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Denver Adventist Book Center to Close at End of 2019 »
Termed a "difficult decision" by George Crumley, RMC VP for Finance, the Executive Committee voted on May 14 to discontinue operating the Denver Adventist Book Center as of the end of 2019. As reported to Town Halls over the last few years, ABCs across the North American Division have been challenged by so many alternative distribution channels where products can be purchased, many times at a lower price. In this retail climate, bookstores, including Christian bookstores, have been closing.
The Rocky Mountain Conference Adventist Book Center opened its doors in April 1967. It was one of an initial 50 ABCs in the North American Division, which have dwindled to 22 today.
“Our ABC has been profitable for years because of careful management of expenses and inventory by Suzanne Hafar and her staff. But in 2017, the ABC lost $13,046 and in 2018, it lost $24,555, the result of a continued decrease in sales. Because of this, the Executive Committee voted to close our ABC effective December 31, 2019,” Crumley stated.
“As hard as this is, the committee was unanimous in understanding the retail climate and its impact on our ABC. So it had to make this difficult and unfortunate decision,” he added.
Commenting on the decision, Ed Barnett noted that "this was one of the hardest decisions for the Executive Committee to make in the last six years. But it was the right decision even though I personally will greatly miss the store located in our office building.
In the economic climate of today, we need to be particularly fiscally responsible. Continued subsidies are not the wisest solution," he said.
The Conference will furnish information to the constituency with options for purchasing Adventist literature, ordering Bible lesson sets, getting supplies of evangelistic materials, and finding where vegetarian food can be purchased. Because the current interest in healthy foods has generated a wide variety of products in grocery stores throughout the country, a list of recommended outlets for vegetarian food and Adventist literature will be prepared and distributed during the autumn months to RMC churches.
RMC's Treasurer also reported that through March of 2019, base tithe is up 2.72 percent over the prior year, Crumley reported.
Crumley mentioned that through March of last year our base tithe was very strong, so he was happy to see that we were actually exceeding the prior year tithe at this stage.
In his President’s Report, Ed Barnett shared appreciation for church members who attended six Town Hall meetings. These events, he said give the administration and department leadership opportunity to receive evaluations of the church’s mission program and its progress.
Campion Academy was expecting a positive income from possible oil companies’ drilling on open land and using this as a stream of income for the school. Recent legislation in the state of Colorado now prohibits this from taking place, Barnett reported.
Mile High Academy continues to project receipt of contributions that will eliminate more than $4 million of debt. Ed Barnett said that, “this positive development is wonderful news as MHA has completion of this outstanding debt on target.”
Reporting on administrative discussions about church districts within RMC, Barnett informed the Committee that possible redistricting is being evaluated and considered for the sake of efficiency. Currently, several pastors are assigned as many as five small congregations which are separated by long distances.
Among the additional agenda items, the committee voted to approve the following:
-- Pastor J. J. Martinez was approved to be a sponsored student to the Seminary for his M. Div. degree at Andrews University Seminary.
-- Carol Turk, Commissioned Chaplain and member of the Campion Church, was elected to be a lay representative from RMC to serve on the NAD Executive Committee as NAD representative from RMC
-- An appropriation of $200,000 was voted for a combined evangelistic effort in the North-East Colorado Area Evangelism; 15 churches are joining together to conduct an evangelistic meeting. All of the locations will begin on the same date in 2020.
-- Purchase of a building for the First Denver Indonesian Church was approved.
The next Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for August 27, 2019.
--Rajmund Dabrowski, text and photo.