Refugee Dinner at Abbey Road CC

Fasoulia, anyone? A scoop of mujadara? Abbey Road Christian Church in Cape Girardeau hosted an opportunity to sample these and other Syrian foods at a Refugee Dinner on Wednesday, June 19. During the week, ARCC member Jamie Kohler and Transitional Minister Doug Job participated in the Ration Challenge in support of Church World Service. Along with about 40,000 Challengers around the world, they ate the same rations that Syrian refugees in camp in Jordan receive: mostly rice with small amounts of flour, legumes, oil, and sardines. Using those same ingredients, the Refugee Dinner featured fasoulia (a kidney bean stew) mujadara (a preparation of lentils and rice), hummus, fried rice with sardines, lentil soup, rice milk bread, flatbreads, and falafel. The sardines tested palates, but falafel was popular! So far, Jamie and Doug have raised $2,217, which provides food, schooling, and medical care for refugees and enables CWS’s work with vulnerable people. Gifts in support may be made at https://my.rationchallengeusa.org/jamiekoehler or https://my.rationchallengeusa.org/dougjob.


Total raised in the US is over $350,000, and worldwide over $3 million!

Thanks to Rev. Doug Job for this
information and photos.



This IS God's Church

Three dozen pastors and church leaders gathered at First Christian Church in Jefferson City, Wednesday and Thursday, June 5-6 to visit with and receive pastoral nurture and care from General Minister and President, Terri Hord Owens; Week of Compassion Director, Vy Nguyen, Disciples Volunteering Coordinator, Josh Baird, Disciples Church Extension Fund leader Jim Michel, and the Regional Minister Team. Pastors and leaders from the most affected storm disaster areas, Rev. Bethany Imbler, Community Christian Church-Jefferson City; Dr. Bill & Lisa Fogelsong, FCC-Eldon; Rev. Ruth Ann Clark, Clarksville CC and FCC-Louisiana, Dr. Craig Kirby-Grove, FCC-Maryville and representing NW Quadrant Missouri River flooded areas. We thank our gracious hosts, Revs. Beau Underwood and Sarah Kingsbury of FCC-Jefferson City. The church also fed many members of Community CC for a solidarity sisterhood lunch.

All gathered took advantage of the time to share lamentation and also resilience in the communities they serve. Denominational leaders lifted all in prayer and promises that they will not leave their side until the breech is restored, and long after the media have moved on to something else. Hats off to all the visiting dignitaries who visit local devastation sites and relief centers and participated in many local relief action plan meetings to help them understand the full gamut of what storms wrought. 

At the conclusion, an ACTS of God prayer service was hosted by Second Christian Church and Pastor Vernell Weston.  (ACTS - Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.) The prayer service ended and further response has begun. Disciples Volunteering estimates that late summer and fall will be a good time for strategic organized relief efforts to begin and plans are underway for the youth mission clean effort in Clarksville this winter.

Everyone is invited to watch the Mid-America Update for notice of these and earlier storm/flooding related news and invitations. Dollars to Week of Compassion remain the best way to show support. Church World Service Clean Up Buckets assembly instructions and drop off locations across the Region may be found by clicking Festival of Sharing.

Lisa Foglesong (pictured at top) described the devastation in Eldon and the amazing way the community has pulled together.

Rev. Ruth Ann Jones (pictured center), and leaders from the Clarksville and Louisiana congregations she serves ,expressed her deep appreciation for the ways in which neighboring Disciples congregations continue to provide support for holding back the flood waters.

Rev. Bethany Imbler (pictured at bottom) gave an update on the damages that Community Christian Church in Jefferson City sustained when hit by the tornado.


Week of Compassion responded immediately after the storms hit, providing grant money for congregations and affected members. Executive Directory Vy Nguyen (pictured at top) brought a word of hope to the group gathered.

Disciples Volunteering Director Josh Baird (pictured center) described the process for organizing volunteers to help with the recovery and rebuilding process.

General Minister and President Rev. Terri Hord Owens (pictured at bottom) gave a powerful pastoral reminder to the pastors about the importance of staying grounded in our faith as we seek to help others who are hurting.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this recovery effort in so many ways.

Thanks to Regional Ministers Paul Koch and Penny Ross-Corona
for this information and photos.

Iftar Dinner in Springfield

Iftar pic2.jpg

Many Springfield Disciples were among 100 people gathered for the 2nd Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner. The dinner is co-sponsored by Ekklesia, an ecumenical campus ministry at Missouri State directed by DOC pastor Michelle Scott-Huffman. The dinner began last year under the leadership of an Ekklesia student in an effort to show support for the Muslim community and to build relationships between people of different faith traditions.

Iftar pic1.jpg

This year’s event featured panelists who spoke about fasting and hunger from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions, and MSU professor of Islamic Studies and Inter-religious Relations, Dr. Matthew Kuiper. In addition to Ekklesia, the partners that sponsored this year's event were the Islamic Center of Springfield, Catholic Campus Ministries, Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri, and the Interfaith Alliance of the Ozarks. Event participants heard from speakers while waiting for the time to break the fast at sundown. The Muslim call to prayer was given by a student, signaling that it was time for the Maghrib prayer. Each table was set with dates and water to break the fast, and afterward a potluck feast was enjoyed by all. Fellowship and conversation went late into the evening between friends old and new. This Springfield tradition is sure to continue and to grow each year helping people of all faiths come to know and love their neighbor more fully. 

Thanks to Rev. Michelle Scott-Huffman for this story and photos.

African American Convocation 2019

58383828_2282359805158427_5729246915552346112_n.jpg

The annual African American Convocation has been a Mid-America tradition for more than 40 years.  This year's gathering, held on April 27 at Second Christian Church in Jefferson City, was a spirit-filled event with representation from across the Region.  

Keynote preacher, Rev. Chris Dorsey, president of the Disciples Higher Education & Leadership Ministries (HELM) gave a rousing sermon based on the theme "Lest We Forget" from Deut. 8:11.  His message was magnified with a dance by 16 year-old Re'Nayjah Burton. Disciples Executive for Evangelism and Congregational Transformation, Dr. R. Wayne Calhoun gave each participant a wonderful notebook on key Disciples mission and vision statements, formative history, and resources.  (One personal takeaway was the affirmation that African-American Disciples were far more organized and formally established than the three streams of "white Disciples" before the unification in 1968.) Rev. Cedric Harris of Second Christian Church in Fulton preceded him on the faith-statement that Stewardship brings.  


IMG_1175.jpg

People repeatedly expressed how meaningful it was that Regional Minister Rev. Ron Routledge was installed at Convocation as an expression of who our Region is - All Means All.  Rev. Dr. Teresa Dulyea-Parker, Regional Minister of the Christian Church in Illinois-Wisconsin presided on behalf of the College of Regional Ministers.  Rev. Dr. Patrick Overton shared a poem he composed in Ron's honor and each RMT member presented Ron a symbol of his office.

Many thanks go to Convocation Co-Coordinators LeWanda Jackson and Paula Holliday for all the splendid work of leadership and preparation, and the ministers and people of SCC-Jefferson City for being exquisite hosts and providers of a delicious lunch.

Mark you calendars!!  The next convocation will be April 18, 2020.

by Regional Minister Rev. Dr. Paul Koch

Congregations Host Culver-Stockton Music Groups

The first stop on the 2019 Culver-Stockton College Band and Choir tour was in Springfield, where the groups presented a concert at South Street Christian Church on Saturday, March 9, and the choir sang for worship at Central Christian Church on Sunday, March 10. The two churches jointly provided meals and housing for the students. Performing groups included the Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. Highlights of the program were Dan Forrest’s choral arrangement of “And Can It Be” (which the combined choirs from Springfield Disciples churches will be singing on Good Friday), and an amazing guitar solo by Culver-Stockton student Allen Gingerich on Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover.”

—————————————————-

The Concert Choir is the premier choral ensemble at Culver-Stockton College, and the singers in the group represent a variety of majors and previous experiences. The tie that binds this group together is their individual commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the performance of choral music. The Concert Choir has performed by invitation at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, and for the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference. It has undertaken a national or international tour annually for nearly 70 years.

The Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble were also part of the tour. These groups perform band and wind ensemble music, and a variety of jazz and contemporary styles in a standard big band instrumentation. Musicians in both ensembles are chosen by audition and must also be members of the Symphonic Band.

Culver Stockton is one of our Disciples of Christ colleges, located in Canton, MO.
The music tour also included performances at Lake Ozark Christian Church and First Christian Church in Boonville.

Thanks to South Street CC pastor Rev. Janet Given
for this information and photos.

A Gospel Explosion

thumbnail.jpg

Last Saturday, February 3, Second Christian Church hosted "A Gospel Explosion" featuring a Disciples of Christ African American Congregations Mass Choir, the Weston Family Ministry (First Family of SCC) and the debut of Reverence 4 God, a pastors men's quartet featuring Rev. Vernell Weston of SCC-Jefferson City and Rev. Melvin McCaleb, pastor of SCC-Vandalia.  Five of our Convocation churches were noticed to be present in this time for music, worship and prayer: SCC-Jefferson City, SCC-Vandalia, SCC-New London, SCC-Fulton and Fifth Street CC-Columbia.  Regional Minister Paul Koch was honored to be asked to give the opening prayer.

Here are pictures and the program.  Check out the splendid DoC light fixtures at SCC!  What if all churches had them?  Also notice the youth musicians who were supreme. The pianist is a sophomore and the drummer is a 6th grader.

SCC-Jefferson City will also be hosting the Regional Minister Team for our monthly meeting on Feb. 20, and whole Region for Convocation on April 27. The event this year will feature speaker Rev. Chris Dorsey of HELM and the installation of our newest Regional Minister, Rev. Ron Routledge.

Thanks to Dr. Paul Koch for this story and photos.

One Bag of Tea, One Conversation, One Relationship

Conversations+2.jpg

South Joplin Christian Church hosted a Reconciliation event on MLK Day entitled "One Bag of Tea, One Conversation, One Relationship." Members from two local African American churches were invited to share a cup of tea with members from SJCC, and discuss five questions printed on the tea wrappers provided by Reconciliation Ministries. Twenty-seven people participated in the conversations, and without exception, were eager to learn when the next conversation would take place.

Conversations+8.jpg

The opportunity to make new friends across racial barriers which often divide our community was simply, yet powerfully enabled through the idea behind the exercise, which is that an invitation to tea is more than an offer to share a beverage, but more importantly, an offer to form a relationship. 


For more information about "One Bag of Tea, One Conversation, One Relationship," contact Reconciliation Ministries’ April Johnson at rmadmin@disciples.org.

Thanks to Dr. Colleen Carroll, Senior Minister at SJCC,
for this information and photos.

Deacon Emeritus at FCC Poplar Bluff

Carlos2.jpg

During a recent morning worship service, First Christian Church in Poplar Bluff honored Carlos Hicks with the honorary title of Deacon Emeritus.

Pastor Frank Chlastak describes the event:

Over the years since becoming a member of our church family Carlos has worked tirelessly in the ministry of our church.

Laverne Matthews, chair of the Membership Ministry team, lifted up many of the aspects of Carlos’ ministry. From changing light bulbs, handing out worship bulletins, greeting members and guests as they arrive, making coffee for the Senior Fellowship and all fellowship dinners, remodeling rooms, and even climbing on the roof for repairs, Carlos has quietly and humbly gone about in serving Jesus in the ministry to others as a deacon.

Carlos was presented a Certificate of Recognition and a plaque during the service by Laverne Matthews, Membership Ministry Team, and Pastor Frank.

Stanley Pinkston, Chair of the Deacons presented Carlos with the Deacon Emeritus pin on behalf of the church. Carlos also received gift cards for his favorite morning breakfast spot.

For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Those helpers who do their work well win for themselves a good standing and are able to speak boldly about their faith in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 3:13)

Thank you to Rev. Frank Chlastak for this information and photo.

Elevator Dedicated in El Dorado Springs

first ride.png

First Christian Church in El Dorado Springs had been looking forward to this day for many years and, as of October 21, have completed the work and held a service of dedication for their newly installed elevator. The event included trustees, members, and pastor Jack Daniel, on all three levels of the building, participating in a responsive litany and prayers of thanksgiving and dedication for this equipment that makes the whole building accessible.

The $40,000 building project was made possible by the generous donations of more than thirty church members, as well as a Bridgeton Fund grant. Such grants are awarded annually (if possible, according to policy and market activity) based on applications received each January. The grants are intended to assist congregations with such projects which may be otherwise impossible due to budget constraints. Applications are due January 31st.

Thank you to Rev. Jack Daniel for this information and photos.

Suicide Prevention Seminars

UCC logo.png

We have been invited by our partners in the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ to participate in these Suicide Prevention Seminars that they are presenting across the state in November.

Suicide Prevention Seminar

Let’s face it, suicide is a tough discussion to have with our youth.  Let’s get together and learn how to have a healthy conversation that could potentially save someone’s life.

We will:

Look at suicide in the bible

Learn what a PIT crew is

Practice a discussion you could have with someone you think might be suicidal

Learn and collaborate with each other as to how to deal with the topic of suicide in your youth groups

Cindy Birkner, youth ministry resource coordinator for the Missouri Mid-South Conference, will be hosting this seminar in different parts of the conference.

Choose from one of the following locations:

Nov. 15th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm- Columbia UCC  located at 32011-70 Dr NW- Columbia Missouri 65202.  Please RSVP by Nov. 9th.

Nov. 29th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm- St. John United Church of Christ located at 405 South Fifth Street, St. Charles, Missouri 63301.   Please RSVP by Nov. 21st.

Nov. 30th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm- Southwood UCC-   located at 7904 Raytown Rd, Raytown, MO 64138.  Please RSVP by Nov. 23rd.

The cost is $15 each which will cover lunch and supplies.  We encourage clergy, youth directors, volunteers and parents.  All are welcome!

Please let me know of any dietary restrictions!

RSVP to Cindy@mmsucc.org;   You can pay at the door.

Disciples Women Fall Gatherings

thumb_IMG_2017_1024.jpg

Some 39 women from eight different churches in the Southeast took part in the annual Fall Retreat September 14-15 at First Christian Church in Kennett. These vibrant ladies wrote the book on hospitality, and the weekend's resource leader, Holly Jo Engle, the minister at First Christian Church, Blytheville, AR, helped us see the biblical roots for compassion with the theme, The World is My Neighbor. She even had septuagenarians taking selfies with new friends!

Suzanne Mayes led our singing; we wrote cards of encouragement and collected supplies for The Haven, a crisis center for women and children in Blytheville; and gathered for closing worship in the sanctuary led by women from St. Charles Christian Church. Plans are already underway for the 2019 retreat, to be hosted by St. Charles Christian Church on September 20-21.

Thanks to Judi LInville for this information and photos.





On Monday, September 17th the Southwest Fall Assembly was hosted by Community Christian Church, Camdenton, MO with 55 ladies present including Rev. Katrina Palan. The theme was "Welcoming The Stranger". 

20180917_135002.jpg

Rev. Kathryn Wilson, Associate Minister for Mission and Outreach, South Joplin CC was the guest speaker. Her topic was "Neighbor" Through the Lens of Christ. Margaret Weber, President of the ladies group at Camdenton gave a presentation regarding 2018-19 Woman to Woman Global Mission India Projects. This was particularly interesting since Margaret has visited India.


The following ladies were installed by President Wanda Hedenberg;  Left to Right--Wanda Hedenberg, Wilma Frazier, Treasurer, Annette Meyers, Cluster One, Patsy Tipton, Cluster Six and Sara Reiter, Social Action Chair. Absent was Evelyn Roy, Secretary and Pat Gavisk, Cluster Three.

Thanks to Wanda Hedenberg for this information
and Katrina Palan for the photo.

NAPAD Convocation in Portland

group.png

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

group.jpg

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

38011828_2103367783069882_3433004584174354432_n.jpg

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!

WCRYE 2018 CCMA group.jpg

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

IMG_1022.jpeg

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

31956141_10212321495094135_1791126333095411712_n.jpg

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. 

31961805_10155233426576637_5157741464586813440_n.jpg

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

Resized952018042995154438.jpg

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. 

Resized952018042095192330.jpg

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.