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November 15, 2016

This newsletter announces preliminary schedule for 2017 Mission West School of Ministry classes and educational opportunities.  Most dates are confirmed at this time. Other information will be added as it is confirmed with teachers and host sites.


In this month's newsletter:
  • 2017 Mission West School for Ministry
  • 2017 Healthy Boundaries Class Schedule
  • Report from 2016 CCSW Regional Assembly
  • CCSW Ordained Clergy 2017 Standing Renewal
    • Due Dec 31, 2016
  • Financial Literacy Academy
  • Financial Relief Grants to Early-Career Pastors
  • 2017 Rally and Camp Dates
  • Lead Minister Sabbatical
  • Regional & General Church News

If you have news to share with Mission West please send it here:

Newsletter deadlines and publication dates:

Nov 15 - deadline
Nov 29 - publication

Dec 15 - deadline
Dec 20 - publication

Jan 15 - deadline
Jan 31- publication
2017 Mission West School for Ministry

2017 Mission West courses and other educational opportunities are announced in a new document posted to Mission West website.  You can find that information here.  These classes are offered to meet commissioned ministry education requirements, but are open to all clergy and lay leaders for continuing education.

Most dates and cities are confirmed.  Site, course and teacher information to be added as available.  Check back often.
2017 Healthy Boundaries Class Schedule

In order to maintain standing, all clergy, ordained or commissioned (including retired) must receive Boundaries Training from a CCSW-approved provider every five (5) years. Clergy who have not had boundaries training since December 31, 2010, must complete training by June 30, 2017.

CCSW also approves the boundaries training program offered by our partners: Brite Divinity School, the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, Hispanic Institute and the FaithTrust Institute.

Upcoming 2017 Mission West Trainings:

Jan 21 - Monte Vista CC, Albuquerque
Feb 18 - Amarillo
Mar 18 - FCC, Las Cruces
Apr 1 - Abilene

Each training begins at 9 AM and ends at 2 PM local time. Registration is $50 and includes a Healthy Boundaries Workbook and a light lunch.  
Please register two weeks in advance, so that we are able to have enough workbooks on hand for each participant.  Register by calling the Mission West office - 806-358-9590 or emailing missionwest@ccsw.org.  You may also register online at this link.
Report from 2016 CCSW Regional Assembly

Please watch for the CCSW newsletter for a complete report from the 2016 CCSW Regional Assembly.  For your information, below are links to two specific reports:

A copy of the complete Assembly docket can be found here.
 CCSW Ordained Clergy 2017 Standing Renewal

CCSW Request for Renewal of Standing Form for Ordained Ministers available now!

2017 Request for Renewal of Standing Form for Ordained Ministers -  PDF in English to complete and email back or print out and mail. (PDF in Spanish should be posted soon.)

Due Dec 31, 2016

ALL Ordained Ministers, including Retired Clergy, in the Christian Church in the Southwest should completed the Request for Renewal of Standing Form before January 1, 2017, for information to be reported to the Regional Committee on Ministry at their January meeting and submitted for inclusion in the 2017 Year Book. Late submissions will be accepted but may result in delay of receiving confirmation of standing for 2017 or may result in not being included in the Year Book. 

For those who need a copy mailed to you, call 817-926-4687 to request a copy.  Additional information can be found at ccsw.org.

Attn Commissioned Ministers - You do not complete this form.  You will be sent Renewal of Commissioned Minister Standing Forms in Feb, 2017 from the Mission West office.
Financial Literacy Academy

from the Pension Fund
A recent survey of Disciples pastors indicates that seven in ten pastors are feeling financial stress at home. A significant number of those pastors have considered leaving the ministry due to financial stress. In addition, 80 percent of church lay leaders worry about the finances of their church. Concerns about money are stressing our church.

When our church leaders feel financial stress, relationships become stressed. Resentment between pastor and church can grow. It becomes hard to lead a stewardship campaign, or invite others to give, or even keep up with one's own giving. Money becomes a barrier to ministry.

Pension Fund, with the help of Lilly Endowment, Inc. wants to help reduce the stress felt by our pastors and churches. This is the goal of the Excellence in Ministry program. One part of this program is financial education, which is why Pension Fund has partnered with Lexington Theological Seminary to offer an online Financial Literacy Academy for pastors, their spouses and congregational leaders.

This Academy is open to all pastors who are interested in sharpening their financial skills for both their household and their church. Household money topics include strategies for paying down debt, how to save for retirement and handling clergy taxes. Topics in church finance include what to know as an employer, training for those who handle money and how to build trust with donors.

Courses in personal finance (for clergy and their spouses) begin in January 2017. These courses will be offered on four consecutive Tuesday evenings. An additional four courses on Congregational Finance will be offered later in the spring for pastors and lay leaders. Registration for the Financial Literacy Academy ends January 3.

And yes! If you enroll, and submit request form - this can count for Commissioned Minister  required  education!
Financial Relief Grants to Early-Career Pastors

With the support of Lilly Endowment, Inc., and individual donors, Pension Fund has started a Ministerial Excellence Fund. A portion of the grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., is being matched by Pension Fund donors to secure a total of $600,000 for this fund.

This fund provides financial relief grants to early-career pastors who participate in Pension Fund's financial literacy program (see article above). Relief grants from the Ministerial Excellence Fund are expected to total $4,000 plus a $1,000 tax offset (Grant amounts are subject to change).

With money from the grant, pastors can pay down existing debt (student loans, credit card debt or personal medical bills). Pastors without debt can use the money to start an emergency fund or contribute to their retirement account.

For more information click here.
2017 Rally and Camp Dates

JYF Round-Up,
Chi Rho/CYF Spring Rally
Feb 24-26
First Christian Church, Amarillo and Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

Grand Beginnings Camp
June 9-11
Ceta Glen

Chi Rho/CYF Summer Camp
June 12-17
Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

JYF Summer Camp
June 25-29
Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

A color flyer with CYF/Chi Rho dates can be found here.
Lead Minister Sabbatical

Rev Charlotte Hoppe, Lead Minister for Mission West, will be on sabbatical beginning November 1 - December 31.  Charlotte receives a two month sabbatical every five years and this is her second one since beginning as Tres Rios Area Minister in 2006 and now serving as Mission West Lead Minister.

Her sabbatical will be a different pace and flow of work, retreat, reflection, study and writing - while the day to day email and phone call demands are channeled through the administrative office.  If assistance is needed, Angeline Martinez, Mission West Administrative Assistant will call on any of the three Area Moderators or Mission West Moderator.  The Regional Minister or an Area Minister colleague will be on stand-by if needed.

Charlotte intends to focus her reading and study on
Healthy Congregations Facilitator Training and re-visioning of middle judicatory ministry for today.  Her refreshment time will be spent with the book Wholeheartedness - Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self, by Chuck De Groat.  

And her first sabbatical project will be to complete the 2017 Mission West School for Ministry schedule (without the interruption of phone and email!)

When you need assistance, please call Angeline at 806-358-9590 or email her at missionwest@ccsw.org.

Keep Charlotte in your prayers in these days of sabbath and renewal.
Regional and General Church News of Interest

Regional Calendar
The CCSW Calendar can be found 
Click here    to see the most recent CCSW Newsletter
General Church Updates
To see and subscribe to the Disciples News Service updates,  click here.