|Something Powerful Happened in the Sky over Casper, Wyoming on August 21 » At exactly 11:42:44 a.m. Monday, August 21, more than 300 viewers at Mills Spring Ranch on top of Casper Mountain in Wyoming took off their protective glasses to look directly at the sun’s halo of light around the moon perfectly aligned over the sun. Temperatures had plummeted 11 degrees, leaving a distinct chill in the air, and darkness had descended. Whoops of amazement could be heard from the astonished crowd.
The first total eclipse in the United States since 1979, this one was also the first to cross such a wide swath of the country for almost a century.
One of the “luckiest cities”--those in the path of totality--Casper, Wyoming was the third city to see the total eclipse that swept across the United States on a path from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina, with cities like Lincoln, Nebraska, Jefferson City, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee in between.
Among those gathered at Mills Spring Ranch, one of RMC's two camps, were astronomers Mike Benabe and Steve Aiken, friends from California and Colorado respectively. They set up a reflective astronomical telescope in the open area at the center of camp the evening preceding Eclipse 2017 to view the night sky.
Cloudy at first with spits of rain, the gathering group held a community prayer for clear skies. The prayer was quickly answered and Mike worked at aligning his telescope--a retirement gift from his wife--to Earth using its two-axis motors. Its built-in GPS system helped the instrument recognize its exact spot on Earth, including elevation.
The gathered crowd was treated not only to an education on aligning a telescope, but to a view of Saturn with its rings and five of its moons along with the Andromeda galaxy ring nebula.
Used to hosting a few family members instead of a large crowd, Mike, nevertheless rose to the occasion and enjoyed sharing his knowledge and passion with interested people. “We had an awesome, magical time,” he said.
After the crowd dispersed, Mike and Steve carried the telescope to the meadow away from the lights of camp to view the Milky Way in which our Solar System and Earth reside.
It was there in the meadow that astro-photographer Glenn Sackett captured a stunning vision of the night sky as seen through his camera lens on the eve of the total eclipse.
In attendance for the eclipse were students from Mile High Academy and Springs Adventist Academy who congregated in the cafeteria the morning of the anticipated celestial event to hear Greg Pauls, an electrical engineer, explain the anatomy of a solar eclipse and to learn other interesting facts about eclipses.
Nancy Arias, principal/teacher for Cheyenne Mason Christian School made it a field trip for her ten students who all stayed in a bunkhouse. Fifth grader, Kynsi said she watched a “play-by-play video” of a solar eclipse, which her mother shared with her before her class trip to MSR and remarked that it was “really interesting.”
“This is my first eclipse,” said Aiden, a third grader at the Cheyenne School.
“There are crescent shapes under the tree,” someone shouted and people crowded around to observe and take photos. While astonishing things were going on in the sky, a natural phenomenon was occurring on the ground where tiny gaps between leaves acted as pinhole lenses and projected crescent-shaped images of the partially-eclipsed sun onto the ground.
“There’s Venus,” someone else observed and, sure enough, Venus shone brightly in the darkened sky.
After hearing that the eclipse gathering of more than 300 celestial gazers of different faiths almost doubled the attendance at the recent camp meeting, RMC communication director Rajmund Dabrowski commented, "So, it seems we need to work more at increasing camp meeting attendance. But the sky and its sun will always win," he predicted.
"The state park down the road from Mills Spring Ranch is charging $300 per night for a tent site," Franktown pastor Jamey Houghton wrote on his Facebook page, noting that MSR charged just $30 per tent site.
When totality ended, many began their journey home amid the 600,000 others who had also converged on the city of Casper, many of whom used the same I-25 corridor to travel home. The trip that usually takes three hours, took six and the trip that usually takes six hours took twelve. You get the picture.
Heading home, people from California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Virginia and states in-between were aware that something powerful had happened in the sky.
Only seven years hence, on April 8, 2024, the next total eclipse observable from the United States, will be seen in the skies from Texas to Maine.
[Carol Bolden; first and second photos by Mike Benabe; third by Sharise Oh Moreland; fourth by Madeline Logan-Davis]
Student Literature Evangelists Impact Cities in Colorado and Wyoming » Twenty-seven students spent eight weeks knocking on doors in Fort Collins, Colorado; and Gillette, Casper, and Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer. Not only did they leave more than $100,000 worth of truth-filled books, but they were able to pray with the people, many of whom were touched to have someone ask if they could pray with them.
Team leader Wes Carle and student literature evangelist Shiloh Howard saw children’s toys lying around the yard and chalk drawings on the sidewalk as they approached one door. When a lady responded to their knock, they shared the Kid’s Cookbook, which she bought, along with enough other books that the pair could also leave her with Peace Above the Storm, a large-print Steps to Christ.
She explained that her dad died a couple years ago and the anniversary of his death was approaching. Before the two arrived at her door, she was thinking she needed something to get her through the anniversary period. “May we pray with you?” they asked. She was absolutely stunned and almost begged them to pray. As they closed the prayer, she was wiping tears from her eyes.
“God is using our youth to show Jesus to these people,” Joe Martin remarked. “And student lives are being changed at the same time.”
[RMCNews with Joe Martin]
The One project Announces End to Its Gatherings » The Boulder Adventist Church-based One project announced that its gatherings will end in February 2108. According to an announcement by Japhet De Oliveira, pastor of Boulder Church and co-chair of the One project, the final One project gathering will take place in San Diego, California, February 11-12, 2018.
“We have always known that it couldn't last forever, and have spent the past year contemplating how and when to draw this particular phase of our journey to an end. The Scriptures remind us that, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1,5),” the One project leaders said in a statement last week.
Commenting on the effect of the gatherings, the organizers stated that “Christ-centered people go on to inspire others—and those of you who have attended gatherings over the past seven years are a testament to this truth.
Thousands who participated in the gatherings throughout the world frequently referred to “their changed lives,” claiming that presentations and ensuing conversations have rekindled their love for the Adventist message and beliefs. When the name of Christ is raised, there also comes dissension. As with many a new initiative, the gatherings drew critical responses, often vicious, hurtful, and far-fetched and based on hearsay.
“This bittersweet but ultimately celebratory gathering—which will no doubt contain as many tears as smiles—will focus on the theme “Oh, How I Love Jesus!,” the organizers announced in a formal statement. Before the final event, two earlier gatherings on the calendar—Atlanta (Oct 21-22, 2017), and Sydney (February 3-4, 2018), will be available only for those physically present. No audio or video recordings will be made.
The project started with a small group of pastors in a hotel room in Denver in 2011 and “became something much bigger than any of us could have imagined—a global phenomenon that has brought Jesus back to the center of the lives of thousands of people,” the One project leaders wrote.
No plans were announced as to whether the project will morph into another, perhaps a similarly organized activity. “We won't say ‘goodbye;’ we'll simply say ‘until,’” De Oliveira stated.
New Teachers, New Students, New School Year » Rocky Mountain Conference education is thriving with schools in session throughout Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Sixteen new teachers have joined the education team, the result of a retirement, growing schools that have added new positions along with moves and transfers.
Several schools began their academic year with a field trip to Wyoming or Nebraska to give students the opportunity to watch the total solar eclipse, probably the first experience of its kind in these young lives.
A brand new computer program for our schools, Jupiter, will track student statistics from their earliest enrollment through their college years, giving fingertip access to their progress. This information rolls up to the North American Division data system or Dashboard.
Two schools are building new facilities. Grand Junction leaders are hoping to move students into their new school building by January 2018. Fort Collins project managers are in the midst of working on permits, and the Greeley school is nearing the end of a large remodeling project.
Name changes for three of our schools have taken place. Alamosa’s Sunshine Christian School will begin the new year under the name Cornerstone Christian Academy; Fort Collins’ Beebe Christian School was changed to Fort Collins SDA School; and Worland SDA School became SonShine Christian Academy.
As our schools experience change, the brightest hope of our teachers is to bring about change in the lives of students who will reach the world with hope.
Daniel Birai will continue to pastor the Fort Collins Church, but will add a pastorate for the Longmont Church.
Jonathan Carrillo is a new graduate who will pastor the Bloomfield Hispanic, Pagosa Springs Hispanic, and Durango Hispanic churches.
John Davidson, director of Eden Valley, will add pastoring for the Eden Valley Church to his ministry.
Don Lopes will serve the Fort Morgan, Sterling, Akron, Yuma, Holyoke, and Burlington churches working as a team with Rex Bell.
Joe Martin will serve as pastor for the Loveland Church as he continues to work as director of student literature evangelism.
J. J. Martinez will pastor the Lamar and Arkansas Valley churches and serve as youth pastor for the Pueblo Church.
RMC CAMP MEETINGS
Hispanic Camp Meeting » From September 1-3, Glacier View Ranch will host Hispanic Camp Meeting under the theme Small Groups. Guest speakers include Omar Grieve and Nessy Pittau-Grieve, both from the Hispanic Voice of Prophecy, and Julio Chazarreta from Pacific Press. Lourdes Chazarreta will present music through voice. Worship and activities will be held for the children. Glacier View Ranch is located at 8748 Overland Road, Ward CO 80481. For more information, contact Ruben Rivera at 303-910-1614.
Last week's NewsNuggets referred to Kiefer Dooley as the Glacier View Ranch camp director. He is the summer camp director.
Just weeks away, the month of October will offer the opportunity to recognize pastors throughout Rocky Mountain Conference in a special way. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, a time to express special appreciation to the pastors God has allowed to impact lives within our church. A time to surprise your minister with a special moment showing how meaningful their leadership is to your congregation and community.
Time to plan something special and let your creativity shine in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13a - "Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work."
RMC Women's Ministries » invites you to two events in September:
Enjoy a free community concert at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, September 16 at the Greeley Church, 1002 21st Avenue in Greeley.
Come for a one-day retreat, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, September 17, at Pinehurst Country Club, 6255 West Quincy in Denver.
Jaclynn Huse is a professor of nursing at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. As a Christian singer/songwriter she has followed
God’s calling of speaking for women’s retreats and conventions. She is the very proud mother of her co-speaker, Shelby Huse.
Shelby Huse is a 17 year old senior at Georgia Cumberland Academy. She has traveled internationally with her mother and has developed her own passion for ministry and speaking about what God has done in her life. She started speaking to women and teens at the age of 15 and has traveled extensively with her mother to participate in the music ministry as well.
The Best is Yet to Come focuses on hope, a theme in the Bible with many examples of life lessons with the belief that these stories were included so that we could understand the concept of hope and redemption. Each presentation
will include several original songs that enhance the meaning of what is presented with each session.
Register for one-day retreat by September 8
$39.00 per person, includes noon meal on Sunday
BY MAIL – include your name, address, phone, email address
Enclose check payable to RMC-WM or credit card – include CC number, security code, zip code and mail to Ginger Bell, 1035 Midland Street, Brighton, CO 80601.
BY PHONE (with credit card) Call Ginger at 720-980-9006
Brighton Church » The Brighton Church is hosting the Shadow Empire series produced by the Voice of Prophecy. The first part starts Friday, August 25. More parts will be seen on Sabbath morning at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Check the Brighton SDA Church Facebook page or ShadowEmpire.com/Brighton. This is a series everyone needs to see!
Twin Peaks Church » CELEBRATING LIFE, a 14-week program presented by Cheri Peters, takes a biblical approach to restoring people to sanity. Participants will be part of a supportive group who will open up to each other and to God, allowing His Spirit to lead them into healing. Begins August 17 and continues every Thursday from 7 - 8:30 p.m. through November 16 at the Twin Peaks Church, 9696 Paschal Drive, Louisville CO 80027.
Brighton Church » is co-hosting the free Brighton Car Show and Dyno Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. September 10 at Brighton Adventist Academy. Check out the Jeeps, Corvettes, trucks, and whatever YOU would like to show off. Reserve a space for $15. Also, Colorado Mobile Dyno will be there testing horsepower and torque. Pre-registration price for three pulls is $85.
Come enjoy the food, family games, and prizes. Don't forget your lawn chair so you can comfortably watch the dyno action. All proceeds go to BAC Student Aid Fund. For more information, email Melissa at [email protected] or call 720-308-7563. Brighton Adventist Academy is located at 567 E. Bromley Lane in Brighton.
SeaSide Escape » Need a day at the beach? A time to slow down, wiggle your toes in the sand and bask in the warmth of God's presence? Join us at SeaSide Escape. a beach-themed retreat you won't want to miss!
Location: Mills Spring Ranch, Casper Mountain, WY
Date: August 26-27, 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $50 for meals and activities. Lodging available for additional cost.
Contact: Rhonda McDonald at 307-259-8147 for information and registration.
Dave Ramsey Comes to Campion Church » Campion Church will host Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a 9-session video course teaching sound, Bible-based principles of financial management. Classes will be held in the church fellowship hall Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. beginning September 6 and continuing through November 1. The first 12 families to register will receive a kit for $99. Additional kits will be ordered at $109. The kit includes a textbook, workbook, budget envelope, wallet, etc. Registering gives you a lifetime membership to the Ramsey organization which allows you to re-take the class at any time at no cost. For more information, call the Campion Church at 970-667-7403.
Sanitas Lectureship » A special one-day event with William G. Johnsson will be held September 23 based on his recent book, Where Are We Headed? Adventism After San Antonio. Q & A after sessions:
9:30 a.m. -- It's All About Jesus
11:00 a.m. -- Will the Women's Issue Split the Church?
2:00 p.m. -- The Promise of Adventism
Boulder Church is located at 345 Mapleton Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80304, www.boulder.church
The Sanitas Lectureship was established in 2016 to create a safe space for people to connect with God as presented through the lens of the Bible. The annual event includes presentations from world-renowned Old and New Testament scholars designed to demonstrate how the God of the Bible continues to work on the shared story of humanity.
Women's Ministry Retreats 2017 » RMC Women’s Ministries is excited to announce the Area Women’s Retreats for 2017:
Wyoming: Seaside Escape–a study of Sarah and Hagar
Mills Spring Ranch on Casper Mountain
August 26, 27
Contact: Rhonda McDonald: 307-259-8147
Colorado Western Slope: Falling in Love Again
Speaker: Darla Sherman
Mountain Top Retreat (15 miles from Montrose)
Contact: Linda Johnson: 970-245-2294
Colorado Metro, NE/SE: The Best Is Yet To Come
Speaker and Musician: Jaclynn Huse along with
her daughter Shelby, age 16
Begins Saturday night
with free concert
at Greeley Adventist Church
Everyone is invited! -- not just for women.
Followed by one-day Women's Retreat
Sunday, September 17
at Pinehurst Country Club in Littleton
Contact: Ginger Bell: 720-980-9006
Journey Through the Holy Land » You are invited on the trip of a lifetime! Join others from the RMC on September 3-11 as we explore the land where Jesus walked. This is a spiritual pilgrimage that is guaranteed to be deeply impactful to your faith. A 4-day extension trip to Eilat and Petra is also being offered. The trip is limited to 30 people, so don’t wait. For more information, CLICK HERE, or email [email protected].
Mile High Academy » has immediate openings for the 2017-18 school year for two part-time bus drivers. 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 preferred), have no more than two traffic citations and no at-fault accidents during the last three years. The candidate must also possess current U.S. work authorization. While maintaining the dignity and respect for all students, the bus driver's primary responsibility is the safety of students while transporting them to and from school. To request an application, send an email to [email protected] or call 303-282-3653.
Three positions are also available on their extended campus at the Guangdong Experimental Shunde Campus. Room and board is provided, along with one round-trip ticket and insurance during stay. The science (1) and ESL (2) teachers will be using MHA's curriculum as well as their books and philosophy. For more information, go to http://www.gdsysd.com/Home/IndexEnglish and/or contact Toakase Vunileva at [email protected]
Campion Academy » is looking for a part-time English teacher with a master's degree and SDA certification. To apply, send your resume to Don Reeder at [email protected]
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
FROM THE EDITOR
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known