22 Sep


By Littleton Adventist News– Littleton, Colorado … To build community and a family atmosphere, Littleton Adventist church recently launched a new innovative program–monthly Friday vespers hosted in members’ homes.

The gatherings, called Alive, provide opportunities for different age groups–middle school, high school, young adults, and adults–a chance to enjoy a fellowship meal and worship time.  The two-hour informal gatherings begin with socializing, a chance to unwind from the week, and to work together as a team preparing the meal. After fellowshipping around the table, participants transition into a worship time planned by the host family.

Reflecting on the concept, Andy Nash, lead pastor at Littleton, explains that families are at the center. “We had seen home vespers programs done elsewhere, so we adapted the concept to our own setting.  Initially, we planned to just offer the program for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults at Littleton, with families included as well.  But then the church board said, ‘Hey, why don’t we offer this for all ages, including adults?’”

He adds, “The heart of Alive home vespers is families. We want all generations in fellowship together.  We invite parents to attend with their middle schoolers and high schoolers. The informal fellowship in homes is very special—parents mingle in the kitchen, preparing supper while the kids run around.  Then everyone comes together for the meal and vespers program.  Then more mingling into the night.”

The first Alive vespers included 140 attendees. The young adult program was also attended by members from other front-range churches who had heard about the gathering and wanted to enjoy fellowshipping with other believers.

“It was good to be with friends that I knew and I even met some new friends. It was great to connect and worship together. It’s my dream that all of my friends are together, happy, laughing, sharing life with each other, holding and supporting each other, and loving and discovering more about Jesus. And that’s what this was like,” Mikey Archibeque, associate pastor of Denver South Adventist church said.

The community atmosphere is what many will remember about the evening they experienced.

“I like the community. Just to be able to sit next to each other and praise God, sing songs together.  That’s what I am taking home.” Flor Osorio, Littleton church member, said.

Tobias Rebant, who recently moved to Colorado and is a Littleton church attendee, echoed Flor’s comments.  “I’ve been part of many churches in my life, and the family atmosphere I experienced here is amazing. This is community.”

Community involvement is more than just one church gathering together explains Archibeque.  “It’s really important that our churches are all working together and sharing all of our strengths with each other. Sharing people, resources, and most importantly, being with each other and for each other. At this event I could feel the togetherness and unity of coming together as Denver South and Littleton and being a family, a Body, together worshipping, praying, and loving each other. God means us to be One, one church, one family, united in Christ. That’s what these events are all about because we are better together.”

Nash would like to encourage other pastors and leaders in RMC to provide space for fellowship and community to happen.  “Our best advice as pastors is to empower the members and families to take the lead.  We, as pastors, helped set things up, but then we turned it over to members to lead out.  The families host the gathering, rotating to different homes each month.  They also plan the potluck supper and the programming.  We are there to assist and speak if asked, but we prefer to see members and youth leading out.  For our first Friday evening vespers, I rushed around to three gatherings—and I ate at every one!”

–Littleton Adventist News; photos by Andy Nash and Jon Roberts.

11 Aug


By Littleton Adventist News — Littleton, Colorado … “I feel absolutely ecstatic. It is amazing. I am floored at the work, detail, joy, and the love of God that is being poured out to my children. I’m so thankful,” commented Jacki Miller, Littleton church member and parent, on the Vacation Bible School held recently at Littleton Adventist church.

“You are treasured” was the message 65 children discovered during the four-day VBS held recently at the Littleton Adventist church.  The program was one of many Vacation Bible Schools held in RMC this summer.

Every evening, attendees began their adventure-packed night through songs, skits, and an animal buddy, learning about how God loves them because they are treasured by Him.  Volunteers from middle school to high school led children ranging from one to eleven in activities involving crafts, Bible lessons led by adults dressed as Bible characters, and games that often involved a water aspect to help cool the kids during the hot weather.

For Marcus Henry, a high school volunteer, it was a great way to obtain the community volunteer hours his school requires. “Of all the ways to get volunteer hours, this is definitely the funniest I could think of. VBS is always a good time. I remember attending VBS as a kid growing up and now volunteering is great. [I loved] going to the different stations and seeing kids be kids.”

For another high school volunteer, seeing the kids praise Jesus through song was the best part. “I enjoyed seeing all the kids being happy and all the videos we played. Also, seeing them dance to the music was fun,” Noah Warner, a high school volunteer commented.

The countless hours of planning and the detailed behind-the-scenes work that went into planning VBS was worth it for Alise Weber, Littleton pastor for family and children. “Absolutely it was worth it! VBS has a very simple message about how God treasures each child and I want every child to leave knowing they are very special to God.”

The best part of VBS according to Turi Kirkland, age 11, was “KidVid cinema because it had a lot of interesting videos and the games were fun.”

The event ended with a spaghetti dinner that featured homemade sauce, created by a church member, and snow cones for the kids and families gathered on the lawn. However, the one item that made the most memories and was thoroughly enjoyed by the children was the bounce houses including one that involved a water slide.

For the Littleton church, VBS culminates a summer of building multi-generational relationships among members to let them know that they are treasured and loved.

The relationship-building doesn’t stop because summer is over. The church is planning activities for the fall including a father figure and son camping trip and weekly dramas throughout the upcoming Exodus series.

–Littleton Adventist News; photos by Jon Roberts