Ministry Together

Clergy Resources from the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest

July | 2022

Important Events

Rev. Joshua Patty

Regional Minister and President

My parental leave continues.  I am working part-time through August 20, so responses to you may be delayed.

We have some upcoming regional activities that I hope you and many of our colleagues will participate in.  The BSD Treehouse, honoring the ministry of previous regional minister Bill Spangler-Dunning, will be dedicated at the Christian Conference Center on Sunday, August 14 with Bill and his family in attendance.  I hope that you will join in this time of celebration and appreciation for Bill's ministry in our Upper Midwest region.

Pastor Camp Returns in September!  

Join colleagues and friends for a special church camp experience September 26-28 at the Christian Conference Center. Wake up with energizers and a keynote, enjoy conversations in small groups, create and share meaningful worship, rest, enjoy time together on Holy Ground, and end the day sitting around the campfire.

Tiff and Josh will serve as your directors. Camp starts at 2 pm on September 26 and concludes at 11 am on September 28. Registration includes meals, cabin lodging (yes, bring your own bedding!), and a special Pastors Camp t-shirt. Camp cost is $150.

Register Today!

Regional Calendar


For more details go to the Regional website:

Now through Aug 6 Summer Camp Season!!

Aug 4 DMF Day

Aug 11-21 Hymn Sing & Children's time at Iowa State Fair

Aug 14 BSD Treehouse Dedication, 4 pm

Aug 25 Clergy Book Study, 2 pm

Aug 25 Regional Operations Council, 7 pm

Save the Dates!

September 26-28, 2022

Pastor's Camp

October 15, 2022

All Congregational Gathering

January 30-31, 2023

Minister's Institute

July 29-Aug 1, 2023

General Assembly

Clergy Chats with Josh Resume in September

Dates will be announced in the August Ministry Together.

DMF Day, August 4

DMF Day invites individuals to support the many ministries who receive money through Disciples Mission Fund, including our Upper Midwest region.  Learn more here.

Upper Midwest All Congregational Gathering, October 15

Are you and other leaders trying to figure out what to do in your church?  Does everything seem harder?

The 2022 All Congregational Gathering will focus on resources to make sense of and adapt to many challenges that the church is facing.  In addition to learning, there will be worship and fun as Disciples Together.

Please plan to participate and please promote this to others in your congregation: Saturday, October 15.

Important News and Resources

Covenant Conversations

Our general church is rethinking how we gather, engage, and make decisions together.  You are invited to join one of several upcoming online town hall sessions to learn and engage in these conversations about our covenantal relationships.  Learn more hereRegister for a town hall session here.

"Marks of Vital Congregations" Videos

The Center for Faith and Giving will share videos discussing "Marks of Vital Congregations" now through early September.  Topics including things like leadership, gratitude, and innovation.  Access the "Marks of Vital Congregations" playlist on YouTube.

Online Yearbook Subscriptions through ALEX

There is a new format for the annual Yearbook and Directory -- the information is only available online through the ALEX database.   Learn here about the annual subscription, which provides access to the Statistical Report of Congregations, the Minister's Directory, and much more.

Week of Compassion Ukraine Efforts

Over four months, Disciples have given $1.7 million to support people affected by the war in Ukraine.  Week of Compassion has shared an update on their many efforts with partners in the region.

Faith Practices Resources

Practicing Our Faith is an easy online resource you can use and share with others about spiritual practices like forgiveness, hospitality, and sabbath.  The recently updated and expanded website is based on a book edited by Dorothy C. Bass.

Transitions and Prayers
Please submit your celebrations and personal prayer requests to Liz Woodward,


Noelridge Christian Church, Cedar Rapids, has called Greg Chambers as pastor. Greg and his wife Kathryn will begin their ministry with the congregation in late September.

First Christian Church, Albia, has called John Sowers as pastor. John will begin his ministry with the congregation the first of October. 

First Christian Church, St. Paul, MN held a decommissioning service for the church building that has been the worshiping space for 26 years on Sunday, July 24.  The congregation will begin meeting at Roseville Lutheran Church on August 1.  Dennis Sanders is the pastor.

Prayers for Clergy Colleagues

Summer vacations, learning seminars and educational leave, and the general ebb and flow of congregational life in the summer months impact the lives of clergy colleagues. Here are specific names of colleagues we are aware whose lives will benefit from additional prayer:

Diana Robertson, Sylvia Larrsen, Anna and Henry Brewer Calvert, Linda Hunsaker.

Prayers for congregations, pastors and chaplains as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect life.

Looking to Serve?

Each month, we list the congregations in the Upper Midwest who are in the search and call process. It is challenging to identify enough pulpit supply, interim, and settled ministers for these many congregations to consider.

Please contact Josh, Tiff or Liz to learn more or share your ideas.

Congregations in Transition

Friends, you will see listed below the congregations in the Upper Midwest in the search and call process. Gratefully many of these congregations have interim leadership, equipping the congregation to move through transition with hope and grace.

However, several of these congregations are small which impedes the search process. If through prayer and discernment you would be ready to serve one of the smaller congregations, please let one of the Regional staff know.

  • Mitchellville Christian Church is in the search and call process. Alice Bolen began serving as interim in July.
  • Altoona First Christian Church called Lisa Grace as interim.
  • Newton First Christian Church is in the search and call process. 
  • Oakland Christian Church is in the revitalization process, using regular pulpit supply for Sundays.
  • Waukee Christian Church is in the search process.
  • New Disciples Christian Church, Cedar Rapids has called Sherry Schwab as interim.
  • Park Ave Christian Church, Des Moines is in the search and call process with Tim Johnson serving as interim.
  • Lennox Christian Church is in the search and call process.
  • Trinity Christian Church, Bridgewater, will enter the search and call process.
  • First Christian Church, Hampton is exploring regular pulpit supply.
  • New Beginnings Christian Church, Urbandale, is in the search and call process, with Nick Green as the interim.
  • Central Christian Church, Boone, is in the search and call process, with David Clark as the interim.
  • Hedrick Christian Church is seeking pulpit supply.
  • Carlisle Christian Church is beginning the search process and seeking pulpit supply.

Clergy Book Study Starts August 25

The monthly book study with clergy from across the Region will continue on Thursday, August 25, 2 pm. We will begin our discussion of our next book: The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann. This classic work of Biblical theology traces prophecy as a critique of power and source of new vision.

For our discussion on August 25, please read the introductory material, chapters 1 and 2.  The book study is a Zoom meeting. The link is sent the morning of 4/28. To participate please send an email to Your participation will earn continuing education hours plus join your colleagues in engaging conversation.

This Clergy Book Study will also be held on the fourth Thursdays of September and October. If you have a book recommendation for 2023 book studies, please submit it to Liz.

Other Continuing Education Opportunities

Disciples Interims

Interim Ministry Basics

online, Sept. & Oct.

7-unit course with 2-hour online weekly sessions.  Contact Josh if you are interested to learn more.

Luther Seminary

Sermon Camp

begins Aug. 30

Multiple sessions focused on improving preaching.  Participants will be placed in various cohorts.

More info about program.

Continuing Education Requirement

All Upper Midwest clergy are expected to complete continuing education each year in order to be granted ministerial standing in the following years. Details on our regional website.
Resources and News
Clergy Sermon Resources

Sermons by Mission Co-Workers, offered through Global Ministries

Mental Health Sermons, prepared by Mental Health taskforce of National Benevolent Association

Fourth Sunday Sermons, recorded and offered by AllianceQ for Disciples congregations to use

Helpful Articles

Your financial gifts to the Christmas Special Offering and Disciples Mission Fund
support Disciples Together and other publications from the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest.
Support Regional Ministries

Wider Church Positions

Other Resources

Children Worship & Wonder trainings, offered by Ministry Across Generations

Disciples Tech Corp, technology guides for congregations

Mental Health Resource for all active ministers and families

Important -- you do not need to be a member of Pension Fund to access this service, but only active minister of a DOC church

Free Stewardship campaign materials

Pension Fund - The Gathering 2022 

Event just after Labor Day

Regional Newsletters

Stay up to date! Click here to sign up for any of our regular regional newsletters.

Click here sign up for Disciples News Service newsletters from the general church.
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