Sunday, December 8, 2019

Year End and New Beginning

Me with my boss, Church Development Director Rev. John Pethtel

A merry Christmas to you! I hope you are enjoying this season of celebrating the coming of our Savior Jesus both long ago and soon.
Seventh Day Baptist Center, Janesville, Wisconsin

First, the big news. As of January 1, 2020, I will be employed part-time by the Seventh Day Baptist Conference, rather than self-employed and supported by donations. (Still based in Colorado.)

My work in Church Development will be much the same, maintaining our central database and responding to new inquiries about SDBs. I am currently seeking a second part-time job in order to have a full-time income.

Many of you have been praying for me since I began this ministry journey in July 2013 and I am SO thankful for you! I could not have done it without your prayers. 

I also praise God for my team of faithful monthly supporters, and all who contributed financially from time to time. Thank you for believing in me and my work. My sending church has also been important to my ability to serve and I thank them for that support (Frontier Church, formerly the Boulder SDB Church), as well as the SDB Missionary Society.

If you are able to give a “bonus” gift in December, that will help me tremendously as I start the New Year. Please direct checks to “Frontier Church – Carbon Valley”, PO Box 67, Dacono CO 80514. 

You can also give through the SDB Missionary Society, 129 Main St, #156, Ashaway RI 02804. They will continue to partner with the Conference to support my work in church planting and revitalization. (

In either case, include a note with my name as the designated purpose.



Frontier Church finished our booth ministry for the year on October 25th at the Frederick farmer’s market. Kids and adults enjoyed tossing beanbags into our Corn Hole boards to win treats. We gave away many good books from the church library (downsizing) as well as tracts and Bibles. Pastor Steve wore a bat costume for the autumn theme! 

In November, we joined with New Horizons Christian Church to distribute Thanksgiving turkeys and food boxes to many in the Carbon Valley area. We’ll do that with Christmas food boxes, too.

Thanksgiving Food Box Distribution
I was blessed to attend the MULTIPLY conference in Colorado Springs in November, along with 24 other SDBs. It was exciting to hear Pastor John Pethtel speak on the need to increase our sending capacity – willingly send out our best workers for the Kingdom and not hoard them. 

He also led a session for just our SDB cohort on overcoming obstacles to church growth. It was very challenging to be told we should think about future leadership needs before the current pastor leaves. “Have a 25-year vision.” “Who is needed for the next phase?” “Invest in the next generation of leadership.” Please consider attending MULTIPLY next year!

Pastor Nate Crandall brought the Word Sabbath morning

Sabbath afternoon at the Garden of the Gods


It can be hard to meet and “love your neighbor” when people are so busy. One idea to try is organizing potlucks every month or two. I’ve been doing that for a little over a year, the most recent right after Thanksgiving. 

Not too many come but it is helping a few of us develop deeper relationships and even talk about spiritual things. They know I’m a resource if they need help, and I rely on them to help me, too.

I am thankful to be near my son and his wife not only to spend time with the two little granddaughters but to be a support to them as parents. Paul recently had minor surgery and I was able to help out with meals and childcare. 

God gave us families (including church families) to be there for each other, among other reasons, and I am glad! We will soon be doing a Christmas sing-along together for elderly residents of St. Vrain Manor, as we did last year.

Leading the carols at St. Vrain Manor, 2018
“Frontier Church – Carbon Valley, a Ministry of Seventh Day Baptists” is getting ready to officially launch on January 4, 2020. We appreciate your prayers as we put all our energy into being effective at making new disciples. 

We are streamlining what we do, even though it’s hard to let some things go. Pastor Steve Osborn is leading us, assisted by Pastor Chris Galarneau. I am serving on the PULSE team that is helping us transition to the new focus.

Pastor Chris Galarneau bringing the morning message

Pastor Steve Osborn teaching the Bible class
Prayer Requests:
  • Praise God for His faithful provision during the past 6 years and His plans to use me in future.
  • For just the right second job where I can serve well and point others to new life in Christ.
  • For me as I mentor a few people to grow in their walk with Christ; others in our church doing this also.
  • For Frontier Church as we prepare for greater mission in 2020.
  • For SDBs to dedicate themselves even more to gospel work, for the good of the Kingdom and our churches, and to the glory of God.

This is my final newsletter. Thank you for enabling me to serve the Lord in this way!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Morning walk to the west with Long's Peak in view. 😀

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Autumn 2019

Hello Friends!

I hope you had a fruitful summer and are enjoying the fall.

I really enjoyed the Amplify evangelism conference in Wheaton, IL, in June as part of a cohort of 8 Seventh Day Baptists. A common thread was how we, the Church, are image-bearers of God to a broken world. 

I was blessed to meet Pastor Colin Smith of “Unlocking the Bible” (pictured at right). I’ve listened to his sermons online and grown through his insights and the application to my life. I encourage you to check out their free lessons and videos for taking someone through the Bible to see the big picture and the need for Christ.

Our SDB cohort, shown below, included me, Linda Lyke, Noela Kennedy, Nick Kersten, Heather Muschett, Glasford Dacres, and Louise Miller. Garfield Miller is not pictured since he was the photographer. 

In my database world, we just finished updating 440 people’s records with their areas of expertise so we can help our churches tap these resources for gospel work across the Conference. I also spend much time answering inquiries, 13 in the past quarter, from people who want to attend one of our churches or have questions about the Sabbath. Since they are usually too far from a church, I ask if they would consider starting a group. 

We need more people for this work of encouraging pre-SDBs to connect with us and continue to keep the Sabbath. Please contact me if you want to volunteer! We’re praising God for new SDB activity in Mexico, Phoenix, Indianapolis and central Kansas.

Former SDB Camp Wakonda campers
It was fun to take a road trip to the SDB Conference this year in Lancaster, PA, stopping to visit family on the way out and ministry supporters in New York (the Little Genesee SDB Church and a friend in Alfred Station). After Conference, I visited friends from Cumberland, Maryland, where I served the Full Gospel SDB Church 2014-2015, including Pastor Ron and Karen Higson. 

At left (and center) is my sister in Illinois, Susan, and a Colorado sister, Mary Ellen.

 I also visited SDB pastors near Salemville, PA, Dr. Paul and Linda Manuel, and Darwin and Cheryl Steele. 

On the way to Conference in July, I visited my Aunt Carolyn (Burdick) Payne in Youngstown, OH, who was fighting an illness. Then, on the way home in August, I attended her funeral, and was very thankful the timing worked for me be there to celebrate her life with extended family.
My sister (Mary Ellen), Aunt Carolyn and me
Burdick cousins at SDB Camp Harley Sutton

Conference was exciting with youth and young adults leading the interest committees and evening worship, including the sermons. I enjoyed the music ministry directed by Jayar Smith (ministerial student), and the choir directed by Nathan Crowder. Flowing dance also enhanced our worship. Ben Calhoun of the band Citizen Way gave a great workshop on worship.  After attending the Communications committee, I agreed to become a proofreader for The Sabbath Recorder magazine. One of my skills is catching discrepancies and errors so, it‘s kind of fun!

This year at Conference I was responsible for setting up the display for Church Development, stretching across two tables. I put dots on a large map of the USA and southern Canada marking where we have active churches, fellowships and recent inquiries. This was to draw attention to the serious lack of SDB churches in our hemisphere compared to the demand.


When I returned to Colorado, I met my second grandchild, Elizabeth Joy Petersen, born to Paul and Aimée August 9th. This has resulted in more Grandma time with their older child, Jo Ana, to my great joy. She turns two in early November, close to my birthday. Her word for Grandma is “Yala”.

The Boulder SDB Church recently renamed itself, “Frontier Church – Carbon Valley, a Ministry of Seventh Day Baptists”. We were founded in 1893 on the western frontier of America and we continue to push the frontiers of faith as we take the gospel to our new community. 
On the 4th of July we had a booth at the local festival in Firestone. We gave away cold water, Bibles, tracts and prizes from a fun game using oversized dice. Many people received an invitation to join us for worship. 


We also continue a monthly outreach at the Frederick outdoor market, “Finale Friday”. The theme in September was Oktoberfest and Pastor Steve Osborn dressed in costume for the occasion. We also held a drawing for a guitar (donated by a church member) and hope to build a few relationships from the names we gathered.

Our media team was becoming short-handed, so I volunteered to learn the program that displays words to the songs we sing for worship. Always good to learn new skills! I also help with leading music occasionally. Now that we have a name, we are considering additional changes to become a church that is actively making disciples in our community .


Music worship team: Linda Lawton, Deb Skaggs, yours truly, Chris Vergez, Pastor Chris Galarneau

I was thankful to be able to travel to North Loup, Nebraska, in early September to celebrate the 95th birthday of Frances Van Horn. She and her husband, long-time SDBs, were special friends to me when I was a teen.  

I returned to North Loup this past weekend to attend the funeral of Pastor Mynor Soper, age 92. For a number of years he was an evangelist for Seventh Day Baptists, forming a singing group to travel with him, the Lightbearers for Christ. In 1975, he invited me to join the Lightbearers and I was thrilled to do that for the next 18 months, until I went to college. I had to raise a full $50/month in support!

As 2020 approaches, I am praying for direction regarding work and ministry. I need a higher income to save for retirement, so I am looking at non-ministry jobs. It might be possible to work part-time for the Conference and part-time elsewhere. Pastor John (my boss) and the Conference leaders would like to keep me since my work assists their productivity. God has a plan! Please join me in prayer for wisdom and guidance.

Swinging with my granddaughter, Jo Ana.
If you are able, a financial gift between now and year-end would be a great help toward my expenses for car repairs, dental work and self-employment taxes. I praise the Lord that my general health has been very good; no doctor visits this year, no medications needed. Thank you for your prayers! Checks are payable to “Frontier Church Carbon Valley” (or you can still make them out to "SDB Church of Boulder"), and can be mailed (with a note that it is for me) to:

Frontier Church – Carbon Valley
PO Box 67
Dacono CO 80514 

Prayer Requests:
  • For Frontier Church as we continue to evolve and prepare for greater mission in 2020.
  • For God’s provision to cover self-employment taxes, etc. Praise God for all my supporters.
  • For me as a light for Christ to my neighbors; good things are happening.
  • For guidance as I consider ways to increase my income in 2020.
 Thank you all!
View of Estes Park from high up on Twin Sisters peak where I climbed with my daughter in September.