First Christian Church
Thursday, July 09, 2020
Disciples of Christ in Dexter, Missouri
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    July 8, 2020
     
    #DOCjustsummer: Global Ministries
    By Wendy Davidson, Disciples Peace Fellowship intern
     
    In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the protests against police brutality across the United States, the Global Ministries office has been flooded with messages of solidarity and support from partners around the world - from Palestine and Lebanon to Cuba and Puerto Rico, from Germany to South Africa to Angola to Bangladesh - expressing “unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement and everyone working for racial justice in the USA, the demands of which have resonated in communities around the world” (a quote from the letter from Kairos Palestine). This bulwark of support from global partners emphasizes the mutuality of the partnerships that Global Ministries cultivates with global partners.
     
    With everything that is going on right now in our world, in our country, and perhaps even in our own communities, it can be altogether too easy to shift all of our focus inward, to our own problems in our own communities. However, there are still so many meaningful ways to connect with the work of global partners. There are still a lot of really good and important things happening around the world that deserve our attention and care. May we take this opportunity to engage in the work of Global Ministries, and engage our communities, our country, and our world.
    #DOCjustsummer
     
    Long before the protests and other events of recent weeks, groups of Disciples have banded together to do the work of justice. This summer, each issue of Disciples News Service will feature one of our many justice-oriented ministries and invite you to learn more about them. We hope you will find a place to put your passion to work! 
     
    An added bonus for this effort is that our Disciples Peace Fellowship interns, while not able to travel to camps due to the COVID-19 cancellations, will be helping us see these ministries through fresh eyes.
     
    See how Disciples have shown up and spoken out in recent weeks. And it's not too late to add your signatureto renew your commitment to being a pro-reconciling/anti-racist Church.
    16 Action-hacks to attack racism July 15
     
    Joining guest April Johnson (Minister of Reconciliation for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and host Terrell McTyer (Minister of New Church Strategies) on “16 Action-Hacks to Attack Racism” is Mark Anderson (President and CEO of the National Benevolent Association). In his role at the NBA, he equips congregations and other direct-care providers to deliver services to those in need.
     
    This expert panel will assist participants in courageously and radically transforming their churches and communities into active forces for justice and solace when the world seems to tell certain people that they don’t matter. On this New Church Hacks episode, they will empower you to:
     
    • Dismantle racism from the pulpit and beyond
    • Engage anti-racism training at all levels of formation in your church
    • Support organizations and community activists that are at the frontlines
    • Discuss different ways in which others are fighting against racism
    • Celebrate humanity’s rich cultures and diverse ethnic backgrounds and traditions.
     
    Registrants will receive a recording of the webinar after it airs, so be sure to register!
     
    New Church Hacks is a free webinar series 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. 
    Seeing your building with fresh eyes
     
    After being away from our buildings for months during this pandemic, we now have the opportunity to get a new perspective on them. Your financial people may remark that your utility and maintenance bills dropped without visitors needing these creature comforts. You may actually see what it costs in electricity to keep the lights on, or in gas or oil to heat the space. These numbers will be surprising to some and scary to others. The costs of maintaining a church building can be staggering and, for some congregations, crippling. 
     
    The question then arises “How can we reduce these costs?” That is where the Building Evaluation service offered by Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) can help. Now is the perfect time to assess your building’s condition, energy usage, and potential for ‘right sizing’ its space. Are your light fixtures pulling money away from your outreach programs because they aren’t energy efficient? Is your heating system so outdated that you can no longer find parts for it? Do you have holes or gaps in your building that let outside air and unwanted guests in and conditioned air out? These are all things that not only affect our comfort but also our ability to conduct the ministry we feel called to do. 
    Building Evaluation can help a congregation as it continues into the ‘new normal’ of worship post-pandemic. It serves to educate your membership and, if done in conjunction with DCEF’s building planning guide, helps determine whether your building is helping or hindering your church’s mission within its community. 
     
    To learn more about DCEF’s facility-related services, including Building Evaluation and Building Planning, click here.
     
    To learn more about DCEF’s building-related loans, including Accessibility Loans and Green Loans, click here.
     
    Or, call 1-800-274-1883 to consult with your DCEF Building and Capital Services Advisor.
     
    Apply for a COVID-19 NBA Response Grant - Cycle 2 now open!
     
    To offer a rapid and impactful response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the National Benevolent Association is offering grant funding to support Disciples-related ministries that are working locally in response to this crisis. With this funding, we seek to offer relief to ministries that have been detrimentally impacted and to support new projects created in service to those suffering because of the pandemic. All Disciples-related health and social services ministries and congregation-affiliated projects in the United States and Canada are invited to apply. Eligible applicants must demonstrate in detail their financial need for support related to COVID-19. For more information and to apply, visit NBAcares.org/covid-19-grants.
    National Convocation schedules online business session for Aug. 15
    
    The National Convocation has opened registration for its 26th Biennial Session virtual business meeting on Saturday, August 15. Business items for the two-hour online meeting are:
    a. Install new Officers; 
    b. Install new At-Large Members; 
    c. Receive the Strategic Plan and Vision Statement;
    d. Approve the Amendments to the Articles of Operation;
    e. Receive the Advisory Committee report;
    f. Receive the Nominating Committee report;
    g. and receive the Time & Place Report.
     
    You count!
     
    Future planning by governments, nonprofits and others is directly affected by the numbers from the census, so in spite of the pandemic and because of the inequities in how communities are resourced, General Minister and President Rev. Teresa Hord Owens reminds us that 2020 is a census year in the United States. Fill out the quick form at 2020census.gov to make a difference for your community for the next 10 years!
    COVID-19 resources available
     
    The Office of the General Minister and President has compiled a collection of resources and statements from Church leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are updating this page with more resources as available.
     
    Rev. Terri Hord Owens will be continuing the Wednesday Facebook Live prayers throughout the summer. She will also be continuing her Friday meetings with pastors and chaplains via Zoom. Register here