Design for Youth Ministry
in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Design for Youth Ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was developed by representative committees of youth workers in the Christian Church that also provided the impetus for this manual and the Camp and Conference Manual. Adopted by the General Assembly of Anaheim in 1981, the design provides a guideline for youth ministry in our denomination. It is printed here for your reference. Some minor editorial revisions have been made to update the terminology.

Preface

The history of youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) over the past 50 years may be divided into three approximate periods: 1940 to 1965, 1965 to 1980 and 1981 to the mid 1990s. In the earlier period Disciples youth ministry was built on the FELLOWSHIP model and focused on training and developing youth for future leadership in the church. Camps, conferences, commissions, and youth fellowship meetings, rallies, and retreats were both training for and experiences in church leadership. In addition the fellowship model provided the church’s youth an identifiable peer group that gave them:

  • A sense of belonging and support in the common developmental tasks of adolescence;
  • A base for growth in faith, witness, self-identity, and socialization;
  • Identity with the church and with other youth and constituencies within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through local, district, regional and international structures and events;
  • Well defined and influential adult leadership and adult role models;
  • Opportunities for peer leadership and challenge to lifelong leadership within the church;
  • A full range of supportive staff, resources, services, and networks for youth and adults in youth ministry at all levels of the church.

The more recent period, born out of the turbulence of the Sixties and changing teen and young adult agendas and a perceived incapacity of the fellowship model to meet the needs and challenges of the times, was built on the political or EMPOWERMENT model. This model focused primarily on involving youth in the total life of the church as young adults and engaging them fully in the issues and movements of the day in both ecclesiastical and secular arenas. With this radical reorientation of youth ministry, the churchwide structures, staff, resources, and traditions supporting the fellowship model were dismantled at the general manifestations and subsequently at the other manifestations of the church. During the empowerment years the shape and content of Disciples youth ministry were characterized and determined by the politicizing of adolescence, local initiative, experimentation, diversity, creativity, and social ferment.

The benefits of the empowerment model came in the:

  • Mainstreaming of youth into the life and structures of the church of all manifestations;
  • Development of mutual responsibility of youth and adults for planning and implementing youth ministry at all levels;
  • Creation of experimental and innovative models, structures, programs, and resources at local and regional levels;
  • Challenge and opportunity for youth to put faith into action in dialogue with and participation in the issues and events of the day.

In reality, the church’s youth ministry was neither wholly fellowship nor empowerment oriented in either period. Many fellowship groups and programs and individuals participating in them pursued and achieved, though perhaps in less visible ways, the goals of empowerment in those earlier years; and during the empowerment years many congregations and some regions retained the fellowship model either in contrast to or as a continuing context for enabling the empowerment of youth. Constituencies that retained some form of the fellowship model did so without benefit of the supportive staff, services, resource, traditions and structures previously available as part of a comprehensive churchwide youth ministry program.

Toward the end of the 1970s it became increasingly apparent that deemphasizing and/or discontinuing churchwide resources and services left serious voids in Disciples youth ministry programming, affecting the vitality and viability of youth ministry at all levels of the church. Consequently, many constituencies within the church called for a reassessment and reorientation of youth ministry philosophy, strategy, and program at all levels in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and, concurrently, so did other denominations that shared common experiences in recent youth ministry. As a result, a representative consultation on youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was held in April 1979. That consultation concluded with a consensus for development of appropriate structures and programs for youth ministry in all manifestations of the church that affirm our history and heritage as Disciples of Christ and affirm and build on the best of our experiences and traditions from both the fellowship and empowerment eras. The consultation also mandated and outlined a comprehensive youth ministry strategy that would include:

  • Clear lines of accountability, partnership, and leadership for youth ministry at all levels of the church;
  • A comprehensive churchwide strategy for recruiting, training, and supporting youth ministry leaders and staff;
  • Identifiable, consistent, and supportive peer group relationships and programs in all manifestations of the church;
  • Development and availability of distinctively Disciples youth ministry resources, networks, and services;
  • Form, content, tradition, and ritual for growth in faith and social consciousness consistent with our Disciples heritage and the demands of our day.

Further revision and updating to incorporate new understandings and needs was done by the General Youth Council during its meetings in January and August 1996. The GYC particularly noted that a third model, the SERVICE model, emerged through the Eighties and continued into the Nineties.

The Service model built on the prior models and on the natural idealism of youth and their desire for a way to do something important with their lives, something to make the world a little better. Along with finding a group worth belonging to, and a place and space to safely offer and receive love, youth want an opportunity to serve others. Youth groups can be an effective catalyst and outlet for this desire to serve by offering mission trips and projects. They can also, through the trips and projects and through other approaches, be vehicles for learning the broader aspects of service as a way of life, a way of faithful discipleship.

This Design for Youth Ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) seeks to outline the purpose and scope, structure and settings, leadership and supportive relationships, partnerships and networks for the renewal of Disciples youth ministry.

I. The Purpose, Nature, and Scope of Youth Ministry

A. The Mission of Youth Ministry

The Mission of Youth Ministry for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada is to respond to the needs of youth for relationships, events, and opportunities where they can be themselves, discern their gifts, and be empowered to be effective leaders and servants as called by God to be the body of Christ in the world.

B.  Biblical and Theological Rationale for Youth Ministry
The basis for youth ministry lies in the nature of the church as the people of God, called into fellowship with God and one another and given in the spirit of Christ to the world for its redemption and reconciliation. The call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-9) as God’s prophet and the Apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy to be in ministry (1 Timothy 4:`12-16) provide strong biblical imagery for the call of youth to service and leadership for God. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affirms that its youth are integral members of the people of God. They belong and as members they participate in its whole life, ministry, and mission.

Youth are involved in the whole life of the people of God at the same time they find their primary identity with a part of the people of God, their peers. Youth are called into fellowship and empowered for mission as participants in the whole church and in their peer manifestation of “church”.

C. Practical Rationale for Youth Ministry
The purpose of youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Nineties and beyond is to enable youth to participate in the fellowship and mission of the whole people of God through involvement in the whole life of the church and in peer groups at all manifestations of the church. This dual purpose will be achieved by integration of the fellowship and empowerment models that are our heritage—an embracing of wholeness that the nature and mission of the church and the developmental needs and tasks of adolescence mandate. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affirms and responds – out of a Christian perspective – to the widely acknowledged needs of adolescents for:

  • A redeeming, positive sense of self-image, self-worth, and purpose in life;
    acceptance and unconditional love;
  • Discovery and celebration of hope and joy in living;
  • Freedom to entrust and give self to others;
  • Clarification and development of a meaningful and dependable system of values and beliefs;
  • Opportunities for expression of growing social consciousness and idealism;
  • Opportunities to exercise responsibility, and leadership and service;
  • Significant peer relationships and groups;
  • Positive role models

 

Youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) thus affirms and builds on the church’s desire that its youth:

  • Affirm themselves as persons of worth and hope as they are nurtured to experience, understand, and articulate the Christian faith both within the church and the world;
  • Develop stable and enduring relationships with other Christian youth and adults in contexts in which relationships, responsibility, content, leadership, and ownership are intentional and shared;
  • Find vision, freedom, opportunity, encouragement, and support to move forward and establish themselves as members of the people of God, in response to the emerging realities of this age in which God calls us to faithfulness, fellowship, and service.

 

D. The Scope of Youth Ministry
The scope of youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) encompasses the full range of adolescent developmental needs and tasks, the challenges and opportunities of the times in which we live, and the wholeness of the life of the church. This inclusiveness of scope will be affected in a fellowship model that incorporates, in all manifestations of the church, opportunities and supportive staff, services, resources, and networks for:

  • Peer Group Fellowships: establishment and maintenance of distinct peer group fellowships and programs for youth in grades 6-12, including cross-cultural and ecumenical relationships where feasible;
  • Leader Development: recruitment, training, and support of youth and adults; develop skills essential to effective leadership within the peer group fellowship and in the whole church;
  • Empowerment: full involvement of youth in the whole life of the church in all manifestations; engagement in decision-making across the width of the church;
  • Study, Worship and Celebration, Community, stewardship and Service, Play and Recreation: intentional and regular engagement in these activities; programs and structures that integrate these component parts of the whole life of the peer group and the whole church;
  • Service: discovering and living out the implications of the Christian faith; service to others within and without the fellowship; sharing with and supporting others in their faith, witness, action, and consequences;
  • Vocation: the challenge, invitation, support, and nurture of youth to be open to the call to pursue a Christian vocation; nurture the sense of all life as Christian ministry;
  • Cultural Distinctiveness and Inclusiveness: distinct programs and supportive systems and services for all peoples, keeping open communication with all constituencies; and recognizing and incorporating the unique situations, heritages, and contributions of all the peoples in our midst.

 

E. The Constituency of Youth Ministry
Youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) encompasses ministry with and to youth in grades 6 – 12 – and their adult leaders.

II. The Organization of Youth Ministry

This Design describes organizational principles and structures for youth ministry in all manifestations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), including congregational, regional, sub-regional, constituency, multi-regional, and general. Youth ministry is organized and structured to facilitate achieving the Mission of Youth
Ministry as outlined in section I of this Design, and to maximize the sharing of the resources of the whole church in support of youth ministry.

A. Common Characteristics:

1. Name
a. The name Chi Rho Fellowship is commonly used to refer to ministry with youth generally in 6th- 8th grades.
b. The name Christian Youth Fellowship is commonly used to refer to ministry with youth generally in 9 – 12th grades.
2. Purpose
The purposes of the Chi Rho Fellowship and Christian Youth Fellowship are identical with the purpose of youth ministry found in section I of this Design.

B. Youth Ministry in Congregations
The organization of youth ministry in congregations will vary according to the nature and needs of the congregation and its youth. There will also be differences in the organization of Chi Rho Fellowships and Christian Youth Fellowships in recognition of the different characteristics, needs, and abilities of early and later adolescence. While this need for diversity is recognized and affirmed, there is also a thread of common principles which strong programs will reflect.

  1. Leadership in the Chi Rho Fellowship and the Christian Youth Fellowship (including: planning, implementing, and evaluating program) will be shared by youth and adults.
  2. The youth ministry program will include a concern for at least the following five areas: study, worship, community, service, and play and recreation. (For further definition of each of these areas, see section III of this Design.)
  3. Youth fellowship groups will be an integral part of the ministry of the congregation.
    This will be expressed through youth participation in all aspects of the life of the congregation.
  4. Youth fellowship groups will maintain contact and involvement with the wider church (district, area, region, multi-regional, constituency, general, global, and ecumenical).
  5. Youth ministry in many congregations will benefit from the appointment of a small group of youth and adults who will give overall direction to the youth ministry of the congregation. Their responsibilities may include selection training and support of leaders; evaluation of the youth ministry program; and interpretation of the youth ministry program to the congregation, its committees, and board.

C. Youth Ministry in Regions
Regional youth ministry supports and empowers congregational youth fellowships and reflects the same organizational principles. It provides for involving youth in regional youth ministry and the total ministry of the region. It also provides linkages with general youth ministry programs. There will be considerable diversity in the organization and program of youth ministry in regions. However, regions will generally provide a program of youth ministry including camps and conferences, regional youth assemblies or retreats, and various youth ministry training events. The following organizational principles will be reflected in regional youth ministry with appropriate variations in implementing them.

  1. Leadership in regional youth ministry (including planning, implementing, and evaluating program) will be shared by youth and adults.
  2. The regional youth ministry program will include a concern for at least the following five areas: study, worship, community, service, and play and recreation.
    (For further definition of each of these areas, see section III of this Design.)
  3. Regional youth ministry will be an integral part of the ministry of the whole region. This will be expressed by youth participation in all aspects of the life of the regional church.
  4. Regional youth ministry will maintain contact and involvement with congregational, district, area, constituency and general youth ministry structures.

D. Subregional Youth Ministry
Church structures such as districts, areas, juntas, conventions, fellowships, and assemblies exist within or parallel to regional structures. Youth ministry in such groups will be organized in ways similar to regional youth ministry and will serve similar purposes in coordination with regional youth ministry program.

E. Multi-Regional Youth Ministry
Clusters of regions may choose to cooperate for new youth ministry ventures. Youth ministry in such groups will benefit from organizational principles similar to regional youth ministry and will serve similar purposes in coordination with regional youth ministry programs.

F. General Youth Ministry
General youth ministry will support and empower the varied structures of youth ministry, provide for involving youth in the total ministry of the Christian Church, and provide a link for denominational youth to ecumenical and international/global youth ministry. The general youth ministry program of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will reflect the following organizational principles and structures.

  1. Leadership in general youth ministry (including planning, implementing, and evaluating program) will be shared by youth and adults.
    a.  Staff responsibility for youth ministry will be lodged with the Division of Homeland Ministries and the Christian Board of Publication (through the youth editor in the General Editorial Division).
    b. Leadership and planning will also be provided by the General Youth Council.
  2. The youth ministry program will include a concern for at least the following five areas: study, worship, community, service, and play and recreation. (For further definition of each of these areas, see section III of this Design.)
  3. The Youth ministry program will be an integral part of the ministry of the whole denomination. This will be expressed by youth participation in aspects of the life of the general church.
  4. The general youth ministry program will maintain contact and involvement with congregational, district, area, constituency, regional, multi-regional, and ecumenical/global expressions of youth ministry.
  5. The General Youth Council. The General Youth Council helps to plan, implement, and evaluate the total general   youth ministry program for the Christian Church       (Disciples of Christ).
    a. Membership. The General Youth Council will be composed of twelve to fifteen persons (ten to twelve youth and two adults plus staff) elected to represent regions and constituencies. General staff persons in youth ministry will serve as advisers to the General Youth Council. Youth members will be eligible to serve their  junior and senior years in high school. Elected members will serve for two years.
    b. Selection Process. Any active youth or adult member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada can make application to serve on the General Youth Council. Applications may be obtained from the General or Regional or Constituency offices. Selection to the General Youth Council will be determined by the current electoral process of the General Youth Council. Elections are confirmed by the Board of Directors of the Division of Homeland Ministries. The General Youth Council will be representative of youth in the whole church through a balance in gender, racial/ethnic background, and geography.
    c. Meetings The General Youth Council will meet at least one time each year to conduct business.
  6. Youth Ministry Events for CYF The Youth ministry events for CYF youth and adults in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) consistent with the Mission of Youth Ministry: to respond to the needs of youth for relationships, events, and opportunities, where they can be themselves, discern their gifts, and be empowered to be effective leaders and servants as called by God to be the body of Christ in the world.
  7. Programs of Special Concern
    a. Youth Empowerment Fund The Youth Empowerment Fund program for youth stewardship and mission will be planned, implemented, and evaluated by the General Youth Council. The purpose of the Youth Empowerment Fund program is: “to educate, involve, and empower youth for stewardship and service in the total life of the Church”
    b. Camp and Conference and Other Outdoor Ministries Camp and Conference and Other Outdoor Ministries continue to be an important part of the program of youth ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). While primary responsibility for this program resides with the regions and/or their areas and districts, the needs for resources, training, and consultation will be addressed by general staff in youth ministry.
    c. General Assembly Youth Program In addition to full participation by youth in the biennial General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),   activities will be planned for youth attending the General Assembly. The General Youth Council will assist in planning and implementation of the General Assembly Youth Program.
    d. National Convocation Youth Program This biennial gathering for fellowship, inspiration, and discussion of the issues related to church life and mission is sponsored by the predominately black congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Special events for youth are planned and conducted by the National Convocation Youth Steering Committee, selected by youth and adult leaders of the convocation. General staff in Youth Ministry will serve as advisers to the National Convocation Youth Steering Committee.
    e. North American and Pacific Asian Disciples Youth Program General staff in Youth Ministry will serve as advisers to the North American and Pacific Asian Disciples Youth Program.
    f. Other Constituency Youth Programs  General staff in Youth Ministry may serve as advisers to other constituency youth programs as they are developed and in need of such support.

III. Developing Youth Ministry Leaders
Leaders in youth ministry include youth and adults. These leaders need continuing training and support. Leadership in youth ministry calls for a basic and dynamic concept of the ministry of the church, of youth, and of youth ministry in the church. Training needs to take place with respect to the content of youth ministry, the organization of the Chi Rho Fellowship and the Christian Youth Fellowship, and the characteristics of youth and youth culture.

A. The Content of Youth Ministry. The content of youth ministry revolves around the following five components:

  1. Worship: strengthening personal and community spiritual development and celebration of the whole life of the group.
  2. Study: increasing the knowledge, understanding, and experience of the Christian faith, life, and service.
  3. Community: experiencing koinonia – the close kinship of belonging to God and one another, the mutual nurturing, support, guidance, and strengthening of community in Christ.
  4. Service: participating in the global ministry of reconciliation that God has given to the church through action, stewardship, witness, and evangelism.
  5. Play and Recreation: joyous celebration of God’s gift of life in both structured and spontaneous ways.

 

B. The Organization of Youth Ministry Leader development for youth ministry includes understanding group life and developing skills in organizing and conducting activities consistent with the purposes, goals, and objectives of youth ministry.

Training for leaders in the organization of youth ministry will include at least the following:

  1. Models for organizing youth fellowship groups that reflect the variety of congregational and regional situations such as size, location, and racial/ethnic background.
  2. Personal and group development skills such as teaching-learning methods, Tools for Bible study, community building, communication, conflict management, interpersonal relations, and intentional decision making.
  3. “How to” skills such as planning and designing programs and leading specific activities.

C. Youth and Youth Culture   Leaders in youth ministry will benefit from an understanding of youth in relation to their physical, emotional, social cognitive, and spiritual development. In the same way leaders in youth ministry will benefit from an understanding of youth culture and how it affects the lives of youth.

D.  Outdoor Ministries Leadership gifts of youth and adults are developed in a strong outdoor ministries program, including camp and conference, retreat, and other outdoor ministry programs. A strong camp and conference program will benefit from training opportunities focused on its unique purpose, content, and organization.

IV. Resources
The Division of Homeland Ministries (through the office of Youth Ministry) and the Christian Board of Publication (through the youth editor in the General Editorial Division) have a responsibility for preparing and identifying resources to support the effective development of the youth ministry program of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

V. Support and Communication
Building and maintaining a program of youth ministry for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will require the mutual support of all manifestations of the church. It will also require a means of regular communication and contact for those involved in youth ministry. These processes of support and communication will develop and undergird a sense of wholeness of our denominational youth ministry program.

A. Support for youth ministry

  1. Support for youth ministry in all manifestations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is characterized by:
    a. Spiritual support through prayer, nurturing, and inclusion of youth in the total life of the church.
    b. Provision of professional and/or trained volunteer leaders who are given continuing training, recognition, and support.
    c. Provision of adequate resources (financial and other) to undergird the youth ministry program. The manifestations of the church will work together to develop, enhance, and undergird the Youth Ministry program for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).         

B. Communication    Regular channels of communication will be identified, Developed, and maintained for sharing of ideas, concerns, program information, and Resources between the manifestations of the church. Among these will be the use of regular publications of the Christian Church such as the Disciple and Vanguard. Development of other media channels such as youth newsletters, e-mail, and Internet resources is encouraged.

VI. Changes in the Design
This Design for Youth Ministry is neither a legally binding document nor a constitution. It is a description of the direction the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) intends to take in its youth ministry program. A desire for a sense of mutual accountability suggests that procedures be spelled out by which the Design may be changed.

This Design for Youth Ministry may be changed by action of the General Youth Council with the agreement of the Board of the Division of Homeland Ministries. Changes will be communicated for information and response to regions, constituency groups and appropriate general units and presented to youth and adults at the next General Youth Event following approval by the DHM Board.

(As revised and approved by the General Youth Council, August 1996. As further revised and approved by the Homeland Ministries board, November, 1996. HM board revisions in square brackets [].)


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GMP Responds to Session’s Comments at Border

“The comments by Attorney General Sessions at the border yesterday, which conflated the actions of Central American parents–who are openly presenting themselves to seek safety…

Month of Ramadan

Month of Ramadan resource provides ways that congregations can link with Muslim communities in their areas to engage in Interfaith Iftars. Click here for devotion,…

Pentecost People Called to be Advocates

This Pentecost resource connects the giving of the Advocate spirit with immigrant stories and our calling to serve as an advocate to support families at…

This Mother’s Day, Honor Immigrant Mothers

More immigrant Moms than ever are now in detention & separated from their families. As we gratefully celebrate all MOTHERS, this year we pay special…

Background Handout Resource on TPS

Temporary Protected Status: A Faithful Response to Humanitarian Crises What is TPS (Temporary Protected Status)? Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a life-saving immigration program…

Refugee Asks Update

URGE CONGRESS: Ensure the U.S. Resettles at Least 45,000 Refugees in FY2018! Call your senators and representatives today! Host a #WhereRtheRefugees Public Witness Event Plan…

More than 600 Interfaith Leaders and Organizations Fight Together for Honduran TPS Holders

In a letter delivered to the administration on April 27, 2018, 122 faith-based organizations and 518 faith leaders from across traditions stand united in calling…

Stories from People Prohibited by Refugee Bans

Read these stories of individuals and families from the various countries prohibited to enter the US under recent Muslim/Refugee Bans.

Disciples Statement Against End of TPS for Nepalese

“With timing that has painfully come the very day following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal three years ago, we stand as faith partners together with…

Disciples Join Faith Partners in Refugee Foot Washing to Hold Administration Accountable for Record Low Refugee Arrivals

Washington, D.C. – Faith leaders held a footwashing service in the shadow of the White House this afternoon.The biblical practice of footwashing is part of…

Disciples of Christ Respond to Announced End of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians

“I continue to be deeply disturbed by the random choices that this administration makes in removing TPS and other protected statuses. Last night’s decision to…

Liberian “Deferred Enforced Departure” (DED) Resources

The current designation of “Deferred Enforced Departure” (DED) that is currently protecting nearly 4,000 Liberians in the U.S. is set to expire on MARCH 31st. …

4 Urgent Ways to Support Refugees Now

1)  REFUGEE ARRIVALS TO THE U.S. IN THIS FISCAL YEAR HAVE BEEN STAGGERINGLY LOW!  Please help us circulate the below faith leader & faith-based organization…

Register now for the Pre-Convocation Lay & Clergy Leadership Institute

Pre-Convocation Lay and Clergy Leadership Institute 25th Biennial Session of the National Convocation Thursday, July 19, 2018     9 am – 4 pm      Hyatt…

New RIM Resources

Now Available!  Disciples Black Immigrant and Refugee Toolkit!  For a compilation of resources to help your congregation build awareness of and assist Black refugees and…

Indianapolis Disciples of Christ Clergy Join with Other Faith Leaders in Vigil & Civil Disobedience in Support of Dreamers & Immigrant Families

Today, seven Disciples affiliated clergy, Rev. Linda McCrae, Rev. Carolyn Higginbotham, Rev. Jim Higginbotham, Rev. Jon Barnes, Rev. Dawn Barnes, Rev. Sandra Gourdet, and Rev….

Disciples GMP Urges a Solution for Dreamers Who Remain in Limbo

On this day when the President proclaimed DACA protections would end unless a Congressional decision was reached, dreamers remain insecure in the absence of a…

Ash Wednesday Service with Dreamers

Faith Leaders Performed Ash Wednesday Service with Dreamers in Front of Senator McConnell’s and Schumer’s Office to Demand Passage of Dream Act Washington, D.C. (February…

RIM Lenten Resources

Nine Immigration Themed Resources for Lent Encouraging Faith Commitments in Solidarity with Refugees & Immigrants. Go to 2018 Lenten Devotions.

Faith in Action: Caring for Community and Creation

Watch the Caring for Community & Creation video now! 

2018 Lent Resources

2018 Lent Resource — The Rev. Antonio “Tony” Redd, Minister to Christian Education, Evangelism and the Assistant to the Senior Pastor at Second Baptist Church…

Disciples & Interfaith Toolkit: Top 5 Ways to Take Action NOW in 2018

On Jan. 8, 2018, DHS terminated TPS for El Salvador, effective Sept. 9, 2019. As communities of faith, we urge the administration to reinstate TPS…

Week of Action – Jan. 27 to Feb. 3, 2018

One Year of Muslim & Refugee Bans: Showing Up Against Discrimination. toolkit and resources

Clergy, Impacted Immigrants, Faith & Labor Leaders Demand that DHS Extends TPS for 200K Salvadoran Immigrants

Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, was among the participants on a press call January 4, to urge the Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Protected Status…

Thank You for 2017 & Join Us to Act for Refugees and Immigrants in 2018!

Thank you for your partnership in acting to support refugees and immigrants in 2017–and join us in ongoing actions for justice in 2018!!  Sign up…

Epiphany Devotions for Jan. 4-6

          Join in a 3-part Epiphany devotional series and actions in support of Temporary Protected Status populations for Jan. 4-6.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Resources

The 2018 MLK resources are now available for download.

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in…

Advent Devotions

“Welcome to the Manger” is the theme for the 2017 Advent Devotions. Available for download on the Refugee & Immigration website.  Week one: Angels Week…

Advent Resources

Advent begins on Dec. 3, 2017. To download the 2017 Advent Devotional Resources, visit Faith Formation/Christian Education on the DHM website.

Who Grows Food for our Feasts?

These resources provide education and links that help families and congregations build awareness of our dependence upon the gifts and energies of farmworkers; especially as…

Dreamers Welcome At the Table

As we prepare soon to gather around tables again and again during the holiday season, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries invites your congregation and members…

Active Shooter: How to Respond

Active shooter preparedness Following the tragic loss of life at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, we are all reminded once…

From the President 11-4-2017

Sotello’s Inspiration and Thanks! I am grateful for the privilege of connecting with our whole church on this platform of ministry as President of Disciples…

From the President 10-21-2017

Call to Prayer and Action Dear Disciples This is a call to prayer and action! We are Christ’s disciples and that’s a big deal in…

From the President 10-5-2017

An outpouring of our churches and her general and regional expressions are praying for and responding to the devastation in the wake of hurricanes Harvey,…

Haitian TPS Alert

Dear Disciples Friend, Right now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering whether or not to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in…

Christian Leaders Arrested for Peaceful Capitol Hill Protest in Support of Dream Act

Disciples are among Christian leaders and activists who held hands and sang in an unlawful demonstration inside of the Russell Senate office building in Washington,…

Praying with Dreamers Week #Faith4Dream Oct. 29 – Nov. 4

Prepare now to plan Dream Sabbath Events! Check out these resources for ways you can participate.

Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea Among DC-Area Clergy to Hold White House Rally to Save TPS ​​

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, October 17th at 11 a.m., local interfaith clergy will host a rally to call on the Trump administration to preserve Temporary…

Reflections from Conference on Migration, Borders & Reception

The Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea traveled to Italy to participate in “Living and Witnessing the Border.” An International Conference on Migration, Borders and Reception, September 29…

Join October 2nd Immigration & Refugee Webinar and participate in Dream Sabbath

Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition for this webinar to learn how communities of faith can participate in “Dream Sabbath” events that lift up the stories,…

RIM Wrap: Sept. 28 Refugee Program

Please Help Stop the Dismantling of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program and Share Your Heart to Welcome Refugees A Refugee Admissions Goal of 45,000 Is…

Sept. 27 CWS Press Release on Refugee Resettlement Program

CONGRESSWOMAN SCHAKOWSKY,  FAITH LEADERS, AND REFUGEES URGE CONGRESS TO STOP TRUMP FROM SHUTTING THE DOOR ON REFUGEES On morning of the Trump administration’s consultation with…

Helping after Disaster

Friends (for #3, below): Disciples Volunteering has created a link for gathering email addresses, in order to update those who are interested in serving with…

Sharon Stanley-Rea on DACA Decision

Hear from Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea in an interview with Sojourners on September 5, decision about DACA.

General Minister and President offers thoughts about DACA

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the U.S. administration announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has protected children brought to…

Urgent: DACA & TPS Recipients at Great Risk: Ways Disciples Can Help!

Please sign the faith letter & call your leaders today & tomorrow to urge DACA not to be ended, join our DACA & TPS Emergency…

Disaster Donations

The rain is still falling from Hurricane Harvey and the worst is not over for many, many communities. People are rightly asking how they can…

From the President 8-13-2017

June 21, 2017 marked the 125th anniversary of Reinhold Niebuhr’s birth. Many of you are aware of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity…

From the President 7-23-2017

I have a few questions for you during these lazy days of July: Why do you go to church? Do you go to be berated?…

From the President 7-9-2017

The preacher’s challenge to the people must always be: “Dare to be different.” Be the you God created you to be and not the you…

From the President 6-25-2017

The other day I started thumbing through sermons preached over the last 43+ years of my ministry. One caught my attention. It was delivered to…

From the President 6-11-2017

There are two things I know that can help improve congregational morale and lead to significant investment in a congregation’s future. They do not come…

From the President 5-28-2017

For those of you who think a mission (or vision statement) will chart the course of your congregation and its leadership into the future, I…

From the President 5-14-2017

Some years ago Brian Stanley, professor of world Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, cited a November 1884 issue of the Juvenile Missionary magazine, the…

From the President 4-23-2017

Some years ago, Peter Vardy, wrote a little book entitled, An Introduction to Kierkegaard. In it Vardy writes:                  “For Kierkegaard, there is nothing higher…

“Immigrant Welcoming” Resolution Passes at General Assembly

On Monday, July 10th, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries’ Director joined with Immigration Legal Counsel, the National Benevolent Association, the Central Pastoral Office office of…

Thank you Mission Servants!

Mission opportunities were abundant at General Assembly, and Assembly goers responded in force! Thanks to all who stepped up and offered your time and talents…

Webinars on July 10th & 13th

Join the webinar on July 10th and 13th to help immigrants and learn about sanctuary. July 10 Interfaith Immigration Coalition Webinar “5 Ways We Can…

General Assembly Alerts

Go here for Summer Recess Toolkit and Alerts for Refugees, Immigrants, Farmworkers, and TPS Recipients. Summer Action Grassroots Toolkit Disciples: Call to Support Refugees Now!…

Families Rally in Front of White House to Protest Trump Administration’s Aggressive Tactics to Deport Loved Ones to Cambodia

RIM’s Director (a board member with Southeast Asian Resource Action Center) was grateful to join this a.m. in speaking at Press Conference outside the White…

Faith Leaders Stand Against Scotus Ruling on Refugee and Muslim Ban Executive Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2017 CONTACT: media@cwsglobal.org | 202.733.5151 FAITH LEADERS STAND AGAINST SCOTUS RULING ON REFUGEE AND MUSLIM BAN EXECUTIVE ORDER Call on…

Disciples Statement in Response to Supreme Court Ruling re: Refugee and Muslim Bans

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Rev. Dr. Ronald Degges, President, Disciples Home Missions “Disciples are a…

From Student Visa to Green Card

From Student Visa to Green Card is now scheduled for Monday, July 10 at 5:00 p.m.— Calling all seminary students! Please join Disciples Immigration Legal…

CWS Statement on 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling Against President Trump’s Rewritten Refugee Ban ​

“The courts have spoken yet again in favor of justice and humanity. As CWS has maintained since January, President Trump’s ill-advised travel ban should never…

Juneteenth

The 2017 Juneteenth resource is available for download. It is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back…

4th Circuit Federal Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban

The Disciples RIM Staff celebrates the 4th Circuit Appeals Court ruling in Richmond, Va. on May 25 that upheld a lower court ruling which had…

#ToImmigrantsWithLove

Join the new #ToImmigrantsWithLove letter writing campaign, sponsored by Define American and I Am An Immigrant.  Through it, you can write an electronic letter that…

New! Refugees Welcome Summer Legislator Postcard!!

Please deliver to, scan and email, or mail your national, state, and local legislators these postcards that indicate your support for refugees, and share how…

More Than 400 Faith Leaders & Organizations Nationwide Urge Support for Haitians at Risk for Deportation

Call on DHS Secretary Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status for Haiti for another 18 months WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2017) — CWS and Catholic…

Stop DHS From Deporting Somalis

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently apprehended, detained and deported Somali individuals back to their home country. These Somalis are asylum seekers, asylees,…

Peace Poles Listings

Disciples and United Church of Christ Holy Season Statement on Violence in the Middle East and Refugees

In the beginning of Holy Week, marking the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, his suffering and his death, we watch with sadness and grief the…

Disciples Rally 4 Family Justice

Join us in unity at the start of General Assembly in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 3 to 5 p.m., for a Disciples…

Statement on Violence in the Middle East and Refugees

Disciples and United Church of Christ Holy Season Statement on Violence in the Middle East and Refugees In the beginning of Holy Week, marking the…

From the President 4-9-2017

Arie Brouwer, Reformed theologian and former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, former deputy general of the World Council of Churches, and former…

From the President 3-26-2017

Somewhere along the way I came across a list of “intentionally ambiguous job recommendations.” See if you recognize any of these. First the recommendation and…

From the President 3-12-2017

  I am reminded today about the story of the Sunday school teacher who was carefully explaining the biblical account of Elijah the Prophet and…

From the President 2-26-2017

In his address to the entering Freshman Class of 2020 at Yale University, President of Yale University, Peter Salovey, spoke about “Countering False Narratives.” Let’s…

From the President 2-12-2017

Peter Marty, Publisher of The Christian Century, offers some of what he calls “Christian convictions,” “to share with friends appalled by, or thrilled with, Trump’s…

Message from NFWM Board

At the recent National Farm Workers Ministry (NFWM) board meeting in Fresno, California January 24 to 31, 2017, the board would like to share the…

2017 Lent Resource

Written by the Rev. Courtney Richards, Connections Pastor at Harvard Avenue Christian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Richards has served at Harvard Avenue since the fall of…

Disasters & Climate Change

Green Chalice is spearheading an effort to bring a resolution to the General Assembly this summer “Concerning Carbon Neutrality.” Disciples Volunteering supports this resolution because climate…

From the President 1-22-2017

I can think of no better time than the beginning of a New Year to think about the peace of Christ. If we ever needed…

From the President 1-8-2017

At the beginning of this New Year, let me offer you a tutorial on foolishness to guide you through the next twelve months. I conjecture…

Summer Mission Interns

Applications are now being received for Disciples Summer Mission Interns. Interns are matched with Mission Sites around the country to provide servant leadership, often with…

2017 Mission Trips

Where will you serve in 2017? No doubt there are countless ways to serve your community, through your church and community organizations. Have you considered…

Videos featuring GMP, Sharon Watkins

Videos featuring General Minister and President, Sharon Watkins Holy Ground Video Faith Climate Call

First Christian Church, Black Mountain

First Christian Church, Blackmountain, NC goes solar! Read More.

ButterfliesEffect Change

#ButterfliesEffect Change Get inspired! Watch and share the #ButterfliesEffect video now:

American Climate Leadership Summit 2016

On behalf of the Steering Committee, The Nature Conservancy, Climate Reality, and all of us at ecoAmerica, thank you for attending the American Climate Leadership…

Behind the Braids tour takes the Mid-Atlantic by storm!

Shout out to National Farm Workers Ministry Board members, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples…

Disciples Presence at Standing Rock

As this post is being released, a group of Disciples have made plans to travel to Standing Rock and visibly represent the Christian Church (Disciples of…

Prayer & Prepare

Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by Hurricane Matthew and those who remain in its path. This was the third strongest storm to…

Help Needed in Eureka, MO

The following appeal comes from our partners at the Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization. If you are able to respond, use the contact information at…

Relief Assistance Needed in Louisiana

In August, southern Louisiana experienced devastating flooding, with impacted homes receiving anywhere from a few inches of flood water up to 8 feet. With more than…

The Sakuma Bros. Berry Farm/Driscoll’s Boycott Ends with an Agreement! Please celebrate with us this word of victory for farmworker rights from our partners with…

Disaster Recovery Support Initiative – Now Hiring

The Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) is a new collaborative effort between the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries, Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries,…

Training for Servant Leaders now Available

Disciples Volunteering supports a wide variety of mission opportunities and service projects with congregations, regions, and ecumenical partners. Often, these projects require the presence of…

Mission Teams needed in SC, TX

Disciples disaster response is serving with the people and neighbors of Columbia, SC, which suffered massive flooding last October, and Rowlett, TX, where a tornado struck…