28 Apr


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

28 Apr


By Airi Nomura – Loveland, Colorado … Campion seniors enhanced lifelong friendships and memories on their class trip to Texas, enjoying some time away from the classroom in April.

During the week-long senior class trip, they immersed themselves into Texas culture by visiting natural caves, taking in SeaWorld, enjoying the beach, and checking out several restaurants. Arriving in San Antonio, they divided into four groups to navigate the Riverwalk, shop at the mall, and enjoy time together.

“I really loved being with my friends on the Riverwalk. It was fun goofing around, talking with my friends, taking pictures, and skating around with the guys. It was really peaceful and a nice small adventure,” said Jahir.

Visiting SeaWorld on the last day in San Antonio was the highlight of the trip for some. Brianna reflected on the trip saying, “My favorite part of the trip was getting to watch the Orca show at SeaWorld. It was awesome getting to see them do tricks while learning about how they survive in the wild.”

The students relaxed on the beach in Port Aransas before returning to campus. “I really enjoyed the last two days we spent at the beach,” Gabriel commented. “The house we stayed at was really comfortable and I had fun with my friends playing ping pong, watching movies, and swimming in the pool.”

Nicole reflected saying, “My favorite part about the trip would have to be the night stroll at the beach right after we went out for pizza. It was our last night to really get to do anything. Of course, we had a choice to go or not, but I felt encouraged to just enjoy this last night. What made it so fun was that I got to have nice conversations and enjoy the people I was with. We went from running along the beach to collecting shells to screaming at crabs. It was a night I’ll never forget.”

The trip was special according to Noah.“Even though we live in the dorm together, going out on a trip and experiencing life together with our class helped us to bond and create memories.”

–Airi Nomura is a senior at Campion Academy; photos supplied.

28 Apr


RMCNews with Miloš Tomić – L’viv, Ukraine … Arvada Adventist Church members, concerned about the people of Ukraine, asked their associate pastor Miloš and his wife Jasmina to visit Ukraine. One week ago, they did, aiming to discover how they can help the people of Ukraine during the invasion and war with Russia.

After spending the night in L’viv and returning to Poland on a bus full of refugees, they returned to Denver with many heartbreaking stories.

“Listening to air raid sirens and hearing explosions in the distance was terrifying, but for those people [living there] that is a daily reality. Lack of food, medicines, and homes is nothing compared to their loss of hope. That’s why God called us,” Miloš said.

ADRA sponsored the bus which has been commuting almost daily between Poland and Ukraine since the war started. It is used to transport aid to Ukraine and then return with refugees seeking help and shelter. In Poland, churches have been converted into reception centers and many church members have opened their hearts and their homes for the refugees.

“War knows no victors. Everybody loses,” Miloš reflected, with “millions of people displaced, many of them having nothing left to go back to, their whole life packed in a couple of plastic bags. Being southern European and having witnessed the destruction of war in our past ourselves, we understand what these people are going through. And we understand what they need.”

Arvada Adventist church is aiming to fill up a freight container with food, medications, toiletries, and other necessities and ship it to Poland to assist in the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

“We are of different descent, speaking different languages, but the same God calls us to act, to help those suffering people and ease their pain,” said Miloš.

Jesus and his family were refugees at one point, Milos noted, and if it wasn’t for the three wise men, their life would have held much more suffering.

If you would like to participate by donating items to help the Ukraine refugees, please email [email protected]

— RMCNews with Milos Tomic; photos supplied

Editor’s note:  Several RMC churches have sent funds directly to Poland and Romania to assist with immediate needs.

26 Apr


By AdventHealth — In January 2019, the hospitals of what was known as Adventist Health System unified under a single brand: AdventHealth. Except for the system’s joint ventures, the 51 hospitals and hundreds of clinics and care sites now operate under a single moniker and carry a common brand promise: Feel whole.

AdventHealth’s brand promise is central to its public-facing messaging and is closely connected to the organization’s mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ.

Reminiscent of the discourse in which Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), the brand promise suggests that even the healthiest among us can aspire to feel whole.

However, in the same way, that the ministry of Seventh-day Adventist health care is connected to, but distinct from, the ministry of the denomination’s ecclesiastical arm, the corporate messaging of AdventHealth hopes to strike chords of harmony with that of the church, even while hitting different notes.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church has no doctrinal teaching, statement, or guideline that speaks directly to the need the church and its ministries have for communications, marketing, and brand awareness. However, the importance of the message and teachings of the church has led to the practice of using creative and varied marketing methods from the earliest days of the Advent movement.

Whether it was to sell books and other publications or to bolster attendance at a seminar on Bible prophecy, church leaders, limited only by their creativity and financial resources, have regularly used attention-seeking strategies to raise awareness regarding their efforts.

In 1912, Baltimore journalist Walter L. Burgan attended an evangelistic series by Carlyle B. Haynes and became a convert to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was then hired to be the head of the Public Relations Bureau of the General Conference, making the Seventh-day Adventist Church the first Protestant denomination with a public relations program. Church leaders recognized the critically important role of combating misinformation, breaking down prejudices, and building bridges of understanding in the community in order to raise public awareness of this young denomination. The Public Relations Bureau became the communications department of the church, and it continues to be tasked with the same charge.

Although the denomination has grown exponentially since those early years, and communications have become an established department at all levels of the organization, the focus of church communications is predominantly internal, with most efforts directed toward members. Beyond the signage placed in front of congregations, schools, and office buildings, very few resources are allocated to public awareness.

Messaging Distinctive Care

There are several scriptural models that support the assertive approach AdventHealth takes in its advertising and public relations efforts, especially those that seek to distinguish the efforts of the faith-based, consumer-focused institution it aspires to become. One vivid example comes from the pages of Exodus.

Moses is standing before God in the Tent of Meeting outside the Israelite encampment. He has just received tablets of stone from God for the second time. Moses is pleading with God that the Divine presence should accompany the chosen people on their journey to the Promised Land rather than the presence of an angel, as God had proposed in response to the insurrection which had just occurred.

“’How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and your people unless you go with us?’ Moses argued. ‘What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’” Exodus 33:16 NIV

In this discourse, we find an essential goal of AdventHealth’s marketing and communications efforts: to show the distinctive nature of whole-person care that has become the hallmark of Seventh-day Adventist health care.

Whole-person care, which functions as an extension of Christ’s healing ministry, is distinctive from the care other healing organizations provide. While all evidence-based medicine is best rendered with compassion and seeks to be curative, faith-based, whole-person care is meant to be restorative, referencing the image of the Creator found in every living soul and balancing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Just as Moses knew the presence of God in the massive company of Israelite migrants would set them apart as a distinct nation, AdventHealth believes in the legacy of whole-person care, which recognizes the image of God in every human being and seeks the presence of God in every patient interaction, will distinguish it from all others who merely desire physical healing.


During His Galilean ministry, Jesus was asked by a ruler of the synagogue to heal his critically ill daughter. While journeying toward the home of Jairus, the crowd noticed Jesus stopping firmly in His tracks. An unanticipated act of healing had just occurred. A woman who sought a miracle in stealth and silence would be cajoled by Christ to speak openly about what God had done.

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.’” Mark 5:28, 29 NIV

AdventHealth team members labor daily under the mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ and desire to be the garment that functions as the conduit between the healing power of God and the desire resident in every AdventHealth consumer—namely, to feel whole.

However, the account of the woman who was healed by the faith-filled brush with Christ’s garment does not end with her healing but with her story. Christ would not let this woman leave His presence before giving witness to what had happened in her life in a moment so private that, were it not for His insistence, it would have gone unnoticed.

The marketing materials and brand advertising of AdventHealth also take up this challenge. Ultimately, the fuel giving validity and power to the television commercials, billboard ads, and marketing campaigns are the real stories of healing that happen every day in the skilled and compassionate care of team members.

“Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” were the closing words uttered by Jesus as the woman departed. The peace in her heart, the relief on her face, and the lightened steps of one who had so long carried the burden of her condition are the same sentiments conveyed in AdventHealth’s advertisements. This is what it looks like to feel whole. In AdventHealth’s marketing messages, the heroes of the story are always those who have been healed.

–AdventHealth; photo supplied

This article was originally published on Outlook Magazine’s website

21 Apr

CAMPION Students depict the life of Christ to the community

By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … More than 400 church and community members assembled on Campion’s campus on April 16 to experience a student-produced passion play, Journey to the Cross.

The event, a yearly celebration of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is held on Easter weekend.

Nine walk-through scenes from the life of Christ, beginning with his birth and leading to his death and resurrection, were depicted by more than 100 student actors under the direction of chaplains Nancy and Levi Meszaros and drama teacher Erin Johnson.

Isaac, a senior who performed in multiple scenes as the main Roman Centurion, reflected on the event. “As a Roman soldier, I got to imagine the crucifixion and resurrection from a different perspective.” He added, “I thought about how much of a nuisance this whole ordeal would have been to the soldiers at first, but then everything changes when the centurion looks up at Jesus on the cross and realizes that he has crucified the Lord of Lords. He then knelt before Jesus, which I think is the most humbling scene in the entire story.”

Playing the role of Jesus at the crucifixion was challenging, yet impactful, for senior student Jadon.

“When I got up on that cross during the first show, I was scared,” reflected Jadon. “I was in the modern-day equivalent of a loincloth, and so I felt very vulnerable and exposed. Jesus likely didn’t even have that, but he chose not to focus on that.”

Jadon added, “He [Jesus] focused on all of humanity, which he loved, and chose to care for others despite his vulnerability. It helped make the suffering and embarrassment Jesus went through more real, but even more, it made the love of Jesus real. It was an honor to play the role of Jesus, and I would remind everyone to keep his sacrifice in mind constantly in their lives.”

–Campion Academy News; photos supplied

19 Apr


By Sandi Adcox with Rajmund Dabrowski – Grand Junction, Colorado … Elevate Kids (EK), a non-profit organization whose motto is “Helping Kids One Step at a Time,” was created by a couple of members of the Grand Junction Seventh-day Adventist Church. Doug McCaw II, board chairman of Intermountain Adventist Academy (IAA), and his wife, Melinda, are dedicated to raising money to benefit children, specifically, IAA (which is expanding to grades 9 and 10 next school year) and Kids Aid. This backpack-for-kids program feeds hungry children.

On Sunday, April 10, the McCaws hosted the first annual Elevate Kids Fun Run for the community, with proceeds going to IAA and Kids Aid. The event, which included 2.5K, 5K, and 10K routes, was a huge success, with 255 registrants, dozens of volunteers from the church and community, and many sponsors. Registrants received Elevate Kids T-shirts, swag bags, professional timing, online photographs, awards for all finishers, and special awards for each category and overall winners. The EK team is already planning a Second Fun Run for April 2023.

Naturally, the event had a special significance for Joel Reyes, principal of IAA, who volunteered at the run. For him, Elevate Kids Fun Run meant that “the community [was brought] together for an event like this, and the name of the school was associated with this.”

“It also meant support. I have a very supportive board chair this time, and this was very much his idea. The purpose of this is to start a junior academy in the Western Slope. That’s what we are fundraising and running and working for,” Joel added.

Representing Kids Aid was Tessa Kaiser, executive director. “The run shows the community support for Kids Aid. Doug and Melinda wanted to do something to challenge themselves and make it about more than just themselves. They put this together to support Kids Aid and their child’s school,” she commented.

“We are really grateful for that. And it really shows how much the community understands the need [to address] childhood hunger,” she added.

The Fun Run was not the first fundraiser the McCaws have organized. In July 2020, the McCaws ran the entire Colorado Trail (490 miles from Durango to Denver) in 18 days.  A documentary movie, “Chasing the Sky,” was created and seen by hundreds of people in local theaters. Proceeds from the film were split between IAA and Kids Aid.

In July 2022, the couple plans to rerun the Colorado Trail, attempting to break the fastest known time.  Another documentary of the run will be created, which will be shown in theaters, with proceeds going to IAA and Kids Aid.

“Helping the kids in our community is why we work so hard to raise funds and awareness for the kids in the Grand Valley. We want to give everyone in the community an opportunity to support the kids through our events,” Doug and Melinda said.

Dana Ñkaña is a member of the Grand Junction Adventist Church. For him, joining the run is supporting children’s education. “You know, we have two children, and I’m always looking for ways to where our children can be better than us,” he explained.

“I grew up in Africa [and] there was nothing like this to help us when I was a kid. And so, with the opportunities that I have being here in this country, I feel that I am basically able to help other people to get to where they want to be,” he shared.

After completing his 10K run, Dana put his award around the neck of David Klemm. A medical condition put David into a wheelchair. “I did this because David is a very good friend and I know his heart and his heart is with children. I know he currently volunteers to help children read. If he were able to be on two feet like I am, he would have been running,” Dana explained.

“And so, I run, and I gave him my award.”

If you are interested in supporting Elevate Kids and learning more about the organization or receiving updates on future events, sign up at elevatekids.org.

–Sandi Adcox is Grand Junction Adventist Church team member with Elevate Kids Run; Rajmund Dabrowski is editor of NewsNuggets. Photos by Rajmund Dabrowski and supplied





NewsNuggets: What does this event mean to you?

Doug McCaw: It means many different things and it is fun also.  First, [it gives us the opportunity] to help the school [Intermountain Adventist Academy] and Kids Aid. But also, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help the community, and also help grow Adventist education.

NN: What motivated you to do this event?

DMC: My wife and I have done the Colorado trail several different times. Um, actually three times, four times now. She was in a networking meeting and the guy was talking about not letting your butt get in the way of achieving your goals. After he said it several times, she made a decision. She came and told me, “Hey, I’d like to try to run the entire trail. Do you want to run this? And I said, “Sure, let’s do it.” We went out and started training and getting ready. And one of the things in our hearts was helping Intermountain Adventist Academy expand and grow. We’d like to see it have a 9th and 10th-grade program. And so, we said, “Hey, let’s, raise some money around that.”

NN:  Did you expect this event to have such an impact and participation?

Melinda McCaw: I expected that for this event. Doug and I thought we wanted to go big and so we set the goal of 200 to 300 people [to participate]. It was hard, at the beginning, to trust God that that was going to happen, but He definitely came through. At first, when we started, it was just the goal that we set.

We wanted to run the Colorado Trail because we biked it and ran it. Then I had the idea that I’d like to support the school and help them. We’re already running it. Why not make it about something bigger than us?

NN: What does the success of this event give you?

MCC: It makes me excited for the future. This project has grown way bigger than I ever expected it to. When we started out doing the run, we’re like, “We’ll just send out a letter campaign to friends and family and we’ll raise some money, and then we’ll be done.”

It turned out way bigger than that. If you could raise $20,000 or $25,000 in donations, just from that run. And then we made the movie and made money off of the showings. Our accountant said this is getting big enough. You need to make it a non-profit. We filed for that and we just got non-profit status two weeks ago. That was amazing and it was a God thing, too, because it [was granted] in three months.

NN: And you linked it with Kid’s Aid?

MMC: Originally, we were going to just support the school and then, when we hired our videographer, he asked if we could find something bigger, and [perhaps] national that would draw more attention to the cause. We started looking around and we didn’t find anything that really touched our hearts nationally. And then we asked our coach that we were trying to find something else to support. He used to be a teacher in public schools, so he told us about the backpack program.

He told us a story about one child. It was a Wednesday or Thursday and the kids would get the bags on Friday. If you’re not at school, you don’t get a bag. And this kid got sick and was super distraught and upset because he knew if he wasn’t back at school on Friday, he wasn’t eating that weekend. That’s how we found Kids Aid program and the story really touched our hearts. That’s how we decided we wanted to raise money for them.

NN: How do you find the church supporting these causes?

Doug McCaw: The church does a wonderful job with the community service center. And there are a lot of different [service] organizations by churches. But I don’t know of a church organization that does exactly what Kids Aid does.

19 Apr


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

18 Apr

Listening for God in the cafeteria

Union College News – Lincoln, Nebraska … If you’ve eaten at Union Market in the last four years, you’ve probably seen Jefferson Gibson, son of RMC Planned Giving and Trust associate director Chanelle Watson. The senior theology major serves meals, stocks shelves, and rings up purchases, all with his characteristic easygoing smile. If you ask him what his plans for the future are, he’ll answer quickly and confidently: “I know what my calling is because God has directed me to pastoral ministry.”

Gibson wasn’t always so sure of his path. When he started working at the cafeteria during his freshman year, he was a general biology major. Although he had a passion for biblical studies and ministry, he felt that theology was too big of a task for him to do. However, his roommate, his friends, and even his pastor seemed to think it would be a good fit for him.

Feeling conflicted about his career choices, Gibson decided to ask God for a sign. “At the time, I liked this girl,” he said. “She was really busy and never came to the deli at Union Market, so I would never get to see her. Early one morning I prayed, ‘God, if you really want me to study theology, as a sign I ask that she come to the cafeteria and order something at the deli.’”

Gibson didn’t take his prayer too seriously, and he forgot about it as he began his day. But while he was working in the deli that afternoon, one of his friends pulled him aside. “My friend said, ‘Okay Jeff, don’t freak out, but the girl you like is right behind you, and she’s ordering something from the deli,’” said Gibson. “I was really upset and frustrated because now I knew what God wanted me to do, but I didn’t want to do it. It was such a big step.”

Gibson switched his major to psychology as a sort of compromise. “I kept hearing this small voice trying to tell me, ‘Jeff, you should do theology,’” he said. “So I went up to the Religion Program office, took a leap of faith, and switched my major. Since then, my whole path here at Union has been so peaceful, and I know that this is the right direction for me.”

One of Gibson’s favorite classes is Church Leadership, taught by Dr. Thomas Toews. “We learn about the rules of how a church is operated, how to run a church business meeting, and what to do if there are problems in the church,” Gibson said. He put these lessons to use during his practicum at Allon Chapel. “I got to do what a pastor would do under a senior pastor. I saw what ministry is like with real people, and because of that, I think I’m prepared to do well at my job when I graduate.”

Following graduation, Gibson will begin serving full-time as a pastor. “I got a job at Omaha Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church,” he said. “I will be an associate pastor for two to three years and then I will be shipped off to seminary at Andrews. That’s my plan for the future so far, and we’ll see what God has in store.” Even though God’s signs may not always be as clear as it was in the cafeteria, Gibson has his eyes open for whatever form His guidance might take.

–Union College News; photo supplied

This article was originally published in the Union College e-newsletter.

14 Apr


The satirical site The Onion ran a humorous (note: fictional) article with a biting truth. The article was titled “World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100 Percent.”

The article reported: “World Health Organization officials expressed disappointment Monday at the group’s finding that, despite the enormous efforts of doctors, rescue workers, and other medical professionals worldwide, the global death rate remains constant at 100 percent.

Death, a metabolic affliction, causing total shutdown of all life functions, has long been considered humanity’s number one health concern. Responsible for 100 percent of all recorded fatalities worldwide, the condition has no cure.”

No cure. Really?

Too bad they never heard the great news that Jesus broke death!

Pilate allowed for the guards to be posted at Jesus’ tomb because the worried priests were afraid some of His disciples would come and steal His body and then claim He had arisen. It never occurred to them that Jesus might actually live again. Their defense was not against a truly resurrected Christ, but of an earthly plot to make them look bad.

What a tragic loss for them to not see the resurrected Christ! For in that resurrection is the power to save, to heal, to let us know that our death is not final and that in the end, He will eternally triumph over all death, disease, and sin.

The Christian’s joy is that Jesus turned the world of cause and effect on its head. Death caused life, and all efforts to repress this great truth only serve to spread it farther and wider.

The next time someone says the global death rate remains constant at 100 percent, remind them of another 100 percent reality: Jesus is alive, and so one day shall all those be who have died in Him and given their hearts to Him.

Jesus Christ is risen – He is risen indeed!

–Mic Thurber is RMC president; photo supplied

14 Apr


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