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In This Issue

October 20 Mission West Newsletter Comes Out

October 22 Mission West Common Mission Board Google + Video Chat

October 23-24 Regional Council Meeting 

October 24 Reflections of Disciple History and Polity in Church Today,  John Imbler - Abilene 

October 25 Mission West Newsletter deadline for Nov.3 issue

October 28 TRA Board Conference Call

November Standing Forms for 2016 available to complete 

November 1 All Saints Day

November 6- 7 LBCR Board Meeting

November 7 Ordination BJ Tapley FCC Lubbock

November 7  The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness Hidden in Plain Sight, Stephanie Shepherd - Chalice Abbey, Amarillo, TX

November 12 HPA South Cluster Meeting Location TBD

November 13-15
Mission West Fall Retreats at Lake Brownwood and Black River. Online registration 

November 14 TRA Annual Meeting, Bethany Christian Church, El Paso
November 25 
Documentation deadline for January interviews with Regional Committee on Ministry

November 25-27 Mission West office Closed for Thanksgiving

November 26 Thanksgiving

November 29 First Sunday in Advent

December 31 Standing forms for 2016 Due

Continuing  Education Grants through DHM

The application period (September - October, 2015) for the 2016 Clergy Continuing Education Grants through DHM is now open. Applications completed by Disciples Clergy with Standing (Ordained or Commissioned) over the next two months will be considered for awards to be distributed next year. These awards are to help DOC clergy participate in continuing education experiences in 2016 that will enhance their gifts and graces for ministry. The deadline for submission is Oct. 31st. You can find out more, and access the application process here.
Update on Mission West Youth Meeting Sept 11-12 
Several youth leaders gathered on Sept 11-12 at Ceta Glen to plan and dream what the next steps are for Mission West Youth & Children's Ministry.  The notes from this meeting are on the youth portion of the mission west web site, under the info tab.  You can also download the notes here. We are very excited about what is in store for our youth and youth leaders in the future.  Please save the date of January 22-23, 2016 for the next conversation.  

You will also want to save the dates for the new season:
  • 2015 Mission West Winter Rally Session 1 (Grades 6th-12th) Nov 13-15, LBCR (See more below)
  • Mission West Winter Retreat (Grades 6th-12th) Nov 13-15, BRCL (See more below)
  • Mission West Mid Winter Retreat Session 1 (Grades 3rd-12th) Feb. 5-7, BRCL
  • Mission West Mid Winter Rally Session 2 (Grades 3rd-12th) Feb. 5-7, LBCR 
  • YAM (Young Adult Mission) (First year out of High School to 27 years old and 28+ as Sponsors) May 26- June 3* Partnership with Building Cultures Mission Ecuador (dates may fluctuate) 
  • Mission West Grand Beginnings June 10-12 Lake Brownwood
  • Mission West CYF & Chi Rho (Grades 6th-12th) June 12-18, Ceta Glen
  • Mission West JYF Session 1 June 20-24  Black River
  • Mission West JYF Session 2 June 26-30Lake Brownwood
  • "8ers" Created to be me, June 26 to July 2, Disciples Crossing
  • CYLS, July 24/25-30, Disciples Oaks, (aka Gonzo) Gonzales, TX
These dates may fluctuate by one day before or after, final arrangements are being made, please check back periodically for the final dates. 

October 20, 2015

Would you like to help shape Mission West ministries and mission?

The governing boards for all three Areas and for Mission West are busy this year working to unify our structure and governance.  But what about our joint Mission West ministries and mission?  You can share in the creation and action of these ministries!  If you would like to serve on planning and/or action teams for the following ministries and mission, please contact Charlotte or Karakay.
  • Youth, Young Adult and Children's Ministries - camps, retreats, and other events
  • School for Ministry - education events for commission and ordained clergy and lay leaders
  • Shepherds - supporting the caring ministry for pastors and congregations
  • Communications - newsletters, web site, social media
  • Fund Development - for our mission and ministries
  • Tres Rios Welcome Party - for the new Samoan congregation, Nov 14, El Paso
P.S. A lot of work can be accomplished via phone and web meetings!
Reflections of Disciples History
Polity in Church Today
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.  

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 was Saturday, October 17, 2015 but if you call today, we can still make arrangements for you.

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
The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness Hidden in Plain Sight, Stephanie Shepherd - Amarillo
Saturday, November 7, 2015
9 AM - 3 PM
Chalice Abbey, Amarillo

The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness Hidden in Plain Sight -- With a nod to historical practices & a little creativity, we can find spiritual practices hidden in plain sight -- Developing meaningful practices related to daily mindfulness, developing compassion, emboldening actions of justice (in ourselves, our spheres of influence, our neighbors, our world) 

Stephanie Shepherd is a doubter, dreamer, and a hope-full feaster -- a pastor and community architect of TheEucatastrophe (The Euc) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Worth, Texas ( www.theeuc.com   ). Stephanie is bi-vocational; she's also a recruiter and project manager for a private investment firm in downtown Fort Worth. Prior to planting The Euc in 2007, Stephanie pastored and traveled vocational paths in the arts, advocacy and education in Minneapolis and Vancouver (Canada). Stephanie is passionate about finding Jesus in the unexpected, feasting in the whole of life, and the great leveling-field of the Table. 

 Registration Information 
 Each event costs $75 per participant. A spouse may register for $15. This includes cost for the program and a light lunch. Please register no later than one week prior to each event. Contact the Mission West office to register or register online at http://www.missionwestccsw.org/#/events/registration   . Call 806-358-9590 email missionwest@ccsw.org ; mail payments/checks payable to: Mission West 2717 Stanley St. Ste A Amarillo, TX 7910 Those attending events at Chalice Abbey who want to arrive the day before can receive a discounted rate at the nearby Holiday Inn Express. Call the Mission West office (806-358-9590) and ask for Angeline. For further course questions, please contact Charlotte Hoppe at choppe@ccsw.org  

T his class was also offered on March 28th at First Christian Church in Abilene, TX and on April 18th at Monte Vista Christian Church in Albuquerque, NM.
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.
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
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
Young Adult Commission applications accepted
If you are interested in connecting and empowering Young Adults to engage in the ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), you can fill out an  application  to serve on the  Young Adult Commission . The next term of service begins January of 2016 through December of 2017 and applications are being accepted until  Oct. 31, 2015 Go here to see the expectations  for those who serve on the committee.

Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

Save the Date for ADM 2016
Association of Disciple Musicians
July 17-22, 2016 
will be the 55th consecutive year for ADM's annual conference.  Join them at the University of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.

more information can be found on their web site  http://www.adm-doc.org/
Prayer Requests
Please keep Rev. Dr. Dawn Weaks in prayer 
During her annual mammogram, a very small cancerous tumor was found. She will have a lumpectomy day surgery on Friday Oct. 9 at MCH. Two weeks later, she will do 30 days of radiation. She feels extremely blessed that it was found so early and it is likely she will not have to have chemo.
Transitioning to New Web Page
We are working to transition to a new web page.  Many thanks to all the congregations who have sent in a photo of your church.  If you have not done so, please send a picture of your congregation to Karakay at your earliest opportunity.
The Mission West calendar is being added to daily.  Please email
if you would like your event added to this calendar.

TRA Annual Meeting Nov 14 and copy of HPA and CEA Annual meeting packets

  • 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 
Tres Rios Area Annual meeting will take place at 10:30 am on November 14, 2015 at Bethany Christian Church, 10453 Springwood Dr., El Paso, TX 79925 .  

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.

Hi Plains Area Annual meeting took place at 11:30 am on 
October 10, 2015 at First Christian Church, 29 S. Bernice Street, Spearman, TX.  You can download and view the documents from that meeting on the HPA section of the Mission West web page.

Central Area Annual meeting took place at 11:30 am on October 17, 2015 at Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 South Willis, Abilene, TX. You can download and view the documents from that meeting on Central Area Section of the Mission West web page.
Fall Retreat and Rally for 6th to 12th Graders 
Nov. 13-15 at Black River and Lake Brownwood

We are pleased to announce that  online registration  is now open for 6th to 12th Graders for Fall Retreat at Black River and Fall  Rally  at Lake Brownwood.

Both events are taking place on Nov. 13-15, 2015. One at Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat and another at Black River Center for Learning. Registration costs are $90 per person until Oct. 30, starting Nov. 1 registration costs are $115.  You can also get all this information in the  youth section of the web site under the events and forms tab.

Online registration is now required for all events.  When you click on the link for  online registration, you will be sent to a secure third party site. 

The camper's guardian will be asked to create an account, fill out an online health form, and sign it electronically.  The good news is that once you fill out the information, you will only need to update it as needed when medical and other health information changes. It is important to note that health forms MUST be complete before the camper arrives at camp. This is for the safety of the camper and expedites medical treatment in the case of an emergency. 

Mission West will invoice your congregation for all of the participants who successfully registered by the deadline. Invoices will be sent to congregations two weeks before the event. Please include a copy of your invoice with your check and make checks payable to Mission West.

YAM Young Adult Mission Trip
You can still join this trip even though the first round of deposits have passed. Below you will find a video about t he story of how Bridging Cultures began, information about the people of the Chota Valley and the beloved connection with them, the vision and uniqueness of this mission, is shared in the presentation.

You can find more information on the mission west web site, under the events portion, looks for the
Kaleidoscope Bicycle Expedition 2015 Summary
Kaleidoscope Bicycle Expedition 2015 was a bicycle tour that took place between Las Cruces, NM to Yellowstone National Park in order to build a sustainable network of support, and experience pertinent lessons and make connections for Kaleidoscope Las Cruces (KLC). To do this, KLC determined they needed to network with other United Church of Christ (UCC) and Disciples of Christ (DOC) churches along the route, and in so doing learn from those they met. Additionally, this helped the cycling team members grow as leaders. As a result of the trip, Kaleidoscope Las Cruces also anticipated-- and witnessed-- a large growth in our online presence, as well as an elevated profile within the Las Cruces Community (through press releases and news articles).

In the following pages you can expect to find a summary of each of the following expedition goals: fundraising; networking with other churches and travelers throughout the west (and in so doing learn what things other communities are doing to improve where they live); media (grow internet/social media footprint); bicycling between Las Cruces and Yellowstone; and team member growth.

If you need or want any additional details from me about what Kaleidoscope is, etc - you can message email them at kaleidoscopelascruces@gmail.com. (Or, you may be able to find them on their website:  kaleidoscopelascruces.weebly.com .)

Below is the video created for promotion prior to the trip.  Kaleidoscope is a ministry of the First Christian Church of Las Cruces, NM.

Kaleidoscope Bicycle Expedition 2015 | #KBE2015
Kaleidoscope Bicycle Expedition 2015 | #KBE2015

Work of the Regional Committee on Ministry (RCOM)
by Dottie Cook, Regional Committee on Ministry Chair

The Regional Committee on Ministry (RCOM) is a vital part of our life together as God's church in the Southwest Region. The centerpiece of our work is with candidates for ordination. RCOM is also responsible for the policies and practices related to the standing of ordained and commissioned clergy. 

Meeting three times a year for three to four days, RCOM consists of over 25 women and men, lay and clergy, who give of their time, their prayers, their energy, their insight and wisdom to guide candidates along their journey in ministry. The committee consists of persons representing the depth and breadth of our Region. Our educational institutions, constituency groups, Areas, and local congregations all are represented around the table. We are thankful for the support of congregations, families and workplaces that allow these persons to serve in this way.

Currently there are over 40 women and men on the path to ordination in our Region. RCOM is just one piece of the candidate's support team that includes a congregation, a Sharing the Journey Committee and an Area. We invite you to look on the Regional 
 under the tab "Ordination Process" to see our current process and requirements on the journey.
This year, 2015, has been quite full as in addition to holding 47 candidate interviews, we have:
  • Established guidelines for the Apprentice Track, including creating an initial application review committee;
  • Conferred Retired Commission status on candidates recommended by Area Committees on Ministry;
  • Worked with the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Committee in making the requirement that all clergy, commissioned and ordained, (including  retired) receive Healthy Boundaries for Clergy Training every five years. Clergy whose last training was prior to December 31, 2010, must complete training byJune 30, 2017. Contact your Area for more information;
  • Started work to establish social media guidelines and to review other policies and practices related to clergy conduct; 
  • Initiated development of an educational resource website for apprentice track candidates, healthy boundaries training and more.
As chair of the Regional Committee, I invite you to join us in prayer for the church, for the women and men called by God to serve the church and for the work that we do together in service to God in this Region.

(This article came from a CCSW news update.  To see the full newsletter, follow this link.  You can also subscribe to the CCSW newsletter by following this link)
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,  ftalamante@rstx.orghttp://www.refugeeservicesoftexas.org.

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!
A Call to Prayer for Mission First!
Prayer will be a major part of our preparation for a mighty movement of God.  So ...
Disciples, let us pray! Let's open our spirits to the Spirit of God as we seek to make a difference through Mission First!
Mission First! prompts Disciples to listen for God's call to mission in the 21st century world. It is also a 2-year pilot of a model for identifying shared mission for our entire Church and working in partnership to fulfill it. At the heart of Mission First! are Mission Gatherings which will take place in 2016. All Disciples are invited to participate and share their congregation's particular passion within God's larger mission as well as be inspired to action by the stories of others.
As we prepare and implement Mission Gatherings, let's listen to the Spirit. Let's pray for a shared sense of call within God's larger mission; that we will identify ways to work together that we may never have dreamed of before. Let's seek God's inspiration and leadership as we put God's Mission First! among Disciples. Let us bathe Mission First! in intentional prayer and action.
State of the Church's Mission: Mission First
State of the Church's Mission: Mission First Video
Beginning in October, you will receive a weekly e-mail prompt for prayer and action.  Thank you in advance for your participation through prayer. Click  here  to learn more about Mission Gatherings near you or more information about prayer teams and other ways to support!

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.

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.

Tres Rios Area meets on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at Bethany Christian Church in El Paso, 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- Jimmy Case
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
Mission West | missionwest@ccsw.org | www.missionwestccsw.org
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX 79109