Disciples Together

Regional News of the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest

June| 2022

Family Leave

Rev. Joshua Patty

Regional Minister and President

In the coming days, my wife will give birth to our third child.  We are excited!  And we are grateful that the church is again supporting our growing family by offering paternity leave, which will allow us extra time and energy for family bonding and adjusting.  

I hope that parental and family leave continue to become more common in our congregations and ministries.  This is a vital and tangible way that we care for each other – giving ministers, staff, and congregational leaders extra space when they have additional personal and family needs.

Working with our regional staff and Operations Council, we have created a plan for my parental leave.  When our baby is born, I will take two weeks of leave.  After that, I will have six weeks of roughly half-time work.  I plan not to travel during July and then to have a limited travel radius, with few travel days, through Labor Day.  I will not schedule in-person visits or 1-on-1 meetings until after Labor Day.  (If your leadership team is interested, officially these 8 weeks are supported by 3 weeks of parental leave and 2 weeks of personal vacation time.)

Others will cover essential responsibilities during the first two weeks of leave – primarily regional staff and our regional moderator and treasurer.  If you have a need during that time, please use our main regional phone (515-255-3168) or email ([email protected]) and someone will get back with you.  During the 6 weeks of part-time, feel free to email me ([email protected]) and I will connect with you as I can.


2022 Regional Calendar


For more details go to the Regional website:



July 1-4 Micronesian Youth Rally

August 6 Summer Camp Season Ends

August 25 Regional Operations Council Online

*1st Wednesday Learning Together will continue in the fall.

Oct. 15 All Congregational Gathering

Regional Prayer Calendar

Video Archives

More Regional videos

More Disciples videos

Where in the Upper Midwest is Josh?

Josh's travels take him across our four-state region to share in worship, support, and celebrate your ministries! Here's where Josh's travels have taken him in the last month.

  • May 22 - Worship and installation, Chariton Christian Church, Chariton, IA
  • May 29 - Worship, Indianola Heights Christian Church, Des Moines, IA
  • June 12 - Worship, First Christian Church, Keokuk, IA
  • June 19 - Worship, Stanhope Parish, Stanhope, IA
News Around the Region

Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen is executive director of Parity, a nonprofit that works at the intersection of faith and LGBTQ+ concerns, author at Family Christian, and director of Blessed by Difference, a project that promotes curious and collaborative bridging across the LGBTQ+ and faith divides. She is a speaker, author, and educator with a focus on inclusive religious freedom, and on theological methods for encountering others with love and curiosity. Marian previously served as Executive Director of OUTreach Resource Centers, National Program Director of Family Acceptance Project, Executive Director of Utah Pride Center, and Justice Ministry Supervisor at Auburn Seminary. Marian attended Gordon College, Western Theological Seminary, and Eden Theological Seminary and is a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Eden Theological Seminary with the topic Covenantal Pluralism and Mission: Evidence for Healing the LGBT and Faith Divide. Marian is married, has four children, and is a passionate skier and outdoor enthusiast.

Rev. Yadi Martínez-Reyna is a Latine non-binary, bilingual, Borderlander, Youth Activist and Artist.

Yadi received their M.Div. from Brite Divinity in Fort Worth, Texas with a certification in Latino and Borderland studies. Their work includes using arts and networking skills to create community events, retreats, leadership conferences, and safe spaces. Yadi has contributed to writings for the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference, and Otherwise Christian among other publications.

Rev. Yadi Martinez-Reyna is a certified facilitator in the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum, which provides comprehensive sexuality education for young people. They serve as a Board member for Collectivo the United Church of Christ Latinx community that supports local churches that are multicultural/multiracial. Rev. Yadi serves as an Associate Pastor at New Church Chiesa Nuova, UCC. They also serve as Pastor leader at 1st UCC in Second Life, fully recognized virtual congregation with full standing in the Eastern Association, Southern California Nevada Conference, the United Church of Christ.  As an artist and borderlander born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, their passion is the work in the margins, that intersects class, gender, sexuality, and spirituality. Yadi is currently a student of the Art of Spiritual Direction that certifies international spiritual directors. Yadi shares a home with their partner, their five-year-old grand kid, their 19-year-old Music student at UNT and their special Boxer Stormy.

Registration is required.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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It's not too late to register for camp!

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Iowa State Fair Hymn Sing

We are still looking for Disciples to help out with this ministry! If you are available and open to joining in the State Fair Hymn Sing fun, please contact Don Hiscox at [email protected] or 515-865-1770. If you are interested in helping to coordinating the Children's Time, please contact Gail Aurand at [email protected] or 660-785-0349.

2022-2023 Class Offerings

Bible I and II will be taught beginning this fall with Dr. John Bolen as instructor. The School of Ministry course offerings are taught online on Monday evenings. Bible I will begin in September with the registration form opening up late July.

Join us for our June VOICES event: Street Voices of Change.

Street Voices of Change (SVoC) is a group of individuals who have current or past personal experiences with homelessness who come together to build community and make positive changes in the lives of people experiencing homelessness and the systems that contribute to and keep people in homelessness. SVoC is a program of AlignMinneapolis. 


Register Today!
Upcoming Events and Resources

Week of Compassion is excited to be part of the launch of a new tool for networking congregations for disaster preparedness and response: Willing to Respond!

As a registry of willing congregations and a library of vetted resources, this tool will help them connect with you and introduce you to other congregations and organizations in your area. It also provides your congregation with trainings, tips, and tools to reduce your risk and be ready to help your neighbors when disaster strikes.

Click the link above or email

Caroline Hamilton-Arnold for more information.

Learn More and Register
NBA Mental Health.JPG

NBA to offer

Mental Health Professionals Conference

Join NBA on Saturday, June 25, 2022, for our Mental Health Professionals Conference. This one-day virtual gathering will bring together expert speakers and professionals focused on decreasing the stigma of mental illness in the church, improving access to care, and strengthening our community of mental health professionals. 

This conference is open to Disciples of Christ-affiliated mental health professionals, chaplains, and graduate students who are pursuing a degree to become mental health professionals (including seminarians). 

Learn More and Register
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General Assembly 2023

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