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In This Issue
Where in the West is Charlotte?

To follow Charlotte's travel and meeting schedule, you can always click here to view it on the Mission West website.
Upcoming Events

Oct 11 CEA JYF Fall Extravaganza at Brook Hollow Christian Church 10 am to 2 pm

Oct 10-12 a Young Adult retreat will be held in conjunction with the Jesus Seminar On the Road at the Chalice Abbey.  Young adults and the young at heart are encouraged to attend.

Oct 13 CEA CYC Google+ Meeting 7pm

Oct 15-17 "Bringing Our Veterans All The Way Home" A Conference on Community Support for Recovery from Moral Injury FCC Midland

Cypress Creek Christian Church, Spring, Texas, and Sunday Afternoon Webcast at Satellite Locations Around the Region

October 27 CEA Board Meeting at FCC Abilene or via conference call 6:30 pm

October 29-30 ACU Heritage Week-Sharon Watkins Attending

Oct 31 to Nov 2 B.A.M. Being About Ministry from Brite Divinity School for high school Juniors and Seniors considering ministry. 

Nov. 3-6 or Nov. 4-6 Spiritual Direction Retreat with Rev. Herb Lynsky at Norbertine Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM

Nov 14-16 CEA Fall Rally for CYF (9-12th grades) & Chi Rho (6-8th grades)
Dec 26-30/Jan 2 Mission.Sabbath.Ski "The Gospel According to Frozen" at Glorietta, NM.  Congregation wide event to help us engage in mission, sabbath, and a little skiing. 

The mission west calendar is being added to daily.  Please email if you would like your event added to this calendar. Calendar

Future Newsletter
Tell us about your ministry
Please submit your ministry stories and experiences by the 25th of each month to be included in future newsletters. 
Office Email

September 2, 2014

Please enjoy this month's newsletter and remember, October is Clergy Appreciation Month, please let your pastors know how much you appreciate them.

The mission west office has received a check from Week of Compassion for Black River Center for Learning for $1,000 to help in recovery from the flood that took place in September. 
Update on Black River Center for Learning from the President of Black River
I went to Black River on 9/23 as the water flowing from the creek was finally low enough to get across the low water crossing to the buildings.

I have to say to begin with that driving through the front gate the view of destruction is stunning.  It literally takes your breath away.  After walking the grounds with Don and taking lots of pictures (which I will forward once we get them off of the camera) it is now evident that the water flowing through the area between the manager's residence and the visible debris line on the other side of the river indicate a flood width of well over 300 feet.  The debris line in the tree at the low water crossing where the creek comes into the river is at about 10-11 feet and the debris line along the river banks indicates a river flood depth of 25-30 feet.  The greatest loss that Black River has sustained in this event is the loss of the trees.  Across from where the boat house once stood, only one tree remains on the island.  Behind the island, only three trees remain.  All else from there on down stream is essentially gone.  All that remains of the boat house is two 3" broken off stubs of 4' by 4' sticking up out of the concrete slab.  All else, including handrails, is gone.

Fortunately, all of the main buildings were well above flood stage except for the Chapel.  We have water damage from ground water in all buildings.  However, I asked Jane and Don to go into town and purchase at least a dozen box fans so that we can dry the buildings out as quickly as possible.

The insurance adjuster comes today.  No, we did not have flood insurance but we do have $25,000 of Specialty Insurance.  I had hoped that maybe the footbridge to the fire pit area had just come off of it's piers and was lying in the creek bottom so we could just have a crane pick it up and reset it.  But no.  The bridge is now fully visible on the creek bank closest to the dorms and it has been twisted like a pretzel.  Total loss there.

Clean up has begun today.  We will soon announce workdays and the need for lots of chainsaws, rakes, etc.

Please keep Black River in your prayers.  While the river beauty of the river has now been totally changed for our lifetimes, Black River remains, we will continue in ministry, and we will be ready for our next batch of guests.

If your church would like to organize a work party to assist in the recovery, please be in touch with Directors Jane and Don Chilcutt,

Donations may be sent to:
Black River Center for Learning
1159 Black River Village Rd
Carlsbad, NM  88220

The good news is that Black River is back in operation as of Sunday, September 28 and all main buildings have been restored to pre-flood condition.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our manager's and our ministry!

Rev. David Grousnick, President
Black River Board of Directors

View from the boat dock in 2012

Where the boat house was located

View up river from the boat house

View from down river from outside the worship area

Youth & Young Adult News
Don't Miss these youth and young adult events 

  • Nov. 14-16 CEA Fall Rally at LBCR for CYF (Grades 9-12) and Chi Rho (Grades 6-8).  

  • Dec. 28- 31 "The Gospel According to Frozen" Ski. Sabbath. Mission at Glorietta, NM & Santa Fe Ski. Find out more information and register
  • Jan 10 Mission West Youth Meeting at First Christian Church Lubbock


The idea of four Disciple youth ministers has turned into a gathering of 350 youth from Disciple churches and other denominations.  Rev. Fester Coffee-Prose, Rev. Brent Parker, Rev. Cory Glover and Rev. Regina Attaway started Disciples Summer Mission with the idea of wanting to do a mission trip together. Rev. Fester Coffee-Prose said, "We could never have dreamed what God would do with that small idea." In 2011, nearly 80 youth and adults gathered in Midland, Texas. We worked on houses, spent time with senior adults in nursing homes, and in after school programs with low-income children. In 2012, more than 140 youth and adults traveled to northwest Arkansas to serve the communities of Rogers, Bentonville, and Fayetteville. On two of the days, the groups crossed the border into Missouri to join the continuing efforts to rebuild Joplin. The youth served senior adult families, homeless shelters, and helped to cross off items from the overwhelming to-do list of Americorp.


In the summer of 2013, Disciple Summer Mission (DSM) traveled to New Orleans. DSM worked with the Epworth project in Slidell, LA. Great community was not only built among the 326 youth and adults that attended but also with homeowners. Houses were painted, ramps were built, and insulation and drywall put into homes that were still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.  Rev. Karakay Kovaly was added to the leadership team on this trip. Each year has been filled with meaningful work, growing community between multiple Disciples of Christ churches across the Southwest Region and beyond. Churches from the Episcopal and Nazarene denominations join us for this great trip.


Last year, DSM headed to Oklahoma City, OK.  Over the course of three days, the group of nearly 350 youth and adults from 28 churches in 7 states fully transformed the exterior of 30 homes with a fresh coat of paint. The community that gathered together was impacted mightily by our shared work, by time together at the Oklahoma City Memorial & Museum, and by the many lives which were changed as a result of being the recipients of God's grace...both the homeowners and the missionaries.


Due to the overwhelming response DSM continues to experience to our summer mission projects, Disciple Summer Mission has made the step of faith to host TWO TRIPS in 2015. The DSM leadership team has committed to hosting a trip to both Albuquerque, NM and Nashville, TN. Both trips will take place June 29 - July 3. Registration information and trip details for each event will be our website ( soon. Come join the largest gathering of Disciples youth and other denominations for Disciple Summer Mission 2015.



Check out a few newspaper articles  of our past trips







Bringing Our Veterans All the Way Home  in Midland

A Conference on Community Support for Recovery from Moral Injury, presented by Brite Divinity School, Soul Repair Center at First Christian Church, Midland, TX, October 15-17  for more information visit
Regional Assembly Oct . 25-26
Opportunity to host Regional Assembly web streaming

Arrangements are being made to live stream the Sunday business and worship sessions of the CCSW Regional Assembly, Sunday October 26, 3-6pm central time, to churches in the western half of the region (Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo and west).  First Christian Church, El Paso and Monte Vista Christian Church have already committed to hosting the live stream (2pm - 5pm mountain time.   if your church would like to host this streaming session for other Disciple churches within driving distance, please call or email Charlotte 915-525-1209 or email her at

The 2014 Southwest Regional Assembly is being held at Cypress Creek Christian Church, Spring, TX, October 25-26.  You can find more information at the Assembly website, You can download a pdf or jpg to  publicize in your congregation, see the different learning tracks available, print out registration forms, register online and more.  

Do did you know the Southwest region also has a great newsletter? You can sign up here
For Spiritual Renewal and 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 clergy retreat is schedule for November 3-6 at the Norbertine Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM.  

The first day, November 3, 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 November 4, 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 November 4, 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, November 6.  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 her  To register on the Mission West website, please follow this link.

Clergy Continuing Education Grants from DHM
The period of application for clergy continuing education grants awarded by Disciples Home Missions for the 2015 calendar year will be between September 1 and October 31, 2014.   This is a change from last year's application period, and is meant to facilitate application requests for events earlier in the calendar year. 

If you would like to be considered for a DHM Clergy Continuing Education Grant next year (2015), you must apply during the application window. The Website where instructions and application can be found is at: 

This is is the fifith of a monthly email newsletter sent to all participants in Mission West.  If you missed previous newsletters, you can see them in the  News section of our web site.  This newsletter will arrive on the first Tuesday of each month.  For those that would like paper copies please call the office at 806.358.9590 and we will mail you a paper version.

One of our goals in Mission West is to help connect churches to one another.  Rather than a model of ministry as a hub of a wheel, Mission West  hopes to work as an interconnected web.  One way to accomplish this goal is by sharing our stories and experiences in ministry.  If you have a ministry that you would like highlighted, please let me know , no later than the 25th of each month to be shared in following issues.

Blessings on your journey,

Karakay Kovaly
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Are you or someone you know tech savvy?
The formation of a communications team is coming together but we are lacking someone who is tech savvy to help diversify the team.  Are you or someone you know tech savvy and willing to help Mission West formulate it's communications plan?  Please submit nominations to Karakay at your earliest opportunity. 

Churches seeking pastoral leadership
Pastor, Brook Hollow CC, Abilene TX

Pastor, FCC, Plainview TX

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

First Christian Church, Miami, TX

Bethany Christian Church, El Paso, TX

First Christian Church, Alamogordo, NM

Youth Minister
First Christian Church,
San Angelo, TX

Inquiries for more information should be directed to:
Lead Minister, Mission West
Mission West | |
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX 79109

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