10 Jun

SADDLE UP FOR COWBOY CAMP MEETING

By RMCNews – Montrose, Colorado … Buckaroos! Cowboy camp meeting returns to the Uncompaghre National Forest near Silver Jack Reservoir, an hour outside of Montrose, Colorado, July 7 through 11, featuring a chance to reconnect with God while enjoying the mountains with family and friends.

Whether you arrive by horse, four-wheeler, or RV, you will instantly feel at peace in the surreal beauty that awaits and, yes, you will be unplugged from the world as the campground is located near the end of an hour-long drive on a well-maintained gravel road with no cell phone service or internet to distract you.

Refresh and reconnect with God as you enjoy seminars throughout the event featuring Dick Duerksen, Oregon Conference storycatcher and storyteller; and Nathan James, pastor of the Moab, Utah church.  Music for the gathering will be provided by Folk Mountain Gospel featuring Don and Donna Mohl.

Items to pack for the adventure include: housing (tent or camper and bedding); solar showers (no shower facilities exist at this campground, but porta potties will be available); drinking water (the nearest potable water is three miles away; food (personal meals for the week and something to share for potluck on Sabbath; camp chairs (everyone provides their own seating during tent meetings); appropriate attire (warm jackets/clothes for cool evenings and sun screen for warm, high-mountain days; it is not unusual to have rain); outdoor recreation Items (horses, ATVs, hiking boots, fishing gear, canoes, etc.

If you are bringing horses, keep in mind that you must provide a way to confine your animals, feed must be certified weed-free, and there is a creek and reservoir for water.

Also be prepared for high altitude as the campground is above 9000 feet.

Interested in more information please contact camp meeting coordinator Adam Smith by email [email protected] or visit https://cowboycampmeeting.org/

Saddle on up and enjoy a trip in time to an era where cowboys and cowgirls ruled the land.  Just remember when you arrive to greet each other with “Howdy, partner” and tip your hat.

–RMCNews; photos by Rajmund Dabrowski and Ed Barnett

08 Jun

LITTLETON CHURCH KICKS OFF YOUTH-FILLED SUMMER

By Jon Roberts – Littleton, Colorado … The RMC priority of engaging youth and young adults is more than just a catch phrase at Littleton church; it is a way of life for the multi-generational congregation.

With more than 60% percent of the church family budget going to support Mile High Academy, the church is actively involved in engaging youth and young adults during the school year.

For Alise Weber, children’s and families pastor at Littleton, the summer filled with youth events, was the only choice. “With the world opening back up, there are youth and young adults that we are seeing at church once again. I feel like this summer is a unique opportunity to re-engage, reinvest, and recommit to this special group. For those that haven’t been able to attend church services or special events, we want to let them know that they have been missed and we are here for them.”

The first gathering of the summer occurred on June 4–less than two weeks from when school let out–with a Friday Vespers at Chatfield Lake where High schoolers enjoyed an evening of swimming, water sports, food, fellowship, and worship. The weekend wouldn’t be complete without an event for the Middle schoolers, who on Sunday evening enjoyed an evening of bowling competing against Chris Morris, Littleton’s associate pastor, at Bowlero in Lone Tree.

The gatherings over the weekend were attended by individuals who don’t normally attend church events when they are offered or who are not actively involved with their schools.

The rest of the summer includes baptismal classes beginning on June 9, Vacation Bible School planned for early August, vespers throughout the summer on various weekends, and many more events.

The church is also planning an event for the entire multi-generational family, a night of joy on June 12, which will not only be a chance to fellowship with games and root beer floats, but also enjoy Hebrew dancing, and the evening will conclude with a movie to finish the current sermon series on Joseph.

Rajmund Dabrowski, RMC communication director, appreciated hearing about churches in the Conference leaving zooming events behind. He remarked that “it is great to see churches recognize what has been lost over the past year, the human interactions, hugging, hand shaking, smiling without masks. This is vital to the existence of the church. It seems we have zoomed ourselves to near death.”

Littleton congregation continues a vision of building a healthy multi-generational church while engaging youth and young adults in the church family and supporting Adventist education.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photo supplied

27 May

Cañon CITY DISTRICT PASTOR ORDAINED TO GOSPEL MINISTRY

By Jon Roberts – Cañon City, Colorado … Before friends, extended church family, co-workers, and invited guests, John Davidson, pastor of Cañon City church district, was ordained to the gospel ministry on May 22.

Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director, addressing the large crowd which had gathered to witness and support Davidson in this important ministry milestone remarked that it was a miracle Davidson was able to be there. Mallory went on to explain that just a few weeks ago, holding the service seemed impossible when Davidson’s health took a sharp decline and he was anointed.

Davidson met Karen, his partner in ministry, while attending Andrews University in 1982.  After owning and operating two businesses and being a parent to two children, Codi and John, God called them into ministry in 2006.

“In the fall of 2006, our church held a Revelation seminar. They began at a neutral location where I was involved with information and security. When the seminar transitioned to the church and I was not needed at the entrance, I was able to take part in the remainder of the seminar. As I sat and listened evening after evening, I can remember saying to myself, and to God, “I can do more.” I believe this was the Holy Spirit talking to me and calling me to be a laborer for Him. The Lord was changing me and transforming me into being willing to be used by Him. Would I be willing to go if asked? Yes! If was asked to go speak, I would go. If I was asked to help, I would help.”

Remarking on Davidson’s work, Tina Pearsall, Cañon City Adventist Community Services assistant, simply stated, “He has done everything we needed.”

Pearsall related an incident which she had witnessed a few days earlier as Davidson returned to the campus after an absence due to his medical condition. “He was here for the school bonfire awards night and the children saw him and started screaming, ‘Pastor John!”’ They came running over to him, but stayed six feet away to ensure he didn’t get sick anymore.  We’re waiting impatiently for him to come back full time.”

Louis Torres, assistant to the presidents for evangelism of AWR, explained the history of ordination and the great responsibility that comes with it during the ordination address.  He explained that being ordained was like a wedding.

Ed Barnett, RMC president, invited all the ordained and commissioned ministers in attendance to surround the Davidsons to not only support them in ordination, but to pray that physical healing occurs.

For Davidson, being ordained means, “being confirmed by your co-laborers in spreading the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He added, “I never actually thought I would be ordained. The Lord was going to use me here and there and I was going to do what the Lord was asking me to do.  Ordination was never on my radar.  This was a surprise and it will be a blessing.”

Davidson says he is thankful to the leadership at the conference for recognizing his ministry. “I am thankful the Lord has opened the door for me to serve in the Rocky Mountain Conference. Thank you, RMC leadership, for the opportunity to labor with all of you in this conference, but most importantly, for Jesus.”

The service ended with Davidson and his wife kissing in response to the crowd shouting ‘Kiss her’, in reference to the wedding analogy.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photos by Jon Roberts

24 May

RMC 2021 CAMP MEETING SEASON KICKS OFF IN SOUTHEAST COLORADO

By Jon Roberts – Cañon City, Colorado … Hundreds gathered for the first Southeast Colorado camp meeting, May 19 – May 21, at the Cañon City Adventist church. The theme, “The Healing Presence of Jesus,” focused on putting the love of Jesus first in personal life.

John Davidson, pastor of Cañon City church district, began the Sabbath services by declaring: “It’s a miracle I’m standing here this morning.” Davidson who has been battling health issues, went on to say, “It’s a miracle you are here today,” referencing that the event had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic. He thanked the many individuals who took over the planning and coordinating of the event when his health declined.

For Pueblo First church member, RJ Vigil, having a church filled with many children was the highlight of the weekend.  “I really enjoyed [seeing] how many people were here.  It was amazing to see the church this full. That’s the most children I’ve seen at the children’s story before.  I also liked the praise and worship music, but I’m biased since the team is from my church.”

For some, camp meeting was a new experience. “This is my first camp meeting and I know it is not like camp meetings of old, but it is amazing the number of people coming from all over, especially the Arkansas Valley.  It’s encouraging and exciting,” enthused Sandy Shute, Colorado Springs Central church member.

The meetings featured Ron Kelly, pastor of Village Adventist church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. His messages focused on the healing touch of Jesus, and centered on the modern family and larger church relationships. Kelly accepted the invitation to speak at the gathering because of a deep pastoral friendship with Davidson.

Other presenters included Louis Torres, assistant to the president for evangelism of Adventist World Radio, who shared his conversion and life testimony. The audience also listened to the musical talents of Angel Award winner, Vonda Beerman.

The highlight of the gatherings for Cañon City members was also witnessing the ordination of their pastor, John Davidson.

Next year’s camp meeting is already being discussed and planned.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photos by Jon Roberts

20 May

RMC PASTOR FEATURED AT GLOBAL CAMP MEETING

By Jon Roberts – Denver, Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Conference has a presence at the first “Global Camp Meeting,” which launched on May 19 and is sponsored and created by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.  The virtual event, featuring workshops and speakers from around world, includes a three-part series by Andy Nash, pastor of Littleton church.

Titled “Meet @ the Text,” the workshops will feature two discussions on how to study the Bible verse by verse and will include a presentation of Nash inviting Mile High Academy students and Chris Morris, associate pastor of Littleton, to join in a short study of the Book of Jude.

Nash explains how he was invited to help out with the global event.  “Previously I had done some writing for Thomas Nelson Bibles, so they asked if I would be willing to do a workshop on studying Scripture. This is one of my favorite subjects, so I was happy to help.  I particularly enjoyed our third session when my colleague Pastor Chris Morris and I studied the book of Jude with two high school students.”

Inductive Bible study is a passion for Nash so it was natural that the workshops he created were rooted in scripture.  “I love inductive Bible study and feel like it’s how we’re meant to study the Bible and preach the Bible.  When a congregation leaves church, they should be thinking about the Scripture, not the speaker.  As a pastor, I want church members to be studying Scripture for themselves—Monday morning as well as Sabbath morning.”

What does Nash expect the online gathering will accomplish?  “My hope is simply for people to fall in love with their Bibles, which is living and active.  Once we’ve entered into God’s Word, we are forever changed.”

To join the “Global Camp Meeting,” visit https://2021.campmeeting.com/ Nash’s sessions will be located in the auditorium under media ministries.  All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.

To view the Bible study Nash conducted with Mile High Academy students click here: https://vimeo.com/552977341

 –Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photo supplied

07 May

REFLECTION: MOM, I WISH I HAD DONE MORE

By Jon Roberts … This weekend, in America, we celebrate Mother’s Day.  This is a day where we can reflect on not only the mothers, grandmothers, but also the other strong courageous women who believed in us and helped guide our paths.

While for many it is also a chance to reflect and honor those who have gone to sleep awaiting the glorious day Jesus yells AWAKE, oh how I am looking forward to that day.

As I reflect on my own mother and grandmother who raised me the thought that keeps coming into my mind is I wish I had done more.

Both my mother and grandmother were strong independent women, yet they were also the first to give anyone love and compassion.  They both had the heart of Jesus in serving those around them and showing unconditional love.

They didn’t ask for anything except deep down you could tell they both wanted appreciation and love from those closest to them.  I did my best but at times I now know I could have done more.  I let my job, which often required me to work on Mother’s Day or other responsibilities, including church, come first.

In recent years I have discovered the importance of making sure my priorities are better aligned with a work-life balance.  Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson too late in life to make sure I did more for my mom and grandmother.  I know deep down they knew how much I loved them and cared.

I’m not writing this for sympathy, instead I share this in hope that those who still have time recognize and appreciate the women who gave up everything so you could have a better life.

This weekend make sure you acknowledge and do something special for those closest to you, but don’t stop there…remember and honor them every chance you get before it is too late….you won’t regret it.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photo supplied

27 Apr

EQUIPPING LAY PASTORS FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

By Jon Roberts – Denver, Colorado … “It’s my intention to just throw a lot [of information] at everybody, to feed them with a fire hose,” Nathan Skaife, pastor of the Grand Junction church, commented on the Lay Pastor Training in Denver, April 23 – 25 at the Rocky Mountain Conference office.

The gathering, which was the first in-person class of the year for the Denver area, included 17 individuals, many representing the ethnically diverse churches in RMC. The topics covered included covenant theology and best practices for church growth.

For Skaife, the tri-annual meetings are developed out of a love for the Scriptures and a desire to equip individuals to better serve the church and the community.

Responding to what strengths he brings to the gathering, Skaife said, “I would say passion would be one of them. [Also] the love of the Scriptures and [the desire] to help people dig deeper and have the tools to do so and equip them to do what God is calling them to do.”

Elijah Lujan, member of Colorado Springs South church, explained his attendance by saying he enjoys being able to understand the Gospel better. “I’m definitely attending so I can learn more about the Gospel and more about Jesus. When I share with others about Jesus, I’m sharing new stuff that they can understand because [the training] really makes it easier to understand than just saying big words that others may not understand.”

Skaife hopes the training will be challenging to those in attendance. “I wanted it to not only be challenging to someone. I want to push them even further [but] help them to be able to grow in their walk with the Lord,” he said.

For Emmanuel Jean, member of the Agape Haitian church, the training has given him renewed confidence.  “[It] has made me read my Bible every day and it makes me feel comfortable talking and sharing with people.”

“Having individuals play a more significant role in the church and the community is the ultimate goal of the training,” commented Skaife

“The people are going to play an even more significant role in their local churches. Many of them are preaching more often than they ever did before.  People are engaged in doing Bible studies and are engaged in soul-winning,” Skaife added.

The techniques learned are helping individuals give better sermons and Bible studies according to Augustine Sheriff, Colorado Indonesian-American Adventist Church member.  “One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is the help I gain in structuring sermons, giving Bible studies and structuring my lessons as I go.”

Many are thankful that RMC is providing the training to fill the gap of needs in our churches. “I am thankful that the conference has created a program that both trains and assists leaders and helps pastors and congregations in need, that fills the gap that arises in many of our churches,” Bill Oxenford, True Life Community church ember said.”

The next trainings will be held in Grand Junction on May 21 and in Denver on June 11.  If you are interested in joining or learning more about the program, please email Nathan Skaife at [email protected].

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photos by Jon Roberts

 

21 Apr

MONTROSE DISTRICT PASTOR NATHAN CRANSON ORDAINED TO THE GOSPEL MINISTRY

By Jon Roberts – Montrose, Colorado … In front of 200 church family members, friends, and fellow pastors, Nathan Cranson, pastor of the Montrose district, was ordained to the gospel ministry, an acknowledgement of Christ’s calling on his life.

Cranson recalls God leading his life at an early age.

“In a time of need, God reminded a three-year boy to trust in Him. At thirteen, He gladly entered into this boy’s heart. Shortly afterward, with a love and joy that could not be expressed, He planted in this boy’s heart the deep desire to share His goodness with the world,” Cranson reflected. “This boy is me and this ordination service is NOT a testimony to my faithfulness to God but rather His faithfulness to me.”

Cranson grew up in Paonia, Colorado with seven siblings and is the middle child of parents Addie and Greg Cranson. He was the first Adventist in his family, introduced to the church by his childhood friends and neighbors. After building friendships in school, Cranson recalls being invited to the “Arise” convention with David Asscherick where he was baptized. He married the love of his wife, Michelle, 2 ½ years ago and they have one four-legged child, he affirms.

David Asscherick, pastor of Castle Rock church remarked on this special occasion. “‘By their fruits, you shall know them.’ Nathan bears the fruit of having been called to the gospel ministry. Anyone with eyes to see can discern this. It was an enormous honor for me to baptize him as a teenager and then to be a part of his ordination 17 years later.”

Dean Coridan, president of the Iowa-Missouri conference, who helped Cranson begin his ministry work, introduced him at the service. Coridan was glad to be part of the service. “We are thrilled to be a part of the ordination of Nathan and Michelle. He started ministry in the IA-MO Conference and he definitely demonstrated that he had a call to ministry. The churches loved him and he exhibited skill in leading people to Christ. We were so happy to be able to participate in his ordination.”

“To have two conferences involved in Pastor Nathan Cranson’s ministerial growth and eventually his ordination is a testimony to the beauty of being a part of a world church where churches and conferences work together to provide opportunities for men and women to shine for Jesus,” Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director, commented on the event.

Cranson recognizes and appreciates the many who helped make the day one he will not forget. “What a blessed moment. Surrounded by family, friends, loving church members and spiritual mentors, to recognize the faithfulness of God in my life. He has seen me through so many trials and triumphs and deserves every bit of the glory. Oh, what joy to remember that He who has begun a good work, is faithful to complete it! What an honor and a privilege is to serve the living God.”

He added, “A special thank you to everyone who shared this moment with me. Your prayers, presence, and participation were what made it so special.”

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Nathan Cranson, Mickey Mallory, and Susan Inglish

15 Apr

ROBERT MCALPINE ORDAINED

By Jon Roberts – Alamosa, Colorado … Friends, family, and colleagues of Robert McAlpine gathered on April 10 for the ordination of Robert Alpine to the gospel ministry.

McAlpine’s mother, MaryLou, always knew her son would be a minister. “When I became an Adventist, Bob was going into second grade and he would take his Bible to school until he was asked not to bring it. I was still [practicing] Catholicism at the time. One day he purposely didn’t get on the bus to go home because he didn’t want to go to catechism [class].  When Bob got home, I made him get in the car and I took him to catechism [class]. That night he said to me, ‘Mom you know where the truth is. Why do we keep going back to the Catholic church?’”

McAlpine’s father, Duff, agreed it was natural for his son to be ordained. “It seems so natural, it really does. I’ve seen this for a long time. I’m not at all surprised.”

Members reflected on McAlpine’s approach to ministry which includes recognizing everyone as equal in God’s eye’s, regardless of gender.

“Pastor Bob has been instrumental in my spiritual journey. He has encouraged me a lot in ministry. I was ordained as an elder because of him. He saw God’s call on my life and made it happen. He has been a good ministry partner for many years,” said Winema Van Iwaarden, Alamosa elder.

Monte Vista church attendee, Sean Eubanks, commented on what McAlpine’s ministry means to him, saying, “He makes me think and challenges me to go deeper in Scripture.”

Being ordained brings mixed emotions for McAlpine. “I really appreciate the recognition of the church that God has called and I wish that the church recognized all callings equally.”

For the ministry charge presentation, Mic Thurber, ministry director for Mid-America Union Conference, recognized the mixed emotions McAlpine was experiencing as he quoted the apostle Paul, “Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.”

Former Alamosa district pastor, Jim Moon, also addressed equality during the ordination message, touching on the idea that “ordination is affirming God’s call to the ministry.”

“We are just affirming what God has chosen and so it seems like a simple thing, but to those who feel like that, we are not affirming that can seem like a weird thing and to those who are being affirmed, like you and me. Wow, we are being affirmed but what about them.”

A neighboring Christian church, which shares a parking lot with the Alamosa church on Sunday, showed their appreciation to McAlpine by thanking him publicly for the friendship and support the two pastors have developed over the years.

During the ordination prayer, RMC president, Ed Barnett, extended a welcome and invitation to the neighboring pastor, Jeron Parkins, of Living Water Bible Fellowship to join other ministers on the platform to lay hands on Robert and his wife Sarah as they ordained the couple and their ministry.

There were frequent smiles of joy on the faces of members of the participating congregation who saw how the McAlpine family was an integral part of the ceremony. All five children were excited to be present, the smallest sitting on Bob’s and Sarah’s laps, enjoying this special day.

At the conclusion of the service, Bob Alpine commented: “I’m very thankful that the Conference supports me, and that the local congregations support me, and most importantly that Jesus has led us here and has blessed our ministry. I would also like to thank Jim Moon who brought me here and made me the unpaid associate. He is a big part of the reason I’m in pastoral ministry today. I especially want to thank my parents, and most of all my wife and my family, Without their support, it wouldn’t be possible for me to be in this position.”

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Rajmund Dabrowski and Jon Roberts

07 Apr

2021 CAMP MEETINGS BEING PLANNED AND DISCUSSED

By Jon Roberts – Denver, Colorado … After a multitude of events were cancelled over the last year due to the pandemic, signs of hope are emerging as summer events are being planned and discussed.

Some of the events missed last year were RMC camp meetings. This year, the hope is that they will be back in person and plans are moving forward toward that possibility.  It may look and feel a little different from previous camp meetings.

The first camp meeting on the calendar is the NE Colorado camp meeting scheduled for June 4 – 5 at Campion Academy. The featured speaker is Pavel Goia, editor of Ministry Magazine.

Cowboy camp meeting comes next on July 7 – 11 in the Uncompaghre National Forest near Silver Jack Reservoir. Nathan James, pastor of Moab, Utah church, along with Dick Duerksen, will speak and music will be provided by Folk Mountain Gospel.

Immediately following Cowboy camp meeting, attention shifts northward to Wyoming for the Wyoming camp meeting scheduled July 14 – 18 at Mills Spring Ranch. Tom Lemon, general vice-president of the General Conference, is the featured speaker.

After Wyoming, Western Slope camp meeting will conclude the 2021 camp meetings. Planned for August 4 – 8 at Mountaintop Retreat camp grounds located in Montrose, it will feature Joe Kidder, professor of Pastoral Theology and Discipleship at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

The RMC Administrative team is praying as they look forward to the camp meeting season, and hoping for normality as we emerge from the stranglehold COVID has had on the region.

Continue to read NewsNuggets for more information on camp meetings as it comes available. All in-person events will follow the strictest COVID precautions and may need to be rescheduled if COVID guidelines curtail in-person gatherings.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Rajmund Dabrowski

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