First Christian Church
Sunday, December 08, 2019
Disciples of Christ in Dexter, Missouri
December 4, 2019
Greater Kansas City region develops congregation transition program
When a pastor resigns or retires, a congregation often faces a major transition. The next steps may feel overwhelming or unclear, but congregations are never alone in these pivotal moments.
To facilitate leadership transitions in their congregations, the Greater Kansas City region developed a process to help when a pastor resigns or retires.
The first step in this process is a meeting between regional staff and key congregation leaders. The conversation is guided by using a Ministry Blueprint tool the developed by former regional staff member Rev. Yolanda Roseby, which helps create a snapshot of the health and direction of the congregation. This tool guides the rest of the process, by leading the group in answering questions in a three-step path: “Where are we? Where is God leading us? How do we get there?”
After the group completes the blueprint, the region next leads the whole congregation in a World Cafe exercise of collaborative dialogue. These small group conversations are structured to help participants engage in deep thinking and sharing around what matters most to the congregation.
The regional staff also helps conduct a demographic overview of the congregation by collecting data from their leadership team, to add to this congregational snapshot.
To strengthen the work that regions do for Disciples across our Church, you’re invited to support the 2019 Christmas Special Day Offering, which will support your own regional ministry.
Invitation to join in prayer
We thank you today, O God, for the faithful witness of the members of the Capital Area region and for their important ministries of care and transformation through congregational discernment; camps and conferences; and the nurturing and equipping of laity and clergy. We also thank you as they speak and witness for justice in the capital of the United States. Amen.
'What do we do now?'
Unexpected events can catch a congregation’s leadership flat-footed and confused unless you take the time to do a little planning. We are used to planning for financial crises with rainy day funds and savings, but we don’t always take the time to discuss other “what ifs” – what if a child gets out of the nursery and ends up across the street? What if the city threatens to shut down your homeless ministry? What if your property is vandalized?
While you can’t make a contingency plan for every single possible occurrence, you can think through some broad policies and practices that will be invaluable should a crisis occur.
Christmas offering received this month
Our finest gifts support the work of regional ministries this Christmas, as many congregations receive special offerings Dec. 15 and 22. Your regional ministry works to:
  • Connect congregations to each other
  • Foster faith development
  • Gather Disciples in camps, conferences, and assemblies
  • Nurture the development of a new generation of pastors
  • Assist churches in calling new ministers
  • Interpret the global mission of the Church
  • Represent the Church in ecumenical gatherings
  • Counsel and pray with those who are troubled of spirit
  • Lead the Church to address racism
  • Inspire leaders to experiment and create
  • Witness to the power of God to make things new
The Christmas Special Day offering supports all of these and many other ministries of our regions, and every gift to the Christmas offering stays in the region in which its given.
Applications for NBA's 2020-21 XPLOR program are now open!
NBA XPLOR is a movement for young adults who are considering lives of care and service. The Residency provides 10-month professional development and vocational discernment opportunities for 21-30-year-olds to live simply in community and engage in direct service and justice work. We partner young adults with Disciples congregations, regional and general ministries, and wider communities—positively engaging neighborhoods, the congregations, and the young adults. 
Through this experience, XPLOR Residents are able to try new things and challenge themselves in a way that they may not have on their own. This was the case for Dallas Resident Byron Nelson, who questioned whether he belonged in the program and has since realized God is using his moments of doubt and working beyond his comfort zone to grow his faith. Similarly, St. Louis Resident Corina Sosa, was worried about how their housemates would receive them upon arriving to St. Louis; the St. Louis house has since grown to be a close community of support and friendship. 
If you, or someone you know would be interested in NBA's XPLOR program please consider applying on the National Benevolent Associations website. The next deadline is Jan. 17 and the final deadline is Feb. 14.
  • Dec. 6-7: Obra Hispana pastoral commission, Fullerton, CA
To advertise in Disciples News Service, contact Cherilyn Williams
New Church Hacks is back!
New Church Ministry‘s webinar series returns on Jan. 22 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM EST. As in past episodes, it offers real-world solutions to problems facing new and/or renewing churches from the people who’ve been there themselves. Here’s what you can expect for Season 2, Episode 1:
  • Learn how to positively impact the success of your team, your organization and yourself
  • Better understand your own motivations, strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop skills for facilitating open communication and encouraging others
  • Step up your leadership game as the New Year kicks off
Our featured guests include Bob Whitesel (Writer, Consultant, Coach, and Speaker at and Jason Tucker(Lead Pastor of Tower Hill Church and host of podcast). 
Hosted by Terrell McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies, New Church Hacks (NCH) provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. Why only do something new or better when you can do both?! NCH empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain, and strengthen congregations.
The episode will be recorded and emailed to all registrants, so even if you can’t attend, be sure to register. And if you can’t make it, follow along on social media #NewChurchHacks!
Peace Intern application window open through Jan. 26
The Disciples Peace Fellowship's Peace Intern program is a paid, twelve week, intensive internship that provides the opportunity to travel the U.S. attending different week-long church camps and denominational events as an ambassador for peace and justice.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old by June 1 of their internship year. The deadline to apply for the 2020 summer internship is Jan. 26. Internship training takes place during the last week of May and concludes by Aug. 15.
Disciples News Service (DNS) is distributed by Communication Ministries, in the Office of the General Minister and President, and is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund. To change your subscription, or submit news for consideration in DNS, visit our website.
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