Sacred Stones Ministries consists of three (soon to be four!) 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 currently serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Programs and Arrangements Committee for the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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 six grandchildren. Spending time with the family and traveling are their favorite leisure time activities. They share their home in Denver with their rescue dog and cat. Contact Denise
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 and other non-profit settings, including six years with Family Voices Colorado, a non-profit that advocates for improvements to health care for children with special health care needs, and serving as the Field Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria in the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church. Rev. Greenhill has previously served churches in Denver and Boston as Associate Pastor and Worship Leader, as well as other non-profit leadership and communication roles. She is a member of the Rocky Mountain Conference Board of Discipleship and the Annual Conference Worship Planning Committee, and is fluent in Spanish.
Kerry understands her vocation as being a ministry of translation: communicating the needs and challenges of our changing society to those who are in the church, and interpreting the good news of God’s love in ways that make sense and bring healing to those beyond the church walls. She enjoys reading, writing, creative endeavors with the sewing machine or in the kitchen, and strives to perceive the Holy and the Whole in the midst of the everyday. Kerry lives with her husband, daughter, and two cats in Westminster, Colorado. Contact Kerry
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 a young adult son and teenage daughter.
Rev. Stacy Collins earned her Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology and was ordained as a Deacon in Full Connection in 2017. Stacy has over 20 years of experience working in local churches, ranging in size from 75 to 2000 members. She holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance, and began her ministry as an associate music director, directing children and youth choirs along with leading Taize-Style Worship Services. This background led into her work in the area of Spiritual Formation and Congregational Care. Stacy was trained and certified as a Spiritual Director in 2012.
Stacy believes paths to healing, wholeness and spiritual growth are as diverse as people. She is passionate about finding creative ways to encourage people to discover those paths so that they might deepen their relationship with God, others and themselves.
Stacy and her husband, Steve, recently moved to Perry Park, Colorado, to explore a new calling: leading, facilitating and hosting spiritual retreats and workshops. She is feeling more connected to nature as she hikes near her home with her two dogs, Kona and Rosey. Stacy is joining Sacred Stones in July 2018.