15 Sep


RMCNews – Littleton, Colorado … Mile High students gathered together on Sabbath, September 12 to celebrate Mile High Sabbath at Littleton Adventist Church.

Some 250 individuals witnessed students leading out in praise, prayer, drama, and witnessed a seventh grader declare publicly his love for Jesus through baptism.

The students enjoyed this unique time to fellowship with fellow classmates from other grades.  Since the pandemic has caused interactions between grades to be severely limited with band, choir, and community school events cancelled, the theme the students choose for this academic year is “Rooted in Christ; we won’t be shaken.”

“This year has been so difficult and unpredictable.  Remember if we have Christ and look to Him for our comfort and security, we won‘t be shaken,” Brooke Henry, MHA senior, said.

The Littleton Church family enjoyed the influx of students on campus and the gifts of laughter and joy they brought with them.

“It’s exciting. It’s a blessing for the church. Look at all the children…that should be our purpose right there…that’s our mission, our kids,” Eli Gonzalez, member of the congregation, said.

Littleton leadership expressed the importance of making sure the annual tradition of Mile High Sabbath continued.

“We want our members and students to see each other face to face and to build community together,” Andy Nash, Littleton lead pastor, said.

The highlight of the day came during the second service when those who had gathered witnessed Logan Meyers, a seventh grader at MHA, proclaim that Jesus was his best friend and he wanted to follow Him for life.

“To me, baptism means giving your life to God and becoming a member of the church family,” Logen Meyers, said.

To celebrate this decision, MHA awarded Logen with a journal to record his personal walk with Jesus and his new church family gave him a Bible so that he can dive deeper into the Scriptures.

To conclude the special day, Chris Morris, pastor of worship and youth, gave what he called a take-home sermon, inviting members to take a bag filled with items to illustrate the sermon on being calm from Philippians 4:6-7.

MHA students and teachers left with an invitation to join Littleton’s Christmas community evangelism event, “The Bethlehem Experience,” a walk-through depiction of the birth of Christ this December at Littleton Church.

–RMC News; photos by Andy Nash

10 Sep


By Elia King … “Hello, Mr. King? I’m sure by now you’ve heard the news that you did test positive for the coronavirus.”

In fact, I had not heard that news. We had been waiting for nearly two weeks for confirmation of what we thought to be the case. Although we had relearned to do just about every part of daily life with “extreme caution,” we suspected that the virus that had dominated global news networks and social media feeds alike had also infiltrated the ranks of our family. With a cornucopia of symptoms that all fell into the “yes” column, we visited a local clinic to have the furthest corners at the backs of our skulls excavated for samples to confirm or deny the presence of the virus. Blinking through stinging, watery eyes at stony faces safely quarantined behind hazmat shields, we were informed that the results could take up to a week  but could come as soon as 24-to-48 hours.

So we waited. And waited.

And waited.

In the time we waited, we battled our symptoms with recommendations and well-wishes from friends and family, garnering advice from medical professionals and Facebook experts alike. In between bouts of fevered sleep, I read everything I could find about what to expect when you’re expecting your COVID-19 test results to be positive. Mercifully, our kids shook their fevers and returned to “normal” in about three days. My wife and I each fought through our own symptoms for about two weeks before we started to feel like ourselves again.

And all the while we waited.

By the time our county health department called to follow up on the call from the state (which we never actually received), we had all recovered from our illnesses, taken our turn in “time out,” and had returned to work.

I share this story not to knock our county or state health departments—we have since learned that the demand for tests far outweighed both the supply of materials and necessary personnel—but to make a simple observation that I think we can all relate to at this particular moment, whether or not we have close personal experience with the coronavirus: the experience of waiting is almost never as painless as we hope it will be.

It could be waiting for test results. Or news about buying a home. Or plans for re-opening our churches and returning to “normal.” Or — and this is particularly true for those of us who claim “Adventist” as part of our tribe — the soon return of Jesus.

Waiting is hard. Waiting is painful. Waiting is almost never what we expect it will be.

A few years ago I wrote a song for our church to sing, and I would have never guessed the number of times the lyrics would connect with my own personal seasons of waiting:

In the fire
In the flood
Through the need and through enough
We say Jesus, You are Lord of all…

Those words might resonate with you again if you live in the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains right now. With wildfires in our backyard, many homes sit vacant as families for whom we care await the word that it is safe to return, even as clouds of smoke and the threat of returning dry weather keep us on our guard.

But as we wait, I am reminded that God cares for our communities and neighbors, for our families, and for each of us. Even as we endure circumstances that stretch our faith beyond what we thought possible…

Through our doubt and belief
When we cannot hear or see
We say Jesus, You are Lord of all.

Whatever you are waiting for at this moment—especially if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020—may you continue to find hope and comfort in the promise that we have in Jesus.

Elia King is a worship leader at Boulder Adventist Church.


10 Sep


By Campion News –Loveland, Colorado …. Campion Academy is accepting the new normal with positivity and adaptability.

Students and staff have had to follow strict policies relating to COVID-19 and come up with new ways to interact in the classroom, the cafeteria, and other areas of campus life.

On top of that, Colorado’s unusual weather has been making national headlines with record-breaking heat, poor air quality, smoke from wildfires, and an early September snowstorm with record cold temperatures.

Students shared their reactions and thoughts on dealing with these challenging times.

On masks and social distancing:

“It’s nice that we can see one another again but I feel like since we were so used to being close, that masks and social distancing get in the way of the interaction we want. Overall, I hate it because I can’t see anyone’s expressions, and I can’t hear what they are saying, and I like interacting with people.” -Nelly Salinas, Campion senior

“I definitely didn’t think masks or social distancing would last over a month. Sometimes it’s inconvenient wearing a mask or social distancing because I want things to be “normal” or like they were before.” -Kendra Eickmann, Campion junior

On fires and smoke:

“The smoke is very annoying, because it postponed a lot of the activities I was looking forward to, and it was disappointing.” -Isaac Avila, Campion junior

“I’ve lived in Colorado all my life and I’ve never seen the smoke this bad. I wasn’t expecting to see ash actually falling from the sky along with it being hard to breathe outside.” -Ryan Bell, Campion senior

On September snow:

“With people mentioning the upcoming weather, I wasn’t surprised when it began to snow. However, I wasn’t expecting it in September. I’m not pleased and hope it goes away soon.” -Blet Htoo, Campion sophomore

“I wasn’t expecting it but it was a nice surprise. I enjoy the snow and think it looks nice, so I hope it stays for a while.” -Jared Sotelo, Campion sophomore

“I hate the snow. Summer is so much more fun and warmer; winter is just ugly and cold. I wasn’t expecting it this soon and I’m really disappointed. It’s so soggy and gross.” -Greg Lang, Campion sophomore

On keeping positive: 

“Honestly, this year has been especially tough for me, and what has kept me positive is my friends. Whenever I was sad or discouraged, they were always there, reassuring me I could keep going. Also, I seriously could not have made it this far without God. He has been my stability through all of this, and He brought me back here where I can worship him more.” -Jynaya Wright, Campion senior

“This year has definitely been a rough one especially with COVID and the fires, but what’s been pushing me through is my friends from here and at home. Every time I was ever stressed or just feeling down, my friends were there to cheer me up and help me throughout my struggles. I’m glad that God has put people in my life to help me throughout all of this and I’m also glad that He gave us an opportunity to be here.” -Melody Mambo, Campion sophomore

“To be honest, it hasn’t gotten off to the best start and it really affected a lot of events negatively. One of the main things that keeps me positive is the fact that it has been only one month, and we still have a whole school year to go. God is the most important aspect that motivates me to keep going. A lot of times our plans don’t work out, but whatever God has planned for us is always perfect. It is best that we trust Him.” -Jayden A.

–Campion News; photos supplied

10 Sep


RMCNews – Loveland, Colorado … Dr. Dick Stenbakken has won a Silver Award for creativity in the Historical Short Subject category at the Houston International Film Festival, his third made-for-TV program, The Nuremberg Chaplain. His previous two awards were in 2014 and 2015.

The Nuremberg story is about Henry Gerecke, a Missouri Synod Lutheran Army chaplain who was assigned to be chaplain-pastor for the German High Command personnel on trial for war crimes at the end of WW II. Gerecke ministered to the most hated men on the earth from November 1945 until the middle of October 1946, then walked with his parishioners up the last 13 steps to the gallows where he had prayer with them before they died.

In order to make the presentation realistic, Stenbakken put together an actual WW II period uniform. He had the distinctive shoulder patch of Gerecke’s 6850th Internal Security Detachment reproduced for the uniform, (pictured below), and was able to speak personally with Gerecke’ s family members to get specific details.

The Army Chief of Chaplains invited Dick to present The Nuremberg Chaplain, and The Dorchester Story as opening presentations for each of the Chief’s major two-day training events across the Army system in 2018-19. “It was a great experience to re-visit many places we had served while on active duty,” Stenbakken commented. A unique location was at Columbia University in New York City, where Dick finished his fourth Masters and Doctor of Education degrees.

The Dorchester Story, which won a Silver Award from the Houston Festival in 2014 in the TV Documentary category, tells about the sacrifice of four Army chaplains who gave their life vests to others while the troop ship Dorchester was sinking after a German submarine attack off the coast of Greenland on February 3, 1943.

Another award-winning made-for-TV presentation, In Flanders Fields, chronicles the story of the Canadian doctor John McCrae during WW I and the war experiences that compelled him to write his epic poem. This presentation won a Bronze Award in 2015 in the Television Historical Programming category.

“It’s remarkable that all three submissions won,” explains Stenbakken. “That is especially true given that each of the presentations is deeply spiritual, and was competing in a secular venue.”

Dr. Stenbakken, a retired Army chaplain (Colonel) who also served as the Director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has done 70 different first-person characters in venues as diverse as the US Senate Bible study groups, Pentagon Prayer Breakfasts, the Army War College, camp meetings, and churches and schools world-wide.

The Nuremberg Chaplain has been aired on Hope Channel.

Dick and his wife Ardis, who served as Director of the Women’s Ministries Department at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, live in Loveland, Colorado.

RMCNews with Dick Stenbakken, photo by Erik Stenbakken.

10 Sep


RMCNews Denver, Colorado … Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH, was elected Colorado Medical Society (CMS) president-elect in August and will be installed as the CMS president in September 2021. Dr. Johnson has been a member of CMS for more than 30 years, has served on and chaired many of its committees and councils, and is currently a member of its governing board.

Since 1990, Dr. Johnson has served as the executive director of Jefferson County Public Health. Though he had planned to retire in June, he delayed retirement till October so that he could lead the county’s response to COVID-19.

Founded in 1871, the Colorado Medical Society is the largest organization of physicians in Colorado, with more than 7,500 members across all specialties and employment settings. The society is leading meaningful innovation to enable a better health care system for patients, physicians and the state. It works closely with the American Medical Society (AMA) to deliver results-focused strategies that help physicians enhance the delivery of care and improve the health of the nation.

The members of the Colorado Medical Society actively supported Medicaid expansion in Colorado, helping more eligible patients receive health care, and continues to seek  other avenues to improve access to health care and health services with the goal of improving the health of all Coloradans.

Commenting on the CMS vote, Dr. Johnson said, “Health care has been a big part of my professional life and is an important role of my spiritual community. I sincerely appreciate the support of my colleagues in trusting me with this position.”

Mark and his wife, Diane, are long-time members of the Boulder Seventh-day Adventist Church, and both currently serve on its Vision Board, of which Dr. Johnson is chair.


10 Sep

Church Business during Pandemic

By North American Division News – Columbia, Maryland … Recognizing practical changes to the way churches conduct their internal business. The North American Division voted “Recommendations for church business during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In consultation with the union NAD voted on August 20 the following recommendations.



 The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an array of unprecedented challenges to the life of the church in North America, disrupting regular worship services. Yet our members are ever more committed to loving God and their neighbors during this time. We praise God for such a display of their love.

Upon receiving many requests from the field, the North American Division, in consultation with the union secretaries, has developed temporary recommendations for the local church during this time.

The following recommendations are provided to help the local church handle the issue of church business during this pandemic.


Our local church desires to function as regularly as possible during this pandemic to fulfill its mission, including the processing of membership transfer requests. Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual allows alternative method for membership transfer within the division (p. 52). While the local church may choose to hold the membership transfers until meeting in church resumes, some churches may want to select one of the following approaches to proceed with membership transfer requests during this period.

  • Membership transfer can be done in a virtual environment (Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.) either during regular online church services or at a designated time announced in advance. During the online meeting, the membership transfer requests can be read or shown on screen.
  • It is imperative to register a vote of the membership transfer. As described in the Church Manual, we are thus requiring the church go through the regular reading process once the church board has voted to recommend membership transfer, favorably or otherwise, to the church.
  • One of the following methods can be used to register a vote: (1) Poll the congregation by an online survey method such as Survey Monkey; (2) By phone/teleconference; (3) Polling on Zoom; and (4) Email each member.
  • Provide board contact information should a person have a question about a membership transfer.


The Nominating Committee process can be done in a virtual environment, as described above for the membership transfer process. A person attending a meeting on Zoom or another virtual or electronic platform is considered present for discussion and voting.


Our church never stops spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, even in the middle of this unprecedented pandemic. As a result, a number of people have expressed their desire to be members of the Adventist Church by baptism during this pandemic.

While the local church can undoubtedly hold off baptisms until the pandemic is over, the following methods are suggested in case a baptismal service needs to be held.

  1. Baptism can be held traditionally, as stated in the Church Manual, using proper precautions for the COVID-19, such as wearing a mask and gloves.
  2. An alternative way of baptizing people can be chosen in lieu of the traditional manner, in which the presiding pastor pronounces the baptism at a distance, while a family member lowers the baptismal candidate, or the baptismal candidate could dip under the water by themselves.
  3. Should the level of discomfort rise to the degree of not being able to conduct a traditional style baptismal service, baptismal candidates can be accepted on profession of faith, which is an established practice granted for medical reasons. This approach allows people to join the church on profession of faith, as stated in the Church Manual (see “Profession of Faith” on p. 50-51; also “Receiving Members under Difficult conditions”, p. 53), subject to a future baptism by water after this pandemic is over. This future baptism by water should not be counted toward baptismal statistics.

This document was voted by the NAD Administrative Committee on August 20, 2020

–NAD News Release

10 Sep


By Tiffany Dien – Loveland, Colorado In 2020 style, Campion students celebrated the annual Student Association (SA) outside picnic, indoors and at night.

The nearby forest fires, which are filling the air with smoke, inspired SA officers to get creative with their approach to this annual event by planning an evening indoors, filled with competitive games and glow sticks.

“I thought it was really smart that we could do it inside. It was nice not to get eaten up by the bugs,” Sandra Arlt, Campion junior, said.  “I think the fact that we did it Saturday night was cool as well because it meant no sunburns. It was a fun time and I made really cool memories.”

The night started out with a social distancing version of tug-of-war; classes chose just five students to participate, while their fellow peers cheered them on. Despite the slick gym floor, seniors quickly took the lead.

Afterwards it was time for a new glow-stick game. The objective was to jump down a glow-stick hula hoop path and battle it out in a game of rock-paper-scissors with other classes. The freshmen class mastered the glow-stick hula hoop game, coming in first. However, their victory was short lived when the seniors took back first place in the annual mini-bike relay race. Finally, the evening of fun came to an end with a game of musical chairs and sing-alongs.

Even with the change of time, venue, and added safety precautions, Campion students made the most of the night.

“I thought it was amazing and so different. I personally think it was better than last year. I truly had so much fun with all my friends and got to talk to people I don’t usually talk to,” Nicole Dominguez, Campion sophomore, said.

Tiffany Dien is a senior at Campion; photos by Sami Hodges and Bentlee Barry

10 Sep


By Karrie Meyers … Highlands Ranch, Colorado – Mile High Academy’s Senior Class of 2021 was tested by Mother Nature when she poured rain during the annual Senior Survival weekend.

A yearly tradition for the Mile High Academy Senior class, Senior Survival weekend was created with the intent that Seniors kick-off their last year of high school with an outdoor retreat, electing class offers and challenging students to overcome obstacles, extend outside comfort zones and bond as a class. This year’s class along with two chaperones departed Mile High Academy on Thursday, August 27, to camp at Mohawk Lakes after hiking the Spruce Creek Trail located near Breckenridge, Colorado.

It was dark by the time students arrived at the campsite, so students quickly pitched their tents, prepared dinner and gathered for an evening worship. Lead by Lisa Venteicher, Upper School teacher, her devotional thought reminded students the weekend was set aside for them to grow as a class and personally while enjoying time together in nature.

Students awoke Friday morning to clear Alpine Lake views with Mount Helen in the background. Everyone prepared their own breakfast, which was followed by another encouraging devotional thought, this time by Brady Tull, athletic director. He focused on encouraging Seniors to enjoy each other and make lasting memories during their final year of high school.

“It was awesome seeing all the students together in nature, trying something they’ve never done before,” said coach Tull.

Once camp was cleaned up, students and staff hiked a mile and a half to the Lower Mohawk Lake. During the hike, it started to rain, but not yet enough to dampen their spirits. They appreciated signs of nature including a moose encounter along the trail on their way back to camp. By the time Seniors arrived back at camp, it was pouring rain. After diving into tents, laughter ensued from intense Uno games and small talk. Finally, the relentless rain and cold forced the decision to return to back to school.

Reflecting on the experience, Seniors were disappointed to end the weekend early, but were thankful for the memories they made. Senior Mcjaden Fievre commented, “The most challenging part about Senior Survival was becoming one with nature. The thing I will remember about the weekend was the moose that was 30 feet away from us.”

Senior Brooke Henry was taken out of her comfort zone by the challenge of backpacking. However, “backpacking with my friends made it more fun. I will always remember sheltering in the tent with the girls while it rained, enjoying time to talk and reconnect after a summer apart,” she said.

–Karrie Myers is Mile High Academy’s communication assistant; photo supplied

09 Sep


By Jesse Tasche — I saw this meme – when religious people send “thoughts and prayers” instead of doing anything helpful – and it sent me on a whirlwind of thought. As someone with a chronic pain condition that came on suddenly and sent me into a downward spiral of severe depression and struggling social interactions, it is important for me to receive love instead of just “prayers”. Prayers are great, and important, but sometimes those of us who are struggling need to know we are not just being dismissed need to feel heard. If we aren’t, we will quickly descend into ourselves, stop opening up, and eventually, stop talking altogether. “How can I do this?” you ask. “Aren’t we supposed to pray for you?” Let’s delve into the Bible for some help in understanding how to aid people around us.

Luke 9:10-11 gives us a great example of Jesus having a very clear plan for his day, trying to rest and debrief with his friends. But we see that people in need get to him first. He doesn’t look at them and say, “I’m sorry for what you’re going through You’ll be in my prayers.” He stops what He is doing to talk with them and heal them:

“When the apostles returned [from preaching and healing], they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then He took them with Him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke about the kingdom of God, healing those who needed healing.”

I know we’re not healers like He was as you can’t, heal me by touch, but there is such a thing as emotional healing. Little by little, those of us whose souls are crying, are slowly restored and find happiness through people who reach out to show they care.

We’ve often heard this next passage, but instead of putting it in the context of the economically poor, let’s put it in the context of the poor in spirit or those of us who are emotionally broken instead of those who are struggling financially:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ (Matthew 25:40-43)

Here Jesus is saying if we dismiss those who are hurting instead of taking the time to truly listen to their pain, we literally might not make it to Heaven. For we were given opportunities to show His love, and we simply walked away.

We can see the concepts of emotional hurt and physical hurt when we go to Luke 8, Mark 5, or Matthew 9 (take your pick) where Jesus shows compassion to the woman who’s been impoverished by illness. She’s spent all she had on doctors who couldn’t heal her. Her disease robbed her of her livelihood and ruined her reputation. Out of desperation, she touches Jesus’ cloak, and is healed. Jesus stops what he’s doing and draws attention to her, giving her the opportunity to share her journey and miraculous healing with the crowd. Her literal poverty from doctor bills is paired with an emotional and spiritual poverty from being labeled “unclean”, or in today’s terms, “broken”. And Jesus was there for that as well.

Later, Paul tells us to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3-5) A passive promise to pray without expending effort as Jesus did is a form of selfishness. Yes, it is great to say you will pray for someone who is struggling, but if there is no action behind the words, the hurting person is left feeling alone and “preached” at. Action is important.

I say action tentatively because every individual is different, God was brilliant in His design, making each of us unique, meaning we each need different things to feel loved or valued. This is where an honest conversation comes in. It might be hard for your hurting friend to open up but asking for frankness and honesty usually helps them realize you want to. Some may just need your vulnerable, attentive listening ear while the hurting person vents and vents and vents. It may be that you must educate yourself on their hurt so you don’t make ignorant comments and can offer helpful suggestions. Or maybe it is finding out their love language and attempting to serve them when they are hitting their low points. Not abandoning them when they are melancholy or pessimistic, speaks volumes. Those who stick with you in the dark are those who truly love you.

The world looks a whole lot better when we stop dismissing other’s pain in favor of our own comfort and start being there for them in their darkest tunnels.

Jesse Tasche, a graduate of Union College. She writes from Casper, Wyoming. This commentary was first published on her Facebook page

09 Sep


By Haley Enochs – Loveland, Colorado … In an English class assignment, Campion Academy students learned how to lift up and encourage their peers by walking in “each other’s shoes.”

American Literature teacher, Erin Johnson, assigned students the task of diving deeply into the theme from the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” by completing The Atticus Finch Walkathon. In the book, the character Atticus says to better understand a person, you need to “climb inside of his skin and walk around in it” (To Kill a Mockingbird, page 30).

“I feel like this project taught a really valuable lesson that is often ignored, and I wanted to make this quote really sink in with the students,” Johnson said.

Students interviewed each other, learning about unique situations in their lives. Afterwards, they spent thirty minutes walking around campus imagining what it would be like to be the individual. Finally, students wrote encouraging letters to their classmates.

“Overall, I think they enjoyed getting to know other people through the interviews, and in the end, there will be many people who will be encouraged through the letters,” Johnson explained.

A few students thought it was really fun and taught valuable lessons about how they don’t know what other people go through on a day-to-day basis.

“I feel like it went good; I felt energized afterward, and I had some new things to try that my interviewee told me about,” Jared Marcenaro, Campion Academy junior, explained.

“I was thinking about how awesome the person I interviewed was about handling their emotions,” Marcenaro concluded.

–Haley Enochs is a senior at Campion Academy; photos by Erin Johnson