25 May

YOU CAN TRUST US – PART 1

Matthew Moreland is the associate director of planned giving and trust services for the Rocky Mountain Conference. NewsNuggets invited him to share the value of the services offered to not only church members but the services they provide to the local church as well. In part 1, we will look at the services the department provides to local churches and the lesser-known services that are also available. Next week, in part 2, we will examine the estate planning options available free of charge to RMC members and how to take advantage of this free service.

NewsNuggets: Thank you, Matthew, for sitting down with us. When we hear the name “planned giving and trust services”, many people think of the will and estate planning services offered. What are some of the other items the department handles?

Matthew Moreland: We are responsible for all the properties within our conference. Some of our work is similar to serving as a property manager. If a church or school is buying or selling a property, we handle that.

We also handle the lease agreements when the church or school is being rented out to another entity or when one of our groups lease a facility.

NN: If a local church wants to rent out their facility, they should work through your department. Why?

Matthew Moreland: We have certain insurance and tax exemption protocols that need to be followed to ensure our schools and churches don’t lose their tax exemption status. We have to confirm that everything is in place and has had a legal review before renting out to anyone.

NN: Is it important that every church follows the procedures and steps before renting out their facility?

Matthew Moreland: Yes, this process protects all parties involved and makes sure we track usage for the required annual reports. Failure to follow procedures could result in legal exposure, loss of insurance coverage, or increased costs.

NN: You mentioned that the department handles all the church and school properties. Are there other properties you manage?

Matthew Moreland: Our main job is to facilitate wills and trust, but we occasionally receive a donated property. Under the direction of the Property & Trust committee, we view the property received and then list it for sale.  We sometimes receive mineral rights on a particular piece of property and handle those in a similar manner.

NN: What other services do you offer to the local churches?

Matthew Moreland:  We offer estate planning seminars. These have been on hold the last couple of years, but we will schedule more in the future. The goal is to help families understand how to plan for their own security and to carry our their charitable intent efficiently, whether they work through our department or otherwise.

This summer [2022], our team members plan to attend all of the RMC camp meetings, so we will have the opportunity to meet individuals and answer questions. We always have someone there from our department.

NN: Your work sounds like a lot of business transactions. I understand that planned giving and trust services considers the work you do is a ministry. Can you explain how you share the love of Jesus?

Matthew Moreland: During COVID, I received many calls from people wanting to ensure their estate was in order, but it took [on] more of a pastoral role because people were lonely. There were people who didn’t leave their house for six months, and they had a need to talk to somebody. They just wanted the comfort of knowing everything was okay.

I don’t rush to get off my phone calls with people. It is a privilege to listen to and comfort them.

Someone called me every other week, and we would talk for a half-hour or sometimes an hour. They were lonely, and I was able to visit with them. I had a relationship with them because I had done their estate planning. The spouse passed away during this time, and it was important to me to be available to minister to this individual. A very important part of our ministry is to give peace of mind to individuals.

In many cases the support we offer goes beyond the individual who signs an estate plan with us. We can support their family by helping settle the estate, helping them understand the responsibilities they have been assigned, or directing them toward the resources they will need, such as providing forms or contact information for agencies they will need to work with. If we can help a family member cut through red tape, meet a deadline, or remember an important step, we feel really good about that. That’s part of how we honor the wishes of those who put their trust in us.

–RMCNews; photo by iStock

18 May

FLYING TENTS, FREEZING BATHS, AND A MEAL OF DUST

RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Parents waved and cameras flashed as 26 donut-stuffed students and a handful of teachers and volunteers headed out, vehicles overloaded with tents, sleeping bags, and food, destined for Moab, Utah to camp under the stars, raft, and appreciate God’s nature on the annual eighth-grade class trip.

The expedition started out uneventfully, with the long drive to Moab where they would set up camp. Spirits were high until it came time to set up the three 12-man tents. Unfortunately, the wind deflated the hopes of an easy setup, but the class was determined to get the job done. The wind, though, was not finished and proved too much to handle, resulting in the tents being torn over the next few days, and causing the need to leave the campsite a day early to stay at a hotel.

Before leaving, students found time to hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery found only in Moab. Rafting down the river was a first for many and while the rafting was mostly uneventful, an unexpected meet-up with a water rapid caused teacher Christina Hernández and the two students riding in her raft to fall overboard. The only resulting injury was to Hernández’s backpack.

By then, the class was done battling high winds, flying tents, bathing in freezing cold water, and having their mouths filled with dust. The vote was made to turn their torn-tent homes into cozy rooms and warm showers at a local hotel.

Logen, an eighth-grader, summed up his feelings in a text to his mom by saying, “Greatest shower ever.”

The next day, their continuing adventure found them hiking and journeying to Glenwood Springs, where the students spent the night and woke up to enjoy a morning swim in the hot springs before returning home.

Reflecting on the adventure, Lindsey, eighth-grader said, “My favorite part about the trip was the fact that we were in the water most of the time. All of us would play around and splash each other. I loved how we all worked together to put up the tents for the first two nights and how we all couldn’t wait for the hotel beds.”

She continued, “We all bonded and appreciated all the fun that we had. This trip is definitely a big memory that’s going to be with us forever.”

Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal, commented on the adventure. “It was a good time had by all. We are grateful for the time together, laughing and appreciating the break from school to explore Moab. A shoutout to Mrs. Hernández and Pastor Jamey Houghton for working so hard to make this trip special for the kids.”

–RMCNews; photo supplied

This article was adapted from a social media post on Mile High Academy’s Facebook page.

12 May

CHALLENGES, HOPES, AND THE FUTURE OF RMC EDUCATION – PART 3

We conclude our three-part series on RMC education with this entry.  In this installment, we focus on our two academies–our boarding academy, Campion, and our day academy, Mile High.  We asked Diane Harris, RMC education director, and Paul Negrete, associate director, how the academies are performing and about the future of the schools.

NN: Looking at our boarding academy Campion, how is the enrollment?

Diane Harris: Campion has grown.

Paul Negrete: The enrollment changed a little bit after January. They had a slight drop in enrollment, but I believe they were in the 150s and are now in the 140s. The trend, though, is continuing to increase.

NN: Campion Academy students have faced a very difficult year with the pandemic disrupting schedules and causing a brief disruption in normal activities and the tragic passing of Timothy Dien.  What are some of the steps RMC education is taking to ensure the mental health of students is a priority?

Diane Harris: The immediate response after the loss of Timothy was to make sure that we were all working together to provide mental health support for them. There were local counselors who stepped up, and then the conference made a commitment that any child who wanted counseling from a licensed counselor in the area would have access. Currently, there are over ten students receiving weekly counseling to support them through the transitions and the difficulties of this year.

NN: Mental health awareness and well-being are important. Are there plans to provide mental health counselors to all students and teachers in the future?

Diane Harris: I’m excited that Mid-America Union applied for a grant that would provide services to our students, teachers, and their families through a licensed counselor, and the grant was approved. We are bringing in a licensed counselor to present to our teachers what will be provided for them next year.

NN: Our day academy Mile High has faced several challenges over the last few years.  This year welcomed a new principal.  How’s enrollment with all the challenges teachers and students went through the last few years.

Paul Negrete: There’s been an increase in enrollment. They weren’t sure what was going to happen from last year to this year, but God blessed.  It was a steady increase throughout the year and they ended up higher than their targeted goal. They are at 217. For next year, they’re being conservative and showing a very small growth.

NN: RMC financially funds Campion Academy with it being the boarding academy.  How does RMC financially support Mile High Academy?

Diane Harris: The conference supports their entire program; however, our subsidy per teacher costs primarily supports the elementary school (K-8 grade).

NN: Mile High Academy is facing a serious teacher shortage with multiple openings.  Should the members be concerned with a high number of openings at one school?

Paul Negrete: If there was a problem, and people were jumping ship, we would be concerned.  The openings were like a convergence of different circumstances that were personal life circumstances. A new baby and a family, and then some were for their families, and that transition was a part of what was happening. When we see this taking place all at one time, and we see that teachers are tearful and saying, I would love to stay, but God is calling me elsewhere. Then we also believe that God is opening that door because something else is about to happen.

If He’s opening the door for them to what looks like a void, it means that He’s opening the door because he’s bringing someone, and we’re pretty excited about that.

NN: There have been some financial challenges at Mile High Academy over the last several years, with two of the constituent churches decreasing their financial support of Mile High Academy.  How is MHA fairing financially?

Diane Harris: I would say the last two years have shown the strongest finances Mile High has had in many years.

Paul Negrete: 2019 was the most challenging year, but the community pulled together. The administration did a very good job of putting the need out there and talking to the community. The last two years, there’s been no debt to the conference.

NN: Most of the academies are either heavily focused on sports or music as their extra- curricular emphasis. What is RMC doing to ensure we are reaching students who are interested in sports or music?

Diane Harris: I think the beauty of our staff is that they look at their students and asks themselves, “Are they artists, or can they build something?” Campion does a really good job in the fine arts and industrial arts program. MHA features their artist at their fundraisers by selling their art.

Paul Negrete: I think we are looking to build our schools, so one of the future plans is building self-navigation programs for students where they can communicate their interests and teachers can be responsive and support their unique journey.  Every student’s passion can be supported at school. That’s really an important step forward because it breaks down the barrier of having silos of students who participate in certain activities and others who are alienated.

NN: What do you want members to know about the future of education in RMC?

Paul Negrete: That our teachers are serious professionals that want to grow in their profession. They believe in the ministry of Adventist education, and they believe in the ministry of bringing people to Christ. We see ourselves as an extension of the church, and we’re doing our job every day, and we’re serious about it, and we want to improve in it. We want to grow our church.

NN: Thank you Diane and Paul for an informative interview about RMC education.

RMCNews; photo supplied

05 May

CHALLENGES, HOPES, AND THE FUTURE OF RMC EDUCATION – PART 2

We continue with our three-part series on RMC education. In this section, we will look at how inflation and the nationwide shortage of teachers are affecting RMC education.  We will also discover how anyone who wishes to enroll their child in an RMC school, can do so regardless of finances. Looking ahead to next week, we will be asking Diane Harris, RMC education director, and Paul Negrete, associate director of education, how RMC’s two academies are faring and about the future of Campion and Mile High Academy.

NN: We know that the economy these days is hard to adjust to, with inflation and the cost of living increases. The cost of Adventist education is continuing to rise every year. Is the Rocky Mountain Conference ensuring Adventist education remains affordable so that any child can attend regardless of finances?

Diane Harris: The beauty of our system is that every one of our school treasurers and principals never want any family to miss attending our schools because of finances. There is the strongest commitment to ensuring that those students are able to come to our school.

Our structure is that our income primarily comes from tuition, either from churches or from parents. There’s a lot of fundraising at our schools to meet the needs of those families who need the extra support.

NN: If there is a family who wishes to send their child to Campion Academy, but they know the finances won’t allow them to send their child, what would be your advice to that family?

Diane Harris: My advice to the family is, do not hesitate to reach out to Campion. There are resources available for any family. Campion works very hard to make sure that finances do not hinder enrollment.

Paul Negrete: This goes for all of our schools. Go take a tour, look at the school and speak to the administration.

They have a variety of ways to help your student get into school. I haven’t heard of any stories at all where a student goes to Campion or any of our schools and, for financial reasons, doesn’t get in.

Diane Harris: Absolutely. Dean Helm at Campion has a passion for working with these families to make sure that they’re able to send their children.

NN: Our school enrollment is increasing, and that brings unique challenges in hiring teachers for the increased number of students.  As of the end of April, RMC has 17 open positions for the next school year. Are you worried?

Diane Harris: At the end of the day, these are God’s schools, and I believe that He has someone for each of these positions. Some of the openings are transitions from teachers within our conference to another school within the conference.

I’m excited about the possibilities. We’re conversing with some strong candidates right now, and this week and next, we’ve got interviews. It’s definitely a time that I’ve never seen before with the number of resumes coming in versus the number of openings that we have.

NN: Other than praying for the fulfillment of these openings, what are some steps RMC members can do concerning these openings?  Can they reach out to teachers they know?

Diane Harris: I think that if they know of someone who is a strong teacher, someone that they are connected to, they could encourage them to explore the option of working in the Rocky Mountain Conference. That’s the best way to recruit.

NN: How about teachers who have recently retired but want to help for a few years.  Would you welcome them to apply?

Diane Harris:  Absolutely, yes!

NN: What happens if these positions don’t get filled?

Diane Harris: Glenwood Springs, for example, would like to reopen, and yet they feel like they would rather stay closed than bring in the wrong candidate. They are trusting in God’s timing. And if now’s not the time to reopen, they will wait until the right candidate comes.

NN: Are there any schools that are in danger of closing because of the teacher shortage?

Paul Negrete: I don’t know that we immediately have any schools in danger of closing. We’ve gone through different scenarios, and maybe at first it looked like that might be an option, but thankfully, I don’t think we’re there yet.

There have been some last-minute people who have come through. The last-minute people are, again, God’s direction, but I think we’re going to be fairly shored up.

We may have to tighten the belt here and there. We may have to combine some classes in some schools and make some adjustments. I don’t think, at least right now, unless something drastically changes, that we’re going to have to close a school.

Diane Harris: Everyone in schools, including our teachers, cares deeply about the families and the students because of their love for Jesus and it’s transmitted into their teaching. I think that’s why we’re growing. And that’s why we’re not without challenges, but I’m really proud of our schools.

–RMCNews; photo supplied

28 Apr

CHALLENGES, HOPES, AND THE FUTURE OF RMC EDUCATION – PART 1

We recently sat down with Diane Harris, RMC director of education, and Paul Negrete, RMC associate director of education, to talk about the challenges and hopes for the future of Adventist education in the Rocky Mountain Conference. That’s part one. Next week we will look at how the economy, inflation, and teacher shortage are affecting RMC schools. And finally, we will ask Harris and Negrete how any family that wishes to enroll their child into Adventist Education can, regardless of finances.

 NewsNuggets: The last two years have been extremely difficult for teachers, and we don’t know what the effects on the mental health of children will be. As we move into post-pandemic time, what are some of the hopes for the future of education in Rocky Mountain Conference schools held by the education department?

Diane Harris: You know, it’s been this dichotomy of post-COVID. This stress has affected our kids because most of them have had someone within their family circle or extended family affected by Covid. They’ve experienced loss to a greater degree than ever before. Our poor teachers are the ones who are dealing with the students who’ve lost grandparents and who have attended funerals and then come to school the next day.

We’ve worked really hard to try to support our teachers. We have made an intentional effort each month to bring all of our headteachers and principals together for a two-hour Zoom session to just connect with them because when we can pour into our leaders, then they’re able to pour into their staff.

And many of our schools are one room. So, for them to be able to connect with other teachers– it’s just been a blessing.

Ironically, our schools have grown, and our enrollment has really grown post-COVID. We have schools wanting to reopen. We have schools wanting to add other teachers. The struggle has been that our access to the number of teachers coming into the education field has not increased at the rate of our growing students. That’s been our biggest challenge.

NewsNuggets: What is the cause of growth, in your opinion?

Diane Harris: I think the cause of the growth has really been that during lockdown, many of the public schools just went purely remote, while we, in the Rocky Mountain Conference, asked all of our churches and schools to follow their local guidelines, so they have been able to meet in person more quickly than the local public schools.

So many of the working families, including many community members, had never heard of Adventists before, but when they heard that we were meeting in person, they enrolled their students. And most of those families have stayed even though the public schools have gone back to in-person learning.

That’s why the schools’ enrollment has really skyrocketed because they’ve been able to meet the needs in a way that was different from the public schools. I think that families are really attracted to our values. Our CHERISH (is an acronym for Christ centered, honor, exploration, responsibility, integrity, service, heroism) core values are something that’s so integrated into our curriculum and into our day-to-day life.  That’s what they’re looking for. That’s what’s keeping them in our system.

NewsNuggets: How are the pastors reaching these community members?

Diane Harris: Our pastors are so incredibly supportive of the schools. I look at Brighton, for instance, and that pastor is at the school several times a week, if not every day, and knows every child by name, and that’s not unique to Brighton, but is also mirrored at other schools.

Our pastors are incredibly supportive of their schools, and much of their church budgets go to support the local school.

–RMCNews; photo supplied

19 Apr

CONSTITUENCY AGENDA APPROVED AT APRIL EXECUTIVE SESSION

RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … The second quinquennial constituency session agenda was approved by the Rocky Mountain Conference Executive Committee at their April 12 meeting.

Most of the general agenda items were related to RMC finances. Darin Gottfried, vice president of finance, presented financial numbers for the first two months of 2022. “The financial report for February showed a base tithe decrease of .79%. However, the churches have sent the Conference almost $180,000 in windfall tithe this year, which gives us an increase in total tithe of 3.19% from 2021. Conference Advance giving is down slightly from the year before; I am hopeful that this offering will start to increase,” he explained.

He added, “Working capital is currently at 4.9 months of reserves on hand. The target/requirement is six months on hand. There are ongoing challenges with inflation at a 40-year high and the pressure that puts on our employees and employment costs. We are blessed, as a conference, with the amazing, ongoing support of the members and pray that God continues to guide us in all financial decisions that are made.”

Doug Inglish presented an update on open pastor positions. They include Littleton associate, Greeley/Windsor Elmhaven lead, Franktown assistant, and Colorado Springs Central senior. Inglish also advised the committee that Mark Phillips has accepted the lead pastor position at the Pinon Hills church district.

The committee voted to send to the Mid-America Union Conference for ordination approval, the names of Shayne Vincent, lead pastor at the Casper, Wyoming district; and Mikey Archibeque, associate pastor at Denver South.

The meeting also discussed RMC’s lay pastor program and voted to approve granting recognition to those who have completed the Lay Pastor Training program requirements. A detailed program was approved that includes completion of the classes, endorsement of the local pastor, approval of the local board, and vote of the Executive Committee to receive a one-year renewable recognition. The members also voted to approve recognition of the following persons under the Lay Pastor Training program, pending approval of local boards and pastors: Patrick Williams, Cedaredge Adventist Church; Paul Willis, Campion Adventist Church; Emmanuel Jean, Agape Haitian Adventist Church; Sandy Carosella, Grand Junction Adventist Church.

Together, with approval of the agenda for the second quinquennial session, the committee voted that the session will be held on August 21, 2022, at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship in Denver, Colorado, and to ask Patty Rivera to serve as prayer advisor at the session.

The constituency agenda includes elections of RMC administration, a k-12 board of education, and membership of the executive committee.  Prior to the session delegates will receive administrative and departmental reports. Changes to the Constitution and By-Laws recommendations will be voted. The session will also discuss and vote on the issue of the ordination of women.  Delegates will be given the option of attending departmental break-out sessions to discuss the mission of the church.

Meeting in Executive Session, the committee discussed the RMC Literature Ministries program. Following recommendations made by the Executive Committee in an Executive Session in February, the LM program was paused until an independent investigation of public accusations was completed. The investigation found that RMC had taken appropriate actions on information they had at the time and that no workplace violations had occurred. The Committee voted to resume the LM program immediately under the direction of Matt Hasty.

The LM program is ramping up for the summer, and Hasty is asking RMC members to pray for the LM leadership team of James Park, Jake Graybill, John Felix, Alexis Rains, and Kassidi Clark.

The next Executive Committee is scheduled for June 14.

–RMCNews; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

14 Apr

REMEMBERING GARY FORCE – LONGTIME PASTOR AND TEACHER IN RMC

RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … Gary Force, longtime pastor and teacher in the Rocky Mountain Conference, fell asleep in Jesus on April 5, 2022, at the age of 71.

He was born to Clifford Clyde and Doris Naomi (Cartwright) Force on March 5, 1951, in Walla Walla, Washington.

He dedicated his life to service, spending more than 40 years in education before transitioning to the ministry. Force taught at numerous Adventist schools, including Mile High Academy and Vista Ridge Academy.

In 2012 Force was called into the ministry when the Rocky Mountain Conference selected him to pastor a five-church district in Buffalo, Wyoming. In 2015, he transitioned to the Pinon Hills and Durango church district. In 2017, he was named the lead pastor at the newly-formed Durango district, including the Durango and Pagosa Springs church.

Eric Nelson, former RMC vice-president of administration, reflected on Gary Force, his friend and colleague, “Gary has been a good friend since just after college days at Walla Walla College.  Although Gary served in the teaching ministry and I in pastoral ministry, we have encouraged, supported, and uplifted each other in God’s service. In the latter years of working in the Rocky Mountain Conference, it was a joy to see him transition from teaching to pastoral ministry and talk often of God’s work in his life and churches.”

Nelson added, “His spiritual strength and dedication will be missed. But his legacy of faithful service to God will continue to inspire all of us who knew him.”

Force retired from full-time ministry in August 2021 when he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to be closer to family and grandchildren. He returned to teaching at College View Academy and Union College for the first semester of the 2021 – 2022 school year.

He is survived by his children Darcy (Russell) Force, Angela (Seth) Ellis, and Daniel (Roxanne) Force; grandchildren Aaron, Peyton, Enoch, Gwendolen, and Lincoln; brothers Michael (Marsha) Force; Tom (Carolyn) Force; sister Kathy (Greg) Saunders; and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Marirose Stanley Force.

A service will be held on April 23, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. at the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that his love of education be honored by giving to a school of the giver’s choice.

–RMCNews; photo supplied

05 Apr

DENVER HOSTS ANNUAL NAD CHURCH FINANCE CONVENTION

RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … Treasury staff, stewardship directors, and planned giving and trust services personnel from various conferences within the North America Division recently met in Denver for the annual Beyond the Bottom Line convention and training.

With the event theme, Transformative Leadership: Thriving in a Changing World, the convention took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 27–29. The gathering allowed conference employees to fellowship, share ideas and techniques, and attend professional-growth classes.

Fellowshipping and sharing best practices were a highlight of the convention for Darin Gottfried, RMC vice president of finance. “I enjoy getting to see other treasury employees and hear about how they are doing things differently and how we might be able to use some of those ideas in RMC. It was a great time of getting to know new people and reconnecting with others that I have known for years.”

The convention was hosted by Southern Adventist University School of Business and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. According to the event’s website, the overall mission is “To offer the highest quality continuing professional education designed to encourage excellence in financial management to the treasury leadership and support staff of conferences, academies, Adventist Book Centers, and institutions within the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.”

A variety of seminars were offered, ranging from stewardship to investing for retirement.

Gottfried appreciated the seminars and feels better equipped to meet the challenges ahead for the church as an organization. “I learned about new challenges that are coming for the church as an organization and ways in which we can meet these challenges.”

–RMCNews; photo by Jon Roberts

31 Mar

2022 RMC CAMP MEETINGS

RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … The annual camp meetings held in the Rocky Mountain Conference have deep roots in Adventism and are a special time that many look forward to with anticipation. Camp meeting is a chance to come together to study God’s Word, rekindle friendships and make new ones, and get re-energized for the year ahead.

The Rocky Mountain Conference has five camp meetings to choose from:

Southeast Colorado camp meeting May 20 – 22

The Power of Love will be the theme for the Southeast Colorado camp meeting held at the Canon City Adventist Church. Speakers include Dwight Nelson, senior pastor at Pioneer Valley Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Clifford Goldstein, editor of Sabbath School Bible Study Guides, and author. For more information and to register, visit https://www.fairplaysdachurch.com/.

Northeast Colorado camp meeting June 3 – 4

The Northeast Colorado camp meeting will be held on the campus of Campion Academy in Loveland, Colorado. The theme will be Our Greatest Need with presenter Hyveth Williams, Professor of Homiletics at Andrews University. For more information, email Michael Goetz, senior pastor Campion Adventist Church at [email protected].

Wyoming camp meeting July 12 – 16

 Wyoming camp meeting will be held at Mills Spring Ranch, located on Casper Mountain. The theme is Be Bold. Dr. Joseph Kidder, Professor of Theology and Discipleship at Andrews Theological Seminary, will be the featured speaker. To register or for more information, visit https://www.millsspringranch.com/wyomingcampmeeting.

Cowboy camp meeting July 13 – 16

If you are looking for a camp meeting off the grid, this is for you. This gathering is located outside of Montrose, Colorado on a gravel road an hour off the main road in the Uncompaghre National Forest. The camp meeting offers two gatherings per day to give you plenty of time to experience the wilderness. The theme and speakers are still being decided.  For more information, visit https://cowboycampmeeting.org/.

Western Slope camp meeting August 3 – 7

The Western Slope camp meeting will feature Dr. Dick Davidson, Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Andrews Theological Seminary. He will be presenting messages on the Sabbath. The location of the camp meeting hasn’t yet been released. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SDAWSCM/.

–RMCNews

09 Mar

MILE HIGH ACADEMY STUDENT ATTEMPTS TO CLIMB AMERICA’S TALLEST MOUNTAIN

RMCNews with MHANews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Mile High Academy’s fifth-grader Bailey, recently returned to Colorado after spending two weeks in Argentina attempting to be the youngest female to summit Mount Aconcagua, which stands at over 22,000 feet, making it the tallest mountain outside of Asia.

When the family began planning their adventure, Bailey’s parents reached out to MHA, stating that Bailey wanted to turn her hike into a fundraiser for the music department.

“Bailey truly and passionately loves music, and it was hard during COVID to not have an official music teacher,” said Trisha, Bailey’s mother. “She is thankful to have one [now] and the Christmas concert was amazing. Bailey felt the donation would really make an impact on the music department, which is a class she looks forward to each week.”

It took the family three days of hiking to reach base camp, followed by intense eight-to-ten-hour days of hiking toward the summit. The family recalls memories of the trip, including hiking to a lake and going into a glacier tunnel.

“Hiking these high-altitude mountains is incredibly challenging, but the best part is we get to tackle them as a family,” said Trisha. “We train daily and spend our weekends hiking, so it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s all worth it when the hike comes. We feel that life is all about experiences, and we definitely had a lot of experiences on the hike.”

Unfortunately, the family wasn’t able to make it to the summit. During a rush down the mountain due to extremely bad weather, Miles, the father, fell and severely sprained his knee. He needed emergency evacuation, experienced knee inflammation, and had to undergo physical therapy. In total, Bailey walked up 18,200 feet before being evacuated.

In total, more than $3000 was raised, which will help MHA refurbish instruments within the music department and purchase new items that will continue to grow the MHA music program.

“Bailey’s smile and energy are such an inspiration at MHA,” said Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal. “We were cheering her and her family on their adventure and have enjoyed her stories now that she is back home with us again. We are also grateful for God’s healing hand and that Miles didn’t sustain a worse injury. A huge thank you to all the donors for their generosity and the kind donations to our music department. And a special thank you to Bailey and her parents for their kindness in turning their experience into a fundraising opportunity for our school. The donations received will help our music department grow through proper refurbishment and the purchase of several new items. Thank you, Bailey!”

When asked if they plan to hike Mt. Aconcagua again, Trisha said, “Yes, we are in talks to try it again in the next year or so. We learned a lot. Bailey knows that you don’t always succeed at everything your first time, but you need to learn from it, try again, and never give up!”

–RMCNews with MHANews; photos supplied

This article was adapted from an article in Mile High Academy’s newsletter.

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