Kiefer joined RMC staff the summer of 2016 as assistant camp director and then filled the position of assistant youth director in July of that same year.
RMC Gets New Youth Ministries Director » The RMC Executive Committee voted Thursday, December 13, to invite assistant youth ministries director Kiefer Dooley to become the youth director for the Conference.
Commenting on the new assignment, RMC president Ed Barnett said, "We welcome Kiefer to this important ministry. We are looking forward to joining him in new approaches to the ever-changing youth scene in the church. There is an urgent need to involve the new generation in God's mission. Dooley will bring new and creative ways of reaching our youth and young adults in the church and outside."
He begins in his new position January 1.
Kiefer fills the position vacated by Steve Hamilton who accepted a call to the Paradise, California Church as senior pastor.
Chuck Gadway Ordained Ahead of Call to Ohio » Members from every church in his district – Sheridan, Buffalo, Gillette, Upton, and Newcastle – gathered for Chuck Gadway’s ordination December 8, some even coming from Lakewood Fellowship where he previously pastored. A woman who wanted to talk about baptism and who had never before attended his church came the day of his ordination after listening to him online for months.
There was much affirmation of his ministry that day.
“Chuck’s ordination was very spirit-filled,” said Eric Nelson, who gave the ordination address. “A lot of close, personal ties were evident among the people who attended. They were wonderfully affirming of his ministry.”
Gadway credits his mother’s prayers, his father’s mentorship, and the inspiration of Ron Halvorsen, Sr., an evangelist who left his life as a New York gang member and led thousands to baptism, for instilling in him a desire to bring people to Jesus.
Gadway planted Lakewood Fellowship in Colorado as a lay pastor with his wife, Rhonda, before being called to pastor the Northeast Wyoming District in 2016. “We owe a huge deal of gratitude to the Rocky Mountain Conference,” said Gadway “for calling us into full-time ministry.”
During his time as a pastor, Gadway has battled cancer and has been instrumental in bringing many people to Jesus, including medical personnel from his cancer care.
“We are still in awe,” Gadway added about his ordination, “and ask ourselves, ‘Who are we that God should bless us so much to have the kind of churches we have and to have the blessings God gives us--our work with the conference, the support of our churches. It’s just hard to imagine that God condescends to give us those kinds of blessings and allows us to work with Him.’”
“Chuck loves people,” expressed Eric Nelson, RMC VP for administration. “It was very evident that the people in the district love Pastor Chuck and Rhonda very much and they will miss him greatly,” Nelson said.
Nelson’s comment referred to Gadway’s call to pastor the Mount Vernon Church in Ohio, which Gadway has accepted. “If it was up to me,” Gadway explained, “I would stay in Colorado, “but I can’t let my personal choices get in the way [of God’s will].
-- Carol Bolden; photo by Gabriela Anca Vincent
"Does Prayer Work?" University of Wyoming Experiment Asks Wyoming Pastor to Participate in Study » Just completed by the Economics Department at the University of Wyoming in Laramie is a study on prayer, the results of which will be published within the next few months. Although not wanting to give out too much information before publication, assistant professor of economics, Linda Thunstrom, explained what gave birth to the study. “Whenever there’s a disaster, people say, ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you.’” With this in mind, her department wanted to find out if this comment made a difference. “What if they pray for you in lieu of giving help?” she queried. “And what is the monetary value of this statement?”
A group of nearly 50 people from North Carolina was asked to fill out a questionnaire listing areas where they could use "thoughts and prayers". The group included atheists and agnostics as well as Christians. Some listed several areas of need, including health, employment, loss through death, even a felony conviction. The $5 they were given to take part could be used for a prayer or thought or it didn’t have to be spent.
One UW professor put out a feeler on social media to find a pastor in the area who would pray for the individuals on the list. Someone suggested Mark Jagitsch, pastor of RMC’s Cheyenne Church, after which he received a phone call from the University asking for his help with his “thoughts and prayers.” He was happy to cooperate with their request, immediately enlisting the help of his church members and DeeAnn Bragaw, prayer coordinator for Rocky Mountain Conference, who was thrilled to join him.
“I was excited when Pastor Jagitsch told me about this project and even more excited when together we thought how wonderful it would be to involve all of our RMC members in praying over these individuals. This is the heart of prayer ministry,” enthused Bragaw.
“I prayed for them on a regular basis,” explained Jagitsch, and I’m hoping God will answer.” He had recently seen billboards written by unbelievers like, “I’m a happy heathen without God,” and “Prayer doesn’t do anything. Work does,” and wanted God to respond to these declarations by showing up in the lives of the North Carolina people like He did when Goliath proclaimed, “This day I defy the armies of Israel.” He wanted God to make Himself known to them.
When the study is published, NewsNuggets will provide its readers with the results.
-- Carol Bolden
Daystar Student Begins Bibles 4 Pueblo Effort » “I was listening to an advertisement on a Christian radio station that I had heard multiple times. It was about people needing Bibles. I thought about it when I was going to sleep one night and when I woke up, I felt compelled to do something about it, “said Luke Velbis, 8th grader at Daystar Christian School.
Consequently, Luke started “Bibles 4 Pueblo.” Thus far, he has been able to collect funds and donations, which have helped him to donate approximately 60 Bibles to local inmates. In addition, Daystar students made homemade Christmas cards to accompany the Bibles.
“We, on the outside, live in freedoms that so many have lost or forfeited because of their lack of spiritual awareness and love for Jesus. The cards, prayers, and Bibles help many to open their hearts to Jesus Christ for the first time,” said Steve Shoffner, the Pueblo First Church prison ministry coordinator.
“I am excited and warm inside knowing that the inmates can grow closer to God because now they have a chance to read a Bible,” said Velbis.
-- Michelle Velbis; text and photo
Newday Spreads Joy to Parker Community During Annual Christmas Store » Newday Church was thrilled to share Christmas joy with the local Parker community last week through its largest outreach event of the year, the seventh annual Christmas Store.
At the “store,” which is hosted in partnership with Parker Adventist Hospital, hundreds of children and teens from low-income families are invited to shop for Christmas gifts for themselves and their families free of charge. The church works with local public schools to identify families who are struggling financially, and the schools distribute the invitations. This year, more than 200 invitations were distributed, and approximately 140 families attended.
According to Shawna Sadjak, a Newday member and the coordinator for the Christmas Store, the store served about 40 percent more families this year than last year. “The town of Parker is changing,” says Shawna. “More people are struggling to make ends meet, so the schools are seeing more of a need for our program.”
Lori Goebel, a Newday member and Christmas Store volunteer, says kids who attend aren’t just looking for a handout but are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to get gifts for their families. She recalls wrapping gifts for one 11-year-old boy named Nathaniel who told her, “I love the Christmas season; it’s just such a time for giving.” After hugging his shopping assistant, the boy turned to Lori and threw his arms around her as well, saying, “I’m a hugger. Thank you so much!”
Church members provide the bulk of the volunteer labor, shopping for gifts all year round and managing all of the practical aspects of the busy, four-day event. The hospital, in turn, provides the location, and its foundation gives thousands of dollars to fund the cost of the store.
“Obviously, this does not solve every problem for these families, but it gives them hope,” says Shawna. “It lets them feel a little more normal this time of year.”j"
-- Jamie Santa Cruz, text and photo
Grand Junction Church Holds All About Jesus Seminar » The Grand Junction Church hosted Lee and Margi Venden November 30 through December 8 as they presented the All about Jesus Seminar, reminding those in attendance of Jesus' incredible love for us, and how much He is longing for a deeper relationship with us. All were challenged to implement changes that would deepen their walk with God. If someone had not yet experienced that "click" between them and God, they were challenged to give God a try, and let Him know they were ready for something more. If they felt no desire for God at the moment they were challenged to ask God to make them willing to be made willing to enter into a relationship with Him. Many positive comments were made about the experience.
"It was so nice to hear and talk about Jesus all week! Pastor Lee challenged us to let Jesus wake us up each morning to spend time with Him and I have been richly blessed by this extra time with my friend Jesus," said Mindy Morrell
Jan Watson commented, "Lee and Margi’s passion for revival and love for Jesus is inspiring. We are looking forward to having a closer relationship with our Best Friend Jesus and are excited about implementing the S.O.A.P. Bible study [where the student reads Scripture, makes Observations about it, Applies it to their life, and Prays over it]. Our favorite quote from the seminar is, “Christianity is not about what you do, but Who you know and Who you know will change what you do.”
"I was impacted with the realization that Jesus wants so much to give me eternity right now, to be my very best Friend and He longs for me to sit at His feet daily. I learned that if I keep my heart connected with His will, I will have peace, joy and love abundant every day! I have implemented an early morning time with Him daily, and plan on continuing as it is so very inspiring--renewing my commitment daily," remarked Patti Eschilman.
For Tom Watson, the event meant, "I am resolving, with His help, to spend each morning in the study of His Word with the sole purpose of getting to know Jesus as my “personal Friend”.
For Ivan and Glady Holmes, "The presentation by Lee Venden was the most complete introduction to the Gospel that we’ve heard in 70 years,"
Some of us saw Jesus in a new way and that transformed our understanding of the Gospel. Some of us met Jesus for the first time. It didn't matter where we were with Jesus when the meetings began. We were each challenged and blessed by the knowledge and experience the Venden’s shared.
-- Rachel Skaife, text and photo
The True Spirit of Christmas Seen at Mile High Academy » The middle and Upper schools at Mile High Academy held their Christmas program December 7, followed four days later by the Lower School, together featuring choir, band, handbells, strings, and even a Preschool Nativity, putting everyone in the Christmas spirit. Following many weeks of practice, families and friends came together to see the students perform. On stage, faces beamed. In the audience, smiles shone. If that had been the extent of the events, it would have been enough
. However, during each of these evenings, a call for offering was given with a different twist than the usual funding for the music department. This time, Director of Music, Esther Aviles, asked the crowd to think about their sister school in Paradise, California, about all they have lost, and about what we are enjoying and how we could share. Our MHA families brought the Christmas spirit to life, giving $1,347.95 to help Paradise Adventist Academy.
-- Agape Hammond, text and photo
Campion Academy Welcomes New Director of Development and Alumni Relations » Campion Academy is thrilled to announce the new Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Darcy Force, who has moved to campus and officially joined our team.
Recognizing the importance of a strong candidate, the school board was able to re-instate the role as a full-time position this year. Force became the top candidate for the job as she is highly qualified and experienced, having worked in advancement and marketing in Adventist education for more than 14 years.
Coming from Southwestern Adventist University, where she worked as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the past seven years, Force states, “When Don (Reeder) first called me about the job opening, I wasn’t looking to leave Southwestern, so my husband and I sat down together and came up with a list of things that would need to come together for us to understand that this was really God’s will for us,” she reflected. “Every single one of them was answered and it was at least ten items! The way that God guided from beginning to end, it was very evident that He was opening this door for us and that this is where we needed to be.”
Her role at Campion will include fundraising, particularly growing the endowment fund, used for worthy student-aid. A sizable endowment fund will give Campion the ability to help more students afford an Adventist education.
Force is particularly fond of the relational aspects of the job and looks forward to cultivating and building relationships with the alumni and friends of Campion Academy. One of her first goals for this year is to improve the database of alumni contact information, so that she can help them stay connected with their alma mater. She’s also looking forward to meeting alumni at the chapter meetings she will be planning this year.
Because of her experience and skills in marketing, she will also be serving on the Marketing and Communication committee in order to help plan initiatives for recruiting and public relations. “I want to help Campion connect even more with the community, so that the local community knows that Campion is here, not just for recruitment purposes, but to be good members of our community and reach out to the people around us,” Force commented.
Don Reeder has been eagerly anticipating her arrival in this position. "I am so glad to have Darcy Force with the Campion Family,” he exclaimed, “I am looking forward to seeing how God will use the talents and experience he has given her to help Campion fulfill the mission of teaching and training young people in God's love and service.”
Many people will recognize her last name, and Darcy Force is indeed the sister of our very own men’s dean, Daniel Force. She’s married to Russell Branham and has two adult step-sons, Aaron and Peyton. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor pursuits such as hiking, camping, kayaking, and dirt biking with her family. As an outlet for her creative side, she also loves photography and flower arranging. Welcome to Campion, Darcy! -- Jill Harlow, photo by Caressa Rogers
DEVOTIONAL BOOK FOR 2019
One of my earliest childhood memories is family worship. Night and morning, we all gathered around and read together--A habit that has stuck with me all of my life. I try to never leave the house, no matter how rushed I am without spending a few moments having a devotional time.
This year, I am very excited to see the NEW DEVOTIONAL BOOK for 2019, Authentic, by Shawn Boonstra, director/speaker for the Voice of Prophecy. He has chosen to spend time visiting the 13 truths of the foundation of the Adventist faith and to find authenticity and a deeper relationship with Christ.
The retail price is $18.99, but come to Denver's Adventist Book Center and mention that you read about it in News Nuggets and I will give you $4 off until the end of December.
-- Suzanne Hafar, ABC manager
25 Days of Christmas » Mile High Academy is counting down the 25 days of Christmas and inviting you to join. Each day, they will have a great idea for giving to Mile High Academy, but you can give toward anything you're passionate about -- student scholarships, teachers, classrooms, programs, etc. You can find out more by going to
Better Together Holiday Party » Denver South Church is hosting a Christmas Party and everyone is invited! The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. December 15 with dinner a la potluck, followed by a brief worship service. Then, we will form groups for caroling. We will be caroling in the neighborhood around Denver South. Please bring a warm coat. Later, the caroling groups will return to the church to enjoy fun games, crafts, and prizes for all ages. Those attending are welcome to bring food to share at dinner and treats throughout the evening. We can’t wait to fellowship with you during this great season!
Women of the Manger » On Saturday, December 15, the Grand Junction Church will host moving performances on Women of the Manger. Performances will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and all are invited to begin their Christmas where Christmas began--at the manger. The Grand Junctiion Church is located at 550 25 1/2 Road, Grand Junction CO.
Prayer Breakfast » Join us Sunday, December 16, 9-11 a.m. at the Conference office for a Prayer Breakfast to praise God for all He's done during 2018 and to pray together for more of the Holy Spirit in our homes, churches, and communities in 2019. You are welcome to bring a breakfast item to share--or just COME! Questions? Call/Text DeeAnn 303-243-1172. See you there!
10 Days of Prayer » Plan now for j10 Days of Prayer. This is a global church event. You can find everything you need to host 10 Days of Prayer at YOUR church at www.tendaysofprayer.org. Want to join in but a bit hesitant about leading out? We'll be happy to coach you and pray together with you! (call DeeAnn at 303-243-1172) RMC - LET'S PRAY!
Mile High Academy » Immediate openings are available for substitute teachers for all grade levels at Mile High Academy. Applicants should have experience working with children and be able to maintain a positive classroom environment while carrying out the teacher’s lesson plans in classrooms as assigned. High school diploma required. Bachelors or some college preferred. Days/hours are on an as-needed basis. For more information, please contact Brenda Rodie at 303-744-1069. For an application, send an email request to [email protected].
HMS Richards Elementary » Part-time preschool teacher needed at HMS. We are growing and looking for an enthusiastic teacher to lead our preschool program. Must be ECE teacher certified. Do not need to be director certified. Please contact Davin Hammond or Kari Lange for more information @ (970) 667-2427.
ESL Teacher Needed for Mile High Academy Sister School China Campus » Mile High Academy still has a position available on their extended campus at the Guangdong Experimental Shunde - ESL Teacher Needed
This is a unique opportunity to serve as a teacher in Shunde China at Mile High Academy’s extended campus at the Guangdong Experimental Shunde. Please see link below to explore the school: http://www.gdsysd.com/Home/IndexEnglish
Contact Principal Toakase Vunileva at [email protected] for questions or to submit your resume.
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
FROM THE EDITOR
We want to share your news -- Change is a part of the communication age. With online media experiencing constant evolution, the NewsNuggets is also experiencing an increased access from our readers and contributors. We will continue to encourage news sharing from our churches, institutions, and individual church members.
In order to make our eNewsletter accommodate an increased volume of announcements, our editorial work proposes to present information in a more efficient approach, ensuring that all timely promotions and announcements be included in a weekly, Friday release of NewsNuggets. Submission deadline for stories, news, and announcements is at noon on every Wednesday. Please send all your submissions to [email protected]
Thank you for your contribution, but also comments, as NewsNuggets continues to serve the church in an efficient and effective way.
NOTE: Questions are being raised regarding guidelines for the Announcement section of the RMC NewsNuggets newsletter. After a review of the guidelines, the following few points should be considered when sending announcements or promotional materials:
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known