Sacred Stones Ministries consists of three United Methodist Deacons with different areas of expertise and a combined total of more than 65 years’ experience in ministry. Learn more about each of us below:
Rev. Denise Bender graduated from Iliff School of Theology with a Master of Divinity and was ordained in 2005. She subsequently has completed three units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Centered Life. Ministry experiences include eight years at the First United Methodist Church of Golden, and seven years at Heritage United Methodist Church in Littleton, both as associate pastors.
Contracts currently held are with Bethany United Methodist Church, Cameron United Methodist Church and Church of the Beloved Ecumenical Catholic community. Primary responsibilities have been with faith development for all ages, mission and outreach, pastoral care and worship teams. She served for ten years on the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church, with responsibility for shepherding candidates for ministry from Commissioning to Ordination.
Denise’s life partner is her husband Mike who is a civil engineer and works for the State of Colorado. They have four adult children and seven grandchildren. Spending time with the family and traveling are their favorite leisure time activities. They share their home in Denver with their rescue dogs and cat. Contact Denise
Rev. Nani Arning was ordained a Deacon in 2000 after serving as Diaconal Minister since 1984. She holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education, and has served professionally for 32 years in Kansas and Colorado. Rev. Arning is a Certified Director of Christian Education, a trained Stephen Minister, and a member of the Christian Educators Fellowship in the United Methodist Church.
Nani is passionate about nurturing and being in ministry with children, families, and adults, bringing our faith stories alive in real and tangible ways, whether through Christian education, worship, music, or caring/nurturing ministries. She has served in churches ranging from 200 to 2,000 members, in both urban and rural settings; has served as a praxis leader and mentor for seminary students; and served in outreach to a community that suffered a catastrophic natural disaster. In each ministry setting, Nani has also been a part of a building remodel, renovation, or addition; merger of two churches, and church expansion from one site to two. Her heart lies in resourcing with love and care for all she serves.
Nani enjoys reading, traveling, crafting and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband, Steve, are parents to two adult children, and live in Colorado Springs. Contact Nani
Rev. Kerry Greenhill holds a Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology, and was ordained a Deacon in Full Connection in 2009. She has fourteen years’ experience in local churches, with a passion for creative worship, adult spiritual formation, and mission/outreach. As a bi-vocational minister, she has also spent over a decade in the non-profit world, with experience in communications, program management, grantwriting, fundraising, and training.
Rev. Greenhill has served churches in Boston and Denver as Worship Leader and Associate Pastor, and now delights in writing custom liturgy for churches and conferences, leading retreats, coaching pastors in understanding the spiritual needs of their communities, and helping them adapt worship for their context. She is a member of the Mountain Sky Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and is fluent in Spanish. Kerry’s writing has been published in Alive Now, Reinventing Worship, A Child Laughs, and We Pray with Her.
Kerry has a passion for illuminating God’s shalom – the in-breaking reign of justice, peace, beauty, joy, and wholeness – through words, worship, relationships, and service. She enjoys reading, writing, creative endeavors with the sewing machine or in the kitchen, and strives to perceive the Holy and move toward Wholeness in the midst of the everyday. Kerry recently moved to Hampton, Virginia, with her family for a new phase of her ministry. You can reach her by email here.