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In This Issue

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

September 17 HPA North Cluster Meeting FCC Dumas
September 18 - 20 CCSW Men's Annual Retreat at LBCR
September 21 TRA Border Cluster Meeting

September 22 TRA Board Meeting via conference call

September 24 CEA Big Country Cluster Meeting 

September 25 Deadline  for inclusion in Oct 6th Issue of the MW Newsletter

September 25-26 Regional Youth Ministry Council (RYMC) Dallas 

September 25-27 Kid Min  Chicago, IL

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

September 28-Oct 1 Clergy Spiritual Retreat Norbertine Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM 

October 5 TRA Mountain Clergy Cluster Meeting

October 6 Mission West Newsletter Comes Out

October 5-8 Birthing Cross Gen Conference 2015 Estes Park, CO 

October 10 Hi Plains Area Annual Meeting and Come and See: Learn about the New Beginnings Process FCC Spearman

October 10 Worlds of the New Testament: 7 Key Events with Warren Carter at Los Altos Christian Church, Albuquerque, NM 

October 11 Dare to Lead the Journey at FCC El Paso

October 12-14 Clergy Spiritual Retreat Cline Lodge, Ceta Glen

October 15 HPA North Clergy Cluster

October 17 Central Area Annual Meeting and Come and See: Learn about the New Beginnings Process Brook Hollow Christian Church, Abilene, TX

The Mission West calendar is being added to daily.  Please email
if you would like your event added to this calendar.

The Reconciliation offering will be received in most congregations Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. Materials should be arriving in congregations after Labor Day.  Visit the website for more information.
September 15, 2015

We hope you enjoy this mid month news.  We would love to share stories about the ministries and mission you and your congregation are engaging.  Please email kkovaly@ccsw.org by September 25 to be included in the next newsletter.

Area Annual Meetings Scheduled for October & November
  • Come and hear updates on Area ministries 
  • Participate in conversation about working toward unification as Mission West 
  • Vote on any Area business as needed
  • Fellowship with one other

Hi Plains Area Annual meeting will take place at 11:30 am on 
October 10, 2015 at First Christian Church, 29 S. Bernice Street, Spearman, TX. 

Central Area Annual meeting will take place at 11:30 am on October 17, 2015 at Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 South Willis, Abilene, TX.

Tres Rios Area Annual meeting will take place on November 14, 2015.  The time  and location in El Paso, TX are still TBD. 

Cost is $5 per person to help cover the cost of lunch. 

You can register 3 different ways, online, calling the office at 806-358-9590, or emailing missionwest@ccsw.org.

At the Hi Plains and Central Area Annual Meetings, Hope Partnership will also present Come and See.  Read more about this presentation in the article below.
Central, Hi-Plains and Tres Rios Boards/Councils Take Next Steps Toward Unity in Ministry and Mission
While experiencing  exciting, energetic and innovative collaborative ministries together over the past year and to move toward more efficiency, effectiveness and excellence in ministry planning and support - all three Area Boards/Councils have decided to begin to move into the next stage of ministry together as Mission West.  

Very successful camps, conferences, clergy/lay education, and more ministries have been the result of our Mission West collaboration over the past year. Conversations in many of the clergy clusters around all three Areas are supportive of this move. 

The three Area Councils/Boards will be doing the needed financial and organizational research this fall to propose the next steps needed to unify the three Areas into one Area within the Southwest Region.  Approval by the three Areas will be sought in the spring of 2016. Approval by the CCSW Regional Council and Assembly will be sought by the end of 2016.    More conversation about this direction will be held at each Area Annual Meeting this fall.

Central Area meets following a Hope Partnership presentation on  Saturday, October 17, at Brook Hollow Christian Church, Abilene, TX.

Hi-Plains Area meets following a Hope Partnership presentation on  Saturday, October 10, at First Christian Church Spearman, TX.

Details and registration information can be found in this newsletter and on the Mission West website.

Tres Rios Area will meet at a gathering in El Paso, TX,  Saturday, November 14, where they will also welcome  new Disciples affiliating congregation, Samoan Congregational Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Meeting details and registration will be announced soon. 
News from Mission West Common Mission Board and Area Boards/Councils
The Mission West Common Mission Board met at Westmont Christian Church in Lubbock on Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 21. Download the agenda and supporting documents.

Moderator- Leslie Dalstra FCC El Paso 
Moderator Elect- vacant 
Treasurer- Randa Reeves FCC Brownfield
Central Area Board Liaison- Don Wilson FCC Abilene
Hi Plains Area Board Liaison-Paul Carpenter FCC Lubbock
Tres Rios Area Board Liaison- TBD at next TRA Board Meeting
Non voting Member CCSW Regional Council-Sterling Lentz FCC Brownwood
Members at Large 
TRA Laurie Lewis Monte Vista CC Albuquerque 
CEA Penny Biddy Brook Hollow CC Abilene
HPA vacant

Members completing their service to the Mission West Common Mission board are Debra Huffman HPA FCC Canyon, David Theel HPA FCC Spearman, Patrick Crocker TRA FCC Las Cruces.  Thank you for your leadership and service in helping Mission West do more together than they can alone.

The next two meeting dates are Thursday, October 22, 2015 and Thursday, November 19th both at 2pm CST and 1pm MT via google + hangouts & call in.

Central Area Council met at FCC, Abilene, and by conference call on August 25.  Download   the agenda and supporting documents.   2015/16 officers nominated, at that meeting and to be approved at the October 17, Central Area Annual Meeting, are:

Moderator - Rev. Mike Hunter, FCC, Midland - new
Vice Moderators - vacant
Secretary - Rev. Shannon Grubbs, FCC, Stephenville - continuing
Treasurer - Rev. John Penningtion, FCC, Richland Springs - continuing

Other Council members include:
Big Country Cluster - Rev. Don Wilson, FCC, Abilene - new
LBCR - Stephen Hicks, CHCC, San Angelo - continuing
CYC - Rev. TJ York, FCC, Midland - continuing.

Tres Rios Area Board met by conference call on June 16 and will meet again on September 22.   Download the agenda and supporting documents for the June 16 meeting. Nominations for new officers and members will be considered at the September meeting.

Officers include:
Moderator-Rev. Patrick Crocker, Las Cruces (2015)
Secretary-Rev. Lana Covington, FCC, Alpine (2015)
Ministry Council Convener-vacant

Members include:
Marta McLaughlin-FCC, El Paso (2015)
Rev. Keith Lewis-United Church of Los Alamos (2015)
Rev. Linda Mervine-FCC, Las Cruces (2016)
Diane Goode-West Mesa CC, Albuquerque (2016)
Jim Case-FCC, Alpine (2016)

Hi Plains Area Board met by conference call and in person at the Mission West office on August 6.   Download the agenda and supporting documents. Officers nominated, at that meeting and to be approved at the October 10, Hi Plains Annual Meeting, are:

Moderator - Dick Snyder FCC Amarillo
Vice Moderator - open
Secretary- Dick Snyder (acting) FCC Amarillo
2nd Vice Moderator - Dan Anderson FCC Perryton
Treasurer - Linda Pitman FCC Canyon
Assistant Treasurer - Monty Winders FCC Canyon
Darlene Ford  FCC Liberal
Paul Carpenter FCC Lubbock
Quick Links
Churches seeking pastoral leadership
Senior Minister
Westmont Christian Church
Lubbock, TX

Senior Minister
Community Christian Church
Lubbock, TX

Union Congregational UCC
Friona, TX 

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
Update on Mission West Youth Meeting Sept 11-12 
Several youth leaders gathered this past Friday and Saturday at Ceta Glen to plan and dream what the next steps are for Mission West Youth & Children's Ministry.  The notes from this meeting will be available by the next newsletter.  We are very excited about what is in store for our youth and youth leaders in the future.

Mission First!
Mission First! seeks to help Disciples identify the next mission priorities God has for us as we move toward the year 2020 and beyond.
At the heart of this process are Mission Gatherings where we hope you and your leaders will participate in sharing what your congregation is passionate about doing in the mission field. These gatherings may take place at your 2016 regional or racial / ethnic assemblies or at camp or other places where Disciples gather. Sign Up now.
Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

General Youth Council Seeking Applications DUE TODAY
The General Youth Council is accepting applications! 

If you are an adult or a youth is interested in serving on the General Youth Council please fill out and turn in your  application.  

Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2015.    The next term begins January 2016 and goes through December 2017.
Learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis around the world and how you can help
Disciples of Christ Week of Compassion serves on our behalf in many places.  Connect, learn and volunteer at this Week of Compassion link  Syrian Refugees Crisis Surrounding  the Middle East and Europe

Texas panhandle churches can work hands on with refugee families by contacting:
Refugee Services of Texas, Inc.
Sub-Office of Dallas
1731 S. Avondale, Amarillo, TX 79106-4516
Phone: 806-381-0099 | Fax: 806-356-9094

Any one can also donate, or put together emergency refugee hospitality kits. If your church takes this on as mission, let us all know.  Mission West churches could work together to make a difference!
Clergy Spiritual Retreats

Come and Participate in Spiritual Renewal, Support  Mission West Clergy Retreats
Mission West is committed to providing support for pastors' spiritual lives in collegial, nurturing clergy groups.  Twice annual retreats are offered around the geography.  The next two clergy retreats are as scheduled. September 28- Oct. 1 at the Norbertine Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM and October 12-14 at Cline Lodge, Ceta Glen in Happy, TX
September 28-Oct. 1 at the Norbertine Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM. The first day, September 28, beginning after lunch, will be an optional silent retreat day.  Arrive at the retreat center for some silence, walking, praying and meditating in the high desert beauty.  Supper and breakfast will be provided, in silence.  At noon on September 29, silence will be broken with lunch on your own or with the group anywhere in Albuquerque.  Cost for the entire retreat, including the silent day is $200. 
On September 29 the guided retreat will begin with an after lunch arrival at the center.  Supper will be the first group gathering with worship to follow before bed time.  Rev. Herb Lynsky, is our trained spiritual director for this portion of the retreat.  The retreat ends before lunch on Thursday, October 1.  Cost for this portion of the retreat alone is $150.
There is a small cohort of ministers who have been attending this retreat for several years.  There is also room for more retreatants to join us. For more information about this retreat you may contact Charlotte via cell phone at 915-525-1209 or email he choppe@ccsw.org .  To register on the Mission West website, please follow  this link .  Registration deadline is September 21. 

Oct 12-14 at Cline Lodge, Ceta Glen in Happy, TX
The first day of the retreat you can arrive at any time after lunch to enjoy hiking, reading, and relaxing. The retreat will officially begin at 6pm with Dinner, followed by an opening worship service.  We engage in worship, fellowship, reading scripture, silence, and reflecting.  Rev. David Hargrace is our trained spiritual director.  The retreat ends on Wednesday, October 14  before lunch. Cost is $150 to attend.
It is important to Mission West to provide clergy an opportunity to separate out 48 hours from their busy  schedules to find renewal through exercises
 led by a trained Spiritual Director and the fellowship and  support of colleagues in ministry.  Registration deadline is October 5.
If interested, contact the   Mission West office   for more information or to   register .  Call 806-358-9590,  email , or register  online  .  For further questions, Charlotte Hoppe at  choppe@ccsw.org.
Hope Partnership comes to Mission West alongside Central and Hi Plains Annual Meetings and in Tres Rios as a stand alone event
In October, 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.  hope
For HPA and CEA this will be in conjunction with area meetings.  TRA's annual meeting will take place on November 14. Please see the information below and mark your calendars.  Registration is available online or by calling the office at 806.358-9590 or emailing missionwest@ccsw.org. 

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 be a $5 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 the Hope Partnership presentation annual meetings will take place for the Hi Plains and Central Areas.

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

J eff Knighton from FCC Pampa tells us why he and 4 members are attending:  
We in FCC of Pampa find ourselves, as with many other churches of all denominations, wondering, "What happened?" when we make our Sunday worship attendance count.  Where is everybody?  How did we miss the memo about the change coming, and how to prepare for it?  So we find ourselves now praying we can find a way to catch up with this century, and rebirth ourselves in a way that meets the needs of our Congregation, and the Congregation we hope to be for many years to come.  The "Come and See" offering is, for us, something well worth checking out, and we plan to be in Spearman on October 10th!

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 be a $5 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!

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

Tres Rios Annual Meeting will be held on November 14, 2015 in El Paso, the location is TBD, please stay tuned,more information will be coming soon.   Register Today.

Reflections of Disciples History
Polity in Church Today
Amarillo Sept. 26, and   Abilene Oct. 24th
Please don't forget to register for  "Reflections of Disciples History and   Polity in Church Today" with Dr. John Imbler from Phillips Theological seminary.

On Saturday, September 26, 2016 this class will be offered at  the Chalice Abbey, 2717 Stanley, Ste. A, Amarrillo, TX 79109  C lass will begin at  9 am and conclude at 3 pm MT.  Registration deadline is Saturday, September 19th.  

The last offering of this course will take place at First Christian Church, 1420 N. Third, Abilene, TX 79601 on October, 
24, 2015 from 9 am to 3 pm.   Registration deadline for this offering is Saturday, October 17, 2015.

Contact the  Mission West office  to register by calling 806-358-9590 or  emailing  or register  online Event costs is $75 per participant. A spouse may register for $15. This includes cost for the program and a light lunch. Mail payments / checks payable to:  Mission West,  2717 Stanley St. Ste A,  Amarillo, TX 7910.

Come and learn about all that makes up a Disciples Congregation, Including:
Structures of the Church: 
Theology and Ecclesiology
(The Design, Cummins, Osborn)
Regional and General Church
Ecumenical Church

  Structures of the Congregation: 
Elders, Diaconate, and Lay Leadership
(The Design)
Congregational governance - yesterday and today
Boards, cabinets, committees

  Orders of Ministry: 
Commissioned and Ordained

(Policies and Criteria, Williams, The Design, Yearbook)
Certification and standing
Ministerial ethics
People of the Table: 
Sacraments and Worship
(Cartwright, Harrison and Duke, Williamson)
Campbell and Stone
Worship practices
  This class has four items as required reading including:  

1. Disciples: Reclaiming Our Identity, Reforming Our Practice by Michael Kinnamon and Jan Linn Chalice Press, 2009  from Amazon or from Chalice Press

2. The Disciples: A Struggle for Reformation by D. Duane Cummins, Chalice Press,  2009  from Amazonor from Chalice Press.

3. The Design  from www.disciples.org and

John Imbler serves as Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Disciples Studies at Phillips Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Dr. Imbler serves on the regional ministerial commissions of Kansas and Oklahoma. Executive Vice President of PTS, he is also the seminary's director of Disciples of Christ ministerial formation. He currently is chair of the committee on Religious Understanding of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry and sits on the board of United Campus Ministry of the University of Tulsa. A member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association for Higher Education, and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, he joined the PTS faculty in 1993.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he is the author of several books including:
  • 60 year history of Phillips Theological Seminary...
  • "Disciples of Christ Hymnody" article and biographical sketch on Daniel B. Merrick in The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology" ed. by J. R. Watson and Emma Hornby, 2013.
  • A Passion for Christian Unity, ed. (Chalice Press, 2009)
  • "The Council of Agencies" and "The Louisville Plan," in The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster, et. al. (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005)
  • "Disciples of Christ Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries," in Religious Higher Education in the United States: A Source Book, ed. Thomas Hunt and James Carper (Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996), 
  • Discerning the Call: Advancing the Quality of Ordained Leadership, co-edited with Linda Plengemeier (Chalice Press, 1992)
  • Beyond Buffalo: Alexander Campbell on Education for Ministry (Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1992) 
  • BA, Butler University, 1967
  • MDiv, Christian Theological Seminary, 1971
  • STM, Christian Theological Seminary, 1981
  • DD, Columbia College, 1987
  • DMin, Phillips Theological Seminary, 2013
This class is also offered:
September  26 in Amarillo at Chalice Abbey and 
October 24th in Abilene at First Christian Church.
Fishing Tournament fundraiser on behalf of the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries
fishing-pole-handles2.jpgT 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


Tell us about your ministry
Please  Email Karakay with   your ministry stories and experiences by the 7th and 25th of each month to be included in future newsletters which are published on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. We are bound together through our congregations and the stories they have lived.  Please help us share what your congregation is doing and learning.
Mission West | missionwest@ccsw.org | www.missionwestccsw.org
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX 79109