Archive for Disciples of Christ

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 insure 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 story can be found at 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.

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Great Bend

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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.

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Mid-Week: Oct 5-7

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Weekend: Oct. 7-9

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

KDW Spirit Fest 2016

Spirit fest logo 2016“Lavish Hospitality, All are Welcome,” 2016 Kansas Disciple Women’s Spirit Fests held April 9, 10, 16, 17 at four locations across Kansas. Spirit Fests are presented in wide-spread locations each spring to introduce the newest study materials and offer leadership training. The four one-day events also provide worship and fellowship opportunities.

On April 9, women of FCC Scott City will host women of the High Plains District and Hutchinson Park Place will host women of the South Central and Central Districts on April 10.On the second weekend, Manhattan FCC women will host the women of the Northeast District on April 16 and Parsons FCC will host the women of the Southeast District on April 17. Women may attend whichever Spirit Fest fits their schedule not just one that is nearby.

Team members of Woodhaven, Columbia, Mo., will present information about their work with challenged adults. Workshops are the JUST WOMEN Bible Study presented by Jauna Khan, McPherson, “Feminist in Christ” presented by Angela DeVore, Lyons, “Hospitality 101” presented by Judy Cooper and Carla Pearson, Galva, as well as a workshop by the Woodhaven staff.

The cost of the one day event is $15 which includes a light meal, snacks and all materials. Register online below or download a registration and event flier mail to the Regional office in Topeka with payment by Friday, March 25.

2016 Spirit Fest Schedule and Location Information

April 9         Scott City – First Christian Church, 701 Main, Scott City
                        9 a.m.-3 p.m.
                       Registration 9-9:30 a.m.

April 10       Hutchinson – Park Place Christian Church, 2600 N. Adams, Hutchinson
                        1:30-6:30 p.m.  
                        Registration 1:30-2 p.m.

April 16       Manhattan – First Christian Church, 5th and Humboldt, Manhattan
                        9 a.m.-3 p.m.
                        Registration 9-9:30 a.m.

April 17       Parsons – First Christian Church, 1500 S. 20th, Parsons
                        1:30-6:30 p.m.  
                        Registration 1:30-2 p.m.


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



2016 Regional Spirituality Retreat

“Encountering God in Every Day”

Have you ever wondered, “Where is God?”

The 2016 regional Spirituality Retreat will be Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19, at the Heartland Center for Spirituality, Great Bend. Laity and clergy will explore this question while discovering spiritual practices that facilitate encountering God in daily living.

Register online below or download a Spiritual Retreat Registration Form and mail with payment to the Topeka regional office.

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

StaffFull-LynnRev. Warren Lynn, retreat facilitator, is the Minister for Christian Vocations at Disciples Home Missions.  Spiritual formation for religious leaders is a priority for him, and he is a Labyrinth Facilitator. Other interests include sea-kayaking, photography, and playing Native American flute. He and his wife Betsy have a son Philip, a Welsh Corgi, and a matriarchal cat.

2016 Clergy Retreat

Relax, Refresh, Renew
6 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 – Noon Thursday, April 28
Disciples Center at Tawakoni

  • Rest & relaxation
  • Reconnect with colleagues in ministry
  • Spend time with a dynamic theologian & pastor in an informal setting
  • The focus will be on preaching to post-modern people
  • Optional “golf fellowship” available on Wednesday.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Cost: $60.00— two nights, four meals, lodging at the camp 
            $45.00 — for program and meals only (lodging available at nearby hotels).

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

Rev. Dr. Phil Snider
Senior Minister
Brentwood Christian Church
Springfield, MO

Phil Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, pastor, and community organizer who has served as the senior minister of Brentwood Christian Church since 2003. Phil’s books include Toward a Hopeful Future, winner of the 2011 Mayflower Award for best book in church and society; The Hyphenateds; and Preaching After God: Derrida, Caputo, and the Language of Postmodern Homiletics.

He holds degrees from Missouri State University, Phillips Theological Seminary, and Chicago Theological Seminary, along with a certificate in pastoral care and counseling from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology.


2016 KCYF Spring Retreat

KCYF Retreat
March 4-6
Disciples Center at Tawakoni

Register online below or download the 2016 KCYF Spring Retreat registration form and mail with payment to Topeka Regional Office.

Registration Fee is $60 before Feb. 17.  Registration fee increases to $75 for registrations after Feb. 17.

     Sleeping bag                    Towels
     Personal Items                Open Heart!


Christian Watkins

Rev. Christian Watkins

The Retreat is directed by KCYF Cabinet and features keynotes by Christian Watkins, an ordained minister serving as Interim Associate Pastor in Connecticut.  Watkins is a graduate University of Kansas before studying at Yale Divinity School.  Her ministry has included writing and using youth curricula for summer youth ministries; working at a orphanage in Turkey for Armenian children; writing grants for non-profits, and co-founding and ministering at a house church in New Haven, CT.


Registeration thubNOTE: This charge will appear as some version of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.

Clergy Educational Grants

The window for Clergy Educational Grant
applications is now open!

Applications are being accepted for 2016 grants beginning September 1 through October 31st.

Disciples Home Missions (DHM) seeks to support ordained and commissioned clergy in their commitment to a process of life-long learning. Those who take advantage of available educational experiences often discover that there are benefits of such experiences for themselves and the people with whom they are in ministry.

You may review the criteria and eligibility for ordained clergy or commissioned clergy, or you may proceed directly to the online application.

More information can be found on the Disciples Home Missions Website.
Just click on the DHM Logo (left).

Sunday to End Racism

From the Office of the General Minister and President

August 28, 2015

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
Few of us will ever forget the horror of the murder of nine church members in Bible study – in church. Nine African American faithful, including pastors and laypersons, had welcomed the white stranger into their midst at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. But he was intent on death. Leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church are determined to re-write the significance of this heinous act, and make it the moment that the church leads the United States into a genuine commitment to end racism – not just the direct, individual racism that causes one person to pick up a gun, but the broad systemic racism that nurtures such a motivation in the first place.

Our brothers and sisters in the African Methodist Episcopal Church have called all Christians to participate in a “Confession, Repentance and Commitment to End Racism” Sunday, to be observed on Sept. 6. We write to encourage all Disciples to accompany our ecumenical partners in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the National Council of Churches and Churches Uniting in Christ, among others, in recognizing this moment to come together as God’s children.

We urge Disciples in the U.S. and Canada to participate – if not on Sept. 6, then within the next four weeks. This emphasis is at the heart of our striving to be a pro-reconciling, anti-racist Church. The matter is of particular urgency in the United States in the wake of the June shootings in Charleston and the many other examples of racially-motivated violence from the Midwestern heartland to the coasts.
Worship materials have been compiled by both the AME and  ELCA which may be used for your preparation. In particular please see the litany by Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., “After the Vigils, Vigilance!” These materials are available on the  Reconciliation Ministry website. In addition, you will find conversation-guides and other resources there which will useful for ongoing engagement in the struggle against the insidious nature of racism.
One Sunday is a place to begin. Our ecumenical family is calling us to join them on a difficult journey. We are not alone. Jesus accompanies us as we reach out to bridge the divides between us. This, too, is part of being a movement for wholeness. Let us go forward together.
In Christ,
Timothy M. James, Associate General Minister and Administrative Secretary, National Convocation
April Johnson, Reconciliation Minister
Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President
Robert W. Welsh, President, Council on Christian Unity