1990s the church recognized that the church could also be a powerful lobbyist for tobacco control. Statements advocated for more aggressive education about the dangers of smoking, a ban on all tobacco advertising and enacting of higher tax laws on cigarettes. We addressed the issue of ethics that are absent as profits-greedy tobacco corporations ignored the evidence of health hazards. That was then.
Twenty years later, while the picture of change is painted by enacted laws, with consumption of cigarettes down, the world community is still facing unresolved challenges, and the menace of tobacco is still present, though clothed in attractive, technologically-based new-generation tobacco and nicotine products flooding the market.
It was this very issue that was behind the consultation** at Harvard University, October 27-28, to identify key learning opportunities emerging from historical tobacco control leaders and health advocates, appraising current challenges to effective tobacco control efforts, and initiating collaboration on a roadmap for the future of tobacco control.
The meeting was convened by Professor Allan Brandt, head of Harvard’s department of the history of science who identified the new and pervasive challenge of new tobacco products, such as E-Cigarettes, and their known and potential boost for the tobacco industry. “Uncertainty [of effects] favors the tobacco industry,” he said. It appears that the emergence of new technologies offers disruptive innovation to the public health status quo as technological dissemination outstrip the knowledge context. Add to this potential of new complications, as in the next years we will be facing a completely new population with new characteristics, and new problems.
Professor Witold Zatonski, founder and president of the Health Promotion Foundation based in Warsaw Poland, and a prominent advocate of a smoke-free society, echoed the current and still-to-be-discovered issues in tobacco control. He said that, “supporting the treatment of tobacco/nicotine addiction is of ever growing importance in the context in which most smokers intend to quit. The correct use of existing and emerging medicines will play a decisive role in this.”
“The community of anti-tobacco advocates needs to declare what goal we are striving for – a society free of combustible cigarettes, or a nicotine-free society,” he added. Zatonski identifies this problem as especially pertinent with new nicotine delivery systems entering the market.
A roundtable discussion also identified a need to address the role of social and religious organizations in anti-tobacco advocacy. In the past decades Seventh-day Adventists have provided a robust organization platform for smoking cessation along with successful pressure on policymakers in many countries. What should be our role in the future when we are challenged by sophistication and conniving approaches by the tobacco industry?
My takeout from the consultation? A voice of Christians and their active witness can add an anti-tobacco message as part of our pro-life convictions.
* The Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking was created by Dr. J. Wayne McFarland and Elman J. Folkenberg in 1959 and in 1962 endorsed by the church as a smoking cessation program for pastors and health experts to offer in communities in the United States. Today, in its third generation, it is known as Breathe-Free 2 Stop Smoking Plan.
**The consultation, “Tobacco control – past, present and future” -- aimed to look at potential innovative control strategies and policies for the decades ahead and develop themes for the tobacco control conference in 2017.
For the recipient, a book inscription becomes a dusty little time capsule that reminds them of a certain time or a special person in their life, according to Kyle Ingham, San Francisco Bay Area blogger. And it makes the book greater than just a collection of yellowing pages. It becomes a treasured keepsake, he says.
Books have the power to take us back in time, to teach us new skills, and to help us escape the tedium of everyday life. They bring us new ideas and open our minds to expanded thinking.
Consider adopting the beautiful tradition followed by Icelanders who give books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spend the night reading. The custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” which occurs between September and December when the majority of books in Iceland are sold in preparation for Christmas giving.
With Christmas only seven weeks in the future, these book-gifting ideas may add some tranquility to an otherwise stressful season. They could also be used to share with friends and neighbors as a witnessing tool.
Family Faith, A Devotional on Family Dynamics by Drs. Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, $17.99. For the family who wants to strengthen its relationships within the family with a focus on God, this daily devotional suggests practices that create strong bonds and points to concepts that make families successful.
Christmas In My Heart, A Treasury of Old-Fashioned Christmas Stories, Compiled and Edited by Joe L. Wheeler, $10.99 (regularly $14.99) This 25th Anniversary Collection contains stories that have stood the test of time and will take you to another time and place. Read it out loud on Christmas Eve.
Guide’s Greatest Friendship Stories by Lori Peckham, editor, $11.99. Filled with stories of friendship and adventure, this treasury teaches forgiveness, compassion and kindness.
Tell the World, The Inspiring Story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, DVD, $4.99. This historical drama tells the true story of a diverse group of people whose lives intertwine: a sea captain loses everything, a farmer struggles to understand what went wrong, a young woman has visions and a dynamic world-wide movement is born.
Glimpses Into the Life of Ellen White by Jim Nix provides a behind-the-scenes look at the life and times of Ellen White, $12.99
All books and the DVD are available at your local Adventist Book Center. To order by phone, call 303-722-1101. [Carol Bolden]
Copper Mountain Lift Tickets at Highly Discounted Rate » Order your tickets from RMC's Youth Department: Adult (ages 13=) $65 each
$2 off per ticket for purchases of 5-24
$5 off per ticket for purchases of 25
Child (ages 6-12) $58 each flat rate Flat mailing fee of $3 per order or pick up at the RMC Conference office free! These certified Copper Mountain Lift Tickets for the 2016-17 ski season are day passes.
Ticket supply is limited, so order today!
Worland Church » Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University will be held weekly at 6:30 p.m., beginning September 21 and continuing through November 16. If you are looking to improve your financial situation, eliminate debt, plan for retirement or your children's college, buy a house or make any type of financial transaction, this class is for you. The church is at 660 South 17th Street, Worland WY 82401. For more details or to register, visit https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/classes/1026568/atid/_In or contact Kathy Weigand at 816-872-5619 or email@example.com. It's not too late to sign up or attend!
Loveland Church » Revelation Speaks Peace is coming to the Loveland Church beginning at 6:30 p.m., Friday, October 14 and continuing through November 19. For a schedule and topics presented each night, go here. The church is located at 950 Cleveland Avenue, Loveland, CO 80537.
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! » We would like to break yet another record for attendance at a One project gathering. Our San Diego gathering (February 24-27, 2017) includes a two-day focus on the book of Revelation on Saturday and Sunday, as well as an evening of creative worship preceding the gathering and the one-day Create conference afterward.
There are special programs for teens and children.
If you haven't registered yet, do so now! Remember to book your accommodation early while rooms are still available.
For information on the One project, contact Boulder Adventist Church pastor Japhet De Oliveira: t. 303-601-6349 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Peace University » If you are a young adult interested in gaining relevant financial guidance and connecting with other young adults in the Denver area, Rocky Mountain Conference's Youth Department is holding a nine-week class at the conference office for you. The class will meet each Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. beginning October 18 and continuing through December 13.
The cost is $93 for materials and membership and the first 15 people to register will receive a 50 percent discount. For more information and to register, email email@example.com or for an overview of the class, go to www.daveramsey.com/fpu/preview. The office is located at 2520 S. Downing Street, Denver CO 80210.
La Vida Mission Supply Drive » A non-profit mission to the Navajo Nation with the goal of reaching the Navajo children for Jesus, La Vida Mission is dependent on the generosity of caring people to supply their needs. A truck heading to La Vida Mission with donations will stop at churches around the conference to pick up your donations. See the schedule here.
Summit Fellowship » Pastor Mike Ryan, former VP for the General Conference, will share the "28-day Program" during the November 5 church service. He encourages all church elders to attend. A fellowship lunch will follow the sermon. Summit Fellowship meets at Copper Mountain Chapel in the center of the village. For more information or directions, call 970-513-7242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vista Ridge Academy » A Fall Festival and Silent Auction with free admission is planned from 6 - 9 p.m. Saturday, November 12 with food booths galore, a cash cube, games, fun prizes and a bouncy house. Bring your friends and enjoy a great evening. The academy is located at 3100 Ridge View Drive, Erie, CO (off Sheridan behind the new King Soopers). Call 303-828-4944. Avista Adventist Hospital is partnering with Vista Ridge Academy to put on this event.
Grand Junction Church » Melissa Otto will be in concert at the Grand Junction Church at 6:30 p.m. November 15, following a soup dinner at 5:30 p.m. The church is located at 730 Mesa Avenue, Grand Junction. For more information, call 970-242-7747.
Christmas Wish List from Glacier View Ranch » Please choose one or more items that speak to your heart or join with someone else:
Naturalizing perennial flower bulbs (for around ranch, front entrance sign); Garden hoses for watering; Bushes for landscaping around buildings; Grass seed for lake front; lamp shades for lodge guest rooms; Window treatments for lodge guest rooms; Furniture for common area in lodge; Paint for inside lodge, exterior of summer camp cabins, pool meeting room, cafeteria, summer camp office, all building exteriors; Stain for exterior wood; Heaters for summer camp cabins; Curtain rods and curtains for summer camp cabins; Insulation, sheet rock and installation in breezeway; Doors in breezeway; PA system for lodge, auditorium, Long House and Campfire Bowl; Fencing to update and unify ranch fencing; Road treatment of gravel and/or solution for summertime dust; Razor for summer camp activity; Razor Track to prevent unnecessary accidents; Pool repair of paint and water to refill pool after repair; Pool ceiling repair and insulation; De-Humidifier in pool area; Snow blower to clear ranch roads in winter; Man-lift for maintenance in high areas; Swings for lake front, prayer garden and cafeteria areas; Commercial washer for laundry room; Commercial dryer for laundry room; Benches for Camp Fire Bowl and Wagon Camp; Flooring for cafeteria; New kitchen equipment for main kitchen and prep area; Fridge, freezer, oven/range for Long House kitchen; Box truck, van/suburban, pick-up truck; RTV/Gator/Polaris; 60'x80' activity building for use in bad weather; New building for Nature Center.
Check GVR website for updates at http://www.glacierviewranch.com/projects-donation-opportunities/
Daystar School in Pueblo is looking for a part-time aide for K-3 for the 2016-17 school year. If you are interested in finding out more about this position, you can contact Michelle Velbis by email at email@example.com or call 719-561-9120.
Voice of Prophecy: The Voice of Prophecy is looking to fill three positions: gift planning departmental assistant with accounting experience, digital content specialist/webmaster, and a donor relations coordinator. For more information, visit http://vop.com/jobs.
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known