31 May


RMCNews with Jones Tuufuli – Colorado Springs, Colorado … The Colorado Springs Central Adventist Church continues to reach out to one of the most vulnerable populations in Colorado Springs–the homeless.

The ministry, named Jesus Loves You Sabbath Homeless Ministry, feeds those who are temporarily homeless on the streets of Colorado Springs.

Reflecting on why the ministry began, Jones Tuufuli, assistant pastor at Colorado Springs Central, said, “When I began this ministry in 2018, I was moved by the message that the church’s mission is to be Jesus’ hands and feet.”

He added, “After attending services at Central, I observed a large number of homeless individuals begging nearby on the streets. My heart was on fire at the thought that the church could do so much to aid and reach out to our community.”

Tuufuli explains how a desire to assist the homeless turned into a ministry.

“I began by preparing and distributing around 20 meals at the park behind the Antler’s hotel, as well as at the 7-11 and the shopping complex near the church. About a month later, members and the church Board backed the Jesus Loves You Sabbath Homeless Ministry.

The ministry has grown substantially in the last four years.

“Now, we cook 125 meals every Sabbath, and depending on street conditions, we also prepare meals throughout the week which are delivered at homeless camps and shopping centers, gas stations, and 7-11s. This ministry in the streets is a hit-and-miss situation because the homeless move around for survival. They don’t permanently stay in one location.”

The ministry has also served meals on Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Tuufuli appreciates the support the ministry has received from RMC. “We appreciate the assistance from RMC Adventist Community Services funding provided to the Jesus Loves You Sabbath Homeless Ministry. It has helped the ministry acquire equipment and food supplies. Our ministry is thriving, and we are thrilled to be Jesus’ hands and feet on the streets of Colorado Springs.”

— RMCNews with Jones Tuufuli; photos supplied

26 May


Our hearts ache over the senseless act of violence and loss of life at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.  We pray for Jesus to comfort all the families who have lost a loved one.

With the tragic shooting deaths in Uvalde, Texas, concerns arise for the safety of the students in Rocky Mountain Conference schools.

The safety of our students is of the utmost priority for the RMC education department and each school and its staff. Each of our schools works with their local police department and experts in this field to educate and assist in preparedness for any possibility. Our teachers are able to deal with all the emotions that come with situations like this because they are able to direct their students with the calm assurance of God’s care for them.

Our office is committed to the support of each teacher, student, and their families to give assurance that we will do everything in our power to keep our students safe.

We ask you to join us in prayer for God’s protection over each precious life of our students and their families.

Diane Harris

RMC education director

Paul Negrete

RMC associate education director


Resources to help children:

Talking to Children about the Shooting

Helping Youth After a Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (En Español)

Talking to Children: When Scary Things Happen  (En Español)

Talking to Teens about Violence (En Español)

Tips for Talking to Students about Violence

Coping After Mass Violence: For Adults

For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence(En Español)

Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)

Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers(En Español)

Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)

Guiding Adults in Talking to Children about Death and Attending Services

After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Once I Was Very Very Scared – children’s book for young children

After the Injury—website for families with injured children

Health Care Toolbox—website for pediatric health providers working with injured children

Pause-Reset-Nourish (PRN) to Promote Wellbeing (En Español) (for responders)


26 May

Statement on Uvalde, Texas, School Shooting by North American Division Administration

We mourn with and pray for those whose lives have been irrevocably changed when a gunman opened fire yesterday at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two adults. This marks the deadliest school shooting in the state’s history and our hearts cry out in anguish and anger against this evil act.

But as we pray, we must do more. We must find a way to end this type of heinous and senseless violence from occurring in our communities. National reports indicate that there have been 27 school shootings in 2022 thus far with injuries or deaths. No student should live in fear of gun violence. It is unacceptable to have any of these shootings normalized in any way.

The words of a voted statement the Seventh-day Adventist World Church issued more than 30 years ago, before the heated political rhetoric of the day, ring true now: “Automatic or semi-automatic military-style weapons are becoming increasingly available to civilians. In some areas of the world it is relatively easy to acquire such guns. They show up not only in the street, but in the hands of youngsters at school. Many crimes are committed through the use of these kinds of weapons. They are made to kill people. They have no legitimate recreational use.”

We must search our souls for ways we can stem the tide of violence and implore our elected officials to take action. We must search our hearts and minds in order to prioritize human life.

As the world church statement declared, “Pursuits of peace and the preservation of life are to be the goals of Christians. Evil cannot be effectively met with evil but must be overcome with good. Seventh-day Adventists, with other people of goodwill, wish to cooperate in using every legitimate means of reducing, and eliminating where possible, the root causes of crime.”

We can’t keep thinking we are helpless in this. We can do something. We can hold our leaders and ourselves accountable.

And in echoing the words of the Psalmist, may God heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds (Ps. 147:3, NIV).

— North American Division Administration

26 May


By Brandon Westgate — School shooting. Two words that simply do not belong adjacent to one another in the same sentence, and yet we find ourselves wrestling with the loss of both innocents and innocence once again. The senseless loss of life in that small town school in Uvalde, Texas has left us stunned, heartbroken, and angry.

Stunned because these acts of violence against the youngest members of our society seem to hit us differently as we come to grips with the reality of human, sinful nature. The depths to which humanity has fallen and just how evil man can be is revealed through these heinous acts. To think that someone could rob a child of their most precious right, the opportunity to grow up and realize their full potential, is devastating and can shake us to our core.

Our hearts break not only as we contemplate the loss of innocent children but as we also realize that the siblings, parents, and extended families of these victims are grieving in a way that makes condolences, however sincere they may be expressed, seem trivial. As emotions swell, our grief and frustration can quickly devolve into anger towards the person responsible for committing such a heartless act of unfettered hostility.

So, what are we to do?

How are we to respond in a way that is healthy?

How can we make sense of such evil that was intentionally focused on these children?

To simply say this is a fallen world we live in or that evil is being unfettered among us, so that we should expect things like this, doesn’t help much. While these statements may be true in some way, they offer minimal comfort to those who are mourning and to those seeking a real answer to these complex issues.

It is true that we are living in unprecedented times. In Matthew 24, Jesus was asked what it would be like prior to His return. In verse 12, Matthew quotes Jesus as saying, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

It would be easy for us to take that one verse and find a measure of justification for the evil that seems to rule the day. But in taking such a stance, where is the hope for the future? I speak of the hope that each one of us possesses, the hope that gives us the motivation to plan and dream and live our best life with assurance and confidence?

This may be an excellent time to remind one another that our hope does not come through legislation that may or may not be enacted. Our hope does not come through who governs us locally or nationally. Our hope does not come from what great things we might do as a nation.

Our hope comes from the power of God, given us through the Holy Spirit, who both inspires and empowers every believer to good works. Hope from God pours out of the heart of every sincere believer, and that God-fueled hope is felt in the hearts of others who have been impacted by it.

You see, Jesus didn’t stop His statement in Matthew 24 with a message of doom. He continued His thought in that very next verse, “But he (or she) who endures to the end shall be saved.”

Jesus knew that we would face challenging moments such as these inexplicable acts of violence which rob children of their innocence. But He wraps up his thought here with a message of hope. Yes, we live in a sin-sick world. Yes, sometimes it appears as though evil has won the day.  But Jesus offers hope to every person with a promise of eternal comfort.

These present events serve as a stark reminder of the contrast between the present world we occupy and the promised world that will ultimately be our forever home. While we are here, it is the heart-filled actions of believers that push back against the tide of evil.

We are to overcome evil with good. As we collaborate with Jesus, we offer comfort and hope to one another so that every selfless act of kindness serves as a reminder that the God of mercy has an ultimate plan to save all who come to Him by faith.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

–Brandon Westgate is RMC youth director; photo by Brandon Westgate

26 May


RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Mile High Academy students, teachers, staff, and community celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2022 with a week filled with special events. Being the first normal graduation in two years, the excitement quickly mounted as students helped set up chairs, gave high-fives during the annual senior walk, and shared contagious smiles as the school year drew to a close.

The first graduation ceremony of the week started with the Kindergartners on May 17. Marching down the aisle among their smiling families and friends, the class of 20 graduates proudly stood before their families gathered in the gym.

“We are so glad you came to celebrate with us,” said Aria, a kindergartener.

The class hosted the entire ceremony, including singing “I am a Promise” and “Jesus Loves Me” and offering family tributes of thanks and love to their parents. Tassels were moved, Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal, gave handshakes, and the students ended the program with an enthusiastic recitation of the poem “I Did It.” They marched down the aisle to applause, cheers, and blowing bubbles.

The following evening was eighth-grade night. With 27 graduates, the largest graduating class of the year couldn’t stop smiling during the entire program. Walter Weber, MHA middle school teacher, challenged each to “Go to high school. Be strong. Be brave. And be aggressive,” in his commencement address.

Logen, class president, in his goodbye to the middle school teachers, said they “all have a special place in our hearts.” He closed his speech, which included humorous roasts of the teachers, with thanks to his class, and by exclaiming “Go Mustangs!”

The final graduation events of the week were focused on the senior Class of 2022. Following MHA’s tradition, there were four ceremonies for the seniors: Blessing, Consecration, Baccalaureate, and Commencement.

The Blessing, hosted at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship, was a private, family event with tributes, where graduates received their cords, sashes, and scholarships among family and friends.

Consecration, hosted at Littleton Adventist Church, included a special, heartwarming baptism of senior Wilson.

“Graduation is such a special, exciting time as the class moves forward in their academic journey,” said Diane Harris, RMC director of education and Wilson’s mother. “We are so proud of each individual in this senior class.”

Paul Negrete, RMC associate director of education, challenged the students to “Give your life to Christ every day. Consecrate your ways to Him. Live a life of meaning for time and eternity.” The Seniors proceeded to offer tributes to their beloved high school teachers, and each Senior was presented with a Bible signed by MHA staff and teachers.

Baccalaureate was scheduled to be held at Denver South Adventist Church; however, the ceremony was moved to the MHA gym due to the snow, downed trees and power lines. The circumstances and change of venue didn’t deter the class from enjoying a sermon by David Asscherick, Light Bearers & ARISE co-founder and instructor, and music performed by Leandro Bizama, former MHA music teacher and current associate pastor at Campion Adventist Church.

That night was the eagerly anticipated Commencement, the last time the eight members of the class of 2022 entered as MHA students. Walter Weber challenged the students to “put your faith and your dreams in Him.”

Union College handed out more than $150,000 in scholarships, with a total of more than $700,000 from all Adventist universities awarded to the seniors.

The seniors were formally welcomed as MHA Alumni, and a burning torch was passed to the new senior class of 2023.

Carpenter reflected on the academic year that had just came to a close by saying, “This has been a tremendous year. I couldn’t be prouder of all the students as they made my first year at MHA memorable and special. We’re excited for the things to come for the next school year, and we are grateful for each family in our community. Have a great summer, and congratulations to all the graduates in the class of 2022!”

–RMCNews; photos supplied

26 May


By Airi Nomura – Loveland, Colorado … As the school year came to a close, students gathered for a final Saturday evening program on May 21. Their teachers recognized their hard work by giving them awards in many fields: sports, humor, and of course, academics.

Michael Taylor, Campion Adventist Church associate pastor, began the evening with a worship thought. Reflecting on that thought, Kylie, a senior, said, “He reminded all of us that although our athletic and academic achievements are important, they cannot compare to what God can achieve through us and our willingness to use those achievements for his glory.”

Then, it was time for the students to be recognized.

“It was nice to get up there and see the hard work pay off. I enjoyed getting the sports awards because I could look back at all the fun I had playing soccer and basketball,” exclaimed Colton, a junior.

Kylie echoed Colton’s sentiment. “It was really cool to see all my fellow teammates and classmates get recognized for all their hard work this year! What most surprised me is getting the College Writing award. I honestly hate writing because it takes me so long, but I was glad that my hard work showed through!”

Many teachers gave awards to the students with the top three grades in their classes. Eldridge, a freshman, who got one of the awards, commented, “Seeing my first awards night was surprisingly fun! It made me feel like I should start trying [harder] in sports and school for the awards and appreciation. When my name got called just for one award, that was greatly appreciated, but I want more! Overall, awards night was really enjoyable!”

During the program, the deans announced the new resident assistants (RA’s) for next year.

“The program was really cool; it was really nice to recognize the people who put in all the hard work. For me, it was super fun when I got called up as a new RA because I had been dreaming about getting this position since Freshman year. Overall, it was a very fun night,” said Faith, a junior.

In Campion’s tradition, the end of the year video produced by Noah, a senior, culminated the program.

“The highlight of the night had to be the video made by one of my friends. I already knew he was good at his video making, but he completely outdid himself,” said Edward, a senior.

He added, “There were clips of times I don’t even remember, and it was a good reminder of all the fun I’ve had here at Campion. I know I’m going to be looking back at that video many years in the future.”

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

25 May


By Jon Roberts –Cañon City, Colorado … 2022 camp meetings began in typical Colorado fashion–with a foot of snow falling on opening night at the Southeast Colorado camp meeting.

The second annual Southeast Colorado camp meeting saw significant developmental growth from the previous year featuring an increase in attendees and informational booths, fellowship, new friendships made, and old ones rekindled.

As opening night drew close and the forecast calling for snow, many began asking whether the meetings would continue.  John Davidson, pastor of the Canon City district, had a simple answer, “The meetings are going on as scheduled regardless of the winter weather. We have food for all. Please attend if you are able.”

As everyone entered the Cañon City church on Friday night, only a cold drizzle was falling, leaving doubts about the weather forecast, which called for snow, but those doubts quickly faded as guests were greeted by heavy snow upon leaving the meeting. It continued throughout the night, building to a foot by morning.  However, the meetings continued and by the time worship service was ready to begin, the church was packed with attendees.

The theme for the gathering was The Power of Love and featured guest presenters Dwight Nelson, senior past at Pioneer Memorial Church, and Clifford Goldstein, editor of the Sabbath School quarterly and author.

Reflecting on what he hoped the audience would take away from camp meeting, Nelson said, “One sentence, ‘the Maker of all things loves and wants me.’ If we can embrace that sentence as a summation of all the revealed truth in the universe, how easy it becomes to share our faith. What I hope people leave this camp meeting with is the Maker of all things loves and wants me. Not just as a sentence but embracing it as the truth of the Living One.”

The event also featured musical guest Scott Michael Bennett, the affiliated musician for It Is Written. Each program was hosted by different regional churches offering their uniqueness to the praise and worship section of the program and involving local members on the platform.

Jade Teal, associate pastor at Colorado Springs Central Adventist Church, organized the youth meetings for the camp meeting. A unique feature of the gathering for some was that they could begin working on a Pathfinder honor. “I really enjoyed spending time with our juniors. They were a great bunch of kids this year. We learned about the faithfulness of God–that was our theme. We talked about the story of Ruth and about faithfulness being a fruit of the Spirit. Then we finished up with the Pathfinder duct tape honor, illustrating the stickiness of duct tape to help us stick faithfully to God and the story of Daniel who was faithful to God.”

Goldstein presented at three meetings, each with a different perspective. He taught the Sabbath School lesson, which explored Genesis as a precursor to salvation. At the next meeting, he was able to explore faith and science and how, when it comes to origins, believers don’t have to bow to science. At his final presentation, he shared his conversion story. “It’s amazing how God reached out and tailor-made what I needed to bring me to faith. The idea is that the same God who did this for me is going to do this for anybody else as well who is a seeker.”

Attendees left the meetings with three simple strategies for reaching the community. Shared by Nelson, these strategies include befriend or be a friend to strangers, take the initiative, and share your Friend (Jesus). After the meetings, Davidson invited the crowd to gather around Nelson and pray for him and his wife as they left the camp meeting and asked God to give them blessings in their work.

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

25 May


Matthew Moreland is the associate director of planned giving and trust services for the Rocky Mountain Conference. NewsNuggets invited him to share the value of the services offered to not only church members but the services they provide to the local church as well. In part 1, we will look at the services the department provides to local churches and the lesser-known services that are also available. Next week, in part 2, we will examine the estate planning options available free of charge to RMC members and how to take advantage of this free service.

NewsNuggets: Thank you, Matthew, for sitting down with us. When we hear the name “planned giving and trust services”, many people think of the will and estate planning services offered. What are some of the other items the department handles?

Matthew Moreland: We are responsible for all the properties within our conference. Some of our work is similar to serving as a property manager. If a church or school is buying or selling a property, we handle that.

We also handle the lease agreements when the church or school is being rented out to another entity or when one of our groups lease a facility.

NN: If a local church wants to rent out their facility, they should work through your department. Why?

Matthew Moreland: We have certain insurance and tax exemption protocols that need to be followed to ensure our schools and churches don’t lose their tax exemption status. We have to confirm that everything is in place and has had a legal review before renting out to anyone.

NN: Is it important that every church follows the procedures and steps before renting out their facility?

Matthew Moreland: Yes, this process protects all parties involved and makes sure we track usage for the required annual reports. Failure to follow procedures could result in legal exposure, loss of insurance coverage, or increased costs.

NN: You mentioned that the department handles all the church and school properties. Are there other properties you manage?

Matthew Moreland: Our main job is to facilitate wills and trust, but we occasionally receive a donated property. Under the direction of the Property & Trust committee, we view the property received and then list it for sale.  We sometimes receive mineral rights on a particular piece of property and handle those in a similar manner.

NN: What other services do you offer to the local churches?

Matthew Moreland:  We offer estate planning seminars. These have been on hold the last couple of years, but we will schedule more in the future. The goal is to help families understand how to plan for their own security and to carry our their charitable intent efficiently, whether they work through our department or otherwise.

This summer [2022], our team members plan to attend all of the RMC camp meetings, so we will have the opportunity to meet individuals and answer questions. We always have someone there from our department.

NN: Your work sounds like a lot of business transactions. I understand that planned giving and trust services considers the work you do is a ministry. Can you explain how you share the love of Jesus?

Matthew Moreland: During COVID, I received many calls from people wanting to ensure their estate was in order, but it took [on] more of a pastoral role because people were lonely. There were people who didn’t leave their house for six months, and they had a need to talk to somebody. They just wanted the comfort of knowing everything was okay.

I don’t rush to get off my phone calls with people. It is a privilege to listen to and comfort them.

Someone called me every other week, and we would talk for a half-hour or sometimes an hour. They were lonely, and I was able to visit with them. I had a relationship with them because I had done their estate planning. The spouse passed away during this time, and it was important to me to be available to minister to this individual. A very important part of our ministry is to give peace of mind to individuals.

In many cases the support we offer goes beyond the individual who signs an estate plan with us. We can support their family by helping settle the estate, helping them understand the responsibilities they have been assigned, or directing them toward the resources they will need, such as providing forms or contact information for agencies they will need to work with. If we can help a family member cut through red tape, meet a deadline, or remember an important step, we feel really good about that. That’s part of how we honor the wishes of those who put their trust in us.

–RMCNews; photo by iStock

24 May

Pick Your Pace: Walk and Run Your Way to Whole Health

By AdventHealth — Whatever speed is your target comfort zone, a good workout is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. While there is a long-standing debate on whether walking or running is the better exercise, the truth is that they’re both extremely healthy and effective — as long as you’re fitting consistent movement into your days.

We’re here to explain the health benefits of walking and running, along with some of the key differences between the two so you can pick the right pace for you.

Health Benefits of Walking and Running

Regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you prefer to walk or run for exercise or for pleasure, you’ll reap important health benefits as long as you’re doing one, or a mixture of both, on a regular basis. Starting with a brisk walk out in nature, even for 10 minutes a day, can help ease muscle tension and lower stress hormones, thereby brightening your mood and lifting your spirits.

You can increase your time and speed until you’re walking, jogging, running or doing a combination of all three for at least 30 minutes a day. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity walking and/or running a week to achieve optimal health benefits.

Walking and running are both aerobic exercises that effectively improve your whole health by:

  • Aiding weight loss
  • Calming your nerves
  • Easing depression and making you happier
  • Improving your mood, sleep, concentration and energy levels
  • Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers
  • Strengthening your muscles, bones, lungs and immune system

Before you decide to stroll, jog or sprint your way to better health, here are some of the differences and similarities between walking and running to consider.

Running is Faster

The main difference between walking and running is the intensity, or how hard your body works.

Brisk walking is a moderate activity. Your heart pumps hard, you may sweat and you can talk, but not sing. On the other hand, you can only speak a few words at a time during a vigorous running session.

While 150 minutes per week is recommended by the CDC for moderate physical activity, you can half that goal to 75 minutes per week if you’re doing vigorous exercise like intense running.

Both are Considered Safe Exercises

Both walking and running are generally very safe exercises. You may have heard that running ruins your knees, but this is an untrue myth. Running may even boost your knee joint health by strengthening the joints and surrounding muscle tissue and bones.

Many runners do get some short-term injuries. Every year, about half are temporarily sidelined. You can prevent these injuries by following some simple safety guidelines, like wearing the right shoes, planning your route, pacing and distance ahead of time, and paying attention to your posture.

Running isn’t recommended for some individuals, including those with hip replacements. Have a chat with your primary care provider (PCP) to make double sure running is a good exercise for you and your body.

Walking and hiking are lower-impact exercises, posing fewer risks to joints and muscles. You can still get some uncomfortable side effects like blisters. You can prevent them by choosing activity-appropriate shoes that fit well and soft surfaces to walk on, like grass or dirt trails.

Both Control Your Weight

Hour for hour, running burns more calories than walking — about 590, compared to 280 calories per hour when walking, for someone who weighs 154 pounds.

Walking still burns fat and can improve your body composition. Research has shown that people who stroll between 10,000 and 12,000 steps per day tend to have less body fat and a lower waist-hip ratio.

If you haven’t been active for a while, begin with short walks. Over time you can extend them, and then add short bursts of running as you feel comfortable.

It’s also best practice to include two days of muscle-strengthening activities per week. Doing so will reduce your risk for falls and other injuries.

Movement for Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Both running and walking improve your whole health. From strengthening your body to easing your mind and lifting your spirits, they’re perfect exercises to help you live life to the fullest. For optimal results, start where you are, taking into consideration your current health. Then, you can progress as you feel comfortable and your doctor recommends.

Your primary care provider can help you come up with an exercise plan that takes into account your current health and medical history. Click here to find a provider near you. You deserve to feel whole.

–AdventHealth; photo supplied

This article was originally published on AdventHealth’s website

19 May


By Airi Nomura – Loveland, Colorado … Skits, charades, modern-day connections, an interactive video-game presentation, and going deeper into the Gospel of John were the highlights of the recent student-led week of prayer at Campion Academy.

Senior class members led the students each afternoon through the gospel by sharing valuable insights and creative lessons from the life of Jesus.

For some of the presenters, speaking in front of their peers made them apprehensive. Reflecting on the event, Lizzie, a senior said, “Being a speaker for the Week of Prayer was nerve-wracking, but fun at the same time. I was glad to have the opportunity to spread the word of God and dive deeper into the influential chapter of John. I hope what we shared touched someone’s heart.”

Students enjoyed the variety of presentations and seeing a different side of Jesus’ life.

“This Week of Prayer was pretty fun and exciting, especially seeing all the seniors participate and summarize their chapters in John. Having their different views on each chapter really helped me see a different perspective of the story. It was interesting listening to their thoughts and their conclusions, and also seeing many of their skits,” commented Denisse, a Campion student.

Another Campion student, Joaquin, echoed Denisse’s sentiments, “I really like Week of Prayer because not only do we get out of class a little early, but most importantly because it’s a week where we can learn about Jesus and the things He did.”

Joaquin added, “It was fun because the seniors were presenting their creative projects to teach us. I really liked their skits, but I also learned more about the book of John, thanks to them.”

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

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