About Us

SSM group doors-21-3x4hcrop

Clockwise from upper right: Rev. Denise Bender, Rev. Kerry Greenhill, Rev. Nani Arning, Rev. Doug McKinney

Sacred Stones Ministries is a non-profit ministry consulting group. We are four ordained United Methodist Deacons with a combined total of more than 90 years’ experience in ministries both in and beyond the local church. Check out Rev. Kerry’s alumni interview for Iliff School of Theology for a 2-minute introduction to our formation and work.

 

Our Mission

We equip individuals and Christian communities
to connect more deeply with God,
with each other,
and with the world.

We walk with church leaders to identify strengths, design intentional and contextual ministries, develop new resources, and cultivate a culture of discipleship.

Our Vision

We work toward a vision of a vital church, where:

  1. Individuals are becoming committed disciples, actively following Christ in the world;
  2. Local churches and other ministry settings are richly meaningful and sustainable communities, headed by healthy leaders,
    where people connect with the Holy and with each other; and
  3. The Body of Christ is actively engaged in transforming the world to co-create the Kin’dom of God on earth.

Our Values

  1. Equip, empower, encourage: Cultivating lay leadership and volunteers is key to vitality in small-membership churches.
  2. Respect for church leadership: We work to complement, support, accompany, and encourage existing leaders in their ministry.
  3. Attention to congregational context and culture: We draw from multiple models of ministry to make recommendations for each church based on their identity and community setting.
  4. Mutual relationships of support and accountability, encouragement and transformation: While we work within contracts that outline expectations on both sides, our work is ministry based on relationship, not just performance of tasks for a fee.
  5. Companionship on the journey: We work together as professionals who can learn from each other, provide new perspectives, and encounter the Holy in our midst along the way.
  6. Connecting more deeply: We believe that following Jesus is about connecting with God, with diverse people in community, and with the world, and that each of these connections is interdependent on the others. We believe that God desires abundant life for all people and for the earth, and that the church is a primary way in which God is at work in the world for transformation, wholeness, and flourishing.

See Our Services to learn more about how we might support your ministries, or Who We Are to learn more about each of us. You can also download our brochure.

Sacred Stones Ministries is recognized as a not-for-profit, charitable organization under section 501 (c) 3 of the tax code by the IRS, and is a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association.ColoradoNonprofit_MemberLogo_WEB

Our Name

The name “Sacred Stones” has many layers of meaning for us. First, we believe that Deacons are called to be a “stone in the shoe” of the institutional church, causing a little discomfort that leads to constructive change and ultimately enables congregations to go farther in discipleship and building God’s kin’dom together.

AUMC labyrinth whole - 350 x 200Stones are also evocative of several images relating to the journey of Christian discipleship:

  • The path itself on which we seek to follow Christ; like the labyrinth that is one of our main images, this path is not necessarily straight or obvious, but leads us towards the One who is the center and ground of our being
  • Stepping stones: creating a way through a difficult patch
  • Cairns: small piles of stones set up to mark the direction to follow, especially when hiking through a wilderness area

When a stone is skipped across a lake or river, or dropped into any body of water, it creates a series of ripples that flow ever outward, until even the smallest stone has had an effect on the whole water’s surface.

Stones can also be reminders of the presence of the sacred in the midst of the ordinary; folksinger Carrie Newcomer has a beautiful song called “Geodes” about this particular spiritual truth.

The folk tale “Stone Soup” reminds us that the gifts we have to offer are important even when they seem small, that a mindset of abundance and generosity creates greater abundance for all, and that a community that comes together is capable of far more than any individual might realize.

CO Mtn StreamAnd finally, we are based in the beautiful Rocky Mountain region, an area full of natural beauty and geological interest, where God’s creative expression inspires all of us to remember that the church is greater than the stones or wood or stained glass of any consecrated building.

2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Pingback: New Beginnings | Sacred Stones Ministries

  2. Hello,
    We’d like to request the services of one of your ministers to preach and lead worship at Montclair UMC on April 24th. Please touch base and let me know if anyone is available.
    Thank you,
    Paul Howard

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