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Call for Support of our Battle Creek Congregation #WeAreFamilyFundDrive

Posted on February 19, 2019

Call for Support of our Battle Creek Congregation #WeAreFamilyFundDrive

This is a moment when we as Michigan Disciples and friends are called to be community … family!

The leadership of the Michigan Disciples region has approved a special #WeAreFamily online fund drive with 100% of donations going to help our Battle Creek congregation and pastor.

We INVITE YOU to join the effort.
The goal is $10,000 with $3,000 going to the pastor for personal losses.

DONATE NOW - #WeAreFamilyFundDrive

Friends, a few weeks ago I began a message, “Being defrauded by someone trusted causes much pain … and sorrow.” Pastor Kingery Clingenpeel and the congregation of First Christian Church, Battle Creek continue to deal with those feelings and the significant consequences as victims of embezzlement that not only emptied the church’s savings accounts but also funds of pastor Kingery and Laura, his wife.

Loses are more than $40,000, with insurance covering only a small portion and even that money will not be seen for several months, plus $3,000 that pastor Kingery paid from personal funds to clear the embezzled charges on the church credit card. Kingery and his wife have committed to continue pastoring for the coming year without salary.

Your support will be greatly appreciated. #wearefamilyfunddrive

Pastor Eugene James, Regional Minister

Eric Strommer named Crystal Site Director

Posted on February 13, 2019

Eric Strommer named Crystal Site Director

“It is with great delight that we announce the hiring of Eric Strommer as our Site Director at Crystal Conference Center,” stated Stewart Halstead, Director of Human Resources of United Camps Conferences and Retreats (UCCR). Strommer comes with extended experience in the inaugural season of UCCR operating Crystal Conference Center.

His relationship with Crystal dates back more than 15 years as a camp counselor and medical officer. He became a member of the summer staff in 2011, as an Assistant Maintenance and Adventure Course Director for the COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) ropes course and climbing tower, moving up to being Director in the following years.

Strommer will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Crystal Conference Center during the summer months, hosting nine Michigan Disciples camps and retreats, as well as yoga retreats, family reunions, group conferences and meetings, weddings and other groups looking for an inviting event venue along the shores of Crystal Lake.

 Read full story:


Michigan Regional Assembly Relocated to Blaine Christian

Posted on January 23, 2019

Michigan Regional Assembly Relocated to Blaine Christian

Blaine Christian Church, Arcadia, just a few miles from Crystal Conference Center, is the new location for our 2019 Michigan Disciples Regional Assembly, on May 4. The assembly was originally set for First Christian, Traverse City. The planning committee under the leadership of Dr. Arnold E. Lakes, are making plans for an inspiring time of celebration as well as hearing the good news of our regional work and witness.

Meeting at Blaine, just a short distance from Crystal Conference Center, will include us meeting the new Crystal Site Director and hear from Rev. Tina Heck, Vice President of United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR), the new managers of Crystal Conference Center. Tina is a Disciples pastor from California who also helps oversee the Northern California Community of the Great Commission Retreat Center.

Make a weekend of your trip to Blaine and the Frankfort/Traverse City area before all the summer crowds arrive.

2018 Christmas Special Offering

Posted on December 05, 2018

2018 Christmas Special Offering

Disciples gather as the people of God in communion, fellowship, and in camps, conferences and assemblies. This year's Christmas offering supports opportunities for us to gather with one another across Michigan.

Many of you will be receiving the Christmas Special Day Offering in your congregation on December 16 and 23. For this we in the region are abundantly grateful. 100% of these gifts will go directly to Michigan Disciples in support of our ministries working with you, your minister(s), congregations, Crystal Conference Center and the extended ministries into our 42 congregations. Please share the special Christmas Offering Video with your congregation in worship and fellowship events in the coming weeks.

2018 Christmas Offering Video
(For congregational use. Not for distribution.)



Your gifts will provide a special focus on the three BIG ROCK priorities that we are focused upon in 2018: Communication, Caring Ministries & Mission, and Crystal.


Michigan Christmas Offering Bulletin Insert   [attached below]
Christmas Offering Poster
More Christmas Offering Resources

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Your Christmas Offering helps sustain the life of our churches
Thank you for providing your finest gifts.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region
2820 Covington Ct., Lansing, MI 48912-4810
Phone: (517) 372-3220


Overseas Disciples leader visits Grand Rapids Central Christian

Posted on November 01, 2018

Overseas Disciples leader visits Grand Rapids Central Christian

Central Christian Church, Grand Rapids was host this past Sunday to Rev. Mulumba, District Minister of the Kinshasa District, Community of the Disciples of Christ in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rev. Mulumba extended greetings from the Disciples in his country, with a membership of almost one million in 350 congregations.

The Congo Disciples of Christ Church has a long partnership with Michigan Disciples, going back to the first missionary hailing from our Ionia church early in the 20th Century. Mulumba was in Grand Rapids on a visit to North American church partners. We Michigan Disciples provide support to the ministries overseas through our Disciples Mission Fund giving and special offerings.

Eugene James, our Regional Minister was part of a delegation that visited Mbandaka in 2012 at the celebration opening a new medical clinic. Conversations have begun to consider a Michigan Disciples representative making an extended visit to our Disciples churches there in the coming year.

The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) in what today is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire was founded in 1889. The church has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada since its inception. Its 358 congregations serve 650,000 members.  The church has 6 general hospitals, 9 maternity centers and 42 functioning health centers.

Anne McCauslin Retires as STEM Dean

Posted on November 01, 2018

Anne McCauslin Retires as STEM Dean

After service since the spring of 2005 as Dean of the Systematic Training for Effective Ministries (STEM), a joint leadership training program of the Christian Church in Michigan and the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ, Anne McCauslin retired this past month.

"Over those years Anne has touched the lives of many who have served as church leaders and some who are still serving," said Eugene James, Regional Minister. "Her dedicated and inspirational leadership, her genuine concern for and support of the STEM students, and the diligence with which she fulfilled her responsibilities as Dean gave relevance, strength and consistency to the program," he added.

"Anne already is missed by many of us, but we are grateful to God for her work and the rich legacy she leaves. We wish her well as she pursues the calling the Lord has placed on her heart."

Regional Board Highlights - October 2019

Posted on October 19, 2018

“Fear is one of the obstacles to effecting and embracing change, often paralyzing the process to achieve needed change,” were the opening words of Regional pastor Eugene James’ report to the board lifting up significant changes that have taken place this year toward strengthening the ministry of the Michigan Disciples Church and its 42 partner congregations.

“We aren’t there yet but we are better off financially as of September 30; but we still have insufficient income for daily regional operations, ” reported Sarah Beth Simons, Stewardship and Finance Commission chair. 

“Following a year of careful study, conferences and examination, the Crystal Commission brings to you the recommendation that we hire United Camps Conferences and Retreats to manage Crystal Conference Center over the next two years,” reported Russ Tiller, Crystal Commission chair.

The fall meeting of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Michigan Board of Directors received reports and took action on the business of the church during its meeting at the regional office in Lansing, Saturday, October 13. Included are reports from Commissions, 2019 Camp Crystal Dates and photos from Brenda Murphy's retirement reception.


Regional Board Approves UCCR Management of Crystal

Posted on October 19, 2018

Regional Board Approves UCCR Management of Crystal

With an overwhelming vote of approval last Saturday, October 13, at the Michigan Disciples Regional Board meeting, the Michigan Disciples approved United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) becoming managers of Crystal Conference Center.

UCCR will formally assume management responsibilities January 1, 2019 for an initial contract of two years with annual renewal options going forward. They will provide onsite management during the Conference Center season April 1 to October 31 with year-round services of reservations/bookings, marketing, human resources and financial budgeting. UCCR already has been providing Crystal marketing services through 2018 and began providing booking/reservations services for outside groups, beyond our Disciples events, as of September 1.

Significant Change, Major Step Forward
“The camping programs at the Crystal Conference Center are a crucial ministry of the Christian Church in Michigan,” said Eugene James, Regional Minister. “Being good stewards of this marvelous gift is absolutely essential. The decision to enter into a management agreement with United Camps, Conferences and Retreats is a very important action to enable the needed growth and expand utilization to realize the full potential of this incredible space. I am profoundly grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. Praise God.”

“United Camps, Conferences and Retreats looks forward to hosting guests at this beautiful conference center and as stewards of the property working with the Michigan Disciples of Christ,” said Mike Carr, CEO of UCCR. 

“Entering into this agreement with United Camps, Conferences and Retreats to manage Crystal Conference Center in 2019 should help strengthen our own Disciples camp programs,” noted Russ Tiller, Crystal Commission Chairperson. “In addition, it allows others to discover the beauty and serenity of Gods wondrous handy work of this sacred place.”

What will UCCR Provide?
• An on-site Director from early April through October to manage the Conference Center, assist camps and groups, and operate the facility
• Recruit and manage staff (kitchen, housekeeping, maintenance, skills courses, water safety/lifeguard, and general facilities staff assistants
• Maintain all required site licenses, and general maintenance of facilities
• Promote and market to non-profit groups, Disciples churches and members, organizations in northern and central Michigan, the use of Crystal for meetings, retreats, craft weekends, family reunions, and more
• Provide the booking and reservations process via 800 phone and email five days a week, year-round – excluding individual registration process for Michigan Disciples camps
• Maintain a Crystal Conference Center Facebook page and website
• Build and maintain a Crystal Management operating budget with constant monitoring

Camp Crystal camps & retreats remain ours
Michigan Disciples will continue its own outdoor ministry programs as it has for the past 100 years, having first option on our camp/retreat dates each year, given that we remain owners of the Crystal facilities.  This means:
• Crystal Commission of Michigan Disciples will continue to identify annual camp/retreat dates and registration fees and book our events with UCCR by November each year; Eight Disciples camps/retreats are set for 2019 
• Michigan Disciples will continue to recruit its camp deans and retreat leaders, train them and provide support for their events
• Registrations for Disciples Crystal Camps/Retreats will be managed through the Michigan Regional Office
• We will continue to recruit and assist volunteers to open and close Crystal without cost to volunteers – a significant cost savings to us, and sponsor work groups during the spring, summer and fall
• We will remain owners of Crystal year-round and manage the property in the off-season from November through March
• The Region will appoint two representatives to the UCCR Owners Council as our liaison members to the management organization, representing Crystal Commission and the Christian Church of Michigan.

The Board also gave approval to the 2019 Crystal Conference Center Rates and Fees for use of buildings and services to outside groups and Disciples members who book Crystal for events, camps, families, reunions, church retreats and more, during the summer months. Rates for group use remains similar to those applied in 2018. This rate chart is available at

Crystal Conference Center is a ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region,

Disciples Pastors: Please share this information with your congregation, in your newsletter and on the bulletin board. Download the file below to print out this information.

Help us say Thanks to Brenda Murphy on her Retirement

Posted on September 18, 2018

Help us say Thanks to Brenda Murphy on her Retirement

Send a word of thanks
Participate in a Love Gift for presentation in October

Dear friends of the Michigan Region and Crystal Conference Center:        

Last month, our Camp Site Director at the Crystal Conference Center, Brenda Murphy announced her retirement after 32 years.

At the Regional Board Meeting on October 13, the Crystal Commission and members of the Regional Board plan to honor Brenda and her husband Dick with a short program following lunch.  As part of the programed celebration, we invite you to send a card of thanks and appreciation to Brenda and Dick for their many years of service to the Disciples Camp Crystal programs, the Crystal Conference Center and to the Michigan Region.

In addition, if you are so inclined and wish to make a monetary contribution of thanks to the Murphys, please make a check to CCMR (Christian Church Michigan Region)** and note in the memo section: Murphy Love Gift.

The Crystal Commission will collect and assemble the congratulatory cards in a note binder and present it, along with a “love gift” check at the program finale.

Since time is a critical factor in making this a memorable occasion for Brenda and Dick, we encourage you to write the congratulations card while it is fresh in your memory and send it directly to the Regional Office so it arrives no later than October 10th.  The address is: CCMR Love Gift,  2820 Covington Court,  Lansing, MI 48912.

Please share this information with other church members, friends and family who have been a part of Crystal and been enriched by Brenda's care for them and the Crystal Experience.

Thanks for your help in making this a most memorable occasion for Brenda & Dick as they start this new chapter in their lives.

Members of the Crystal Commission
** Non-tax deductible

P.S. For more information, read the August announcement of her retirement. CLICK HERE.

Preaching Camp Focus on Revelation

Posted on August 30, 2018

Preaching Camp Focus on Revelation

"Preaching in Conversation with the Book of Revelation," is the theme of this year's Michigan Disciples Preaching Camp led by Dr. Ron Allen of Christian Theological Seminary.  The September 10-12 gathering will be at the St Francis Retreat Center, Dewitt MI.

ONLINE REGISTRATION is now available at the website,

COST: $150 - includes overnight lodging and meals
             $100 - commuter includes meals

Support for this continuing education opportunity is provided by Michigan Disciples churches and members through the Michigan Disciples Region, Church Growth and Vitality Commission.

"In preparation for the camp, please take time to read the entire Book of Revelation," encouraged Regional Minister, Eugene James. "I plan to listen to it as I read, which I find very helpful. Go to to access. I'm looking forward to a very meaningful and enlightening time together. See you then."

Dr. Ronald J. Allen, Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament, will help us reflect upon and answer questions we have in our reeading of the Revelation stories. Bring your Bible and expect to hear a fresh word.

Professor Allen is the author of thirty books and will have available for purchase some of the most recent of these volumes.

Why a Preaching Camp?
The camp is designed for the following purposes:

(1) to offer preachers an opportunity to think together about preaching in conversation with the Book of Revelation as interpreted from a perspective that is historical-literary- theological;

(2) to offer preachers inspiration and encouragement in their preaching ministries through time together lifting up the importance of the preaching ministry

(3) to offer preachers a chance to work together and separately to prepare an abbreviated sermon on texts from the Book of Revelation

(4) to offer preachers a chance to preach the abbreviated sermon and to receive supportive feedback from peers

(5) to offer preachers a chance to brainstorm ways to preach the Book of Revelation in the lectionary, in sermon series, as individual sermons over time

(6) to offer preachers a chance to ask questions, raise issues, and share experiences about all aspects of preaching

(7) to offer time and space for other things related to preaching and to the larger work of the church

(8) to have fun as ministers in a relaxed setting with good company and good food.


Position open for Disciples Men Director

Posted on August 26, 2018

The Office of Disciples Men has posted a position description for Director of Disciples Men.  The Director of Disciples Men shall be the Disciples Home Missions (DHM) leader and liaison with the General Conference of Disciples Men (GCDM). The position offers guidance and leadership in collaboration with the Disciples Men. This is a part-time position, approximately 40-45 hours per month.

A complete Job description is attached to this web news item below.

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, and three letters of reference to Kelly Harris, DHM Ministry Associate,  The letters of reference should be from their Regional Minister, Local Pastor, and a representative of their local, Regional, or General Men’s Ministry.  Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2018.

Brenda Murphy to Retire as Crystal Conference Center Director

Posted on August 15, 2018

Brenda Murphy to Retire as Crystal Conference Center Director

Brenda Brooks-Murphy, camp manager at Crystal Conference Center on Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Michigan, has announced her retirement as of the end of the 2018 camping season.

In her letter of retirement, Murphy reflected, “For the past 32 years, the opportunity of working in the Outdoor Ministries program of Camp Crystal has enriched my life immeasurably.”

She noted, “The memories of camp and the friends we have made here will, I am sure, help with this transition. The value of summer camp at Crystal Conference Center is striking in so many scenes of those memories.  Nothing more so than in the faces of my grandchildren at Elementary Camp, or in the sounds of voices singing "Sanctuary" at closing worship.  It is very hard to leave.”
Murphy will continue her onsite camp director responsibilities through early October.

“The retirement of Brenda after thirty-two years brings an era of significant, dedicated service to an end,” noted Rev. Eugene W. James, Jr., Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region. “The joy that she and her husband, Dick Murphy, derived from seeing how the ministry impacted the lives of so many people, particularly the children, and how precious those sacred grounds are to them, was manifested in the long hours and hard work they put into fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.
“Brenda’s knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern the camping industry, the relationships she established in the community and with her peers, her relationships with volunteers, vendors, suppliers, service providers, and regulators were invaluable in enabling her to maintain a steady operation of the facility,” James added.

Jill Forton, Senior Minister at Cascade Christian Church, Grand Rapids, and program director for Michigan Disciples camps at Crystal worked closely with Brenda over many of her 32-year leadership.

“Every child, teenager and adult who has attended camp at Crystal has had a safe and remarkable experience in Christ due to the ministry of Brenda Murphy,” Forton reflected. 

“Along with her incredible husband Dick, Brenda has brought Crystal Conference Center to a high level of warm hospitality with delicious meals, well cared for grounds, and expanded facilities,” she added.   “God alone knows the hours Brenda has given to the Michigan Region’s Camp Ministry, but many of us know we are better people because of the camp community we have shared with Brenda.  May God be with her in this retirement as the campers of the Michigan Region rise up and call her blessed!”

Beginning this fall, Crystal Conference Center and the Michigan Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be working with United Camps, Conferences & Retreats, an established not-for-profit management organization, to manage the Crystal Lake conference center. With the decision by Murphy to retire, they will begin a search process in the coming months to hire a new Site Director for the 2019 season.

Crystal Conference Center has been part of the Crystal Lake community for more than 100 years, providing camping and conference facilities for church groups, other not-for-profits, families, meetings, reunions, and weddings during the summer season. It is owned and operated by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Prayer Request for children and parents facing separation

Posted on June 19, 2018

Eugene James, Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region today sent a prayer request to Michigan Disciples out of concern for the children and parents facing separation on the southern border of the U.S. Here is the text of the message he sent:

The separating of children from their parents at the U.S. / Mexico border by agents of the United States government is deplorable. Granted, persons wishing to enter the country must follow the established procedures and comply with all applicable laws but the law does not require that children be torn from their parents arms at the point of an illegal entry. This policy is the antithesis of the principles of justice and compassion that are foundational to values of American society. The government is responsible for ensuring the well-being of the innocent children who are suffering as a result of this manufactured crisis.

It is despicable that these children are being used as pawns to promote a political agenda. Congress has been casting about for several years attempting to come together and craft meaningful, comprehensive legislation to codify the much-needed reforms to the immigration policy. To try forcing through change in a few days is unreasonable at best and blackmail at the worst.

The attempt by the Attorney General to use Romans 13 to justify ripping a baby from its mother’s breast is an abomination. His “exegesis” is based on a flawed hermeneutic and indicates no understanding on his part of the context in which Paul’s message in that passage of Scripture is given.

Jesus was very clear in his instructions regarding children “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-15 NIV) I’m reminded of a song we sang during Vacation Bible School when I was a child at Pine Street Christian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma: “Jesus loves the little children, all children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Neither we nor our government can do anything less. Please pray for everyone involved at every level of government. Save the children.

Camp Crystal Discount Deadline April 15

Posted on April 08, 2018

Camp Crystal Discount Deadline April 15

Parents, grandparents, family, friends, you have until April 15 to register your children, youth or family for an exciting and faith inspiring time at Camp Crystal at DISCOUNTED PRICES! Registration fees increase by 10+% Sunday 4/15.  We've made it easy for you to sign campers up by doing it online 24/7!

Get the details by going to our Crystal Conference Center website,

While there visit the Rental webpage and consider the options for your clubs, church groups, and/or family reunions to spend a few days or weekend at Crystal. We have special discounted rates for Disciples church members. Visit for details. Call Bev in the Regional Office for more information and availability of dates and facilities for your group use, 517.372.3220. She's available Tuesday-Thursday 10am-4pm.

Attached is the 2018 Crystal Conference Center Summer Camps Brochure, and a sample Agreement document for renting Crystal for family or group use.

Summer Mission Trips to Rippling Hope

Posted on April 03, 2018

Summer Mission Trips to Rippling Hope

MAKE IT EPIC - Summer Service Projects

Rippling Hope Detroit is seeking highly motivated groups of youth and adults for 2018 service project opportunities in partnership with 55 block clubs and neighborhood organizations. Our neighbors are counting on you to stand and serve alongside them in our journey to connect communities, channel hope and change lives together.

SIGN UP NOW - Go to "Volunteer Info Page"

512.619.0575 or 313.704.1230


Easter Special Offering Connects & Calls People Together

Posted on March 28, 2018

Easter Special Offering Connects & Calls People Together

Easter special offering connects, calls Disciples together

In nearly every corner of the world, Disciples are making a difference. Congregations, groups, and individuals all across the U.S. and Canada, and their mission partners around the globe, are bringing wholeness to their communities.

We serve meals to local homeless populations, tutor students after school, and speak out on issues impacting our neighborhoods. We look for ways to partner with local organizations and other faith communities, finding common cause to move us toward shared visions.

When we give our time, talent, and treasure, we accomplish more together than we do apart.

We know, however, that we are only able to share our own gifts because we have received so much from God, whose generosity overflows.

As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, "And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11 NRSV).

We can respond to God's overflowing generosity with our own overflowing love. When we support each other, we are sharing God's love and our own, with each other, and with those who need it most.

But in such a fragmented world, it can feel overwhelming to find the best way to share wholeness and love in a meaningful way. Where should we start?

As Disciples, we know there are so many ways to serve God by serving and loving our neighbors - because we're already doing the work.

We rejoice in knowing that Disciples Mission Fund serves the Church, and the world, in ways we cannot do alone.

Michigan Disciples congregations will be receiving our DMF Easter Special Offering this Sunday morning. Look for the special offering envelopes, and give generously.

OR CLICK HERE to give online now.

Read more.

Women’s Mission Project Rescheduled

Posted on February 08, 2018

The Disciples Women event scheduled for Saturday, February 10 has been cancelled (due to upcoming weather predictions) and rescheduled for Saturday, April 28th.

As we get closer to the date we will share with you the time, location and what to bring. This is a wonderful service project which will include projects for all age and skill levels. Please save the date now and talk with your women's ministry about sharing their God given gifts and talents with Rippling Hope. Rippling Hope operates in partnership with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Week of Compassion Gifts provide more than we can imagine

Posted on February 05, 2018

Week of Compassion Gifts provide more than we can imagine

Week of Compassion Offerings to be received in Disciples Congregations February 18 and 25

By Chuck Blaisdell for Week of Compassion

John Lennon’s now iconic song asks us to “Imagine” – but his call is tinged with sadness and even hopelessness for our truly being able to realize a more just, a more abundant, a more peaceful world for each and every person. But we, who know the Good News of the Gospel, know that such imagining is not simply a wistful dream; we know what the Apostle Paul knew when he wrote those closing lines to the Ephesian church, where he praised God as the one Who, indeed, “by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

For Paul is right: God’s power is at work within us, and that power is the power to imagine and help make a better world a reality for all God’s children. The theme of this year’s Week of Compassion Special Offering – received in most churches on Feb. 18 or 25 – is “More Than We Can Imagine.” And God’s power has been – and will continue to be! – at work through your gifts in more ways than you can imagine: through refugees finding safe haven, through those battered by hurricanes and fearsome fires who have been given some of the help they need to begin to put their lives back together, through development projects making clean and safe water available, and so much more. Your gifts work “around the world, around the year” to bring the love and hope of God in more ways than indeed we can imagine.

Complete resources – including videos, children’s resources, bulletin inserts, and a Resource Guide with sermon starters, worship materials, and moments for mission – for this vital Special Offering can be found here.

Reconciliation Special Offering

Posted on September 20, 2017

Reconciliation Special Offering

Reconciliation Offering 2017 - Where do our offerings go?

As recent news events have shown, the need for addressing racism in America has never been greater.

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.

Here in Michigan, the money raised from this offering helps pay for camp scholarships and educational opportunities for children who would otherwise be unable to attend.

The 2017 Reconciliation Offering will be received in congregations on September 24 and October 1. Please give. And thank you! Disciples congregations should have received envelopes and material to share with members in their churches.

If you wish, give directly ONLINE (Click Here) - it will be included in your congregation's support and we in Michigan will receive our share to support our ministries. 

For more information about Reconciliation Ministries and to watch a video, Click Here.

Rev Rick Boyd
Michigan Disciples Reconciliation

How to Support Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

Posted on September 01, 2017

You can support Hurricane Harvey disaster relief by making an online donation to Week of Compassion HERE. You may also donate to your congregation by designating your offering as “Week of Compassion for Hurricane Harvey”.Week of Compassion currently responds to disasters around the world approximately once every one and a half days. Recent major disasters receive much of Week of Compassion’s attention and resources.

Your gifts to the Compassion Response Fund and to ‘Where Most Needed’ enable Week of Compassion to respond immediately to disasters and emergencies – ‘big’ or ‘small’ – as they arise. Designated donations enable continued support through the work of church partners who continue to respond under some of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances imaginable.

You can read more about Week of Compassion HERE,

Michigan Disciples eNews

Posted on June 29, 2017

Michigan Disciples eNews

Attached to this Michigan Disciples web news page are both the May and June issues of the Michigan Disciples eNews. The May issue is a report of the May 6 Regional Assembly at Central Woodward Christian Church.

Did you receive the Michigan Disciples eNews? Would you like others in your family, church to be on the eNews mailing list? Send their names and email addresses to, noting in subject line "Add to eNews" and we'll add them to the list.

Here's the 16 items included in the lastest eNews:

• Regional Moderator & Vice Moderator elected
• Christmas in July - Online contributions support Region
• Which Way to the Promised Land? We want to hear from you
• Global Resources for VBS
• Lord teach us to Pray
• New Christian Church Foundation Staff
• Heritage with a Heartbeat - First Christian Muir
• Crystal Conference Center Update
   - Crystal 100 Save the Date
   - Crystal Camps - openings available
   - Crystal Future Options explored
• Biblical Leadership & Growth workshops
• Michigan Men's Retreat
• Rippling Hope - Gospel in Action Detroit
• General Assembly Indianapolis
   - Registrations still available
   - Now What?! Seminar for local church leaders
• Upcoming Events for Michigan

2017 Regional Assembly Highlights

Posted on May 23, 2017

2017 Regional Assembly Highlights

"How Learning from our Past can Help Disciples Shape our Future" by Dr. Scott Seay, provided the challenge and inspiration at our recent Regional Assembly that also addressed the programs, witness and ministry of the region even as it looked at major issues ahead.

The attachment to this electronic news post is a print version of the recently distributed "Michigan Disciples eNews - Regional Assembly" Special Edition.  To be added to the Regional eNEWS list, send an email to - include your name, home church, city, state and email address.

Your’e too close to miss General Assembly!

Posted on April 13, 2017

Your’e too close to miss General Assembly!

The 2017 General Assembly is less than three months away and you are too close to miss it!  The Michigan region played a vital part in the last General Assembly by registering more than 50 attendees! 

We would love to see your region meet AND beat that number of attendees for the Indianapolis assembly; therefore, we invite you to again be a part of greatness in July.  We will be voting on a new General Minister and President; we will have more than 75 exhibitors sharing giveaways and information about their organizations; we will have wonderful worship, and fellowship and learning opportunities. 

You don't want to miss it, so join us in Indianapolis, July 8-12, by registering here.

If you've already registered--THANK YOU!  Don't forget, you can access your registration profile to add meals, education workshops or GA printed materials AND add additional registrants at the link above.

We look forward to seeing you in Indy!

Resources are available to download and use in your congregation and share with other members. Go here for downloads.

Ethan Tews Featured in News

Posted on March 15, 2017

Ethan Tews Featured in News

Ethan Tews, currently pastor of Ionia Christian Church, recently was featured in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard for his work as Chaplain to the Ionia Department of Public Safety.

In the article by Karen Bota, Ethan noted that "God just opened this door," in explaining his work with the police and fire departments and in other emergency situations. For the last 15 months, Tews has served as a volunteer chaplain with the Ionia Department of Public Safety.

Read the full story with photos online at

Disciples General Minister Nominee Selected

Posted on March 06, 2017

Disciples General Minister Nominee Selected

This past weekend the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met in Indianapolis and approved a slate of nominees for General Minister and President (6-year term) and moderators of the General Assembly (2-year terms).  The nominees include Rev. Teresa "Terri" Hord Owens for General Minister and President; Sue Morris for moderator; Rev. Dr. Belva Brown Jordan for moderator-elect; Rev. Beau Underwood for first vice moderator; and Rev. Dr. Timothy Lee for second vice moderator.

The General Board voted to forward the name of Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens to the 2017 General Assembly as the nominee for General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A Disciple since young adulthood, Hord Owens is currently dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL.

“We saw in Terri that unique combination of pastoral, leadership, active presence in all expressions of the Church and administrative experience that the search committee believed was most needed,” said Search Committee Chair Jackie Bunch. “She has experience as a local pastor, theologian and leader.

“The committee particularly noted her skills in discernment, spiritual discipline and proclamation of the Word, but also as a listener.”

Bunch continued, “The search committee recognized that leading the Church in this day and age requires a certain business acumen as well as a heart for ministry. We see that Terri brings that special mix of academic, executive and pastoral qualities that are required for leading the Disciples through this time in our North American culture. She has a background of bringing together diverse groups for dialogue that will serve the Church well.”

Rev. Owens 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 multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring of youth and young adults. She is married to Walter Owens, Jr., with whom she will soon celebrate 30 years of marriage. They are the proud parents of an adult son, W. Mitchell Owens, III.

The process calls for election in July by voting representatives in attendance at the Disciples General Assembly in Indianapolis.

To read more information about Rev. Owens, including her vision for the church, or to ask her a question, go to

General Assembly voting representatives also will elect the moderator team for 2017-19. Sue Morris, moderator is from Omaha NE; Rev. Belva Brown Jordan, moderator-elect, Claremont, CA; Rev. Beau Underwood, first vice-moderator, Jefferson City MO; and Rev. Dr. Timothy Lee, second vice-moderator, Fort Worth TX.  Read more about the moderator team at

Stewardship: Energizing Resources for Ministry & Mission

Posted on February 09, 2017

Stewardship: Energizing Resources for Ministry & Mission

Online registration is now available for a premier Stewardship Event specifically geared for local church leaders. Faith and Stewardship: Energizing Resources for Ministry and Mission is the theme. March 4 10 am - 3 pm is the date and time. First Christian, 1001 Chester, Lansing is the location.

This Stewardship event is for all Disciples members, and we especially encourage pastors, church treasurers, and all those involved in stewardship activities to attend.

Rev. Bruce Barkhauer, Director of the Center for Faith and Giving, will lead us as we consider the “grateful and responsible use of God’s gifts in the light of God’s purpose as
revealed in Jesus Christ.”

  • Stewardship is NOT fundraising! It is a faith discipline equal in value and importance to tthat of worship, prayer, study, and service.
  • Stewardship is a “whole life” issue that deals with how to respond to a Loving God who has, in abundance, provided all that we need not only to survive, but to thrive.

Barkhauer was called as the first “Minister for Faith and Giving for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)” in 2010, after 25 years of parish ministry. His energy, vision, and spirit enhance gifts in both business and ministry. He brings a biblically based understanding of stewardship combined with theological integrity and weds them to the current trends and best practices related to spirituality and money. He is the author of numerous articles, and most recently a book of devotions created for congregations to be utilized during financial campaigns entitled Community of Prayer (published by Chalice Press, 2016).

UPDATE: Thanks to the Commission on Church Growth and Vitality, the registration cost has been reduced to $10.00 for the first member and $5.00 for each additional member, effective immediately.

NEW - Multiple registrations receive a discount! $10.00 for the first member of your congregation, $5.00 for each additional member. Registration is available online HERE, by mail, and at the door (a light lunch will be served, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are attending, even if you plan to pay at the door).

Questions? Contact the Christian Church Michigan Region Office at or leave a message at 517-372-3220.


General Assembly Sunday January 29

Posted on January 20, 2017

General Assembly Sunday January 29

Gear up now for your General Assembly promotion Sunday on January 29! You can find all kinds of resources from worship materials to logos on the website. And don't forget to use the social media hashtag - #DOCWeAreOne for your congregational selfie wearing Chalice red!

2017 General Assembly will be held this year in Indianapolis July 8-12 - an easy drive for us in Michigan. It is a terrific opportunity for church leaders to experience the power of thousands in worship, study and witness. It is a family time as well, with things planned for everyone. And while in Indy you will want to take in the world's largest, first rate Children's Museum, a first class zoo, and more.

NOW is the time to register - do it online

View General Assembly Video.

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one."
John 17:20-21a, NRSV

Regional Minister posts Pastoral Reflection on Chicago beating

Posted on January 17, 2017

"Four black persons kidnapped, held captive, and abused, a mentally challenged white youth over a period of three days in the city of Chicago. The story is no longer considered “news” but the facts are no less despicable and I’m still deeply troubled by it..."

Our Regional Minister, Eugene James, has posted a pastoral reflection on the recent beating of a young youth in Chicago. Read the full reflection in the blog online, "Reflections: Despicable."

Christmas Offering Supports Michigan Region

Posted on November 25, 2016

Christmas Offering Supports Michigan Region


The Annual Christmas offering, one of 4 annual special day offerings of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

  • Goes 100% to support the work and ministry of the Michigan Disciples Regional ministries
  • Supports the myriad of crucial activities and ministries that keep us connected, supported, encouraged and loved
  • Provides for pastoral care and support to church leaders and ministers, pastoral search services, educational events and retreats for men/women and others, administrative and accounting support
  • Crystal Conference Center and annual camping services and experiences

DECEMBER 11 & 18 are the recommended Sundays to take the Special Day CHRISTMAS OFFERING.

visit "CHRISTMAS OFFERING RESOURCES" for more information and to download resources:

Regional Minister Posts new Blog Messages

Posted on November 21, 2016

Eugene James, Regional Minister of the Michigan Disciples has posted two new messages in his Blog that you can reach by clicking on

Read his latests posts on the recent USA elections and a Thanksgiving greeting.


Rippling Hope’s Open House

Posted on November 17, 2016

THIS Saturday, November 19th, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ...
12801 Joy Road, Detroit (at Appoline, near Meyer) __
Learn more about the Gospel in Action/Detroit and its connections to the community.
Local artists will have their work on display.

Rippling Hope Workdays this Fall

Posted on September 27, 2016

Rippling Hope Workdays this Fall

Rippling Hope completed projects on many homes this summer but there is still plenty of work to do.  The Gospel in Action-Detroit has four workdays scheduled for the rest of 2016. 

Saturday, October 8 & 22, November 12 and December 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Bring your lunch, a water bottle, and a friend.  Please call Carl Zerweck, the Director, at 512-619-0575 for information and to register

You can make arrangements to stay over night and real beds are available.   You also may schedule another workday that is more convenient to you.

For more information go to the website or "LIKE" them on Facebook,

General Youth Council Applications Due 9/30

Posted on August 31, 2016

General Youth Council Applications Due 9/30

The General Youth Council of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is looking for applicants. Applications are being accepted from now through September 30, 2016 for terms beginning January 1st, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2018.

Applicants must be a Junior in High School! For more information and to apply click the following link:

Kate Summers
Vice Moderator
General Youth Council

Pentecost Offering May 15 & 22

Posted on May 09, 2016

Pentecost Offering May 15 & 22

Special Day PENTECOST OFFERING dates are Sunday May 15 and 22. We hope you will be sharing the information and envelopes mailed to your church office. If you need more information or material to print, go to the web resources page,

Watch and Download the Video for sharing at your church: CLICK HERE

A Second Wind of the Holy Spirit works through you and other Disciples to keep the new church movement on course toward starting 1,000 new churches in 1,000 ways.  Join the new church fleet with your gift to the Pentecost Offering today! Since 2001 Disciples have planted 934 new churches and tens of thousands of lives have been brought closer to God as a result! One half of this offering remains in Michigan to help plant and support new churches, and the other half goes to recruit, train, coach and walk alongside new church planters across the whole church.

The Disciples new church movement is experiencing a Second Wind. With courageous leaders at the helm and the wind of the Holy Spirit breathing vitality into the movement, Disciples are on course to starting 1,000 new churches by 2020.  For additional information visit

Todd Adams Keynoter at Regonal Assembly 5/14

Posted on April 22, 2016

Todd Adams Keynoter at Regonal Assembly 5/14

Todd Adams, President-Elect of the Disciples Pension Fund and former Associate General Minister and VP of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will keynote the Michigan Disciples Regional Assembly on May 14 at Unity Christian Church, 5255 Linden Road, Swartz Creek, Michigan. Adams, a dynamic and creative leader in our church, will address a central concern of local church leadership these days, in an inviting and popular style - "WISDOM IN MISSION." 

REGISTER NOW ONLINE - (Click Here) 2016 Regional Assembly

DOWNLOAD REGIONAL ASSEMBLY REGISTRATION FORM with voting privileges details and more information - Print Copies to distribute to your congregational leaders. Registration $30.00 includes lunch. Online Registration ENDS MAY 11; after that, register at the event. On-site registration begins at 9:30 am with opening session at 10 am.

What is your understanding of the role and responsiblities of your congregation's Board? Are you aware of the legal requirements of members of the Board? Do you have knowledge of the legal requirements of members of the Board? They may sound like boring questions to answer but in today's world they are important to understand and know how to answer. And Adams walks you into the process with an engaging and inviting style. This will be a particularly beneficial presentation for all congregational church leaders, officers, elders etc.  

Of course there will be worship and exhuberant, joyous singing; the Regional Minister will give us a review of the work of the region, we'll hear about the excitement planned for Crystal Camps this summer; and there will be a short business session including a look at how critical it is for congregations and individuals to be supporting the region financially. Voting Privileges for the Business Session are described in the Assembly Registration Form attached to this web news page.

In addition, John Martek, will introduce us to Mission First! which seeks to help Disciples identify the next mission priorities for our church in the USA and Canada. What does God have for us as we move toward the year 2020 and beyond? That's the focus of Mission Matters! and for all of us. Be part of this denomination-wide process by attending the regional assembly. 

The Rev. Dr. Todd Adams serves as Senior Vice-President/President-Elect of Pension Fund of the Christian Church. He will succeed the retiring Jim Hamlett in September as the ninth President of the Pension Fund. Previously Adams served as Associate General Minister and Vice-President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, the Interim President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Interim President of the Church Finance Council and Senior Minister of Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston, TX.

Todd leads workshops and retreats on non-profit governance, compensation and benefits, congregational transformation, stewardship, and financial ethics. He is a certified Goverance Trainer for Board Source. Adams is a 1994 graduate of Chapman University, Orange, CA. and has a Master of Divinity from Philips Theological Seminary, Tulsa OK, and an earned Doctor of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC. He is married with two teenage children.


Pastoral Letter - Call for Financial Support

Posted on April 01, 2016

Michigan Disciples Regional Minister, Eugene James, in a letter to congregations and individuals has noted that the current financial support from churches and members means the region will be depleted of operating funds without increased support. 

"In response to this crisis," James said, "the Regional Board authorized the Treasurer to access funds from the Region's line of credit with the Disciples Church Extension Fund. This will allow us to continue serving clergy and congregations for approximately one year."

James went on to express gratitude to congregations who have given consistently to the ministry of the Region. "However," he added, "it is essential that all  of our congregations give and do so on a consistent basis. I give thanks to God and rejoice for those congregations that have sent offerings to support the work of the Region for the first time in several years and have made a commitment to continue that support."

The letter also noted that when Eugene and Maggie Mills agreed to serve as Co-Transitional Interim Ministers in April, 2010, it was projected that the Region only had enough funds for two years. "By the grace of God, with the support of many congregations in the Region and individuals, and in spite of the diminishing returns from Disciples Mission Fund giving, we have gone beyond the two years.

The letter ends with our regional minister saying, "Just as each member is important to the vitality of the congregation, each congregation is important to the vitality of the Region. Please prayerfully consider how you and your congregation will respond to this urgent need." 

To make a donation NOW and in the future here ONLINE, go to the "DONATE NOW" tab at the bottom of the web page. OR CLICK HERE.

READ THE FULL LETTER attached to this web page.

2016 Summer Camps Register Online

Posted on March 22, 2016

2016 Summer Camps Register Online

Registration for 2016 Crystal Conference center camps for children, youth, families is now available online. Also available are print registration forms and poster available for download. Go to the "Crystal Schedule & Forms" page (Click Here) to register now. ACT NOW to get EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNTS before April 15, 2016.

Plans are well underway for Crystal summer 2016 camp experiences for a large group of children and youth from across Michigan.  Now is the time as you plan your summer schedules to include Camp Crystal for Christian nurture and fun for children, youth, adults, and families.

Check out this video to get a feel for the excitement of camping at Crystal Lake - CLICK HERE - produced by April Jackson, a talented young Detroit area videographer.

Christian camping at Crystal provides you the opportunity:
• To experience Christian community and discover its source—the Holy Spirit!
• To claim the gift of a new spirit within and to bear fruit as they choose living in the Spirit for themselves!
• To realize they are never alone—Jesus’ gift of the Spirit is always with them!
• To live with grace and forgiveness, unity and courage, joy and peace—powered up by the Holy Spirit!

 Go to "Summer Camps" web page for descriptions of each camp listed below.

June 19-24:  Elementary Camp
June 24-26:  Women's Ministry Retreat
July 11-14:  Day Camp
July 17-23:  CYF/Sr. High School Camp
July 17-23:  Chi Rho / Middle School Camp
July 24-30:  Family Camp
July 31-Aug 6:  Independence Camp
Sept 23-25:  Men's Retreat

Gospel in Action: Flint—to provide safe water

Posted on January 18, 2016

Gospel in Action: Flint—to provide safe water

The Gospel in Action – Flint has been launched to address the water crisis for residents of Flint Michigan, drawing upon four Disciples and United Church of Christ partners in the effort, said the Rev. Eugene W. James, Jr., Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Vermont Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1201 Lippincott Boulevard, Flint, has been designated a water distribution point as the city strives to provide safe water to its residents.

Week of Compassion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Disciples Michigan Region and the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ have committed to support the Vermont church in continuing the effort they began on their own but could not maintain themselves. 

“I am grateful for this support,” said Vermont pastor Andre Powell. Vermont Christian has been a leading witness to and for African Americans in Flint for more than 70 years.  

The Gospel in Action – Flint is an offshoot of The Gospel in Action – Detroit,” said James, who was instrumental in launching The Gospel in Action – Detroit several years ago to address the human and housing needs of that city’s residents.

The Gospel in Action is an Ecumenical Outreach ministry of the Michigan Region. This past summer the Gospel in Action - Detroit through our partners Motown Mission (, a ministry of the United Methodist Church, and Rippling Hope (, provided volunteers, coordinated and organized projects, and provided project management that serviced more than four hundred homes in the city of Detroit. This water distribution effort will be the first project in Flint.

To learn how to support The Gospel in Action – Flint, contact the Michigan Disciples regional office,, (517) 372-3220.

Clergy Emergency Gifts Accepted Online

Posted on January 15, 2016

Clergy Emergency Gifts Accepted Online

In a special appeal to Michigan Disciples, regional minister Eugene James noted that the "Clergy Emergency Fund has been depleted and has a deficit as a result of the response to an urgent need.

"Please join me," he urged, " in sharing whatever you can; it would be greatly appreciated." 

Tax deductible donations may be sent to the regional office, marked "Clergy Emergency,"  or made online by clicking the link below to our secure online donation page. 



2016 Crystal Camp Dates Set

Posted on January 01, 2016

2016 Crystal Camp Dates Set

Camp dates have been set and plans have begun for Crystal summer 2016 camp experiences for a large group of children and youth from across Michigan. It's not too soon to begin planning your summer schedules so that you include Camp Crystal for Christian nurture and fun by children, youth, adults, and families. Leaders minds are swirling as they plan for the coming year. The 2016 schedule below gives the dates upon which to build your summer plans now.

We are looking forward to our 2016 Christian faith based camping program on Crystal Lake. In the coming months camp directors and Crystal Conference Center leaders will be busy creating the experience that only happens when campers, God, outdoor activities and the beauty of northern Michigan meld into one.

Christian camping at Crystal provides you the opportunity:
• To experience Christian community and discover its source—the Holy Spirit!
• To claim the gift of a new spirit within and to bear fruit as they choose living in the Spirit for themselves!
• To realize they are never alone—Jesus’ gift of the Spirit is always with them!
• To live with grace and forgiveness, unity and courage, joy and peace—powered up by the Holy Spirit!

It's never too early to begin thinking about summer plans - for you, your family, your kids, friends and those in your congregation. Go to "Summer Camps" web page for descriptions of each camp listed below.

June 19-24:  Elementary Camp
June 24-26:  Women's Ministry Retreat
July 11-14:  Day Camp
July 17-23:  CYF/Sr. High School Camp
July 17-23:  Chi Rho / Middle School Camp
July 24-30:  Family Camp
July 31-Aug 6:  Independence Camp
Sept 23-25:  Men's Retreat

Veterans Day Message from Disciples Regional Minister

Posted on November 11, 2015

Eugene James, Michigan Disciples Regional Minister has posted a message honoring all Veterans on this Veterans Day 2015. You will find it in his online Blog by clicking here or going to


Disciples – A Movement whose time has come?

Posted on November 04, 2015

Disciples – A Movement whose time has come?

Why do the Disciples of Christ have some distinctive values and practices that can provide us with real hope in reaching out to seekers and explorers for a substantive faith experience? One of our own, Dr Robert D. Cornwall, has just published a new book that lifts up why the freedom of covenant is so much a part of the Disciples DNA, making our gifts of faith and hope inviting to others.

Freedom in Covenant: Reflections on the Distinctive Values and Practices of the Christian Church is available from  Wipf and Stock Publishers, 978-1-4982-2323-2 / paperback / $12,

“Freedom in Covenant…” identifies that in an age of decreasing denominational loyalty, questions of identity have become important. Both church members and inquirers wonder what to make of a denomination’s core values, mission, and common practices. It is these questions of identity, values, and practices that this book explores. It is history, but more than history. It looks at the current state of the church, but it is more than that.

The following excerpt demonstrates the authors inviting writing style. It’s an engaging and informative good read for clergy and laity alike. The book is a compilation of sermons by Cornwall over a number of years in several congregations. 
         “Although Disciples do not have creeds, we do have some wonderful slogans that remind us to take the Bible seriously. One of these slogans declares: "We have no Creed but Christ, no Book but the Bible.” Another one proclaims: "Where the Scriptures speak we speak, where the Scriptures are silent we are silent." What these slogans suggest to us is that a person’s own interpretation cannot have priority over that of another person. It also means that the essentials of the Christian faith should be few in number, for in essentials we are to be unified, while in nonessentials there is room for difference.”

Keith Watkins, retired professor of Christian Theological Seminary, church historian, says of the book, “As an urban pastor and church historian, Cornwall seeks to reclaim aspects of his church’s ecclesial inheritance that continue to resonate within American religious and cultural life. Using the principles of freedom and covenant as interpretive guides, he writes a succinct, readable, and persuasive interpretation of this distinctive American church tradition. Designed to be a study guide for individual readers and classes, this slender volume can help Disciples reframe the way they understand their church.”

Reviewer – Neil Topliffe, retired Disciples minister and Michigan Disciples web news editor

Disciples Together - Resources for Pastors

Posted on November 03, 2015

Disciples Together - Resources for Pastors

Disciples Pastors, are you signed up to receive the periodic email resource, "Disciples Together - Resources for Pastors?" This is an excellent source of resources to support you in your local church ministry. It not only provides you with information and things you can use in your congregration related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) but it gives you updates and links to support you in ministry and pastoral nurture. Check it out. Sign up to receive it in your email box by clicking here

Gresham Lectures October 2-4

Posted on September 01, 2015

Gresham Lectures October 2-4

The 2015 Perry Gresham Bible Lecture and Clergy Day will have a widely regarded Christian ethicist, author and human rights activist as it's featured speaker this year. Central Woodward Christian Church, 3955 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI, is the Gresham Lectures host and sponsor along with Christian Theological Seminary (CTS).

Dr. David Gusheehee, professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University will address the need to rethink the biblical case for how we open Christian hearts to full acceptance of the LGBT community, so often marginalized and mistreated gay Christians in the life of the church.

Friday from 10 am to 3 pm is Clergy Spiritual Formation Day, looking at how the church can be a place of grace and hospitality, where everyone feels welcomed and safe.  Registration is $50, including lunch and 4.5 CEU credit certificate from CTS.

Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm is a Community Workshop focusing on "Changing Our Mind: My Argument for LGBT Inclusion in the Churches." This session welcomes clergy and lay, registration being $15, including lunch.

Dr. Gushee will be preaching Sunday morning also.

Registration deadline is September 28, 2015. Download the brochure and registration form.

Gospel In Action Workdays in August & September

Posted on July 24, 2015

Michigan Disciples still have two opportunities to support the regional Gospel in Action misssion work program yet this summer.  Organize a group from your church or some friends and spend a Saturday in Detroit renewing a home and renewing your faith, all at the same time! 

THE DATES: August 22 and September 19 are Michigan Disiples Saturday workdays. 


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The Gospel in Action program is carried out in coordination with Rippling Hope.  (<>)
It's a year-round ministry that provides volunteers a variety of mission and service opportunities and promotes conversation and relationship between neighbors of diverse cultures. Some of the ways you can help are by coming to work a day or a week at a time, by preparing meals, by doing office work, by donating money, tools, or food/snacks. 

If you are available through the week to work, call Carl Zerweck at 512-619-0575 to make arrangements. 

There are three attachments:  One is the Registration Form for the Regional workdays, the second is the Pledge Form, and the third lists the multiple ways someone can volunteer for the Gospel in Action mission.

Latest Blog from Eugene

Posted on June 25, 2015

"More Bitter Fruit" is the title of the blog posting that our regional minister, Eugene James posted today. He begins by saying, "The massacre of nine people gathered to study God’s word at historic Emmanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, South Carolina is more bitter fruit from the prolific orchard of racial hatred that thrives in the fertile soil of the denial, acceptance, encouragement, and apathy vis-à-vis racism that exists in our society..."  Go to the complete statement at

Register Online for May 9 Regional Assembly

Posted on April 30, 2015

Register Online for May 9 Regional Assembly

REGISTER ONLINE NOW for the 2015 Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Go to this "Latest News" web page at and <CLICK HERE> 2015 Regional Assembly  to reach the secure online registration page.

Our theme this year is "Building Community," and our text is Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" The Assembly will convene at Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Drive, SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The opening session will begin at 10:00 a.m. (on-site registration opens at 9:30).

The cost of registration is $30, which includes lunch.

Our plenary facilitator is Bernard "Chris" Dorsey, President of Higher Education & Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We will also be led by Preston Adams, senior pastor of Amazing Grace Christian Church (DOC); and Anne Sowell, Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Commission of the Disciples of Christ.

Register ONLINE UNTIL MAY 8. OR use the form attached to this web page below.  Registrations will be accepted at the door on May 9 for the same fee.


In accordance with the Constitution for the Christian Church (DOC) Michigan Region as ratified at the Regional Assembly of June 4, 2011, page 4, item 3.

Voting Privileges.  All persons who register for the Regional Assembly shall have all privileges of the Assembly, except that voting privileges shall be limited to

  • (a) voting representatives from each recognized congregation, consisting of one woman, one man and one young adult under the age of twenty-six,
  • (b) one additional voting representative from each recognized congregation for each one hundred participating members over the first hundred members (51 or greater will be recognized as the next 100 members)
  • (c) ministers in standing in the Region;
  • (d) members of the Regional Board, and
  • (e) one representative from each recognized Christian body as designated in the bylaws.

Summer Mission Intern Opportunity

Posted on March 10, 2015

Summer Mission Intern Opportunity

Rippling Hope, the Detroit area Disciples mission program, has a summer mission service intern position available for 10-12 weeks beginning in mid to late May this year. The intern will receive a minimal stipend and be provided housing and meals.

The Mission Service Intern will help run the summer Rippling Hope ministry program, working with mission work groups in the Detroit area, as well as working with members of local ministry partners in rebuilding and revitalization of Detroit.

For more information contact Carl Zerweck, Director of Rippling Hope,, 512-619-0575. See full job description attached to this web page, at bottom.

Take a Cruise with Other Disciples

Posted on March 10, 2015

Michigan Disciples are invited to join the Senior Adult Ministry of the Florida Region in a January 31-February 7, 2016 Holland American Western Caribbean Cruise. John and Melba Lacey and Bev Peeler, who enjoyed a similar cruise a few years ago, recommend this trip for a mid-winter break from the Michigan winter!

Bible studies and worship experiences will be let by Rev. Juan and Sonia Rodriguez. Juan is the Florida Regional minister and Sonia is a gifted worship leader.

The trip sets sail roundtrip from Port of Tampa with stops in Key West, Honduras, Santo Torres, Guatemala, Costa Maya and Mexico.

For further details about the Disciples program on board contact Roslin Springer: For cruise reservations, contact Dean Skinner, Indian River Travel:, 877-626-6110.

Association of Disciples Musicians Conference

Posted on March 09, 2015

The Association for Disciples Musicians (ADM) event will take place June 23-28 at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Registration information is available on the ADM website.  A paper flier will be in the mail to local churches in March.

This is a quality event and worthy of consideration for musicians, ministers, and other worship-and creative-minded individuals. It is scheduled a month away from general assembly, so this may be a nice alternative for staff who may be looking for something geared more toward musicians.


Christmas Offering Supports Region

Posted on December 06, 2014

Christmas Offering Supports Region

Each of the Disciples Mission Fund Special Day Offerings give us the opportunity to support various Disciples Ministries.

The Christmas Offering supports the work of Regional Ministries, and offerings collected in Michigan go directly to support the ministries of the Christian Church (Disiciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Your gifts make possible the nurture and certification of ministerial candidates; assistance given to pastoral search committees; life-changing camp experiences; continuing education opportunities; retreats which renew us; and events that connect us.

100% of the gifts we offer to the 2014 Christmas Offering will support these ministries.

What gifts shall we bring? Add yours to the Christmas offering that we might share together in ministry in the name of the Christ child.

The Christmas Offering will be received in your congregation on December 14 and 21. OR

DONATE NOW ONLINE by clicking here.

Resources including graphic and bulletin insert files are available on this web page for use in local churches.

Cascade Christian Celebrates 150 Years

Posted on November 26, 2014

Cascade Christian Celebrates 150 Years

[From 11/19/2014] Cascade Christian Church Disciples of Christ has kicked off a year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary.

Located in the center of Cascade village, the church began the year in October with a traditional 1800s service, with collection baskets on long poles, the communion table set in vintage style, and many parishioners dressed in century-old clothing.

Read more of the news story -

2015 Crystal Summer Camp Dates Announced

Posted on November 06, 2014

2015 Crystal Summer Camp Dates Announced

The dates are set. Now it's time to get the word out to begin planning for children, youth, families to experience the spiritual journey only possible in a place like Crystal Conference Center on Crystal Lake. Leaders already are beginning to plan for camping experiences for children, middle school and high school youth that include both age appropriate spiritual exploration and outdoor discoveries and fun.  Family Camp, Womens Ministry and Young Adult Retreats, plus two childrens day camps are on the schedule as well.

New this year, Chi Rho (Middle School) and CYF (High School) camps will run on the same week, interweaving time for each group alone and joining together for common times together. 

Here's the schedule. Now it's time to put it in your calendar to save the dates. Online registration and more details will be available early in 2015. Check out all the details at

June 21-26:  Elementary Camp
June 26-28: Women's Ministry Retreat
June 26-28: Young Adult Retreat
July 5-11:  CYF/High School Camp
July 5-11:  Chi Rho / Middle School Camp
July 13-16:  Day Camp (Session 1)
July 19-25:  Family of God Camp
July 26-Aug 1:  Independence Camp
Aug 3-6: Day Camp (Session 2)


Gresham Lectures for Clergy and Laity Nov 7-9

Posted on October 01, 2014

Gresham Lectures for Clergy and Laity Nov 7-9

The fifth annual Perry Gresham Lecture and Clergy Day, scheduled November 7-9 at Central Woodward Christian Church, Troy, Michigan will provide two equally rich and stimulating sessions, one for clergy on Friday and the other for all church leaders on Saturday. The keynoter is highly sought after, particularly on the topic of this series, ministering with a new generation of Christians.

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, a Presbyterian (USA) minister, recently was named to a list of 15 Christian women changing the world. In addition to Friday and Saturday sessions, Merritt also will preach on Sunday morning.

The Friday session will focus on clergy with continuing education credits available from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. Saturday's focus is on the broader community of clergy and laity for all faith communities.

Cost: $50 ($75 after Nov. 1) - Includes lunch & CTS Continuing Education Credits certificate

"There is a balm -- healing from religious wounds." The focus will be upon the "nones" religous group, including the trauma that the church has caused in the lives or parishioners. The conversation will conclude with how to move to one of healing.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 8,  10 am - 2 pm -- Community Workshop: "Weaving the carpet - Creating an intergenerational congregation.
Cost: $15 includes lunch

Brochure with more details and Registration Form is available on this Michigan Disciples web news page:

Perry Gresham, in whom this series is named, was the second minister of Central Woodward Christian Church in the 1950s, known as one of the Disciples top preaching pulpits. He later became president of Bethany (WV) College, founded by Alexander Campbell to provide educated leaders for church and society.

The lectures' mission is to bring to the local congregation and community biblical scholars and theologians of note. "These lectures are given in recognition that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind," said Dr. Robert Cornwall, senior minister of Central Woodward. "This lectureship reflects the ethos of the Disciples of Christ movement, which values the mind and insists that the whole people of God should be educated in the faith."


2015 Disciples Clergy Continuing Education Grants

Posted on September 06, 2014

The period of application for clergy continuing education grants awarded by Disciples Home Missions for the 2015 calendar year will be between September 1 and October 31, 2014. This is a change from last year's application period, and is meant to facilitate application requests for events earlier in the calendar year. If you would like to be considered for a DHM Clergy Continuing Education Grant next year (2015), you must apply during the application window.

The Website where instructions and application can be found is at:

Rippling Hope August Work Days for Disciples

Posted on August 08, 2014

Rippling Hope August Work Days for Disciples

Have you ever said to yourself, "I'd like to help out Detroiters if I knew some way to do it."  Volunteering at Rippling Hope is a great way to serve the needs of Detroit homeowners. As they wind up this year's work in Detroit, Rippling Hope needs volunteers! In addition to work for all skill levels at worksites they can use office and kitchen help.

Come to a work day or arrange your own workday or work week with Rippling Hope.

Michigan Disciples Workdays are Saturday Aug. 16 and Sept 6 from 8:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 includes: Lunch, snack, building materials and project support.
Contact Carl Zerweck at <>  or at 512-619-0575.

Make copies of the attached poster for your church and to give to your Mission/Outreach church leaders to promote.


Register Online for Disciples Polity for Clergy

Posted on June 17, 2014

Register Online for Disciples Polity for Clergy

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE NOW: 2014 Disciples History and Polity Class

Clergy and persons under care of the Regional Commission on the Ministry, completing a course in Disciples History and Polity is required. Several have taken this course online. To provide another opportunity for you to meet the requirement, we are offering a course that will be taught by Professor Scott Seay of Christian Theological Seminary. The classes are scheduled to take place on three consecutive Saturdays with morning and afternoon sessions, August, 2, 9, and 16, 2014, at the Regional office. The cost for the course is $300.00. It is important that those who plan to attend notify the Regional office as soon as possible.

Register Online: Preaching Camp August 18-20

Posted on May 28, 2014

Register Online: Preaching Camp August 18-20

It's a new camp experience, designed exclusively for clergy and seminarians, with a foremost seminary preaching professor who's well known to Disciples in Michigan. And it's all set to take place August 18-20 in the relaxed setting of Crystal Conference Center.

Here's an ideal opportunity to join other preaching colleagues for inspiration and encouragement in your preaching ministries. Dr Ron Allen, Professor of Preaching, Gospels & Letters, at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis Indiana, will lead participants in exploring the art of preaching, brainstorming ideas and helping plan sermons for the fall.

There will be opportunities to preach a sermon and receive supportive feedback from peers. You will be able to ask questions of Allen and each other about all aspects of preaching and have time to talk and share about your preaching ministry. Join your colleagues for this opportunity to commune with God in nature as you are empowered to minister more effectively as you sharpen your craft of preaching.


Or download the "Information & Registration Form" below for more details and to submit to Michigan Disciples Region Office.

Cost is $160 (including lodging and meals). Commuters cost is $130 (including two meals).  Registration deadline is August 10.

Regional Online Registration Deadline May 1

Posted on April 30, 2014

Regional Online Registration Deadline May 1

It's not too late to register online for the 2014 Regional Assembly this Saturday in Battle Creek. But you have ONLY UNTIL NOON THURSDAY MAY 1 to do so. After that, send an email to the regional office,, giving your name and home church. Registration of $30 per person can be paid Saturday when you check in for the Assembly.

Click here online to go to our secure ONLINE REGISTATION PAGE.

Besides reports of the regional work this past year, the keynote speaker who certainly will raise our sense of faith and justice will be Paul Anthony Pumphrey, a long time "Voice for Justice" (which is the Assembly theme) over the years. Paul has been an organizer and activist for over forty years.  In 1998, Paul co-founded Brothers and Sisters International (BASI) as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose focus is economic development and human rights in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa.

Paul is co-founder and member of the board of directors for Friends of the Congo (FOTC). FOTC is a non-profit advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. FOTC was established at the behest of Congolese human rights and grassroots institutions in 2004, to work together to bring about peaceful and lasting change in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was formerly known as Zaire. We Michigan Disciples have a continuing sister relationship with the Churches of Christ (Disciples) in Congo so hearing from Pumphrey will be particularly important to us as Disciples pastors and church leaders.

See you on Saturday at First Christian Church, Battle Creek. Get more details and the "Assembly Packet" in documents attached to this news item at


Crystal Camps for Children, Youth, Families & Adults

Posted on March 17, 2014

Crystal Camps for Children, Youth, Families & Adults

Summer 2014 camp planning is now upon us. It's time to finalize your summer schedules that include Camp Crystal for Christian nurture and fun by children, youth, adults, and families. Leaders minds already are swirling as they plan more of the same and new things this season. The 2014 schedule below gives you the dates. Now all that is needed is you registering.

We are looking forward to our 2014 Christian faith based camping program on Crystal Lake. In the coming months camp directors and Crystal Conference Center leaders will be busy creating the experience that only happens when campers, God, outdoor activities and the beauty of northern Michigan meld into one. It's never too early to begin thinking about your summer plans - for you, your family, your kids, friends and those in your congregation. Go to the Crystal Conference Center  "Summer_Camps" web page for descriptions of each camp listed below. Click here to download the Summer Camps brochure. Coming soon will be 24/7 online registrations.


  • June 15 - 20:  Elementary Camp
  • June 20 - 22:  Disciples Women Retreat
  • June 23 - 26:  Day Camp
  • June 29 - July 5:  Independence Camp
  • July 6 - 10:  CYF/High School Camp
  • July 13 - 19:  Chi Rho / Middle School Camp
  • July 20 - 26:  Family Camp
  • July 28 - 31:  Day Camp
  • Aug 1 - 3:  Young Adult Christian Fellowship Retreat
  • Aug 2 - 5:  Grandparents Camp
  • Aug 14 - 17:  Young Families Retreat
  • Sept 26 - 28:  Disciples Men Retreat


HELM Leadership Fellows program invites applications

Posted on March 13, 2014

HELM Leadership Fellows program invites applications

Higher Education and Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) invites current first-year college students to apply to join the HELM Leadership Fellows. The postmark deadline for applications is April 15, 2014.

Now entering its 14th year, the Leadership Fellows Program responds to the rapidly changing context for Christian leadership. Leadership Fellows have the opportunity to engage directly the ministry of emerging and renewing local Christian communities across North America with the guidance of expert coaches and mentors.  They share what they learn with each other during annual conferences and get to meet with the most creative and faithful leaders from across the whole church and continue in relationship with each other and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for four years and beyond.

HELM Leadership Fellows also receive a $2,000 educational grant during their second, third, and fourth years of undergraduate work and fellows entering since 2013 will also have the opportunity to develop individual projects and opportunities during their first year after college.

Over 90 young Hispanic, Asian, African-American, and Anglo Disciples have participated over the past 13 years. To learn more about the program, go to  Applicants can also receive the application packet by e-mail by sending a message to For all the details go to the HELM website.


eNews for Family & Children’s Ministries launches

Posted on March 13, 2014

eNews for Family & Children’s Ministries launches

“The Family and Children’s Ministry staff at Disciples Home Missions is initiating a new bi-monthly Family and Children’s Ministries e-newsletter. They are seeking to update and expand their mailing list so that they can reach as many appropriate recipients as possible. If you would like to be included this new e-mail list, please send your e-mail address, name, position/interest, and congregation to, subject line “group e-mail.”

 The bi-monthly newsletter will expand upon other important communication tools that are being used by the Disciples of Christ denomination, our partner the United Church of Christ, and other interfaith and ecumenical information.” 

 These communication tools include:

  • Bi-Monthly E-Newsletter from Family and Children’s Ministries
  • Disciples Home Missions Updates (Bi-weekly e-mail)
  • Disciples News Service Updates
  • Disciples Together (Pastors)
  • Disciples Care for Children Facebook Page
  • Disciples Exchange Facebook Page

To be included on these other electronic communication resources, contact

2014 Gospel in Action/Detroit dates set

Posted on March 11, 2014

The dates are set : Saturdays, May 31, June 7, Aug. 16 and Sept. 6, 2014. Now we need you and others from your church to participate in this fourth year of regional workdays in the Detroit area.

But why participate? It is a great way to help the Region, the people of Detroit,your church and yourself. Three years ago the Michigan Region, along with Rippling Hope, initiated Gospel in Action/Detroit. 

Through work projects experienced firsthand and relationships formed on mission trips, people of all ages will learn that by reaching out to their sisters and brothers in need, they will not only change their lives, but also will powerfully effect the lives of those they serve.  In each of the previous three years the impact of the program in Detroit has grown. 

You are encouraged to support Gospel in Action/Detroit in as many ways as possible this summer.  To learn more about these days and to register, download the Information & Registration form attached to this online news page. Or contact Carl Zerweck, Director of Rippling Hope, 

There are other ways to help too.  Download and print out the attached document to get the list of the many ways to help Gospel in Action/Detroit, including preparing and/or serving a meal to volunteers, donating food and paper supplies, etc..  Another option is to provide the program with any of the following items


  • Pickup Truck(s)
  • Mini‐Van/Cargo Van(s) for Tools/Supplies
  • Mini‐Van/Passenger Van(s) for Volunteers


  • Wheelbarrows Gas Powered Weedeaters
  • Mower/Weedeater on wheels 4 ‘ Levels
  • Lopers 6’ Levels
  • Shovels : Flat, Pointed & Sharpshooter Hammers
  • Garden Rakes Tape Measures
  • Dewalt 18 V Cordless Drills and Saws Utility Knives
  • Paint Supplies Assorted Wrenches
  • Paslode Nail Guns: Framer Werner 13’ Fold Up Ladders
  • Finisher Assorted Screw Drivers
  • 2 Wheeled Dolly Assorted Pliers

“We hope you and your church can be part of Gospel in Action/Detroit in some way,” said Zerweck, a Disciples minister with a long history of leadership in Disciples volunteer mission projects.

Online Courses for Disciples Clergy & Lay Leaders

Posted on March 09, 2014

Online Courses for Disciples Clergy & Lay Leaders

George Bullard, Rich Lowery, Bruce Barkhauer are among the leaders offering Disciples clergy and lay leaders online courses from dealing with conflict and stewardship growth to Biblical lectionary resources.

Transformation for Congregations and Churches,, under the leadership of the Christian College in Georgia is providing several concurrent computer online interactive study programs that are worth checking out.

March 11 is the beginning of Every Congregation Needs a Little Conflict led by George Bullard. The course seeks to help congregational leaders develop the capacity to handle healthy conflict, and to know what to do when the periodic unhealthy conflict occurs.

Click here to go to Transforming the Church web site for a complete list of online distance learning curricula and resources for the Church.

Women’s Ministries Spring Fling March 22

Posted on February 11, 2014

Women’s Ministries Spring Fling March 22

"The Classic Christian Woman" Spring Collection is the theme for the annual Disciple's Women's Ministries spring fling. The 11 am - 3 pm gathering will be held at The Cornerstone Bistro, 13130 Woodward Ave., Highland Park, Michigan. Tickets are $15 per person.

The organizing leaders note, "The future of work and collaboration is indeed a top priority of the Disciples Women’s Ministries within the Body of Christ. We may all have and want the same goals but benefit from a variety of different strategies, technologies, budgets, cultures, and approaches that influence initiatives. Our measures of success can also be quite different.

"By exploration of Biblical principles for the Disciples Women's Ministries in Michigan, the program will provide opportunity for spiritual growth, enrichment, education, plus a lot of fun in the process."

Contacts for further information, registration procedure, map and tickets are: Verna Adams, 313.463.3430,; Valerie Adams 313.213.9198; or Sara Beth Simonds, 248.719.9543,

Poster and more information is available for download on this news web page.

CWS Special need for Blankets

Posted on January 18, 2014

CWS Special need for Blankets

Recent record low temperatures in the Midwest have reminded everyone what bitter cold feels like.  During the coldest days, many Midwesterners were able to stay in their warm homes, perhaps putting on an extra sweater or piling on warm blankets.

For many people in the U.S. and around the world, struggling against the bitter cold is a daily challenge.  Homeless persons in the U.S. seek shelter and warmth all winter.  Around the world, disasters force people from their warm homes, sending them to shelters and refugee camps. 
CWS is there.

The Church World Service CWS Blankets+ program provides warmth, hope, and care during cold and trying times.  A gift of just $10 provides a sturdy, comforting blanket to children, men and women who are struggling against the cold.

This Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to give thanks for the warmth in our homes, our churches, and our hearts by providing CWS blankets to those in need.  Please request materials for a Blankets+ offering by calling (888) 297-2767 or visiting

Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton, courtesty

Journey of Faith Dedication Service January 26

Posted on January 18, 2014

Representatives from Michigan Disciples congregations are invited to the dedication of Ann Arbor's Journey of Faith Christian Church's new house of worship on Sunday, January 26, 11 am. Eugene James, regional minister will provide the sermon-reflection with music by the congregation's new and evolving church band.

An informal celebration luncheon, tours of the building and descriptions of the congregation's dreams and visions will follow the service. Journey of Faith is now located at 1900 Manchester in Ann Arbor, on a cul-de-sac that faces Wastenaw Avenue off of Manchester. Bob Brite is the transitional minister at Journey of Faith, formerly Memorial Christian Church.

Michigan Disciples congregations are asked to lift up the Journey of Faith, with announcements and prayers on that morning, as this new chapter in their congregational life unfolds.

Women’s Quadrennial Registration Bonuses

Posted on December 02, 2013

Women’s Quadrennial Registration Bonuses

Act in the coming weeks and you may save on cost of lodging or upgrade for the 2014 Quadrennial Assembly at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, June 25-29. 2014.

Quadrennial Assembly is a Disciples Women’s Event which lifts up women from around the world through fellowship, worship, service, and education. It is sponsored by International Disciples Women’s Ministries ~ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Register before Christmas Day and have a chance to win a free suite for four - a $550+ value. For details on all the incentives and to register online go to the Quadrennial website now.  Or download the Incentives description sheet attached to this web news page.

10 Ways to Support Your Congregation’s Pastor

Posted on December 02, 2013

, a United Church of Christ minister recently posted on her blog this posting which subsequently was picked up by Huffington Post news service, Religion Section. It is an article written in a non-judgmental fashion that is well worth reading and sharing with your local church leaders. (Neil Topliffe, web editor).

Read the posting at Huffington Post Religion, November 20, 2013.

Follow Emily Heath's Blog posts at her site.

Clergy Continuing Education Grants Available

Posted on October 22, 2013

Clergy Continuing Education Grants Available

The period of application for clergy continuing education grants awarded by Disciples Home Missions for the 2014 calendar year will be between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2013.

This is a change from last year's application period, and is meant to facilitate application requests for events earlier in the calendar year.

If you would like to be considered for a DHM Clergy Continuing Education Grant next year (2014), you must apply during the application window. The Website where instructions and application can be found is at:

CWS Alternative Giving Catalog Available

Posted on October 22, 2013

CWS Alternative Giving Catalog Available

Looking for a more meaningful way to celebrate the holidays? "BEST GIFT" Catalog from Church World Service is now available online at  This is information to share with others in your congregation, as well as friends, giving excellent options for Christmas gift giving this year. Attached to this web page is a poster to print and display on your church bulletin boards.

For further information contact Heather Willson, our Michigan CWS representative, at or 888-297-2767.

Loving families into wholeness*

Posted on October 10, 2013

First Christian Church in Lansing, Mich., found a partnership in the community that made a world of difference for one 22 year old homeless mother of three. For 18 months the church worked with Sparrows Nest to help that mother with support and training so she could eventually own a home she can afford.

Rev. Richard Boyd, reports, "Our members fixed up the mobile home that she was given, helped her find a job, tutored her weekly in parenting and budgeting, played with her children, and served as an extended family resource to help the kids get to and from school each day. It was a very tense 18 month transition, at times, with several low moments, but with many wonderful moments, too, especially since, in the end, she took charge of her own life."

The young mother found a job, passed her GED exam and also gained confidence in her ability to live independently. Boyd said, "I think that the two or three project leaders in our church would say it was worth it, and that our young mother became a human sized miracle. We have gained a real respect for how hard it is to make it back to safety if you are a family on the streets. This was a big challenge, an eighteen month effort of daily work, flat out."

The Sparrow's Nest program is based on having a trained church ministry team to help the family through life-skills training and accountability.

*(Story from Disciples News Service, a weekly publication of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), October 9. Used by permission. Click here to receive DNS enews.)

Ministry of the Eldership Workshop Oct 26

Posted on October 02, 2013

Ministry of the Eldership Workshop Oct 26

10 AM - 3:00 PM, October 26, at First Christian Church, Traverse City, will be the next opportunity for participating in the Ministry of the Eldership workshop designed for current and potential elders in your congregation. Pastors are invited to come and bring your elders with you. Engage in a day of prayer, study, reflection and sharing with other Disciples elders from across the region. COST $10 per person, $35 per congregation maximum. Lunch is provided, along with take home resources.

. REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 17. Notify the regional office of your plans to attend at or 517.372.3220.

. First Christian Church is located at 3686 S. Airport Rd., 231-946-4074.

. Questions? Contact one of the regional elders:

. Rosalie Karunas, Rev. Shirley Martinson, John McCauslin, Rev. Barbara Pratt (click any name to send email)

James Brothers at General Assembly

Posted on September 26, 2013

James Brothers at General Assembly

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: At the summer General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Orlando, Florida, Eugene and his brothers participated in an evening worship service. During the offering time, the James brothers - Titus, Eugene and Timothy - brought an "Amen" to the crowd. These brothers also represent the three expressions of the church - congregational, regional and general - respectively.

Register Online for Anti-Racism Seminar

Posted on September 18, 2013

Register Online for Anti-Racism Seminar

Recognizing and Overcoming Racism

Online Registration is now available for the October 12, 2013 seminar being offered to inform us on strategies for recognizing and overcoming racism. It will take place at First Christian Church, Lansing from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

This Seminar on Anti-Racism is sponsored by the Committee on Reconciliation and the Commission on Church Growth and Vitality of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region.

Presenters are the Rev. Yvonne Gilmore, Pastor of New Song Community Church and staff chaplain at Mount Carmel West Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and Rev. Dr. Chris Hobgood, formerly General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and a former regional minister (17 years) and congregation pastor (25 years).

To maintain standing, clergy in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region are required by the Regional Commission on Ministry to attend a seminar on this topic at least once every five years. Please contact the Regional Office at 517-372-3220 if you have questions.

Register Online Here:

Anti-Racism Seminar Registration

Crystal Fall Volunteer Work Weekend - October 4-6

Posted on September 03, 2013

Crystal Fall Volunteer Work Weekend - October 4-6

Fall Volunteer Work Weekend - October 4-6, 2013. Each year we count on you and other volunteers to help us close camp for the winter. Saturday meals and Sunday breakfast are provided. It's a great weekend to catch fall activities in the Frankfort area. __

Please contact Brenda Murphy to volunteer, telling her how many are coming from your church.

Volunteers needed to Spruce Up Regional Office

Posted on July 25, 2013

It's time for your help to spruce up the regional office in Lansing. Bring your paint brushes etc., hedge clippers, shovels and other tools for a day of fixing up the outside building and grounds.

It all takes place August 24, beginning at 9:00 am, at 2820 Covington Ct., Lansing MI.

Print and post the attached flyer to encourage others in your congregation to join in.

Pastoral Letter from General Minister Sharon Watkins

Posted on July 22, 2013

General Minister and President Sharon Watkins offers a letter that explains what the adoption of GA 1327, Becoming a People of Grace and Welcome to All, means in the life of the church. The letter, attached to our web news page (click here), explains what this resolution is and is not, as well as how it gives guidance to us as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) community of diverse congregations.
In the letter Watkins notes, "The recent vote at the Orlando General Assembly to “adopt” Resolution GA1327, Becoming a People of Grace and Welcome to All, has significance for the Church, but it is important to recognize the nature of that significance.The intent of the resolution is to urge Disciples to welcome into our congregations and other ministries all who seek Christ. It serves as a reminder that among Disciples we do not bar the church door or fence the table from those who desire the embrace of God’s love."

Picnic Honoring Irv Burtt at Crystal July 27

Posted on July 22, 2013

Picnic Honoring Irv Burtt at Crystal July 27

Irv Burtt has served Crystal well, and now it’s time to thank him for sharing his gifts.  On Saturday, July 27 at Crystal Conference Center, 2365 South Shore East, Frankfort, MI 49635 we will do just that with a picnic beginning at 11:30 AM. 

Irv has volunteered at Crystal for over 20 years.  He has served as the maintenance man (June through August) for Crystal for 12 years, and continued to volunteer yearly during April, May, September and October. He is the one person (other than Brenda and Dick) who knows the operations of the mechanicals of the camp inside and out (literally). 

You are invited to join in the retirement picnic.  Just let Brenda know you are coming by contacting her at, or by calling her at 231/352-9311.  Our plan is to present Irv with a VISA gift card purchased with monetary gifts received.  Would you like to be a part of the gift card?  Send your gift to Brenda at Crystal. Would you like to do something on your own? That would be great too!

Come hear the stories, join in the fellowship and remember why it is that what you do at Crystal stays with you a lifetime.

James Statement on diseased trees action at Crystal

Posted on June 07, 2013

James Statement on diseased trees action at Crystal

Michigan Regional Minister, Eugene James, spoke yesterday to the issue of diseased tree actions at Crystal Conference Center. In a statement, titled, "Stewardship of the Forest," he said, "I will be working with the Crystal Commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of diseased trees, proper harvesting, debris removal, and reforestation in consultation with persons who have expertise in forest management."

Go to the James Blog at the Michigan Disciples web site,, to read the complete statement and download a copy. Click here. James may be reached by email or phone, 517-372-3220.

Eric White, Retired Regional Minister obituary

Posted on June 07, 2013

Eric White, Retired Regional Minister obituary

Eric White, Michigan Disciples Regional Minister 1966-77, passed away May 30 in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, at 101 years of age. Eric, a native of Scotland, was pastor of Central Christian Church, Grand Rapids, 1957-66. He was born in Carlton, Nottingham, England February 23, 1912. He is survived by his daughter, Cathy Maxwell, Pleasant Hill, TN, two grand children and two great grandchildren.

A time of memorial recognition will be part of the Sunday service June 9 at Pleasant Hill (TN) Community Church. Memorial gifts may be sent to the PHCC Scholarship Fund, 67 Church Drive, Pleasant Hill, TN 38578 (designate on check "Scholarship Fund"). Or make a gift to a favority charity.

Current Regional Minister Eugene James reflected, "When I moved to Detroit in 1971, the Rev. Eric White was our Regional Minister. As I became involved in the ministry of the Region, I found him to be a warm and genuine person, with the heart of a pastor and a love for the Church and the people of God. We are grateful for his ministry of grace in the Michigan Region and pray that God will give peace and comfort to his family."

Messages of condolence may be sent to Cathy Maxwell at 182 Noya Way, Loudon TN 37774-6943. Or email Cathy at 

See attached for a more complete obituary on the life of Eric.

Regional Assembly Reports, Minutes, Handouts

Posted on May 22, 2013

Regional Assembly Reports, Minutes, Handouts

Find the 2013 Regional Assembly documents, reports, minutes and handouts here online in these two sections on our website:

Support the Region:

We Need Help to Open Crystal for Campers

Posted on May 14, 2013

We Need Help to Open Crystal for Campers

Friends, we really do need your help on Memorial Day Weekend at Crystal Conference Center, May 24-26.

Be the first to ring the camp bell to call everyone to Crystal! We NEED VOLUNTEERS to help open buildings and clean up grounds for the summer season. Please join us for all or part of Memorial Day Work Weekend. Reconnect with camp friends, celebrate all things Crystal, be part of the gifts of Outdoor Ministries. Food and lodging provided.

Talk to one or two others in your church now and plan to enjoy the holiday at Crystal. Contact Brenda Murphy at for information and sign up.  This beautiful photo taken by James Fewless.

18 Days & Counting - Camp Earlybird Deadline

Posted on May 14, 2013

18 Days & Counting - Camp Earlybird Deadline

You still have time to register children and youth for summer camp at Crystal Conference Center. Don't miss the earlybird deadline. Take advantage of $50 discounts by registering your school-age campers before June 1.   

And,  to make it easier this year for these children and youth camps, you can register online 24/7. Go to for more details, dates and options.

James Thanks Abundance of Regional Volunteers

Posted on May 10, 2013

James Thanks Abundance of Regional Volunteers

"One fact has become abundantly clear to me. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region is blessed with very dedicated and committed volunteers. I thank God for those who consistently and unselfishly demonstrate their love for Christ and the Church by the work they do that benefits the Region in so many ways. From clergy that are among those who help care for the Crystal Conference center to the laypersons that regularly assist at the Regional office, and all who work so diligently on any and everything needed to sustain the ministry to which God has called us."

So began the annual Report to the Regional Assembly by Eugene W. James, Jr. at the May 4, 2013 Regional Assembly at Unity Christian Church, Swartz Creek MI. Read the full report attached to this news item.

East District BREEZE - May 2013

Posted on May 10, 2013

Read about the happenings of our congregations on the East side of the state in the May issue of East District BREEZE. Included is news of the churches, registration information and forms for Women's Retreat, Gospel in Actiion Detroit Work Mission events, and more.

Crystal Conference Center Work Weekends

Posted on May 02, 2013

Crystal Conference Center Work Weekends

Volunteers are Needed!   Please join other volunteers for an afternoon of outdoor grounds clean-up at Crystal Conference Center on Friday and/or Saturday May 17-18, 12:00 – 4:00. 

What to Bring?  Work gloves, water bo­­­ttle, clothing for outdoor work, sleeping bag /pillow/towels if overnight. 

What will I be doing?  Picking up branches and sticks from tree work and storms, cleaning up landscapes and program areas.  See flyer on this news web page for more details. 

In addition we have the traditional Memorial Day work weekend scheduled for May 24 - 26.  This weekend is organized by the dedicated July Family of God campers. 

INFO and SIGNUP for these work weekends: Brenda Murphy 989-860-8741


Pentecost Offering May 12 or 19

Posted on May 02, 2013

Pentecost Offering May 12 or 19

The Pentecost offering is creating opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in places that don’t have a Disciples witness. When you give to the Pentecost Offering, one half of your gift stays in the Michigan Region and one half goes to Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation to support the recruitment, assessment, training and coaching of new church pastors, spouses and core team members.

Because of your support, your Church is growing. Disciples are growing. We are reaching new places to provide Disciples mission and share the good news of Jesus Christ beyond the doorsteps of the Church into the community and throughout the world.

Be sure to view the new video and if possible share it on Pentecost Sunday with your congregation. It can be downloaded from Youtube here. Got your Pentecost bulletin inserts and posters. Go to the Special Days web page to download them.

Give the Gift of Warmth

Posted on May 02, 2013

Give the Gift of Warmth

As Mother’s Day approaches what mother wouldn’t want her child to be given the gift of warmth? What about Father’s day? Thinking of giving your Dad another tie for Father’s Day? How about warming your Mom’s and Dad’s heart instead while helping Church World Service share the gift of warmth with those who need it most?

On these holidays this year join with many other congregations who are honoring all moms and dads with compassion and action by organizing a Blankets+ offering.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any day is a good day to plan a Blankets+ offering. We at the CWS Michigan regional office are eager to assist you in your efforts for a Blankets+ offering. Contact: Heather Willson at 888-297-2767 or to order your Blankets+ offering supplies.  Find out more at

Know How to Break an Egg? - Crystal needs you!

Posted on April 22, 2013

Know How to Break an Egg? - Crystal needs you!

Our camp director, Brenda Murphy, captured the essence of being a cook or staff member at Crystal this summer with a recent posting to Facebook. People are still needed. You can help by contacting young adults, adults or friends in your church or community to be a Crystal Conference Center staff member this summer. 

Here's how Brenda expressed it. "Hey, Crystal Alumni - If you can break an egg, chop celery, whip up a scrumptious dessert - we have the perfect summer job for you! Wouldn't you love to work at camp, savor the fellowship around the campfire and at worship... swim in beautiful Crystal Lake during your time off.....? Summer site staff is still needed to work in the camp kitchen." Of course, non-alumni are welcome to apply as well! Contact Brenda Murphy for details and to apply. 

Early Bird Registration
And don't forget, you can save up to $50 per camper through High School by registering BEFORE JUNE1. You can register them ONLINE by going here. How's that for convenence in fitting your busy schedule?

Register Online for Women’s Retreat June 21-23

Posted on April 22, 2013

Register Online for Women’s Retreat June 21-23

Online registration is now available to join other Disciples women from across Michigan to join in on the annual Women's Ministry Retreat at Crystal Conference Center, Frankfort, MI, June 21.23.

Sandhya Jha, Disciples pastor from Oakland California will be the facilitator using the theme "Gods Story - Our Story." The weekend in the beauty of Crystal Lake includes worship, workshops, group and personal reflection, free time for fun or solitude, and inspiriing singing and entertaining each other.

Bring a new children's book for donation. Bring one of your old books for "trade" or "give-away."

GET more information, brochure, print version of registration form to this web page here at the Michigan Disciples website.

DIRECT REGISTRATION ONLINE NOW: Select here if you wish to go directly to the secure online registration location.


Register Online for Regional Assembly

Posted on April 12, 2013

Register Online for Regional Assembly

Online registration is now available for the May 4 Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (DOC) Michigan Region to be held at Unity Christian Church, Swartz Creek, Michigan. Save time upon arrival by registering online now. Check in will be at 9:30 am with the opening session to begin at 10:00 am.

 Registration is $20.00 with lunch included. Please register by April 27. Registration is available one of three ways, the first option being the easiest and preferable:

  1. Register online by going to this link.
    This secure online site allows you to register and pay for your participation.

  2. Print a copy of the Registration Form attached to this web page location (see green arrow at bottom of page). Fill out form and mail it to the Regional office.
  3. Register upon arrival at the Regional Assembly. We urge you to use this option only if necessary.

Gathering around the theme of "One Witness in the World," and focusing on John 13:34-35, participants will celebrate in worship, here reports of the ministries of the region and spend the afternoon in one of four workshops. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Donald Scherer, a retired professor of ethics, focusing his career on what caring means and how people can support the quality of the lives of each other. He will address the group on the topic "Practices Leading to Productive Conversation."

The afternoon will offer four workshops. Participants need to sign up for their selection upon arrival on Saturday morning.

  • "Present Day Tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo" with Rev. Eugene James,
  • "The Church Adjusting to Changing Culture" with Rev. Bob Brite,
  • "Glad You Don’t Have Conflict?" with Rev. Shirley Martinson,
  • "Continuing the Conversation" with Dr. Don Scherer.


Camp Early Bird Registration Ends June 1 - Register Online

Posted on April 08, 2013

Camp Early Bird Registration Ends June 1 - Register Online

Take advantage now of $50 discounts by registering your school-age campers before June 1. And to make it easier this year for these children and youth camps, you can register online 24/7 at

Family and special camps will still need to register and mail in forms as in the past but all registrations are available to you online at the Crystal Conference Center website. 

Be sure to visit the Crystal web location to learn of the exciting plans we have for your children, youth and you. There's a new Day Camp July 8-11 for elementery kids entering grades 2-6. Young Families will want to check out the new camp for them August 8-11. Two special interest vacation-camps have also been scheduled this year. What bettter time to be part of a Photography Camp on Crystal Lake than July 3-6. Or July 28-August 3 bring your fishin' lines, waders and some tools so you can take in the Fishin and Mission Camp.  Check out the details on all the camps at the Crystal Conference Center web.

East District BREEZE - April 2013

Posted on April 08, 2013

Read about the happenings of our congregations on the east side of the state in the latest issue of East District BREEZE.

Go to this ministers retreat news web page for an update on the Michigan Clergy Retreat April 14-16 with Pat Zandstra as resource leader for the event focused on "Remember the Sabbath Day ... and Take It!"

Regional Office Spruce Up Day April 13

Posted on April 03, 2013

You are invited to join with other Disciples of the region to help us spruce up the regional office in Lansing. We'll get busy at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 13. We need you and a group from your church to join us to paint trim outside, pull weeks, wash windows and build up the ground around the building to help run off of water.

Bring your power tools, rollers, ladders, spackle, drop clothes, paing brushes, gloves, paint scapers and any of you handy "this tool with do anything" arsenal that you can't do without!

It helps if you let Bev know in the church office how many of you are coming. Contact her at the regional office, 2820 Covington Ct., Lansing MI 48912. 517.372.3220 or email her.

Download the flyer attached to this online page to print and post around your church or give to others.

Easter Offering Supports General Ministries

Posted on March 25, 2013

Easter Offering Supports General Ministries

The Easter Offering of the Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) supports the general ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - the Church in the world! Your financial gifts help sustain the missional outreach of ministries like Bolenge Hospital that faithfully serve individuals and communities around the world. Your gifts make a difference, so please generously support this year's Easter Offering as we seek to walk with others in God's abundance.

For stories, videos, prayer offerings or to give online, go to the Disciples Mission Fund website.

General Assembly Early Registration Ends April 13

Posted on March 25, 2013

General Assembly Early Registration Ends April 13

IT'S BEEN EXTENDED - The new early registration has been moved to April 13. Now is the time to register.

Registration costs go up April 14 for the Orlando July 13-17 General Assembly. Early registration  for General Assembly saves you about 20%. Depending on how many people you are registering, that can add up into some substantial dollars. Register electronically now and go back and add your learning tracks, meal events and other items later.

So go ahead and get that initial registration done now!

Consider this - for your registration fee, you are getting access to nationally known speakers and targeted learning communities for five days. The core lectures include imagineers from The Walt Disney Company (for 16 and older) and authors Reggie McNeal, Walter Brueggemann, Marjorie Suchocki and Sandhya Jha. If you have checked other professional conference fees lately ($500 and up) you will see this is a great deal. If you choose a single learning track, you can also earn continuing education credits (CEUs).

In addition to the learning tracks, there will be an energetic Sunday morning worship and Sunday School on site and on Monday through Wednesday two more morning opportunities to hear from Brueggemann and Suchocki as well as a reflection on the Japanese experience.And we haven't even touched on evening worship yet!

So go ahead and get that initial registration done now!

Click Here to Register for the 2013 General Assembly!

East District BREEZE - March 2013

Posted on March 05, 2013

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Events: Eldership Training, Regional Board, Year Book Reports

Posted on February 26, 2013

Ministry of Eldership Training Event
March 2, 2013

It's not too late to register for this weekend's Eldership training event,10 AM - 3:45 PM, at Triumphant Temple of Praise, Flint. This workshop is designed for current and potential congregational elders. Pastors are invited to come and bring your elders with you. Engage in a day of prayer, study, reflection and sharing with other Disciples elders from across the region. COST $10 per person, $35 per congregation maximum.  REGISTRATION DEADLINE: THURSDAY, February 28 - notify the regional office via email or phone 517-372-3220.

Regional Board Meeting
March 16 - 10 am

Board members, please notify Bev Peeler at the regional office of your attendance so lunch can be reserved for you. The meeting will be held in the regional office.

Congregation Year Book Reports
Due to Regional Office March 15

All Michigan Disciples churches should have received their annual Year Book Report Forms. If not, notify the regional office immediately.  Completed forms need to be sent to the regional office by Friday, March, 15. Or go online to fill out the form by clicking here.


Student Awards Available to 17 Disciples Schools

Posted on February 18, 2013

Student Awards Available to 17 Disciples Schools

Phillips University Legacy Foundation  is offering annual awards of up to $5,000 per year to full-time undergraduate students pursuing a liberal arts education at any of the 17 colleges or universities affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  The 2013 Undergraduate Scholarship Application is available to incoming freshmen as well as college sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Details about the Legacy Foundation’s Undergraduate Scholarship and Leadership Training Program grants with a list of the 17 eligible Disciples colleges and universities can be found at

Contact  Cheryl Fowler, Scholarship Administrator, (580) 237-4433 with specific questions.The application deadline is March 15, 2013.