|MAUC Presidents Council Discusses Proposed Compliance Committees--October 3, 2018 » OUTLOOK Magazine Editor’s Note: Many constituents have contacted the Mid-America Union Conference asking for a statement from the MAUC regarding the upcoming vote at Annual Council concerning the General Conference forming compliance committees. While the MAUC is not currently out of compliance on voted actions of the GC, our leaders are gravely concerned. To be informed regarding this critical discussion, read about the actions of the General Conference Administrative Committee and their proposal (links at the end of this statement).
A CALL FOR FASTING, PRAYER AND CHRIST-LIKE FORBEARANCE
During their recent annual meeting, the Mid-America Union Conference Presidents Council discussed their thoughts and concerns regarding the General Conference Administrative Committee’s proposal to establish a new system of committees to assure compliance and uniformity within the world church that will be considered at the GC’s Annual Council held Oct. 14-17 in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Following are beliefs and concerns on which all members of the Council agreed:
- We strongly support our Church’s need to be able to hold its members and institutions accountable; however, since 1903, the Church has had policies in place to deal with discipline issues for every level of the church, from local congregations to the General Conference. We believe Ellen White’s counsel to establish these policies is time honored, has the blessing of Heaven, and is appropriate for a Protestant church.
- We believe the proposal coming to Annual Council is a departure from the principles set forth in our Working Policy and, therefore, have deep concerns with this new direction and are not supportive of the content of the proposed document to be voted.
- The trajectory of the Unity Committee is turning our membership against one another and not bringing the unity the Committee was established to promote. The MAUC presidents all know churches, members, and families that are divided because of the Committee’s proposed discipline strategy, and are turning against each other, creating a toxic environment.
- We believe the forming of these compliance committees puts too much authority in the hands of a few individuals.
- The idea of a simple majority vote for major decisions of discipline as outlined in the document is foreign to our Church and again opens the door for abuse of power.
- While the compliance committees might bring about the desired uniformity the Unity Committee is looking for, we have heard from enough of our constituents to know we will lose the heart of many members.
- We support the North American Division’s approach to the non-compliance issues, which at the heart calls for forbearance. In essence, this is a call to heed Gamaliel’s counsel in Acts 5:38-39: “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (NASB). In other words, let God do the disciplining. We believe He will, because in Heb. 12:6 we read, “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (NIV).
- Like others before us, we also want to invite our members to fast and pray for God’s presence and leading at Annual Council. We have been given the Three Angels’ Messages and have a profound work to do for our Savior. We believe this is God’s Church and that He will lead us.
COMMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION
“He [God] has never laid upon anyone the burden of making rules of action which will bind about and restrict the work, and confine the workers to a certain course of action…. if a board shall make rules that enter into the details of what the workers should do, no help will in any way come to those who are engaging in the work. The workmen are compelled to decide on the spot as to what they will do. The place, the circumstances, the interest, the moral sentiment of the people, will have to decide in many cases the course of action to be pursued.”(EGW Letter 53, 1894, Manuscript Release 714).
“Laws and rules are being made at the centers of the work that will soon be broken into atoms….If the cords are drawn much tighter, if the rules are made much finer, if men continue to bind their fellow-laborers closer and closer to the commandments of men, many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus….With [some strong administrators] it is rule or ruin” (EGW, RH, July 23, 1895, p. 465).
July 17: GC press release of document to be considered at Annual Council
Sept. 7: Press release outlining the five committees and listing their members
Sept. 18: Clarification statement and the activation of two committees
Women "Branded in Christ" at Glacier View Ranch » Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) produced its biannual women’s ministries retreat the weekend of September 28-30, focusing on the theme “Branded in Christ.” To provide continuity with this overarching theme, DeeAnn Bragaw, RMC women’s ministries director, and her creative team decked out both themselves and the lodge in authentic Western style, with boots, hats, chaps, plaid shirts, and bandannas, along with lots of y’alls, howdies, and other cowgirl/rodeo-inspired talk. Heather Dawn-Small, women’s ministries director for the Seventh-day Adventist world church based in Silver Spring, Maryland, provided the devotional talks each day, using personal stories and Bible verses to convey the message that women are “branded” as daughters of Christ. Because of this relationship, they can be confident in their inherent value, beauty, and strength—experiencing transformative joy through Jesus.
The devotionals were accompanied by Sabbath-afternoon workshops on topics such as “Bible Appreciation—Literature and So Much More!” presented by the ever-popular Ardis Stenbakken, a former director of women’s ministries at the General Conference who now lives in Colorado. There was plenty of time for socializing with a Saturday-night “rodeo,” free time for walks around the ranch in the sunshine, and several volunteer projects on Sunday morning.
One special highlight of the weekend was the surprise farewell for Ginger Bell who is retiring as women’s ministries director at Rocky Mountain Conference after many years of service. She was honored by her successor in front of her husband, children, and grandchildren, and received a standing ovation from the audience. A huge cake served in her honor was enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.
The more than 150 women, ranging in age from teenagers to eighty-something, came from all over the conference, with representatives from as far away as Waterflow, New Mexico, and many from Wyoming and distant parts of Colorado.
"Many women said it was the best retreat they'd ever attended," shared DeeAnn Bragaw, women's ministries director, "and we were grateful to have so many of our Navajo sisters join us. Heather-Dawn Small continued to remind us to spend time in the Word of God and in prayer."
RMC women's ministries retreats will continue as annual events, the next one scheduled for April 26-28, 2019, at Glacier View Ranch, following the theme “Stay Anchored!” Holding the next retreat in the spring of 2019 will give women the opportunity to attend the NAD Women’s Ministries Convention in Florida in September 2019.
-- Text and photo by Becky De Oliveira
Outreach Interests at Sterling Church to Yield New Baptisms » RMC President Ed Barnett, along with Don Lopes and Rex Bell, co-pastors of the Sterling Church in Sterling, Colorado, and Sterling's first elder Sandy St. John, led out in a series of evangelistic meetings at the Sterling Church from September 14-29.
The entire church was involved, having planned and prepared for the series for more than a year through a weekly day of prayer and fasting. During the months leading up to the event, the church held cooking classes, game nights, gave away free food and games in the park and mailed out Bible study cards. Church members are following up on 50 cards that were returned requesting studies.
"This whole process of evangelism has empowered the Sterling Church members to get excited and involved in evangelism," said Lopes.
A high time for the church members, the meetings began each night at 7 p.m., and each Sabbath at 11 a.m. Using tables to facilitate conversations, the format also fostered the formation of relationships.
"The very first night of the meetings, we had a wonderful surprise," commented Lopes. "As I returned from visiting people just before the meetings, I noticed a family getting out of their car next to the church. We began a conversation and they asked me if I was speaking for the meeting that night. "I said, 'Yes' and welcomed them in. No one from our church had had any contact with them before, but according to St. John, they had come to a health seminar about four years before," he added.
The family attended most of the meetings and want to learn more about the Adventist Church. Another young man in his 20s or 30s attended many of the meetings. Between 10-15 members and guests came regularly.
"After the series ended, Barnett expressed gratitude for the way God had blessed." It looks like six people are planning to be baptized later in October. A baptism is planned for October 20.
-- Don Lopes, text and photos
Intermountain Adventist Academy Students Attend Outdoor School » Thirteen 5th to 8th grade students participated in the first IAA Outdoor School at New Beginnings Ranch (NBR) located near Norwood, Colorado. NBR is dedicated to helping guests find God in a quiet wilderness setting with facilities that include an off-grid solar-powered bath house, sun room and kitchen trailer. The 1,057-acre ranch has large Pine trees, open sage-covered rolling hills, pond, creek, meadows, boulders and rock cliffs--an unusually scenic property.
The students, with staff and volunteers, slept in four log cabins and camp trailers dispersed among the pine trees.
In addition to wilderness camping, they participated in some unique learning experiences.
Rappelling and rock climbing on a 60-foot-high cliff was taught by certified instructors, Dr. DuWayne Carlson, who with his wife Karen are the ranch managers, along with Brian Montag and Dr. Michael Duersshen. Nearly every student was able to conquer their fear and go backward over the cliff as they learned to build confidence and trust in the rope and the skilled hands and quiet assurance of the instructors.
Dr. Michael, a trained survival instructor taught hands-on wilderness skills. The students collected native materials and constructed several types of shelters, gathered pitch from pine trees and built fires using flint and steel. They learned about the essential items to carry while traveling or hiking in the woods and desert and how to use them.
Victor Barton, a Grand Junction physician, taught astronomy with impressive stellar photography and star gazing in the brilliant, clear night sky with his high-powered telescope.
Students gathered pond water for classes on water ecology taught by IAA Principal Joel Reyes. Each student was able to observe and identify various water organisms with the aid of powerful microscopes.
Students enjoyed a daily hike on the ranch trails. One trail passes by two rock monuments with plaques commemorating God, our Rock, and an Ebenezer stone honoring God for the way He led in finding the ranch and every step of its development.
The four outdoor school days included social activities and morning and evening worships led by Pastor Esequias Perea, Campion Academy chaplain.
The students were able to participate in the rich multi-sensory learning experience of an outdoor classroom which drew them toward the love of God and His creation. The outdoor classroom encouraged interaction with other students as part of discussions and creative projects.
Seventh grade student Tia said, “At first, the woods were a challenge, especially after observing a previously-used bear den, but I learned to trust and experience God in the quiet wilderness setting away from the distractions of technology."
Sixth grader Mason said “I really liked rappelling, hiking (he had a nice walking stick that he found on the property), building shelters, and star gazing.”
Fifth grader, 10-year-old Diago commented, “I liked learning survival techniques and looking at the stars and planets, including an almost-full moon, through the telescope.”
All of the students enjoyed being able to do things that they normally wouldn’t be able to do at home such as using knives, building shelters, and making fires. And they enjoyed the excellent food and ate all they wanted, including seconds and thirds.
On the final Wednesday morning of Outdoor School, before leaving at noon, each of the students was given an assignment for clearing trail and helping clean up the camp, a service much appreciated by the ranch staff.
Principal Reyes stated that it was important that the Outdoor School offer the students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on, genuine learning experience rather than a tour of the area or just a camping trip.
“It is important that the kids get away from social media and be surrounded by wilderness," he said, "learning to get over the fear of the unknown and appreciate nature.”
-- Ron Johnson, Text and Photos
Aurora Church Holds Taste of the Nations Event » Aurora 1st Church held a celebration of its diversity with their annual Taste of the Nations event on Sabbath, September 29, with people from several countries displaying their home dishes for sampling. Countries represented included American Samoa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Granada, Korea, Kenya, Indonesia, Liberia and the USA.
Taste of the Nations began in 2006 under Pastor Peter Casillas and Deb Meredith, Aurora 1st worship leader. That first year, there were 800 people representing 32 nations.
The Ethiopian table served Injera this year. The term "injera" can refer to not only a type of bread, but also an eating utensil. The bread referred to is a spongy-looking, sour flatbread made of teff (a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia) and is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. An all-natural, organic spicy lentil sauce was paired with it providing a perfect blend of ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and onions, which created a mild, yet spicy and flavorful sauce.
Displayed at the same table was a mosabe, an Ethiopian wicker food-storage bin, traditionally made by an Ethiopian mother and gifted to a bride or a son symbolizing that her hand will be with them always.
A popular dish at the Nigerian table was moimoi, a white bean paste and jollop rice made with fresh onion, tomatoes and tomato paste. A Kenyan family served ugali or cornmeal eaten with stew, along with matoke or fried bananas.
"I love the diversity of the Aurora 1st Church," commented Gingerlei Tupito, Aurora Church pastor's wife. "It's very nice to be able to meet people from other countries," said several members of an Ethiopian family.
-- Joanne Smith, text and photo
Vista Ridge Academyt Hosts First 9HEALTH FAIR » Vista Ridge Academy had a great turnout for its first-ever 9Health Fair, hosted at the school on Friday, September 28, from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nearly 150 guests participated in a wide variety of health services, including blood chemistry tests, BMI checks, developmental milestones for children, flu shots, and screenings for rheumatoid arthritis and stress.
About 75 volunteers provided both medical and non-medical services. These included Boulder, Chapel Haven, Twin Peaks churches, Vista Ridge Academy staff, parents and student volunteers—many of whom were on site as early as 5 a.m.
Vista Ridge Academy vice principal and coordinator for the event Marsha Bartulec said, "We are always looking for ways to connect and serve our community. Hosting the 9 Health Fair this fall was a great way for us to help the community meet their health needs. Our health fair liaison said we should be proud of how well the fair was organized, and that we had great attendance for our first year hosting. We are looking forward to hosting the 9Health Fair again next fall."
-- Becky De Oliveira; photo by Sandy Hodgson
MHA Middle Schoolers Build Bicycles for Kids » At Mile High Academy last week, middle schoolers delivered bicycles they had built to underprivileged 2nd graders, experiencing the value of mentorship, generosity, and kindness.
It was during the school-wide “Love Matter Most” event that some of the middle school students put together bikes for “Wish for Wheels.” In pairs, one person was blindfolded and became the only one allowed to touch the bike parts. The other gave directions for assembling the bike. In this way, 30 new bicycles were created during this team-building event, that would find homes with kids who might never receive a new bike.
When the middle schoolers discovered they would be able to drop off the bikes to their intended recipients, they were excited that they would get to see the smiles and the joy on the faces of these kids.
"What a beautiful way to demonstrate our theme this year," said their teacher, Russell Palmer. "To put the needs of others before our own and to show love to the less fortunate--that's the gospel right there."
Excited at the prospect of delivering these bikes to their unsuspecting recipients, students and teachers headed out. What they didn’t expect was that some of these kids didn’t actually know how to ride a bike. When they found out, the middle school students took on the roles of teacher and guide to 2nd graders who had never learned to ride on their own.
“I have to brag about my middle schoolers for a brief moment here," Palmer enthused. "They were absolutely amazing teachers for these 2nd graders. They were so patient and kind and encouraging. They taught those kids who had never ridden a bike without training wheels before, how to ride."
"I did this a couple weeks ago with a group of teachers and we weren’t even HALF as good as my middle schoolers were with these kids," he added.
-- Agape Hammond with Russell Palmer; photos by Russell Palmer
Meetings Held in Grand Junction » Five churches from the Grand Junction district gathered last Sabbath at the Grand Junction Hispanic Church for a meeting under the theme, "United with Christ in Love and Action." Gypsum Hispanic, Glenwood Springs Hispanic, Montrose Hispanic and Olathe Hispanic all participated in a full day of varied activities.
Carrying out missionary work, many of the members went to areas around the city to hand out magazines and books. The youth from three of the churches took part in an uplifting program.
In the evening, a dinner sale was held to help a member of Grand Junction Church in need of an expensive health treatment.
"It was truly an inspiring experience and everyone wants this type of program to be done every year," said Ruben Balaguer, pastor in the Grand Junction district, where believers from different places get to know each other, and share unforgettable moments."
-- RMCNews with Ruben Balaguer
Attend The Appearing in Three Weeks » The ancients predicted it. Millions of people can’t stop talking about it. And even though global unrest and natural disasters indicate it will happen soon, few agree on exactly how or when it will happen. Is it possible that many people are making a mistake about the Appearing—an event mentioned more than 2,500 times in the Bible? Don’t miss The Appearing, hosted by Voice of Prophecy Speaker/Director Shawn Boonstra and local pastors. It all begins October 11 at a church near you. Test your knowledge about the Appearing and find the host location near you at appearing.org.
The Adventist Church at the Crossroads Event » Boulder Church senior pastor Japhet De Oliveira will participate in The Adventist Church at the Crossroads event at Oakwood University on Monday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. alongside featured presenters Dr. Jon Paulien and Dr. Leslie Pollard. They will discuss questions such as "Is the Adventist Church still the remnant church of biblical prophecy?" "What are the absolute essentials of Adventism?" "What about charges that the church is becoming more authoritative--more Catholic?" and "What are the issues and implications of the 2020 General Conference Session?" This simulcast is available onsite and online. To join live, register at BCBleadership.com.
Campion Church » The LOVE REALITY tour is coming to Campion Church October 15-20, 6:30 p.m.. Join this seminar to experience the freedom and joy of learning who you really are in Jesus. Explore your identity, purpose, and worth. Free nightly refreshments. Childcare provided. For more information or to RSVP, call 970-667-7403. Campion Church is located at 300 W 42nd Street SW, Loveland.
ACS Disaster Response Training » Become certified in Donations Management and help people in need during a disaster like Hurricane Florence in North Carolina from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 21 at Campion Church. The $25 charge covers your manual, lunch and photo ID.. This training is recognized by FEMA and the State of Colorado Emergency Management.
Instructor Cathy Kissner is the Rocky Mountain Conference Community Service Director. She is certified in NAD ACSDR, FEMA, and Colorado Division of Emergency Management to be a training instructor in Donations Management. For pre-registration, email [email protected] Spanish manuals are available.
Mile High Academy » You are invited to an afternoon of Eat, Mingle & Give benefitting MHA's Annual Fund on Sunday, October 28. Registration is at 3:30 p.m.; Golf & Dinner from 406 p.m.; Auction at 6 p.m. Happening at TOPGOLF, 10601 E. Easter Avenue, Centennial CO 80112. $85/person. Go to https://events.readysetauction.com/milehighacademy/
mha2018. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jocelyn Aalborg at [email protected]
Mile High Academy » Mile High Academy has immediate openings for the 2018-2019 school year for two part-time drivers for our transportation routes. Qualified candidates will be at least 21 years old, possess, or be able to obtain, a current Colorado driver's license (Commercial Driver's License not necessary) have no more than two traffic citations and no at fault accidents during the last three years. Candidates must also possess current U.S. work authorization. While maintaining the dignity and respect for all students, the driver's primary responsibility is the safety of students while transporting them to and from school. To apply, please send an email to Noemi Borjon to request an application (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact her by phone at 303-282-3653.
HMS Richards Elementary » Part-time preschool teacher needed at HMS. We are growing and looking for an enthusiastic teacher to lead our preschool program. Must be ECE teacher certified. Do not need to be director certified. Please contact Davin Hammond or Kari Lange for more information @ (970) 667-2427.
Vista Ridge Academy » Seeking candidates for a Part-time Extended Care Supervisor (8-10 hours per week). Candidates must be an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and available to work after school.
For more information, please contact Sandy Hodgson at 303.828.4944 or [email protected].
ESL Teacher Needed for Mile High Academy Sister School China Campus » Mile High Academy still has a position available on their extended campus at the Guangdong Experimental Shunde - ESL Teacher Needed
This is a unique opportunity to serve as a teacher in Shunde China at Mile High Academy’s extended campus at the Guangdong Experimental Shunde. Please see link below to explore the school: http://www.gdsysd.com/Home/IndexEnglish
Contact Principal Toakase Vunileva at [email protected] for questions or to submit your resume.
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FROM THE EDITOR
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