FCC News

December 8, 2017

WV Disciples Online 11/22/17

Filed under: Uncategorized — patricknorton75 @ 11:19 am
11/26 – Christ the King
Visit www.lifeinliturgy.org

2/9-11 = Midwinter Youth Retreat
6/10-15 – ChiRho & Junior Camps
6/13-15 – Camp Campbell for Kids
7/1-7 – CYF Conference

The ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia
is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund

We give thanks to God for the gift of life in Christ and the blessings of God’s abundant provisions in the life of the Church.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

from your
Regional Minister and Staff

Ready for Midwinter Retreat?

We’ve registered several so far! It’s going to be a blast! Lots of planning happening and here’s a secret….we have a professional camp musician joining us this year to lead our singing….

Midwinter Youth Retreat, Feb. 9-11, Parkersburg
Midwinter Retreat Registration is now open! Paper forms can be downloaded and completed, or you can do an online registration at: https://christianchurchinwv.weebly.com/disciples-youth-in-wv

  • Who: Students Grades 3-12 & Post High Young Adults, Youth Leaders, Adult Volunteers
  • Where: Wingate Inn, 1502 Grand Central Ave., Vienna, WV  26105
  • When: Arrive by 7 p.m.Feb. 9; Depart NoonFeb. 11 (from First Christian Church, Parkersburg)
  • Register: Do it early! Save money (see below), and assure that you can attend.  We are required to make our reservations at the facility 30 days in advance, so don’t miss out!
  • Cost if you register by…Nov. 15: $115…Dec. 15: $125…After Dec. 15: $135

See you this winter!
Download flyer 
Email jrheaallen@yahoo.com with registration questions

Thanksgiving: A Pastor Reflects…
The Reverend Kenneth M. Hardway
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Wheeling, WV

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year.  For many it’s a time to watch football and try new pumpkin recipes.  For the faithful, it’s a time to heighten the spiritual discipline of giving thanks, and channel that thanksgiving into acts of love to those who need it.  The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Wheeling has always found ways to reach out to the community around Thanksgiving time.  But 5 years ago, we were struck with a new call, and given a new focus to share togetherness and thanksgiving for the Gift of Years.

It began five years ago by reevaluating our traditional Thanksgiving outreach ministry.  We were doing good work in the community, but we were sensing our call was changing.  So we took a look around our neighborhood, and asked, “How is God calling us to love our neighbors?”  Our neighbors included six (now even more) senior living facilities.  We wondered, “Are there any of our neighbors who may spend Thanksgiving Day alone?”  The thought both broke our hearts and inspired us.  With that a new outreach ministry was born!  The mission wouldn’t be to combat hunger (although, we do eat well!).  The mission would be to combat loneliness and celebrate togetherness.

At the same time, the Christian Church in WV offered us an opportunity to participate in the Gift of Year’s Project.  This is a ministry priority to, with, and for seniors.  This was a project that lifted up the gifts of those who have lived a long life—gifted with many years—and recognize that with those years come perspective, faithfulness, and grace.  The Gift of Years affirms that our seniors are our sages and repositories of wisdom that the world needs.

For the fifth year now, we will spend our Thanksgiving Day readying the family feast.  A living room is set up for guests who await to be called for dinner.  On the TV is the Macy’s Parade and football.  Friends are made and laughs are shared.  Children will mingle with these sages.  This is a beautiful picture of the family of God gathering for the feast.

When dinner is called, we move into the fellowship hall.  We find our places around white linen cloth covered tables.  The candles are lit.  Handmade table decorations adorn the place settings.  The smell from the fresh baked rolls tingle the senses as the meal is anticipated.  A child sings a song.  A poem is read.  Guests are invited to share the things in which they are thankful for.  A Commonplace book is offered for guests to write down wisdom they’ve gleaned over the years.  Finally, a prayer is offered.  Members from the church begin passing out made-from-scratch mashed potatoes, corn casserole, green beans, cranberry dishes, stuffing, gravy and the turkey.  A plethora of deserts are offered.  Bread is broken.  Life is shared.  God is good.  And the family is together.  There is no better way I can think of to spend Thanksgiving.

The faith is about our living into our oneness and togetherness in Christ.  In a world that seems to value division, selfishness, and youthfulness at the expense of our gifted in years, ministries of wisdom and grace and togetherness are so important.  Our calling as a church is to rise above these ills and live into these Kingdom-values given to us by Christ, while seeking to share love and unity among our neighbors.  We are called into living as if the Kingdom of God is near, and is here.

The Kingdom of God is a reality that is so often hard to see.  But in certain moments in this life of faith, we catch a glimpse!  A moment of life which shows us how heavenly and eternal life can be.  It takes those with eyes to see and ears to hear, and hearts to love and hands to serve.  For those who claim to find Christ and Life around the Eucharistic (Thanksgiving) Table, it is no surprise that we find glimpses of the Kingdom around tables shared freely by all, and particularly among those who might otherwise be forgotten.

I was handed a piece of wisdom once that said, “Though we cannot add years to our life, we can add life to our years.”  Perhaps this is the gift of the faith that teaches life is to be found—abundant and eternal—when we seek unity, love our neighbors, gather to celebrate our togetherness, and give thanks for wisdom, grace and faithfulness shared.  This is the family of God gathered at Thanksgiving.  This is the Gift of Years.  May it be so for you and yours.

Reminder to Clergy 
Ministerial standing forms, including those provided by congregations to affirm the participation of ministers, are due before Nov. 25.  If you have not begun the process or have misplaced the links or instructions, please email us now.

Prayerscapes for Advent
We are pleased to announce that Prayerscapes for Advent is ready for publication.  WV and PA Disciples ministers have given themselves to this wonderful project, which will provide daily devotions in your inbox from Dec. 3through Jan. 6.  We hope you will share the word with others who would appreciate receiving them, and direct your friends to http://prayerscapes.wordpress.com.  They also will be published daily on our Facebook pages.

Booklets have been prepared for printing in your local church, and information on the process of making booklets to share in your congregation or with others can be found in this release.

All of this is made possible because of your faithful support of Disciples Mission Fund, and the Christmas Offering for Regional Ministries.  Please consider how your gifts will help us continue our work, and encourage others toward generosity in this vital mission.

Legacies – Publication available  
Legacies is an important stewardship tool that helps members of the WV and PA Regions make good decisions about how to strengthen the church and plan for their own stewardship futures.  It is published jointly by the regions and by the Christian Church Foundation.

The All Saints Fund of the region is featured in this Fall Edition, along with stories of great legacy planning by individual Christians and congregations (see excerpt below), then visit the page and read or download for print. Please help us share with your friends and members of your congregation who may not receive the weekly online news.

Being Not Afraid

A Lenten Retreat on Living Beyond Fear

Retreat LeaderJanet Hellner-Burris

Pastor of the Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, PA

Contemplative activist and seeker of living beyond fear in a

world of anxiety and violence

Day Retreat $50

Saturday March 17 9am-5pm

Overnight Stay + Day Retreat $75

Friday March 16 6pm Supper

followed by Evening Prayer

To Register:

Contact Pastor Janet



Online Registration available after 1/2/18 at


Retreat location:

Martina Spiritual Renewal Center

from Legacies, Fall, 2017…

A Grand Legacy

by W. Darwin Collins

 In 1856, a small gathering of Restorationists in Lawrence County could not have imagined the future that would await their efforts to begin a new church. The group grew in numbers and wealth with the support of  the Thomas Phillips family and  many other prominent residents of the New Castle area. Within only 8 years they would organize a church group that would eventually construct a church home known as the “big steeple” church on the city’s diamond.

The church continued its ministry with growing numbers of members and expanding ministry in the community and denomination. Along the way their history was marked by a split of an independent church, Central Christian, but also a merger with a Baptist congregation.

With the passage of years this great steepled building became a greater responsibility to maintain. Utility bills soared and worship attendance and membership declined in the decades of the 1960’s and 70’s. The church continued even in this declining period to actively share in outreach in their community and through the Pennsylvania Region and  mission funding of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

However, faced with increasing deferred maintenance and dwindling attendance, the congregation decided to sell their building in 2012 and to gift their assets as a last testament to their devotion to God’s mission and the commitment of their ancestors in faith. A large gift was made to the Christian Church in Pennsylvania. Although most of those funds were used by the Region for ongoing expenses, the Regional Board, at the recommendation of the Regional Minister, Thad Allen, committed $2,000 to establish a named permanent fund with the Christian Church Foundation as part of the Pennsylvania Region’s All Saints Fund, the First Christian Church of New Castle Fund. Through this Fund the legacy of those generations since 1856 will continue to serve Christ’s church through an annual income to the Region.

Legacy Permanent Funds, either as a part of the Pennsylvania All Saints Fund or established directly with the Christian Church Foundation, enable the accumulated assets of a congregation to continue to serve God’s  mission long after the doors of a church  building close.

If you and your congregation are interested in exploring what  a Named Legacy Fund might offer to  extend your church’s legacy, contact either Rev. Dr. Darwin Collins (or call 412-337-4293) or
Rev. Thaddaeus Allen (or call 304-633-2428).

Read the entire issue here.  (note that the listing of the All Saints Fund included contains errors corrected in the download below)
Downoad the updated and corrected “Roll Call” of the WV All Saints Fund (10/25/17)  in this PDF file.

From Disciples Church Extension

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 again that even churches might be confronted with an active shooter situation.
While we can never know when such senseless acts of violence might touch us, there are valuable resources available that can help congregations answer tough security questions.
Timothy Harris, president & CEO of the Insurance Board, has written a special Active Shooter Message to address questions and concerns after last weekend’s tragedy. The Insurance Board, our recognized ministry partner, has compiled free information and relevant tools for congregations making decisions on church security. Also, churches seeking comprehensive training on how to respond to an aggressive intruder event can contact the Insurance Board to get more information about training sessions. Through our partnership with the Insurance Board, all Disciples of Christ congregations (regardless of whether or not you hold a policy with the Insurance Board) are eligible for a discounted rate on ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) trainings for houses of worship.
Additional training resources:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) active shooter training video RUN, HIDE, FIGHT :
From DHM::
Children’s Disaster Services
Did you ever wonder who attends to the hearts and souls, minds and bodies of children during times of major disasters? Well, let me tell you, Disciples Home Missions is there. We are blessed to partner with the Church of the Brethren in a unique ministry called Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) which includes a network of trained volunteers and partners across the country which, since its founding in 1979, has  involved more than 3100 volunteers who have cared for more than 87,800 children in response to floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, ice storms, tornadoes, mudslides, terrorist attacks, and aviation incidents.
Kathleen Fry-Miller, CDS Associate Director, reports that in response to the multiple disasters from which our nation has suffered in the past two months CDS teams have been deployed to 17 different locations in Texas and Florida with 74 caregivers serving over 1400 children as of October 16th.

A Critical Response Child Care Team has just been sent to Las Vegas to serve in the Family Assistance Center set up to provide services to families of those who were killed and those who were injured, as well as survivors. Undoubtedly, teams will soon be deployed to Northern California. Volunteers have been alerted by Red Cross that there may also be needs related to mass evacuations to Florida from Puerto Rico. There are professionals affiliated with each team to support and give guidance to volunteers. Providing care to families and children in a disaster situation is a special calling which is not for everyone. However, if you are interested in training to participate on a Critical Response Child Care team, there are two workshops coming up in November:

November 17-18, 2017 ~ Bethel, Pennsylvania

Little Swatara Church of the Brethren

Contact: Jean Myers, (610) 678-5247 
For additional details see www.childrensdisasterservices.org/.

WV Council of Churches News…
   Visit wvcc.org for more information

WV Council of Churches
West Virginia Council of Churches
Ecumenical Calling

West Virginia Faith Community Nursing Network
The Future of Nursing West Virginia (FONWV) is a 501c3 non-profit coalition dedicated to improving the culture of health in WV through strengthening an expanding nursing practice, education and leadership. FONWV has developed an online Toolkit and Network to support faith community nurses (FCNs) in West Virginia. The goal is to have FCNs serving every county in the state.

If you are interested in joining or supporting the WV FCN Network go to: http://www.futureofnursingwv.org/faith-community-rn-toolkit and click the icon.

Facebook and Twitter
You can find the West Virginia Council of Churches on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wvcouncil and through Twitter at https://twitter.com/wvcouncil. Please become a friend of the West Virginia Council of Churches and follow us on Twitter!

Clergy Consultation on Substance Use Disorder

Consultation presentations will be on the WVCC website soon!  Here’s the link for the Pathology of Addiction video. For those interested in Sky Kershner’s CRAFT presentation, please click here.

Stewardship Program for Your Congregation

Teaching Stewardship is one of the marks of a Faithful Regional Church.  Church teaching is also clear that stewardship and generosity are marks of the faithful Christian life.  Stewardship and giving are joyful acts and signs of our participation with God in God’s world.  Stewardship is an invitation to draw nearer to our Lord.

The Center for Faith and Giving has the task of inviting us into this joy!  The materials that are provided are invitational and practical.  They are proven and trustworthy.  We invite you to engage in a disciplined season of teaching stewardship.  This is Disciples material written for Disciples as we seek to be faithful and generous in the lives God has given us.

Because of your generosity to Disciples Mission Fund, and through our regional partnership, these come with no cost.  Perhaps, like stewardship itself, it is simply a gift or an invitation to deepen our relationship with God.

In order for your congregation to access the program, your pastor needs to email Rev. Bruce Barkhauer at bbarkhauer@disciples.org.   
See an informational flyer here

Help Us Grow Our Readership

We are always looking to broaden our distribution of regional news through the WV Regional Online News.  Today, we are asking you, as a congregational leader or pastor, to consider helping us by providing any email list you may have for your congregation.  Each email needs to have a name attached to it, and understand that if you do this, they will begin receiving the WVO without any announcement.  They can always unsubscribe, but this is the surest way to offer it to your members.

Alternately, please consider using the following announcement in your online news, newsletters, and bulletins:
The WV Regional Online  News provides a weekly opportunity for you to see what’s happening around the regional church and beyond.  Sign-up is easy.  Visit www.wvdisciples.org or this link to subscribe today!


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