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In This Issue

May 9 Reflections of Disciples History, Chalice Abbey

May 10 Mothers Day

May 11   CEA CYF Conference Regular Registration Deadline

May 11-13 Clergy Spiritual Retreat at Ceta Canyon

May 13 MW Chi Rho Regular Registration Deadline

May 14 HPA South Clergy Cluster meeting at Westmont CC

May 15 Regular Registration Deadline for 8ers/Created to be me Camp

May 16 LBCR Board Meeting

May 18 TRA Border Cluster

May 21 HPA North Clergy Cluster

May 21 HPA Executive Committee meeting 

May 23 HPTRA CYF Conference Regular Registration Deadline

May 24 Ordination for Kevin Howe at Monte Vista Christian Church

May 25 Memorial Day

May 28 CEA Big Country Cluster

May 29 CEA Grand Beginnings Regular Registration Deadline

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. 
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.
DHM Family and Children's Ministries New Website
Don't miss out on the DHM Family and Children's ministry new web site.  You can also follow them on other social media outlets


Prayer Requests
Please pray for Chuck Fisher who is in California with his sister who is in hospice care. 

May 5, 2015

We hope your May is off to a good start.  In this issue you will find reminders about all the events happening in Mission West.  We hope to see you soon.
Clergy Spiritual Retreat 
May 11- 13 at Ceta Canyon
Please consider joining us on  May 11-13 at Ceta Canyon Retreat Center3720 FM 1721, Happy, TX, at Cline Lodge. Cost is $150 to attend.  


It is important to Mission West to provide clergy an opportunity to separate out 48 hours from their busy  schedules to find renewal through exercises led by a trained Spiritual Director, David Hargrave, and the fellowship and  support of colleagues in ministry.


Please also mark your calendars for the fall retreat on October 12-14.   


If interested, contact the Mission West office for more information or to register.  Call 806-358-9590, email, or register online.  For further questions, Charlotte Hoppe at choppe@ccsw.org


Reflections of Disciples History and Polity in the Church Today May 9th in Amarillo from 

9 am to 3 pm with Dr. John Imbler from 

Phillips Seminary

Please don't forget to register for the May 9th class

"Reflections of Disciples History and Polity in Church Today"

with Dr. John Imbler from Phillips Theological seminary at 

The Chalice Abbey and Mission West office, 2717 Stanley St., Ste. A, Amarillo, Tx 79109. 

Class will begin at 9am and conclude at 3pm. 

Registration deadline was Saturday, May 2nd, please contact the  Mission West office  today if you are planning on attending.  You can call 806-358-9590 or  email  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
This class is also offered on September 12 in Albuquerque at Los Altos Christian Church and 
o n October 24 in Abilene at the First Christian Church.
Quick Links
Updates on Area Assemblies
Plans for spring Area Assemblies have been put on hold as conversations continue with each Area board and council as to how to share in the business of the Areas, while visioning new ways to do ministry together. 

An annual meeting for each Area is important for member congregations to be able to participate in ministry decisions and will be announced sometime in 2015.  Most likely the Area annual gatherings will be held in conjunction with some other education or ministry gathering.  We will make Area business and governance reports available on the Missions West website,  missionwestccsw.org. Watch our newsletter for future announcements, or share your ideas with each Area Moderator:

Central Area - Greg Porterfield -  greg735@gmail.com

High Plains Area - Dick Snyder -  amaslim@aol.com

Tres Rios Area - Patrick Crocker -  arkhanon@yahoo.com

Churches seeking pastoral leadership
First Christian Church
Big Spring, TX

Pastor/New Church Planter
First Christian Church
Santa Fe, NM

First Christian Church
Lampassas, TX

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

Congratulations to Brook Hollow Christian Church in Abilene, TX for the unanimous vote to call Pastor Penny Biddy and Pastor Chesna Riley as their co-pastors!  Installation will take place on May 31st in the evening.

Congratulations to FCC Alamogordo in NW for calling Rev. Jeff Swanson, ELCA Lutheran retired military chaplain as their interim. 

Welcome to Pastor William "Bill" Pollock who begins his call with Bethany Christian Church in El Paso, Tx.
Rescheduled Commissioned Minister Classes

The Disguise of the Ordinary: Finding Spiritual Goodness Hidden in Plain Sigh with Stephanie Shepherd in Amarillo. From October 3rd to November 7th.

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 
Hi Plains Area Call for Nominations
The HPA Executive board is seeking nominations for several two two year terms beginning July 1.  A member at large and assistant treasurer are open positions.  Primary duty of the assistant treasurer would be the signing of checks in the absence of the treasurer so it would be desirable for the individual holding this position to live in the Amarillo area.  HPA maintains offices in the Chalice Abbey located in Amarillo.   The board  provides support and direction  for Area staff and ministries and oversees Area finances,  The board encourages representation from both laity and ministers while maintaining both geographic and church size diversity.  The board generally meets quarterly via conference call but occasionally, more frequent meetings are required. Nominations or questions may be submitted to any board or staff member by May 21st.
Current HPA Executive Board Members

Dan Anderson Pastor FCC Perryton - drev33@ptsi.net
Wyatt Fenno Pastor Westmont , Lubbock - wyatt.westmont@gmail.com
Darlene Ford Member FCC Liberal - alwaysbusy.24712@yahoo.com
Linda Pitman Member FCC Canyon - lfpitman@gmail.com
Dick Snyder Member FCC Amarillo - amaslim@aol.com

Ex Officio Staff
Karakay Kovaly Mission West Minister of Youth and Communication kkovaly@ccsw.org member FCC Spearman & Chalice Abbey
Charlotte Hoppe Mission West Area Minister choppe@ccsw.org Monte Vista Christian Church

2015 Camp Information Regular Registration Deadlines are approaching

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. Please be sure to make

checks payable to the area hosting the  event.  


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. 

, April 23rd and To be eligible 
Please note that the early bird registration deadline is 
for this tier  you or your congregation must pay 1/2 down .




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





(Full Amount Due)


(Full Amount Due)

Check Payable to

June 8-13

CEA CYF Conference, LBCR

9th to 12th Grades

$380 by May 11

$405 after May 12

Central Area

June 10-14

Mission West Chi Rho Camp, LBCR

6th to 8th Grades

$335 by May 13

$380 after May 14

Mission West

June 17-20

TRA Elementary Camp, BRCL

1st to 5th Grades and their Families

$275 by May 1

$300 after May 2

Tres Rios Area

June 21-26

HPTRA CYF Conference, BRCL

9th to 12th Grades

$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

$125 by May 29

$150 after May 30

Central Area

July 6 -10


3rd to 5th Grades

$325 by June 15

$350 after June 16

Central Area

July 13-17

HPA JYF Camp, Ceta Glen

3rd to 5th Grades

$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. 
  • 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!

8ers "Created to Be Me Camp" Regular Registration Deadline is May 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. 


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



RFRA Follow up letter sent to Indiana Governor
Reflections from the General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins. 

RFRA follow-up letter sent to Indiana governor

Last Updated 04/24/15

April 24, 2015

The Honorable Michael R. Pence
Governor of the State of Indiana
200 W. Washington Street, Room 206
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Governor Pence:

We have seen the huge new banner in the Indianapolis airport proclaiming "Indy Welcomes All." We read in the Indianapolis Star that you declared on April 14, "I think the difficult time that Indiana just passed through two weeks ago is behind us."[1]

We do not fully agree.

We certainly understand the desire to have the "RFRA" debate behind us. The passage of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) presented our denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with a challenge. We weren't sure we could hold a convention here and know that our attendees would be safe from state-sanctioned discrimination.

Religious freedom is a core value for Disciples. As the first denomination to emerge on American soil, we champion liberty of belief for all. In 1999, our General Assembly passed a resolution defending freedom of conscience and freedom of religious expression in the public square.[2] In our church, however, the value for freedom goes hand in hand with respect for diversity. We follow Jesus who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Disciples are varied in opinion. Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, gender identities and sexual orientations. We have in common that we love Jesus and seek to follow him.

We were pleased, therefore, when a broad group of activists, business interests and legislators brought amendments to RFRA, making it clear that it could not be used to shelter discrimination.

Our Disciples General Board met in early April to choose a city for our 2017 meeting. We chose Indianapolis. Now that our initial concerns have been addressed, choosing Indy positions us to join other Indiana citizens in the movement for equal protection under the law - for all. The immediate uproar has died down, but there is still work to be done.

Without civil rights protection for all people, including LGBT persons, it is still "a difficult time" in our state. As a matter of faith - that all people are created in the image of God - it is time to bring civil rights to all - in Indiana and across the nation.

We will be watching and participating and praying that Indiana can reclaim its reputation of Hoosier hospitality for all.


watkins signature
julia signature
degges signature

Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President
Julia Brown Karimu, President
Division of Overseas Ministries
Ronald J. Degges, President
Disciples Home Missions

cc: R. Glen Miles, Moderator, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

[1] http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2015/04/14/pence-rfra-difficult-time-passed/25766259/

[2] http://disciples.org/Portals/0/PDF/ga/pastassemblies/1999/resolutions/9919.pdf

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!
Save the Date Joint DoC/UCC Youth Gathering in Lake Buena Vista, FL July 26-29
Youth Gathering 2016 Coming Soon!
Joint Disciples of Christ and  United Church of Christ  Youth Gathering  to take place at  Walt Disney World's Coronado Springs Resort Hotel in 
Lake Buena Vista,  FL   July 26-29, 2016.  Save the dates!
visit http://nye.uccpages.org/ for more information!


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