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Welcome (Home!) to the Disciples in Northeast Mid-America
Disciples call Northeast Mid-America home in one of 80+ congregations. We are as vast as our stomping grounds that extend from our southern tip at the Lake of the Ozarks, to close to the Iowa border, to the “eagle landing” areas on the Mississippi River, to many points west in the Chariton Valley. We are as vast as the ways we worship: from strong family churches that have had the same surname on rolls for more than a century, to larger university community churches ready to address compelling issues of our day, to churches with a strong African-American heritage providing vital witness in troubled world, to churches intentionally formed or revitalized to reach all people with extravagant welcome and inclusion. Faithfully yet, our home extends to each other’s houses of worship as cooperative ministry together remains our hallmark.
My first call to ministry after ordination in the 1990s was to Northeast Missouri. Along with enjoying the worship and activities in our congregation, I soon found myself heading the local clergy alliance, partnering with youth leaders in our Disciples cluster for large wild adventures, to counseling then directing the Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) summer and winter conferences, to being engaged with ministries of the National Benevolent Association and the three Disciples Colleges and Universities in the Northeast, to working with men from all over in Disciples Men retreats. I found great joy knowing that God’s hand and our congregation’s ministry wasn’t contained by four walls.
When a colleague asked me how it feels to return to the Northeast after serving elsewhere for 20 years, I told her, “It feels like coming home!” The heartwarming comfort and peace at being among old (me too) and new friends cannot be adequately described. I have to borrow words sung by Dorothy recently on stage: “When I thing of Home, I think of a place, where there’s love overflowing….”
Northeast Disciples find Home in our common ministry together – The Power of WE! I am here to serve Jesus Christ through your fine ministries and in turn, I am here to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact me for ways your Mid-America Region can help you grow and strengthen your witness to those Disciples you serve. My intention is that this year of transition will be also a year of transformation. Please follow closely on ways you can plug in to be re-charged!
Rev. Dr. Paul Koch
Transitional Minister for Disciples in Northeast Mid-America, Regional Minister Team
Contact me anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(636) 221-7065 P.O. Box 164, Washington, MO 63090