30 Mar


RMCNews with Michelle Velbis – Colorado Springs, Colorado … With active songs, fun activities, and bottom lines that taught about the love of God, Springs Adventist Academy (SAA) students enjoyed a special week of prayer.

Students participated in presentations about becoming “Fully Alive through Jesus” from Kiefer and Jessyka Dooley, RMC youth leaders, and speaker John Redmond, youth leader for Colorado Springs Central church.

“It was amazing and fun. We did some fun activities and we got to talk about God,” said third grader Mayson Tucker.

Jessyka Dooley commented about the fun the youth department had spending time with the students. “It was incredible to connect with Springs Adventist Academy. The students have a joy and energy that is contagious. We had so much fun going through the story of Zaccheus, learning new dance moves, playing games, trying new experiments and, most importantly, learning how we can live Fully Alive through Jesus!”

Michelle Velbis, SAA principal, reflecting on the week-long event, was grateful for RMC youth department spending time at the school. “Our staff at SAA is so thankful for people who want to partner with us to share God’s love and passion with young people. Kiefer, Jessyka, and John were so generous with their time and talents. They had a lot of energy and sincerity about how God sees us and cares.”

“I learned more about God and how He sees us,” said Darrick Grant, sixth grader. “We had lots of fun and it made everyone happy.”

Velbis added that “the students could talk about God all day. They are hungry to know Him more.”

–RMCNews with Michelle Velbis, principal of Springs Adventist Academy; photos supplied


River is showing Kiefer his “Tony Hawk” sweatshirt because one of the stories talked about famous people and used Tony Hawk as an illustration.
30 Mar


By Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … HMS Richards middle school seventh and eighth graders had an unusual visitor in March—a college recruiter. While it may seem unusual for college recruiters to reach out to students before high school, Jessica Williams, recruiter from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, spoke to the students about the ways they can prepare in high school for a successful transition to college.

Casey Jordan, seventh and eighth grade teacher, originally made contact with Williams when she reached out to all the Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities to ask for logo mugs for students to use for hot drinks while they work on writing in the classroom. That connection sparked the idea for Williams to visit with the class when she came to meet with Campion Academy seniors.

Williams emphasized two things in high school that students can do when planning for college.

First, she said, “Do your best right away. Don’t wait until you are a junior and then wish that you hadn’t gotten that low grade because you didn’t care when you were a freshman.” Second, “Get involved, be a well-rounded person, try music, sports, leadership, student association, church involvement and more.”

Jordan reflected, “The students had a lot of questions and enjoyed the conversation with Miss Jessica. It was a great experience as it allowed the kids to see how their futures are affected by the choices they make today.”

–Jill Harlow is Campion Academy’s communication director; photo supplied

25 Mar


By Tiffany Dien – Loveland, Colorado … The past year has made a significant impression on many high school seniors at a point in their lives where decisions are critical. They have had to adapt to the changing times of online education platforms, standardized testing, and college applications. The pandemic world has compelled many to reevaluate their plans for college and careers.

Campion senior Sharmaine Monreal’s plans for college before the pandemic are not so simple now. “I planned to go to college overseas, but COVID travel restrictions would have made it difficult. So, this opened up a door for me to start looking into American colleges.”

She went on to explain that “all my plans have completely changed, but I managed to find a way around them with my parents’ help. I tried to stay positive and prayed a lot. Now I’ll be able to start college in the U.S. this fall.”

Many seniors are having difficulty making their final decision on a college without getting to visit a variety of campuses.

Ryan Bell, Campion senior, was looking forward to visiting colleges in person as a way of getting a feel for the right school. “I’m still struggling with coming to the realization that traveling and visiting colleges just isn’t going to happen at this point. It’s disappointing not being able to have those experiences that I was expecting before COVID began.”

Some students were depending on acquiring a scholarship through activities such as sports and music, which have been on hold for the majority of the year. Dominick Maldonado, Campion senior shared, “I really wanted to get a soccer scholarship. As a team, we were proud of each other because we went undefeated last year. If we had had a strong soccer season again, there would have been potential for scouts and scholarships. Then COVID hit, and we never got the opportunity to see whether one of us would have gotten even just a small scholarship. I feel like it brought down the team’s morale and whole mindset.”

Despite these challenges, the majority of seniors at Campion are still planning to attend college next year. Colleges are helping students make those decisions by holding virtual events, such as tours and fairs, and sending recruiters to visit our campus. In addition, most universities have waived their requirements for SAT or ACT scores and are accepting students and basing scholarships on grade point averages.

“Even though we didn’t have college days for a big group of students, I was still able to visit Union during my spring break and get a tour of the campus. I’m looking forward to taking the next step in the direction of my career,” Jayce Treat, Campion senior said.

–Tiffany Dien is a senior at Campion; photo supplied

25 Mar


By RMCNews with Mickey Mallory – Loveland, Colorado … More than 750 people gathered online and in-person on March 20 to witness Matthew Hasty, Literature Ministries coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Conference, being ordained to the gospel ministry.

Hasty traces his ministerial calling to a book he read by E.G. White, Colporteur Ministry, when he was age 15. “Through that book,” he shared, “God called me to participate in literature evangelism.” After many summers of participating in student literature evangelism during college, he into full-time literature ministry, leading a number of student programs in Michigan and Indiana. In 2019, he accepted the call to serve in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Addressing those gathered for Hasty’s ordination, former teacher Elder Larry Carter, retired Literature Ministry director of the Pacific Union Conference and founder of SOULS West Bible College, remarked that he was very impressed with Matt as a student because “he not only had a knowledge of the Scriptures, but a knowledge of what those Scriptures meant.”

Carter went on to say that Hasty had a determination to succeed, which helped make him a successful student.

Reflecting on Hasty’s ministry, Mickey Mallory, RMC Ministerial director commented, “God shines through [Hasty’s student evangelists]. He is using them to make a major difference at Campion and around the conference during the summers when he takes student teams out to serve.”

Pastors from area churches, as well as leaders of the Conference, participated in the ordination celebration held at Campion Church.

Hasty, reflecting on this life changing moment was appreciative of the support shown by the area ministers and RMC conference staff who attended. Matthew and Amanda, his spouse were especially thankful for family and many friends who has shown them support throughout the years.

RMCNews with Mickey Mallory who is RMC Ministerial director; photos supplied

24 Mar


By Jon Roberts – Littleton, Colorado … Neither snow nor a pandemic would stop the Littleton church from gathering to celebrate a founding member’s 102nd birthday.

Some 30 members congregated in the church parking lot on Tuesday, March 23, to form a car parade and drive by the home of their beloved member, Lucile Claridge, who has been homebound since the pandemic engulfed the region.

Members usually celebrate Lucile’s birthday in person, but the question facing Alise Weber, Littleton’s children and family ministry pastor, was how to safely celebrate a 102nd birthday during COVID.  “I had realized that Lucile was turning 102 soon, but didn’t know how to celebrate her during this pandemic. Lucile hasn’t been at church since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It was another member who thought of a car parade and once that was suggested, I knew it was the perfect thing to do and the planning began.”

Long-time Littleton member Charlie Phillips came to celebrate because Lucile has been so generous to others in the church. “She and her husband helped a lot of people over the years. There was a young man who came here from Guam and they helped him through college. They have always helped with La Vida Mission.”

For Kelly Waller, Cradle Roll teacher at Littleton and life-long member, Lucile is a friend and a devoted Cradle Roll volunteer. “I have known Lucile since I was a child, and she has always been a bright spot in our church! She has always had a smile, a kind word, and a willingness to help. I want to be like Miss Lucy when I grow up.”

When not volunteering in the Cradle Roll Department, she can be seen giving encouragement to fellow members.

“I have been at Littleton Church for about 3 1/2 years and, during that time, Lucile has shown great love to our family. She has sent birthday cards to my girls and really encouraged me when I was new to the position of children’s ministry leader,” Weber said.

Lucile expressed her gratitude to her beloved church family. “I was so overjoyed and happy when the cars started coming by and waving and honking their horns. Thank you so much. I love you.”

Weber added, “There is something very special about having a centenarian in the congregation.  Everybody at Littleton loves Lucile.”

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Andy Nash

24 Mar


RMCNews with Joanne Smith – Aurora, Colorado …The Aurora First church, with assistance from the Rocky Mountain Conference Adventist Community Services (ACS), applied for a grant last year from the North American Division Seed Grant program, which would help them better serve those in their community who are struggling to provide the basic needs of food and clothing.

According the Adventist Community Services website, “ACS Seed Grants are awarded to ACS programs in the U.S. and Bermuda and are intended to encourage innovation and increased humanitarian service in the community.”

The church already had a food bank and a clothing store, but both were in need of repair and adjustments in order to serve more individuals efficiently, which the grant funds would allow them to accomplish.

Aurora First church was awarded the seed grant money and was able to move closer to their goal of blessing their community.

The improvements made were significant and allowed the church to double the days they are able to open for the community, explains Donna Tumbarante, Aurora First ACS leader. “With the additional refrigerator, we are able to store more perishable foods that need to be kept cold for those who visit the food pantry. We’ve also been able to remove the old carpet and add epoxy cement flooring.”

Tumbarante added, “The most significant accomplishment we’ve been able to achieve through these additions is that we are able to provide more for the community we serve and open our doors twice a month now as opposed to our previous openings once a month.”

The church is thankful for the grant money that has helped them make the needed improvements. “We extend tremendous gratitude to the ACS grant committee for considering our church for their grant. Special thanks to Cathy Kissner, RMC ACS director, for letting the church know about this opportunity. With the grant, we were able to bring the food bank and the clothing store to a more sterile level for our clients, and to purchase a much-needed trailer for hauling food from the food bank and refrigerators for storing fresh produce,” Joanne Smith, finance chair for Aurora church said.

Kissner was interested to hear that the funds are already helping the community. “Through this grant, the food pantry volunteers are blessing their community,” she said. “Every time a hungry, struggling family is fed, they are showing the love of Christ.”

To find more information about the seed grant and how to apply please click here. https://www.communityservices.org/resources/acs-grant-applications/

–RMCNews with Joanne Smith Aurora First church’s finance chair ; photo supplied

24 Mar


By Diane Harris – Denver, Colorado … Through every age, God “has always had a people” to be His hands to serve the world. They cover every ministry that serves others.

One of those ministries involves our education system. We have all heard of the accomplishments of Adventist education—the higher test scores, higher percentage of graduates going to college, higher retention in the church, a stronger culture of kindness and service.

What we don’t often hear about are the donors who recognize the financial investments of putting a child through Adventist education. They are the ones who may have long since finished putting their own children through our system yet continue to give because they value the benefits of Adventist education and want to continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

The Rocky Mountain Conference has been blessed with many individuals who recognize the importance of Adventist education and the financial requirements to keep students in school, especially through the COVID pandemic when many families have been financially hit hard. They may have to choose between an Adventist education and many other things, even food.

During this time, God “has a people” to be His hands to serve the world—people who pay it forward with no desire for acknowledgement.

Thanks to these donors, who give unselfishly, many students have been blessed by their financial support. There are families who were going to have to tell their children they would need to leave the school because there was no money to keep them there. And there were students who were able to graduate because someone paid the remaining balance of a school bill. There has been story after story of lives impacted by people who gave, not because they had to, or because they wanted recognition, but because they believe in our Adventist education system.

I was one of those students whose life benefited because someone had the commitment and passion to make sure Adventist education was available to all. Coming from a single parent home, I was the recipient of many scholarships and generosity of individuals from elementary school through academy and finally through Southwestern Adventist University.

God “has always had a people” to be His hands to the world. We are blessed to have so many of them right here in our territory.

–Diane Harris is RMC education superintendent; photo by Intermountain Adventist Academy Facebook page

This article was originally published on Outlook Magazine’s website.

23 Mar


RMCNews – Denver, Colorado, March 23, 2021 …The Rocky Mountain Conference is mourning with the community of Boulder after a senseless act of violence claimed the lives of ten individuals, including a law enforcement officer.

We mourn for the families whose mother, father, partner, grandparent, or child had their life snuffed out due to evil that played out in what is supposed to be a safe public space—a grocery store.  We mourn for the workers who will ever be traumatized by what they witnessed. Finally, we mourn for the shooter’s family as their lives have ever been changed by the devilish act of one individual.

Responding to the tragic events of Monday, March 22, Geoff Patterson, senior pastor of Boulder Adventist church, addressed the faith community of Boulder by email. “Our hearts and prayers go out, first for the families that tonight are bereaved, next for our law enforcement community that has lost one of its own, and also for all of our friends and neighbors who have been shaken by this tragic event.”

The Boulder church is responding by providing support with members available to listen and pray with those in need. “If anyone needs specific prayers, our prayer line is available at 877-793-7729. You may call and leave a voicemail, or send us a direct text. Our prayer team is standing by. In addition, our pastors are available to talk if you wish for them to contact you,” Patterson added.

Adventist Community Services is mobilizing and awaiting instructions from the State of Colorado on what assistance they can provide the community.

“We have had too many of such tragedies in our communities,” said Ed Barnett, president of Rocky Mountain Conference. “Will this ever end? We long for the day when violence will cease to exist and when there will be no more tears, pain and death.”

Patterson prayed “Lord, there is sickness in this world, and this time it has struck in our town. Grant us strength in this difficult hour. Amen.”




22 Mar


By Falon Reynolds and Daniel Birai – Denver, Colorado … Two churches came together to help their community by distributing a tractor-trailer full of furniture, toys, health and beauty items, and food.

LifeSource Adventist Fellowship and True Life Community church, in partnership with World Vision, provided the donated items from overstock or returns from nationwide retailers, as a way of blessing to those in the greatest need in the surrounding community.

“The items have touched the lives of children as well as adults in ways that we never expected.  It has added a truly wonderful ministry to our churches,” said Bob Reynolds, True Life pastor.

“This partnership began in the summer of 2020 when LifeSource partnered with World Vision and the United States Department of Agriculture,” explained Seth Day, co-pastor of LifeSource. “The program, named Farmers to Families partnership, delivered 31-thousand pound of food every Thursday to our church. Volunteers distributed the food to our community for three months.”

The donated items are also helping members grow closer to each other.

“I have been blessed by participating [in this outreach] with offloading the container and the fellowship it has afforded me with other members uniting together in this outreach project to help our community. As a newer member of LifeSource, I’ve been able to connect with other members and make new friendships as well,” Ashley Radu said.

The outreach ministry consists of a monthly delivery of goods to the church where volunteers inventory the items and collaborate to find the best way to distribute the goods to our community.

–Falon Reynolds attends LifeSource and Daniel Birai is co-pastor of LifeSource Adventist Fellowship; photos supplied

18 Mar


[Updated Friday, March 19 at 6:45 a.m.] RMCNews with Dorie Panganiban – Farmington, New Mexico … La Vida Mission is in mourning. A mighty warrior of God and a stalwart of faith is fallen. Pastor Steve Gillham, a retired minister and director of La Vida Mission, lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday, March 17, at the age of 74.

Dorie Panganiban, La Vida office manager recalls Pastor Steve and his devotion to the work of the church while battling physical illness. “Illness may have taken a toll on him and defeated his physical body, but his spiritual body was kept from the evil of this world and remained pure and strong and victorious until his last breath.”

Pastor Steve, who served several churches in Oregon and the Rocky Mountain Conference, had been battling cancer for many years, but that didn’t slow down his passion to reach the Navajo nation with the gospel.

Pastor Steve began his RMC ministry in Wyoming serving Douglas, Wheatland, and Casper churches where he gave spiritual leadership for 11 years and played an important role in Mills Spring Ranch. “He was an integral part of Mills Spring during his time in Casper.   The Upper Room, above the shower facility, he built as a connection to Jesus and the Disciples time in the upper room,” Liz Cornett, Pastor Steve’s daughter recalled.

After serving many congregations in Wyoming Pastor Steve moved to Colorado to serve many districts including Alamosa, Monte Vista, Cortez, Dove Creek, and Nucla.  He also served as coordinator of Cowboy camp meeting.

“He was the coordinator of Cowboy camp meeting for many years and looked forward every year to seeing friends, singing together and worshipping in God’s nature,” Cornett added.

Eric Nelson, RMC vice-president of administration, recalls his friend with whom he became acquainted in college. “I had the privilege of attending Walla Walla College with Steve. After college, we served together in the Oregon Conference. We then had the privilege of sharing our ministry in Rocky Mountain Conference together. We worked and prayed together as we served the Lord in our given churches.”

“On a personal note,” Nelson added, “it was always a joy for our two families to visit together and share memories. This will surely be missed.”

Pastor Steve’s friendship was also special to Panganiban. “My husband and I and our little family will terribly miss him, although I feel that I will miss him more as I remember the many times and occasions of meetings in his office or my office or in the board room, the long phone calls when he was traveling, talking and discussing challenges and opportunities for ministry at the Mission, the joy of working together for the Lord in this place,” she said.

Pastor Steve will be remembered for his time and investment in La Vida Mission. “Upon retirement, he was invited to take leadership as director of La Vida Mission,” Nelson explained. He has done a wonderful service [and has] blessed the mission with good solid organization and direction. It is a much stronger institution because of his work. His passing will impact the mission greatly. He will be missed for his godly example and service and for his outreach to the Navajo Nation,” Nelson said.

Panganiban added, “He will surely be missed by everyone at the Mission who has known him and his friendship and leadership. The void and vacuum that he has left can only be filed by the grace of God.”

His latest venture, described as visionary, was to assist Adventist World Radio in creating a Navajo language radio station at the mission to broadcast the Good News of Jesus to the nation. Back in August 2020, Pastor Steve commented, “You see, we have been having this dream of winning the reservation for Christ.”

Working on the project was Allen Steele, former vice-president of AWR. “Steve was an integral part of our Navajo radio outreach to bring the Gospel to this largest Native American Tribe.  A man of vision, he quickly took on the challenge of establishing a radio production studio at La Vida to bring God’s message to the Native community that he loved,” he commented.

“Steve Gillham’s support and expertise in devising ways to make the Adventist message attractive to the Native tribes will be greatly missed as we work toward accomplishing the dream he had for this very important project,” he added.

A memorial and celebration of life service will be held at La Vida Mission on March 19.  He is survived by his wife Carol and four children–Stephanie, Liz, Angela and Stanley.  A celebration of life service will also be held on Sabbath, March 27 at 3:00 p.m. at the Casper church where he served as pastor for 11 years.

Liz Cornett remembers a special time when the family would depart after spending time together.  “Whenever we parted, he would always gather us together in a circle, clasp hands and in unison say, ‘May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.’”

“We will carry on the legacy of a faithful, godly life that you have left us,” expressed Panganiban. “We will persevere like you till the end. I believe with all my heart that you can boldly say, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’”

–RMCNews; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

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