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October 25, 2016

2017 Dates for Camps 

In this Newsletter you can find the 2017 dates for our Spring and Summer Youth Events.

Initial 2017 information for Mission West School for Ministry will be coming next week in a special mailing!


In this month's newsletter:
  • Chi Rho/CYF Fall Rally
  • 2017 Rally and Camp Dates
  • 2017 Mission West School for Ministry
  • Financial Literacy Academy
  • Lead Minister Sabbatical
  • Foundation Here to Help
  • Regional & General Church News

If you have news to share with Mission West please send it here:

Newsletter deadlines and publication dates:

Nov 15 - deadline
Nov 29 - publication

Dec 15 - deadline
Dec 20 - publication

Jan 15 - deadline
Jan 31- publication
Chi Rho/CYF Fall Rally

November 11-13, 2016

First Christian Church, Amarillo TX
Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat 

Complete information and a registration link can be found on the youth page of the Mission West website.

Questions?  Contact - heather.reed728@gmail.com
2017 Rally and Camp Dates

JYF Round-Up,
Chi Rho/CYF Spring Rally
Feb 24-26
First Christian Church, Amarillo and Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

Grand Beginnings Camp
June 9-11
Ceta Glen

Chi Rho/CYF Summer Camp
June 12-17
Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

JYF Summer Camp
June 25-29
Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat

A color flyer with CYF/Chi Rho dates can be found here.
2017 Mission West School for Ministry

More information and registration details soon!

Plans are coming together for the 2017 Mission West School for Ministry.  The initial schedule will be released next week in a separate mailing.  But look for some exciting opportunities for learning - 

  • preaching!
  • scripture!
  • administration!
  • financial planning!
  • commission minister basics!
  • spiritual development!
  • congregational vitality!

Classes will be offered in multiple and various locations and dates - to fit your schedule.
Financial Literacy Academy

from the Pension Fund
A recent survey of Disciples pastors indicates that seven in ten pastors are feeling financial stress at home. A significant number of those pastors have considered leaving the ministry due to financial stress. In addition, 80 percent of church lay leaders worry about the finances of their church. Concerns about money are stressing our church.

When our church leaders feel financial stress, relationships become stressed. Resentment between pastor and church can grow. It becomes hard to lead a stewardship campaign, or invite others to give, or even keep up with one's own giving. Money becomes a barrier to ministry.

Pension Fund, with the help of Lilly Endowment, Inc. wants to help reduce the stress felt by our pastors and churches. This is the goal of the Excellence in Ministry program. One part of this program is financial education, which is why Pension Fund has partnered with Lexington Theological Seminary to offer an online Financial Literacy Academy for pastors, their spouses and congregational leaders.

This Academy is open to all pastors who are interested in sharpening their financial skills for both their household and their church. Household money topics include strategies for paying down debt, how to save for retirement and handling clergy taxes. Topics in church finance include what to know as an employer, training for those who handle money and how to build trust with donors.

Courses in personal finance (for clergy and their spouses) begin in January 2017. These courses will be offered on four consecutive Tuesday evenings. An additional four courses on Congregational Finance will be offered later in the spring for pastors and lay leaders. Registration for the Financial Literacy Academy ends January 13.

And yes! If you enroll, and submit request form - this can count for Commissioned Minister  required  education!
Central Area Reconciliation Grant Awarded to B.O.B.S.

At its last meeting the Central Area Council awarded a $4000 grant to Breakfast on Beech Street (B.O.B.S.), an all-volunteer program serving a free hot breakfast and sack lunch to-go, each weekday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.to anyone in the Abilene community who can use a hot breakfast, sack lunch to-go, and a time of warm welcome and hospitality.  

Guests include day laborers, homeless, senior citizens, individuals and families or single parents with children. B.O.B.S. is hosted by First Christian Church and now has grown to a coalition of six Abilene Churches.  In addition to providing a Christian atmosphere and nourishing food for our guests, Bibles are also available, either to read during their meal or to take with them.

Breakfast On Beech Street is currently serving over 100 guests each weekday morning, with a warm welcome, a prayer, good food and conversation, lunch for later-- and hope for the day in Christ's name.

Through grants in regions and across the general Church, faith based organizing, and programming that promotes understanding, Our Reconciliation Ministry is key to the Disciples' emphasis on being a pro-reconciling/anti-racist church and a MOVEment for wholeness. 

Reconciliation offerings are received annually in DOC churches and the offering goes back to each Region and Area for use.
A Symposium on Repurposing ... Our Buildings, Our Outreach, Our Stewardship, Our Leadership

CCSW Pre-Assembly Event
October 28, 2016
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Presented by Disciples Church Extension

$25 (lunch and childcare included)

More information and registration is available here.
CCSW Regional Assembly

Faith WITH Works is Alive
October 29-30, 2016
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
  • Saturday, 1 pm - Assembly begins with a Mission First! Conversation
  • Saturday, 4 pm and Sunday, 1:30 pm - Workshops
  • Saturday, 7:30 pm - Worship with Rev. Wil Gafney, Professor of Old Testament at Brite Divinity School
  • Saturday, 9 pm - TCU Reception
  • Sunday morning - All Assembly Worship at Northway Christian Church or worship at a church of your choice
  • Sunday, 3 pm - Business Meeting and Final Words
More information and registration is available here.
Lead Minister Sabbatical

Rev Charlotte Hoppe, Lead Minister for Mission West, will be on sabbatical beginning November 1 - December 31.  Charlotte receives a two month sabbatical every five years and this is her second one since beginning as Tres Rios Area Minister in 2006 and now serving as Mission West Lead Minister.

Her sabbatical will be a different pace and flow of work, retreat, reflection, study and writing - while the day to day email and phone call demands are channeled through the administrative office.  If assistance is needed, Angeline Martinez, Mission West Administrative Assistant will call on any of the three Area Moderators or Mission West Moderator.  The Regional Minister or an Area Minister colleague will be on stand-by if needed.

Charlotte intends to focus her reading and study on
Healthy Congregations Facilitator Training and re-visioning of middle judicatory ministry for today.  Her refreshment time will be spent with the book Wholeheartedness - Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self, by Chuck De Groat.  

And her first sabbatical project will be to complete the 2017 Mission West School for Ministry schedule (without the interruption of phone and email!)

When you need assistance, please call Angeline at 806-358-9590 or email her at missionwest@ccsw.org.

Keep Charlotte in your prayers in these days of sabbath and renewal.

Foundation Here to Help

Why is it when faithful, dedicated members of your church die and leave charitable gifts that such gifts often go anywhere but the church? Colleges and other worthy causes are getting these gifts, but why not the church - the place where faith was nurtured and lives changed?
Oftentimes, the church doesn't ask - or doesn't ask the right way. But that can change.

I've seen congregations go from having just one or two people having gift plans to today having 20, 30 and more including their congregation in their charitable estate giving. These congregations and their ministries will be forever changed!
Want to learn more? Call or email me,
Bobby Hawley, 
South Central Zone vice president 
for the Christian Church Foundation, 
at (817) 923-0422, 

We can discuss the right approach that will work for your congregation.
Regional and General Church News of Interest

Regional Calendar
The CCSW Calendar can be found 
Click here    to see the most recent CCSW Newsletter
General Church Updates
To see and subscribe to the Disciples News Service updates,  click here.