Archive for Disciples of Christ

The Art of Communication

Mark your calendars and make plans to attend “The Art of Communication” Church Communication Workshops. The workshops will be Tuesdays in April 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon at Woodridge Christian Church, Wichita.

Each workshop will include a 90-minute classroom instructional time followed by a hands-on application of the presented tools and strategies.  These workshops are not just for church office staff. Anyone interested in church communication ministry, regardless of skill level, may attend.

New in 2018!

Join the discussion from the comfort of your home or office.  Each workshop presentation will be streamed live to provide participants from across the regions the opportunity join the discussion. After registration is confirmed, video participants will receive instructions on how to log into the live video stream.  


Jessica Marston, the Communications Specialist for the Christian Church in Kansas, currently maintains the regional website and prepares regional communications including The Kansas Messenger, the emailed Kansas Mini-Messenger, and the region’s social media presence. 


  • Your Church Story in Photographs
     If a picture is worth a thousand words … Learn how to take, edit, select, and publish pictures that tell the story of your church ministry. 
  • Branding: Your Church’s Public Image
    What does your image and reputation say about you?  Explore how to intentionally bring unity, purpose, and consistency to how you communicate your church mission and vision.
  • Websites: The Gateway to the World
    Websites serve as your church’s front door in the internet world and the central hub for church communication.  What does your church’s digital front door look like and what does it say about who you are as a church?
  • The Church Newsletter Goes Digital
    Revolutionize your church newsletter for the digital world.  No fancy programs or training needed.  Learn to create a newsletter people will read and want to share.
  • Social Media: Connecting the Generations
    Take a dive into social media platforms and how to connect to a variety of audiences.  While focusing on Facebook applications, learn about several of the top platforms, their uses, and the audience they relate to.


  • $25 per person per workshop
  • $100 per person for all 5 workshops*
  • $90 per person for all 5 workshops when 3 or more from the same church attend*

*Must register and pay 2 weeks before the first workshop.

**Minimum # of paid registrations: 6

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.

International Affairs Seminar 2018

High School Juniors and Seniors who are actively involved in their local Disciples of Christ congregation are invited to International Affairs Seminar March 16-24. 

Come with us and…

  • Meet people from other cultures, learn to appreciate their gifts and understand their concerns for peace and justice.
  • Visit the United Nations in New York City, and witness its many influences in world affairs.
  • Discover how Christians have involved themselves in influencing the course of history, as together we consider issues of justice.
  • Visit Washington, D.C. and share with elected officials your concerns. You will see the role they play in determining laws that affect our lives.

Fee – $1,750 (possible $75- $150 surcharge depending on airfares at time of booking.)

  •  $250 deposit due November 1. Minimum $100 monthly payments. A fund-raising plan is fine!
  •  Full fee must be paid by March 1.
  • This fee is subsidized by a generous grant from Kansas Bible Chair.

The total balance is due March 1.  

            Fee includes everything: airfare, train, ground transportation, all meals, hotel (shared rooms; housed in DC on church floor), seminar program fees, two Broadway shows and a “who done it?” comedy at the Kennedy Center – everything except your souvenirs!

To Register …

Please send the following to the Topeka Regional Office, 2914 SW MacVicar:

  • Name and high school grade level
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • $250 deposit. Make check to CCK, with IAS in memo
  • 2 reference letters: 1 from your pastor; 1 from school counselor/principal
  • 250-word essay on “Why I want to attend IAS”

The International Affairs Seminar is sponsored by the Christian Church in Kansas (DOC). Regional Minister Steve Martin is director/coordinator. Adult sponsors, one for every five youth, come from the communities from which youth are enrolled. For additional information, contact Steve Martin at 800-737-8130 or

IAS Travel Itinerary & Overview
This is approximate and may vary with circumstances. 



Group assembles Friday evening in Kansas City
Saturday Morning (early) Depart for New York City.
Arrive and settle into Hotel Penn
Sightseeing NY City as the group becomes acclimated


Worship at Riverside Church
        a historic congregation with a strong witness in the city and the world

 Afternoon: Harlem, 9/11 Memorial, and/or Central Park

Evening: Broadway Show!


Seminar: Human Trafficking & Modern-Day Slavery: How Christians can make a difference!

Afternoon: Staten Island Ferry (view Statue of Liberty)

Evening: Dinner in Chinatown


Seminar continues

 Evening: Dinner and second Broadway Show


Early morning AMTRAK to Washington, D.C.

Afternoon: Settle into housing at National City Christian Church
                      visit Holocaust Museum

 Evening: dinner at Ben’s Chili Bowl – favored by President Obama!


Seminar: Speaking to Legislators

Afternoon: visit Museums / Monuments

Late Afternoon: Kennedy Center – Shear Madness

Dinner in Georgetown after the show


Seminar: How to make a difference in the world!

Afternoon: visit Museums / Monuments

Evening: Dinner & Final wrap-up


Return flight to KCI.





Reconciliation Special Offering

On Sunday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Oct. 1, the 2017 Reconciliation Offering will be received in most congregations.

The Special Offering funds our Church’s mission imperative to become a pro-reconciling and anti-racist church through experiential education, inclusive worship, and intentional dialogue. Through it, we are able to provide programs for leadership development, curriculum for dialogue and learning, and partnerships within the Church and our communities.

Recent events have reignited the conversation about human brokenness evidenced in the sin of racism and perpetuated in our institutional structures and systems. Your generous giving to Reconciliation Ministry is transforming lives and strengthening Christ’s witness in the world showing that we love one another, even as Christ continues to love us!

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a history dating from the 1960s of sharing our resources to address the racism of our society and the racism within our own church. We have called this process the Reconciliation Ministry.

We receive this offering in the fall and use the funds throughout the year to give grants to the pro-reconciliation/anti-racism initiative to organize to dismantle systems and structures that perpetuate this sin of division within the Church.

The 2020 Vision adopted by our church names this work as one of the four priorities of our mission together as a whole church. This voluntary annual offering is the only source of funding for this ministry.

As the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) lives into its identity as a “movement for wholeness in a fragmented world” contributions to this offering facilitate camp and conference and leadership development opportunities as well as programs for dialogue across difference that promotes life-giving community within our beloved church and among the whole family of God.

Kansas Youth Convention

The Kansas Disciples Youth Convention for youth grades 6-12 is November 10-12 at the Atrium Hotel & Conference Center in Hutchinson.

Travis Smith McKeeTravis Smith McKee, pastor and musician, will bring the keynote message and assist with worship.  Travis serves as co-pastor with his wife Kassie at Fairview Christian Church in Gladstone, MO.  Before moving to Missouri in 2014 Travis served as camp intern and counselor as well as pastor of several Kansas Churches.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Activities include two service opportunities, challenges, games, energizers, and inflatables.

LODGING: Hotel rooms at the Atrium Hotel & Conference Center are $81 per night.  Call 800-362-5018, ext. 270 to reserve your room.

Registration—$55 per person (youth or adult)  includes: Program, t-shirt, meals (Sat. lunch, supper. Hotel breakfasts included.)  Register and pay online below or download the KDYC Registration Form and mail with payment to the Topeka Regional office.

SAVE!  Register before October 23 and receive a $10 discount.


What is Stewardship?

Taken from “Disciples receive stewardship study” 
by Rev. Bruce Barkhauer, Minister for Faith and Giving
Disciples News Service, originally posted August 2, 2017

Center for Faith and Giving (DOC)What, exactly, does it mean that the General Assembly unanimously voted to accept the Stewardship Study Document (GA-1732)? Actually, that depends on you.

The document itself becomes a historical marker for how we Disciples think biblically and theologically about stewardship and what we believe are the indications for our faith as we move deeper into the 21st Century. Beyond that, the document simply lives in the pages of the 2017 docket; unless you, the church, choose to engage it.

The document, available in five languages is meant to be read and discussed within every manifestation of the church.

It serves as a broad examination of the biblical materials that relate to the topic of stewardship, with an intent that the church become conversant with these fundamental understandings. It further provides a theological perspective which is intended to encourage dialogue and conversation within the church about what stewardship is, and what it means to be a steward as an individual, a community of faith, and as a part of God’s wondrous creation.

We recognize that not everyone will share the same conclusions/assumptions of the document. That is acceptable, since unity of opinion on how to be a steward in a singular way is not the primary goal. Our objective is to better define what a steward is. We trust that the church in its wisdom will discover what a steward does in the unique contexts in which individuals and communities of faith are located.

While the document is certainly accessible in its current form, a curriculum team is beginning to write materials based on this document. This will be graded material for elementary, middle and high school, as well as adult study resources that can be adapted for multiple uses for everything from Sunday school and small group study to VBS and summer camp. We want to make it easy to use the information and we recognize that having a developed curriculum available might help move this deeper into our shared life together.

The major points to know about this document are:

  • We understand stewardship as a spiritual discipline, not fundraising
  • Stewardship encompasses the totality of our lives
  • It is about faithful response to what we have already received from the generosity of God
  • There is enough – the provision of God is abundant – it is the human mismanagement of resources that has produced scarcity and created anxiety
  • Where stewardship is practiced, it is inherent to the presence of justice; where it is absent, injustice frequently prevails
  • Stewardship, faithfully practiced, is transformative – both for individuals and for organizations
  • Necessary resources for mission and ministry come from congregations and impact the whole church’s ability to fulfill our common vision. We are in this together.
  • We can’t be church without the practice of generosity

The document is not intended to be the complete, final authority on stewardship. It is meant to be a starting place for a conversation that church needs to have and one we need to begin now. We encourage you to access the document, to spend some time with its concepts, to share and discuss its ideas and implications, and (if appropriate for your context) utilize the curriculum when it becomes available in the spring of 2018.

Disciples Men Fall Retreat

Click here to watch, share, and post this video with friends and church!

Hey men! You won’t want to miss the Disciples Men’s Retreat Sept. 29-30.

Two dynamic speakers, Todd Adams, Pension Fund, and Jesse Jackson Jr. of East 6th Street Christian Church, Oklahoma City, will help us explore Wrestling with an Old Foe


Racial strife has raised its ugly head again. While there has been great progress since the 1950s, there is still much work to be done if we are to be the nation our founders envisioned and the faith community Christ called us to be.

In this work of racial justice, men of faith need to learn how to say “Enough!” to hurtful, bigoted speech, and acts of racially motivated violence. 

Come! Be a part of this important conversation during this year’s retreat!

Read More: KS Disciples Men Fall Retreat 2017

Church Branding

Branding is the visual representation of your church’s identity. When branding is focused enough, it becomes a character of its own. McDonalds’ golden arches are a prime example of this. 

If you do not have laser-focused church branding, your church will not have a familiar face like McDonald’s. If your church branding isn’t locked down, you’ll do what most churches do: create an array of different designs and publications that, together, say nothing about you.

Many churches and church leaders get bored with the same messaging and similar graphic design. About the time you feel as though you are getting bored with it is the time you need to recommit to it, because people might be starting to get it. 

Unity in your branding communicates unity in your church. Purpose in your branding communicates purpose in your church. Consistency in your branding communicates consistency in your church.

Branding does not have to complicated, and it does not have to intimidate you.


  1. COLOR: The first basic element of church branding is establishing your church’s color scheme. Choose one color that will be your main emphasis. For McDonald’s it is red. For the accent colors, choose colors that are different from your main color. Choose colors that are brighter and bolder — ones that stands out. Use these accent colors when you need to direct people’s eyes to something important, like an event time or an important headline.
  2. LOGOS: Once you have your colors, you can start developing your logos. You should have a couple of variations of your main logo. In McDonalds’ case, sometimes they use the golden arches by themselves, and sometimes they use them in conjunction with the full McDonalds name.
  3. FONTS: The final basic element of church branding consists of fonts. You do not have to go crazy on this and buy an expensive font family. Fonts are a great way to express your personality. If you’re a younger church, you might use some of the trendier fonts. But don’t feel like you have to. Whatever you choose, just remember to stay consistent – that is the key.



Adapted from Brady Shearer’s article “The 3 Basic Elements of Church Branding”


Warm Blankets, Warm Hearts

Mission Spotlight: Warm Blankets, Warm Harts

With temperatures dropping below freezing this week, many of us don’t have to worry about staying warm, but for the Wichita homeless community, it can mean life and death.

Last December after seeing some of the homeless men and women in Wichita, 7-year-old Max Freeman of Faith Christian Church in Wichita, son of Tom and Angelique Freeman and grandson of June Freeman, had the idea to collect blankets for them.

“His mom came to my wife and told her that Max could hardly sleep at night because he saw men and women living on the street and knew they were cold while he was warm in his home,” Pastor Greg Hamlin said. “Angelique told us that he just kept it up and kept it up and would not leave it alone. Max would not be satisfied until he gave a blanket to those people.”

Max’s AWANA Sparks leader, Janelle Balzer helped organized a bake sale that raised $290 and championed Max’s cause to the congregation. Our own Week of Compassion sent an additional $200.

“She contacted the Lord’s Diner and coordinated a Sunday afternoon to hand out blankets to the homeless who gather for a warm meal there at 4:30,” Hamlin said, speaking of Balzer. “She shopped for the blankets to ensure they were a certain type- warm-and a size that would fit into a backpack.”

With the help of 20 adult volunteers and 12 children, Max was able to hand-deliver 184 blankets to homeless men and women at the Lord’s Diner.

“We couldn’t believe it! Altogether, 184 blankets were gathered for the homeless in Wichita,” Hamlin said. “I told the congregation that someone – perhaps a cold homeless person downtown – was praying and God chose little Max to get His response to them. We also noticed that no one was turned away! We had exactly enough blankets for every person that day.”

The Lord’s Diner is currently serving an average of 2,500 meals nightly at two dining facilities (one in downtown Wichita, and one in south Wichita) and two food trucks (one in northwest Wichita, and one in southeast Wichita), to anyone who needs a nutritious meal. 60 percent of their clientele are families.

KAKE News was also on hand to talk to Max and Pastor Greg and aired the story in their newscast that night.  The original story was published Jan 2016 on KAKE’s web site.


Boundaries Training 2016

The Christian Church in Kansas is sponsoring three opportunities for clergy and their spouses, and lay leaders to participate in boundaries training in 2016.

In a day when ministers have dropped from the best health care risk for insurance companies to one of the worst risk groups, developing Healthy Clergy Lifestyles is imperative.  Clergy need to know more about healthy lifestyles, and how healthy lifestyles help them maintain healthy boundaries in ministry.  Clergy, their spouses, and church lay leaders are invited to this year’s event so that together we may address this concern.

For ministers to have standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kansas, whether ordained or licensed, they are required to have completed a “Boundaries Training” seminar at least once every three (3) years.

Tuesday, March 15
10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
First Christian Church, Great Bend 

Saturday, July 30
10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Woodridge Christian Church, Wichita 

Thursday, September 8
10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
First Christian Church, Topeka

Cost is $35 for Clergy and $10 for Spouses and Lay Leaders.  Registration deadline is one week before each event. Register online below or download a Boundaries Training Registration Form and mail with payment to the regional office in Topeka.

Registeration thub

Great Bend

Registeration thub


Registeration thub






NOTE: This charge will appear as a variation of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.

KDW Fall Retreat 2016

Transform: Don’t Conform!
KDW 2016 Retreat Mid-Week, Oct. 5-7; Weekend, Oct. 7-9

Kansas women—your 2016 Retreat Committee is already hard at work to make your experience a wonderful one this fall. The retreat theme is “Transform: Don’t Conform!” Our speaker is storyteller, motivational speaker, and songwriter Heather Harlan. We are looking forward to what she is led to share with us!

WR 2016 Heather HarlanHarlan majored in speech and drama at Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. While there, she raised a family and discovered her love of sharing music and storytelling. Her years in the Christian Fellowship group on campus, led her to consciously choose her own walk with the One who made her and loves her best of all.  While there she confessed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  

Her “day job” is as a Certified Reciprocal Prevention Specialist with Phoenix Health Programs’ behavioral health center in Columbia, MO.  She reaches out to individuals and families, in the community, who have been impacted by alcohol and other drugs and who may have co-occurring mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder.  Through her work she has come to a better understanding that change in our lives is a process, not an event.  Forces seen and unseen, motives obvious and hidden drive us to take steps every day, which have the cumulative capacity to transform our hearts, our relationships and our very lives. 

Harland has performed throughout the Midwest as a storyteller for over 25 years. She enjoys spontaneously creating scenes and stories in front of audiences. She also enjoys the fact that her troupe “works clean” so all ages can attend their shows! Cooking is another joy for Heather, who often takes crockpots of soup to share with her co-workers.

She has published contributions featured in three books: A Gift of Mourning Glories: Restoring Your Life after Loss  and Taking Out Your Emotional Trash both by Georgia Shaffer, and God’s Vitamin C for Women by Kathy Collard Miller. 

Day 2 optional activities: (Details are still developing) 
     » Painting class: include the extra $30 materials fee with your registration 
     » Book Study Discussion
     » Prayer Shawls group
     » Yoga class: bring a mat or thick towel.
     » 10 Minute Massage: bring $10.00 cash, plus tip.

Registration is due by Thursday, September 8 in order to have a guaranteed bunk assignment and no late fee. Late registrants have no guarantee on room or bunk assignments. When beds are full, you will go on a waiting list for cancellations. Registrations received after Friday, September 23 are transferable but not refundable.

Register online below or download the retreat registration and event flier and mail with payment to the Regional Office in Topeka.

A day camp for children 2-years-old up to 5th grade is also available.  Download the Day Camp registration form mail with payment to the Regional Office in Topeka.

Registeration thub

Mid-Week: Oct 5-7

Registeration thub

Weekend: Oct. 7-9

This charge will appear as a variation of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.