First Christian Church
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Disciples of Christ in Dexter, Missouri
October 9, 2019
Oregon congregation works to build affordable housing on church property
Five years ago, members of neighboring congregations in Portland, OR – St. Johns Community Church (Disciples of Christ) and University Park United Methodist Church – began looking for ways to better serve people in their community without affordable housing.
They knew many people had been displaced from the neighborhood as rent prices skyrocketed. They knew this problem was expanding across Portland – the mayor declared a city housing emergency in 2015.
Amid leading this work, the two congregations “realized they had a lot in common,” remembers Co-Pastor Rev. Andy Goebel, including “a real love and passion for houseless neighbors. So, the congregations decided to merge into Portsmouth Union Church two years ago.
The two congregations had compatible identities, suggests Co-Pastor Rev. Julia Nielsen. “St. Johns had a great spirit of mercy work, developing relationships with houseless people. University Park had a background of advocacy work. The conversations around this project helped everyone grow in different ways, but together it’s been beautiful to see these things become one and see how mercy and justice can’t be separated.”
Members of the newly-formed congregation knew a long process to create affordable housing continued. They also knew they held a valuable piece of the solution: land. Over the last two years, the congregation has torn down one-third of their building, clearing a lot for eventually building a new structure to house 20 apartments.
Alliance Q calls new executive director
Following its commitment to building a just and inclusive Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where all are welcome, Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance(also known as Alliance Q) announced this week that Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy has been called as the ministry's new Executive Director and Minister. Read the full press release here.
In her recorded greetings titled "Bridges," Melissa writes: "The table isn’t mine or yours. It’s God’s banquet table. Sooner than later we will be facilitating conversation about building a bigger table, not just making room at the table."
Melissa follows the six-year tenure, and total of 30 years of involvement, of Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston. Read his reflection on the ministry's past and future here.
Week of Ministry is Oct. 13-19
Week of Ministry was created in 1933 as a reminder to honor and celebrate the call to ministry. Every year during Week of Ministry (usually the second full week in October), Pension Fund provides resources for congregations and ministry workers to:
  • Show appreciation for those in ministry.
  • Encourage congregations to celebrate their pastor.
  • Foster relationships among ministry peers.
  • Support and encourage those who might be interested in a ministry career in the future.
Like fingerprints, no two ministries will ever look alike. Today's ministries are reaching out to others in unprecedented ways. Find resources to celebrate and support your minister here.
Light a Candle with Children prayer vigil continues through Oct. 20
"The Hearts and Voices of our Young People"
Light a Candle With Children is an advocacy and prayer vigil project that invites congregations to join in prayer and devotions for our children. The vigil begins four weeks before Children’s Sabbath sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund. Thousands of congregations from multiple faith groups unite during Children’s Sabbath weekend to simultaneously witness for children through prayer, education, and worship.
Light a Candle With Children is a project of the Ministries Across Generations, housed in Disciples Home Missions.
To advertise in Disciples News Service, contact Cherilyn Williams
Christian Church Foundation offers worship resources for All Saints Day
All Saints Day is more than just the day that comes after Halloween (yes, really!). All Saints Day is an opportunity to celebrate the faithful members of your church who have passed on or those members of your church who have remembered your congregation in their end-of-life plans. Members who leave legacy gifts for their congregation do so because they believe in what the church is doing but, more than that, they believe the church will be around to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ long after they have passed on. What better way to celebrate and honor their legacy than to remind your congregation of the faithful witness of the saints who have gone on before us?
The Christian Church Foundation believes it is essential that we remember and celebrate each of these saints, their strong faith, and their passion for ministry. The Christian Church Foundation has collaborated with Rev. Richard Hull to offer congregational resources for celebrating All Saints Day. These resources include historical and biblical background of All Saints Day, letters and bulletin inserts for your congregation, and worship resources and can be found on the Christian Church Foundation website.
All Saints Day is an important time in the life of the church, not just to celebrate those who have remembered the church in their end-of-life plans, but also to give thanks for the great cloud of witnesses who walk with us on this faithful journey. 
Disciples Mission Fund supports work of wider Church
Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) brings the whole Church together, connecting us to the life-giving and life-saving work we have been called to do. It also simplifies giving for congregations and individuals, providing a way to support the entire Church at once. DMF-funded regional and general ministries offer opportunities for Disciples to serve as missionaries, attend college or seminary, advocate for the least of these, and so much more.
When you make a gift to Disciples Mission Fund, you share God’s love from your doorsteps to the ends of the Earth.
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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