29 Sep


By Doug Inglish

The world is full of people who need help. Jesus told us that the poor would always be with us (Mark 14:7) and, in another setting, expounded on what kinds of poor would need our help–prisoners, underfed and under-clothed people, sick people, etc. (Matthew 25:35-37). It is a blessing that our church takes the challenge seriously, and that we do many outreach ministries for those in need.

Of course, we are not the only ones doing good works in this world. I will deliberately refrain from citing specific organizations because the one I might mention could have a scandal that I don’t know about, and we don’t need letters coming in over that. Besides, I’m not here to do PR for any of them. Whatever group you can think of that is relieving suffering, consider them to be the ones to whom I refer.

I’m not taking anything away from our efforts. I love our health work, our educational system, and our local food banks. I am proud that we dig wells in small villages and operate clinics where medical work would otherwise not exist. I have been in the trenches of prison ministry, visiting and corresponding and performing baptisms. This is what we are supposed to do, and those who are not able to go themselves are generously giving so that the appeal of our Savior is put into practice.

After that set up, I am going to say something that some of the staunchest among us might find heretical. It’s not a sin to support good works done outside our system.

Years ago, I lined up with volunteers to stack sandbags along a river before the flood arrived. The consequences for a lot of people in a poorer section of town would have been devastating had no one shown up. We worked through the night, finally securing the area about an hour before sunrise. My church didn’t organize it, and as far as I know, I was the only Adventist there, so of course, the next day when the residents were on the news expressing gratitude, we never got a mention.

So, was that the right thing to do? To give to a secular charitable effort? I didn’t make a monetary offering but giving up a night’s sleep to do heavy labor is a very tangible contribution. Other times, I have made monetary contributions to hospitals, relief agencies, youth organizations, and other groups that were not only outside of our formal church structure, but not a supportive ministry either, people who may not even know who Seventh-day Adventists are, and maybe don’t even believe in Jesus. But there are such groups out there who are, nevertheless, doing at least a part of the mission He instructed us to do. Are they not worthy of receiving some form of support?

Don’t get me wrong, I support our missions and institutions, and I believe you should as well. But I also believe that while charity begins at home (Ben Franklin, not the Bible), it doesn’t end there. Hungry people don’t care where the food comes from, and maybe we should not care as much either.

I hope, pray, and do what I can to make sure the efforts we make to ease suffering in the world are the best available avenues for people to get relief. But it’s a big job, and when someone else joins the work, I don’t think it’s a sin to accept their help and support their organization before I know their views on the investigative judgment.

–Doug Inglish is RMC vice president for administration and stewardship director. Photo by Jonathan Ford on Unsplash.

29 Sep


Judy Kelley and Jerilyn Pester – Montrose, Colorado … The weekend of September 9 to 11, 2022 found 79 women at Mountain Top Retreat sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Conference. We had women from Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah.

Cindy Mercer was our Featured Speaker from Oklahoma. Our theme of “Bee Faithful” was her topic. She told us her story and how the Lord lead her through some very rough times by helping her to “Bee Faithful” to His plan.

New this year was a pre-retreat workshop given by Eileen Field. She demonstrated how to make a delicious Lasagna Soup and Mango Ice Cream.

Our Sabbath evening speaker was, Jana Thurber, our Women’s Ministries Leader for Rocky Mountain Conference. Her devotional titled, “From Fragrance to Faith,” highlighted Mary’s anointing Jesus’ feet with perfume from a heart overflowing with love and gratitude for what Jesus had done for her.  Someone once said that worship is the act of sacrificially giving to Jesus something that is precious to us, what would that be for you? Your money? Your time? Your job? For the woman in this scripture, it was a container of perfume.

The meals that the ladies enjoyed were all served by volunteer gentlemen under the direction of Bob Springer. They met the needs of the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free ladies.

As one attendee so profoundly put the weekend by saying, “Friday evening was the appetizer, Sabbath was the entrée, and Sunday morning was the dessert” of the spiritual feast.

A huge thank you to all the ladies that attended, everyone that helped, and all the prayers for a successful event from the planning committee.

— Judy Kelley and Jerilyn Pester are coordinators of Western Slope Women’s Ministries. Photos by MarLynn Green

29 Sep


Tiffany Mogaka – Loveland’s Campion students and staff took a break from the classroom walls to experience God’s creation through activities including hiking, photography, and nature journaling in Rocky Mountain National Park during Outdoor School Day.

The long-awaited day brought students out of their beds bright and early. Designated groups boarded buses and set out to explore their interests in nature. Phoebe Mamanua, junior, commented, “It was really fun to be with my friends and be out in nature. I loved being outside, especially spending time with God in His creation.”

The nature journaling group first concentrated on the details in nature through doodling and writing before admiring the mountain views on a challenging hike up Deer Mountain. Ana Segawa, senior, reflected, “What I appreciated the most was stopping and really looking at nature and the things that often go unnoticed. It was very peaceful there.”

Students who participated in the intense-hike group did their best to stay hydrated as they traveled roughly seven miles across steep hills and formidable trails in high altitudes. They arrived at Loch Vale where they observed the splendid views of the lakes surrounded by mountains. Helen Reyes-Peres, freshman, said, “The hike was honestly easier than I expected. Overall, it was very fun to be with friends, and by the end, I felt very accomplished and happy.”

In between activities, students ate a pre-packed sack lunch prepared by the cafeteria team. In the afternoon, they worked on completing their various nature pursuits, followed by spending free time together at a sub-alpine point before heading back to campus.

The Outdoor School Day gave students irrevocable memories of nature learning with fellow students and teachers. Brayan Martins, senior, recalled, “It was a great experience to be out in the mountains and see great views. It was a really good bonding experience! I’m glad to enjoy this last outdoor school with my friends!”

–Tiffany Mogaka, Student News Team. Photo by Campion Academy eNewsletter.

22 Sep


RMCNews with Mickey Mallory – Denver, Colorado … Under the theme of “Growing to Your Potential,” the two-day training event brought 18 Rocky Mountain Conference pastors to Denver, September 20-21. Several of these pastors are new to ministry in the Conference, according to Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director, who convened the meeting.

The event, according to Mallory, “was designed to help pastors build a framework for personal and professional growth.”

“My hope is that every pastor who attended the training will have the tools needed to grow to their potential. A thought that kept coming up in our discussions was that if you are going to grow, you must be intentional about it,” he added.

One speaker, Mic Thurber, RMC president, shared a presentation on Family Systems, demonstrating how an understanding of the family process can aid pastors in negotiating congregational dynamics and functioning as an effective leaders.

Through presentations and discussion, pastors discovered that all church members are simultaneously involved in two distinct families whose emotional forces interlock—their biological family and their church family, brothers and sisters in Christ. The emotional process in all these systems is identical. Unresolved issues in any of them can produce symptoms in the other, and an increased understanding of each creates more effective functioning in both.

Comments from the participants testify to the value of this and similar meetings. “These two days have been very refreshing to each of us. It is good to be reminded occasionally you are not alone in the pastoral ministry. Meeting with our colleagues is encouraging and stimulating and should be done more often, ” said Daniele Fantoni from Alamosa, Colorado.

A similar comment came from J J Martinez, an associate pastor in Grand Junction. “We talked about choosing positivity and keeping our failures right next to our successes. Sometimes negativity and failure overpower the positive and all seems lost. But I was reminded that it is at that moment that we need to look at the success in our failures. Because when you see that good happens even in failure, positivity is easier to see,” he shared.

Mallory plans for the next New in Ministry Training to take place in March of 2023.

–RMCNews with Mickey Mallory. Photos by Mickey Mallory and Rajmund Dabrowski.

22 Sep


Haley Beckermeyer – Loveland, Colorado … Some 700 alumni gathered at Campion Academy, September 14-18, to go back in time, reconnect with their classmates and support their alma mater.

Kicking off the event on Wednesday, September 14, the 26th annual Reeder Golf Classic featured 62 golfers, 20 more than in previous years. More than $10,000 was raised for Campion’s counseling and mentoring program. This year’s tournament was in honor of Lance Turner, an ‘85-’86 alum and beloved community member who was known for being exceptionally supportive of his classmates and neighbors.

On Friday evening, alumni joined current students for a Vespers concert presented by Prisma, a local group of musicians.

The Sabbath church service featured Dr. Andrew Harewood, the first Adventist and African American chaplain to reach the rank of General in the US Army reserve. In addition, Campion Academy’s music ensembles performed for the first time this school year.

Following the Vespers service, the honor classes were served a meal by the senior class. After lunch in the Ad Building, honor classes spent time looking at pictures of their class, reminiscing about their school experiences, and seeing how much things have changed.

Celebrating 70 years since graduation, Betty Ready, Class of 1952, reflected on her feelings when she first came to Campion Academy. She commented, “I was just always so excited to come to Campion because it was a bigger school with more people. I was coming from a school of six or seven people.”

The students enjoyed meeting the alumni and talking about how the school has changed since they attended. “I thought it was really cool getting to meet some of the people that graduated years ago and seeing all of the many faces on campus,” commented Daneil Camas, junior at Campion Academy.

Current students got to see friends who graduated recently. Sandra Arlt, Class of 2022 commented, “It’s really cool coming back as an alumnus this year because it was fun to see all of my friends, talk to the teachers, and update everyone on my life. I really appreciate being able to come back, seeing friendly faces, and having a family to say hi to.”

On Saturday evening, the visiting alumni and students joined together to perform in a brass ensemble and a choir sing-along that featured five former choir directors, a new feature this year.

Volleyball and soccer games against Campion Academy’s varsity teams closed off the weekend. In typical fashion, the alumni defeated the current students in both games.

The livestreams of the programs are available on Campion Academy’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

–Haley Beckermeyer is a member of Campion Academy’s Student News Team. Photos from Campion Academy eNewsletter.

22 Sep


Stephanie Gottfried with Mina Gravatt – Farmington, New Mexico … “You have to have faith to put a seed in the ground and God will do the rest,” said Mina Gravatt, head teacher at Discover Christian School.

The comment expresses Mina’s goal to make Adventist education more affordable and accessible to the families in Farmington, Aztec, and the surrounding areas in New Mexico, who want their children to study in an Adventist school.

At home one day, Mina noticed an irrigation ditch on a neighboring farmer’s property, unused and full of weeds. She knew she could find a purpose for this unused section of land and asked if she could plant some crops there. The irrigation ditch had been used to water 20 acres of land, a quarter of an acre of which Mina eyed as a potential corn field. Her goal was to sell the crops at a weekend farmers’ market in mid-August and use the funds to help her students.

It was Dane Parks, a member of the Pinon Hills Adventist Church and a son of the farmer who helped in the planting. Working with several volunteers from the Farmington and Aztec churches, the group sold hundreds of dollars worth of produce–corn, cabbage, and other vegetables. They filled the back of a truck with the produce and drove back for more.

Nearly 2,000 ears of corn were sold, according to Mark Phillips, pastor of the area Adventist congregations.

Mina commented, “Plant just one seed and that seed will multiply. Think of all the kernels of corn that one seed produced.”

–Stephanie Gottfried with Mina Gravatt. Photos by Mark Phillips.

Pictured are Dane Parks, Sharrel Fuller and Bob Fuller from Aztec, Mina Gravatt from Farmington, and Jay Bean from Aztec.

15 Sep


Eric Nelson – Colorado Springs, Colorado … A few weeks after Eric Nelson accepted an interim pastor’s position at Colorado Springs Central church in the month of March, two soldiers from Fort Carson Army Base approached him at the conclusion of the worship service one Sabbath. They asked for Bible studies and baptism. They were quick to express that should there be a need for military involvement, they could be some of the first units called into action. Their desire was to be right with God should this take place.

Matthew Salvini was baptized as a child in the Adventist church. Going through basic training, he met Christian Wright, and they became friends. Matthew’s grandmother had given him a Bible with doctrinal helps. After hearing of Matthew’s friendship with Christian, his grandmother ordered an identical Bible so that Matthew could help Christian follow along more easily as they studied their Bibles together.

“It has been a joy to study with both men,” comments Pastor Nelson. Their journey has not been without personal challenges and tragedy that could easily have deterred them from following through with their desire to take this step of baptism. But they have persevered.

On September 10, both men were baptized at the Central church, committing their lives to God. The service was witnessed and enjoyed by over 200 church members.

May we keep those serving our military in prayer as they seek to remain faithful to God and country.

–Pastor Eric and Jerene Nelson are retired and living in Johnstown, Colorado. Photos supplied.

15 Sep


Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … For Casper Mountain Road Christian Academy (MRCA), the evening of September 13 was a special moment to witness an extraordinary testimony of God’s amazing work in the lives of their friends, Michelle and Brendon Bummer. The experience proclaimed the Bible text: “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Luke 15:7, NASB)

Frustrated with the local school system, the Bummers were encouraged by Tammy Dietz, a church member whose son attended MRCA to consider the local Adventist school. They came to see the school and registered their son.

After a few months of dropping off and picking up their son mornings and afternoons, Michelle expressed interest in Bible study. Because they have busy schedules, they invited Pastor Shayne Vincent to come to their home to share the Good News with their family and even invited many friends in a home church-type setting that has been going on for a few years.

Month after month, the Bummers grew closer and closer to Jesus until a short while ago, they both requested to be baptized by Pastor Shayne Vincent. For Gabriela and Shayne, it was one of the last momentous experiences they will have in Casper as they will be moving to a Florida congregation.

The baptism took place at Brendon’s parents’ home, which had easy access to the North Platte River. Family and friends were present to witness this important event. Many of their family members had never witnessed a baptism before. Pastor Shayne and the candidates were jokingly relieved that the river was “actually almost warm” at this time of year.

Pastor Shayne spoke about the incredible journey the Bummers have traveled since their decision to commit their lives to Christ. On a personal note, I could not help but say, “Wow, that was so moving! Being at the river was like a baptism from the old times.”

Traci Pike, MRCA’s principal, and her husband were also present, both in tears seeing Jesus work through them and the church school.

The sunset that evening was stunning, and God’s presence was felt. Following the baptism, the happy occasion was celebrated with tears of joy and a delicious dinner! We never know who God will reach through our church schools and with a simple invitation.

–Text and pictures by Gabriela Vincent, wife of pastor Shayne.

15 Sep


Jill Harlow – Lincoln, Nebraska … Nine Campion Academy student leaders trained with other student leaders from across the Mid-America Union during Leadership Experience at Union College, September 8.

A highlight of the workshop was the chance to get to know student leaders from other schools. “I really enjoyed being able to see all the other schools and know that we are all on a similar journey of being a leader,” reflected Ariel Patterson, junior and resident assistant at Campion.

The event kicked off with an emphasis on service, with the leaders working in community projects around Lincoln for Union College’s Project Impact Day. Over the course of four days, the students participated in leadership simulation activities and listened to advice from experienced leaders, including the Union College SA officers.

Melody Mambo, Campion senior and SA president expressed, “The thing I enjoyed most about the retreat was that we were able to understand our different strengths and weaknesses as leaders. We were able to show our abilities in activities provided by Union, and it was interesting to see how different people from each group stepped up to show their leadership qualities.”

Patterson further explained, “The weekend was full of really fun activities and challenges, and I was able to learn some valuable lessons for leadership in just a couple of days!”

–Jill Harlow is Campion Academy communication director. Photo courtesy of Union College

15 Sep


VJ, Beth, and Dorie Panganiban, and team – Crownpoint, New Mexico … Dubbed as “Native Impact 2022,” the name covers simultaneous evangelistic events currently taking place throughout the Navajo Nation. They will culminate in a nightly series of Bible prophecy revival meetings, September 9-17.

“We are blessed to be a part of this great outreach initiative on the Navajo Reservation,” commented VJ Panganiban, co-director of La Vida Mission outreach.

In preparation for this outreach, to raise curiosity and create awareness for these Bible prophecy meetings, EDGAR (Every Dynasty, God Already Revealed), a 30-foot inflatable replica of the “metal man” of Daniel 2, shown in a dream to King Nebuchadnezzar, was on display at the Flea Market in Crownpoint and on NM Hwy 371. The replica went around six different sites helping to advertise the event.

“[Our aim was to] share with Bible readers the story of the world’s culmination at the end time,” VJ explained.

The presentation created different reactions among the people who saw it. “Some thought it was an idol that we advocate worshiping, while others asked what it is and what is its significance and purpose. This gave us many opportunities to share and explain the Word of God, as well as to present a springboard for inviting the public to the upcoming Bible prophecy revival meeting,” he continued.

La Vida Mission, located near Farmington, New Mexico, is an independent ministry not affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Conference.

–VJ, Beth and Dorie Panganiban are coordinators of La Vida Mission Outreach. Photos supplied.

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