#DCE: Workshops

SESSION 1: 10 – 11 AM

Navigating the Gap:

Led by Dr. Joyce McEwen Crane
Strategic Development Coordinator for the Community Engagement Institute of Wichita State University and Kansas Leadership Coach.

Sooner or later every congregation is challenged by the difference between their present state of life and their hopes and dreams for their congregation.  In this workshop, attendees will learn how to clarify their current state and their hopes and dreams so that they can begin to make progress on making the changes they need to make for the future.

Elder: not deacon

Led by Rev. Steve Bridwell, Interim Pastor at Cheney Trinity United Christian Church

Elders are not just those who have “deaconed” long enough. There is more. Join us to rediscover the office of Elder and, as a bonus, regain spiritual vitality in your congregation.

Racism: Fact or Fiction – Part 1

Led by Rev. David Bell of the Yakama Christian Mission in White Swan, Washington

A pressing cultural issue is racism. Some people believe we have moved beyond racism; others see it everywhere, embedded in the structures of our country. Rev. Bell will help us understand why the church needs to be pro-active in this cause.

Session 2: 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Working Across the Aisles

Led by Joyce McEwen Crane (see above for details)

In every church, there exists competing groups, coalitions or factions.  Each have their own values, concerns and hopes for their congregation.  Building bridges and maintaining those bridges between groups is essential for any church to make progress on the daunting challenges they face. Building on the ideas from Navigating the Gap, attendees will identify the factions that exist in their congregation and learn how to work “across the aisles” to help their church move into the future.

Practical Giving:
Good Gifts that Trim Taxes and Maximize Ministry

Led by Kirby Gould, Christian Church (DOC) Foundation

Beyond the methods of giving, there is the motivation to give. With the new tax laws now in place, people are finding that the “pocket” from which they give will have a greater impact on how much they can afford to give. Church leaders who understand giving options can help members make better gifts.

Racism: Fact or Fiction – Part 2

Led by Rev. David Bell of the Yakama Christian Mission in White Swan, Washington

A pressing cultural issue is racism. Some people believe we have moved beyond racism; others see it everywhere, embedded in the structures of our country. Rev. Bell will help us understand why the church needs to be pro-active in this cause.

Session 3: 1 – 2 PM

Revisioning CCK

Led by Di Watkins and the CCK Vision Team

The regional church as we know it is changing.  Discuss about the new vision, staffing changes, and more with Vision Team members. Be ready to move around the room and share your ideas with other participants!

Financial Check-Up. 

Led by Aaron Smith, area director of Christian Church Pension Fund

Whether we have $100 in our bank account or $100,000, we can all use a financial check-up – a chance to assess where we are and imagine a brighter financial future. Do you know the right next step on the road to financial wellness? Let Pension Fund help you map your path and identify some practical steps forward.

The Church Communication Team

Led by Jessica Marston, Communications Specialist for Christian Church in Kansas

Church communication is a complex and everchanging concept and it requires more than one person to make it effective.  Learn the why and who of a church communications team

Ministry in Transition – 2019

Leading your church during interim times, in times of crisis or transition

October 28-29     
Program begins at 2 p.m. on Monday; concludes by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Disciples Center at Tawakoni
8492 SW Tawakoni Rd.
Augusta, KS

DETERMINE: Where the Congregation is and What Gives It Life
DISCOVER: Engage the Vision, Implement Actions, New Life Emerges
DECIDE God’s Direction and Imagining the Future

Led by Steve Bridwell, the interum pastor at Cheney Trinity United Christian Church


  • XL Twin sheets or sleeping bag
  • Towels & toiletries
  • Notebook

This training event is jointly sponsored by Christian Church in Oklahoma & Christian Church in Kansas. Leadership costs subsidized by a grant from the Kansas Bible Chair.


$100 through Friday, October 11; $125 through Friday, October 25. Fee covers 6 meals, camp lodging, program and materials. Must register and pay before Friday, October 25.  No Refunds after Friday, October 18. 

Register online below or download and mail registration form with payment to Topeka Regional office, 2914 SW MacVicar, Topeka 66611. Make check payable to Christian Church in KansasNOTE: This charge will appear as some version of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.

Reflections from KCYF Mission Week

by Patrick Nixon, Pittsburg First Christian Church
Mission Week Director

The first week of June, 19 youth and 8 adults traveled to Denver for KCYF Mission Week and slept in the basement of a church.

“I never knew one week could change my life in such a way,” said Sydney DeArvil, Salina Belmont Boulevard CC. “Working at Tennyson was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had and I’m so grateful for it.”

Participants were divided up into two task groups.  One group worked at Tennyson Center, which is a home for children and teens.  Most of the children are there through court order because the parents are not able to take care of them.

“This place taught me to consider people’s past before judging them for their actions,” said DeArvil. “I have also learned how to put a positive spin on almost everything and it has made the way I look at things so much better.”

“This trip was very important because we had the opportunity to show the kids real kindness and love,” echoed Lindsay Brown, Salina Belmont Boulevard CC. “We tried to bring joy to every child that we were able to interact with. I’m so grateful for this life changing opportunity to spread God’s Love.”

The other group worked on various hands-on tasks around the Denver area.  They worked at Central Church, where we stayed, at Tennyson Center, and at their church camp in Colorado Springs.

In the evening we enjoyed the mountains and some recreational activities around Denver.

We should be proud of our kids. They worked hard and represented their churches well.  We often hear bad things about youth, but this trip showed that the future of the church will be in good hands.

Blessings in Disguise

The ichthus, a symbol adopted by early Christians, is known colloquially as the “sign of the fish” or the “Jesus fish“.

Nurturing your Spirit

By Debbie Griffith,
Goodland First Christian Church

In the winter when all the leaves are off the trees, the tree that is visible from my prayer spot has two branches that form an ichthus. 

It reminds me of the presence of the Holy One as I read, contemplate, and pray. In the summer when the leaves have filled the tree with life and beauty, the ichthus is hidden from view. Tucked away among the new season’s foliage, I can trust the unseen.

Throughout the seasons of life and in the events of our journeys, we experience the Lord in different ways. The purposes are, at times, clear and readily seen. Then there are times when it is not clear and our view of God may seem obscured. It is then that we have to trust that He is ever present. Sometimes the very thing that seemed to get in the way can be a blessing in disguise!

Growing your church

Thoughts for your
Regional Minister

By: Ken Marston

From time to time, church leaders ask what can be done to help their congregation grow. That question doesn’t have a simple answer, or one that will fit every situation.

Part of the reason is that the community in which each congregation resides is different. Some are growing and some are shrinking. Effective approaches to church growth vary depending on the situation.

Another reason centers around the willingness to make the fundamental changes that will be necessary to reach new generations of people. These changes mean giving up some of our basic understandings of what it means to be the church and the practices of church life that have meant a lot to the current membership. Diana Butler Bass talks about this as the ability to practice radical Christian hospitality — the ability to really make room in our common life for someone new to feel like they belong.

Making significant progress on any challenge requires effective leadership, which can come from both ministers and laity. The Kansas Leadership Center offers high-quality training to help people exercise leadership more effectively, whether in church, at work, or in other organizations; in turn helping those groups more readily accomplish their purposes. 

2019 is the second year of partnership with the Kansas Leadership Center, a partnership that has allowed us to send some 35-40 individuals from 20 different congregations to their training programs. 17 more training slots are available for 2019; we do not expect this grant to renew for 2020. If you are want to learn how to help your congregation make progress more effectively, go to www.kansasdisciples.org/grants or contact me to sign up for this training.

It’s Christmas in July

Support your regional ministries

The annual Christmas Special Day offering supports regional ministry—yet in many congregations, other appeals squeeze out attention to this important ministry. So this year, we offer Christmas in July!

Your gifts to the Annual Fund, Messenger Fund, and Disciples Center at Tawakoni of the Christian Church in Kansas support regional programs and ministries.

The Kansas region works Connect our congregations and members with each other and with the wider church and equip them through leadership and ministry skills training to transform individual congregations and the world around them.

Your gifts to the Annual Fund, Messenger Fund, and Disciples Center at Tawakoni support regional programs and ministries.

These include Disciples Men’s and Women’s programs, summer camping programs, pastoral care, leadership opportunities, Kansas Messenger publication, the regional website, and social media.

Give through your congregation, give online at www.kansasdisciples.org/give or mail your check—made out to the Christian Church in Kansas—to the Topeka Regional Office.  100% of your designated gifts remain in Kansas.

Consider setting up regional gifts on a recurring gift plan. With recurring gifts, you have the convenience and flexibility to create and change recurring regional gifts to any fund or ministry.  

Thank you for your support!

KDM: Two Retreats, One Weekend

Kansas Men of all ages are invited to a weekend filled with fun, fellowship, and learning at Tawakoni.  The weekend starts with KDM Fall Retreat, Sept. 27-28, led by Director of Disciples Men’s ministries of the General Church, Greg Alexander.

As Associate Regional Minister then Regional Minister in Kentucky, he developed men’s ministry resources and worked with ecumenical men’s leaders both nationally and internationally.

He will give four presentations on “What it Means to be a Man Today.”

The retreat will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and conclude shortly after dinner on Saturday. A pre-event work project is planned for Friday afternoon, and a Friday afternoon golf outing is on the agenda if at least four golfers pre-register. 

Following the men’s Fall Retreat, the 5th annual men’s Odyssey Experience will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 28.

Originally conceived as a mentorship program, the Men’s Odyssey Project is an ongoing effort to nurture Christ-like character in men of all ages. The retreat introduces the intentional process of reflecting on eight character qualities and scriptural teachings

Those qualities are:

  • compassion
  • faithfulness
  • generosity
  • humbleness
  • respectfulness
  • responsibility
  • reliability
  • self-control.

Then, participants are encouraged to live out these character traits through a daily act of service.

Participants receive an eight week “Rule of Life” book designed to help them develop the habits of living the character of Jesus in everyday life. They also receive a guide for a monthly men’s Odyssey group designed to encourage men to reflect on the nature of our Lord and Savior.

Register by Sept. 13 and pay online for either retreat below or download a registration form and mail with payment to the Topeka Regional Office.

Join us in Iowa for General Assembly

Worship, learning, fellowship and business all make up the biennial gathering of the General Church. Come early for one of the pre-events offered by Green Chalice, Phillips Theological Seminary, Disciples Alliance Q and Disciples Church Extension.

Join in the celebration beginning at 1:30 pm on Saturday, July 20, in the Iowa Events Center’s arena. Meet Disciples from across all expressions of the church and ecumenical and international visitors. Worship and hear inspiring Bible studies and preaching. explore workshops, MissionFest displays, exhibits, and enjoy special meal events and after sessions.

Find out what the general ministries have been doing  and their plans for the future. Register now at ga.disciples.org.

Youth Virtual Choir:

This remote collaboration works by recording your singing and sending it in to us. We’ll stitch together all of the singers into one giant sonic collage debuting at General Assembly. Show the world what God’s doing through your generation.

Escape Room Adventure:

Break out of the workshop mold with this wild and wacky adventure game. You and your team of up to 10 will be “locked” in a church-themed room, with 45 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and discover keys and combinations to “escape” before your time expires.

Hunger Simulation:

In the Hunger Simulation, you take on the identity of a real person experiencing food insecurity. You have 15 minutes to determine your food budget and get the recommended USDA MyPlate servings of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy.

You can do this by shopping at the grocery store, visiting the food pantry, and applying for SNAP benefits at the DHS office. Then, you will reflect on your experience and share with the rest of the group.

Using your newsletter to grow your church

By Jessica Marston, Communications Specialist

Your church newsletter is a powerful communication tool whether it’s an emailed digital form or a printed paper copy.  It distributes information about future events, special missions, and ministry projects, and provides individual faith growing opportunities in the form of prayer, devotions, and sermon discussions.

The danger comes when your newsletter starts to look like an insider’s bulletin board and less like an inclusive and inviting faith community. So what do we do?

You start by looking at who you are trying to reach – your audience or audiences.  In this case you have two: church members who are already established in the church and new potential members and visiting guests who are search for a new church home.

Beginning in 2019, Faith Christian Church, Wichita, saw their vision and mission leading them to be an outward focused church.  In doing so, all of their communication including their newsletter would be aimed outside their walls.

“By creating two newsletters we have given our members a new tool,” said Andy Newbrey, Pastor at Faith Christian Church. “We eliminated housekeeping items such as meetings and reports from the sharable newsletter, letting seekers, and potential guests know that we are not a club and we are intentionally opening our doors to the world.”

In their “Member’s Newsletter” Faith CC shares internal community and faith building opportunities as well as housekeeping items such as prayer list, serving schedules, church statistics, birthdays and anniversaries, and all the things their guests don’t need to know.

“In everything we do we try our best to view from the perspective of our guests,” said Andy. “This info just looks to them like ‘private club news.’”

Their “General Faith Newsletter” is packed full of faith development and community fellowship opportunities designed to be shared through easy share links.

“The church is not a club and not a cruise ship, we are a fishing boat and we have a job to do,” said Andy. “Our congregations really do want to grow! They really do have the heart for Christ! They need tools and resources. This strategy of two newsletters is one tool you can give your people to reach out and let seekers, guests, whoever know that we are not a private club.”

A Covenant of Ethics

Thoughts from your Regional Minister

By Renee Bridwell

College of Regional Ministers has been talking about standardizing our common activities, rather than developing processes in 30 different ways. This free-flowing conversation evolved over time into talk of the things that Regional Ministers should expect of one another, especially as related to common tasks like reports, financial administration, and facilitating the search process for congregations seeking pastors. From that, a document has grown that we didn’t realize we needed: An Ethical Covenant for Regional Ministers.

Your Regional Ministers are signing this document, in the accompanying photo (right). With our signatures, we pledge ourselves to high standards in our work as Regional Ministers, and to mutual accountability within the College.

The three of us already operate as a mutually accountable roundtable, calling each other to our best work and to the good of the Christian Church in Kansas. This Ethical Covenant for RMs expands that circle of accountability to our colleagues throughout the whole church.

Most provisions of this document are already native to CCK. It establishes high standards for financial practices. It expects promptness and fairness in facilitating pastoral searches. It expects Regional Ministers to tend to their physical, mental, social, financial, and spiritual well-being in order to serve well, according to the Policies and Criteria for the Order of Ministry.

Most of all, it expects Regional Ministers to take seriously, their role as leaders of the whole church and partners for the General Minister and President, who we treat as a partner adviser with respect to regional matters–similar to ways that Regional Ministers are partner advisers to pastors and leaders.

Pray for us, as we pray for you, that the ministry God has placed in our hands will be fruitful.