25 Feb

Campion scholars celebrate academic accomplishments

By Haley Enochs — Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy honored students on Sunday, February 21 during their annual scholastic award’s program, Campion Acclaim.

The administration acknowledged those with excellent grades and awarded scholarships in front of the assembled crowd, which included fellow classmates, teachers, and parents. All juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 who demonstrated qualities of scholarship, leadership, service, and character, were nominated into the National Honors Society (NHS) during the ceremony. Seniors inducted into the NHS were given a red cord and gold pin to wear at graduation to recognize their achievements.

Brooke Eitel, Campion senior, reflected on the event saying, “It is a huge honor to be recognized for all of the hard work I’ve put into academics the past four years. Hopefully being a part of the NHS will help me get scholarships so I can continue my education at a college level.”

Kent Kast, Campion’s vice principal of academics and NHS sponsor explained why it is important to spend time recognizing the accomplishments of the students.

“I believe it is meaningful to the students to be recognized for their achievements. When we are recognized, it makes us want to be even better. It is also a good example to other students of the satisfaction that comes with a job well done. The students are also eligible for scholarships in college that they might not be able to get without a membership in the National Honors Society.”

During the service, four seniors were chosen to speak and light a candle symbolizing the four pillars of NHS, scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

“I never really thought about being part of the NHS until I came to this event,” Tiffany Dien, Campion senior said. “It felt surreal to be actually lighting a candle, speaking, and getting our red cords and pins. It means a great deal to be recognized for my achievements and see my hard work pay off.”

–Haley Enochs is a senior at Campion Academy; photos supplied

24 Feb


By Jodie Aakko – Brighton, Colorado … Each week at Brighton Adventist Academy (BAA) culminates in an all-school Thursday chapel. On February 18, the experience was a rock-solid message of God’s eternal promises.

Unna Trunkenbolz, retired teacher and BAA volunteer, also known as rock hound extraordinaire, displayed an extensive rock collection during chapel as an illustration of God’s character. “God is my rock. He is a solid foundation,” Trunkenbolz explained. She continued by sharing stories of adventures to collect special rocks, gems, and crystals, including rocks from the Lake of Galilee and rocks from the Valley of Elah where David’s battle with Goliath took place.

Included in the large collection of fancy rocks and minerals was a box of ordinary rocks, each marked with a Bible text. “As you travel through life’s journeys, take the time to collect simple rocks along the way and mark them with a Bible text of God’s promises, because just like rocks, God’s promises are solid and will last forever,” challenged Trunkenbolz.

“It was interesting how she collected rocks from when Jesus was around.  I like the messages that she gave us about how we can learn lessons from rocks,” Fidel Valdez, fifth grader said.

To conclude the week, students were given the opportunity to shine as young leaders during the Brighton church service bringing to life the rock-solid promise that, like Daniel, we can “shine like the brightness of the heavens” See Daniel 12:3.  The school’s ukulele group and hand chime choir recorded videos of musical numbers, and the five-member drama group shared a skit for the children’s story.

“I told Pastor Wayne [Morrison] that I wanted to preach a sermon, and he let me preach a sermon even though I am just in first grade!” beamed Landon Lopez-Ramirez, who preached about Lazarus being raised from the dead.

The special service concluded with kindergarten through fourth grade and the drama team presenting an interpretive demonstration of Matthew West’s song, “Truth be Told.” As the song played, the drama team acted the scenes for the verses while other students displayed cardboard word signs during the chorus to present the song’s message in a clear and meaningful way.

“The drama team got to make up the acting to the verses,” said Brooklyn Hill, a drama team member. “We decided to paint black boxes and use them to represent lies that people hide behind in life, or the secrets that they carry,” Hill said.

“The students’ presentation of this song brought me to tears, and I had to race home to watch the archived livestream video to catch this inspiration a second time,” said Randy Bell, an elder at the Brighton church.

To view the church service https://livestream.com/brightonsda/events/9540454

To view “Truth Be Told” skit https://vimeo.com/516446052

–Jodie Aakko is Brighton Adventist Academy’s head teacher; photos by BAA Facebook page

24 Feb


RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … Personnel changes at the Rocky Mountain Conference were among the agenda topics discussed during the RMC Executive Committee meeting on February 23. Ed Barnett, RMC president, expressed his appreciation to Eric Nelson, vice-president for administration, for his many years of service in the conference. “This will be the last time Eric Nelson will be meeting with us, since he is retiring at the end of March. Eric will be missed by me personally, and by many church members, ministers and educators,” Barnett said.

The committee voted Doug Inglish, director of Planned Giving and Trust Services to become the new vice-president for administration. Mary Lynn Green, associate of Doug Inglish, was voted to replace him as the new director of the department. Inglish and Green will transition into their new roles effective April 1.

In the President’s Report, Barnett expressed gratitude to members of the church for their faithfulness in giving during 2020 as it was “a tremendous blessing during that difficult year.” He also shared that Colorado Springs Central church had 44 baptisms in 2020. “God is richly blessing Mike Maldonado in his ministry and church,” he said.

Campion Academy principal, Don Reeder reported that the school has had to shut down several times due to COVID. However, enrollment remains strong at 139. The committee was informed that Campion Academy is considering the sale of approximately 17 acres that are not contiguous to the campus. This will be referred to the Property and Trust Committee for further review. Funds from the potential sale will be used to build up the school’s endowment fund.

Diane Harris, recently appointed director of Education, shared that “all of us need to show our support for our teachers by emails, texts and gestures of appreciation. They are working so hard,” she said. Harris welcomed Paul Negrete as the new associate education director. Negrete has occupied multiple roles, including head principal for the last 11 years at San Gabriel Academy in Southern California. He will join the department on July 1.

Reporting on finances for the fiscal year 2020, George Crumley, RMC vice-president for finance, said the conference total tithe was $17,383,356 and the base tithe which does not include windfalls, amounted to $16,993,817. “Total tithe was down by 4.35% when compared to 2019, which was a large windfall year, and base tithe was down by just .03%. Because of the faithfulness of our members and special appropriations from Mid-America Union and the North American Division to assist during COVID, the conference showed an unaudited gain of $339,867,” Crumley said.

In view of the gain, the committee approved a proposal of a special appropriation to return $197,000 to schools and academies. This will help them with their financial challenges faced during the COVID pandemic. Following the vote, Harris expressed appreciation for the committee’s support of education ministry in RMC. Seventy thousand dollars will be shared equally between Campion Academy and Mile High Academy. The elementary schools will receive $3,000 per full-time conference teacher with a cap of $25,000 per school.

Additionally, the 2021 revised budget was voted. “It is a balanced budget, but at this stage, does not include a July 1, 2021 cost-of-living pay increase for workers,” Crumley said.

In his final report about current state of pastoral positions in RMC, Eric Nelson stated that the following positions were filled:

  • Boulder’s senior pastor is Geoff Patterson from the Forest Lake church in Florida;
  • Golden, Denver West and Lakewood Fellowship will be covered by Nathaniel Gamble;
  • Leadville will be covered by John Davidson, Cañon City pastor;

He also shared the following open positions:

  • Castle Rock is seeking a part-time minister;
  • Colorado Springs South is also seeking a part-time pastor;
  • Campion is searching to fill an assistant pastoral position.

Assisting conferences with filling pastoral positions, the North American Division will begin posting pastoral positions on a central website in the near future, Nelson commented.

It was voted that Montrose Hispanic company be designated a fully-recognized church.

The committee voted that RMC will use the title “vice-president” only for the two executive officers–vice-president for administration and vice-president for finance. Departments will use the title “director.”

Doug Inglish informed the committee regarding trust accreditation for the recent Property and Trust audit which resulted in RMC receiving the highest rating possible: A-3. “This means that future audits will be on a three-year cycle. We appreciate the work of the Trust Department team that enabled this to happen,” he commented.

Following the meeting, Ed Barnett commented: “It is obvious that God is blessing around the conference and yet we always face challenges as well. I praise God for the faithful members that we have.”


23 Feb


By Pennie Wredberg – Fort Morgan, Colorado — “Can we study the book of Revelation for morning worship?”

That was the question posed to Pennie Wredberg, head teacher at Lighthouse Christian School in Fort Morgan, Colorado by students from the upper grades.  They wanted to begin their day immersed in the fifth gospel of Jesus Christ–Revelation. The reason the student gave was simple. They had been talking about recent incidents on the news with their parents and wanted to know what the Bible had to say about end-time events.

It soon became evident that the students needed some guidance in their study after a few days of attempting to study on their own. That’s when Wredberg asked Dr. Ralph McClure, head deacon at the Fort Morgan church and an area physician, if he would be willing to spend time with students helping them understand what they were reading.

McClure agreed and explained to the eager, future Bible scholars that, “In order to understand the book of Revelation, we need to go back to Daniel.”

They agreed to study the book of Daniel first. The school ordered journals for each student with Bible pages on one side and blank paper on the other. They were challenged to draw pictures and write notes as they read, and promised a prize to be awarded in May for the best journals.

The students are thankful for the experience.

“I’ve realized that God can help me in any situation,” Julia, a student said.

Another student Brayden remarked, “Reading Daniel and Revelation makes me take a look at my choices and realize I need to make better ones. For example, in Daniel they changed their diet for 10 days and it made such a difference. What would happen if I took my choices more seriously?”

Another student, Paloma, is enjoying journaling about the book of Daniel and creating visual images to help her better understand the messages in the book.

They are taking their time by studying a few verses each day and are committed to continuing their studies no matter how long it may take to understand the books of Daniel and Revelation.

–Pennie Wredberg is head teacher at Lighthouse Christian School in Fort Morgan, Colorado; photos supplied

23 Feb


RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … The RMC Executive Committee voted on February 23 to accept and approve the nomination from the RMC Administrative Committee of Mary Lynn Green to replace Doug Inglish as Planned Giving and Trust Services director, effective April 1, 2021.

Green brings a vast experience of church employment in many institutions, including the General Conference. She has worked for RMC the last five years, most recently serving under Inglish as associate director.

“I have prayed a lot about this opportunity and am willing to take on this new responsibility because I feel it is the work Jesus wants me to do at this time. It is an honor to be part of this ministry,” Green said.

Green also added that building relationships is a vital part of the department she is about to lead. “When we first become acquainted, our clients place trust in our team to help guide them to create the best plan for their future with respect to their own priorities and for their loved ones. In this process, we become more than acquaintances and they feel like family to us. This trust [they place in us] and the relationship [we build] are a privilege that we don’t take lightly and it is clear to me that our team members care for each person we help and love the work we are called to do.”

Doug Inglish, vice-president elect of Administration, commented on Green being named as his replacement, “I am so pleased that Mary Lynn was chosen to be director of Planned Giving and Trust Services. Having worked with her for nearly four years, I am fully confident in her skills, her mastery of Trust work, and most of all, her leadership. The Rocky Mountain Conference will be well served by Mary Lynn and her department.”

Green is thankful for a dedicated team, “built under the leadership of past directors who were committed to excellence.”

For Green, prayer is at the center of her hopes for the department.

“Prayer is a foundation stone of all our interactions and we will seek [for] and rely on divine guidance to enable us to accomplish our goals. Our plans are to continue serving with excellence, to remain in touch with our current clients while assisting new clients, and make sure we have the right technology to best do this.”

Green, a Missouri native, attended Union College and began her career at Boulder Memorial Hospital.  She and her husband live outside of Denver, Colorado. They are the proud parents of two sons Tobias 21 and Yanni 24.

–RMCNews; photo supplied

23 Feb


RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … Douglas Inglish is the new vice-president of administration effective April 1, 2021. Meeting in a Zoom conference on February 23, the RMC Executive Committee received and accepted the nomination of Inglish by RMC’s Administrative Committee to fulfill the remainder of Eric Nelson’s term. Nelson, who announced his retirement in January, will leave his position on March 31, 2021.

Inglish, who has served as RMC Property and Trust Services director for the last four years, is looking forward to returning to a position where he will use his pastoral skills.

“A pastor is a lot of things: an evangelist, a teacher, a counselor, and more. While I enjoyed all these roles, I was especially drawn to the administrative aspects of pastoring. It is perhaps what drew me to accept opportunities to serve at institutional churches and on various committees at the conference and union level, and eventually work as a departmental director,” Inglish said.

“When I came to RMC, my focus narrowed somewhat and I find that I have been more isolated from opportunities to mentor pastors and work with churches than I enjoyed as a senior pastor and as the personal ministries director.”

Inglish graduated from Andrews University in 1982 with a history major and a political science minor, and went on to serve as boys’ dean at Ozark Adventist Academy for two years. He left church employment to pursue other work opportunities, but returned to teaching a few years later. After a year of teaching, he was given the opportunity to go into full time ministry as a pastor where he spent the next 25 years serving rural multi-church districts, multi-pastor metropolitan churches, and churches associated with Adventist institutions, including Sunnydale Academy and Minnetonka Academy.

Prior to coming to RMC, Inglish served as the property manager and director of Trust Services, Stewardship, and Personal Ministries for the Minnesota Conference.

Inglish recognizes the scope of the position he is about to undertake.

“It is always exciting to consider a new direction in ministry, but when it becomes apparent that speculation is becoming reality, it is very sobering and extremely humbling. Eric Nelson makes it look easy, but I have worked with several people in his position and know it is challenging, so I am very grateful that he is coaching me and will be available as I face new responsibilities,” Inglish said.

Ed Barnett, RMC president, is confident of Inglish’s ability to step into the Conference administrative position. “Doug has been in ministry for over thirty years and he has worked in at least four conferences. He has worked in two conference offices as director of Trust Services. He has a good feel for how things work in a conference. I believe he will be able to step in and be a real asset to the Rocky Mountain Conference,” he said.

Following the vote of the RMC Executive Committee, Inglish commented: “I am looking forward to returning to aspects of ministry that I have missed, but with the awareness that I am untested at this level of ministry, so I appreciate the support of others and rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” Inglish commented.

Inglish, a native of Indiana, has been married for 39 years to his wife, Susan. They have two grown children. Their daughter Chelsea is the youth pastor at Madison Campus Church in Madison, Tennessee, and son Joshua is a graphic designer in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

–RMCNews; photos by Rajmund Dabrowski

23 Feb

What to know post-vaccine

By Janelle Ringer – Loma Linda, California … As of the publication of this article on Feb. 10, 2021, nearly 10 percent of people in the United States have received at least one of the two COVID-19 vaccination shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the vaccine becomes more widely available, questions about what to do post-vaccine are becoming more common.

Jennifer Veltman, MD, chief of infectious disease at Loma Linda University Health, provides answers to common questions from people after they received the COVID-19 vaccine.

After being vaccinated, can I hug others? What if they are also vaccinated?

Unfortunately, we don’t have that answer. Vaccine studies were designed to answer the question of “Am I protected from those experiencing symptoms from COVID-19?” The vaccine studies were not set up to answer questions about prevention and transmission. We hope to have an answer soon.

After being vaccinated, should I still continue to wear masks and social distance? 

For now, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike need to follow the current Department of Public Health recommendations (i.e., wearing masks and social distancing). We can lower our guard and stop with masks only when community spread decreases and is recommended by the Public Health Department.

After being vaccinated, can I still transmit COVID-19 to others? 

Yes. A vaccine that requires two doses takes 7-14 days after the second dose for full protection, and even then, it’s 95% — not 100% — effective.

If I have flu-like symptoms, should I still get COVID-19 tested? 

If you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 that last for more than 48 hours, you should still get tested for COVID-19.

What can I do to slow the spread?

Wear a mask to protect yourself and others, stay at least six feet from others who don’t live with you, and avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. It’s also important to wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds.

To learn more about COVID-19, visit Loma Linda University’s coronavirus information webpage. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, see this article on your biggest COVID-19 vaccine questions, or you can visit our COVID-19 vaccines webpage.

— Janelle Ringer is Senior Public Relations Specialist at Loma Linda University; photo by Pixabay

This article was originally published on the Loma Linda University Health news site

23 Feb


By Jami Simpson – Grand Junction, Colorado … Students in the 2nd to 4th grade at Intermountain Adventist Academy were busy last week with an assignment that not only dealt with memorization and video recording, but also to encourage individuals in the community who have not been able to leave their homes often.

Their teacher, Jami Simpson, gave them the task of holding an online poetry recital as part of their lesson plan. The project challenged the students not only to memorize a poem, but to also learn technology skills needed to share their work. According to Sayeh Yousefi (2016), who wrote about the benefits of memorizing poetry, “the biggest benefit of reading and memorizing poetry, aside from an appreciation for a wondrous art form, is the immensely beneficial role it plays in the development of one’s mind and intellectual ability.” *

Another reason for the hefty assignment was to bring a smile to the faces of those at home, not able to get out much. Students encouraged the community by reciting their poems online, bringing happiness and joy to those unable to interact much with people outside their home.

One fourth grader commented, “The reason we recorded these poems is because we wanted to share the love of Jesus with other people.”  Mason, a 3rd grader, stated, “We made these poems for making people laugh.”

The students chose from a selection of poems. Their choices included “giggle poetry”, Valentine poems, and classics by William Blake and Emily Dickinson.

Fourth grader Max said, “The poem I memorized was easy to learn. The poem was fun. I liked the poem because it was funny.” Aning, another fourth grader, had a different opinion, “To be honest, it was hard for me, since I’ve never done a poem.”

After memorizing, the next task was learning to record video using their Chromebooks. The students then had to save the video onto their Google drives. Finally, they learned to insert the video and accompanying images onto a Google slide. The students did some very basic editing by trimming the ends of their video clips. Tanner, grade 2, said, “Making a poem is hard because you have to memorize. It was fun to put the pictures [with it] though.” Sophia, grade 3, thought that “it was easy to record, but hard to get it on slides.”

Another of the fourth graders reflected, “Have you ever thought about a poem? Well, if not, think about these lines from ‘Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky:

Be glad your nose is on your face, / not pasted on some other place, / for if it were where it is not, / you might dislike your nose a lot.’

God created us. He put our noses on our faces because He knows best. He is love.”

To view videos of the poetry recital, you can visit IAA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IAAGJ

–Jami Simpson is the 2nd – 4th grade teacher at Intermountain Adventist Academy; photos from IAA’s Facebook page

*Yousefi, S. (2016, June 14). Benefits of Memorizing Poetry. Novak Djokovic Foundation. https://novakdjokovicfoundation.org/benefits-memorizing-poetry/

22 Feb


RMCNews with Shayne Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … The tranquility of a snowy, quiet Mills Spring Ranch campus was interrupted by giggles and excited shouts of children, along with warm fellowship on Valentine’s weekend as members of the Gillette and Casper churches gathered for the Wyoming Winter Retreat 2021.

The weekend was filled with the swish of skis and the crunch of snowshoes as groups spent time exploring the white-laden forest. Miles of groomed snowmobile trails called the adventurous and sledding hills trembled with delight awaiting those young and young at heart to begin their joyous descent. The evenings, spent in fellowship, abounded with snacks, games and relaxation.

There was also time to spend in God’s Word. Henry Johnson, pastor from the Carolina Conference, gave talks on finding our purpose in Christ from the book of Ephesians. Lyla McDonald, member of a local church, and youth from Union College provided children’s and youth activities along with classes on Sabbath.

Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper district recalls the weekend which was filled with fellowship, but also extreme cold. “It was 28 below zero! It was so cold Brent Learned, [camp director] struggled to keep the propane in the kitchen working. But the fellowship of 80+ attendees was warm, and the music was joyful.”

The winter retreat is sponsored annually by the Casper and Gillette churches along with the cooperation of Mills Spring Ranch. Vincent adds that the hard work involved in meeting during the winter is worth it. “While it takes a fair bit of work with all the snow and shuttling people in with side by sides, it is never without fun and spiritual growth.”

If you are interested in attending next year, please contact Mills Spring Ranch for details.

RMCNews with Shayne Vincent who is the pastor of the Casper, Wyoming district; photos supplied

22 Feb

Adventist Church Leaders move General Conference Session to St. Louis, Missouri

By Adventist News Network – Silver Spring, Maryland … The Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted Wednesday, February 17, to move the 2022 General Conference (GC) Session, the quinquennial business meeting of the denomination, from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri, also located in the United States. The vote comes after GC Management was unexpectedly informed by the city of Indianapolis that the space in Indianapolis, was no longer available for the June 6-11, 2022 dates. These dates voted by the General Conference Executive Committee will remain the same.

“The announcement to us that the dates in Indianapolis were not available came as a complete surprise since we had taken this information to the GC Executive Committee,” said President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church Ted N.C. Wilson. “The officials in Indianapolis have been gracious but found they were unable to provide the verbally confirmed dates. We felt badly about not continuing the wonderful collaboration with the Lake Union Conference, Lake Region Conference, and the Indiana Conference.

“However, God had already foreseen the problem and through helpful contacts with the St Louis Convention Center, the exact same dates of June 6-11, 2022, were provided. God always is going before us to open the way,” he said

The Adventist Church Executive Committee had originally voted during the 2016 Annual Council to return to St. Louis for the 2025 GC Session.

This new development comes after a January 12 vote from EXCOM members to postpone the GC Session originally scheduled for late June of 2020, for a second time, due to continued challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the GC Session will now be held in St. Louis, which is within the Mid-America Union, instead of the Lake Union Conference, the two unions will join together to collaborate in evangelism and mission ahead of the meetings.

Gary Thurber, president of the Mid-America Union, also expressed his desire to work together during the upcoming GC Session. “When we learned this exciting news about the General Conference Session, our thoughts turned to the greater St. Louis area, which is divided by the Mississippi River,” he said. “ In actuality, there are two unions and four conferences covering this territory: the Mid-America Union with the Central States and Iowa-Missouri conferences, and the Lake Union with the Lake Region and Illinois conferences.

Thurber continued “Because of this, we are happy to be inviting the Lake Union to co-host the GC Session with us. The Lake Union has already prepared in a big way for the Session that was to be held in Indianapolis, so they will bring much experience and help to the table. We are thankful they are willing to work with us to impact the entire greater St. Louis community with the Three Angels Messages. It is always a privilege and honor to host a General Conference Session!”

Wilson also expressed his confidence the 2022 Session will be a time for Adventists to come together to share Jesus with the world. “Leading up to the General Conference Session, we look forward to a marvelous evangelistic working relationship with the Mid-America Union Conference and the Lake Union Conference which both encompass the greater St Louis region,” he said. “ What a privilege to proclaim the three angels’ messages and Christ’s soon coming in a united way in Total Member Involvement. As our 2022 GC Session theme says, ‘Jesus Is Coming! Get Involved.’”

–Photo by pixabay

This article was originally published on the Adventist News Network website

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