Moab Happenings Archive
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Keeping the Faith in Moab, Utah: The Grand County Faith-Based Coalition

According to the leaders of the Grand County Faith-Based Coalition -- Nathan James, pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Konnie Pacheco, shepherd of the River of Life Christian Fellowship -- their story begins with mission, memory, music, mentoring, and…Manna!

James’ role has a lot to do with being a catalyst, offering collaboration, co-ordination, communication, and Christianity, most notably Christianity as it strives to live up to the basic tenet, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

James and Pacheco are quick to point out that the coalition, while avidly faith based, is a blend of people from all different religions and backgrounds.

“My husband had a strong vision of pulling the community together,” says Pacheco. Before his sudden death in December of 2021, Dick Pacheco, then “Pastor Dick” of the River of Life Church, spent several years manifesting the vision he embarked on in 2017 - a community-wide effort to pull people of faith together “to serve, to give hope, and to offer resources to our community.”

“He had a gift for connection,” says Pacheco of her charismatic husband. “He made things happen.” Dick could walk into a store, tell them what was needed and why, and the store would step up and deliver, often as a charitable gift: “You need it, Dick. Here it is.”

When Dick passed away, Konnie took over his leadership at the River of Life, and James was also approached to step into Pacheco’s shoes, re-affirming what he calls the “rallying cry” and offering his own skills to chair the coalition.

It took a lot of talks and a lot of faith and determination to regroup. But it didn’t take long to reap the benefits and clarify the mission: Last June, when a disastrous fire erupted in a trailer enclave on Moab’s Murphy Lane, Pastor James called an emergency zoom meeting and worked with the County’s response system to set up the coalition as a clearing house for distributing funds, even offering temporary housing to those whose homes were destroyed.

James also employs his talent for connection to further a number of programs, including providing school supplies to the Moab Multicultural Center and offering mentorship to kids in the schools, with a focus on drug awareness and substance abuse, suicide prevention, and anti-bullying measures, for starters.

Indeed, the roster of participants in the Grand County Faith-Based Coalition reads like “Who’s Who in Moab:” There are ongoing partnerships with Moab Solutions, a nonprofit which aids the homeless; Seekhaven, which supports victims of domestic abuse; and Wabi-Sabi, Moab’s local thrift store palace, just to ink in a few of the member names residing under the group’s roomy umbrella.

Foodwise, donations are regularly made to the Food Bank and the St. Francis Church’s Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. More recently, the Coalition is proud to support a burgeoning provider called the Moab Manna Potato Farm, a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which grows potatoes and delivers them wherever there is a need.

But it’s music that brings it all home, as the local congregations take turns hosting a handful of “5th Sunday Singalongs”. These signature events - held on months with five Sundays - feature gospel music and hymns and provide an opportunity for cross-pollination and a gathering of the clans.

This year’s singalongs are scheduled for April, July, and October, and a special Christmas sing will be held in December: Check the Moab Happenings calendar for dates or, for more information about the Coalition, call James at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 259-5545, or Pacheco at the River of Life Fellowship, 259-8308.

Singalong Schedule:

April 30, 2023
5th Sunday Sing-Along
6pm at LDS Stake Center

July 30, 2023

5th Sunday Sing-Along
6pm at River of Life Fellowship

October 30, 2023
5th Sunday Sing-Along
6pm at Seventh -day Adventist Church

December 17, 2023
Christmas Sing-Along
6pm at Moab First Baptist Church

Welcome AmeriCorps NCCC Team for 3 Month Service Term in Moab
by Jessica Chamberlin, Community Rebuilds, AmeriCorps VISTA

Community Rebuilds and Rim to Rim Restoration have partnered to sponsor an AmeriCorps NCCC team hosted on Community Rebuilds property in Moab.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a branch of the prolific volunteer corps in which 18 to 26- year-olds travel in teams across the country to work with local and national nonprofits completing boots on the ground hands-on projects. These service members focus specifically on projects in the realm of energy conservation, infrastructure improvement, natural and other disaster services, as well as urban and rural development.

This grant cycle was particularly competitive for organizations hoping to bring a National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team to their communities, but Community Rebuilds’ proven record with rural development and Rim to Rim Restoration’s recovery efforts in the wake of last fall’s devastating floods made them the perfect team to bring this team to Moab.

During their three-month term in Moab, the 8-person team of young adults from all over the country will be contributing nearly 4,500 volunteer hours to several local service projects. They will primarily be building houses with Community Rebuilds and working with Rim to Rim Restoration in ongoing recovery efforts from last fall’s flooding. They will also assist with general maintenance of the Arroyo Crossing Development with the Moab Area Community Land Trust and help set a new irrigation system in the Youth Garden Project’s 60+ fruit tree orchard.

This is the latest of Community Rebuilds’ AmeriCorps grant hosting. In August of 2022, Community Rebuilds absorbed the AmeriCorps State and National grant for Grand County after several years of being hosted by WabiSabi.
Community Rebuilds’ mission is to build energy-efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program. Rim to Rim Restoration is a Moab based nonprofit focused on restoring native riparian ecosystems, and building community relationships connecting land managers, researchers, local residents, and other project partners in the Upper Colorado Plateau.

For more information, visit or call (435) 260-0501. And be sure to mention you read about it in Moab Happenings.

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