The Christian: Summer

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Summer 2015 issue

Disciples Are Starting New Churches

Since 2001, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has started 850 new churches in the United States and Canada and the numbers continue to grow! Because of the new church movement, Disciples are spreading the gospel to more than 60,000 individuals, who may not have had a relationship with God. During worship, 28 languages are spoken in Disciples congregations every week. It is a Pentecost movement!

You can join this movement by supporting the Disciples Pentecost Offering, which will be celebrated on Sundays, May 17 and May 24. The Pentecost Offering is a special-day offering that will help Disciples establish 1,000 new congregations by 2020. Each year, the Pentecost Offering supports the Disciples New Church movement by making it possible for the Church to recruit, assess, train and coach new church leaders. One half of the offering is dedicated to each respective Region or Area, while the other half is used by Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation to support new church ministry.

In our Region, Root & Branch Church in Logan Square, Chicago, is doing new church in a new way. They offer “dinner church” and Sunday morning services. They are open, welcoming and thoughtful. Young adults are drawn to a different kind of church experience that meets them where they are and encourages them to grow in the context of a faith community. Lives are being changed and our gifts to the Pentecost offering help this happen! For more information, go to http://www.rootandbranchchurch.org/. This truly is an amazing new Disciples church.

Your gift to the Pentecost Offering is vital to keeping the new church movement alive and thriving. It helps create God’s Church, inspire the old to dream and fill the young with vision. Hope Partnership has created a two-minute video that we encourage your church to play on Pentecost Sundays. To access the video and for more information about how you can make a gift to the Pentecost Offering today, visit http://www.hopepmt.org/.

Regional Minister’s Moment

Our world is awakening from its winter slumber. It’s good to be a witness to the unfolding pattern of spring; the return of red-wing blackbirds, crocus in bloom, daffodils unfolding, farm fields and baseball fields open for business, Easter! Let us be grateful every day for the ability to experience it.

There are fresh signs in our congregations, as well. Glen Oak Christian Church in Peoria just opened a new tiny library for their neighbors. 15th Avenue in Rock Island is partnering with their neighbors to provide mentoring relationships with folks in poverty. Parkway Gardens in Chicago is partnering with their neighboring housing facility to provide safe space for young people throughout the summer. Park Manor is also finding ways to engage young people in the neighborhood in life-giving ways. Galesburg First has just completed a visioning process and they are ready to launch new small groups with an emphasis on mission.

In the Quad Cities, this is what is happening: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin is partnering with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Upper Mid-west, National Benevolent Association, Eureka College, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Moline, IL, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Davenport, IA, and Cedar Memorial (Disciples of Christ) in Davenport, IA to establish a Quad-City XPLOR House beginning in 2015 and running through June 2016. Residents of this house will be engaged in justice ministries through 30 hour per week Residency programs with local social service agencies including: Broadway Presbyterian Church, Quad City Interfaith, St. Joseph Worker House and Breaking Trafficking and 6 hours per week in ministries with the congregational partners; they will be living in community as they explore discipleship principles of simple living and vocational exploration. (Read more in related article.)

We also have refreshing news from our Camping Ministry. We have hired Jared Reno as our Camp Program Coordinator. Jared is working with our Directors and Counselors to provide the very best experience for our young people this summer. Jared is the Associate Minister at Central Christian Church in Jacksonville, IL, and is under care with the region as he pursues Ordination. We welcome Jared to our Ministry Team.

So, in what ways is God’s Spirit moving in your life, congregation and ministry? Why not share that Good news for the building up on the body of Christ. It’s easy. Go to our website and click on share a Good News story, then tell us your story. Or, if you have an event you want to share with the your partner churches, click on Event Creation and then share your information. Let’s continue to join with each other in God’s mission for the world.

Blessings, Teresa

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