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In This Issue

July 18-22 General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio: "Soar!" based on Isaiah 40 


July 27- Aug 1 CYLS (Christian Youth Leadership Seminar) of CCSW at Ceta Glen


July 30 HPA South Cluster FCC Lubbock


August 6 HPA Executive Meeting Via Conference Call 7pm


August 8 Creating a Culture of Generosity, Bruce Barkhauer - Chalice Abbey, Amarillo, TX 9 am to 3 pm


August 14-15 CCSW Regional Council Meeting

August 14 Lock In FCC Amarillo

August 15 LBCR Board Meeting


August 20 HPA North Cluster Meeting


August 20-21 Mission West Common Mission Board Face to Face Meeting Lubbock, TX


August 22 A Sacred Trust: Boundary Issues for Clergy, Charlotte Hoppe - Westmont CC,  Lubbock 9 am to 3 pm


August 25 CEA Board Meeting


August 27 CEA Big Country Cluster


August 29 Creating a Culture of Generosity, Bruce Barkhauer - FCC Abline, TX 9 am to 3 pm


September 7 Mission West Office Closed for Labor Day


September 12 Reflections of Disciples History and Polity in Church Today,  John Imbler - Los Altos Albuquerque
9 am to 3pm 


September 14-16 Regional Committee on Minisry (RCOM) UCC Ft. Worth


September 17-19 Adult Swim at Disciples Crossing


September 18 - 20 CCSW Men's Annual Retreat at LBCR


September 25-26 Mission West Youth Meeting

September 26  Reflections of Disciples History and Polity in Church Today,  John Imbler - Chalice Abbey Amarillo 9 am to 3pm 


Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for Chuck Fisher whose sister died last week in California. 
Get Your Mission West T-shrirt
Get your Mission West 
T-shirt from  Visible Clothing .  

We are raising money to help offset the cost as well as raise awareness and unity throughout Mission West. 

We've already raised $750 in increments ranging from $100 to $250 dollars, and would like to invite you to join in the fun! Please let Karakay know how much you would like to donate, your t-shirt size, and donate to your local area with a notation of Mission West T-shirts in the memo section of the check so it will be properly accounted.

We are working on a new Mission West logo which will be revealed later this year.  It includes the colors shown on the t-shirt: 
  • Blue represents the Central Area by their Big Sky's and Blue Waters found at LBCR
  • Yellow represents the Hi Plains Area by their yellow grasses found throughout the plains of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas
  • Orange represents the Tres Rios Area by their Mountains and Deserts found throughout Texas and New Mexico.
The long time Disciples quote seemed fitting as we continue to live into what it means to be Mission West.  We hope you will partner with us in bringing awareness and unity to Mission West in this t-shirt fundraiser!
July 21, 2015

General Assembly is going along well and it's amazing to see so many faces from Mission West and CCSW in Columbus.  If you haven't already seen the social media posts there will be an informal CCSW gathering at the Hilton 2nd Floor Bar and Restaurant after worship on Tuesday night.

If you are not able to attend General Assembly you can live stream worship by following this link. 
Thank you 2015 Camp Volunteers!

As camps have almost completed let us take a moment to recognize and thank the volunteers who have given their time, talent and energy to make it a fun, safe and amazing week for the campers!


Central Area CYF Camp

34 Campers and 15 Adults Participated


Co Directors: Ben Hubert, FCC San Angelo; Jonna Russell FCC San Angelo/Lubbock; TJ York, FCC Midland

Keynoters: Suzanne Castle, Interim Senior Minister at Jacksboro Parish, Minister Chica at Refuge at Sanctuary Ft. Worth, and Creative Director at Unglued Creative; Arthur Stewart, Senior Minister Midway Hills CC, Dallas, TX. 

Nurse: Elaine Herweck, FCC Abilene.

Sponsors: Brazos Condra, FCC Abilene; Hannah Fish, FCC San Angelo; Drew Fish, FCC San Angelo, Cherie James, FCC Wichita Falls; Laura Pittinger, FCC Midland; Elaine Reyes, FCC Abilene, Chris Reynolds, FCC Midland; Jim Reynolds, FCC Midland; Muffy Watson, FCC Abilene.

Mission West Chi Rho Camp

45 Students and 11 Adults Participated 


Co Directors: Khrysti Bair, FCC Midland, Chesna Riley, Brook Hollow CC, Abilene; Reba Underwood, FCC Lubbock.

KeynotersScott Hall, FCC Lubbock; Penny Biddy, Brook Hollow CC, Abilene; Reba Underwood, FCC Lubbock; Dawn Weaks, FCC Odessa; TJ York, FCC Midland. (in the order of day of speaking)

Worship Leaders:  Brazos Condra, FCC Abilene; Don Wilson, FCC Abilene.

Nurse: Elaine Herweck, FCC Abilene.

Sponsors: Brazos Condra, FCC Abilene; Mark Denton, West Mesa CC Albuquerque; Heather Reed, FCC Amarillo; Randa Reeves, FCC Brownfield; Alex Smith, Westmont CC, Lubbock; Dawn Weaks, FCC Odessa.


HPTRA CYF Conference

26 Students and 11 Adults Participated   



Co Directors: Heather Reed, FCC Amarillo, Dan Kovaly, FCC Spearman, Karakay Kovaly, Mission West. 

KeynoterChesna Riley, Brook Hollow CC, Abilene.
Sponsors:  Clinton Day, Monte Vista CC, Albuquerque; Wayne Muncrief, Westmont CC, Lubbock; Jane Nabours, FCC Fritch; Randa Reeves, FCC Brownfield; Alex Smith, Westmont CC, Lubbock; Jonathan Tyler, FCC Pampa; Joe Weaks, FCC Odessa.


Central Area Grand Beginnings

50 Participants with 3 of them Being Staff  

Many thanks to the Director Paul Brooks from FCC Midland as well as Jim Reynolds and Courtney Gordon also from FCC Midland for all their hard work to make this event a success. Churches that participated are: Abilene Brook Hollow, Abilene FCC, Midland FCC, Naconna Central CC, Odessa FCC, San Angelo Community Hills, San Angelo FCC, and Wichita Falls Park Place. 


Central Area JYF Camp

28 Participants and 9 Staff



Co Directors:  Jennifer Allen, Community Hills CC San Angelo;  Paula Brooks, FCC Midland; Justin Dickey, FCC Wichita Falls; Tammie Hicks, Community Hills CC San Angelo,

Nurse: Elaine Herweck, FCC Abilene. 

Sponsors:  JR Bourland, FCC Midland; Hannah Fish, FCC San Angelo;  Sara Hilgenberg Community Hills CC San Angelo; Nathan Sanchez, FCC San Angelo; Jordan Waters, FCC San Angelo; Emily  Usry FCC San Angelo.



29 Participants and 17 Staff



Co Directors:  Scott Hall, FCC Lubbock; Alex Smith, Westmont CC Lubbock. 

Keynoters:  Scott Hall, FCC Lubbock; Ben Nabours, FCC Fritch; Alex Smith, Westmont CC Lubbock; Austin Staggs, Westmont CC Lubbock

Learning Labs:   Chase Nabours, FCC Fritch; Randa Reeves, FCC Brownfield; Becca Williams, FCC Lubbock.

Class Teachers: Kaitlyn Hall, FCC Lubbock; Jonna Russell, FCC Lubbock; Reba Underwood, FCC Lubbock

Small Group Leaders:  Jamie Favela, FCC Amarillo; Kim Fields Haley, West Mesa CC, Albuquerque; Randa Reeves, FCC Brownfield;

Sponsors:  Clinton Day, Monte Vista CC, Albuquerque; Adrian du Plessis, FCC Stratford; Kaitlin Hendrick, FCC Odessa; Michelle Muncrief, Westmont CC Lubbock; Austin Staggs, Westmont CC Lubbock

Mucisc Team: Ben Nabours, FCC Fritch; Chase Nabours, FCC Fritch; Jelsie Rose, FCC Pampa



When you see one of these folks 

be sure to thank them for their hard work and 

dedication to the children of God 

in Mission West. 



Quick Links
Churches seeking pastoral leadership
First Christian Church
Big Spring, TX

Pastor/New Church Planter
First Christian Church
Santa Fe, NM

First Christian Church
Lampasas, TX

First Christian Church
Hooker, OK

First Christian Church
Plainview, TX

Associate Minister of Youth and Small Group Development
First Christian Church, Perryton, TX

First Christian Church, 
Miami, TX

Youth Minister
First Christian Church,
San Angelo, TX

First Christian Church
Canyon, TX

First Christian Church
Albany, TX

First Christian Church
Stratford, TX

Inquiries for more information should be directed to:
Lead Minister, Mission West
The Mission West calendar is being added to daily.  Please email if you would like your event added to this calendar.
Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

Prayers for Mission West during CYLS
Starting on Monday,July 27 the 2015 Christian Youth Leadership Seminar will begin at Ceta Glen. 

Please be in prayer for the following youth and adult leaders as we come together as one Mission West CYF Team.

Amazing student leaders:

Albert Alaniz

FCC Brownfield;


Charlye Campbell

FCC Midland;


John Espino

 FCC Midland;


Ariha Hernandez

FCC Spearman;


Carly Price

FCC Albany;


Ally Robinett 

Westmont CC Lubbock;


Brendyn Rodriquez

FCC Brownfield;


Omar Sanchez

CC Spearman;


Scotty Simmons

FCC Amarillo; 


Olivia Tyler

FCC Pampa; 


Jordan Waters 

FCC San Angelo;


James Watson 

FCC Abilene;


Emily Usry 
FCC San Angelo.

Please be in prayer for the phenomenal adult leaders:

Brazos Condra
FCC Abilene

Hannah Fish
FCC San Angelo

Ben Huebert-
FCC San Angelo

Dan Kovaly
FCC Spearman

Karakay Kovaly
Mission West

Laura Pittinger
FCC San Angelo

Heather Reed
FCC Amarillo

Randa Reeves
FCC Brownfiled

Alex Smith
Westmont CC Lubbock

Tina Tucker
Community Hills 
San Angelo

Elizabeth "Muffy" Watson
FCC Abilene

TJ York
FCC Midland
Tell us about your ministry
Please  Email Karakay with   your ministry stories and experiences by the 25th of each month to be included in future newsletters. 
Update for UCC & DOC event in 2016 
Here are some updates I have learned about this event: 


This event is for 13 to 18 year olds and their adult sponsors.


Costs will be released later this fall but I was told to start fundraising and with a cost between $500 and $600 per person in mind (this does not include transportation costs)  


Keep watching 


for more updates

CCSW Men's Annual Retreat
September 18-20, 2015 @ LBCR

May 6, 2015


TO:          CCSW Disciples Men


FROM:    Nathan Higginbotham (email =  nathan@ccsw.org)


re:           Current activities and September 18-20, 2015 Retreat Registration and Information


Our Regional Men's Mission Work Project this year continues for the Iglesia Cristiana La Roca Church in Dallas, TX. May11th was the fourth organized work week on this project since March 2nd due to Snow, Ice and Rain delays!  Jimmie Muckleroy led this project and donated many hours of his company personnel, building materials, equipment and supplies toward this construction.  Les Hodson, Tony Muckleroy, Jimmie's son and especially Pastor Daniel Guzman and his congregation members have made major contributions toward moving this new 40 x 92 feet church facility toward completion. Disciples Men donated $5000, mostly from the September 2014 retreat offering to this project.



Please consider being one of 200 congregations in the DOC to have a Cookin' for Mission fund-raiser this year to help replenish the fund supporting our four Disciples Service Centers( Inman in San Antonio is one) and projects for Kids and Youth around the USA. Contact me for more information.


At the Regional Men's cabinet meeting in January, plans were finalized for the Annual Retreat at Lake Brownwood on Sept. 18-20. Our two keynote speakers for this year are: Rev. Olin Fregia, Campus Pastor, Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, TX and Rev. Hector Velazquez, Sr. Minister of Iglesia Cristiana El Redentor in Houston. Our theme for this year's retreat is "As Christ has Welcomed You (Diversity Within our CCSW Family)."


A pre-retreat Golf tournament on Friday before the retreat will be held. Please register your desire to play or contact Roy Horne at: rhorne@geosouthernenergy.com or me for more info.


Also, you must send registrations in together if you want to stay in the same Dorm.


See the Registration Form and other Retreat information. These Registration Forms, speaker publicity, schedule, etc. will soon be on the Disciples Men link from the CCSW web site at www.ccsw.org. Please give a copy of this Registration Form to your Church Secretary and your current Disciples Men/CMF President to assist with publicity for our retreat. This letter, without the photos, is also available for download. All registration fees had to be increased this year due to rising costs at LBCR. We have set a goal of 200 men in attendance. That should assure us of "breaking even" on costs. A First Time attendee fee is $75 and a Scholarship is available at $50. Register before the August 31st deadline to save 10 dollars.


I will see you in September, if not before.


Area Business and Hope Partnership Come together In October in Mission West
Two different events, "Dare to Lead" and "Come and See", are presented by Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation that will take place across Mission West in conjunction with most area meetings in October, please see the information below and mark your calendars.  Registration information will be coming soon.

Watch this short video to see what people are saying about The Journey Experience.
Watch this short video to see what people are saying about The Journey Experience.
Watch a June 2014 Webinar About New Beginnings
Watch a June 2014 Webinar About New Beginnings

Come learn about DARE TO LEAD THE JOURNEY.  


The Journey is a 2 year process that develops NEW kind of leaders for your church.  Helping leaders become Transformational leaders, moves congregations from old ways of measuring success, towards congregations that make a difference in the lives of people and their communities.  At the end of the process, the congregation will have clarity about its future ministry and specific call.


There will only be a small cost to attend to cover the cost of the meal.  


The introduction will give your congregation 6 weeks to decide if you want to participate in the Journey.  Bring your key leaders so they can hear it first hand!



After these meetings, an annual meeting for each area will take place in the appropriate locations.

On Sunday, October 11 

First Christian Church, 901 Arizona Ave,

El Paso, TX 79902 

2:30 pm MT Gather 

3:00 to 5:00 pm MT Hope Partnership

Come and See: Learn about the New Beginnings Process


New Beginnings is a process designed to help congregations make bold decisions about their future ministry.  Designed primarily for small congregations, this process has helped hundreds of Disciple, UCC & Presbyterian churches make bold decisions that allowed the congregation to move from "getting by" to thriving in God's mission.


There will only be a small cost to attend to cover the cost of the meal.   

The introduction will give your congregation 6 weeks to decide if you want to engage in the process.  Bring your key leaders to this event and discover.




After this meeting an annual meeting for the Central Area will take place.



Saturday, October 10 
First Christian Church, 29 S. Bernice Street, Spearman, TX 79081
9 AM CST gather
9:30 - 11:30 AM Hope Partnership
11:30 AM - 1 PM Lunch/HPA Annual meeting

Saturday, October 17 

Brook Hollow Christian Church,  2310 South Willis, 

Abilene, TX 79605

9 AM CST gather

9:30 - 11:30 AM Hope Partnership

11:30 AM - 1 PM Lunch/CEA Annual meeting


Adult Swim (A retreat for those who Minister to Young People at Disciples Crossing)
Mission West has been invited to join in the following retreat:

COST:  $125
Where: Disciples Crossing 

We're planning a retreat for YOU (No campers allowed)! If you minister to young people, ages 0 to 18, we would like to offer you a sabbath weekend at Disciples Crossing. This weekend is for volunteers and paid staff members alike - all who feel called to work with young people are invited. It will feature keynotes, practical ministry workshops, and time to worship, pray, play and rest. Recover from summer, and gear up for the fall with some of your favorite people, in one of your favorite places, Disciples Crossing! The cost will be $125 per person, which will cover meals, lodging, and speaker fees. We hope to see you there.  Keynote Sessions:
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Time Management
  • Discipleship
  • Wild Card Keynote (a subject the participants would like to hear more about after getting to know Lesleigh)

Goals for our time together:

  • Sabbath
  • Training
  • Building Relationships with others who love kids

Our speaker for the weekend will be Rev. Lesleigh Carmichael.

Lesleigh is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  From 1998-2005, Lesleigh served as an Associate Minister at Woodmont Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, TN where her primary responsibility was serving as the youth minister.  In 2006, she was part of the original staff in launching the Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT), which is housed in Nashville.  Since 2008 she has served as the Director of Coaching at CYMT.  In addition to working at CYMT Lesleigh also serves as a Lead Consultant for Ministry Architects.

Lesleigh holds a B.S. from Auburn University and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.  Lesleigh lives in Brentwood, TN with her husband, and their two daughters.


For more information view the event on the Disciples Crossing website.

Chalice Hymnal is Back!

Chalice Hymnal is one of the most popular and best-selling hymnals ever produced. More than 620 easy-to-sing traditional and contemporary hymns, prayers, and liturgies make Chalice Hymnal the choice of churches all over the country and in many denominations.


By popular demand, we will produce another batch of the Chalice Hymnal pew edition -- but we have to sell at least 700 pew copies before Labor Day! 

Replace the much-loved copies at your church, or fall in love with this hymnal for the first time. Purchase copies for your entire congregation.


Order online today!

Reflections from the General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins.

Thoughts on Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality


by the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president on her blog.

Two different discussions are stirred by the June 2015 Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. One relates to social, biblical and theological understandings of marriage. The other is about religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) places a high value on both religious freedom and individual interpretation of scripture. We expect followers of Christ to act according to their beliefs. As a Church, therefore, we intentionally do not create church-wide policies on these matters for congregations or ministers. Our general assembly may offer counsel but not policy.

Consistent with our value for religious freedom, Disciples have historically insisted that the basic civil and human rights of all people be respected legally - even while sometimes still debating related issues in the church.  Our General Assembly has affirmed the civil rights of women, persons of color, persons of different religions and of all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the church, marriage is about covenant, love and God-centered relationships. So what does the Supreme Court decision means for the church? Ministers whose consciences call for them to conduct weddings for couples regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity may now do so legally in every state. Ministers whose consciences call for them to refuse to conduct weddings for some couples may still refuse in every state. Congregations have the same freedom when considering policy on the use of their buildings. The First Amendment protects our freedom to exercise theological and pastoral judgment.

Some are insisting that the ruling will force ministers and congregations to perform same sex weddings. Yet Disciples ministers perform weddings for couples of mixed faith when other clergy refuse the wedding on religious grounds. Disciples ministers perform second marriages, when others will decline to officiate following divorce. Disciples ministers perform covenant ceremonies for older persons, who for economic reasons cannot marry. The freedom to perform or not perform those and other weddings continues on First Amendment grounds. Our Constitution gives religious groups wide freedom to practice their faith in church settings without government interference even while protecting the civil rights of all.

Thoughtful Disciples come to different conclusions about marriage equality. For many, it is a positive step biblically and constitutionally. It affirms life-long, monogamous relationships, celebrates loving couples and stable families, gives legal support for children and spouses. For others, the Court's decision is contrary to biblical and traditional understandings of marriage.

Disciples practice is to affirm the responsibility of all to interpret Scripture and to share their understandings within the community of faith. The bonds of love call us to speak the truth as we understand it, to hold onto each other, to pray with each other, to engage with each other in acts of love and mercy. The world needs an example of freedom of interpretation and thought, of unity in diversity, and of sharing a common table though we disagree on important issues. My prayer is Disciples will be that witness.

Fishing Tournament fundraiser on behalf of the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries
T he Lower Rio Grande Valley District is supporting a fishing tournament fundraiser on behalf of the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries.  As you know, this ministry was begun by Feliberto Pereira to minister to political refugees, people whose plight is at best desperate, plus other ministries.  You may go to the web page  www.swgsm.org  for further information on the Ministry and its projects.



The date of the tournament is October 17.  The place will be at the fishing pier at Pirate's Landing, 501 E. Maxan, Port Isabel, Texas 78578.  The time of the tournament is check-in - 8:00 A.M.  Weigh-in-4:00P.M.


Although most people will not be able to attend the tournament because of time and distance, church(es) are being asked to sponsor it financially at one of three levels: Angel - $300; Saint - $200; Partner - $100.  Needless to say, whatever you may be able to give will be deeply appreciated.  Individuals who may not be able to attend and who want to support the tournament are encouraged to contribute.


Also, please contact businesses who would sponsor and/or give prizes. 


The goal is to raise at least $5000 for the Ministry.  You may send your contribution to the following address:

            Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries

            28259 Pereira Compassion Road

            P.O. Box 273

            Los Fresnos, Texas 78566

Please designate on your check that it is for the fishing tournament.


The registrations are as follows:  EARLY BIRD-by Sept. 7-Individual - $40 Family - $50 (Early Bird registration will get the person/family a free t-shirt); Deadline-Sept. 22 - Individual - $50 - Family - $60; LATE REGISTRATION - after Sept. 22-Individual - $60 - Family - $70.


Beside door prizes, the first place prize will be $300; second prize will be $200, and third prize will be $100.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 956-720-3270 or by

e-mail at samuelsimon1941@yahoo.com.


Thank you very much for your help and support.


Yours in Christ's service,


Dr. Samuel Simon - Lower Rio Grande Valley District Fishing Tournament Director

Pastor  - First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

                410 West University

                 Edinburg, Texas 78539


Mission West | missionwest@ccsw.org | www.missionwestccsw.org
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX 79109