Regional Assembly was amazing!!! Our gathering in Springfield was a time to focus on missions, and how that connects us to God and one another. Throughout the United States and Canada, General Minister and President Sharon Watkins has been leading regions through a process of sharing with one another the passionate missions of our local churches. Our Mid-America Region had our Mission First! Gathering on the Saturday morning of Regional Assembly. Small groups gathered around tables and discussed how each of our congregations participates in missions and what our vision is of mission in the future. We gathered back in the sanctuary after these small group discussions to share our results from each table. The General Church will summarize our Regional results.
Our Mid-America Region is also working on mission within our local congregations. A Mission and Ministry Council was developed to energize and connect individuals and congregations. The Council was created to support what we are already doing, and bring our mission efforts to the forefront. Furthermore, the Council desires to bring people together for synergy and teamwork. The M&M Council was active at the Regional Assembly, displaying their role in the Region. For instance, the M&M Council determined major topics in the Mission First! Gathering groups and came up with twelve passions from across our Region. They include Ecumenical Initiatives, Food Pantries, Backpack Food Programs, Free Meals to the Community, Justice System Reform, Open and Affirming Congregations, Justice (less charity), Festival of Sharing, Local Mission Trips, Global Mission Trips, Camping Program, and Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism. The M&M Council took these topics and organized a “Pick Your Passion” discussion on Saturday afternoon. For instance, individuals really interested in Food Pantries went to that “Pick Your Passion” small group to build alliances, ask questions, and set goals. The goal of “Pick Your Passion” was to move forward from talk, and start making plans of how we can work together. Our passionate mission conversations do not just stop at Regional Assembly though. These twelve passions have been placed on our website in a chat room format to give another way to connect across our Region. To find these chat rooms, go to mid-americadisciples.org, then go to Get Involved, and then click on Discussion Groups. You will need to create a login and password and then you can join the conversation!
The Mission and Ministry Council had their official Launch Party on the Friday Night of Regional Assembly. The Council shared a brief description of the purpose of the group and shared that the Council has already facilitated an email survey regarding mission at local churches. The Council also has supported existing Regional ministries such as PRAR, the Leadership Development Team, Camps and Conferences, and having a mission focused Regional Assembly. The Council desires to develop new models of efficiency and effectiveness throughout the Region. Furthermore, the Council desires to work shoulder-to-shoulder to live out our unity. The highlights of the Launch Party on Friday night were the mission celebrations shared by five individuals from throughout the Region. Energy filled the room! Most importantly, we learned that we all have a mission story to share!
It is so critical to remember that we all have a story to share no matter the size our congregation! We connect to God and one another in meaningful ways through mission! Let us show our oneness and our love for God through being mission oriented congregations in ONE region! And please share your stories of mission projects, successes, opportunities, and ideas with the Region by sending them to our Communications Coordinator to be included in upcoming newsletters and on our website.
If you need more information about the Mission and Ministry Council, please contact Rev. William R. Brown (Community Christian Church Camdenton) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-290-5213.
Story courtesy of M&M Council Chairperson William Brown.