12 Sep

Baptisms Blessed 2019 Summer Camps

The RMC 2019 Summer Camp team was blessed to be a part of eight campers baptisms. Marisol, Isabel, Charles, Kailee, Jeneane, Eowyn, Heath, and Freedom all made the incredible decision to give their lives to Jesus and chose to be baptized at summer camp! Our Assistant Camp Director, Eddie Hall, chose to be re-baptized at the end of summer camp surrounded by his summer camp family.

One parent shared a conversation with their child after camp. The camper said, “It’s the most I’ve learned about the Bible my whole life. I want to get baptized summer. Can i go again next year?”

We are so thankful to be a part of these incredible moments in kids lives. Making it easy for kids to know God is the best part of summer camp!

Jessyka Dooley, Camp Director; video supplied by Calvin Serban

12 Sep

House Groups Inspiring Unity at Mile High Academy

Energy, excitement and most importantly a passion for Christ-centered education abounds this year at Mile High Academy. The year theme “Faith Can Move Mountains” was unveiled to more than 220 students as they encircled the MHA campus during the school’s annual Prayer Walk.

“God continues to bless our students and school,” said Jamie Frain, VP of School Culture. “We are so thankful to start the year with Him taking center stage on campus.”

MHA is continuing to expand ways to ensure students feel welcome and a part of the school’s community. One such contributor to the feeling of community and school ownership is the implementation of House Groups. The core guidelines for House Groups is based on The Ron Clark Academy House System. Ron Clark Academy (RCA) is a highly acclaimed, nonprofit middle school in Southeast Atlanta that has received both national and international recognition for its success in educating students.

“Our MHA faculty and staff have visited the RCA campus to best implement the House System,” said Frain. “It was clear that their student sense of belonging is strong. We knew implementing a similar system on our campus would further strengthen relationships at MHA.  Thanks to the NAD Education Department for providing the initial Ron Clark Academy Professional Development experience.”

 

MHA lower school students have been placed in House Groups according to which house their teachers joined. 6thgrade and new students were randomly assigned to a house group by use of a spinning color wheel. Middle and upper schools will remain in their respective House Group until their graduation from Mile High Academy. House Groups are also identified by t-shirts in their respective color. Visitors to Mile High Academy will see these shirts on Spirit Days and Fridays.

The four House Groups have a distinguishing Bible verse, tagline and CHERISH value specific to Mile High Academy. They are as follows:

ASMUND: Protector

  • Color: Black
  • Bible Text: Galatians 6:4-5 “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
  • Tagline: Only those who dare to fail greatly ever achieve greatly
  • CHERISH Value: House of Exploration

AVODAH: Work/Worship/Serve

  • Color: Red
  • Bible Text: Romans 12:10-11 “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.”
  • Tagline: Honor, serve, love
  • CHERISH Value: House of Honor/Service

LEOCOR: Lion Heart

  • Color: Purple
  • Bible Text: Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the righteous are bold as lions.”
  • Tagline: Rise and rise again until lambs become lions
  • CHERISH Value: House of Heroism

VERITAS: Truth

  • Color: Green
  • Bible Text: Ephesians 3:17-18 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ.”
  • Tagline: Rooted in Christ; Growing in Truth
  • CHERISH Value: House of Integrity/Responsibility

A point system, based on both team and individual points, is tracked and tallied together to determine the winning House at the end of the year. Points are earned through good character, academic achievement, school spirit, outstanding performance, effort, teamwork, humility, compassion and responsibility. Teachers, staff and even students can notify the appropriate team leader to request points be awarded.

“We want Mile High Academy to be a school known for promoting positive, inspiring relationships for our students,” said Chris Morris, Middle School Teacher and House Group Coordinator. “Our House Groups allow for every student to be teamed with caring adults and fellow MHA students to instill a feeling of pride, promote doing the right thing, and belonging in our school.”

— written by Karrie Meyers; photos supplied

12 Sep

Students Commune With God at Mountain Church

On Sabbath, September 7, all of the students got on buses to go out and spend time in God’s second book, nature. Students could choose between three options during their visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. The first bus took people to a rigorous hike to Loch Lake. The second bus took people to Bear lake which was more relaxing, but just as beautiful. The last option took students to the top of Trail Ridge Road, where they climbed many stairs to the top of the peak. A few students shared their experiences of how they saw God while in the mountains.

Jordyn D., sophomore, says, “Pastor Goetz shared with us this verse, Psalm 121:1-2 which says, ‘I lift my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ It really helped me understand that God made the mountains, and created us to enjoy and marvel at all of his beautiful creations. It made me feel truly small compared to everything around me and I am so grateful that I was able to be in God’s presence while I marveled at his creation.”

Erick M., senior, says, “I took the bus up Trail Ridge Road and was able to get an amazing view at the top. Seeing all the huge peaks and deep valleys God has created made me feel pretty small and insignificant in comparison. However, being up there was an awesome reminder that God cares about and loves me deeply, no matter how powerless or small I feel.”

Beverly O., senior, says, “During mountain church, I had a wonderful experience. Hiking up the mountains with friends, and seeing the waterfalls made me see the real beauty and power of God. It reminded me of the verse Isaiah 43:2. That even in the deepest waters, God gave me rocks for stability in faith and in trust.”

Blessing S., sophomore, says, “Being in the mountains reminded me of how God is my rock and can hold me through any time. I could see how much of a great God he is. My God created the world and made wonderful things for me to enjoy. I loved looking into the waterfall. When I saw my reflection, it reminded me that I was made in his image, and I am a reflection of him.”

Adrianna Campbell, Senior, Student Editor; photos supplied

05 Sep

Pins, Friendships and Joy of Pathfinder Lifestyle Celebrated at Oshkosh Camporee

For tens of thousands of Seventh-day Adventist young people, the 2019 summer centered on preparation for and participation in a mega event – an International Pathfinder Camporee is hosted in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Held every five years, the 2019 gathering, themed “Chosen,” graced the church with yet another event gathering 58,000 people from some 100 countries around the world.

Among the crowd, 584 people from Rocky Mountain Conference were in attendance. Pathfinders experienced festive food, hundreds of honors, extravagant evening programming, and friendships that will last a lifetime. Despite the large size of the International Camporee, RMC Pathfinders were able to grow closer to one another, their club leaders and other Pathfinder leadership. As already reported, among the over 1,300 baptisms, 15 young people from the RMC region were also baptized.

Participants in the Oshkosh event inhabited tents, campers, trailers and motor homes for 6 days while participating in a variety of activities ranging from March and Drill competitions to the educational hanger and an evening program to end all programs depicting the story of David. There was something for everyone, old and young.

Rocky Mountain Conference proudly showed up with an enthusiastic group from all thee states – Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. This camporee RMC provided Frisbee golf as an activity led by Billy and Paula Nelson and the Teen Representatives, Amelia Zimmerman, Chase Rodriguez, Betsy Mira and Christian Lechleitner, as well other teens and staff. RMC’s assigned camping area was right in the middle of Mid America Union Conference (MAUC), and we stood as the second largest conference in MAUC, just behind the group from Minnesota, who “beat” our team with just only four more participants.

For thousands of Pathfinders, the Camporee was about collecting … pins. RMC’s trading pin was a great hit, several collectors remarked. Our constituents sold out at 4,200 collectible items. The entrance to our Conference area depicted our trading pin and groups of Pathfinders from all over stopped-by to take their picture in front of it.

We were nicely surprised to see the Hamilton girls, Katie and Ashley, (shown in the picture), daughter’s of the former RMC youth director, Steve Hamilton, now living in Paradise, California, said Chris Hill, named the “RMC Pathfinder Queen.”

They were excited to stand in front of an entrance for a moment of picture taking. “We came to search out RMC,” Katie said to Chris. “We are Home now!” Ironically, that is the RMC theme this year – “Home”.

Our gratitude goes to Dan Hansen for the idea of using our trading pin design as an entrance, and to Kathy Dorn Walker for painting an awe inspiring picture, as well to Papa Don Hill, Dwight Laubscher, Dewayne Bohlender and Greg Gage for constructing it.

The “Chosen” Camporee will be well remembered. At least for the next five years as we all will beat the record of the 2019, and wait for a Grand Camporee in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Chris Hill with Jessyka Dooley; photos by Chris Hill, NAD, MAUC and Rajmund Dabrowski

05 Sep

Campion Seniors Learn To Trust Each Other and God

At the end of August, the senior class of 2020 left for a highly anticipated four-day trip to Rocky Mountain’s Glacier View Ranch. Senior Survival

has been a tradition at Campion for many years, and a key moment for bonding. The theme for the weekend was trusting in others, yourself, and God.

The journey up the mountain was challenging because the bus only took us so far, and then we had to take our packs for the week and hike the remainder of the distance. Once we made it to the campsite, our next challenge was making a shelter. We were provided two tarps for rain protection, stakes, and twine. Many chose to sleep in hammocks but some were brave enough to sleep on the ground.

Each day consisted of many challenging team-bonding activities. Our class was split into three groups which separated typical friend groups. The activities were challenging mentally and physically. They required us to put trust in our teammates.

Each night after the activities were completed, a campfire was built and everyone gathered around. A short worship was given by our chaplain Mrs. Eickmann, and then the time was given over to the class for discussion. Some nights we would go around and tell funny stories, or we would share our greatest struggle. Even people who were typically quiet opened up. We repeated the saying, “What is said on the mountain, stays on the mountain.”

Commenting on the experience, Grant, a senior, said, “Everyone was open and honest. We had such a good time telling stories, laughing and crying together, and getting closer to each other and to God. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.”

Megan Michalenko, Senior, Student Editor; photo CA Newsletter

03 Sep

RMC Pastor’s Marriage Retreat Features “Compulsory Time Together”

Twenty-five pastoral couples met in Breckenridge, CO for the Rocky Mountain Conference Pastors’ Marriage Retreat, August 23-25. The couples enjoyed a weekend of fun and insightful seminars, with opportunities to relish the beautiful scenery as they spent needed quality time with their spouses. The gathering was a testimony that the Conference prioritizes family when involved in the ministry. “We were truly blessed attending the event,” was a common comment after the get together ended.

As guest speakers the retreat featured Drs. Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, directors of the North American Division Family Ministries Department. With the hotel located within walking distance of downtown Breckenridge, the pastoral couples were able to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants.

On Friday, the dinner was followed by the first seminar presented from the ‘Love For A Lifetime’ series by Consuegras. On Sabbath morning, the couples enjoyed a delicious breakfast, followed by a second seminar. After lunch, the couples had a great time exploring the beautiful city of Breckenridge via the free gondola ride. Once at the top, the participants were greeted by beautiful vistas of the surrounding valley.

The Consuegra seminars were well received by all the participants. Their vast knowledge and experience in the ministry, their many years of research, as well as their fun presentations, gave the pastoral couples an opportunity to connect with each other on a deep, personal level, as the couples were encouraged to spend more time together during the event.

These presentations had a good dose of humor, commented Leif Hansen from Estes Park, who attended the gathering with his wife, Donna. “Being a very visual learner, I especially appreciated their occasional use of cartoons to make an important point. The one that especially struck me in its depiction of the never-ending dilemmas of separation/divorce was a picture of two goldfish in a small fishbowl. The female fish was telling the male fish, “I am leaving you! You can have the bowl, I’ll take the water and the pretty colored rocks.”

The weekend program included a variety of topics discussed during the gathering, including, The Love Bank, His and Hers Most Important Needs; How Changes Happen; How to Apologize and Forgive, as well as communication and conflict resolution.

Emily Roque-Cisneros, the wife of Eliezer, who is a pastor of Delta, Cedaredge and Peonia congregations, said that her “favorite part of the retreat was getting to spend some mandatory time with my husband! I mean that in a good way. I enjoyed getting my husband’s full attention for the weekend, knowing he wasn’t distracted by projects at home or expecting his phone to ring at any moment.”

“To love others is not a command for an emotional response, but rather, a choice to care for others regardless of our feelings,” commented Shayne Mason Vincent, pastor of Casper, Wyoming.

It would be remiss to not acknowledge Pastor Tom and his wife, Gingerlei Tupito, who attended the Pastors’ Marriage Retreat. Gingerlei sadly passed only two days after the retreat, due to a heart attack and complications from an emergency heart surgery. Tom and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Gabriela Vincent; photos by Emily Roque Cisneros and Gabriela Vincent

03 Sep

Well-Spent Summer for HMS Teachers

There were some noticeable changes for students and parents when the HMS Richards staff opened their doors on the first day of school this month. Despite the fact that it had been summer vacation, if you drove by campus in Loveland, you may have noticed that the HMS parking lot was rarely empty. The elementary school staff spent countless hours this summer meeting with students and families, as well as cleaning up and remodeling several areas of the school.

Principal Paul Bragaw made it a goal this summer to meet with each student’s family to get to know them better, find out their desires for their children’s education, and pray with them. “I wanted to do this because it’s important to get a better understanding of who our students and families are by seeing another part of their lives,” Bragaw commented.

While Bragaw says he has been able to meet with just over half the families this summer, he plans to continue during the fall semester and revisit with families as often as possible. “Communication is everything,” Bragaw explained. “We’ve been able to realize the needs and desires of families and individual students, and this has inspired me to work harder to make a difference for these kids and their parents by making our school better.”

With enrollment numbers continuing to be strong this year having enough space in the building remains an issue. All of the teachers spent time during the month of June sorting through bookshelves and closets, getting rid of any unnecessary items. The large storage closet at the end of the hall was completely emptied and turned into a much-needed teacher workroom.

“We actually cleaned out every square inch of the entire building,” Bragaw said. “There are some storage areas that many people don’t know about where 40-50 years’ worth of stuff has been piling up. We have gone through it all, either throwing it away, selling it at the yard sale, or organizing it to make better use of space.”

One of the biggest changes that took place was the renovation of the seventh and eighth-grade classrooms. Last school year, a temporary partition was installed upstairs to provide an additional classroom for kindergarten in what was formerly the principal’s office and a storage area. Before leaving this summer, Davin Hammond, with the help of Kim Melanbacher and Ken Albertsen, was able to complete a permanent wall to separate the two classrooms.

Carey Jordan, the incoming seventh and eighth-grade teacher, along with her family and several volunteers, then spent weeks stripping and even re-plastering the old walls, painting, replacing ceiling tiles, purchasing new bookshelves and tables, and overall providing a complete face-lift for the classroom.

“It was really important to me to have a classroom environment that was well-organized and conducive to learning,” Jordan explained. “I enjoyed changing the space and making it my own. It’s been a really great start to the year, the students have responded well to the new classroom environment. It’s paid off; having a well-organized space has helped the students learn our procedures and we have been able to get started into real learning.”

School is now underway, and the halls and classrooms are filled with the happy chatter of children who are warmly welcomed by the HMS teachers who care so deeply about them and providing a healthy and Christ-centered learning environment. Please pray for our church’s school as we start the new school year.

–By Jill Harlow, photo by Carey Jordan

27 Aug

Boulder Adventist Church Continues Its 140-year Legacy

Boulder Adventist Church recently marked its 140-year anniversary. Displayed on a wall of the lower floor of the church, between Connect Group classrooms, is a plaque commemorating part of the history of Boulder Adventist Church. It states that the church was organized in 1879 and its congregation was meeting first in the home of Henry Pierce at 905 Arapaho. It was on August 2, 1879 that makes the Boulder congregation the oldest to be organized in Colorado. 

The first church building was constructed a year later at the southeast corner of Broadway and Mapleton. The congregation moved to a brick structure at 7th and Highland in 1898. The present church was built in 1949 on the southeast corner of the original Boulder-Colorado Sanitarium and Hospital property. The ceremony for laying the cornerstone was attended by several hundred people. 

Settled by the early prospectors in an attractive area of the Rockies, and what today is known as Wild West, the region was frequently visited by the early Adventist pioneers and over the years, the Adventist community became known for health-related activities, as well as its educational presence. The early denominational pioneers held numerous outreach activities, and Ellen G. White spoke at a temperance rally.

The work of one unnamed man in Montrose, combined with established congregations in Boulder, Longmont (1880), and Denver (circa 1880), and the presence of James and Ellen White, who held the first formal series of Adventist meetings in the history of Colorado, as well as setting up a personal summer retreat in the state in 1872, led to the 1882 establishment of the Colorado Conference.

The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia details when the church was established in Boulder. “At Boulder on Aug 2, 1879, a church of 26 was organized – the first in Colorado – and a Sabbath school of 40. At St. Vrain a church of 13 was formed in October,” (p. 330).

Involved in leading a fledgling church organization, with James White being president of the General Conference, the Whites, an itinerant missionary couple, were present in Boulder on August 2, 1879 the day when the church was organized. “The Whites returned to Colorado in the summer of 1879 following a mule drive by wagon train from Dallas, Texas. They were in Boulder when the Seventh-day Adventist church was organized on August 2,” (See: Del L. Johnson, in: Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, p. 726).

The church has continued to develop over time, changing quite dramatically in terms of the demographics of the congregation and the focus of the ministry. Gary Nowlan, who joined the Boulder congregation in the 1960, notes “how things changed from many members living close enough they walked to church to now when very few members even live in Boulder. I’ve been a member long enough to see the evolution of the church service from very formal to very contemporary.”  

Commenting on the 140 years of the church, its community influence – healthful living, medical work, education – and the evolution of the church’s presence, Gary says, “In my view, there is a core of persons who have been members for many years and who are very loyal to the Boulder Church.” 

Gary notes the resiliency of Adventist Boulderians. “That core of believers, joined by many others, is willing to adapt to changing times. We may not always like the changes but are willing to accept them for the sake of a flourishing church. A church needs young people and children to flourish. If the changes help to attract young adults and children, we are willing to accept the changes,” Gary adds.

For Gary, and others in the congregation, the continuum of the church is a reflection of the mission-oriented pioneers, many of whom were young and engaged in making the world a better place. “I believe this attitude toward young people and children has been an important part of the character of the Boulder Church during the time I have been a member.”

Reflecting on the 140th anniversary, there are many reasons for maintaining and enhancing the presence of Seventh-day Adventism in the important city of Boulder and not many, if any, for abandoning it.

Rajmund Dabrowski, text and photos

 

 

 

27 Aug

Increase in Tithe Reported; Plans Presented for “Total Health” Center in Denver at RMC Executive Committee

Summer months in the Rocky Mountain Conference did not slow down church activities. Reporting on past and current developments, Ed Barnett, RMC president, informed the members of the RMC executive committee, August 20, of his personal involvement with the largest to-date Pathfinder Camporee at Oshkosh, with more than 55,000 pathfinders participating.

“Not only that our conference young people were well represented, and we had nearly 600 of them there, but it was exciting to mingle with and meet participants from 100 countries,” he said. Over 1,300 baptisms became the most memorable feature of the camporee, next to old friendships revived and new friendships made.
Barnett also said that this year’s camp meeting season is coming to conclusion with the Hispanic Camp Meeting at Glacier View Ranch on August 30-September 2. “These meetings are important for hundreds of our church members who are being enriched spiritually and socially,” he said.

In his report, Barnett welcomed Becca Brown who has joined the Communication Department after Carol Bolden “decided to enjoy her retirement” after many years as a member of the RMC office staff. For Fritz Krieger, pastor of Montrose, the committee meeting was last as its member. He is retiring by the end of August.
George Crumley, RMC VP for finance, reported that RMC’s total tithe through the month of July was $10,162,765, a 9.10% increase over the prior year. “The major reason for such a strong tithe is that we have received unanticipated tithe, which we call windfall tithe. Even though our tithe has had a good increase so far in 2019, our RMC Advance offerings are down by 13.89%. This is an important offering to support because it provides money for many areas that we cannot use tithe for,” Crumley said. “Because of the increase in tithe so far this year we have a good bottom line increase. This allows us to provide for areas of ministry that are critical” to our mission, he added.

The committee expressed gratitude the Lord for the Mile High Academy debt reduction from cash and pledges that were reported in NewsNuggets on July 12. “A number of committed individuals worked together to make this a reality which we are deeply grateful for,” Crumley commented.

As the Adventist Book Center winds down operations, the committee voted to move ahead in the first part of 2020 with a “Total Health, Support and Resource Center” which will be housed in the space that the ABC will vacate. This will be a ministry where health coaching, seminars, training, and screenings can be presented. The proposed center will be run by volunteers and overseen by Rick Mautz, RMC health director. “We are hoping this will be a great blessing to our community and the conference as a whole,” Crumley said.

Eric Nelson, RMC VP for administration, informed the committee about an ongoing search for church and district pastoral needs for Craig/Steamboat, Montrose, Denver-South, Eden Valley congregations. The following pastoral positions were filled:
– Gillette district welcomes Lester Bentley,
– Canon City welcomes John Davidson,
– Arkansas Valley/Lamar welcomes Ted Williams,
– Boulder welcomes Jennifer Ogden, and
– Franktown is to welcome Michael Luchak as an associate pastor in the month of December.

The committee voted Don Lopes and Milos Tomic to be recommended to Mid-American Union Conference for ordination.
RMC education superintendent, Lonnie Hetterle presented a report on the developments in the area of RMC education. New teachers are being welcomed in several school locations. All teaching and school administration staff attended an annual three-day in-service Teacher’s Convention held at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship church in Denver. He affirmed that Mile High & Campion Academies are beginning the new academic year with strong enrollment. He also shared that three schools – Pueblo, Durango and Glenwood Springs – will not be operating this coming year. However, these churches have the vision to open again soon to minister to young people in their area.

The committee was also informed that 140 years ago, on August 2, 1879, a Seventh-day Adventist congregation was established in Boulder, first in the state of Colorado, just four years before the Colorado Conference was organized.

The next meeting of executive the first committee is planned for October 8.

RMCNews; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

25 Aug

School Safety and Community-relevant Issues Featured at RMC Teacher’s Convention

A three-day In-service Teachers’ Convention brought over 100 Rocky Mountain Conference educators to LifeSource Adventist Fellowship in Denver, August 4-6. The group represented 17 elementary schools and two academies. The convention began with an orientation for the six teachers new to Rocky Mountain Conference.

The spiritual tone for each day was set by LifeSource pastors, Andy Nash and Seth Day. Expert educator, and a vice president at Southwestern University, Steve Stafford, was the featured speaker for the in-service convocation. Stafford’s presentations concentrated on “teacher self-care” and being “the best you, you can be”. His passion and fun-loving spirit were contagious, providing the RMC teachers with much-appreciated thoughts and tips.


As part of the agenda, teachers were challenged by two officers from Denver Public Schools on the topic of school safety. They presented several practical ideas to help our schools by providing the safest place possible for students and staff. Johnnathan Ward, head of Ministry and Mission, and head chaplain at Avista Adventist Hospital presented “Compassion Fatigue,” a topic important to all caregivers, including teachers. The teachers returned to their schools better prepared to recognize and manage stress throughout the school year.

Jessica Eubanks, a new teacher at Colorado Springs, commented, “I was very impressed with all the speakers at this year’s teaching convention. The information given was relevant, personable and up-to-date. I loved the self- care attribute that the whole conference seemed to be based on. As teachers, we live to serve others, our students, our parents, and our co-workers and staff, but we don’t always remember to take care of ourselves. If we don’t take of ourselves, then we are not able to serve others.”


The 2019 convention final session included pastors of local Adventist congregations who joined a discussion about the current challenges and opportunities involving issues which relate to the LGBTQ community, which impact both Adventist schools and churches.
Ed Barnett, RMC president concluded the convention with a challenge and a prayer of dedication for our teachers as they begin the new school year.

Pat Chapman, administrative assistant in the RMC education department, who attended RMC teacher’s conventions for more than 20 years, said “this was one of the best and most relevant I have been part of. We have incredible, committed teachers, who spend every day reflecting Jesus to the students they teach, being supported, affirmed and cared for in an educational culture that reflects our Adventist values and belief system.”


Lonnie Hetterle, photo supplied