Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Mar. 14, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, March 12, 2020

COVID – 19 Response

If you follow the news, even a little bit, you know the danger and the disruption cause by the COVID-19 virus around the world. As it circles us and comes closer to our community we want to be a part of the solution, doing all we can to slow it down.

It’s not a time to panic – but it is time to take appropriate measures to protect ourselves and those around us.

Personally that means doing things like washing your hands regularly, avoiding crowds, staying home from work or school (or church) if you are sick, etc. This is really all just common sense.

As a church, we also need to do our part. While we do not know where this will lead us over the next weeks and months, we are beginning our response by taking the following actions.

    1. We will be sanitizing all the regularly handled surfaces at church each week.
    2. We are cancelling breakfasts and potlucks until we are past this.
    3. We recommend you do not hug others or shake hands while at church
    4. We recommend that if you are elderly, sick in any way, or have a weak immune system, you enjoy church from home through our live-stream option. (To access this go to  and search for Golden Hills SDA Church )

There may be additional changes necessary as the situation progresses. We will communicate these changes through the Golden News (our e-mail newsletter), the Pastor’s Blog , the homepage of our Website ( ), and through the Remind App.

To get notices through the Remind App you must be signed up. You can do this by texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566). You can find more detailed instructions below.

For the most reliable, up-to-date information, on the COVID-19 virus situation, check out the CDC , the World Heath Organization , or Adventist Risk Management .

Jail House Rock

I was not planning to share a blog from HOPE Heals this week, but Don Jacobsen's blog, titled Jail House Rock , has a message so appropriate to current events – especially as we consider the current pandemic that has the entire world on edge.

There is a lot of angst going around right now. Globally. You’ve noticed it. A Christian church not far from us announced that there will be no touching between members during or after services until further notice; only a polite bow, more of a curtsy. There is some discussion whether the Summer Olympics may be cancelled or abbreviated this July in Japan. Schools are closed there for the entire month of March.

A friend of ours told us he and his wife went to do their regular weekend shopping at Costco in Washington state and the shelves were nearly bare. Especially in short supply were water and toilet paper. The British Prime Minister last week created a new position: Minister of Loneliness. (Seriously.) Politicians are feverishly blaming the novel Covid-19 virus on each other.

What? You expected paradise? No, we lost that a few eons back. Nobody who reads the Book is surprised. “An enemy has done this,” is the way Jesus explained it (see Matthew 13:24-30). (Click here to read the rest of the article)

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website,

Wall of Love – Stephen Center

We are focusing on the  Stephen Center during the month of March. Their Executive Director, Michael Wehling, describes their mission like this: “At Stephen Center, we hope that program participants never stop dreaming. Our job is to help the homeless achieve housing, the addicted achieve sobriety, the sick achieve wellness, and the fearful achieve strength …”  

This month we will be collecting travel sized personal items for new arrivals at Stephen Center . Here are some needed items: shampoo, shave cream, toothpaste, hand /body lotion, toothbrushes, disposable razors, combs/brushes, deodorant, etc.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 7:29 pm

This Sabbath at Church

    • No Breakfasts until further notice due to the dangers of COVID-19
    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class, Church Sanctuary: Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class, Hearth Room – The Haystacks Church: We are discussing and studying the principles found in The Haystacks Church. To purchase a paper copy of this book, click here. To purchase an e-book for Apple Products, click here; for a Kindle version, click here; or for a nook book, click here.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we continue our sermon series titled Take the Plunge with Pastor T.’s sermon titled Pause.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Mar. 16) at 6:30 pm. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Mar. 17) at 6:00 pm.

Women’s Bible Study, one week from Sunday (Mar. 22) at the home of Lori Knutson (3316 N 47th Ave., Omaha, NE 68104) from 9:30 – 11:00 am. If you are interested in attending, please see Lori Knutson after church, email or call/text (402) 980-5018.

MLT Meeting one week from Tuesday (Mar. 24) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

Campion Academy – Academy Days is designed to give prospective 7-11th grade students the opportunity to visit classes, stay a night in the dorm, eat "cafe" food, tour the campus, make some new friends and just “get a feel" for academy life! This year’s Academy Days is scheduled for March 27 & 28, 2020. Our theme this year is “Knocking Out Giants” and is featuring a Human Bumper Ball Tournament, Teen friendly Jousting, ice cream outing, awesome mixers, games and tons of food. You can register for this event by going to

Kansas Nebraska Conference Men’s Retreat, April 3-5, has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 Virus situation.

Revive Us Again - Prayer Conference has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 Virus situation.

Our Annual Passover/Easter Season Friday Evening Communion Service will take place Friday, April 10 at 7:00 pm.

Our Annual Passover/Easter Season Musical Worship Service will take place on Sabbath, April 18. If you would like to participate with a song, a poem, a reading, etc., that especially highlights Jesus’ death and resurrection, please contact Rita Swenson (402-215-2015) or Trisha McGann (402-415-9015).

Church Leadership Retreat, April 24-26 at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City.

Life Line Screening will be here at our Church April 29, 2020. Click here to register. See below for more details.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Wrestling with Faith and Doubt: Wrestling with faith and doubt can be profoundly lonely and isolating. Some suffer in silence while others abandon belief altogether, assuming doubt is incompatible with faith. But can doubt actually strengthen faith? What are practical ways for Christians to move through doubt – about such topics as the silence of God and the problem of suffering – into deep faith that embraces the mystery of belief? Bible Gateway interviewed Dominic Done about his book, When Faith Fails: Finding God in the Shadow of Doubt. (Click here to read more.)

DON'T MISS IT; STARTS MARCH 9 – Join the FREE Path to the Cross Online Bible Study: In these weeks leading to Resurrection Sunday, this FREE Online Bible Study will shape a picture of Jesus and his world in light of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. You’ll follow Jesus into the desert where he, like Israel, was tested and prepared for his mission to the world. And you’ll consider the events of the Last Supper against the backdrop of the exodus experience. Sign up NOW to receive the FREE Discovery Toolkit packed with beautiful printables and our Easter Scripture Reading Plan, plus get FREE access to the 5-session video Bible study filmed on location in the Holy Land by Ray Vander Laan, author of The Path to the Cross. (Click here to read more.)

How to Love a Spouse Who Drives You Crazy: In this Blog post, Karen Ehman, author of Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy, offers 7 ways to help you love like Jesus as you embrace the grit and grace of living with your spouse who drives you crazy. (Click here to read more.)

When I Discovered My Dream Had Become an Idol: Tiffini Kilgore, author of Misfit Table: Let Your Hunger Lead You to Where You Belong, says, "Since I said yes to God, I’ve been journaling my thoughts, my questions, and God’s responses. But this morning, I sit at the table and read, you have 'relied on oppression and depended on deceit' (Isa. 30:12). The words pull my face to them and say, 'Sweet one, pay attention. You are shaping your life on lies.'” (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

Check Out the entire Weekly Brief by clicking here. To subscribe to any one of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community again on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 here at our Church . Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. Register online TODAY by clicking here and receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment!

Remind App

We are using the Remind App as an emergency contact system for our church. Through it, we can easily and quickly send out a text message to everyone on the system. One way we would use it would be to notify you if church is cancelled due to bad weather. The App is designed to work in a school setting so you will see education terminology as you sign up. Our church is considered a class in this system.

To sign up, choose one of the methods below:

    • If you have a smartphone, you can get push notifications. On your iPhone or Android phone open your web browser and go to: Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind. You will be prompted to download the mobile app.
    • If your phone is not so smart, you can still get text notifications. Text the message @tmartinse to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @tmartinse to (941) 787-5566.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Ride to Church Needed: An older gentleman, who lives near L Street and 132nd Street (not too far from the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Target), is looking for a fairly regular ride to church on Sabbath mornings. If you live out that direction and would be willing to explore the possibilities, please contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333).

Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.

Used Stamps Needed! Your used stamps can help Christian Record Services for the Blind raise money. Just tear them off the envelope, being careful to include the entire stamp and bring them to church. Put them into the container provided out on the table and we will take care of getting them where they need to go.

Miscellaneous Information

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch it by clicking here.

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now you can sync our church directory directly to your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device with a Free App! You can search for other members – and then email, call, or text right from the directory app. It’s easy!

    1. Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
    2. Search for Instant Church Directory.
    3. Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
    4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.

Lippincott Family Updates: Check out the latest update from Lorilee and Bryon Lippincott about their family’s experiences serving God in Asia. To access a PDF copy of the most recent update, click here . To access a PDF copy that includes all we have received from 2019, click here; 2018, click here; 2017, click here; 2016, click here;  2013-2015, click here. To check out their website, click here. Don’t forget to check out Sharing Dots for Kids. To sign up for their e-mail newsletter, click here.

Free Estate Planning & Wills: Norm Zimmerman, Trust Director for the Kansas Nebraska Conference, is available by appointment to assist anyone who needs Estate Planning, Wills, etc. For more information contact Norm (402-617-2001).

On-Line Giving Available! Our church offers on-line giving through our website. If you would prefer to give electronically or if you are going to be away and want to stay up-to-date with your giving, click here. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.

Our Church E-Mail Newsletter, Directly to Your Computer! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, the Golden News, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided.

Adobe Reader: To read and download many of the documents we post here you need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. To get a free copy of the latest version, click here.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification .

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk.

In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

To go to the website where you begin this process, click here and then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. For more information, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

      You can watch last week’s worship service by clicking here .  

Prayer Watch

There are several people and concerns that we are praying about, for more information about any of these or to request something to be added to our list, feel free to contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333)

    • The COVID-19 Virus epidemic here and around the world
    • The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. has is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Bill Agan, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tammy Burville (Amy Newman-Holub’s cousin), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Dennis Cushman, Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Paul Lostaglia, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor T’s Contact Information or call/text 402-517-5333.  

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