07 Jun


Amelia Zimmerman – Loveland, Colorado … Eating healthy is a common desire for many in the Northern Colorado area. Wholesome Bites* was created with this in mind.

“I feel very happy that we can be part of the Loveland community,” assistant manager Sarah Sykora commented. After six months of planning, preparing, and prayer, the store is open to the public.

Wholesome Bites offers a wide selection of plant-based grocery items including refrigerated and frozen foods. From hearty granolas to pizza and empanadas, instant soups and ice cream, the store offers a variety of ready-to-eat sandwiches, salads, and desserts that are perfect for those looking for a quick meal on the go. The store also sells fresh produce from Eden Valley Farm.

Wholesome Bites opened its doors to the community on June 5. Opening day was a success with over 70 customers coming to visit the store. Community members shared their excitement for the store.

“I think this store is great, it’s so needed,” a customer remarked.

Grab-and-Go items were a popular choice for those who came on opening day.

“My favorite is the lemon bar,” a young customer shared. “I’m so happy that you guys have grab and go items because I always forget to pack my lunch!” another customer said.

Sykora stated one of the goals of Wholesome Bites is “to make healthy eating something that is quick and easy.” The staff of Wholesome Bites wants it to be a place where people can come to feel happy, healthy, and whole.

The newly opened store is located at 1213 West Eisenhower Boulevard in Loveland, Colorado. Their hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.

The store strives to help people in their quest for physical, mental, and spiritual health. The staff of Wholesome Bites can’t wait to see you and solicit your prayers as they seek to serve God in the community.

—Amelia Zimmerman is a volunteer at Wholesome Bites. Photos supplied.

*Eden Valley Wholesome Bites is an independent service not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorized, or sponsored by Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

07 Jun


Kelly Koppelmann Waller – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … We have all heard of organizations being referred to as a “family.” Many truly are, especially in the culture of Adventism. No matter where you go, usually you can find an old friend or a friend of a friend, and it’s comforting to have that place to belong.

Mile High Academy (MHA), a preschool through twelfth grade school in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, is definitely a family. In May, MHA closed out their 109th year of educating the young people of the Seventh-day Adventist community. While that fact alone is impressive, there was something extra-special about MHA’s senior class of 2023.

“Being able to attend MHA was so special to me, because my mom also attended MHA, making me a second-generation alumnus,” says 2023 graduate Kaylynn Linser. “It shows the impact of MHA’s community, and how it’s not just a school, it’s a family. And being able to grow up in that family has been such an amazing gift.”

Out of a class of 17 students, six of them had at least one parent who graduated from MHA. Furthermore, five of the six “legacy students” attended our school continuously from preschool/kindergarten through twelfth grade. One of the legacy students is even a fourth-generation MHA student, as her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother also attended the academy.

Making such a commitment is not an easy task, and that is definitely recognized. “We [Gloria and Tiffiny] realize the sacrifice that people have to put forth in order to receive an Adventist education. But if we didn’t believe in the value of Adventist education (MHA specifically), we wouldn’t have had four generations come through the doors of MHA. We love our school!” shares Gloria Gates Cross, who was a member of Mile High Academy’s first high school graduating class in 1965.”

Another parent echoed the sentiment. “We sacrificed financially to have both of our children in Adventist education,” said Kevin Waller. “The loving teachers and their positive influence on our kids made the tuition a little easier to pay.”

The MHA family extends much further than the class of 2023. “MHA has had a generational impact on my family,” says Jay Eno. “My wife and I both attended and met in high school. My three kids all attended from preschool to twelfth grade. My sister-in-law and brother have taught there. My nieces and nephews also attended MHA. Added up, the Eno family has over a century of experience at Mile High Academy.”

During the 2022-2023 school year, 18% of students across all grades had at least one parent who attended MHA. There are also seven members of staff who are alumni, all of whom chose MHA for the education of their own children.

—Kelly Koppelmann Waller is the RMC conference clerk, executive assistant for administration, and the ministerial administrative assistant. Kelly was a teacher at Mile High Academy from 1996-2001. Photo supplied.

07 Jun


By Ubaldo Gonzalez

I wasn’t Seventh-day Adventist as of May 2022. My family and I were attending the Baptist Church for more than 10 years. I considered our church to have good doctrine and scholars who knew the Scriptures, but, as in all places, there was wheat and tares. But I liked the fellowship with those who served the Lord from the heart, abiding by all that they knew.

My experience with church life has been extensive and varied. I gave my life to Jesus in 1992 at the Foursquare Church. I was a young man full of problems, but I found the solution to my struggles in Jesus Christ. Although I found deliverance from many of my issues, I knew I needed more of Christ and continued my search. I later united with Victory Word Outreach, the Assemblies of God, and the Baptist Church.

The journey has taken 30 years of searching and experiencing doctrines and people. I cannot say that everything I experienced was bad. In fact, I received one of the great blessings of my life when I met my wife in the church and watched my daughters grow up there.

But, one day, God revealed Himself to me in a personal way and that revelation made a profound change in my life. What made me change?

On one Friday afternoon, while watching an online video, I heard the presenter say, “The children of God follow His commandments and keep Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, as a day of rest, as is it written in Scripture in the Ten Commandments.” This was a new revelation to me as I had been a Sunday-keeping Christian from the time I first asked Christ into my heart. But I knew in my heart that I wanted to follow God and the example of Christ, and this revelation resonated with me.

I did not know where a Sabbath-keeping church was, so I went to Google to look for churches that keep the Sabbath holy. The research showed me a church just three minutes away from my house—the Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church in Longmont, Colorado.

For me, this was a very surprising thing as I had not heard of that church before.

On another Friday afternoon, I happened to be walking past the church and met some wonderful people there. Alphonso Magallanes, whom I later learned was one of the church elders, and his family were there cleaning the church and putting up a banner announcing a Bible Prophecy Seminar with Daniel Miranda. The seminar was to start soon, and they invited me to come to the meetings.

I was impressed to go to those meetings. There, I heard the most powerful presentations of Bible truth, and my life was changed as I received Christ as a “Commandment Keeping Savior.” He set me free from other doubts and gave me answers to questions that had been in my mind. After the Bible Prophecy Seminar on April 23, 2022, I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church by Pastor Tim Jones.

My life is an example that Christ has been, and will continue to be, here for everyone. It was His love that brought me to understand His Word and His love that keeps me continuing in His Word. It is not because I deserved anything, it is because He loves me that I can boldly proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I found a Savior who loves me. He brought me to Himself as the way, the truth, and the life.

This has been the most wonderful year of my whole life.

—Ubaldo Gonzalez is a member of the Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church in Longmont, Colorado. Photo supplied.

06 Jun


Agape Hammond – Parker, Colorado … One of Newday Adventist Church’s core values is authentic community. God wants us to share our lives together rather than live in isolation. Our togetherness is the best expression of God’s love and the power of the gospel. As the body of Christ, we are meant to worship and grow together. Romans 15:5-6 illustrates this idea: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Our church family feels the same way. Walk into Newday Church and you will see friendly faces greeting you at the door, and you will experience a worship service that brings people of all ages together. Connecting is what Newday does, and an integral part to creating connections and the Newday culture is the “Grow Group.” Grow Groups are small gatherings that meet once a week to dive deeper into spiritual conversations—while doing life together. 


There are currently eight Grow Groups that meet from September through May, though you may find some continuing throughout the year because of the strong friendships that form and the support that comes from knowing you have a community that cares.


Ask any group member and you will hear the same thing. As one group member, Linett Batiste said, “I have often left our group night feeling ready to continue the week’s challenges having myself shared and listened to others’ challenges, words of encouragement, or perspective on the topic discussed.”


As we enter summer, most groups take a break. This pause offers an opportunity for each Grow Group leader to reflect on what went well, what could improve, and what topics might be explored in the upcoming season. The curriculum might vary between groups, but the deep connections formed leave a deep impact. 


Relationships are built within the group, but more importantly, each group member grows their relationship with Christ. Kelly Loney, a group member for the past two seasons, said “Being part of a Grow Group is incredible because it truly is just that … a GROW group. We grow personally, we grow friendships, and most importantly we grow spiritually.” 


When asked about his experience, Dr. Dave Watson emphasized community and then went on to say, “Our Grow Group has given me the deepest, most trusted place to learn, be open, and feel the presence of Jesus through relationships. A true blessing!”


Shawna Sajdak has been in Grow Groups since the very beginning, so she knows what it means to grow within a community of Christ-followers. She commented, “What I love about being a part of Grow Groups is the community. I love knowing that if I need prayer or a laugh or a thought-provoking question, I’ll find it at grow group.”


In Jeremiah 29:13, God asks us to seek Him with all our heart. Grow Groups are just one of the ways that Newday pursues deeper connections and seeks to journey together with others who have similar spiritual goals.


Agape Hammond is on the Communications Team at Newday Adventist Church. Photos supplied.

06 Jun


Rajmund Dabrowski – Loveland, Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Conference 2023 Camp Meeting season opened at Campion, June 2-3, with more than 250 adult church members of the Northeastern Colorado congregations coming together for their first joint convocation of the year.

Welcoming the attendees, Mic Thurber, RMC president, said, “The camp meetings give us an opportunity to come together and fellowship beyond our own congregations.”

The gathering began on Friday evening with Pastor Joseph T. Ikner II as the meeting’s keynote speaker. Ikner serves as pastor of the Linwood Seventh-day Adventist Temple in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as ministerial director for the Central States Conference. This was his first visit to the Conference. His presentations centered on a theme “I will Go.”

Using the story of how God blessed King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20, Pastor Ikner helped us to realize that the Lord’s blessings provide us an opportunity to testify how good He is. “God blesses us so we can bless others,” he shared.

Ikner’s Sabbath presentation drew on a story of the calling of Moses. “You are enough,” he said. “God has an assignment for you. Your best years are before you and not behind you.” Moses responded to God’s calling him to lead a nation for Him, with Moses’ excuse that he was too old, and his speech was inadequate.

“The Lord tells us that He is with us,” Ikner stated. He repeated an affirmation to the camp meeting audience that “You are enough!” but God is calling us as His messengers.

In his final presentation on Sabbath afternoon, he used the story from the Gospel of Luke 5, of the miraculous healing of a paralyzed man. Pastor Joseph helped us to realize that Jesus is just as available today to bring healing as He was some 2000 years ago.

Commenting on his sermon, Mickey Mallory, the RMC ministerial director, shared that the speaker, “helped us to realize the tremendous power of prayer—that no matter what you are facing, you can give it to God and trust that he will provide the help that is needed.”

Mallory, who met Ikner in Michigan a couple of decades ago, commented about the Northeast camp meeting and how he felt “inspired and encouraged by Pastor Joe Ikner’s sermons as well as through the sweet fellowship with members from all other Colorado made for a really high Sabbath.”

Pastor Leandro Bizema from the Campion Church shared Mallory’s sentiments and said that among the “camp meeting highlights would definitely be [having] the powerful speaker.” It was natural for him to add, as he was conducting, that “also the music—the choir and orchestra—were a highlight for me. I love seeing people come together to make music and to use it to minister and uplift and glorify God.”

The organizers of the NE gathering offered programming for youth provided by the RMC FEJA (Adventist Youth Federation of Hispanic Churches). Pastor Bizema explained, “I understand that it had been many years ago that we had youth programming at the Northeastern Colorado camp meeting, which we call a Connect Weekend.” This group added another 250 attendees to the camp meeting.

Among the camp meeting’s participants was a group of young literature evangelists who are planning to spend their summer weeks in Denver and Colorado Springs canvassing. Nick Lesch from Mexico commented, “I was blessed by that fact the theme was ‘I WILL GO’ and how this was such a reminder of how important it is to live a life of service to Jesus, in response of his love towards us!” Nick plans to study and support himself in college, perusing ministry fulltime.

Commenting on his visit and first time preaching to a congregation in Colorado, Pastor Ikner said, that “the atmosphere was wonderful. I am an engaging preacher, and I had the people talking back to me. But it seemed they were engaged from the eye contact, their ‘amens,’ and responses to the altar-call and the decisions we had to take for baptism.”

— Rajmund Dabrowski is editor of the NewsNuggets. Photos by Rajmund Dabrowski.

06 Jun


By Rick Mautz

Most of us deal with our personal health with what I call the disease/treatment model. We wait until there are symptoms, or a diagnosis, and then we go and seek help to fix the problem. Or we might say, “I am getting regular medical examinations. If there are any problems, my doctor will let me know and take care of it.” The problem with that mind set is that, once there are symptoms, the disease may either be not treatable, the treatment is expensive, or the treatment is worse than the disease itself.

One example is breast cancer. A few breast cancer cells are not much of a problem. But, after 20 years of silently growing, there may be a billion cells, the amount needed for detection. Why not choose a lifestyle that fights the cancer cells before you ever know it’s there?

Another example is heart disease. It silently develops until there is a small crack in the lining of the coronary artery, forming a clot leading to a sudden heart attack. There are often no symptoms, and it may not be detectable by medical examination. For too many, the first symptom is sudden death. If you were waiting for symptoms to appear to make changes, it’s often too late.

Most heart disease is preventable through lifestyle, and prevention is the only safe course. But that requires a new mind set. Instead of a disease/treatment model, you follow a lifestyle/prevention model. And the side effects of the prevention model are only good ones, like a happier, longer, healthier life with greater mental clarity. The lifestyle that prevents these two diseases also prevents many others as well.

The question may be, Is it worth the effort? There will be things that you enjoy that you will have to give up. But, from my experience, the positive results in your life will be worth the initial inconvenience.

Those are examples of the power of prevention in your physical life. How might the power of prevention change other areas of your life? Such as in relationships or preventing conflict rather than fixing it afterword. Or what about in your spiritual life?

The disease/treatment model is like a sin/forgiveness model. It will take a new mindset to practice prevention in the spiritual life as well. Make no mistake, it takes no more power on God’s part to give us strength to resist temptation than to forgive us afterward. In fact, He would preferer it that way. Just pray early and avoid the remorse and pain to yourself and others. Is it possible?

The real question to ask is how big is your God? He is more than able even if we are not able on our own strength or willpower. All that it takes on our part is to just ask for His help at the point of temptation and He is more than willing to give us the victory through His strength. Both physical and spiritual prevention take a new mindset, but it’s the same mind that is changed for both. So, practicing the new mindset with one helps the other. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The prince of this world cometh, said Jesus, and hath nothing in Me (John 14:30). There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So, it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character” (DA 123.3). 1

Physical prevention is the answer to the health care crises. Spiritual prevention is the answer to the Great Controversy.

—Rick Mautz, PT MS, is RMC director of the Rocky Mountain Lifestyle Center. Photo by Pexels.


1  White, Ellen G. (1898). The Desire of Ages. Pacific Press.

01 Jun


Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy celebrated the achievements of 35 graduates over a weekend of festivities.

The Class of 2023 began the weekend by honoring their parents during Friday evening’s service. On Sabbath, the students took charge of every aspect of the church service, presenting several musical selections. In the evening, the class introduced themselves in a creative spin on “The Masked Singer.” Class sponsors Cindy Santana and Zeca Santana were the speakers at the main events on Sabbath and Sunday, respectively.

Twenty-one of the 35 graduates were four-year seniors at Campion Academy. Twelve seniors earned College Preparatory or Advance College Preparatory diplomas, and 15 seniors graduated with honors. Union College presented several of the highest-achieving graduates with scholarships worth up to $40,000 each. Due to opportunities at Campion Academy to take dual-credit classes, 26 of the seniors graduated having completed college credits.

“I am so proud of our graduates,” commented Principal Don Reeder. “This class is very talented. They have earned over $2.5 million in scholarships from our Adventist Universities and Colleges. What is even more exciting is that each one has been educated about the importance of using their talents in service to God and man. I am excited to see where God takes them in life and ministry for Him.”

In her graduation speech, Campion’s Student of the Year Lindsey Smith spoke, “By the end of Senior Survival [activities], a safe feeling of a home away from home sunk in as I realized ‘these people are family’ … what we each are, individually, is not what sticks out to me. It is when we are all put together.”

She continued, “That is when we can overcome anything, accomplish great things when our compassion and love for each other comes out … There are big things in store for each and every one of us. Plans of traveling, going to college, pursuing a career. Our potential is limitless. I know God has amazing plans for each of us.”

Campion Academy is proud of the leaders these young adults have become and we congratulate them on all their achievements!

—Jill Harlow is the Campion Academy communication director. Photos supplied.

01 Jun


RMCNews – Loveland, Colorado … The Campion Adventist Church family joyfully accepted three newly baptized members and one recommitment on May 6. Ten more baptisms occurred on May 12, and one rebaptism on May 19. If you do the math, that is 15 of God’s children entering, or reentering, into a commitment of faith.

Over the course of the month, the baptisms were officiated by four pastors and/or elders. Those baptized ranged in age from second-grade students to retired dentist. Two even requested to be baptized together: Cana Goetz, daughter of Michael Goetz, pastor of Campion Church, and her best friend Emma Nelson, a student at HMS Richards School, baptized by Eric Nelson, former RMC vice president for administration, her grandfather.

Seven-year-old Madelyn Schwisow gave her testimony: “I want to be baptized because I want to follow Jesus. I want to do as Christ did each day by faith, by prayer, by trust, by choices, and by reading the Bible.”

Bodi Jacob, a young student, shared, “I decided to be baptized a year ago. My family and I did Bible studies with Kim and Mary Mehlenbacher. They have helped me in my spiritual walk. I want to be baptized because I want and need Jesus in my heart every day. I want to give my life to Him.”

Annalise Gomez, 14 years old, said, “I have been learning about God and seeing how he works through other people’s lives for as long as I can remember. I want God to work through me spreading His word. I want to accept Him into my life no matter what the cost may be. I want Jesus as my best friend.”

Kenneth Jacob, a husband, and father, testified, “I wasn’t [raised Adventist]. I met Alisa, my wife, while she was attending Andrews University. She has been my rock, standing by me patiently through this long journey as I worked to shed my prideful secular ways, allowing me to view the world through the lens of Christianity. Together we have two amazing boys that I have the extreme pleasure of sharing this baptismal tank with. I would also like to thank Kim and Mary Mehlenbacher for guiding our family in our spiritual journey over the past six months of Bible studies … Once I realized that we are loved unconditionally by God, we can become loved for the sake of others. To be baptized is more than a public display, it’s a soul-cleansing birth into Christianity.”

Timm Eickmann, a retired dentist, spent the year prior reading his bible. He was amazed at what God has done to save His people and His grace, mercy, and peace. “More than ever,” he says, “I appreciate who God is. Today, I want to rededicate my life to Him.”

—RMCNews, a story based on Campion Connections newsletter. Interviews by Muriel Indermuehle and Ella Jean Albertsen. Photos by Catherine Chamberlain and Eric Stenbakken.

Madeline Schwisow being baptized by her father, Eddie Schwisow, with Pastor Bizama holding the microphone.
Retired dentist Timm Eickmann being rebaptized by Pastor Michael Goetz.
01 Jun


Doug Inglish – Fort Morgan, Colorado … The pandemic presented challenges to businesses, churches, schools, and other enterprises. Not every organization survived, and those that did often found themselves with very real obstacles to continued operation.

Fort Morgan Lighthouse School emerged from that period with a $50,000 debt. That is a daunting amount for a small school with most students coming from outside the church family. To make things even more difficult, the teacher shortage forced them to look outside the United States to find a qualified Adventist teacher, and immigration red tape held up her admission to the country until after the school year ended.

The second problem was answered when retired teacher Kathy Goley stepped forward. It was only supposed to be temporary, but the weeks turned into months and finally, the entire year had passed. Kathy stayed at the helm and provided quality teaching to grateful families all the way through. Our appreciation for her dedication is beyond words, and all parents voiced strong support for the work she did.

The first problem seemed far more daunting. How could a small church in a small community retire that debt while keeping up with current commitments? How could they do it while searching for a pastor, as the pastor shortage is only slightly less severe than the teacher shortage?

The answer began with interim pastor, Rex Bell, who challenged the church to step forward in the interest of the next generation, the community, and the church’s mission. The rest of the equation came when not only did the Fort Morgan Church accept the challenge, but so did the rest of the district churches. Yuma, Sterling, Akron, and Burlington may not be within driving distance for sending students, but the members embraced the Lighthouse School as their own and lent their support in tangible ways.

Pastor Rex Bell commented, “What a joy and privilege to serve God’s people in northeast Colorado! Truly they are God’s family united in serving God. It is incredible to witness God’s blessings upon His churches and school!”

On May 27, Pastor Bell and Kathy Goley stood in front of the church with a chart representing the final few dollars raised. A check was in hand to deliver to Doug Inglish, RMC vice president for administration, who was in attendance that day.

This story is about the determination of God’s people. It is about the value of Adventist education not just to the local church, but to the local community. And it is about the dedication of people from other communities who value Adventist education enough to support it even when they don’t have a student of their own at the school they support. God’s power through His people to His children is an awesome thing to witness.

—Doug Inglish is RMC vice president for administration. Photos by Susan Inglish.

01 Jun


Mary Lynn Green – Denver, Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Planned Giving & Trust Services welcomes Dawn Westgate to the team as the new assistant director/field representative. Dawn begins her ministry on June 3, 2023, at the northeast camp meeting at Campion Academy in Loveland, Colorado.

Dawn attended Andrews University and local community colleges. She holds degrees in nursing and business administration and is certified in office management.

While serving in trust services for a public national bank, she felt God’s calling to care for His people, and she takes that calling very seriously. Dawn has been serving our Lord most recently in the RMC treasury department in a temporary capacity. She is detail-oriented and has a deep respect for client’s wishes.

Dawn is a caring person who loves the Lord dearly. As Christ shows compassion towards others, Dawn strives to be more like Him every day as she serves Him both personally and in corporate trust work. She has also found hope in emergency nursing.

Dawn has been married for 36 years to Brandon Westgate, our RMC youth director. She has served as a pastor’s wife for the last 20 of those years. Dawn and Brandon have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Our team bids a fond farewell to Matthew Moreland at our staff meeting in early March. He began his new position as associate director of major gifts at Southern Adventist University on March 28. We miss him and wish him well in his new role.

—Mary Lynn Green is the RMC Planned Giving and Trust Services director and Corporate Secretary for Asset Management. Photo supplied.

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