NAPAD Convocation in Portland

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The 20th Biennial Convocation of the North American Pacific/Asian Disciples was held August 8-11 in Portland.  Rev. Chung Seong Kim was elected to a six-year term as executive pastor at the event. Our own Rev. Young Gee Noh and his family of World Mission Christian Church were able to attend, having received a Leadership Development Grant from the Rickman Legacy Fund. He shares his account of the Convocation:

Having returned from 20th Biennial NAPAD Convocation in Portland, I am writing to express my deep appreciation for the Mid-America Clergy Leadership Development Grants Committee that helped my family to attend NAPAD Convocation in 2018.

From 20th NAPAD Convocation, I can see more spiritual growth and change in my faith walk with Christ on a week Convocation. I was impressed on concentrated several day of Keynote Session & Discussion with Rev. Dr. Seong Hyun Park, worship, prayer, confession and fellowship with brother and sister in Christ. This is my first NAPAD Convocation, but I felt that I renew my faith walk and I am not alone; I have so many brother and sister who can encourage me; share their own faith experience with me that would inspire and empower me.

I appreciate God and all Mid-America Clergy Leadership Development Grants Committee to give the chance to great experience for 4 days and I and my family was encouraged to take next step at our Church Ministry toward God’s goal. I share several photos at NAPAD Convocation and I hope I want to share my special and wonderful experience during this 2018 summer with all of you.


Thank you again and may God bless you.
Rev. Young Gee Noh
World Mission Christian Church Pastor

Find more information about the Convocation here. View their complete photo gallery.

Rural Church Summit in Bolivar

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Twenty-five clergy and laypersons gathered at First Christian Church in Bolivar for the third of four Rural Church Summits being conducted by Mid-America. Regional Ministers, Larry Colvin and Katrina Palan led the inter-active workshop.

The workshop emphasized the vitality rural congregations can bring to their communities. The gathered were reminded that the church we meet in the book of Acts brought hope and new life to people. There is much that can be learned from the first century church on two fronts. First, is the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ leads to new life in the whole community. Second, the twenty-first century church has a variety of technology to reach out. In short, the rural church is the frontline of the church universal.

The final Rural Church Summit will be held at Monroe City Christian Church on September 15.  Four hours continuing education for clergy.  Learn more and register.

Thanks to Dr. Larry Colivn for this information
and to Sara Compton for the photos.

C.R.Y. Festival 2018

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This past week the Christian Regional Youth Festival wrapped up its' 42nd year in the Mid-America Region, with thirty-five youth and adult leaders gathering for four days of fun, love, acceptance, learning, and leadership.  The theme this year was 'Be the rEVOLution' based on Proverbs 10:12 "Hate stirs up conflict, but love covers all offenses." 

Newly elected officers for the next year: Qu'Naya' Falls (middle), President; Adrienne Layton (left), Vice-President; Khotso Moore, Secretary.

 

CRY participants were honored to welcome Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins as their keynote speaker; Rev. Watkins came to CRY from Memphis, TN where she is currently the Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative with the greater Christian Church DOC. Also joining CRY to lead workshops such as Teen Drama, Sexual Integrity, Reading the Bible Seriously...Not Literally, Worship Planning, Ways to Pray, and Social Justice & Activism were Rev. Brian Kirk, DeShay Jackson, RN Micheal Coats, Rev. Rhonda Aldridge, Rev. Dietra Wise Baker, and Rev. Dr. Paul Koch.  A particular highlight was an Intro to Islam workshop led by a practicing Muslim, Ms. Maysa Albarcha.  Ms. Albarcha shared her Muslim practices and explained the five pillars of Islam, teaching the youth that our religions are more similar than they are different, and that we all are children of God.  

The Christian Regional Youth Festival is an event that focuses progressive spiritual and social justice leadership, as well as youth leadership and development. The youth planning team commits to meeting throughout the year for service, committee work, preparation, prayer, team building and worship.  In addition, the youth receive extensive training on leading groups and individuals, creating a safe space where all are welcome and affirmed, conflict resolution, prayer, speaking skills, problem solving, and much more. The youth also manage to fit in a few hours of mission and service work, as well as a presentation at their host church's worship service during these four meeting weekends.

Usually the Festival is held at a local Disciples college but this year the event was in a new location. The Marianist Center is located on 130 acres southwest of St. Louis in Eureka, MO where it is situated on the banks of the Meramec River. Adding to their already fun and spirit-filled week of learning and activities, the youth leadership team was able to offer to participants a Beatitudes walk, a Sculpture Garden, several chapels, miles of hiking trails, a meditation walk, an outdoor labyrinth, and time spent enjoying God's creation.

C.R.Y. Festival participants and leaders would like to thank everyone who joined this year, including adult sponsors, the keynote speaker, and all workshop leaders.

Thanks to CRY Coordinator Kris Milliron for story and photos.

Chuukese Youth Rally

The 2018 Chuukese Youth Rally was held in St. Joseph June 28 - July 1. First Christian Church and Wyatt Park Christian Church housed the event. This year’s theme was, “Abide in Me,” based on John 15:1-16. Speakers and workshop leaders shared both the theological and practical understandings of the text. 

Local pastors from Chuukese Christian Church, Aies Philik and Nerleb Likisap, organized the rally which included worship, lively singing, fellowship, sports, and great food. 

Both the Regional Church of Mid-America and the General Church were present. Dr. Larry Colvin, Regional Minister, gave greetings and presented an outline of the theme. Terrell McTyler of Hope Partnership and Chung Seong Kim of North American Pacific/Asian Disciples also gave presentations. 

Article and photos by Dr. Larry Colvin

Colvins' Commissioning

On Saturday, June 30, Mid-America Disciples gathered at Community Christian Church in Jefferson City for a farewell celebration and commissioning service for Rev. Dr. Larry and Debbie Colvin as they prepare for a three year appointment by Global Ministries as mission co-workers in Ghana. During the service, the Colvins were presented with prayer shawls and a certificate of appreciation by Rev. Dan Kercher of Cameron and the Mid-America Disciples Care Team. Regional Minister Katrina Palan brought a meditation based on Acts 8:26-38 called “Following God’s Voice.” Kelsey Cameron with Global Ministries conducted the commissioning service, which was followed by the laying on of hands and commissioning prayer led by Regional Minister Paul Koch. Next, Regional Minister Penny Ross-Corona offered personal words of support and encouragement to the Colvins. Then, communion was served at the end of worship with Regional Minister Larry Colvin, Rev. Don Carter of Jefferson City, and Rev. Lina Eddy of California presiding at the Table. An offering was also received to support the Colvins’ ministry in Ghana

At the conclusion of worship, the group adjourned to the fellowship hall and enjoyed informal conversation with the Colvins, along with a delicious dinner prepared by the members of Community Christian Church. Many thanks go to Rev. Bethany Albrecht, organist Helene Richardson, and the congregation of Community Christian Church for serving as gracious hosts for this celebration. Larry Colvin will conclude his ministry as Transitional Regional Minister at the end of August. On Oct. 1, the Colvins will depart for Ghana. 

Thank you to Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona
for story and photos.

West Central Regional Youth Event

The West Central Regional Youth Event was a "Convergent Spectacular" transforming mega-hit with 225 youth and adults.

 
 

Consider the joyous momentum of hundreds of committed youth and adults gathering to sing fun and progressive music with Andra Moran and the Convergence Music Project; hearing heart-moving testimonies from missions in South Dakota reservations and Oaxaca, Mexico, and first-hand accounts of a pastor in Charlottesville, Virginia; digging right into hands-on ecological mission projects; and challenging oneself in deep workshop topics....   All of this was WCRYE2018!

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Youth from First Christian Church in Columbia, Rev. Jimmy Spear, Disciples workshop leader and musician William DeShay Cortez Jackson, Andra Moran, Courtney Chandler and Regional Minister Paul Koch brought incredible leadership to proudly represent our small but blessed delegation.  We as a church certainly left an imprint among our UCC friends.

Pastors and church leaders, the Mid-America Region will be organizing a youth delegation to attend the 2019 General Assembly in Des Moines and to share in the Youth at Assembly activities. Make plans also not to miss the National Youth Event (NYE) to be held at Purdue University in 2020.  Don't feel you need to re-invent the wheel or miss out; dynamic youth ministry opportunity for your church is unfolding right before you!

Find more information on the
UCC website.

Story by Rev. Dr. Paul Koch.
Video by Dustin Bartlett via Facebook.

44th Annual Hike Against Hunger

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On Saturday, April 28th Memorial Boulevard Christian Church held its 44th annual Hike Against Hunger. A group of about 18 hearty souls gathered to embark on a 20k walk through the neighborhoods of St. Louis. Walkers represented not only MBCC but Webster Groves CC, Florissant Valley CC, and Liberty CC near Kansas City. Also present for the event were two representatives from Week of Compassion to speak briefly about the event's impact.

This year's goal is to raise $12,000 to support Uganda's Farm STEW Project, and over $5,500 has already come in toward that end. Over the years the Hike has raised a total of $475,782.92 over 31,072 miles walked in support of the various worthy causes selected by organizers. 

Read the full summary of the day by MBCC's Mary Kay Campbell.

 

 

Disciples Men Retreat

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Mid-America men could not have asked for a nicer weekend to commune with nature and each other for the annual Disciples Men retreat at Shannondale, deep in the Ozarks in Shannon County.  Men from Arkansas and Indiana joined Missouri Disciples, UCCs, Catholics, and Baptists for an incredible time of hiking, canoeing, grilling, service projects, relaxing, bird-watching, wildflower observing, and especially personal sharing. 

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Long-time Shannondale Ministries director Jeff Fulk was surprised with a special blessing for his 20 years of service and dedication as well as his son, Nathan Fulk, who was surrounded by prayer as he takes the helm of leadership.  This followed Regional Minister Paul Koch's program on identifying the "King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover" in each of us.  All four qualities emerged in the incredible collection of men (and one woman guest - Regional Minister Katrina Palan).

Thanks to Paul Koch for this story and photos.

Fifth Sunday Song Fest

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On Sunday afternoon, April 29, three Mid-America congregations gathered at First Christian Church in Bonne Terre for a 5th Sunday Song Fest. Host Pastor Russell Alexander led the group from Festus, Hematite, and Bonne Terre in the singing of old hymns. He also shared information about the history of the hymns. 

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In addition, the group enjoyed two soloists. Bonne Terre member Beth Slusser sang “Were You There?” and “Halleluiah,” and Festus church member Keith Osterberg sang an original song he wrote this year using Pastor Lari Grubbs’ Maundy Thursday sermon notes. Afterwards, the group adjourned to the fellowship hall for some delicious finger foods. Everyone had such a good time that they’ve decided to hold another similar event in the future.

Thank you to Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona for this information and photos.

Exhorter Ordination Service at World Mission CC

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On Sunday, March 18, World Mission Christian Church in St. Charles held an Exhorter Ordination Service for Myung Heo, Mina Raithel, and Anshim Kim. Pastor Young Noh explained that World Mission has recognized that these three faithful church members have been given the spiritual gift of exhortation. They have the unique gift of encouraging and edifying others…of coming along side of others and developing a relationship with them for the purpose of encouraging them in their spiritual growth. 

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Rev. Chung Seong Kim, Executive Pastor of the North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) brought the morning sermon. In addition Rev. Kim, Pastor Young Noh, and Regional Minister Penny Ross-Corona participated in the laying on of hands for the new Exhorters. 

 

 

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Rev. Jesus Marrufo (pastor of the House of Prayer which nests at World Mission Christian Church) brought the prayer for the delicious traditional Korean meal that followed the service. House of Prayer, which is a Spanish speaking congregation, and World Mission Christian Church, which is a Korean speaking congregation, enjoy learning about each others’ food and culture.

Thank you to Penny Ross-Corona for this story and to Young Noh for the photos.

Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism Happenings

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Our Pro-Reconciliation / Anti-Racism team returned to service on Friday, March 9 for our semi-annual offering to clergy and laypersons looking to provide "a movement for wholeness in our fragmented world." The 6-hour training was held at Columbia UCC with some from our sister denomination present to learn as well. Around 30 people participated in all. The team is looking forward to the next PR/AR training to be held Saturday, September 22 at FCC in Carrollton.  

 Back row left to right: Paul Koch, Jeff Moore, DeLois Guess, Dwight Bailey, Michael Riggs, Derrick Perkins. Front row left to right: Jacque Foster, Matthew Capestro, Kathryn Wilson, Katrina Palan, Martha Herrin, Dietra Baker, Leslie Dotson, Nadine Compton.

Back row left to right: Paul Koch, Jeff Moore, DeLois Guess, Dwight Bailey, Michael Riggs, Derrick Perkins.
Front row left to right: Jacque Foster, Matthew Capestro, Kathryn Wilson, Katrina Palan, Martha Herrin, Dietra Baker, Leslie Dotson, Nadine Compton.

The leaders of such PR/AR sessions had to undergo a minimum of two-days' intensive training themselves to be certified to lead others. This last weekend, representatives of our General Church Reconciliation Ministries visited Mid-America to conduct such a session. Participants in this 'train-the-trainer' seminar included two of our Regional Ministers, six other CCMA clergy, our new Racial Justice Conference Organizer, and three guests from other Regions. Thank you to Compton Heights CC for hosting.

With the wealth of leadership across our region, the PR/AR team extends itself to accepting invitations from congregations who wishes to host a training for members in your own church and community. The content will be based on conversations to tailor the needs just right. Please contact Paul Koch, Regional Minister at 636-221-7065 or paul.ccma@sbcglobal.net to learn more.

Thanks to Paul Koch for this information and photo
and to Joe Jimerson for additional photo.

Disciples Visit the Capitol

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Regional Minister Paul Koch and Rev. John Bennett (pictured) were among the ten Mid-America Disciples clergy who walked the halls of the Missouri capitol on February 20th to have Missouri Faith Voices heard. The purpose of the event was to lift up the needs of the people to elected officials because "as people of faith, we must not only pray for our leaders, we must also bring a prophetic voice to the issues that impact the lives of all citizens which includes the most vulnerable among us."

Here is the text of Rev. Bennett's sermon.

Bruce Barkhauer Visits Mid-America

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Last week Mid-America hosted Bruce Barkhauer, Director of the Center for Faith and Giving. Bruce spoke at several churches in the Region on the topic of transformative ways for congregations to think about stewardship.

His engagements began with preaching at Community Christian Church in Manchester on January 21st. Later that day, he attended a pot luck dinner and spoke at Celebration Church in St. Peters. Monday brought a clergy cluster gathering at Central Christian Church in Moberly. The Monday evening event planned at First Christian Church in Kirksville unfortunately had to be cancelled due to widespread illness and potentially dangerous local road conditions.

Tuesday brought another clergy cluster meeting, this time in at First Christian Church in Warrensburg. Then the evening was spent at First Christian Church in Troy with a pot luck dinner and presentation. Bruce spent Wednesday with our United Church of Christ partners in the Missouri Mid-South Conference office.

The final stop on his schedule was the annual clergy "Super Cluster" gathering in the Southeast, this year held at Community Christian Church in Manchester. 

Thank you to all who hosted Bruce during his stay. 

Photos courtesy of Rev. Young Noh, pastor at  World Mission Christian Church in St. Charles.

Community CC Partners with Elementary School for Christmas Party

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The members of Community Christian Church “adopted” all the students and classroom teachers at Columbia Elementary School in St. Louis for Christmas. Members donated books, toys, puzzles, crayons, markers and more. In total, 216 gifts for children and nearly 20 teacher goodie bags were wrapped by 34 CCC members after church on December 17th. On December 20th, Santa Claus and 16 CCC members helped distribute the gifts at the school for all students and teachers. In addition, 150 books were donated to the school to have for classroom use and in the library, and thirty-four $10.00 gift cards were donated for those families in transition. The school surprised the volunteers who helped at the Christmas party with a lovely luncheon to say thank you. Volunteers from CCC continue to provide mentoring at the school several times a month.

Thanks to Beth Bean for story and photo.

A Farewell Message from Rev. Dr. G. Mike Weinman

Mike’s Moment…

This has been the heading for my articles since I was a summer intern at the First Christian Church in Borger, Texas, in the summer of 1970. I will use it one more time to extend a word of gratitude for the 14-years, 11-months, and 16-days, I have worked with you. But who's counting? 

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We had a wonderful worship [leadership Dr. Phil Snider, Brentwood, Spfd] followed by a great reception [leadership, Vickie Sower, Bolivar, along with the members of Central CC, Spfd], and I thank all for the great time we had together. And this past week I have an “exit interview” which must mean the day of retirement and closure is approaching quickly.

In fact on December 31, I officially retire as a member of the Regional Minister Team (RMT). I remember starting as Area Minister for the Ozark Lakes Area of the Christian Church of Mid-America and now concluding as Regional Minister Team member; it has been a wonderful and challenging adventure in faith and community. 

For all the words and prayers of encouragement, for the fun of fellowship, and the challenge of crisis, I have enjoyed the work we have done together for the mission and ministry of the congregations within the Mid-America Region. I ask your forgiveness when I have stumbled on our journey, and thank you for the graciousness when you lifted me up. I know God’s blessing has sustained us, and beckoned us forward in the path we have followed with Christ. It is at this time I step back from the responsibility of the RMT and the congregations of the Region. I know your love and care for me will smoothly and swiftly move to embrace the ministry of Rev. Katrina Palan. 

I pray God’s presence and love continue in each congregation, across this Region, and surrounding the whole creation of God. For your words and cards, for the worship and reception we shared together, for the gift received (that will probably go for many green fees in the next years), for all expressions of love and care, I thank you. And I pray God’s blessings on you and yours in the years to come as you share in the mission and ministry of the Christian Church of Mid-America, together. So…Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And now allow me to begin this new journey that God is placing before me….

Thank You!
and the Peace of the Season Bless you!…

G Mike Weinman, 
Regional Minister Team
Christian Church of Mid-America
Southwest Office

Mid-America Center for Ministry Graduation

The Mid-America Center for Ministry graduated its final class on Friday, Nov. 10 at Broadway Christian Church.  More than 100 people gathered to honor twelve graduates who completed many rigorous classes to receive their Certificates in Pastoral Ministry - a necessary requirement for Commissioning in the Mid-America Region. 

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We salute four Mid-America pastors who each received their certificate and white pastoral stole.  Pictured on the front row, second to left, Rev. Randy Robb, Clark CC, and on the far right, Rev. Terry Overfelt, Broadway CC and Eric Holmes, Mokane CC.  Not pictured is Rev. Priscilla Nicholson, Huntsville CC. 

 

While the last MCM graduation was bittersweet, there was great excitement as its successor program, the Phillips Seminary Ministry Training Center revealed a very comprehensive 20-course offering for 2018.  Prospective new students are encouraged to contact Leslie Robb LeSieuer at office@m-acm.org for enrollment information.  All courses continue to be on-line and can be completed regardless of the student's location.

Story and photo courtesy of Rev. Dr. Paul Koch.

FCC Festus Annual Coat Giveaway

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First Christian Church in Festus held its annual coat giveaway Saturday, October 21, 2017.  They gave away over 1,200 coats and items of warm clothing to over 218 people during the day.  In addition they gave another 200 items to the Veterans to share with homeless vets and a women's abuse shelter.  Not a bad day for this band of disciples who gather at First Christian Church in Festus, MO!

Thanks to pastor Lari Grubbs for this story and photos.

FCC in Mt. Vernon Celebrates 150 Years of Ministry!

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On Sunday September 17, 2017 more than a 160 members and friends gathered to celebrate this milestone with a formal worship celebration. Speakers included Jean Berg, a 3rd generation member, who spoke to the historical significance of the church.  Dr. G. Mike Weinman, Regional Minister Team member, spoke to the role of the church today and the importance of welcoming all to the table.  Dr. L. Brent Cantrell, Timothy of the church, spoke to the church's witness and ministry moving forward. There was also special music by the Adult and Children's choirs, Bell Choir, God's Rods (youth Sticks ministry of the church), and guest pianist Carl Cunningham who grew up in the congregation, and Harpist, Elizabeth Mosher. The gathering also recognized oldest and youngest members and presented a proclamation on behalf of the Missouri Senate. This special service was followed by a group photo and catered lunch. Thanks be to God for a wonderful day!

Disciples Care Team Meets

 Pictured left to right are Dan Kercher, Murrell Arnett, and Larry Colvin.

Pictured left to right are Dan Kercher, Murrell Arnett, and Larry Colvin.

Disciple Care Team (DCT) had their semi-annual gathering September 23 at Broadway Christian Church in Columbia. The team members are pastors, retired pastors, and lay folk who volunteer to visit and represent CCMA and/or CCMA Regional Minister Team. They share happenings in the region, celebrate special events, and bring care.

DCT is also shares in learning. Many participate in boundary training, pro-reconciliation/anti-racism training and other educational events. Each semi-annual gathering also includes a learning component. At the September gathering, Rev. Frank Proctor discussed issues surrounding the closing of congregations. He has studied/shared in the process for several years and is preparing a team to walk along with churches in the process.

Regional Minister Team member Dr. Larry Colvin presented a certificate of appreciation to Murrell Arnett of First Christian Church in Macon for his many years as chairman of DCT. He is a charter member of DCT and, even in stepping down, will continue with the team for an additional three year term. Retired Pastor Dan Kercher of First Christian Church in Cameron was unanimously selected as the new chairman.

Article by Dr. Larry Colvin
Photo by Diane Hall

Parishioners Celebrate Ash Grove Pastor's 20th Anniversary

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On Sunday, July 23, 2017, current and former members, friends and family gathered, filling the sanctuary, to show their love and appreciation to the Rev. Dr. Tom Geer in celebration of his 20th year serving as minister to the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Ash Grove. Before worship, the morning service focused on an expressive, yet humor-filled recognition of Tom’s dedicated pastorate both to the church and in the community. A picnic style lunch followed honoring Rev. Geer with the theme, “With Tom, Life is a Picnic! 20 years and counting…”

Congratulations!

Story and photo courtesy of Marilyn Smith.