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In This Issue


March 19-21 Progressive Youth Ministry Conference Chicago, IL


March 19 HPA North Cluster Meeting FCC Stratford


March 20-21 CCSW Regional Executive Council Meeting


March 26 CEA Big Country Cluster


March 28 The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness  Hidden in Plain Sight, Stephanie Shepherd - FCC Abilene


April 1 Commissioned Ministers Renewal Deadline


April 3-4 HPTRA Youth Ministry Team Planning meeting FCC Amarillo


April 9 HPA South Clergy Cluster Meeting FCC Brownfiled


April 10-12 CEA Spring Rally


April 13-16 Clergy Retreat Norbertine Retreat Center Albuquerque


April 16 HPA North Clergy Cluster Meeting


April 17-19 CEA Women's Retreat LBCR


April 18 CYF Day at TCU


April 18 The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness  Hidden in Plain Sight, Stephanie Shepherd - Los Altos CC Albuquerque 


April 20 TRA Border Clergy Cluster Meeting


April 20-23 Faith Forward Chicago, IL


April 23 Early Bird Registration Deadline for Summer Camps


April 23 CEA Big Country Cluster


April 25 TRA Assembly FCC El Paso


April 27 TRA Mountain Clergy Cluster Retreat Morning Norbertine Retreat Center, Albuquerque


May 2 CEA Assembly FCC San Angelo

May 9 Reflections of Disciples History, Chalice Abbey

March 17, 2015

Enjoy this month's news, there is a lot going on in our areas and Mission West.  Please continue to pray for our collaborative ministry efforts.

We hope Lent is off to a good start in your congregations, if you are looking for resources, check out the Disciples Home Missions study  which can also be downloaded from the DHM Website .  There are also a variety of resources for Easter and Lent listed in another portion of the DHM website. The Salt Project also has some amazing videos that can be customized for your church on a sliding scale.

Status of Healthcare 

Reimbursement for Clergy. 

Summary of IRS Notice 2015-17

On March 3rd news broke of IRS changes that affect the insurance reimbursement possibility that ended under ACA.  Included are some key highlights from Mike Hunter of FCC Midland.

Summary of IRS Notice 2015-17

Status of Healthcare 

Reimbursement for Clergy


The highlights:

  • Employers can reimburse health insurance premiums on individually purchased policies pre-tax through June 30, 2015.
  • Employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalents don't have to file IRS Form 8928, even if they did have ACA violations in 2014. Employers with more than 50 full-time equivalents need to report their violations on Form 8928, but can seek relief for these violations on the Form 8928 if they can demonstrate reasonable cause for the violations and take steps to remedy the violations within 30 days of discovering them.
  • By June 30, 2015, employers must stop paying for or reimbursing individual health insurance unless they have just one employee. After that date, ACA penalties will be incurred if health care reimbursement arrangements are continued.
  • If employers have only one employee, they can continue reimbursing health care premiums on a pre-tax basis, even past June 30, 2015.
  • Employers who have more than one employee and are not in a bona fide group plan but want to continue to help pay insurance costs need to change the way this is done after June 30, 2015, to avoid penalties. The way to do this is to increase salaries to cover health care premiums without requiring that the salary increase be used only for that purpose.
  • Employers should also consider amending their 2014 payroll reports and W-2s to treat reimbursed health care insurance premiums as non-taxable.
Here is a link to a recent blog article.

Guidance on the Application of Code � 4980D to Certain Types of Health Coverage Reimbursement Arrangements Notice 2015-17.
The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness  Hidden in Plain Sight, 
Stephanie Shepherd - 
FCC Abilene-March 28th. 
Registration Deadline March 21
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 The Eucatastrophe (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. (March 21, 2015 for the class in Abilene).

Contact the Mission West office to register or register online or c all 806-358-9590 or email   missionwest@ccsw.org; M ail payments/checks payable to:  Mission West,  2717 Stanley St. Ste A,  Amarillo, TX 7910.

For further course questions, please contact Charlotte Hoppe

This class is also offered on April 18th at Los Altos Christian Church in Albuquerque, NM and on October 3rd at the Chalice Abbey in Amarillo, TX.  You can register online now!
Quick Links
Rescheduled Commissioned Minister Classes

Due to weather and a death in the family the two classes have been rescheduled.

Creating a Culture of Generosity, Bruce Barkhauer - Abilene From February 14 to August 29th

Reflections of Disciples History and Polity in Church,   John Imbler - Albuquerque From February 28 to September 12 
Churches seeking pastoral leadership
Brook Hollow CC
Abilene TX

First Christian Church
Plainview, TX

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

First Christian Church, Miami, TX

First Christian Church, Alamogordo, NM

Youth Minister
First Christian Church,
San Angelo, TX

First Christian Church
Canyon, TX

First Christian Church
Stinnett, TX

First Christian Church
Albany, TX

Inquiries for more information should be directed to:
Lead Minister, Mission West
Where in the West is Charlotte? 
To see where Charlotte is traveling over the next few months, see our calendar page

The Mission West calendar is being added to daily.  Please email if you would like your event added to this calendar.
Prayer Requests
John Givens, pastor of Community Christian Church in Lubbock is home from the hospital.  Please continue to lift him up for healing during his recovery.

Tell us about your ministry
Please  Email Karakay with   your ministry stories and experiences by the 25th of each month to be included in future newsletters. 
CEA Spring Rally April 10-12
Roster Registration Deadline March 20th
April 10-12 CEA Spring Rally. Download the full package

3rd to 5th Grade, 6th to 8th Grade, and 9th to 12th Grade at Circle 6. 

$90 per person. 

Postmark deadline is March 20. 

See the letter about the rally and please use the updated forms.

Arrival time is 9pm on Friday, April 10

Departure Time is 10 am on Sunday, April 12


2014 DWM Quadrennial Assembly to be their last

We celebrate the legacy of the rich memories, ministry and mission of the Quadrennial Assembly experience.


After an additional time of prayerful discernment the Executive Committee of International Disciples Women's Ministries has determined, with sadness, that the Quadrennial Assembly of 2014 was our last.


We grieve this loss.


We are Disciples Women; let us reach out to each other in this time.


God has shown us what is good and has required of us to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8) While we grieve, we move forward in discernment as Disciples Women continues to be a conduit for diverse connections.


In the words of one of those wise women in our history, Claudia Grant:

"The legacy left by our foremothers is not the structure we celebrate. It is the commitment to the mission that always calls for the transformation and a willingness to risk doing what needs to be done in our times to do the mission."



Together we will continue to answer God's call and celebrate our joint ministry to empower each woman to find her voice and live out her call.


Peace and Blessings,

Executive Committee 2014-2018

Disciples Women's Ministries 
PO Box 1986 Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986 
Phone: 317-635-3100 

Download a pdf of the announcement

Commissioned Ministers Renewal
As the Central, Hi Plains and Tres Rios Areas have begun to work together in many of our ministries, including the certification, training and support of Commissioned Ministers (formerly known as Licensed Ministers) we have moved to one annual date for the renewal of commissions.  From 2015 onward every Commissioned Minister Certificate will be renewed for one year on  May 1 .  Attached to this email, you will find all the documents you need to complete for renewal of your commission.  You will also receive via US mail, at your church or place of ministry, hard copies of these same forms.  We hope to work in the future to move most of this process online.  However, this year you must: 
1. Print and fill out the forms 
2. Mail or scan and email these forms

Please complete the following forms and return to our Mission West office in Amarillo by  April 1, 2015
1. Commission Request Form (this form also requires signature of board chairperson)

Each commission will begin on  May 1, 2015 and expire  April 30, 2016.  After forms are reviewed by Lead Minister, Rev. Charlotte Hoppe and the chairperson for your Area Committee on Ministry, a copy of these forms will be filed in the Mission West office and the originals will be sent to the Regional Office, where the certificate is prepared and signed by the Regional Minister, Rev. Coretha Loughridge.  The Regional office will return a signed certificate and standing card to our Mission West office and I will add my signature and the certificate and standing card will then be mailed to you.  We will also keep a copy of your certificate and standing card in your file in our office.

Mailing address for completed forms:
Mission West
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX  79109

Also included for your information and use are:

In 2013 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest approved a new educational policy to comply with the 2011 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Policies and Criteria for the Order of Ministry.  According to that 2013 Policy:
Each commissioned minister is required to attend three (3) education events per year.  One (1) event out of the three (3) may be a non-Mission West event, if its content falls within one (1) of the Areas of Ministerial Practice  and the Approval Form is submitted six (6) weeks in advance.  Each year we keep a record of your attendance at education events in your file, but you may also submit an Attendance Record Form to help us keep accurate  count.  Failure to attend three (3) education events per year may result in a one (1) year probationary period.  Continued non-compliance may result in forfeiture of commission.  

All of these forms and a copy of the CCSW Education Policy are available on the Mission West website -  http://missionwestccsw.org/#/clergy-support.  Scroll to the bottom of the right hand column and you will find all forms needed for the renewal of your commission.

If you have any questions, you may call or email the Mission West office and Angeline will answer or consult with me or the Area Committee Chairpersons:
Angeline Martinez, Mission West Administrative Assistant,  806-358-9590missionwest@ccsw.org

Rev. Mike Hunter, Central Area,  mhunter@fccmidland.org
Rev. David Theel, Hi Plains Area,  dtheel@ccsw.org
Rev. Keith Gibbons, Tres Rios Area,  revelvis@att.net

Thank you for your dedicated service in the ministry with the folks and congregations of Mission West.  I appreciate you!  If I can answer any questions or be supportive in any way, please be in touch!


You and your congregation are encouraged to promote General Assembly attendance this month, during your gatherings. 


The early registration discount expires on April 1, so now is the time to register and save about 20 percent on the registration fee.


There is a collection of videos, logos, downloadable bulletin inserts, newsletter "blurbs" and more available for you on the ga.disciples.org/promotion page. 


There is even a two-sided flier that can be converted to a paper airplane to add a little fun.

The pre-trip to Albuquerque was a huge success.  Thank you to all the congregation members and pastors who showed up to collaborate on how we can help impact ABQ with our hands and feet and the love of Jesus.

All Group RSVP Deadline was March 1st
If you have not already, please send in your Group RSVP Form and $75 per person to Brazos Condra at FCC Abilene for the Albuquerque Trip. The Nashville Trip is already closed due to having more than 250 registrations.

Individual Registration Forms and remaining $200 per person are due by June 1st. 

We are asking our congregations to help us meet our congregation members and neighbors that could use our help.  Please download the  form for congregation and homeowner permission form to provide a service and share within and outside of your communities.

For more information visit the web site at: http://www.disciplesummermission.com  

8ers "Created to Be Me Camp" Early Bird Registration Deadline is April 15th

Eighter's will be held in Athens at Disciples Crossing this Year.  It is July 5-11. "Created to Be Me" Camp, 8'ers is designed to teach campers about spirituality and sexuality through a wonderful Christian curriculum and is only available to those who have completed the 8th grade this year.  Parents will receive detailed information about each day's topic and theme after they enroll their camper in the session. 


Disciples Crossing Summer Camp registration opens March 15th!  

Early Bird deadline:  April 15th $385 

Regular Price deadline:  May 15th $415

Late Registration deadline:  two weeks before your event begins June 28th $455


If you would like to know more about CLER Ministries, please visit their website at http://clerministries.org.    

Enjoy the video below filmed in 2011 in at Camp Mary Mac in Sharpsburg, MD on of the camps of the Christian Church Capital Area (which is the regional manifestation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), serving over 48 congregations in Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and West Virginia.) 

"Created to Be Me" - a unique summer camp experience for soon-to-be ninth graders



Central Area Women's Retreat April 17-19 

Greetings pastors, church leaders, and faithful servants!  

I am Beth Dukes from First Christian Abilene and have been a women's retreat attendee for the past 3 years.  I am trying to generate interest and attendance to the Central Area Women's Retreat and created a promotional video for you to use with your churches.   The promo video is now able to be shared amongst your women's disciple groups, life-groups, Sunday school classes, leadership retreats, in all of your church services and anywhere else you deem necessary to get the word out!  PLEASE share (I'm not a professional, but I did work hard on it!).  I want every single church to be represented!  If you need help in showing this, please let me know...I will help in any way I'm able.    

Look at the Sundays in your church calendar and determine when you will show it: 
March 22nd -- show as you're able to life groups, sunday schools, etc... 
March 29th -- Palm Sunday -- Please show video!
April 5th -- EASTER Sunday -- ask someone in your church if they are going with you! 
April 12th -- Show video one last time and collect last minute registrations. 
April 17-19 -- WOMEN'S RETREAT  

Register securely online at:  centralareawomensretreat.com or 
use this specific link here:  ONLINE REGISTRATION HERE

REGISTRATION TO PRINT OUT can be found by clicking here

Make checks payable to: Central Area Women's Retreat
If mailing registrations, mail to Central Area Women's Retreat
2802 North 1st St. 
Abilene, TX 79603

--Above is the link that will take you directly to youtube (where the video has been exported)
--There is background music playing, so caution with the volume if you're at work :)
--Please test your settings and HOW you will play this before you share with other women.  Use full-screen, turn up the sound, if it's a large group, put a microphone near your computer's speaker, etc...
--there are two deaf women featured in this video that attended the retreat two years ago.  One may be difficult to understand...she is saying, "The retreat is a safe place to let it all out...sometimes we hold things in and hold it in, but that's not good, we have to let it all out."


2015 Central Area Women's Retreat at 

Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat on 

April 17-19, 2015.  


The theme for this year's retreat is "Caution: Women at Work".  The scripture reference for the weekend is Philippians 2:13 - "...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." 


We are excited and honored to have Dr. Rev. Dawn Darwin Weaks as our keynoter.


Join us for a weekend of discovery and spiritual renewal. 


Registration Fee: $110   

Saturday Only:   $75  


If you pay by credit card online there is an additional 2.9% +$0.30 fee to do so.  You may also send in a check.


You can view more detailed information at their website: http://www.centralareawomensretreat.com/


We look forward to spending a rewarding weekend with you!  


Anita Beal
Central Area Women's Retreat
Committee Chairperson/Coordinator

The Risks and Rewards of Fearless Preaching with Robin Meyers  
April 18th in Albuquerque
We want to emphasize that this day is not only for preachers. The day will include discussion about how congregations can better support, encourage, and engage "Fearless Preaching" to build congregational vitality. 

Please don't hesitate to reply or call if you have questions.
Thank you!
The Rev. Dr. Donna L. McNiel
Executive Director
New Mexico Conference of Churches
We've Moved!
1019 2nd St. NW
Abq, NM 87102

Phone:  505-243-6234
FAX:  505-243-6711

CYF Day at TCU is April 18
CYF Day at TCU


April 18  CYF Day at TCU in conjunction with a good baseball game,  where at least according to the pre-season rankings,   the TCU team is among the top teams in the US.     

More info will follow as it comes in. Please let Karakay know if you receive any updates as well.
2015 Camp Information Early Bird Registrations deadline is April 23rd

It's time to start registering for camp!  We are excited to see what God has in store for us this year through our youth and outdoor ministries.


In this packet you will find: 

  • Guidelines for registrations

  • Grid for post mark deadlines, costs, and who to make checks payable
  • What to do in your congregation
  • Postmark Deadline for Registration & Payment Policy
  • Refund Policy
  • Director Contact Information
  • Campground Information
  • What to Bring and Not Bring to Camp
  • Roster Registration Forms
  • Camp Registration Forms
  • Camp Flyers (in separate downloads listed below in the grid)


Guidelines for Registrations


We are continuing with roster registrations as they have proved helpful in simplifying the registration process for our churches, campers, parents and staff.   Rosters will be filled out and sent into the Mission West office in accordance with the deadlines listed in the grid below  Campers will still fill out registration forms and turn them into you, the local church, but instead of mailing them into the office, you or your representatives will bring them to the event.  Your church is financially responsible for the number of participants you sign up for on your roster.  It is the preference for the roster 

registrations to be sent digitally in the xls spreadsheet, then sending a paper copy along with payment to the office. Payment must reach the office within postmark deadline to be eligible for that tier of payment. 


Below you will find the event dates, type and location of each camp, the appropriate grades 

associated with each event, postmark deadlines for early bird, regular registration, late registration, and who the check should be payable to. Please be sure to make checks 

payable to the area hosting the event.  


Please note that the early bird registration deadline is Thursday, April 23rd and you or your congregation must pay 1/2 down.





Grid for post mark deadlines, costs, and who to make checks payable


TYPE/Location (Click to download flyer)


Early Bird Price  (Must pay 1/2 down)


(Full Amount Due)


(Full Amount Due)

Check Payable to

June 8-13

CEA CYF Conference, LBCR

9th to 12th Grades

$350 by April 23

$380 by May 11

$405 after May 12

Central Area

June 10-14

Mission West Chi Rho Camp, LBCR

6th to 8th Grades

$310 by April 23

$335 by May 13

$380 after May 14

Mission West

June 17-20

TRA Elementary Camp, BRCL

1st to 5th Grades and their Families

$250 by April 23

$275 by May 1

$300 after May 2

Tres Rios Area

June 21-26

HPTRA CYF Conference, BRCL

9th to 12th Grades

$320 by April 23

$345 by May 23

$370 after May 24

Mission West

June 26-28

CEA Grand Beginnings, LBCR

4 years old to 3rd Grades with Parents or Grandparents

$100 by April 23

$125 by May 29

$150 after May 30

Central Area

July 6 -10


3rd to 5th Grades

$300 by April 23

$325 by June 15

$350 after June 16

Central Area

July 13-17

HPA JYF Camp, Ceta Glen

3rd to 5th Grades

$320 by April 23

$345 by June 22

$370 after June 23

Hi Plains Area


All adult & steward registration forms must be sent into the office & received by the regular registration deadline to ensure annual background checks are completed & that the individual has completed child abuse awareness training in the last two years.

What to do in your congregation

Please make copies and distribute them to all eligible youth in your congregation/community.   Procedure for registration is as follows:

  1. Publicize event well in advance by posting/mailing flyers and related materials.
  2. Hold a camp Sunday promotion in your congregation.
  3. Each student  must complete a registration form, a medical form with release, copy of their insurance card, camp covenant and release.
  4. Sponsors and Stewards must complete a registration form, a medical form with release, copy of their insurance card, camp covenant, release, 3 references (one being a pastor or board chairperson from the sponsoring congregation), Code of Ethics and Rules for Camp Stewards/Sponsors, and background check form.  All adult and steward forms must be received by the regular registration deadline to ensure annual background checks are completed and that the individual has completed child abuse awareness training in the last two years.
  5. Please send roster registrations along with proper remittance to the Mission West office at 2717 Stanley St., Ste. A, Amarillo, TX 79109 by the postmark deadlines.  Make event checks payable to who is hosting the event (See Grid attached in this letter).
  6. Keep the original camper registration forms and insurance cards and take them to camp with you and deliver them at the registration table.  
  7. Notify event director(s) directly for any late registrations.   The director must confirm acceptance after the regular registration deadline. 

Post Mark Deadline for Registration & Payment Policy

  • All roster's and payments are to be postmarked by the postmark deadlines. 
  • In order to receive the early bird discount, at least 1/2 of camp fees per person must be postmarked and paid by Thursday, April 23, 2015.
  • If a church or individual sends in their roster, without payment after the postmark deadline for any tier, the next tier fee's will be assessed per registrant. 
  • Individual directors do not have the authority to wave this fee. 
  • Roster Registrations may not be accepted after the postmark deadline at the discretion of the director.

 Refund Policy

  • 100% less $25.00 for medical emergency cancellations up to the beginning hour of the rally/retreat/camp or with 7 days advance written requests;
  • 50% less $25.00 after the beginning hour of rally/retreat/camp for medical emergency cancellations only.
  • No refunds for non-emergency cancellations after the beginning hour of rally/retreat/camp (i.e., no shows).
  • No refunds or proration will be granted if a child/parent or adult decides to cut a camp short -whether the decision is made before, after, or during a rally/retreat/camp starts.
  • If the camp decides that a child must go home due to illness or some other condition, up to the midpoint of camp, fees may be prorated with a cap of 50%. After the midpoint of camp, no refund will be granted.


This policy has been established because the camp programs incur costs in planning for any child or adult to be present at the camp.  Food is purchased ahead of time as well as supplies for crafts and other events. Mission West/Areas are charged for every meal and night's stay per person enrolled.


For questions or concerns specific to these events, please contact the director listed on the event flyer for the specific event.  For questions or concerns regarding other issues related to youth ministry or our Mission West/Area camping program, please contact Karakay S. Kovaly or a member of your Children and Youth Ministry Committee or Outdoor Ministry Committees.


We look forward to your participation!

2015-16 Area Officers for the Central Area Youth Ministry Council
Dear Central Area Churches,

We are excited to announce the 2015-16 Area Officers for the Central Area Youth Ministry. Each applicant goes through an intense interview process. This process includes gathering of reference letters and a face to face interview with the Nomination Committee. This year we had six exceptionally talented applicants. The following have been selected as Area Officers:
Charlye Campbell- FCC Midland
John Espino- FCC Midland
Carly Price- FCC Albany
Emily Usry- FCC San Angelo
Jordan Waters- FCC San Angelo
James Watson- FCC Abilene

Area Officers are expected to plan and lead all area camping programs for High School youth. In addition to these responsibilities they lead two weekend rallies that include Central Area Middle School youth. We are proud and excited to be serving along side these six students. 

2015 Central Area Nomination Committee

Rev. T.J. York- Youth Council Moderator
Jonna Russell- Vice Moderator
Rev. Ben Hubert
Laura Pittinger

Youth Committee Members- 
Graham Watson- Area Regional
Sarah Jones- President
Blair Brawley- Vice President
Mariah McIntosh

Association for Disciple Musicians event to take place 
June 23-28 at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO
Greetings, Regional Ministry Partners!  Among the many Disciples hats I wear I am pleased to be serving on the planning committee for this year's Association for Disciple Musicians event to take place  June 23-28 at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.  Registration information is already on the DHM website, with more being added to the ADM Facebook page.  A paper flier will be in the mail to local churches in March.


Would be so kind as to disseminate the attached flier to your congregations and through other communications channels you have with your pastors and church leaders?  We feel this is a quality event and worthy of consideration for musicians, ministers, and other worship-and creative-minded individuals.  It is scheduled a month away from general assembly, so this may be a nice alternative for staff who may be looking for something geared more toward musicians.


Thank you for whatever you can do to get the word out.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Blessings, and have a wonderful week.


Please note below the new address and phone numbers for my office.  Thank you.
Kirby Hughes Gould, Vice-President
Christian Church Foundation
6101 Nall Avenue
Mission, KS  66202
816-665-8446 cell
Join me on Facebook!
Follow me on Twitter!
Mission West | missionwest@ccsw.org | www.missionwestccsw.org
2717 Stanley St. Ste A
Amarillo, TX 79109