28 Oct


By Gwyn Reeves – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy senior Chase Bright rode his dirt bike masterfully and claimed first place at the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit (RMEC) Championship on October 24. He managed to earn the most points over the season, crowning him the champion of the circuit.

He has been racing dirt bikes since he was six years old and began riding as soon as he learned to walk, he recalls. He was inspired by his parents, who taught him almost everything he knows about the sport.

“The reason why I love to race dirt bikes is composed mostly of three things. One is that I enjoy being with my family and sharing these incredible memories with them. Secondly is pushing my mental and physical limits to new boundaries. Lastly, I enjoy reflecting God’s character in the competitions and hope that every day I can show Him to people that may not know Him,” Bright commented

On top of racing nearly every other weekend during the season, a trainer also assigns Bright different forms of training and practice to work on each week.

Balancing classes, training, and homework is sometimes a challenge for Bright.

“My schedule is crazy, and a lot of times, it gets hard to handle both of them at the same time. It just takes dedication and help from my family and friends.”

–Gwyn Reeves is a Campion senior; photo supplied

28 Oct

Campion manages COVID outbreak

By Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy’s campus has remained open, and the administration has a plan to return to in-person classes on November 1 after a COVID outbreak put more than 50 students and staff in quarantine.

Many of those quarantined were considered close contacts but have not contracted the virus. Students and staff who have tested positive are reporting that they are recovering well, and none have required hospital care.

All classes met online for the past week, and students were given the option to return home or remain on campus. Students who were not placed in quarantine could still dine in the cafeteria, use the campus facilities for recreation, and attend the Week of Prayer meetings in person. Students who are quarantined are being cared for by the deans and the school nurse and are given time each day to go outside for exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.

All students and staff on campus were tested for COVID on October 17 and will be tested again on October 29 in order to return to in-person classes safely.

Campion students have had various reactions to being on quarantined and online learning.

“During this quarantine, I’ve been good for the most part, but it has been an experience that I wouldn’t willingly do again. One of the challenges that I’ve faced was finding the motivation to do something productive and not be bored all the time. I’d rather be sleeping all day if I had the chance, just so time would go by faster,” a student quarantining in the dorm expressed.

Another student quarantining at home stated, “I’m happy that I was able to go home for the time being, but still, having to wake up early has been a challenge for me. Talking to my friends on the phone, riding my bike, and candy corn have helped me get through the week.”

Yet another student was happy to get away from people for a while. “It felt like COVID hit us like a bomb, and I was a little scared when several people started testing positive. In a way, I was glad that I could kind of take a break from people, and making the choice to go home was easy because I didn’t want to be stuck in my [dorm] room for a week.”

Jenny Gann, Campion nurse, explained that lessons learned from the past year and a half have contributed to managing this outbreak more effectively. “First of all, we’ve built a good relationship with the county health department, and they have been supportive of our protocols and are helping us with our goal of keeping our kids in school as much as possible.”

“I’ve helped as a consultant with four other boarding academies that have had to handle outbreaks and have learned a lot from them,” Gann continued. “Honestly, we’ve had a lower percentage of positive cases than in outbreaks at other boarding academies, and I believe that is because we are wearing masks and have been cautious in immediately isolating and testing students with symptoms.”

Gann concluded, “We’ve been blessed that we are only having one week of virtual learning, and we’ve had excellent student and parent support through it all.”

–Jill Harlow, Campion communication director; photo supplied

28 Oct


By Jodie Aakko, Brooklyn Hill, Kierstin Syvertson, James Adams, and Caleb Fish – Brighton, Colorado … Brighton Adventist Academy (BAA) completed its first quarter of in-person education for the school year. To celebrate, the staff and students planned and participated in three jubilant events.

In August, the school year began with anticipation and excitement as 61 students enrolled with a ten percent increase in enrollment from last year, a number not seen at BAA in nearly a decade.

The week of events began with students showcasing their musical talents for the members of the Brighton church in a special worship service. The service included students not only performing but getting involved behind the scenes.

The K-4 choir shared three songs with stirring choreography, and the upper grades’ ukulele class and hand-chimes class offered several other sacred numbers. Bob Dunkin, BAA ukulele and band director joined the ukulele musicians, playing the recorder and the trumpet.

The pre-school and pre-kindergarten classroom recorded a special video where the youngest students beamed with joy and happiness while citing Psalm 23 and thanking Jesus for His many blessings. The program’s highlight was when BAA graduates, Lexi Contreras, Brie Bell, Staci Baker, Hailey Baker, and Abigail Segovia, led the song service with Zane Meyers operating the sound system.

“I liked the songs that we sang in church. The words were very meaningful, especially saying that we are a grain of sand that needs pressure in order to turn into a diamond,” Sienna, a fourth-grader, said.

The following Monday, Wayne Morrison, Brighton church pastor, began BAA fall week of prayer. The students were encouraged to pray and walk with Jesus as their best friend and Savior at the daily morning gatherings. The students were urged to “Be still and know that I am God,” so the students spent quiet moments each morning resting at the throne of God.  In addition, Pastor Wayne urged them to remember the words of Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Students thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Morrison and the messages he shared.  Christopher, a fourth-grader, exclaimed enthusiastically that the “week of prayer with Pastor Wayne was interesting.  My pastor is awesome!”

The week of celebration ended on the evening of October 21 when staff, students, parents, and community members enjoyed a time of fellowship at the annual fall festival. The teachers and volunteers elected to attempt a festival that was outdoors and shortened in length. While wondering how successful this plan would be, all eyes quickly noticed that this event would go down in the books as the “biggest comeback ever!”

Cars were parked down the street, as the school parking lot filled up with carloads of students, friends, and family members who wanted to fellowship, laugh, visit, and play. The crowd was thrilled with the face painting, bouncy houses, corn hole challenges, free throw competitions, water balloon tosses, obstacle course races, dino dig expeditions, and s’more roasting.

“We had the best Fall Festival ever because a lot of people were here, and I liked the obstacle course, and dino dig the best,” Ericsson, a third-grader, commented.

The evening continued with a silent auction of baked goods that provided winners with a homemade treat, such as key lime pie, toffee, peanut butter cookies, brownies, apple pie, meringue pie, Scotchies, apricot bars, and much more. The event was topped with delectable corn dogs, cheese sticks, pupusas, spring rolls, horchata, and pancit for the masses to fill their appetites.

Pastor Wayne helped with the decorations by hanging festive lights while the festival’s co-directors Marilee Rego and Ashley Radu, decorated the school’s courtyard and playfields with colorful autumn decor.

As the students begin their second quarter, memories of the special week remain fresh in their minds as the staff starts planning out the next event to honor and showcase the students.

— Jodie Aakko is Brighton Adventist Academy’s head teacher, and Brooklyn Hill, Kierstin Syvertson, James Adams, and Caleb Fish are BAA’s student reporters; photos courtesy of BAA Facebook page.

28 Oct


RMCNews with Nathan Cranson – Montrose, Colorado … The Montrose church has been praying continuously over the last month for God to shine a light on the Montrose community and bring the seeking to their seminar on the messages of the three angels.

The prayers were answered when the series opened, and 85 were in attendance, 49 from the community.

Based on Mark Finley’s “Three Cosmic Messages” seminar, the series began on a date that will live in infamy for Adventists–October 22. The young pioneers of the soon-to-be Adventist church spent the day 177 years ago waiting expectantly for Jesus to roll back the curtain of the heavens and appear with glory and trumpet blasts. A day of great anticipation turned into a day of despair as the sun began to set in the West.

“It felt significant [to be] preaching the first night of a series called “Signs of the Second Coming,” on this very day. The amazing thing is that this great hope still burns in our hearts many generations later! Some of our pioneers dusted themselves off and opened up the Scriptures again to understand where they had gone astray,” Nathan Cranson, Montrose church district pastor and seminar speaker explained.

He adds that through much prayer and many tears, God opened the minds of the disappointed to His great plan of salvation. “It reminds us that the righteous man falls seven times, but he gets back up. It is easy to get discouraged when the community doesn’t seem to be responding to our mailings or showing up to our meetings, but we need to remember that we find our power through prayer.”

One guest who has attended every night so far shared that she just got out of a 90-day rehab program. As part of the program, they asked her if she believed in a higher power. She responded, “Yes, I believe in a higher power, but I don’t know anything about it.” After coming to our meetings, though, she exclaimed, “I now know Who the higher power is! I am so excited to know who God is!” She and her significant other are planning on coming to church with their daughter. “We want to get involved with the church,” they said.

Cranson, who has been part of evangelistic outreaches before, tributes the dedicated individuals who never gave up on prayer for the initial success of the gathering. “I have preached several evangelistic series, and I can unequivocally say that the meetings where prayer has been the focus have always been filled with a special power. I am reminded of the texts that tell us that we can of ourselves do nothing. It is His work. We are His humble servants.”

The church is in the middle of the series with ten more gatherings planned and asks for prayer for this outreach.

If you want to view this series, it is being live-streamed on the Montrose church YouTube channel: Montrose Christian Media.

–RMCNews with Nathan Cranson, pastor of the Montrose district; photo supplied

27 Oct


RMCNews with Union College News – Lincoln, Nebraska … Students from 14 Adventist academies from four union conferences arrived on the campus of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska for an opportunity to fellowship, make new friends, and compete against each other at the annual fall soccer and volleyball tournament.

The gathering, a much-anticipated event for sports fans, offered an additional sport this year–golf–for the high school students to showcase their athletic skills.

Due to a COVID outbreak, Campion Academy had to cancel their participation in the annual tradition that many seniors look forward to. “We were disappointed to miss the tournament,” Donavan Reeder, Campion Academy principal, said. Reflecting on the missed tournament, Campion Academy said on a Facebook post “that the students are thankful for finishing out their season with wins at home for their last games. No matter what, they will all look back on this sports season with fond memories, most especially because of the bonds of friendship built in the teams!”

Mile High Academy was able to participate in the tournament representing the Rocky Mountain Conference. The students enjoyed the time to fellowship as they competed against each other.

“The tournament was a really great experience for our boys and girls,” said Michael Camacho, MHA athletic director. “They get lots of time to bond with one another and catch up with old friends from other schools.

Camacho added, “The students fought hard through injury, weather, and sleep deprivation–their own doing–but they made us proud.”

The tournament was divided into two divisions–the Clocktower and the Thunderdome divisions.

Forest Lake Academy Panthers won the volleyball Thunderdome Division bracket and Sunnydale Adventist Academy Spartans won the soccer Thunderdome Division.

In the Clocktower Division tournament, the Hinsdale Adventist Academy Hurricanes took first place in volleyball, and North Dallas Adventist Academy Sentinels took first place in soccer.

As the students left campus, much gratitude was given to Union College staff for hosting the yearly event on their campus. “Thank you, Union! What a fantastic tournament. Truly the hosts with the most LOVE and hospitality,” Rachel Lassel commented on a Union College Facebook post about the tournament.

–RMCNews with Union College News; photos courtesy of Mile High Academy and Union College

This article was adapted from Union College’s article (https://ucollege.edu/20211023/forest-lake-and-sunnydale-top-the-fall-tournament/)

27 Oct


By Jon Roberts … This Sunday, most Americans will be taking several hours as a family to celebrate Halloween.  Many Christians will also take time to celebrate a “watered down” version of this event, like trick or treating, with no decorations in the yard.  Make no mistake Halloween, no matter how some might want to downplay it as fun, is the Devil’s holiday. From ghosts to goblins to trick or treating, this holiday makes the devil and dentists happy and joyful!

While it is important to be aware of cultural surroundings, the church also has a responsibility and a duty to protect children and youth from gatherings that may seem good-spirited fun on the surface, but deep down has alternative facts and messaging contrary to Jesus.

Before moving to Colorado, I spent the last 25 years in the South, sometimes referred to as the Bible Belt.  What shocked and saddened me was the number of churches, including some Adventist churches, that would hold Hell houses, a Christian version of a haunted house, or trunk or treat events.  Equally disappointing was the number of parents who would encourage their children to go trick or treating.  While their motives weren’t evil, what was being taught was that it is okay to tiptoe to the doorstep of darkness.

I recall one evening not too long ago when my friend Gary gave me a call to discuss Halloween.  He was torn because the church, where he was a leader, had a tradition of holding a trunk or treat event.  He stated he was against continuing the tradition, but many members kept pushing the idea.  I reminded Gary that Jesus calls us to protect our most vulnerable against the forces of evil.  Even though it was unpopular, Gary stood up for good and the church listened and canceled the long-standing tradition. He received several notes from members thanking him for standing up, for they’d had the same feelings for many years, but were afraid to speak up.

This raises the question of what to do on Halloween.  Do we sit in the dark and pretend no one is home when the doorbell rings?  Do we alienate our children who grow up to resent their childhood because they couldn’t have fun?  Absolutely not!

The answer is simple—we turn the day around into a special time that children will remember long past their childhood years.  We take advantage of the time to deepen family bonds and grow relationships.

Here are some simple ideas:

  1. Go to a pumpkin patch as a family in the afternoon and choose pumpkins to take home and make pumpkin pie, bread, or cookies together.
  2. If Halloween falls on a school day, keep the children home and plan a trip to an amusement park or a bounce house.
  3. Go to an apple orchard and pick your own apples to make homemade apple cider.
  4. Bake homemade cookies and deliver them to shut-ins or the elderly of the church.
  5. Go to a non-Halloween corn maze. They do exist.

This is just a sampling of alternative ideas to Halloween and trick or treating.  The most crucial part is making it a family day.  Take time off of work and build memories together.

Gary didn’t take the easy way out. He stood up to protect our children.  Parents, it won’t be easy to take a stand and not associate with Halloween, but your children will be better off.   Elders of the church, including members who have no children or who have grown children, stand up and give support to the parents making this difficult decision.

Our children are the now and the future of the church and they are counting on strong and courageous individuals making the tough and unpopular choices.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photo by pexels

27 Oct


By Rajmund Dabrowski … “Christ will come. It will happen,” writes Reinder Bruinsma, expressing a conviction in his latest and well-presented book, He comes.

Among the topics dear to all Seventh-day Adventists, the Second Coming of Christ stands out above others. When a few days ago, I received Bruinsma’s latest book, He comes (Autumn House Publications (Europe) Ltd., 2021), the very fact took my memory to a 1976 book I wrote, At the world’s end.

It was a delight to receive such a fresh reminder as the topic is of vital daily importance, and even more so these days, as something worrisome is developing on Planet Earth. The book is well researched and inviting in its balanced presentation, as the author plainly states that “history is moving toward its end” (p. 88).

Though we do not question the essence of Christ’s promise to return, many Adventists are asking when He will return. The disciples asked that question and the question remains an occupation for many believers today. Many are experiencing sleepless nights. Defining the time of the end, though, “the Bible does not define ‘the time of the end’ … as the last few years, decades, or even a century or two before the Second Coming. In actual fact, biblically speaking, the time of the end covers a period between the first and the second advents of Christ,” writes Bruinsma (p. 57).

He comes offers clarity of understanding that the Second Coming offers the solution to all the problems of this world. There is no question, however, that being ready and living prepared to meet our Lord, is undergirded by the “blessed hope.”

Bruinsma’s well-researched and readable presentation reminds us of Ellen G. White’s comment that “We have many lessons to learn, and many to unlearn,” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 37).

Note: It is hoped that like many other Bruinsma books, He comes will soon be available in the Adventist Book Centers.

– Rajmund Dabrowski is RMC communication director

26 Oct


Adventist News Network – Silver Spring, Maryland … This document has been produced by the General Conference Administration, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference Health Ministries, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, General Conference Office of General Counsel, and Loma Linda University Health. It builds on the immunization statement voted in April 2015 and affirms both this latter statement, and the information on the COVID-19 vaccines shared on December 22, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest public health crisis in a hundred years. It has devastated populations around the world and severely affected physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational health. In its wake isolation, recurrent surges, economic disruption, and death are all ongoing. We are confronted with mitigation measures such as masking, social (physical) distancing, handwashing, early detection, testing, and contact tracing that have become part of our daily lives.

In the midst of this time of crisis and disruption the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to the mission of lifting up Christ, His Word, His righteousness, and the proclamation of His Three Angels’ Messages to the world in preparing people, through the Holy Spirit’s power, for Jesus’ soon coming. The health message is the right arm of the gospel and therefore a healthy lifestyle has been an important part of the beliefs of the Adventist Church since its early years and remains so. We are still committed to live, share, and promote healthy living as expressed by the wholistic Adventist health message entrusted to the Church. The Adventist health studies have confirmed the unequivocal benefits of increased longevity and quality of life through implementing such health practices. These include a balanced vegetarian diet, exercise, drinking adequate volumes of water, regular exercise, careful exposure to sunshine, fresh air, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances, adequate rest and sleep, and importantly, trust in God. These practices enhance and maintain healthy immunity. Beyond those benefits of healthy lifestyle principles and preventive public health practices, the Church affirms and recommends the responsible use of vaccines as an important public health measure, especially during a pandemic. At the same time, the Church respects the rights of individuals’ freedom of choice for those who choose not to be vaccinated. https://www.adventist.org/official-statements/immunization/

The current position of the Church on immunization and vaccines, including COVID-19, builds on the insights of the comprehensive health message Seventh-day Adventists have endorsed early on with ample support in Scripture and the writings of Ellen G. White that refer to the importance of disease prevention. As a denomination, we have advocated the synergy of a healthy lifestyle and responsible immunization for more than one hundred years. In the light of the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability, and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, we encourage our members to consider responsible immunization and the promotion and facilitation of the development of what is commonly termed herd immunity (pre-existing community immunity of approximately 80 percent of the population or more as a result of previous infection and/or vaccination). We are aware that vaccines may have side effects, and these can be severe in a small percentage of cases, including death in rare situations. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. Therefore, our decisions need to carefully take into consideration the risk of taking the vaccine compared to the risks of being infected with COVID-19. The immunity conferred by both the natural infection and the vaccine are time limited and the administration of “booster” doses may be needed. Acquiring a booster shot, upon recommendation from one’s health care provider, may further promote personal and public health. The need for such a booster shot does not indicate the “failure” of a vaccine but reflects the nature of antibody levels that may drop over time.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church respects each individual’s freedom of choice to make responsible decisions regarding their own health. Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are Christ’s both by creation and redemption, we should personally seek God’s will about COVID-19 vaccinations. The decision whether to take the vaccine or not is not a matter of salvation, nor is it related, as some may suggest, to the mark of the beast. It is a matter of personal choice.[2] We firmly believe that in matters of personal conviction we must be guided by the Word of God, our conscience, and informed judgment. In weighing the various options, we should also take into consideration that the benefits of vaccination extend beyond oneself and help to protect the local and global community at large. After personally researching all sides of the question, considering one’s own unique health situation, seeking medical counsel, and praying, individuals should then, in consultation with their medical advisor/doctor, make the best choice possible (see 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 11:14; James 1:5; Isaiah 58:11). As the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ information on COVID-19 vaccines released on December 18, 2020, and predicated on the 2015 Immunization statement confirms:


Countries and societies around the world have previously faced public health mandates in various forms. These have been put in place as a protection, recognizing that the health of the community is a major determinant of individual health and disease susceptibility. Public health practices have been mandated from the time of Moses and, probably, earlier. More recent examples of mandated public health practices include the banning of smoking on aircraft, and the use of safety belts as a general requirement for all motor vehicles. Over the past 120 years, mandated smallpox vaccination has been implemented in the United States general population and in countries around the world, resulting in a smallpox-free world at present. Numerous other infectious diseases have been brought under control by vaccinations and have also been subject to mandates (e.g. polio, measles, diphtheria). Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in the 1930s were instructed by the Church, as their employer, to receive the smallpox and typhoid immunizations. These requirements have been shared widely over the years in the Church’s official publications and acceptance of this requirement by Church members has been positive overall. The requirements for missionaries to be appropriately and responsibly vaccinated continue today. Ellen White did not comment on the issue of religious liberty in connection with vaccination mandates in her lifetime. She clearly understood the wholistic health message entrusted to the Church better than most.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not opposed to public safety and government health mandates. Submission to government authorities is a biblical principle unless it conflicts with obedience to God (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7). In many cases the Seventh-day Adventist Church has supported government mandates in support of health and safety issues. When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, we believe individuals have the right to state and defend their conviction whether to be vaccinated or not. Mandates usually allow exemptions for individual religious convictions or health conditions. With widespread personal testing available, individuals may choose instead to submit to regular testing if required.

The Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the General Conference (PARL) regards COVID-19 as a Public Health crisis and views connection with vaccines accordingly. PARL provides support and assistance for members who are standing for the religious teachings and doctrines of the Church, as expressed in its system of beliefs and policy statement (and also for other faith groups). We recognize that at times our members will have personal concerns and even conscientious convictions that go beyond the teachings and positions of the Church. In these cases, the Church’s religious liberty leaders will do what they can to provide support and counsel on a personal basis, not as a Church position, even at times assisting members in writing their own personal accommodation requests to employers and others. To avoid confusion, however, about the Church’s own positions, it will often be the case that in such circumstances the Church will not wish its support or advocacy for the member to be reflected in public correspondence or communications. It is important that the Church preserve its ability to speak to issues that are central to its system of beliefs and identity, and that its influence not be diluted by pursuing personal convictions and agendas that are not central to its Gospel and prophetic concerns.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in consultation with the Health Ministries and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty departments of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is convinced that the vaccination programs that are generally being carried out are important for the safety and health of our members and the larger community. Therefore, claims of religious liberty are not used appropriately in objecting to government mandates or employer programs designed to protect the health and safety of their communities.

This has generally been the position of the Church for the last century, since the modern vaccine program was developed. If we use our religious liberty resources in such personal decision advocacy efforts, we believe that we will weaken our religious liberty stance in the eyes of the government and the public. Such efforts would make it less likely that these arguments will be heard and appreciated when they are used for matters of worship and religious practice. We understand that some of our members view things differently, and we respect those convictions. They may at times have rights that can be pursued under the law, and we will point them towards materials and resources for doing so but cannot directly undertake this personal effort for them.

How has Loma Linda University Health (LLUH), one of our fine denominational health universities, and its school of medicine responded during the pandemic? Currently, 90 percent of our LLUH students are vaccinated as are 97 percent of our doctors. Religious declinations are offered at hospitals for those who feel strongly about not getting the vaccine, but must be accompanied by weekly testing. As a result, COVID-19 reports among students and staff have significantly declined since December 2020.

What will really count during this pandemic and beyond is how we treat each other, particularly within the Church but also within our wider communities. Anger, stigmatization, or vilification should not reside within the body of Christ. We need to relate to each other with respect, love, and compassion.

Instead of focusing on our individual convictions, we should draw more closely together in relationship with Christ and with each other. We should practice encouraging one another and bringing hope to the people of the world as we share God’s important Three Angels’ Messages and the anticipation of Christ’s soon return. We should work on becoming more active in our churches and not create divisions within the wider Church body. As Adventists we are to be an example to others, keeping in mind that the universe is watching.

It is important to care for one another, taking others into account in our practices. This includes the prevention of the spread of deadly disease and, in considering the vaccine or not, having love for one another and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Then, together, we may move forward in faith, “bearing with one another in love” and heeding Heaven’s counsel: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2, 3). Christ calls us to not be afraid and to place our assurance in Him as nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8; also John 16:33) Let us put our hope in Jesus and be encouraged in Him for He has overcome the world!

References and Sources:

[1] (Title) The process for this document has included wide consultation from different Church entities and specialists representing the World Church.

[2] We would do well to remember that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice in the Garden of Eden, although that choice resulted in significant consequences.

This document was originally published on the Adventist News Network website.

26 Oct


RMCNews … The nation and the world are divided when it comes to the health crisis called COVID. The nearly two years of living with this disease that has claimed many lives, left children orphans, wrecked financial status, and cost countless jobs, have left us divided. Is there even a middle-of-the-road when it comes to this situation?

It is essential to distinguish the pandemic as a health issue, and not a spiritual one. It is also important to remember that everyone has strong beliefs, and we are called to love our brothers and sisters even when we might strongly disagree with them.

Recently NewsNuggets reached out to RMC health ministry director, Rick Mautz, to discover how the health ministry department is approaching this health crisis while remaining neutral on masks and vaccinations while respecting individual choices.

“The first point I want our members to understand is that I am the health ministry director for all of our members. I care about your health and the personal choices that you make regarding your health practices. The health ministry department and the Rocky Mountain Lifestyle Center will always try to give you the most accurate and science-based information that is available,” Rick Mautz commented.

“Personal choices and freedoms, while following the laws of the land, are vital for every member” Mautz states.

“I believe strongly in the freedom of each person to make their own health decisions, which might involve getting a vaccination or wearing a mask in public places. However, I also believe that it is our Christian duty to follow the laws of the land unless it requires us to violate a biblical principle. Civil authority is there for the protection of our community members, and according to Scripture, is to be honored, whether we agree with it or not.”

He recognizes that there will be a time when following civil laws will not be possible because it violates the Ten Commandments.

“There will come a time when civil authority will pass laws and mandates that will violate God’s laws, and we must ‘obey God rather than man.’  But to rise up against laws that do not go against God’s laws just because we disagree with them is to give unnecessary trouble before its time.”

Mautz cautions members on only researching or listening to one side. He encourages everyone to be open-minded to the viewpoints of others.

“For any issues that arise, we need to study carefully and be open-minded on each side of the issue, making a prayerful decision that you believe God would honor. Studying only one side of any issue develops tribalism, which usually makes it difficult to be kind and loving to those holding a different view. It would have been impossible for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to fall on the early church if they were not willing to listen to other views and to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about unity amid multiple views.”

Mautz believes the division the world is facing is preparing the church and God’s people for earth’s final chapter.

“The health issues we are experiencing may be a dress rehearsal for practicing these principles necessary for the latter rain and the development of a people that reflect the character of Christ. Not because we have no standards and have no opinions, but that we are willing to listen to each other and willing to change when reason and the facts lead us that way.”

As a corporate church in North America, when it comes to these issues, members have guidance. Concerning vaccinations, COVID vaccinations, as well as others, the church states that there are no religious exemptions according to the Seventh-day Adventist faith (see https://www.rmcsda.org/north-american-division-position-on-requests-for-religious-exemptions-to-vaccine-requirements/ ).

RMC has asked all pastors to follow the local, county, or state health guidelines for mask mandates, social distancing, and capacity limits.

Mautz has a standard for all members to follow on issues that might divide us, “Whether I agree with your position on health and your health practices or not, I will defend your right to your opinion.”

–RMCNews; photo courtesy of Pexels

26 Oct


RMCNews with Jill Bales – Cedaredge, Colorado … Cedaredge Seventh-day Adventist Church set up a booth right on the corner of the church property during AppleFest in Cedaredge, Colorado during the first weekend of October. The event usually draws thousands of people each year, according to a Cedaredge Adventist Church report.  KSYF Radio joined the church at the booth.

“They [KSYF] are a full-power Adventist radio station broadcasting across the Western Slope giving ‘A Certain Message for Uncertain Times’,” commented Jill Bales

More than one hundred copies of Ellen G. White’s Great Controversy were given away at the booth, in addition to a variety of other books and pamphlets. To promote KSYF, the booth provided reusable tote bags to hand out, imprinted with information about the station on one side. On the other was an invitation to visit their local Seventh-day Adventist church. “People responded well to the booth. We found that the tote bag give-away had the greatest draw,” Jill reported.

Jill added, “Our prayers are that those searching for truth will find answers from their visit to the booth, and what we were able to share with them. We praise God that He still is touching hearts and changing lives.”

RMCNews with Jill Bales, church correspondent; photo supplied

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