MID-AMERICA PILGRIMAGE EMBARKS ON A LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY

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The Mid-America Disciples Civil Rights Pilgrimage lasted six days, August 8-13, 2019, and took 23 pilgrims plus a very engaged driver to landmarks in the Deep South.  The first stop was Memphis with a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.  The exhibit, as all that were encountered, was beyond moving.  Every emotion from sadness, anger, frustration, dismay and joy was tapped.  The exhibit began with establishing context for the journey, then took us to days of slavery, Jim Crow and every step along the way of the Civil Rights era defined as from 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education to 1968 at the death of Dr. King.  Many people exclaimed, “Every person needs to experience this!”  We are glad that the 2020 Disciples Summer Mission will be in Memphis and plans are underway to take Mid-America youth and sponsors there.  The day ended with a “blues pilgrimage” to Beale Street.

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Day 2 was encountering Living History in Selma, Alabama. We investigated every site and angle in Selma and were blessed that many townspeople provided firsthand accounts from 54 years ago since Bloody Sunday. Our day was beyond rich and concluded with our own march across the Edmond Pettus Bridge.  By God’s grace, we ran into Rod West. His family lived adjacent to Browns Chapel AME, and were part of the movement that housed the leaders including the white “northern agitators” including two martyrs, James Reeb and Jonathan Daniels. Rod is the boy in the famous photo with Daniels prior to his death. We got lots of inside perspectives including from three white girls who were there.

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Here is our group photo of Civil Rights Pilgrims standing in front Brown's Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, headquarters of the voter registration movement and Pettus Bridge response after Jimmie Lee Jackson's murder by state trooper Klansmen. We were the talk of the town.





Our takeaway was the extreme sacrifice that enable us to vote today. People were beaten, bludgeoned, shot and murdered for what many take for granted. I hope you vote!!! The sad thing is how racists are succeeding in taking away voting rights today and making it harder if not impossible for people to head to the polls. They will continue until we muster enough people who care to vote them out.

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Mid-America Disciples Civil Rights Pilgrimage Day 3: Living the Life and Death of Jonathan Daniels. A story from 54 years ago had the energy of 'presente' as 300 people gathered in an Alabama courtroom to unite for social justice. The saints and martyrs still guide us today. Testimonies and processing by people who were jailed, shot and closely connected resonated deeply. Dear spiritual friends Kerry Holder Joffrion, Zara Renander, and Dale Braxton were our spirit guides at Snow Hill Christian Church deep in Lowndes County.

Mid-America Civil Rights Pilgrimage Day 4: Montgomery. We were welcomed with overwhelming love at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Our 23-person delegation was met by a 140 person strong Women in Red caravan from California. Many hugs were exchanged. What a worship! The National Museum for Freedom of Justice was next that revealed how horrors of our present-day penal system mirrors slavery and perhaps is worse than Jim Crow. The day ended with visiting Maya Lin's fountain at SPLC.

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Mid-America Disciples Civil Rights Pilgrimage Day 5: Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham. The Rosa Parks Museum was fabulous and is down the street from a beautiful fountain that sits on top of the slave market auction block. In Birmingham we had an incredible presentation at Bethel Baptist Church that give laser insight on how blacks were treated. For instance, playing checkers with a white or rolling your eyes would land you in jail and thus months of involuntary servitude in the mines or plantation. Children were not allowed in stores to try on school clothes... We don’t know the depths of life just a few decades ago.

Our delegation returned safe and sound.  Now the work has begun.  A pilgrimage has no expected outcomes but one who journeys must be open to be changed.  Come hear our stories at a special sharing at Broadway Christian Church in Columbia on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 12:30.

The Pilgrimage was sponsored and supported by the Mid-America Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Justice Ministries, Broadway Christian Church, and ecumenical partners.

Thanks to Regional Minister Paul Koch for this account of the trip.







FCC - Troy Mission in Maryland

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On June 28, 28 youth and adults from First Christian Church-Troy set off on a 15-hour road trip to Millersville, Maryland. Their mission: to connect with 300 other youth and adults to improve the living conditions for many families. This meant painting, drywalling, constructing of decks and fences, roofing, and even pulling weeds. But their mission went even deeper than that. They created relationships with the residents of these homes, youth they worked with, and each other. But most importantly, they strengthened their relationship with Christ through mission, worship, and fellowship.

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 This trip was planned and organized by Group Mission Trips. Each year, Group organizes many different mission sites around the country. In 2018, Troy, MO was a host of one of those mission sites. FCC-Troy has been going on Group mission trips since the mid-1990s. These trips allow individual churches to cross theological and ideological divides to unite as the hands and feet of Christ. The 330 youth and adults in Millersville, MD were from Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, and Disciples of Christ churches. For a week their denominational affiliation was less important than their desire to serve Christ and others. They did not know it, but they were living out the mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to be “a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.”

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There were 26 homes worked on in Millersville. Crews of 6-12 youth and adults traveled to these homes each day to complete their projects. All supplies and materials were delivered to these homes prior to the group’s arrival. The host church, Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church, organized the delivery of supplies. Each project had a Site Coach. Site Coaches are Group Mission Trip volunteers who have experience in construction and home improvement. There were many other volunteers, called “Red Shirts” (because they wore red shirts all week) who cleaned the living spaces, planned and led worship services, and much more. There were multiple worship and devotion times worked into the daily schedule. Every night concluded with youth group discussions, which were major bonding moments for the group from FCC-Troy. Wednesday was a half-day of work, and then each church group had free time. FCC chose to explore the downtown area of Annapolis. They also enjoyed a local delicacy: Chesapeake blue crab.

Mission trips are a vital part of the faith development of youth and young adults. They create “holy space” where God becomes the focus. FCC-Troy looks forward to many more mission trips in the future.

Thanks to FCC pastor Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore for this story and photos.

FCC Sedalia Mission Trip

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On Monday July 22nd the youth group of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Sedalia returned from their mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. With nineteen youth and five adults, these dedicated disciples were able to serve in a variety of different ways through a variety of different ministries. They served the ministries titled: Master Provisions, Matthew 25 Ministries, BLOC Ministry, and Church Under the Bridge.

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They also visited the Ark Encounter and Cane Ridge during their trip. On Sunday morning the youth visited the Cane Ridge Meeting House, and conducted a run through of Worship they would lead later in the evening at a Ministry called Church Under the Bridge, in Lexington, KY. This Church Under the Bridge Ministry is a place where many of the homeless come to worship. All of the youth opened themselves up so that God could use their gifts throughout this service through personal testimony, song, the playing of the saxophone and violin, prayer, and the power of presence. Throughout their time in Cincinnati and Kentucky the Holy Spirit was overflowing their souls with God’s love, and that love spilled out into their entire ministry. We celebrate that these youth spent a week to be one with God’s Spirit and God’s people.      

Thanks to their pastor, Rev. Dr. Chad McMullin for this information and photos.

Disciple Summer Mission 2019

The Granville crew built this wheelchair ramp for Services for Independent Living.

The Granville crew built this wheelchair ramp for Services for Independent Living.

Among the 250 youth and adults participating in the Disciple Summer Mission at Springfield, MO were groups from South Joplin Christian Church of Joplin and Granville Christian Church of Paris. The week included five worship services, and manual labor and relational ministry for a number of non-profits in Springfield.  Tasks included carpentry, painting, landscaping, warehouse work and other tasks.

This group from Granville CC worked with FCC in Buckner at a recycling center for clothing and shoes. The center is operated by Big Brothers/Big Sisters to fund their work. The clothing is baled and recycled and the shoes are sorted and sent overseas to be sold to support their mission of mentoring children and teens.

This group from Granville CC worked with FCC in Buckner at a recycling center for clothing and shoes. The center is operated by Big Brothers/Big Sisters to fund their work. The clothing is baled and recycled and the shoes are sorted and sent overseas to be sold to support their mission of mentoring children and teens.

The group also attended a Springfield Cardinals Game on Thursday night.

The 2020 DSM will be held in Memphis, TN.  

Thanks to Rev. Fran Schnarre of Granville CC for this information and photos.

Wyatt Park CC Mission Trip

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During the week of June 17, high school youth and adult sponsors from Wyatt Park Christian Church in St. Joseph served in Jesus' name in Appalachia, specifically in southeast Tennessee near the town of Copper Hill. Most of their work was at an elementary school, but they also worked with a community food program.

Wyatt Park youth have gone on mission trips every year since 1996. This year's group was the largest yet: 25 youth and 7 adults.

Thanks to Senior Pastor Scott Killgore
or this information and photos.

Mission in Action 2019

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The South Joplin Christian Church Mission Team was on the road again just recently. The Team traveled to Van Buren, MO May 5 -10 to help with the continuing recovery work the area experienced from the floods in December 2017.  In the past teams from SJCC have traveled to Moore, OK, Clarksdale, MS and Rowlett, TX with work assignments through Disciples Volunteering and Church Extension. In Van Buren the Team volunteered through Catholic Charities.

During the planning process those interested in participating made the decision to stay close after learning of the ongoing recovery work in Van Buren. Since the Joplin tornado and the outpouring of love and generosity from others near and far, the congregation has remained committed in its efforts and desire to bless the lives of others by sharing that same love and generosity. Recovery is a slow process and often times the masses of volunteers decrease to a trickle after 18 months or so. But there are those families who are still trying to recover and rebuild long afterwards who sometimes feel forgotten, some still attempting to find enough resources to build or rebuild. Understanding the reality of such played a role in the final decision to travel to Van Buren. While there we learned from the Director of Catholic Charities that funds to help flood victims in the area were close to depletion, leaving little hope for helping any additional families. Ironically, as we arrived in the Van Buren community that Sunday afternoon the Current River and Big Springs were overflowing their banks and moving rapidly.

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Prior to the Team’s arrival the SJCC construction lead was told the work assignments included siding and roofing on two new home builds. And what the South Joplin Mission Team found in the Van Buen community were two families who continued to maintain hope that they would one day have a place to call home again. The Team had the pleasure the early part of the week of installing siding on a small one bedroom home, completing the window and exterior trim and painting the skirting for the home to be installed later. Pam, the home owner, was overjoyed with tears and gratitude the days she visited and saw the exterior of her new home (interior still under construction). “It is so beautiful and it is mine.”  Pam’s previous residence, a large trailer, had been damaged by high water and was no longer habitable. Her dog Dozer who stayed on the property 24/7 guarding it faithfully was overjoyed himself each morning when we arrived.

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Mid-week the Team moved to the second property, the home of Lisa and Shawn to complete the roofing job and install all of the windows. Again, the Team found a family who was full of gratitude and so excited to see another phase of their home being completed. This family’s home was totally washed away during the flood. With the assistance of Catholic Charities they were able to find another parcel of land on higher ground. 

Although only a small team of six “we were pleased to have been able to serve these two families in Van Buren and being a witness of God’s love in the community. It was hard work but thanks be to God we completed our tasks.”

The South Joplin congregation strives daily to live into its five faith practices of Genuine Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service and Spirit-led Generosity. Our motto for mission: “Mission in Action – Being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Wilson, Minister of Mission and Outreach

 

Cleaning Up Community

Hundreds of people from across our community spectrum came out to Community Christian Church in Jefferson City for two days of storm cleanup this past weekend. Transformation has begun and what a difference hundreds of hands (times two) can make. 

The canopy of trees surrounding the church was largely decimated so a great deal of limb and brush clearing was necessary, which needed to be separated from the asphalt tiles, insulation and fiberglass debris from across the vicinity mixed in. Shards of glass littered the lawn which had to be extracted with fine tools and gloved hands.  

Volunteers were not able to work in the church building until evaluation reports from structural engineers and asbestos abatement teams were in, but there was plenty to do outside. Once reports are in, the congregation will evaluate and announce next steps with prayerful consideration. Temporary worship and office space have been secured.

Shout out to South Calloway HS students and coaches who came out on their first day of vacation to help in the cleanup effort, the Firley YMCA whose staff cleared pieces of glass across the parking lot so volunteers could come, the several churches who were represented, Affordable Towing who appeared to remove fencing, an anonymous donor who left a big check, and love 2 nourish that fed all. 

The prior Wednesday, Rev. Dr. Paul Koch, Regional Minister, led the Community folks in Way of Council Healing Circles. This was preceded by a community-wide prayer service held at First Christian Church on Sunday. Both were widely attended.

On Thursday, June 6 at 3:00 at Second Christian Church in Jefferson City, a brief "Acts of God" Celebration Service to offer thanksgiving for all recovery volunteers, the resilience of the Community Disciples, and all churches who have lent assistance, prayers and donated to Week of Compassion will take place. All are invited.  Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President; Vy Nguyen, Executive Director of Week of Compassion; and Josh Baird, Director of Disciples Volunteering will be on hand to offer praise and to thank all personally. During the service, congregations and all persons affected by floods and the tornadoes will be lifted up.  

Story and photos by Regional Minister Paul Koch.


Mother's Day Mission at Affton CC

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For Mother's Day the kids at Affton Christian Church had a stuffed animal drive. All 227 animals collected will be donated to The Little Bit Foundation and passed out at a community event for neighborhood children. Thanks to everyone who supported them and donated! There were so many they had to be divided into two locations so worship leaders could still use the communion table during worship and bless the toys before they are sent to their new homes!

Story and photo courtesy of ACC Minister to Children, Youth, and Families Becky Piening.

Burlington Junction Church in the Community

On April 28th the First Christian Church of Burlington Junction held their Church in the community day. Among the project choices were picking up trash along the highway, planting flowers in public space flower boxes, and packing hygiene packets for the Children & Family Center of Maryville. When the work was done they returned to a wonderful meal of burgers & hot dogs with all the sides to go with them.   

“Serving God through our actions”

Thank you to Pastor Terry Robison
for this story and photos. 

Lenten Love Project of Central CC

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For Lent this year, Central Christian Church in Moberly took on a new mission project. During the season when many give up something, the congregation was encouraged to pick up something – extra groceries for their local food bank.

The idea grew out of the success the church has had with a similar endeavor over the last two Advent seasons. They have participated in a ‘reverse Advent calendar’ whereby, instead of receiving a chocolate or other treat each day, they donate a food item for someone who needs it.

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The church procured a list of the needed items from the local Christos Center food bank, of which Central CC was a founding congregation, and where several of their members still serve as volunteers. The twelve staple items are the foundation for each bag that the Center provides to its clients.

As a congregation, they were able to fill 71 bags which will be delivered to the Center for distribution after Easter!

Thank you to Pastor Mark Tisch for this information and photos.

FCCE Refugee Mission

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First Christian Church of Edwardsville has partnered with the International Institute of St Louis to help a refugee family arriving from Afghanistan.  

The Mission Ministries of FCC Edwardsville have grown from regular financial support of denominational and local opportunities.  A few years ago, the congregation felt called to seek larger opportunities to serve.  Part of the motivation was seeing the impact of mission trips on the church youth group.

A hallway conversation between Barb Small (church member) and Dr. Brooks (Lead Minister) led to two “Remodeling” missions at a local homeless shelter.  The congregation remodeled a bedroom (new flooring, new ceiling, paint, furniture, etc) that would shelter a family of four.  The next year, the kitchen of the homeless shelter was remodeled.  By now the church was using a combination of budgeted funds and “over and above” donations for these projects.

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Kevin Paur and his family began participating in FCCE and the mission efforts.   Mr. Paur had experience volunteering with International Institute.  Dr. Brooks had memories of his home congregation resettling two families of Vietnam Boat Refugees.  The US State Department contracts with the International Institute (a secular organization in St Louis) for a variety of refugee services.  The International Institute brings experience and connections to provide meaningful services beyond those funded by the US State Department.

Kevin Paur, Barb Small, and the Mission Team reviewed options to participate with the International Institute.  It was decided that a first step would be committing to provide the contents of an apartment and groceries.  Adding to the excitement, the arrival of a refugee family and their needs (such as number of family members, ages, etc) are only known with a few weeks notice. 

FCCE donated the contents of an apartment for four people (furniture, groceries, linens, etc).  A team from the church delivered the items and set up the apartment.  This team transformed a barren apartment into a welcoming home.  In addition, the congregation donated funds to help with future rent, groceries, and other needs of the family.  

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Tracy Wetzel, Board Chair, and the Board of Directors have been passionate supporters of this effort.  The missional efforts of FCCE are seen as a leading of the Holy Spirit.  A faith community committed to youth & children’s ministry followed the example of the youth & children.  FCCE has been able to engage well these mission opportunities because of the movement of God’s Spirit leading us beyond the walls where we worship each week.  We are simply blessed with this opportunity to serve our neighbor.

The refugee family from Afghanistan has arrived safely and is joyful with the apartment.  For more information please contact either FCCE [info@fccedwardsville.org or 618.656.7498] or Kevin Paur [kevinpaur@yahoo.com]

~ Dr. James R. Brooks, Lead Minister
Find more photos on the
church’s website.

Chicken Pies for Mission!

The First Christian Church of Brookfield recently hosted their 116th Annual “Chicken Pie Supper” on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019! 

The Chicken Pie Supper began in the early 1900’s as a weekly dinner served every Saturday night, while the stores were open, for 25 cents a pie. These early dinners helped the congregation of that time fund and build the Linn Street Building in 1907. The Chicken Pie Supper later became a yearly tradition for the First Christian Church of Brookfield. Preparations for the supper begin a week ahead as they prepare pie crusts, make slaw, peel potatoes, cook chicken, prepare the chicken and finally assemble the pies. 

This year the group made 100 Chicken Pies and served people in their fellowship hall during the event, as well as made deliveries and filled to-go orders throughout the evening. The Annual “Chicken Pie Supper” has become a community favorite and our local church is know for its delicious Chicken Pies!  All proceeds from the supper go towards the Missions of the Disciples Women’s Ministry as they support God’s work both locally and around the world.

Thanks to Pastor Mandy Wiedeman for this story and photos.

Emergency Food Pantry at FCC Ash Grove

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Last Fall, the youth pastor and youth group of First Christian Church of Ash Grove began an emergency pantry program. Nick Wand, a member of the church, built the unique pantry and members of the church have been very generous in donations of food and money for the program. The idea is for anyone who needs food to just stop by and take what they can use.  People are also encouraged to donate items when they have surplus. It has been used frequently this winter and has helped many people have a meal they might not otherwise have had.  Ash Grove has a very healthy food pantry program that provides food for local citizens on a regular basis, but this is intended for those people who find themselves without food between those times. We are very grateful to our youth pastor, James Baker, for coming up with the idea and to our youth for looking beyond themselves and being interested in helping others.

 Thanks to Pastor Tom Geer for this story and photo.

Montgomery City Christian Church Clothing Closet

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Montgomery City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been serving their local community through a clothing and household items resale program for many years. There is a small village of dedicated women who run the mission. Volunteers meet at the church and organize donations. The women set up items around the church basement like a department store and welcome families in to browse the sections. They even arrange a Toyland in the months leading up to Christmas. People in the community have heard about Toyland and bring in donations. The women say it always feels good knowing a child will have a great experience at Christmas because of their efforts. No child should have to go without presents when there are so many at the church just waiting for a home. 

Visitors who are able pay $5 per bag of purchased items.

The Clothing Closet also has a separate room for baby items. They partner with the local Birthright program to get these goods to families suddenly expecting a child. These families, as well as those who have had difficulties such as a house fire, pay nothing for the items they need.

Besides providing toys and help for families, the Clothing Closet brings people together for the common good. What is life without fellowship and working together for Christ?

Thank you to Erin Polson for this information and photo.

FCC Dexter Honored with Seven Seals Award

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First Christian Church in Dexter recently received a prestigious award in recognition of their support and efforts during the recent deployment of their pastor, Pastor Major Mike Williams, who serves as a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve. Having recently returned from seven months of active duty overseas, Mike nominated the church for the Seven Seals Award in recognition of “all the efforts that they undertook, not just in terms of the care packages, prayers and letters I received, but more importantly in the fact that the elders all took turns preaching, providing pastoral care, and officiating at the table while I was gone. The ministry of the church did not even miss a beat.”

This is the “broadest and most inclusive award” given by the Missouri Employer Support of the Guard and reserve (ESGR), which is a Department of Defense program. A local representative presented the award during worship on March 3. Read their full press release. A short video of the presentation is available on the church’s Facebook page.

Helping Hands in Bolivar

FCC CWF’s Katherine Faulker.

FCC CWF’s Katherine Faulker.

In March of 2018, the CWF of the First Christian Church in Bolivar started a new project called helping hands. They were concerned about the difficulties that survivors of domestic abuse and their children, as well as teenagers who were aging out of the foster care system, would have in setting up a home. For someone who is literally starting with nothing, the financial challenges are many: rent, groceries, utilities, gas, insurance, and household supplies.

The CWF decided to help with the cost of outfitting a home by setting up a room in the church with donated essentials: pots and pans, silverware and knives, Tupperware and bakeware, bed linens and towels, small appliances and home decor items, as well as plates, cups, and bowls. Working closely with the House of Hope center for women who are the survivors of domestic abuse, the CWF invites the ladies who are leaving the shelter and setting up their new homes to choose whatever items they need.

In addition, a monthly project involves the church members donating new items for the House of Hope. These include pillows, paper products, blankets and throws, hats, gloves, and coats for the children who are cared for in the facility. Laundry baskets filled with new crayons and coloring books for all ages are the requested donation for March. So far, over $600 in new items has been donated by the church, resulting in another $600 in matching funds for the charity.

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The CWF ladies met in March to make journals for the women who enter House of Hope. They are encouraged to reflect on their past experiences, current situation, and future goals and record their thoughts in the journal. A social time of homemade soup and bread was followed by decorating the journals with inspirational quotations, scrapbooking paper, ribbons, and other embellishments. They made over 100 journals for the mothers and teenage girls who live at the several shelters operated by House of Hope. In addition, this spring they will reach out to the foster care population through the Division of Family Services and ask that they and their social worker take anything they might need for a new life on their own as they leave foster care at age 18.

Thanks very much to FCC’s Barb Jones and Pastor Bill Nichols for this story and photos.

Mound City Youth Mission Team

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Our youth mission team has been hard at work serving others and serving Jesus through the love of Christ. This team was formed about eight years ago by Cindy Yocum-Reule and Pastor Paul Grant. The idea was to get the kids involved in a ministry of serving. The trip is 100 percent funded by free will donations and fundraisers held by the kids and adults in the church. In September of 2015 my husband Jared Nauman and I (Kailea Nauman) became the youth ministers of the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Mound City, MO.  We went right to work with Cindy’s leadership and guidance to learn about fundraising and having a servant’s heart. She truly is a wonderful example of God’s love.

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These kids fundraise all year - eight to ten fundraisers for the year. They make dinners, host movie nights, have talent shows and skits portraying the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have served in our community to raise funds, had bake sales, and hosted children’s games at the local flea market. They will clean yards and paint houses. They work hard all year to raise money to go serve somewhere they are needed, and give that money to those who need it. It truly is an inspiring thing to be a part of and watch these kids grow in their faith and love for serving, and their love for Christ. Last year they raised over $8,000.00 dollars to go to Houston, TX to help with hurricane relief. Our kids range from age 12 to 18 and we always have a handful of adults that go as well. Last year there were 15 people that went.

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What we are trying to do is center it more around family mission trips. We want all ages to want to go. If we could get young parents involved and have them bring their small children, we would be raising a generation of kids that have the value of serving others with the love of Christ ingrained on their heart from an early age. There are so many jobs they could help with; we just have to be willing to teach them. Our prayer is that this will pick up in the next few years. We will be taking our 8-year-old daughter and our 14-year-old daughter with us this year. We have talked about heading to Panama City for Hurricane Michael relief, but we are still praying and fundraising.

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Our church would be willing to give us the funds to go on the mission trip, but we want the kids to see what the value of hard work is and when you are serving and someone thanks you for what you did, these kids know they truly had a part in raising that money and they did it for a good cause. It allows them to feel like they truly did make a difference and that is what keeps them coming back every year.

The mission work we do is truly a blessing to us as well as to those we serve. It is humbling and beautiful to be a part of. This year my husband and I will be leading the mission team and it is not without help and guidance from the wonderful church ladies that have for the last 7 years done a wonderful job of teaching these kids and adults to serve with a heart for Jesus. Without their love and guidance, we could not and would not know where to begin. We are blessed to have them in our church family and to call them our friends as well.

 Kailea Nauman, Youth Minister
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Mound City, MO (816) 752-9593

Older Adult Ministries Program Continues in 2019

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Our Disciples National Benevolent Association (NBA) awarded a 2019 grant to the three-year-old Older Adult Ministries program in our Region. The proposal was sponsored by the Lake Ozark Christian Church. The grant allows us to expand the program to reach many more congregations. Congregations are invited to participate. The cost to the host church is just $150 total, and participants attend free.

The Older Adult Ministries program has already worked with over 20 congregations in our Region, to raise awareness about aging, address biblical perspectives and explore new ministry models for the elderly. The project offers a three-phase process of exploring older adults’ physical and spiritual needs and wishes; and assessing the congregations’ priorities in developing new ministry programs for older adults.

Several churches are working on their participation plans. Three event dates have already been confirmed for this spring:

Saturday, April 6 at Maryville CC - Growing Older: Living Longer, Healthier Lives
Saturday,
April 27 at Nixa CC - Aging: New Realities and Growing Our Faith
Saturday, May 4 at Florissant Valley CC - Aging: Growing in Faith and Wisdom

To register, contact the church or click here.

Congregations who participate will receive the newly published resource, “Age-Friendly Congregations” co-authored by Jan Aerie. This resource is free, thanks to the NBA grant. Jan Aerie, family counselor and gerontologist, is coordinating the ministry grant. She has written and led numerous workshops and programs for faith groups and secular service organizations in many states.

Churches who wish to participate as a host church are being invited to apply by contacting Regional Minister, Rev. Dr. Paul Koch at 636-221-7065 or paul.ccma@sbcglobal.net

Thanks to Jan Aerie for this story.

Sermon Series for Mission in Mexico

Last month First Christian Church in Mexico started what will be one of 6 mission interviews throughout 2019.

We have six agencies in Mexico that I am interviewing during the sermon time. This past Sunday We interviewed Angel Wings Clothing Closet. Angel wings provide clothing for foster families at no cost. 

Jody Dishman runs the agency and she shared her story and how Angel Wings Works. At the end of the service we had several people sign up wanting to to attend a meeting to find out more about how our church can help.

The following are the questions we are asking each agency.

  • What is your Title? What Do you Do?

  • · How does the process work?

  • · Can you explain your call to do what you do?

  • · Blessings you have received AND been part of?

  • · If we give your group money what happens with it?

  • · How can we help in ways that do not involve money? What are more Hands on things you need help with?

To see Pastor Zane’s whole interview with Jody, please view the service recording on their Facebook page. The interview itself begins at about the 26 minute mark.

Thank you to Rev. Zane Whorton for this story.

Reaching Out - One Blanket at a Time

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Ladies from Community Christian Church in Manchester gathered Saturday, January 26 to cut and tie fleece blankets for Project Linus. Each blanket is generally made with 1 ½ to 2 yard pieces of coordinating fleece.  This service project began in January, 2011, when the ladies made nearly 40 blankets. 

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The project, held in January of each year, has resulted in nearly 300 blankets being made. Most of the blankets received by Project Linus go to St. Louis area hospitals.  We hope they bring peace and comfort to those who receive them. 

Thank you to Community CC’s Beth Bean
for this information and photos.