27 Aug

Boulder Adventist Church Continues Its 140-year Legacy

By Rajmund Dabrowski — Boulder, Colorado…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

RMCNews — Denver, Colorado… 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

By Lonnie Hetterle — Denver, Colorado…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

21 Aug

Prayers and Donations Keep Worland’s SonShine Academy Open

RMCNews — Worland, Colorado… Traci Pike is a member of the Casper Church and had been praying with SonShine Academy teacher, Annette Treat, for some time. She knew of the very real struggle for a small Seventh-day Adventist church to fund and operate a school.

The Worland Seventh-day Adventist Church has approximately 50 members with only about 20 attending each week. Only by God’s grace and providing has the church been able to operate a school for the past 30 years. The perpetual question of, “how will the school be able to remain open?” always appears each year in the spring. By the end of each school year, the school has gone so far in the red, that from a human standpoint, the school should close. However, the few church members remain strong and faithful. God hears their pleas and provides in mysterious ways each year.

This summer Traci felt impressed to make an appeal from the pulpit at Wyoming Camp Meeting for SonShine Academy. As soon as she arrived in Casper, she found Pastor Steve and Samantha Nelson, a pastoral team of the Worland Seventh-day Adventist Church. She told them what the Lord had placed upon her heart. Their hearts were moved, and they helped Traci by self-addressing envelopes with the school’s name and creating pledge sheets for people to fill out.

For four days, Traci made an appeal before the Wyoming Camp Meeting gathering for SonShine Academy. Hearts were moved, and pledge cards were filled out and turned in. Even after Camp Meeting was over, SonShine Academy continued to receive pledge cards in the mail.

“Our church family has been moved beyond words”, said AnnetteTreat. “Because so many individuals listened and responded to the Lord’s call, SonShine Academy has been able to keep its doors open and witnessing to the children and families in our community. We went from being thousands of dollars in the red to having a zero balance to begin the school year. Currently, only two of the nine students enrolled in the school are Seventh-day Adventists. We have one parent who is currently on studying to be baptized. We are so grateful to the people who have given from their hearts!” she commented.

Steve Nelson expressed appreciation for Traci’s initiative and what she has accomplished. He commented that the SonShine Academy “has struggled for several years to raise funds for the school’s operation. We are grateful and excited to have the school budget to guarantee its operation.”

Gratitude goes to Traci and sister-churches in the Big Horn Basin, who have given sacrificially to SonShine Academy. “Above all, we are grateful to the Lord. He is good and faithful to those who serve Him!” Annette said.

RMCNews with Annette Treat; text and photo

20 Aug

RMC Pathfinders Among the Largest Group From the Region

RMCNews — Oshkosh Pathfinder Camporee was definitely a feature of the 2019 summer in the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Under a theme “Chosen” it brought 55,000 young people from throughout North America and 100 countries, making it one of the largest gatherings of the church.
Among them was the second-largest contingent of Pathfinders from Rocky Mountain Conference, a part of Mid-American Union Conference. RMC had 581 attendees and was three participants less than Minnesota Conference.
Consider this short report as a teaser of more to come in the next days and weeks. Reporting from Oshkosh was Christine Register Hill. Considered by some the RMC Pathfinder Queen, they form a team to beat together with Papa Don King, her Pathfinder husband. She wrote on her Facebook page, “we have been busy from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.”
Baptisms were likely the biggest feature of this mega youth camp meeting. Jamie Mira, a Pathfinder from Denver South Hispanic, was among the over 1,300 baptized at Oshkosh. Her parents have been Pathfinder Area Coordinators for many years. Her older sister, Betsy, is one of RMC teen reps and she was baptized at the previous Oshkosh Camporee.
“Jamie has been like a granddaughter to us since she was born. She loves Papa Don so much, and he was honored to baptize her. Also, one of the RMC Pathfinders was baptized by her grandfather and many were baptized by their fathers, Christine said.
According to Kiefer Dooley, RMC youth director, there were 15 Pathfinders baptized from among the RMC participants.
Watch this space for more reports from Oshkosh.
RMC News with Christine Hill and Kiefer Dooley; photos by OUTLOOK MAGAZINE and Christine Hill.
20 Aug

Ten New Members Are Welcomed Into Newday Church

By Jamie Santa Cruz–Parker, Colorado…Newday church, in Parker ,was thrilled last month to welcome ten new members into their church community. The new members, which included three husband-wife pairs, all joined the congregation by baptism on July 27.
Two of the new members–Jeneane Cochran (age 12) and her sister Eowyn (age 9)–were baptized during summer camp at Mill Springs Ranch. Both were baptized by their dad, Newday member Steve Cochran.
The other eight baptisms occurred on the same afternoon in Parker. Newday’s congregation has a tradition of gathering once each year on a Sabbath afternoon during the summer to celebrate baptisms at the country home of a Newday member family, and the baptisms take place in the home’s backyard swimming pool.
At the Parker baptismal celebration, the first two candidates to enter the water were Evan Barton (age 13) and his sister Talia (age 11), who attend Newday regularly with their parents. The two were baptized by their grandfather. Next came husband and wife Dave and Sandy Watson, both of whom were raised in Christian homes, but neither of whom had felt fully connected to God or to a church family in recent years. In their testimonies, Dave and Sandy described a turning point in the spring of 2019 when they signed up to go on a trip to Israel organized by Newday–a trip that turned out to reignite the couple’s faith.
The last two couples to be baptized stood shoulder to shoulder to share their testimonies as a group. The four had been on a spiritual journey together for over a year after participating in the same Starting Point small group at Newday. Lily McAllister, one of these final four to be baptized, shared an emotional testimony about the crisis that had first brought her and her husband Gordon to Newday early in 2018. A horrific motorcycle accident had left their 27-year-old son severely and permanently disabled–and the accident left Lily with intense questions about the character of God. “We kept coming [to Newday] because we needed healing and help from God and his people to confront and deal with our recent tragedy,” Lily told her church community before she and Gordon entered the water. In the Starting Point group, Lily and Gordon found support and healing they desperately needed. “Things started making sense to me,” Lily said. “I felt very, very safe sharing my thoughts, my frustrations, my questions with my group.”
Milvia Valladares, who was baptized at the end along with her husband Fergie Lee, said she’d accepted the invitation to join Starting Point only because she couldn’t think of an excuse not to, but then echoed Lily’s sentiments about how important the group had become in her spiritual journey. “I have met the most wonderful people of my life,” Milvia told the church. She ended her testimony with a prayer of gratitude: “Thank you for not giving up on this lost sheep.”
Jamie Santa Cruz; photos by Mickey Mallory
14 Aug

Campion Academy Tops New Niche Ranking

By Darcy Force — Loveland, Colorado…Campion Academy (CA) just received a new ranking from Niche.com on the annual 2020 Best Schools ranking list. The new ranking puts Campion Academy as #1 in the Best Private High Schools in Larimer County category. There are currently 32 private schools in Larimer County.

Niche.com, a nationally recognized education ranking site, based this ranking on  rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, and data sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, Niche users, and the schools directly.

“We are thrilled to see CA increasingly recognized for academic quality while providing an atmosphere conducive to personal and spiritual growth,” says principal Don Reeder. “We are proud to be serving the students and families of Larimer County.”

The Academy, established in 1907, is a private Christian school with grades 9-12. Located in south Loveland, the school is situated on ample acreage with comfortable dormitories and academic buildings, beautiful outdoor spaces, and sports facilities and fields. The school admissions process is open to day-students and students of all faiths.

Campion Academy provides a multi-sensory academic program with an atmosphere rich in opportunities for students to learn skills in critical thinking, industrial arts, extra-curricular activities including music education, fine arts, outdoor adventure, and service leadership.

As a Christian school within the education system of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the faculty and staff provide many opportunities for spiritual growth and community service. Learn more about Campion at campion.net.

Darcy Force; photo from Rajmund Dabrowski

 

 

13 Aug

Reaching Out For Jesus Theme Inspired a 2019 Western Slope Camp Meeting

When it ended on August 3, the Western Slope Camp Meeting, which brought some 275 participants to the Mountain Top Retreat, near Montrose, concluded with more than memories. 

  “Being here was a mountaintop experience for me,” said one of the participants from a local church. This year’s theme was “Reaching Others For Jesus,” and it spiritually enriched Seventh-day Adventists who came to meet their fellow members from area churches.

  For Fritz Krieger, a pastor of Montrose Adventist Church,  this year’s camp meeting was the last he was involved as a pastor. Nate Skaife, pastor of Grand Junction congregation was the organizer of the gathering. Krieger believes that, church members “need to come apart from their regular activities periodically to renew their spiritual life.”

  “I think this camp meeting provided an opportunity for people to hear topics essential to their faith,” he added.

  The principal speaker for the gathering was Dr. Rodney Palmer, a professor of religion at Andrews University, who challenged all participants to be workers for Jesus, willing for God to use them to bring one person to Jesus this year.

  With great passion, Pastor Nestor Soriano, associate pastor at the Campion Church, presented afternoon seminars that aimed to help church members to understand how many non-Christians think when they hear Christian believers presenting the good news of Jesus. 

  Dr. Don Nicolay, a well-known surgeon from Boulder, and more recently vice president for Medical Affairs at Grand Junction ’s Community Hospital, together with Dr. DiWayne Carlson, orthopedic trauma specialist, and a “big believer” in lifestyle medicine, discussed the roles of traditional medicine and alternative medicine in the context of heart disease and cancer. 

  Young adults and enjoyed their meetings and activities as well – learning the importance of health in their young lives, and how much of a treasure Jesus is.

    In addition to spoken presentations, the camp meeting participants planned and enjoyed many other activities. Many individuals participated in guided hikes, motorcycle/ATV riding, jeeping, boating & tubing, as well as the retreat’s zip line and water slide. Each year, more/different programming and activities will be included.

   “Plan to put Western Slope Camp Meeting on your calendar for next year, August 5-9, 2020! This is an uplifting and refreshing event for the whole family,” said Nate Skaife. 

Grand Junction Church Newsletter with Rajmund Dabrowski; photos by Ron Johnson and Rajmund Dabrowski