2022 Leadership Academy

October 18 @ 8:00 am October 20 @ 5:00 pm EDT

At its annual Leadership Academy, New Church Ministry gathers leaders all across regions in the United States and Canada. Our team invites pastors, church planters, chaplains, and others who are interested in becoming empowered to join us. You do not need to be a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to attend.

This virtual event includes three separate track sessions for core teams who have yet to launch a community of faith, teams that have recently started one, and leaders of established congregations, DOCTalks facilitated by thought leaders who will address missional transformation inclusive of every stage of leadership and congregational vitality, and LEADLabs (Learn.Explore.Actuate.Discover.Laboratories) designed by Spiritual Scientists and Subject Matter Experts to help participants imagine, ideate, innovate, and implement missional concepts through interactive, practical workshops.

Accommodations for Spanish-speaking participants will be available.

New this year is our Discerners Track, which is for those who have ever considered what it would take to start a faith community or who have ever felt called by God to start a place of worship, but don’t know where to even begin. If you are in this discerning process, then consider attending Leadership Academy and learn what it takes. Sign up using the code DISCERN22 and only pay US $50 to audit the START TRACK, where participants will discern their missional purpose, develop their future stories, and prepare for launch. This track is ideal for those in undergraduate institutions who may feel the call to ministry, for our seminarians who are discerning what path God may be taking them down, or our ecumenical partners who may want to imagine how their ministries might be shaped by this unique training.

$50 Start Track (New Church: Pre-Launch), Sustain Track (New Church: Post-Launch), Multiply Track (Established Congregations)
$50 Discerners' Track (Auditing Start Track)

Kansas City regional assembly

October 14 @ 5:00 pm October 15 @ 3:00 pm EDT

Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez, interim Minister of New Church Strategies, will be submitting a pre-recorded video to the regional assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Greater Kansas City. More information is available below.


  • 5:00 pm Gathering Area Opens/displays by General and Regional Ministries
  • 5:30 pm Grilled Hot Dogs/Veggie Dogs, Chips and Water
  • 7:00 pm RED FRIDAY PRAISE & GRATITUDE CONCERT led by Disciples Musician


  • 9:00 am Gathering Area Opens/displays by General and Regional Ministries
  • 9:15 am Worship and Praise – Sanctuary
  • 9:45 am   Break
  • 10:00 am Workshop:  The Struggle Is Real (Self-Care in a Season of Challenges)
  • All workshops will combine panel presentations with participant engagement
  • 10:00 am – 12 pm Youth Workshops: Bloom Where You Are Planted! (Seed Planting Evangelism)
  • Different Activities for Ages 16-17 Years, 12-15 Years, 7-11 Years, 4-6 Years, 3 Years-6 months
  • 10:50 am Break
  • 11:00 am Workshop: Making New Disciples in New Ways (Seed Planting Evangelism in 2022)
  • 12:00 pm Lunch: Sandwich and Salad, Water and Tea

Display areas opened until 1:00 pm

  • 1:10 pm Workshop:  Will the Circle Be Unbroken (New Ways to be the Church)
  • 2:00 pm Celebrating the Harvest of Seeds Planted/Blessings for the Workers
  • Gratitude for Those Who Have Served Since our Last Assembly
  • Election of New Regional Board Officers and Seven Lay Representatives
  • Commission of the New Regional Board
  • Closing Benediction
  • 3:00 pm Homeward Bound

It is the hope of the Regional Assembly Planning Team that every participant will leave this Regional Assembly renewed, affirmed, and better equipped for the ministries to which we are all called.


Each paid registration makes it possible for the region to offer:

  • Spirited Worship and Celebration
  • Workshops designed to meet priority needs expressed by our congregations
  • Food on Friday and Saturday
  • Regional Assembly T-Shirt
  • Childcare for children 3 years and under
  • A $5 donation to the Micah Ministry

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Greater Kansas City



Overland Park Christian Church

7600 W 75th St
Overland Park, Kansas 66204 United States
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Capital Area Regional Assembly

October 14 @ 3:00 pm October 15 @ 4:00 pm EDT

Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez will be attending the Christian Church Capital Area‘s regional assembly. Find more information below.

The theme for the 2022 Regional Assembly is “Justice, Mercy, Humility: What Is Required of Disciples Today?” based upon the scripture passage Micah 6:8

Keynote Speakers for the event are Rev. Dr. Bernard Richardson (Dean of the Chapel, Howard University) and Rev. Steve Doan (Retired Disciples Chaplain)

Reverend Dr. Bernard L. Richardson

As the fourth Dean of the historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, the Reverend Dr. Bernard L. Richardson is the executive officer for religious affairs at Howard University. Dr. Richardson is perhaps most widely recognized by the University community and leaders across the nation for his prolific prayers and insightful spiritual guidance.

Rev. Steve Doan & Rev. Donna Doan

Born and raised in Indiana, Steve Doan graduated from Yale University in 1967, attended Indiana University, where he met his wife Donna. Before completing his doctoral studies in English, he was drafted into the Army and became an artillery officer. Feeling a call to ministry, Steve graduated from Lexington Theological Seminary and served two Disciples of Christ churches before returning to the Army in 1985 as a chaplain. From 2005 to 2017, Steve worked as part-time deployed staff for Disciples Home Missions as the Denominational Chaplain Endorsing Officer.

Learning Center topics and Workshops include something for all ages:

(Breakout rooms details will be shared at the assembly)

  • Mastering Biblical Storytelling: For Children and Beyond 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Spirituality and Activism 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Refugee Resettlement Nuts and Bolts 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Helping Your Church Recover from COVID 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • The Value of Small Churches 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Principles of Board Governance for Congregations 9:00-10:10am and 2:00pm-3:00pm
  • Green Chalice – Carbon Neutral Churches 9:00-10:10am and 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Disciples Women 1:00-2:00pm
  • Guide Meditative Walk 1:00-2:00pm
  • More to come…


Christian Church Capital Area



The William F. Bolger Center

9600 Newbridge Dr
Potomac, Maryland 20854 United States
+ Google Map
(301) 983-7000

Pacific Southwest Regional Assembly

October 14 @ 11:00 am October 15 @ 6:00 pm EDT

Rev. Dr. Joi Robinson, Associate Minister of New Church Strategies, will be attending the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Pacific Southwest Region’s assembly. Learn more about it below.

"Arise! Shine! For your light has come; and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." - Isaiah 3:1 (CEB)
"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - Acts 22:16 (King James Version)

We invite you to participate in the two-day event either in person or online through our streaming video. Registration will be available in the early fall.

Amid difficult times, our sight can become obscured by uncertainty, growing challenges, injustices, and oppressions. How do we forge ahead, beyond the gloom, and discover a new way forward? We need a light. More than ever, the world needs our light, and that great light has come in Christ, which, leads us to love, mercy, compassion, change, and reconciliation. Let us no longer wait. We are being called to Arise Anew. Together, we need to arise and shine from the depths of the former things that have weighted our path. Let us remember, reclaim, and celebrate our baptism, which has empowered us anew for the way ahead.

DELEGATE VOTING: Business sessions will take place in person at the Disciples Ministry Center in Fullerton. All voting delegates must be present to participate in the voting process.

PRE-ASSEMBLY INFORMATION SESSIONS are offered to voting church delegates, clergy, and others attending the Regional Assembly to hear the origins and significance of the resolutions that will be considered during the business session of the event. Learn more here.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Pacific Southwest Region

(626) 296-0385


Disciples Ministry Center

115 E. Wilshire Avenue
Fullerton, California 92832 United States
+ Google Map

Mid-America regional assembly

October 6 @ 10:00 am October 8 @ 2:30 pm EDT


New Church Ministry is very excited about Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez, interim Minister of New Church Strategies, being able to travel this fall to the Christian Church of Mid-America (Disciples of Christ)‘s Regional Assembly. We hope you’ll join him for three days of wonderful activity. Can’t be there the whole time? The region offers registration options for portions of the event. There’s even a virtual option that brings the Assembly to you. Learn more about the assembly below.

Mid-America regional assembly flyer

The Christian Church of Mid-America (Disciples of Christ)



Lake Ozark Christian Church

1560 Bagnell Dam Boulevard
Lake Ozark, Missouri 65049 United States
+ Google Map
This flyer for the Ohio regional assembly which will be held at Camp Christian, includes a group photo.

Ohio regional assembly

September 24 @ 10:00 am 3:00 pm EDT

Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez, interim Minister of New Church Strategies, will be attending this assembly. We are so excited to be attending in person once again! You can learn more about it below.

A Family Reunion

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

The Saturday, September 24 Regional Assembly has been redesigned to “A Family Reunion” at Camp Christian. Through the generosity of a donor, all of the food costs will be covered. The Christian Church in Ohio is hoping to still receive other donations to cover the program, utility, administrative, and staffing costs for Camp Christian, but the Regional Assembly Planning Committee is thrilled to offer this day of celebration at no cost to those who pre-register.  *Please note: For persons who register the day of the event, or show up on-site without pre-registration, a $5.00 registration fee will be required.

This year’s Regional Assembly will be filled with worship, fun and games, a short business session, food, and wonderful fellowship with friends and colleagues from around the Christian Church in Ohio and beyond.

Adults, youth, and children are invited to attend. The Assembly is designed for all ages, and there will also be child care for children ages 4 to 12.

Registration, Music and Fellowship start at 10am with the program beginning at 11am

Basic Schedule for Regional Assembly, Saturday, September 24th

  • 10:00am – Registration opens, continental breakfast available, and exhibit tables open.
  • 11:00 – Opening Session
  • 12:00pm – Fellowship and Picnic Lunch
  • 1:00 – Business Session
  • 1:30 – A Family Reunion!
    • Activities, Tours, Green Chair Chats with the Regional Pastor & President, Free Time, Crafts, Music, Games, & more!
  • 3:00 – Closing Worship

We would love to see as many of you as possible for this long-anticipated gathering. If you would like to join Jose at this event, make sure to register.

Christian Church in Ohio



Camp Christian

10335 Maple Dell Road
Marysville, Ohio 43040 United States
+ Google Map
(937) 348-2811

Navigating Grief in Children and Youth Ministry

Season 4, Episode 2

July 27 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EDT

Our young people have been through a lot of compound grief in the last several years. Between school shootings and other forms of mass gun violence, racial injustice, and the ever-growing climate crisis, the youth in our communities are feeling the stresses of our society on top of a global pandemic that has killed over 6 million people. How do you minister to them during this time? In this New Church Hacks episode, our panellists will explore tangible ways we can minister to our young people and help them navigate the grief they are experiencing.


Christle Reed has worked in the education field for over 10 years. Each year has been directly focused on servicing the social/emotional needs of her students. She is also a published author with one of her books, Hugs from the Sky, being used across the United States to help support students with properly grieving the loss of a loved one. Outside of serving her students and writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three amazing kids. 

Mariah Newell is an ordained minister who serves as the Kids, Youth, and Family Minister at Cypress Creek Christian Church in Northwest Houston, Texas. Mariah has spent the last five years serving at Cypress Creek. Before that, she served as the Program Director at Camp MoVal in Union, Missouri. Ministering to kids and youth is where Mariah has and continues to feel called to serve. She feels passionate about telling others about the compassion, innovation, radical inclusion, and love she sees the younger generations bring to the Table that tends to be overlooked or unappreciated. Mariah loves to spend her free time with her husband and their dog hiking and gardening.

Joselyn Spence serves as the Director of the National Benevolent Association (NBA)’s Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. In this position, she works to design and implement programs that promote holistic wellness across all NBA programs. Joselyn has a wealth of experience in mental health and community care. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Art Therapist (ATR), she received advanced education and training to provide trauma-informed services to diverse groups of people of all races, backgrounds, and ages from 3 to 80. Joselyn is a Registered Yoga and Meditation teacher (RYT-200), who has created embodied bible study experiences for the community. She is passionate about mental health care, holistic wellness, communal care ethics, and spirituality.

Rev. Margie Quinn hails from Nashville, Tennessee. She is an ordained minister through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and received her Master of Divinity in the spring of 2019 with a concentration in Preaching and a certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Theology.

Margie grew up working at summer camps across the southeast. She has been passionate about young people for as long as she can remember. Margie has served as the Summer Camp Director at Christmount Retreat Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina and the Program Director at Bethany Hills Camp in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. She is thrilled to continue her work in youth and young adult ministry as the Youth and Young Adult Minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Margie also coaches ultimate frisbee at a local Jewish middle school. Margie is the proud aunt of seven nieces and nephews. 

New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. This free webinar series, hosted by Jose Martinez (interim Minister of New Church Strategies), is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations. For regular updates, be sure to check this page and follow along on social media with #NewChurchHacks!

A link to a recording of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants after the episode airs, regardless of attendance.

While this webinar takes place on Zoom, you can also join us on New Church Ministry’s Facebook page, where the episode will be streamed live.

Chuukese Youth Rally

July 1 @ 9:30 am July 3 @ 10:30 am EDT

This year’s event will take place in Bismarck, ND. Jose Martinez (interim Minister for New CHurch Strategies) will attend.

2022 Pentecost Offering Turning Struggle into Steadfastness

2022 Pentecost Offering: Turning Struggle into Steadfastness

June 5 @ 8:00 am 5:00 pm EDT

Stories of struggle are nothing new to the church.

From the persecution faced by early Christians to civil rights movements led by faith leaders, the church has found its strength in times of unrest.

The COVID-19 pandemic is yet another chapter in this long history, both nothing unique and yet entirely different. 

Through it all, Disciples have been steadfast. By launching emerging congregations, they have stepped up to care for communities in need.

But they don’t do it alone.

With the help of regional and general ministries, these brave leaders have been provided with facilities to conduct their outreach activities and with online educational opportunities, such as Leadership Academy.

By making a gift to the 2022 Pentecost Offering, received in most congregations on Sundays, May 29 and June 5, you can ensure that the new church movement continues to prosper in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada.

Each year, half of these gifts go to your own region to support local new church development. The other half goes to New Church Ministry, which trains, equips, assists, and multiplies new church leaders across the U.S. and Canada through programs such as coaching, New Church Hacks, and Water the Plants.

Planning, nurturing, and sustaining new places of worship is part of the Disciples’ vision – participation in this Special Day Offering helps this vision come to life.

Please consider making a generous gift to this year’s Pentecost Offering.

Resources, including graphics, stories to share, and videos, can be found on the Pentecost Offering page located on Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) website. Please note: No bulletin inserts, posters, or envelopes will be mailed to congregations, but they are available on the DMF website. If you need envelopes, please email supplies@disciples.org 

Stories from previous years’ Pentecost Offerings can be found here.

There is a Balm in Chicago

Rebecca Anderson grew up Evangelical, but as a young adult, she didn’t consider herself a religious person.

That didn’t mean she didn’t dip her toes in the waters of different communities of faith.

And then she attended a local church in Boston at the suggestion of a fellow non-religious friend, which changed her life. In fact, she describes the experience as her day of Pentecost.

“It was this big lung full of bright, fresh air,” Rebecca recalls. “I hadn’t heard the gospel in the way that I heard it that day. I could finally understand what they were saying.”

This experience is what drives her ministry today, and it’s what inspired her in 2017 to launch Gilead Church Chicago, a joint congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, with her co-pastor Vince Amlin, who also pastors Bethany United Church of Christ alongside her.

“I try to create conditions where people who need a particular translation of the gospel can hear it,” Rebecca says. “I see on people’s faces, when the way we do church speaks to them, and I see it when it doesn’t.”

So, who does Gilead Church speak to? It’s with, for, and by people who’ve been told or made to feel that church isn’t for them.

“If these stories, traditions, practices, questions, and the person of Jesus are compelling or in any way meaningful to you, they are yours,” says Rebecca. “I’m not making seats at the table. It’s not my table, it’s yours. If you are drawn to this, God has prepared it for you. My call to ministry is to let people know that and then get out of the way.”

Worshipers at Gilead include members of the LGBTQ+ community, young adults, professional activists, and in Rebecca’s words “a disproportionately large number of women.” Several members of the lay and staff leadership are performers, as one of the faith community’s core practices, which were developed when Rebecca attended Leadership Academy in 2015, is telling true stories that save lives.

One of these stories is about a recent addition to Gilead, who returned to church after a 10-year absence due to severe spiritual trauma. To curtail their fears about and suspicion of Christian institutions, this person researched Gilead online and tentatively attended a worship service. Afterward, they made a list of what they wanted from church, including praise and worship music a la Hillsong and authoritative leadership, the kind that had the answers and knew their answers were right. Gilead didn’t have any of those requirements, so they told themselves they wouldn’t return. But as the week progressed, this person questioned what any item on their list had done but harm them. What they needed in their life was love, and they knew that Gilead had that. Ever since they’ve attended every service.

“It’s a miracle,” beams Rebecca. “They told the story at church this past Sunday and it was heartbreaking, good, and generous.”

One of Gilead’s other practices is making beautiful, creative worship. While its liturgy, order of worship, and communion are traditional, Gilead’s creativity is found in how it chooses to gather with its people. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they met at a bar, where they hung out and filled in story prompts. In the past, they’ve had worship on the subway and now they meet in a gym. Gilead also meets online, which Rebecca admits has been hard for her to do.

“Pre-pandemic, we were deeply analog because we didn’t want anything more on our phones, we were so done with it,” she remembers. “Gilead had always been this kind of doggedly in-person place. People tell personal stories that they consent to tell in a room to a specific group of people.”

COVID-19 also changed the way that the congregation threw parties, another one of their core practices. While throwing parties may seem like an odd practice for a church to embrace, for Gilead it’s about reclaiming a theology of joy, which has been absent from modern Christian tradition. Basing its practice on a Yale study that found joy was a marker of the life of faith in both Jewish and Christian scriptures, Gilead views Jesus as a party goer and God as a party thrower.

“Things are very serious,” Rebecca acknowledges, “but the antidote isn’t somberness, it’s joy.”

To that end, Gilead typically threw four large annual parties. It celebrated Easter with a dance party, complete with a DJ, communion, and a liturgical piñata. Every year, Rebecca’s co-pastor Vince insists that just hitting the pinata works, no one cares about the candy.

“We’ve got this one congregant who said, ‘we should get a pinata shaped like a gravestone,’ Rebecca laughs. “We thought it was so serious and on the nose. Couldn’t we just get a unicorn?”

These all stopped with the arrival of the novel coronavirus, but with creativity at its core, Gilead persevered. For Easter 2020, church leadership got people to contribute to its worship service, including award-winning poet Ada Limón, who kicked it off by reading her poem In the Country of Resurrection to the congregation. The following week, Rebecca and her colleagues purchased doughnuts from a local breakfast sandwich joint, fanned out around the city, and took doughnuts to congregants. Mindful of the health guidelines, staff members flung doughnuts through windows and placed them in containers lowered out of windows. They took communion to as many people as they could in the same way, adding a little table on the side of the street, which was used to do a socially distanced liturgy.

“We found ways to be together,” says Rebecca. “We had worship outside with everybody spread out. Only Vince and I were singing, and while I’m a big extrovert, I felt so exposed.”

This tension, one of curtailing your natural behavior for the safety of others, and what it does for your mental health, was explored in a 2020 sermon series Rebecca called Pity Parties. It featured true stories of the difficult times people were having during the pandemic, instead of glossing over them.

“There was that pandemic narrative where people would start off saying they were fine, continue on to a middle section of how they were really feeling, and then ending with them saying how lucky and privileged they were,” Rebecca explains. “We wanted to provide people with an opportunity to be honest.” 

Of course, honesty and vulnerability come hand in hand, so she is always careful to say that Gilead’s dynamic is about building intimacy from where people are at, appropriate for their context, and true to their DNA. Ultimately, the people of Gilead don’t want church that is sanitized of authentic experiences, even if they’re messy. This commitment to sharing what Rebecca calls “high emotions” is what makes the people of Gilead more than fellow worshipers, it makes them real friends, incidentally the last of the church’s core practices.

“Early on, we received a grant for a project with and for young adults, which in this case was people in their 20s, so we studied how people come into community,” says Rebecca. “We found that making adult friends is notoriously difficult so there’s this loneliness epidemic. As a result of that study, “’making real friends’ became one of our core practices.”

This practice comes from the close relationship that she and her co-pastor Vince share. They met in grad school and kept in touch over the years, communicating via text and getting together once a year. On a trip to St. Augustine, FL, they asked what it would look like if they started a church together. Not only did she and Vince share the same affinities and commitments, but Rebecca also didn’t think a solitary leadership model was ideal. They started talking about it then and soon they were texting every day. Rebecca shared what she learned at Leadership Academy about mission, vision, and values and they decided that Gilead would be a church for two pastors. Rebecca quit her job and that same week, she and Vince learned that Bethany was searching for one full-time pastor. They pitched their idea of splitting the job and co-pastoring not only Bethany, but Gilead too.

“This was a big risk for Bethany,” reveals Rebecca, “but thanks to some good DNA and interim work, they took a chance and hired us.”

The church had a small number of worshipers when Rebecca and Vince arrived, so they approached their new positions as leaders of a revitalization project. While Bethany was a 125-year-old neighborhood church, it was progressive and had a young membership. Now Bethany is vibrant and growing its numbers. 

Rebecca and Vince can juggle both positions because Gilead holds its worship services in the evenings. Each week, they’re both in leadership at one of the congregations, but one of them preaches and takes the lead on liturgy and the service. The following week, they switch positions and churches. Student pastors fill in their positions at their other congregation.

“I already know that working with Vince has been and will be one of the great and abiding joys of my entire life,” Rebecca reveals. “I’m just grateful.”

She’s also appreciative of the generous support from both the UCC and the Disciples of Christ, including the New Church/Ministries team of the Illinois-Wisconsin region, which has provided funding and just as importantly, encouragement.

“There’s mutual trust, so they’re not suspicious of our translation of the gospel and I’m not scared to ask anybody in the region anything,” says Rebecca. 

Rebecca and Vince also try to be available to folks who would find their experiences and knowledge useful, especially new church leaders. At its core, Gilead is viewed by its co-pastors as a ministry of their respective denominations.

“I’m doing this work to serve God and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which is the denomination where God found me,” Rebecca concludes. “I used to feel sheepish because I fell into this church, but it doesn’t matter. It is the place where God found me outside the empty tomb.”

To support emerging congregations like Gilead, make a gift to the Pentecost Offering, received in most congregations on June 5.