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In This Issue
Please note the date
change for Mid Winter Rally at LBCR

Mission West Mid Winter Rally Session 2 (Grades 3rd-12th) 

Feb. 26-28, at LBCR  

(Please note this date was changed the last week of October to accommodate students UIL competition)

November 19 HPA North Clergy Cluster
November 25 
Documentation deadline for January interviews with Regional Committee on Ministry

November 25  Mission West Beginning of the month newsletter deadline

November 25-27 Mission West office Closed for Thanksgiving

November 26 Thanksgiving

November 29 First Sunday in Advent

December 7 Mission West Mid month newsletter deadline

December 17 HPA North Clergy Cluster 

December 23 - January 1 Mission West office closed for Christmas and New Years

December 31 Standing forms for 2016 Due

MW Bylaws
The Mission West bylaws are on the webpage under the common mission team tab.  You can also see packets from recent meetings.
The Mission West calendar is being added to daily.  Please email
if you would like your event added to this calendar.

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.
November 17, 2015

As of reports this morning, Mission West churches and their members have been spared from the tornado's in the Texas panhandle.  If you know of someone who needs our prayers and help, please let us know.

Also, the deadlines are approaching for Hope Partnership's New Beginnings and The Journey.  Please get in touch with Rick Morse,  Vice President,
317-713-2520,  rmorse@hopepmt.org or  Shernell Edney,  Minister of Educational Services,  317-713-2533,  sedney@hopepmt.org to start your applications.

You may have recieved the following email from the CCSW Regional office, if not, I encourage you to  subscribe to the CCSW newsletter.  

Giving Thanks!
by Coretha Loughridge, Acting Regional Minister & President

We give thanks this month to all of you who share the Good News in your communities and neighborhoods! What  better way  to BE church than to be the  living examples of the love and grace offered by God through our Lord Jesus Christ?

As we give thanks, it can be a time of reflection of what we've done recently and what we might do in the future. This may be a sneaky way to remind you of reports that are needed in the next few months, but it is also a way of reminding everyone that as we count our blessings, we need to be thinking of how we can continue to make a difference by serving as active Disciples in the world. Together we are Disciples, and it is good to report our work to one another. 

Congregations need to be sure their leadership is ready to report in January the results of your work this year. It might be helpful if some members begin now to determine who will answer the questions for this report. Last year's form is available as a  sample
 to review. 
  • The report will likely include seven questions about membership: total membership counting all persons listed on the rolls at the end of the year regardless of place of residence or degree of participation; participating members counting only those who attended, contributed to or otherwise showed continuing interest in the church during the year regardless of place of residence; baptisms into the congregation; transfers of membership into the congregation; average worship attendance; average Christian Education attendance including Sunday School, bible study, youth groups or other weekly groups; and number of women in CWF/DWMchurch than to be the living examples of the love and grace offered by God through our Lord Jesus Christ? 
  • This will include three financial questions, if similar to past years with two of them listing funds received and one listing funds given out: local operating receipts received by the church, church school, women's group, men's group, and other groups for congregational ministries other than funds received for outreach or building expansion or debt retirement; local capital receipts for local congregational endowments or building funds or debt retirement, whether spent or not (do not include borrowed monies in this figure); total outreach by the church, church school, women's group, men's group and other groups to Church Finance Council and to other world, national or local ministries whether Disciples-related or not.
  • Optional questions include demographics of your congregation by ethnicity and age groupings, as well as, typically, a key question of identifying an important ministry of your congregation and how it engages the congregation in mission. 
Ministers who are ordained or commissioned by the Disciples, or whose ordination is recognized and standing is transferred to the Disciples, need to report annually their contact information and provide some additional information. Links are available at  ccsw.org/information-and-links  for: 
Additional links are available for the CCSW Clergy Sexual Misconduct Prevention Policy and the   Theological Foundations and Policies and Criteria for the Ordering of Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)  as those are referenced in the Request for Standing Form and to make it convenient to review for ministers or anyone else who may be interested. 
(The Theological Foundations document is also available in  Spanish French and Korean.) 

Let us continue to share the Good News with those who have need to hear it!
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
Please keep Larry Watson, pastor of FCC Guymon in your prayers.  He was in a  bad car accident and is doing rebhab in Wichita, KS.

The family of Virginia Ferrell, spouse of the late Frank Ferrell, who was previously the pastor at Central Christian Church in Childress, TX. 
Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

Thank you from B.O.B.S. in Abiline
Below you will find a thank you letter from B.O.B.S.  (Breakfast  on Beech Street) which is a collaborative,non-profit, community service whose mission is to help improve the quality of life in Abilene by providing a free, hotbreakfast and sack lunch to anyone - regardless of age, race, creed, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or income.  The service helps both families and individuals - working poor, disabled, underprivileged, senior citizens, and homeless.  It is  an ecumenical partnership of churches in Abilene and is housed at First Christian Church of Abilene. The Central Area has long been a supporter of this ministry through granting  reconciliation  funds to fund this mission.  

Each area has reconciliation funds that can be requested for ministries that promote healing, relationship and restoration in the whole family of God.  These ministries are enlivened by funds from this offering providing for programs of leadership development ,curriculum for dialogue and learning, and partnerships within the Church and our communities. 


Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Dr. Lisa Davison from Phillips Theological seminary will offer an 8-week online course,  Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, beginning the week of  January 25, 2016  and ending the week of  Monday, March 11 , specifically designed for persons in commissioned ministry training programs in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  The cost of the course will be $100 plus the cost of the book. 
We will know more  before thanksgiving as to how students register.

Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries Needs Your Help
Beloved friends and partners in ministry, 
With a heavy heart, I write this letter. I am Rev. Hector M. Velazquez, Chair of the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries Board of Directors. Last week our director, Feliberto, shared with me a profound burden which we are unable to carry alone. 
For the first time in our history, we have turned away refugees who came for assistance, including a safe place to stay. So, with my heart in my hand, I appeal to you who have walked with us so faithfully. Please send your most generous donation as soon as possible.
See, due to the ever changing social and political realities in our world, the influx of refugees at our southern border has increased to unsustainable levels for our ministry. Only two ministries in the Brownsville/Los Fresnos area provide full support to this population, and the increase in the intake of refugees has almost depleted our resources for this year. We can no longer take everyone who comes to SWGSM and have turned away 25 individuals. Feliberto is heart-broken.
On behalf of those we serve and the SWGSM Board and staff, I am asking you to donate what you can so that we may serve the growing number of refugees seeking our life-saving assistance. You can donate online at  www.swgsm.org or through the mail at PO Box 273, Los Fresnos, TX 78566.
Words cannot express my gratitude as I wait with great expectation for God's miracle to flow through your heart toward those in need. May the Lord open the windows of heaven and pour abundant blessings to you, your family and your ministry.

View an excerpt from FACES_ the story of Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries.
Thank you for your kindness.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Hector M. Velazquez
Board Chair, SWGSM

If you are not familiar with the Ministry of Southwest Good Samaritan?  Watch the video to your right.  It is an excerpt from the documentary   FACES,  about the SWGSM.

Los Altos ministry with IRRVA (
Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque)

Through the New Beginnings process Los Altos Christian Church in Albuquerque, NM was introduced to IRRVA ( Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque). 

I mmigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque (IRRVA) was started by Nkazi and Lungile Sinandile who are immigrants from South Africa.  The non-profit organization is an entire volunteer operation.  Early this year, Los Altos Christian Church was approached with the need for facilities to open an IRRVA Center. LACC formed an IRRVA Ministry Team and worked with the IRRVA organization to establish the Center.  In September, an after school tutoring program was started  on Monday afternoons, with volunteers from the community working with 15 to 20 children that are having difficulties in the public school system.  There are childhood development for the younger children on Wednesday and Friday mornings, while the parents are in the sewing/craft room or, up to now, working in the garden.

LACC had space to start a garden and the IRRVA group cleaned and planted a garden, even late in the year.  With the   help of East Central Ministries, raised beds and planters along with a dump truck of soil was added.  The garden has been a joy, and they were able to get some vegetables this year.  Next year, the plans are to raise enough for both their own use, and also to share and sell to the community .

The Center is open from 9-3 on Wednesday , Thursday, and Friday.  There are  very informal ESL classes on these days, but with the installation of WIFI to the building, hopefully more ESL classes in the future. Also, hopes for another tutoring session on Wednesdays when more volunteers and transportation can be found

On October 28, the IRRVA community joined together for a potluck lunch with and time together in the Social Hall of the Los Altos. There were so many different prepared foods to taste (some a bit spicy). Instead of 

blessing the food, I asked that each
 person in their own language (with the help of a translator) to give thanks. It was so like the story of Acts to hear all the languages spoken, but knowing we all were thankful to be there and to have food. There will be another Social and Potluck on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. If you would like to experience the meaning of the first Thanksgiving when different cultures joined together, plan to bring a dish and be welcomed by all.

Charlene, Los Altos CC
General Church Administrative Committee Meets

General Church Administrative Committee Meets
The   Mission First!  pilot got under way with the meeting of the Administrative Committee (AC) in Indianapolis Oct. 23-25. Led by the new moderator team elected in Columbus - Moderator Tony Rodriguez (Florida), First Vice Moderator Tom Perring (Pacific Southwest), Second Vice Moderator Mary Lou Kegler (Greater Kansas City) and Moderator Elect Sue Morris (Nebraska) - the committee completed an agenda that included work traditionally assigned to them as well as additional items, serving as the Governing Board under the Mission First! pilot model adopted by the General Board in April 2015.

More history was accomplished as the Administrative Committee worked on the composition of the search committee for general minister and president. The final candidates will be presented to the winter 2017 Administrative Committee. The General Board will approve the search committee in a conference call Nov. 2. According to the  Standing Rules of the General Board, the search committee is made up of the four moderators, two Administrative Committee members and five (plus one alternate) from the General Board. The GMP search follows the  executive search model approved by the General Board.

The remainder of the AC agenda was packed with initiatives stemming from the 2015 General Assembly and from the business life of the Church.
  • Mission First!: In reviewing Mission First!, the Administrative Committee asked the moderators to consult with the General Nominating Committee on balancing the membership of the Mission Council according to General Board policy. The AC is responsible for naming 18 persons to the Mission Council who will serve in addition to members nominated by regional ministries, racial/ethnic ministries and other bodies of the Church, such as higher education, for a total of 46.
  • Governing Board: Meeting as the governing board in the pilot model, the Administrative Committee approved two changes to Pension Fund policy that in the past would have had to wait for the annual meeting of the General Board.
  • Future of General Assemblies: A group chaired by Glen Miles, immediate past moderator of the General Assembly, is being named to re-examine how and when we gather. (GA 1532)
  • Choosing meeting sites: A task force to look at justice concerns as we search for sites for future assemblies and assemble guidelines is being formed. Names proposed include representatives from Green Chalice, National Convocation, Disciples Women, Disciples Home Missions and others. (GA 1537)
  • Resolutions: A task force on how the Church addresses ethical issues at assemblies (resolutions) is also being convened that will include 12 representatives from General Ministries and 12 from congregations. (GA 1524)
  • Organizational concerns: A task force to address organizational concerns from the Hispanic Pastoral Commission is meeting in December. An earlier task force on eliminating racist language from governing documents will be consulted as well.
  • OGMP board: As the board of the Office of General Minister and President, the AC reviewed budgets and received a crash course in the history, covenants and current distribution processes of Disciples Mission Fund.
The Administrative Committee is scheduled to meet again in person April 18-19, 2016. The 2016 meeting of the General Board was suspended by a board vote in spring of 2015.

You can subscribe to this newsletter by going to this website:
Tony Rodriguez, 

Tom Perring, 
First Vice Moderator

Mary Lou Kegler, 

Second Vice Moderator

Sue Morris, 
Moderator Elect

Find out more about Mission First!
General Minister and President Sharon Watkins introduced the Mission First! pilot project at General Assembly.

Annual Meeting Documents on the Web Page
Annual Meeting Documents on the Web Page 

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.

Tres Rios Annual meeting took place at Noon on Novemeber 14, 2015 at Bethany Christian Church, 10453 Springwood Dr., El Paso, TX.  You can download the documents from that meeting on the Tres Rios Section of the Mission West web site.
CCSW Regional Council Update
The face-to-face Regional Council meeting scheduled for October 23-24 had to be changed to a conference call due to weather and flooding over much of the state.  It was a wise move.
RC did hold a three hour conference call on Saturday and good work transpired.
By following this  link  you will find a document that holds two things:  (1) the current financial position of the Region, and (2) the 2016 budget, which the RC approved.  You may or may not be a "numbers" person, but often calendars and budgets reveal the nature of work and the basis of priorities. 
Mission West would wants you to see this for many reasons:
  • Transparency builds trust.  It is your Region.  You support it in many ways.  You should have this information.
  • The numbers speak well.  RC has done good work during this period of transition.  Our financial position has improved.  Our current Regional treasurer has given many hours to cleanup and streamline this process.
  • The Region has recovered financially to a point that we can now begin steps toward what can be and should be next.
Toward that end, the council approved two working teams:  (1) A search committee for the next Regional Minister, (2) Team for Structure and Design.  Both are still being populated, and once complete, will begin their work.  Both will coordinate their work to create the best model for the future of the Region and then call the right leadership to accomplish those goals. 
These are exciting decisions and the Regional Council was a very positive experience.
Look for our next Regional leadership model to look both familiar and new.  Administration will be emphasized as will collaborative work with our areas.  Those areas, including us here in Mission West are also changing structure dynamics while giving new focus to the important mission of being church. 
The mission west representatives to the Regional Council are:
  • Central Area representative is Mike Hunter, FCC Midland;
  • Hi Plains Area representative Dan Kovaly; FCC Spearman,
  • Tres Rios Area representative Bob Aubrey, Monte Vista CC, Albuquerque;
  • Mission West non voting representative, Sterling Lentz, FCC Brownwood.

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 and please register to be a part of the conversation for the next conversation.  

You will also want to save the dates for the new season:
  • 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. 26-28, LBCR 
    • (Please note this date was changed the last week of October to accommodate students UIL competition)
  • YAM (Young Adult Mission) (First year out of High School to 27 years old and 28+ as Sponsors) May 24- June 2* 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. 

YAM Young Adult Mission Trip
The deposit deadline has been adjusted to Nov. 15th so you can still join in. 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  i nformation on the mission west web site, under the events portion, looks for the  young adults tab .  

You can also download the updated Flyer and FAQs.

You may also contact the director of this event:
Rev. Alexandria 'Alex' Smith,  Director of Youth Ministries,  Westmont Christian Church
Cell: 512.971.9411  Email: alexsmith.westmont@gmail.com
For more information on Bridging Cultures, visit:  www.bridgingculturesmission.org/

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