Calvary’s 60th Anniversary

Cc-F7ccrobmax8D2aZv92E09e4jdIMkDA8prikxKNTgCalvary Church is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year.  Their big celebration was on August 23 at the church at their annual Fam Fest picnic, where they welcomed over 450 people.  Doris Ballard attended as the only person who has been a part of the Calvary family since it started in 1955.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship and excitement to remember all that the church has done in the name of Christ and looking forward to what God has in store for Calvary in the future.  At Fam Fest, 10 people were baptized surrounded by their friends and family.  Since it began, 910 people have publically dedicated their life to Christ through baptism at the church.  Following the baptisms, all of Calvary’s pastoral and worship staff took a turn in the dunk tank and the kids enjoyed playing in bouncy houses and on water slides.  Fam Fest proved to be a great time for people to relax and have fun before the start of a new school year.

Calvary’s 60th anniversary celebration continues through December with a big Thanksgiving meal in November and a performance of Handel’s Messiah on December 18 and 20.  Those from other churches and the community are invited to join the Worship Choir and participate in the Messiah performance as a way to bring the whole community together to be centered on Christ for the Christmas season.  As the year continues, Calvary will continue to celebrate their diamond anniversary and 60 years of engagement as they prayerfully and earnestly look forward to what’s next for the Calvary Church family in the coming years.  As the church continues to grow in the future, their goal is to remain a Bible-centered community of believers who believe they are broken people being made new in Jesus, overflowing with gratitude, and poured out for others.

Bible Jeopardy

I am a Jeopardy junkie!  Like many, I enjoy watching to see if I can get the response before the contestant on TV.  I am amazed with the trivia that is stored away in my brain. Mind you I may not be able to recall where I left my cell phone ten minutes ago, but tell me  “From Middle English for “to chop”, it means to bargain over a price” and instantly I know “What is haggle?”

I remember in the early 80’s the board game Trivial Pursuit swept the country turning Saturday night social gatherings into intellectual battle grounds to crown queens and kings of trivia. I loved that game because I seem to be full trivial thoughts.

Hey here is some trivia from Wikipedia to occupy some your dormant brain cells: “The ancient Romans used the word ‘trivia’ to describe where one road split or forked into two roads. Trivia was formed from tri (three) and via (road); therefore, literally meaning ‘three roads’. It is speculated that road splits or ‘trivia’ were resting places where travelers paused to have small talk before continuing on their separate ways. Hence, the modern word ‘trivia’ evolved from a literal meaning.”

The title of a book by Logan Pearsall Smith –Trivialities, bits of information of little consequencecaptures the concern for trivia.  Trivia is information or knowledge of little consequence or difference.  It is information that does little to “form” or change the person. I would think that few would argue with the thought that Jesus intended the Gospel to be transformational, not merely informational.

Let’s do a little math – let’s say the average sermon lasts 30 minutes (I know many of you want to go to that church), and the really spiritual Christians make sure they go to a 45 minute Sunday School class (so that they can get to the deep truths of the Word of God discussing the real meaning of Greek and Hebrew words that the pastor refuses to get to in his milk toast 30 minute sermon).  Add to this another 15 minutes of teaching or discussion that we might get in our small group study – we don’t have high expectations here because we all understand that these groups are focused on relationships.  So in the average week we might have as high as one and half hours of bible study. In a year that would be 73 hours gathering information, and this does not account for the time spent in personal bible study. Multiply this by the 20, 30 or 40 years of following Jesus and being a faithful church member. That is 1,460, 2,190  and 2,820 hours … you get the idea – that is a lot of information.

Listen to the words from one of the best Sunday School teachers ever:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1–2 (NIV84)

Another version puts it this way…  “If as a child I was always the first to raise my Bible during the Bible drill and give the right answer, but have not love for others, I deserved the disdain of all the other students and the title Bible nerd. If I have the gift of superior knowledge and get giddy when I hear someone mention the imperfect aorist tense of the Greek verb, but have not love, I might win at Bible Jeopardy but I am nothing like Jesus.” SRV – the Stan’s Revised Version which I admit is not very scholarly.

As we work with churches that are plateaued or declining one of the most fundamental and foundational missing ingredients is a love for the lost in their own communities. Matthew wrote of Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 (NIV84)

So how can we move away from preparing the people of our churches for Bible Trivia?

First, pray, seek and plead for the Spirit of God to do His work of leveraging information into transformation in your and others’ lives (John 16).

Second, recognize that information and longevity do not always equal discipleship (John 14:9).

Challenge your own (it is that log-in-your-eye thing) and other professing believers’ un-Christ-like behaviors, conversation and attitudes, of course in love (Hebrews 10:24, Gal 6:1).

Let’s begin with these, but can you think of others?

Oh and by the way, what is the Jeopardy question to this answer: Category: Names that are verbs. The Answer: Mr. Martindale, or what he might do if he likes you.

 

Wow, am I glad June 2015 is done and over with!

Stan Updated Photo

I spent nearly two weeks in the Northeast seeing how God is working through churches and church leaders to make a greater Gospel impact. It was truly exciting.   Although to experience that joy not only was I away from home and family, driving nearly 2,000 miles (for which you get double points since it is the congested Northeast), but I also endured an undiagnosed gallbladder attack.

I returned to Colorado anticipating a quick trip to Wyoming to work with First Baptist of Basin as they navigate a pastoral transition. Kent Dempsey has had a great ministry in Basin and the church is healthy, but due to his desire to care for aging parents, Kent is stepping into an associate role.

While staying in Powell, WY with our son and family, preparing for the meeting with the leaders and Pastoral Search Committee on Friday night, I experienced a full on gallbladder attack. Our son, a surgeon, recognized the seriousness of the situation so with a swig of whiskey and knives from the kitchen we cleared off the dining room table and he cut that sucker out! Ok, maybe it was not quite like that, but I did get to enjoy the accommodations and care of the staff at the local hospital. And yes, my son did end up removing the gallbladder.

Unfortunately, due to the surgery, I was not able to speak at Good News Community Church on Sunday as was planned. My apologies to their pastor, Matthew Fite, who was on a month long sabbatical. I trust he received the rest and refreshment that was so well deserved. Thanks to Lorrie Schroeder for assuring me that they would cover for my human frailty.

We just finished two days of meeting with the other directors of the CBAmerica missional network. Very valuable time spent bringing clarity of mission and vision. Please note the statement published by the CBA Board with regard to the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. There are several resources there that each church needs to process as soon as possible.

I would love to hear from you. What is going on in your church? How can we as a region best assist you in the days ahead? I would love to come share with you, your leadership or your congregation what God is doing through the region to increase Kingdom impact and ministry vitality in these challenging days.

Blessings,
Stan Rieb
Executive Director

 

IN RESPONSE TO THE SUPREME COURT’S REDEFINING MARRIAGE

At the meeting of the Regional Executive Directors in Denver on June 29th, 2015, Dr. David Whitaker led the board in a discussion of the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. The following was adapted from an earlier statement created by Dr. Whitaker and is the board’s official response to that decision:

CBAmerica’s Statement Here

Resources:

Here is the update from Christianity TodaySupreme Court: States Can’t Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Here is a statement from Al Mohler: Mohler Responses to Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Here is a statement from NAE: Supreme Court Redefines Marriage and God Defined Marriage

Here is a statement made by a diverse coalition of evangelical leaders assembled by the ERLC: Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage

Here is a Christianity Today Editorial written by Mark Galli: Six Things To Do after the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage

Here is a statement by Ray Ortlund about Marriage and the Gospel: What is Marriage, According to the Bible?

Here is a summary of the decision by Joe Carter: Explainer: What You Should Know About the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Here is a statement from John Piper: So-Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the New Calamity

Here is a statement by Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom, for churches to consider: What Your Church Needs to Know – And Do – About the Court’s Marriage Ruling

Rev. Stan Rieb Becomes New Executive Director

Stan & HeidiIt is an honor to have been appointed as the Executive Director by the board of the Rocky Mountain Church Network. I want to thank Dr. Paul Borden for the partnership in ministry we have shared and will continue to share as he stays connected with the RMCN in church and associational coaching role.

Having served in RMCN churches in Colorado and Wyoming for nearly all of my 35 year ministry career, and having now served both the regional and national association for the last 10 years, I have a passion to see the local church thrive in the Gospel ministry to which it has been called.

In the days ahead we will continue to focus on the core values that both the regional and national office share of Church Health, Leadership Development and Church Multiplication. Over the next couple of months we will be revealing new strategies for helping churches fulfill their mission.

I would love to connect with you, the pastor, and your church to discuss how we might best serve you. Please feel free to shoot me an email – Stan.Rieb@RMCN.org, send a text (303) 746-8844 or even give me an old fashioned phone call to set up a time to connect. Additionally, you can follow the happenings of the RMCN on multiple platforms such as our recently updated website at www.RMCN.org. You may also Like our Facebook page, join our Google+ page and follow us on Twitter @connect_rmcn.

I look forward to hearing from you on ways we might connect.

Blessings,

Stan Rieb

Executive Director

 

2015 Global Leadership Summit – August 6-7

Global-Leadership-Summit

The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day event that is telecast live from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 300 satellite locations in North America. It exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church.

The Summit is designed for your entire leadership team’s staff and volunteers, key influencers and innovators within the community, emerging leaders, and students with leadership gifts. Churches and organizations are encouraged to bring large teams to experience the learning together.

CBAmerica has secured special discounted pricing for members of CBAmerica and associated regions:

$139/registration good until the Summit.
Priority Code: GLSCRFT15

Summer News at Good News Church

gnc%201With summer getting closer, we start thinking about our favorite outdoor activities. As we fire up our backyard grills, we anticipate the fun, food and fellowship this entails. Good News Church has decided to add a twist to this summertime tradition. They see it as an opportunity to reach their neighbors for Christ.

The plan is to encourage everyone in the church to throw a BBQ party and invite their neighbors. This is an easy, low-key way to get to know the people that live in their area. Many people today are so busy with their lives that they don’t even know who their neighbors are. This may be the first time they actually have a conversation with one another.

The bigger goal of these parties is to make a connection to the people in their neighborhoods. As these relationships develop,  they progress into a natural flow of inviting them to church and into a saving relationship with Jesus.

Please join Good News Church in praying for a huge turnout of participation, open hearts of neighbors and lots of people meeting Jesus.

The church is also looking at the possibility of starting a new outreach program for their community. They would like to provide a night out once a month for parents of special-needs children. There is nothing like this in the North Denver area. The church is working with a non-profit called Night Lights. Please pray as they explore this new opportunity.

Good News Church has had several people make a commitment to Jesus, however, they are not following in obedience of baptism. Please pray for hearts to be changed.

The church is also working with a dozen other churches to do a Youth Ministry event. Pray for the necessary strength and guidance as they are leading out on this project.

Pastor Matthew is taking a sabbatical for the month of June. Pray for it to be healthy and beneficial for both him and the entire church.

 

On The Spot

As submitted to the May 2015 issue of Military Officer by Chaplain Andy Meverden

Through his quick thinking – and his knowledge of military lore – a chaplain in the Army National Guard is able to keep a Vietnam veteran’s burial honors on track.

At the height of the war on terrorism, most military funeral honors for Army veterans were performed by the National Guard. As a Colorado Army National Guard chaplain, I often served as detail leader, folding and presenting the flag to the next of kin.

One day I arrived, per regulation, an hour before the inurnment of a Vietnam veteran. The funeral director pointed out the site of the columbarium and shared specific details of this ceremony. The decedent, a Denver native, had only one surviving brother, who was homeless and mentally ill. The funeral home had helped the brother prepare for the service with a shave, a haircut, and a new suit.

Read the full story here

 

Recon 50 Memorial

 Vietnamby Chaplain Jon Uyboro

 

This past April, over 200 Vietnam Veterans gathered at Camp Pendleton to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the involvement of Reconnaissance Marines in Vietnam. It was a bittersweet time for many of these men as they were able to reconnect with old friends, but were also reminded of their brothers-in-arms who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Read the full story here