Waking Up Wyoming, One Believer at a Time » Gideon Logan is twelve years old and a team member of the Wyoming Waldensians. He is a member of an evangelism group of a dozen youth who went on a summer trip to Arizona last year. Their objective was to conduct a Vacation Bible School, as well as an evangelistic outreach in Paige, and also do some construction work on the Navajo reservation.
Appearing at the Wyoming camp meeting on July 18, Gideon told the story of a dog that made them opt for an alternative delivery of a leaflet-invitation to a series of evening evangelistic meetings.
"We were simply scared of the dog," he explained. Assisted by Pastor Regan Scherencel, two team members were near a home where they wanted to deliver the invitation for the evening meetings, "but this dog. There was this dog and we were afraid of it. But we needed to get that leaflet delivered to this house," he continued.
"I came up with the idea to make a paper airplane and send it over the fence. It was perhaps the worst one I ever did,” Gideon smiled and said that, surprisingly, it went straight and landed on the porch.
Recollecting the story, Gideon sounded as surprised as he felt when the message was delivered. When the evening came, he talked to a family that attended the meeting. When he asked how they heard about the meeting, they said that they found a paper airplane on their porch.
This was one of many stories shared with a congregation of 200 at the 2015 Wyoming camp meeting. Pastor Regan Scherencel was also smiling as he explained that Arizona's 110F heat would not deter the youth group from their focused program. Scherencel is a pastor of four churches, separated by many miles.
Named after the famous Italian Anabaptists, whose witnessing for Christ became a hallmark of their success, the Wyoming Waldensians also resort to creative methods to witness. The Waldensians in Wyoming come together a few times a year for training sessions on how to preach and share testimonies with the intent to go on mission trips. In 2013 it was Honduras, and Arizona in 2014. [more]
Executive Committee Bids Farewell to Tom Lemon; Positive Financial Report Given » Tom Lemon, president of the Mid-America Union Conference, was in Denver on July 21, meeting for the last time with the Rocky Mountain Conference Executive Committee. Lemon was elected as general vice president of the General Conference at its world session in San Antonio, TX, July 2-11. No stranger to RMC, Lemon reminded the meeting of his six years in the region and his fond memories serving the church in Colorado, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.
The committee voted a “resolution of affirmation and support for Tom Lemon as he transitions to be GC vice-president in the near future. He has been a blessing in RMC serving as assistant to the president. He continued to bless RMC during his time of service as MAUC president. We wish to acknowledge and appreciate his service to this conference.”
Following a report by President Ed Barnett about participation of several RMC members in the General Conference Session, the RMC vice president for finance, George Crumley, reported that the June financial statement indicates a 4.82 percent tithe increase year to date. Health expenses are tracking much less than budgeted by $400,000 year to date. Total expenses are tracking under budget as well. The committee approved the financial statement subject to audit.
Eric Nelson, vice president for administration, reported on membership growth in the conference in the first six months of 2015. “Since our growth rate for RMC was only .61 percent in 2014, today we can report a positive statistic,” he said. RMC made a decision to invest more funds in evangelism and encourage pastors to increase outreach activities. “It seems this is making a difference,” Nelson said. To date, RMC reports 201 baptisms, an increase of 56 when compared with 2014.
The Executive Committee gave approval of the concept presented by Craig Carr, ministerial director, entitled, “Living and Leading by F-A-I-T-H.” The five-word acronym is the foundation for the ministerial core values of Friendship, Adaptability, Integrity, Teamwork, and Humility. Formulated over a period of six months by a committee of seven pastors, these core values embody the character attributes and leadership principles that can offer awareness and guidance on both a personal and professional basis.
According to Carr, “Living and Leading by F-A-I-T-H” will be introduced to pastors in the coming weeks through their area cluster meetings. Remarking on the proposal, Tom Lemon commended the succinctness of the statement, as “simple is key, and less is more. If I were a new minister, I would welcome this approach," he said. The committee supported the concept and encouraged its adaptation throughout RMC. [Text and photo by Rajmund Dabrowski]
Anatomy of a Decision » When registering my attendance as a delegate to the recently concluded General Conference Session, my plan was to participate fully in the discussions, vote my conscience in the decisions, and return to Lincoln and the MAUC fully engaged with the mission we share here in the heartland of America. As a veteran of church governance sessions, I thought I knew all the potential outcomes and nuances available to us, given the agenda.
So when a GC vice-president wanted to see me late Sabbath evening, the farthest thing from my mind was a change in my responsibilities. After 20 minutes of confirming what GC leadership already knew about me, my positions on the issues, and my commitment to the church and its mission, he told me to expect a phone call from Elder Wilson in the morning. Elder Wilson called later that same night.
Jan and I agreed to let them take my name to committee and if the Lord wanted, He could stop the plan right there. Later, when the nominating committee vote came out, I told Elder Wilson and Dr. Hart (the Nominating Committee secretary) “No” for family reasons. I told them they were welcome to go to “Plan B".
Upon learning that there was only a Plan A and that they would work with us on location matters, I felt compelled to say "Yes". Start to finish, the process was about 18 hours. And that is not the way I normally operate. Still, for 40 years now, I have believed in the committee system of the church. No, not every decision is a good one, but the process and the involvement of many make for the greater likelihood of a better outcome.
Jan and I have seriously loved our years in the Mid-America Union, dating back to the 90s in Rocky Mountain through our brief stay in Minnesota, to the last six years in Lincoln. While we will continue living here for some time yet, saying goodbye to so many of you is among the hardest things we do. “Even so come, Lord Jesus” is our prayer. [Thomas Lemon; outgoing MAUC President]
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Boulder Child Participates in National Spelling Bee » Linda Buitron, a fourth-grader at Columbine Elementary School in Boulder and member of the Boulder Adventist Church, won the Spanish Spelling Bee for her school this year. She went on to compete on the national level at Albuquerque, NM, which took place on July 17 and 18. At eight years old, she was the youngest contestant and in the lowest grade, all others going into fifth through ninth grade this year. Pablo, Linda's father, has been her main coach since the local spelling bee. He said, "We spent about an hour a day spelling the competition words." He used the internet to find helpful rules about word endings and etymologies.
Linda placed 11th out of 26. The winner was a ninth-grader who was also the winner from last year. The organizer of the competition gave special recognition to Linda as the youngest contestant. Finishing 11th of 26 and in round seven was quite an accomplishment for her, considering that the other students were older and in grades ahead of her.
Linda has depended on God's help since the beginning of the contest. "I always pray before I study, and I prayed before each round of the competition. I asked God to help me study, even when I would rather have been making designs with the Rainbow Loom."
Gloria, Linda's mother, has also been a huge support. She says, "I am already planning our trip to San Antonio next year for the national competition. Linda is excited about getting the new spelling list and working on it right away."
"Si Dios quiere," or "If God wills it," Linda says of winning next year's competition. Her trust in God, her perseverance, and her gentle spirit among the contestants were inspiring to many around her. [Jacquelyn Hayes; photo by Agui Briseno]
Nepal Relief Fund Raised over $60,000 for Sheer Memorial Hospital » On a quiet Saturday morning in late April, the people of Nepal were drenched in chaos as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook their foundations into rubble. The epicenter of the earthquake struck northwest of Nepal’s capital city, Katmandu. However, due to the magnitude of the quake, tragedy spread far and wide across the small mountainous country. Buildings crumbled, houses caved and the shaky ground instilled fear in everyone.
Half way across the world in Denver, Colorado, Centura’s Global Health Initiatives (GHI) team began organizing a relief fund with the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation (RMAHF) and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Foundation for those affected in Banepa, Nepal, specifically for the community surrounding the Sheer Memorial Hospital (SMH). The Sheer Memorial Hospital and GHI has had a long-standing relationship coordinating medical mission trips focused primarily on women’s reproductive health.
After a few meetings the following Monday, the relief fund was communicated through email blasts, Twitter and Facebook updates and Centura Health news updates. “There was such an energy and out pouring of donations to help SMH. It felt so good to be able to be a part of this and see how the spirit of generosity was alive and making a difference,” said Kim Kennedy, an employee at Rocky Mountain and one of many organizers of the relief fund. [more]
Roadside Testimony: Alberto De Santiago » About three years ago, Pastor Ruben Balaguer was driving back to Bloomfield from the Pagosa Springs Church. His van broke down and he pulled over to the shoulder of the road. It was late at night and his cell phone didn’t have a signal. He pleaded with God, “Send someone to help me!”
Just a while later, a man named Alberto De Santiago came along in a trailer truck and parked nearby to get some rest. Pastor Balaguer asked Alberto for help and the car was quickly fixed. After giving Alberto the magazine, "El Centinela," Alberto asked if Pastor Ruben was a Christian, and was very happy to hear that he was not only a Christian but also a pastor. Alberto explained that he was traveling from Denver and pleading with God to help him resolve a serious problem that was tormenting his conscience.
The pastor advised him and prayed for him. Alberto drove away that night feeling tranquil and thankful. He had given his phone number to Pastor Balaguer and he received many Bible studies via cellphone as he traveled through different states. After accepting what the Bible teaches, Alberto joined the Seventh-day Adventist congregation in El Paso, Texas, attending yet reserving his baptism for when Pastor Ruben could baptize him.
He traveled to Bloomfield, NM to take this last step on Sabbath, June 27. “It was a great joy for me and for the whole congregation to see him after such a long time,” said Pastor Ruben.“ Alberto had proposed himself to win over his mother for Christ and the same Sabbath that I baptized him, his mother was also being baptized in the church of El Paso!” [Ruben Balaguer]
Mile High Academy AP Scores » Mile High Academy has an open door policy for all AP exams, meaning that any student who wishes to take an AP exam is welcome to do so. This past May, 16 MHA students took advantage of this opportunity, completing 24 exams. Of the 16 test-takers, eight students will receive college credit for 13 courses based on their scores. Compared with global averages, their scores exceed the norm in three of the four AP courses offered at the school. One hundred percent of MHA Calculus AB and AP Computer Science students passed their exam and more than half of those that took the Calculus exam earned the highest score available.
“We have amazing students but even more exciting is we have excellent teachers who are pushing and challenging our students,” says Toakase Vunileva, principal of MHA. “By the results shared, we can stand proudly on our teachers’ ability to teach with rigor and love! I am proud of our students and so blessed to be teaching with a dream team that God has brought together for Mile High Academy.”
MHA is inviting all News Nuggets readers and their friends to a GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION. The new campus is opening FROM 1-4 p.m., Sunday, August 16, at its new location, 1733 Dad Clark Drive, Highlands Ranch. Come and tour the new MHA campus, enjoy the festivities and share in excitement! It’s a day of fun for the whole family.
For more information, please call 303-744-1069 or visit www.milehighacademy.org.
Heritage Singers: Free Anniversary Concert » The Heritage Singers are an American Gospel group founded by Max Mace and his wife, Lucy with their two children, Val and Greg. Upon entering their fourth decade, they had traveled to over 65 countries, performed over 7,000 concerts, produced 200 television programs, and recorded over 100 albums. On Saturday, August 1 at 7:00 pm, they will be performing at the Lifesource Adventist Fellowship. It is a free event, celebrating 45 years since the beginning of their group. Come to Lifesource at 6200 West Hampden Ave in Denver to celebrate with them!
Calling All Women Doing the Tri-for-the-Cure! » On Sunday, August 2, several women from the Campion church will be swimming, biking, and running in the Susan G. Komen Tri-for the Cure to benefit breast and ovarian cancer research. This is a sprint distance triathlon, and we'd love to connect with any other Adventist gals who are participating! Interested in joining us? Register at Tri for the Cure Denver | Women Triathlon Colorado | Sprint Distance Triathlon - MODX Revolution and then email DeeAnn Bragaw at [email protected] to let us know you're coming! We'll send out a group email to determine a place to meet. See you there!
Boulder Church: "Experiencing God Through Prayer" with Jerry and Janet Page » Join us for Experiencing God Through Prayer, a special presentation from Jerry and Janet Page, following a potluck lunch, on August 29, 2-4 p.m. Jerry is Ministerial Association Secretary for the General Conference Ministerial Association, and his wife, Janet, is Ministerial Associate Secretary for Prayer, Pastoral Spouses and Families for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. They will share their experience with prayer as a way to: experience God’s power; improve your relationships; enjoy private and united prayer; really know Jesus; see the Scriptures come alive; know daily victory in your life.
August 1 -- Sabbath
HERITAGE in Concert, 7 p.m., LifeSource Adventist Fellowship FREE
August 7 -- Friday
Mary Grace, 7 p.m. Denver South -- FREE
Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known
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