11 Oct


By Cathy Kissner – Loveland, Colorado … “One of the first things I noticed is that it helped me sharpen practices, tools I use every week as a pastor, learning to listen, to help people in crisis through the immediate moments that are so critical,” Wayne Morrison, Brighton Adventist church pastor, commented on the recent crisis care training he attended the last week in September.

The Rocky Mountain Conference Adventist Community Services hosted the crisis care training at Campion Adventist church. The class teaches individuals to care for the wounded soul, not just during a disaster incident, but throughout the walk of life as Christ instructs us to care for the wounded children of His family.

Individuals attending the event included RMC conference office employees, pastors, and ACS leaders.

“This training was a valuable aid in supporting us to think about the example of Christ’s compassion in service. The more we can think and act according to these teachings, the closer we will be to serving as our Father wishes us to,” Jason Tuzinkewich, Colorado Springs ACS director, said.

Tuzinkewich added that the classes provide two critical assets. “The first is to facilitate the development of a paradigm and framework to bring more spiritual support to our clients in various states of distress and need. Secondly, it was a valuable forum for us to get to know other leaders within the conference, thus strengthening our network of support.”

The experience was informative and a class that will help with reaching the community.

“I recently had the opportunity to take part in the ACS Crisis Care training, and it was a great experience. What I experienced was an awareness of the potential to use the training to be at the point of greatest need for those in crisis. I am excited about the opportunity to minister to people, the love and hope that is ours in Jesus,” Morrison said.

Future trainings are being planned.  If you would like to know more information about ACS classes offered in RMC, please contact Cathy Kissner at [email protected].

–Cathy Kissner is RMC ACS coordinator; picture by Mickey Mallory

07 Apr

ACS responds to Boulder tragedy

RMCNews with Cathy Kissner – Boulder, Colorado … Responding to the tragedy which took place in mid-March in Boulder, Adventist Community Services was asked by the City of Boulder to provide spiritual care counseling for victims or residents who need to discuss the events they witnessed or that happened within their city.

Answering the request, four RMC members, trained in spiritual care counseling, immediately reacted.

For Mickey Mallory, one of the counselors who responded, the experience is one he will not soon forget.

“When I received crisis care training in the summer of 2019, the thought never crossed my mind that someday I might be used to assist with crisis care counseling after a mass shooting. I thought maybe [I would help with] a fire or tornado, but never anything like what just happened in Boulder,” Mallory said.

The team of counselors, including Rick Mautz, Mickey Mallory, and Larry and Bev Brandt, was happy to share the love of Jesus with those who were hurting because of an evil and senseless act of violence.

“While I did not have any direct involvement with any of the victims, I did allow one of them to use my laptop computer in order to sign up for financial assistance. Just to know I could help in such a small way made me feel very grateful,” Mallory commented.

Mallory added that the experience was one of unity among all agencies working toward the common goal of showing the love of Jesus. “To be given the opportunity to partner with agencies from around the state of Colorado like the Red Cross, was a tremendous privilege. It reminded me that sometimes tragedy has a way of bringing people from various organizations together for a common cause.”

If you are interested in training to be a spiritual care counselor for future disasters, please contact Cathy Kissner at: [email protected] or 970-201-3799.

–RMCNews with Cathy Kissner, RMC Adventist Community Services director; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

17 Dec


By Cathy Kissner – Loveland, Colorado … The Cameron Peak Fire Recovery Center was bolstered on December 7 by Denver Channel 7 News who collected donations for those affected by the Cameron Peak Fire that burned areas around Red Feather, Glen Haven, and Estes Park west of Fort Collins. The largest fire in Colorado, it took more than four months for fire crews to get the fire contained. After burning more than 200,000 acres, it left 40 homes completely destroyed and more than 200 homes with heavy smoke damage.

“This is one of the largest donations we have ever received from a news channel,” explained Cathy Kissner, director of Adventist Community Services and Disaster Relief for the Rocky Mountain Conference. “The people affected by this fire will receive these much-needed items which will help in their recovery as they find new footing and a new normal for their lives.”

Donations were delivered to the Adventist Community Services Disaster Response Center in the Outlet Mall of Loveland for the Cameron Peak Fire Recovery where site manager June Spaulding and her team were happy to receive them. Among items donated were new pillows, washcloths, diapers, shovels, rakes, lawn carts, tools, and hoses.

The Center has also received quilts and comforters from a quilting club and from the ACS Center in Loveland.

The Distribution Center will continue to be open until December 28 to serve those impacted by the Cameron Peak fire.

–Cathy Kissner is RMC ACS director; photos supplied

21 Oct


By Cathy Kissner – Grants Pass, Oregon … Members of the Rocky Mountain Conference Adventist Community Service Disaster Rapid Response Leadership team were requested, on October 1, to assist the North Pacific Union Conference and the Oregon Conference in the recovery of the wildfires impacting the State of Oregon.

Their responsibility was to establish and oversee the opening of a multi-agency warehouse to assist the southern Oregon recovery from the wildfires, and to train members of the Oregon and North Pacific Union Conference.

“We were determined to complete the set-up in the time allotted,” Cathy Kissner, RMC ACS leader, said.   “There were many obstacles that had to be met and overcome.   The State of Oregon as well as the North Pacific Union Conference and Oregon Conference had never set up a Multi-Agency Warehouse.”

The group established the volunteer area, office, sorting, receiving, shipping and inventoried areas.  The team wanted to make sure that when the operation of the warehouse was transferred to local leadership, they would be able to operate the multi-agency warehouse with minimal difficulty.

The team is concerned about the unfolding situation in Colorado and Wyoming with the ongoing wildfires.

“We are monitoring all the CO/WY fires.  Larimer County has requested ACS DR to assist with donations management.   The county is looking for a 55,000 square foot facility that can be used as a collection/distribution site as well as a staging area,” Kissner said.

To become a member of the Rapid Response Leadership requires classes in donation operation, multi-agency warehouse and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) classes on leadership.  If you are interesting becoming a member please contact:  Cathy Kissner at [email protected]

–Cathy Kissner is RMC director of Adventist Community Services; photos supplied