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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)

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

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

MW Bylaws
The Mission West bylaws are on the webpage under the common mission team tab.  You can also see packets from recent meetings.
Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

December 1, 2015

We are excited to announce that several of our 
hope partnership
Mission  West churches are moving forward with Hope Partnership's New Beginnings and The Journey.  

These   churches have said yes to New Beginnings: 
  • Brook Hollow Christian Church, Abilene, TX
  • First Christian Church, Abilene, TX
  • First Christian Church, Liberal, KS
  • First Christian Church, Pampa, TX
  • First Christian Church,Spearman, TX
  • First Christian Church Stephenville, TX
These churches have said yes to the Journey:
  • First Christian Church, Las Cruces, NM
  • Northgate Christian Church, El Paso, TX 
The deadlines are upon us!   

Please get in touch with either:
to start your applications.

If your congregation has decided to participate, please let Charlotte know!
A Time of Anticipation
A Time of Anticipation
by Judith Dalton, Regional Moderator

One of the best parts of my volunteer work as Regional Moderator is fostering relationships with so many committed Christians throughout our vast Region. Though we are beautifully diverse, we share a common love of God. We serve God together to edify the very Body of Christ here in the Southwest Region and beyond. I am honored to introduce this online daily devotional for the Advent season. Many of our regional leaders have contributed, and I pray that as you experience this holy season you will find a blessing in this work.
We will post a daily devotional on Facebook beginning Sunday, November 29. For those who wish to use this series in a small group study or for personal reflection at your own pace, you may download a 
PDF of all of the Advent devotionals here or on the  website.

May you share hope, peace, joy and love during this season of Advent and in the days and months and years that follow. 

Standing Forms Due by Dec. 31
Ministers who seek standing for 2016 should complete the 2016 Request for Standing Form by the end of this year. You may do this  online  or by printing a  PDF  and sending that in to the Southwest Region office by  email  or U.S. mail.

We should be posting a version of the Request for Standing Form in Spanish on the website at 
ccsw.org/information-and-links  in the next few days. The website also has links to "Theological Foundations and Policies and Criteria for the Ordering of Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" in four languages and "CCSW Clergy Sexual Misconduct Policy."

Follow this link to sign up to receive the regional newsletter.
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
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.
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. 
Registration will begin on December 15, 2015 on Phillips Seminary  website.

Amanda Tatlock Seeks Ordination 
Amanda Tatlock Seeks Ordination 
Amanda Tatlock, a member of Monte Vista Christian Church in Albuquerque, has asked Monte Vista Christian Church to support her in her Ordination process and to accept her as a "Timothy."  The Board met this past Sunday after the Congregational meeting to unanimously accept her request.  A committee will be set up in the coming weeks to support her as she goes through this process.  In addition, the whole church body accepted her request and will be following her through this walk!

See more stories from Monte vista's newsletter here.
Save the Date for Phillips Seminary ReMind ReNew

ReMind ReNew 2016
What is the conversation about race Christians in the U.S. should be having?
The January 2016 Remind & Renew is intended to be a contribution to the conversation and argument about race that pockets of the nation and some religious communities are having.

While the conversation about race should be pursued with more vigor and expanded to more places, it is not the endgame. Liberty and justice for all is closer to what the goal should be.

The speakers we've invited for the conference represent various sectors of the church and academy. They have been asked to address the question, "What is the conversation about race Christians in the U.S. should be having, and how might that conversation contribute to liberty and justice for all?"

Speakers include: Sharon Watkins,  William Barber, Jennifer Harvey, Leah Gunning Francis, and Chebon Kernell.  You can find more information, register, and pay on the Phillips Seminary  webpage under ReMind Renew via this link:  http://ptstulsa.edu/RROverview2016.    

Save the Date for Brite Minsters Week

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Ministers Week 2016
February 15-18

The Power to Bless
February 15-18
Join us as Barbara Lundblad, Timothy Sandoval, Sara Miles, and Peter Steinke explore the many ways we as pastors and communities have the power to create wholeness in our world. Other speakers and workshop leaders include Sandhya Jha, Mack McCarter, Katie Hays, Mike Hunter, Micah James, and Roger Weddell.  Michael Bedford is our featured organist.  Check out the full schedule and list of offerings at   www.brite.edu/mw .  Registration opens TODAY.
We look forward to seeing you at Ministers Week 2016!

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. 


News from the Pension Fund
Hamlett to step down as Pension Fund President 
November 19, 2015
(Indianapolis, IN) James P. Hamlett, 8th President of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced that he will retire effective  August 31, 2016. Hamlett has served as President since January 1, 2004. He will be succeeded as president by the Reverend Dr. Todd A. Adams, who was called to be Senior Vice President / President-elect by Pension Fund's Board of Directors following an exhaustive nationwide search directed by Anne F. Keating, President of Keating Associates, LLC, and consultant to the search committee, chaired by the Reverend Dr. James P. Johnson. Adams will join Pension Fund on  March 1, 2016 and will become President on September 1, 2016.

In making the announcement, Hamlett stated "It has been my great honor to serve with extraordinary colleagues in this ministry to those who accepted the call to Christian ministry. Together we have sought to enhance the financial wellbeing of pastors, lay employees and retirees, holding firm to Pension Fund's core values of "Trust, Security and Compassion. During my years at Pension Fund, I have been blessed beyond measure by the support and encouragement of so many. I know Pension Fund will be in good hands as the mantle of leadership passes to Dr. Adams."

During his tenure as President, Hamlet has overseen the growth of Pension Fund from $2.07 Billion to more than $3 Billion in assets under management. He led the move to restructure the various financial programs into separate trusts, directed the development of reserves for each program to protect them from market volatility, launched IRA and Roth IRA programs, and directed the process to reestablish the Benefit Accumulation Account program. Under his leadership, Pension Fund weathered the market crash of 2008 -2009 with no reduction in pension benefits and no investment loss to any participant. Pension Fund's endowment, which provides resources for Ministerial Relief and Assistance programs, has grown from $25.2 million to more than $41.7 million during his tenure as President.

Hamlett is married to Linda Jonker Hamlett, his wife of more than 44 years. They have two adult children, Ryan Hamlett and Elizabeth Hamlett Slagle, both of Indianapolis, and two grand children, Dolores Slagle and Augustus Slagle.

Prior to joining the Pension Fund staff in August, 2001, Hamlett served more than 28 years with Board of Church Extension (Disciples Church Extension Fund) rising to the position of Vice President, Treasurer and CFO. He also served for two years at United Christian Missionary Society. His service to the Church spans more than 45 years.

Adams named senior vice president/president-elect
November 19, 2015
(Indianapolis, IN) The Board of Directors of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has called the Reverend Dr. Todd A. Adams to serve as Senior Vice President / President-Elect beginning March 1, 2016. Adams will become the Pension Fund's 9th Chief Executive on  September 1, 2016, following James P. Hamlett in that role. Adams currently serves as the denomination's Associate General Minister and Vice President.
The Reverend James P. Johnson, search committee chair, stated, "After a comprehensive, nationwide search, and following the Executive Search protocols of the church, Todd Adams rose to the top of our list. Over the past 8 years, he has demonstrated the key executive leadership skills the Board was seeking in our next President to continue the legacy of leadership of William Martin Smith, Lester Palmer, Art Hanna, and Jim Hamlett."

During his tenure in the Office of the General Minister and President, Adams has overseen the merger of Church Finance Council into the General Assembly, the creation of Treasury Services and the consolidation of Christian Church Services. These efforts have reallocated over $500,000 from administration to programmatic ministries. Currently, nineteen regional and general ministries of the church utilize treasury services with two more considering participation in 2016.
The Reverend Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President, shared with the search committee, "Todd is a faithful minister, skilled executive and devoted husband and father. He understands the Disciples context and is able to get things done within that context. Our church will be well served with him in this role."
Since July, 2014, Adams has served concurrently as the Interim President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, TN. Over the past 17 months, Adams has eliminated a $400,000 operating deficit, sold the building, and begun construction on a new archive in Bethany, West Virginia, working closely with a newly-constituted board of directors.
In his remarks to the Pension Fund Board, Adams shared his excitement about collaborating with the Pension Fund's staff to continue the legacy of a strong, smart and secure retirement for the church's employees. "We have a legacy of providing one of the best-managed and financially-sound defined benefit programs in the country. I am humbled by the Board's confidence and call to step into a long line of faithful leaders, caring for our church's servants."
Hamlett echoed the Board's decision, stating, "I am delighted by the calling of Todd Adams as Senior Vice President / President Elect. He brings considerable management and financial skills coupled with a strong commitment to ministry that will benefit Pension Fund and those it serves. I look forward to working with him in the coming months."
The Indianapolis-based Pension Fund has nearly $3B in assets under management, including the defined benefit program and alternative retirement and savings vehicles, in addition to managing the church's Healthcare Benefit Trust. The Pension Fund offers separate programs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Anne F. Keating, President of Fraser Keating Associates, LLC, served as the search consultant.
The Reverend Dr. Adams is a 1994 graduate of Chapman University. In 1997, he completed his Master of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary. He earned a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2007. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity from Bethany College in recognition of his service to the church.
Todd has been married to Kimberly Hall Adams for over 21 years. Todd and Kim met at the Pacific Southwest Regional Assembly, hosted by Chapman University. They have two children, Claire and Jackson. Claire, a high school senior, is a world junior record holder and a member of USA Swimming's National Team. She has committed to swim for the University of Texas. Jackson, a freshman, plays baseball for the Indiana Prospects and Carmel High School.
Members of the search committee included:
Rev. James P. Johnson, Chair; Peggy Brittan; Laura Reed Gelarden; Rev. Sandra Gourdet; Rev. Dr. Timothy James; Rev. Dr. William Lee; Rev. Dr. Janet Long, and Antonio Rodriguez.

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
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.

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