Archive for CCK

2018 Boundaries Training

10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday, September 14, or Saturday, September 15
Disciples Center at Tawakoni

We are created in and for relationships. Life-enriching relationships, whether with intimate partners, family, friends, colleagues or parishioners, require healthy boundaries. All clergy and church lay leaders should be informed about legal and ethical issues as they relate to the church, ministry, and social media.

The workshop begins with an assumption that the complexity of relational dynamics in the congregation is one of its greatest possibilities and its greatest challenges for ministry. This workshop explores the meaning and practice of healthy boundaries in the context of ministry. It will also identify the signs, dangers, and preventions of boundary violations including those in today’s social media.

We welcome the presence of spouses and lay leaders.

Facilitator: Rev. Larry Walls, Pastor Oakview Christian Church, Wichita

Cost: $35.00 for Clergy / $10 for Spouses and Lay Leaders

Register and pay online below or download the registration form and mail with payment to Topeka regional office.  Make all checks out to Christian Church in Kansas. Note: This charge will appear as some version of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.

September 14

September 15

A grand day at Tawakoni

Worship! Workshops, fun, mission, music
A big bounce castle—swimming—Child care workers—food booths—displays—more!

NEW: KS Disciples Men and Disciples Women will have dinner together at 6:30 p.m. Hillside Christian Church in Wichita on Friday evening, August 10, then meet separately for programs.

Come learn new worship skills to enhance what your congregation offers to God! Dr. Marcia McFee, who taught a worship workshop series at General Assembly 2017, will be with us at Congregational Escape and MissionFest. This will launch an opportunity for your congregation to participate in her webinar program to enhance your ability to help people connect with God in worship.

Follow the Mini-Messenger for information on the Mission Grants that will be part of The Escape.


Reflections from KCYF Spring Retreat

Thoughts from your Regional Minister
By: Steve Martin, Regional Minister
April Kansas Messenger

Where is God in the Midst of our Struggles?

That question was the focus of our KCYF Spring Retreat, as Rev. Lara Blackwood Pickrel led 120 youth and sponsors with keynotes and questions.

Her keynotes helped us to examine “the knots:” anxiety and pain, trauma and suicide, and other disruptions which cause us to struggle with life. Surely God doesn’t want us to suffer? Surely God has not left us desolate in these times? Psalm 139:14 provides significant insights into the depths of God’s care for us, for we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Knowing that God has created us and knows us deeply brings an intimacy with our creator.

Lara asked the youth to express their concerns and their understanding of God’s presence through poetry. Throughout the retreat she read their writings; let me promise you, our youth have great faith! She adapted some to fit the tune “My Chains are Gone,” made popular by Chris Tomlin. Her adaptation of this poetry demonstrates God’s love and care in our human struggle.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
Kansas Youth Poetry Edition, adapted by LBP

We all have struggles, trials and pain.
We’ve hurts Band-Aids can’t cure.
But Jesus helps our wounded hearts –
His bandages are sure.

When life feels like a boulder
teetering on the edge,
if you fall, don’t fear – for God
will help you rise again.

Abuse can scar bodies and minds.
Hold fast and don’t believe.
Instead turn to camp family —
Ask God to help you breathe.

My knots are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has untied me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace (repeat)

If your sweet heart is tied in knots
Know that you’re not alone.
Your story hasn’t reached its end.
God’s presence you will know.
God’s love and grace you’ll know.


Disciples Center at Tawakoni—2018 Season

Assuming spring arrives, the Disciples Center is looking good and will be ready for the summer program. The new caretaker’s house is well underway! Electric and plumbing inspections are complete. The week of April 8, volunteers will hang sheetrock and do other projects to complete the house and to prepare the camp for summer. The painting will begin when the professional drywall finishing is done.

Summer Camp Interns:
Summer camp interns are Caleb Thompson from Pittsburg in his second year, Lauren Eagon, also from Pittsburg FCC, in her first year, and Mason Oswalt of Atchison, also a first-time intern. All three grew up in our camping program. Mason and Caleb will be our lifeguards. We’re pleased that Sid Rutland, manager last summer, is returning also. 

Camp Volunteers:
Leadership for the summer program began in January when directors, chaplains and counselors gathered for inspiration, training, and planning. Camp session directors are completing their planning now. To be a summer camp counselor, complete the Volunteer Application at and send it to the Topeka office.

Register for Camp:
Register soon to get your choice of camp; some sessions will fill up before the Early Bird deadline. Scholarship applications were due March 31.

Questions? Contact Steve Martin, or 800-737-8130.


Easter Special Offering

Like good stewards of the multi-colored grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 
     – 1 Peter 4:10

Received in most congregations on March 25 and April 1

The grace of God is overflowing in the gift we have in Jesus the Christ. Our response to this great generosity is overflowing compassion, joy, faith, gratitude, and love.

Supporting the General Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), by giving to the Easter Offering, is one of the many ways you share your response to God’s generosity. The work of these ministries overflows “from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth.”

Your gift to the Easter Offering to support the General Ministries of the church is one way to share God’s generosity, to help bring life, love and learning to many.

Ministries that receive funding from the Easter Offering include:


3 More Regional Listening Conferences

The Regional Vision Team is working hard to understand what role the Regional Church plays in church life in this century.  To hear from congregations, particularly from those who sit in the pews, we are hosting a series of Listening Conferences.  Three more opportunities are available to let your voice be heard.

These conferences will help us to re-think and re-visualize what it means to be the regional church, and therefore, what we as regional staff need to be doing in ministry with you.

We are asking that the pastor of each congregation in the district and if possible at least 5 church members be present for these important conversations. You are welcome to bring as many people from your congregations as you want.

RSVP with how many are coming from your church so that our host churches know how many to plan for.

Date Change! Sunday, March 11: Great Bend First Christian Church (directions) 4-5:30 p.m.
     Contact the Great Bend Satellite Office to reserve your spot. 

Date Change! Sunday, March 25: Colby First Christian Church (directions) 4-5:30 p.m.
     Contact the Great Bend Satellite Office to reserve your spot.

Date Change! Thursday, April 5: Parsons First Christian Church (directions) 6:30-8 p.m.
     Contact the Topeka Regional Office to reserve your spot.

Disciples Women Heartland Interregional Conference

Disciples Women of the Heartland will explore how we are Called, Connected and Charged for Christ at the Heartland Interregional Conference June 22 – 24, at Culver Stockton College, Canton, Missouri. 

Every four years the women of the Heartland Cluster have the opportunity to meet for renewal and revitalization. The Heartland Cluster is comprised of the Members of the Indiana, Illinois-Wisconsin, Upper Midwest, Mid- American, Nebraska, Kansas, Greater Kansas City Regions along with members of NAPAD, Convention, and Convocation.

This year’s Heartland Interregional will include mission opportunity, inspirational worship, empowering Bible Study, workshops, and leadership training.

It will begin with a mission opportunity at noon on Friday, June 22, and conclude at noon on Sunday, June 24. Mission projects are:

  • Butterfly Garden
  • Canton Senior Housing
  • City Park Department

Remember, bring your own pillow, twin sized linens and towels! The cost of the event is $160.00 per person for a single room and $130 per person for a shared room. DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION JUNE 1, 2018. ONSIGHT REGISTRATION IS $185.00 FOR SINGLE ROOM AND $155 FOR DOUBLE ROOM.

Heartland Inter-regional Event Flyer 
Speaker Bios
Schedule and Workshops
2018 Heartland Inter-Regional Registration form Closed

Register and pay online below or download the registration form (above) and mail with payment to Topeka regional office. NOTE: This charge will appear as some version of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.



 **Each Workshop will be offered twice.  Liturgical Dance Will only be offered During Workshop Session A. You will be asked to select 2 workshops during your registration. 

Sharing Our Story -- Presented by Rev. Dr. Marti Steussy

Each of us has a story to share and are a part of the story of God’s engagement with the world.   Explore what it means to find and share your place in the story.

Connecting through Prayer -- Presented by Rev. Angela DeVore

God loves us and longs to be in a relationship with us. This workshop will provide an opportunity to explore prayer practices that will with deepen our communication with God as we speak and listen.

Exploring LAP -- Presented by Rev. Chesla Nickelson

Leadership Apprentice Program equips women of color to answer their call as leaders in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in all its manifestations. This workshop will provide information on the program and how you can be a part or nominate someone to be a part.

Called and Equipped: Finding Your Spiritual Gifts -- Presented by Rev. Veronica Fallah

God does not call us without equipping us. Come and explore how you have been equipped to serve as a part of the Body of Christ.

Global Connections: Woman to Woman India -- Presented by Rev. Dr. Pat Donahoo

Join the Executive Director of IDWM as she shares her experiences as a part of the 2017 Woman to Woman trip to India. Learn how you can take part in upcoming trips.

Liturgical Dance -- Presented by Penuel Dance, Powership Worship Center, Raytown, KC

Explore how one can praise and worship God through dance. Participants in this workshop will provide leadership in Sunday morning worship for the community.


Rev. Dr. Pat Donahoo

Rev. Chesla Nicklson

Pat Donahoo and Chesla Nickelson will lead conversations connecting us to one another and Ministry opportunities for all Disciples Women.

Pat Donahoo answered God’s call to ministry by serving in her local congregation, district youth leadership, the regional church, pastoral ministry, and now in her role as Executive Director of Disciples Women. Pat’s ministry is marked by community building and a common sense of belonging where all are invited to the table rather than a membership-oriented or checklist of requirements structure.

Chesla Nickelson is Program Director, Merger Staff for International Disciples Women Ministries. She has worked as a mentor and tutor for the YMCA, volunteered as a Chaplain for spirituality groups for homeless veterans, and continues to facilitate workshops and therapy groups concerning young adult Christians, marital preparation, sexuality and spirituality, social justice and clergy self-care among others.

Rev. Terri Hord Owens

Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise-Baker 

Rev. Lori Tapia

Terri Owens, Dietra Wise-Baker and Lori Tapia are our preachers for Friday night and Sunday morning.

Terri Hord Owens was elected as the General Minister and President on July 9, 2017. She is the first person of color and second woman to lead the denomination. She is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include a theology of reconciliation, cultural intelligence, developing inclusive and multicultural congregations, and the mentoring of youth and young adults. 

Dietra Wise Baker works full time as Chaplain and Program Development Manager for Episcopal City Mission, a non-profit providing chaplaincy service to incarcerated children in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. In addition, she serves as an organizing specialist for the National Benevolent Association. She has been a church planter and youth pastor. 

Lori Tapia is the National Pastor for the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries. As a lifelong musician, worship through music is at her core as a songwriter and worshipper. Lori, who was born on the Arizona-Mexico border, is proud of her Mexican American heritage and has worked bi-nationally to increase awareness and develop programs enhancing the quality of life around health issues, youth and family.


Marti Stuessy will lead us in Bible Study and lead a workshop on storytelling.

Marti J. Steussy is the Professor of Biblical Interpretation emerita at Christian Theological She is a Biblical Storyteller who brings extensive knowledge of the Bible. Since her retirement in 2014, Dr. Steussy has continued to teach at the seminary part-time.  Her teaching portfolio includes classes on forgiveness. She has also completed a two-year certificate in Self Psychology and memorized the Sermon on the Mount in Greek. 



Apply today for Summer Leadership Internships

The Camp and Conference Ministry is seeking applications from college-aged young adults for 2018 Summer Leadership Intern positions.

Within the Kansas Region, summer church camp is a high priority. Those who have participated the camp program become leaders who have excellent talents to offer. College-aged young adults make up most of these dedicated individuals, as they have benefited greatly from their own experience in camp.

These individuals are also in a place of great financial need for resources to continue their college education. The Kansas Summer Leadership Internship program enhances their college experience and helps them in determining a life vocation.

While individuals from other Regions are considered, Kansas applicants are given first consideration. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and preference is given to those who have completed two successful years of college education. Preference is also given to those individuals considering ministry as a career option.

Interns support camp in more ways that we can count: maintaining the pool, lifeguarding, tending campfires, leading games, serving food, washing dishes, facilitating challenge course activities, tending grounds, and more. They’ve even been known to step in as counselors when needed, and to lead music and energizers.

Interns are expected to:

  • participate in leadership training held May 21-25 at Tawakoni
  • To participate in the region’s camp programs throughout the summer – May 29-August 5
  • Serve a specific program need (ie. music leadership, pool supervision/lifeguard, challenge course facilitators), and at times, to fill in as a Counselor along with other volunteers
  • Help maintain and clean the camp facilities (ie. dishwashers, kitchen help, grounds upkeep)
  • Be an appropriate role model and to represent the Region in the most favorable way possible
  • Read and discuss a book in a weekly intern meeting with an aim to increase understanding of Christian leadership
  • Acknowledge and abide by all camp policies and guidelines.


  • A full day off each week
  • Room & Board at the camp throughout the summer
  • A weekly stipend of $75 and Scholarship of at least $2,000 – If the Intern serves the entire summer program. (Returning Interns’ stipend/scholarship will be greater.)

Application Process:

Download the application form and submit along with three references to Steve Martin, Regional Minister and Camp administrator, at the Topeka Regional Office. References should be your pastor and two others who know your work.

Applications are due March 1. The selection process is completed by March 31. A committee of Camp & Conference members and regional staff review applicants and make the final selection.


Disciples Men in 2018

Thoughts from your Regional Minister
By: Ken Marston, Regional Minister
Published in February 2018 Kansas Messenger

In 2018, as we continue the Vision Process in our region, new things are happening. Our biennial regional assembly will be anything but traditional—see 2018 Congregational Escape article. Through a new ministry initiative Congregational Enhancement Grants, the region will partner with congregations for new ministries. With a grant from the Kansas Leadership Center, we will send 40 people, ministers and church leaders, for intensive leadership training.

Kansas Disciples Men are dreaming new dreams and seeking to do new things with a focus on mission in 2018. Instead of the traditional men’s retreat, normally held in September, the cabinet will do three things:

  1. Forge new relationships with local congregations by going to them instead of planning an “y’all come” event
  2. Partner with local men’s groups to host Pancake Breakfasts/Cooking for Mission, to raise money to combat hunger
  3. Sponsor two mission trips beyond Kansas, where men can put their faith into action.

The first Pancake Breakfast/Cooking for Mission will be from 9 am to noon on Saturday, April 28, at Belmont Blvd. Christian Church in Salina. Proceeds will be split between a local hunger ministry and the General Conference of Disciples Men, for childhood hunger programs in the US and Canada.

Mission trip plans aren’t ready for publication yet; watch for news of work trips to the Gulf Coast to help with Hurricane Harvey relief and another trip, perhaps to Missouri.

This is only the beginning! As we live into a new future, some things we try will work and some won’t; in all of them we are seeking God’s path for our congregations together—that is, for our regional church. What is God calling us to be and do as the Christian Church in Kansas (Disciples of Christ)? Let’s find out!


2018 Spirit Fests

“God is Calling—Will You Answer?”
2018 Spirit Fests
Sponsored by Kansas Disciples Women

Karen Sturchio, Kansas Christian Home CEO, will keynote the 2018 Kansas Disciples Women’s Spirit Fest.  She will also help lead a workshop in which participants will be asked to share personal stories and callings. 

There are three additional workshops including one on the 2018 Just Women Bible Study “Called for God’s Purpose.” 

When and Where:
Sat., April 7               Wichita Riverside CC, 1001 Litchfield (Map)
                                    9:00-3:00; Registration 9:00-9:30
                                      Register Online Here.

Sun., April 8              Pittsburg First Christian Church, 705 E Centennial (Map)
                                      1:30-6:30; Registration 1:30-2:00
                                      Register Online Here.

Sat., April 14           Topeka First Christian Church, 1880 SW Gage Blvd (Map)
                                   9:00-3:00; Registration 9:00-9:30   
                                   Register Online Here.

$15 Registration Fee includes a meal, snack, and materials.  Registration deadline is March 24. Register and pay online above or download the 2018 Spirit Fest Registration Form and mail with payment to the Topeka Regional Office.