Sixty ministers representing all churches in the conference enjoyed a four-day ministerial retreat Jan. 6-9 at Glacier View Ranch. “Lifting Jesus Up” was this year’s theme and included presentations by well-known revivalist Lee Venden and Dr. Chris Holland of Adventist World Radio.

“I have found myself come alive,” Bob Alpine, pastor of Alamosa and Monte Vista churches, said of the retreat.

Venden, who conducts revival seminars in the United States and abroad, challenged the ministerial group to make Jesus the main focus in everything they do, including preaching and teaching. “When we lift Jesus up, He will not only move our hearts, but also the hearts of those around us,” he said.

Several pastors attended the meeting with their spouses and children. Abigail Logan (daughter of Grace and Jason Logan), who assisted with childcare at the retreat, found herself not only caring for children but also attending Pastor Venden’s meetings. His “messages helped me realize what my spiritual life should be like. It can be full, joyful and exciting. I don’t need to be guilty for the time I spent neglecting time with Jesus, I need only look forward to eternity with him,” she said.

Chris Holland’s presentations linked Venden’s theme with evangelism. He said that the United States should be considered a mission field just as much as places overseas. He challenged the pastors to make their churches centers of influence in their communities.

Commenting on his presentations, Leif Hansen from Estes Park said, “I was so inspired and re-energized by being reminded of this great truth that was woven like a red thread throughout Dr. Chris Holland’s seminar: evangelism is not what we do; evangelism is who we are!”

Michael Goetz, lead pastor of Campion Adventist Church, stated that, “through the prayer and study time at the pastoral workers meeting, it was communicated that God has a dynamic challenge extended to the church and to me. He isn’t done doing great things.”

During the retreat, it was announced that the association of Rocky Mountain Ministerial Spouses (formerly known as Shepherdess International) was formed by several pastor’s spouses who attended the retreat.

Emily Roque-Cisneros was elected as RMMS president with Heidi Martin as VP, Sherva Wilson and Esther Marpaung as assistants and Grace Logan as care coordinator. Besides planning activities for ministerial retreats, a Facebook page will be created to give spouses the chance to stay connected and informed.

“It was an inspiring and uplifting meeting,” said Gingerlai Tupito from Arvada First church. “We did a lot of sharing and interacting, and we were reminded how to be effective assisting our spouses’ ministry,” she said.

Steve Nelson, a district pastor in Western Wyoming, added, “God never fails to encourage, inspire and bless us during our RMC pastors fellowship and worship together. I am looking forward to the blessings He will bring as we share the joy of serving Him with our church families.”