Northwest Passage July 2017

Northwest Passage


Sandy Messick, Regional Minister

What are the values held by transforming, anti-racist/pro-reconciling organizations? At a recent Disciples Home Missions Board meeting, just prior to General Assembly, we heard a report from the Racism Audit Team. This team is conducting an audit of DHM documents looking for unintentional yet embedded policies and practices that perpetuate systemic racism. (As part of our “Embracing Diversity” work, the Northwest Regional Board has also committed to looking at our own documents here in the Northwest Region.)

While presenting their report, the presenters used an article from Crossroads, a group that offers anti-racism training. The article outlines four values that “cultivate terrain for anti-racist accountability to germinate.” As I listened, it occurred to me that these were also four values essential for Transforming Congregations to cultivate the terrain needed for new ministries and possibilities to flourish. The four values they named are:

  1. Both/And thinking and a bias for action as opposed to either/or thinking that forces binary choices or one party given more power than another. A bias for action reflects a willingness to move forward rather than becoming paralyzed by conflict or indecision.
  2. An abundance of resources rather than a mindset of scarcity. We see this in congregations that even when faced with legitimate financial challenges, look for creative solutions rather than moving quickly to limiting options.
  3. Transparent decision-making and communication as opposed to a mode of secrecy where power is tightly held among a few. This can mean that decisions may take longer to come to consensus, but once a decision is made implementation can occur more quickly because more people have felt included in the process.
  4. A value of cooperation and collaboration that nurtures creativity rather than individual action that promotes competition between parties over resources and power.

These are common sense values, and ones we’ve heard in other contexts. The connection for me was seeing how the nurturing of these values contribute not only to creative and innovative thinking, a key component of transformation, but also the enhanced possibility for cultivating the soil for an anti-racist/pro-reconciling community.

Grateful to be sharing this journey with you,


During the hot summer days of July 8-12 in Indianapolis, IN, our Disciples of Christ brothers and sisters gathered for business, worship, fellowship, and learning. Some of the notable highlights that happened during our time together:

  • Election of Rev. Teresa Hord Owens as our next General Minister and President. Rev. Owens is the first African-American female named to head a mainline denomination. We also celebrated the ministry of outgoing GMP, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
  • Announcement of Rev. Sotello Long, former Regional Minister in S. Carolina, as the next Disciples Home Missions President
  • Resolutions affirmed around a variety of subjects including: Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations, A Call to advocate for the rights of children living under Israeli Occupation, Carbon Neutrality and emergency resolutions around supporting refugees and engaging in the New Poor People’s Campaign
  • We heard excellent preaching and engaged in meaningful worship
  • We connected with old friends and met new friends
  • And much, much more.

Summaries of business sessions can be found at


Our Regional Office Manager, Amber Saladino, announced this past winter that she and her husband Jeremy Saladino are expecting their first child this summer.  Many plans have been in motion to see that maternity leave coverage, expected to be ten weeks, is ready well in advance of baby’s arrival.  At this time, barring any surprises from baby, Amber will begin maternity leave on Monday, July 31, returning to regular duties on Monday, October 9.

The Regional Office is pleased to share that Mandy Serquina, of Spokane, will be stepping in part time to take on office administration duties during Amber’s absence.  Mandy may be familiar to many in our NWRCC family, she has been the administrative assistant at North Hill Christian Church, Spokane, since 2006.  Mandy will work closely with Sandy Messick to cover the wide variety of duties typically handled by Amber.

Please note that the phone system will work the same, no need to change how you contact the Regional Office.  Email sent to will be automatically forwarded and reviewed for reply or distribution to staff.  Mandy will send and receive email at our general box: nwrcc@disciplesnw.orgUS Mail is being forwarded to Spokane, so please allow for a couple of extra days of transit when you mail items to the Federal Way PO Box.

To accommodate Mandy’s part-time schedule, Office Hours will be 3pm -6pm Monday-Thursday.  On Fridays, 9am -3pm.  You’re encouraged to leave voice messages and email outside of those hours, many of our staff work hours independent of the Office Hours.

Thank you for your flexibility and patience during Amber’s absence.  She and Jeremy sincerely appreciate the support of the Region and good wishes received as they prepare to welcome their daughter to the world.


It’s an exciting summer!  With Junior Camp at Koinonia already “in the books” and the Kids and Junior Camp at Gwinwood beginning on July 24, it’s already been a busy camp season.  Outdoor Ministries is pleased to share that we’re on track to have served more than 100 youth by the end of the last camp.  These are days that leave a lasting impression on our youth: camp gives them a place to belong and look forward to going to each year. Your support and encouragement of the program is so important. 

Registration for the Chi Rho and CYF session is still open for a few more days!  Forms are due by July 17.  Forms and other camp info like welcome letters can be found at or contact your church office!

Camp Koinonia, Cle Elum, WA

        Chi Rho and CYF Camp, August 6-12 (7-9th, 10th– Grads)

Camp Gwinwood, Lacey, WA

        Kids Camp, July 24-27 (2nd and 3rd Grade)
        Junior Camp, July 24-29 (4th– 6th Grade)


Here’s another date for your calendars– Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8, 2017 are the days set aside for the annual Turner Memorial Lecture Series this year.  Your eyes do not deceive you, this is a departure from the traditional schedule, so double check that calendar!

This year’s speaker is Rev. Dr. George "Tink" Tinker, the Clifford Baldridge Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado.   “Indian Land, Cosmic Balance, and Individual Salvation” headlines the lectures which will include: “How the Christians Stole My Land, Legally: The Doctrine of (Christian) Discovery” and “Why I don't Believe in a Creator: Cosmic Balance vs. Individual Salvation.”  It promises to be a thought provoking and lively lecture series!

Watch for email announcements and mail that will share lodging options and open registration– coming soon!  The working schedule is already shared at the event web page– check it out for a more complete bio of Rev. Tinker too and book mark the page :


Origin Christian, Spokane – Has called Rev. Scott Kinder-Pyle as their settled minister. Rev. Kinder-Pyle has been serving as their interim and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)

Welcome Table, Seattle – Has called Rev. Rebecca Sumner to be their settled pastor. Rev. Sumner is also the pastor of Our Common Table in Everett.

Do you have some congregational news you’d like to see shared in the Northwest Passage?  Don’t hesitate to send us the details so we can highlight it in Community Connections!


June 29, 2017, National Benevolent Association


The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is launching a new Mission and Ministry Grant Program to support Disciples projects and ministries working with older adults and at-risk children and youth across the life of the church.

Older adults, at-risk children, and youth communities have been a primary part of NBA’s ministry since our founding 130 years ago, and are communities that NBA continues to support and accompany. The NBA has purpose-restricted funds in these two areas, and after necessary legal steps, the NBA Board of Trustees has approved the distribution of these funds through grants to Disciples congregations and health and social service ministries.

“These purpose-restricted funds date back several decades and would not be available or possible without the generosity and foresight of NBA’s faithful donors,” says Mark D. Anderson, NBA President and CEO. “This grant program will ensure that our donors’ intentions from decades ago are fulfilled in meaningful, relevant ways in today’s context, as we continue the shared work of creating communities of compassion and care.”


NBA Grant Categories and Amounts

Beginning this summer, NBA will accept applications from Disciples congregations and health and social service ministries for grants in these three categories and amounts:

Catalyst Grants: $1,000 - $3,000: These are startup funds to get projects up and running and/or to expand an existing project to a new area/initiative. These grants should enable organizations to explore a new venture or a new project idea.

Innovation Grants: $5,000 - $15,000: These funds should help move an established project to a new level of effectiveness and impact. Organizations should clearly explain how these funds will help accomplish this.

Impact Grants: $20,000+: These funds should be used for major leaps in project areas with a proven plan for how these will move the organization to a new level of sustainability and impact. Grantees will be required to work closely with NBA staff to ensure implementation and sustainability of the projects and to provide opportunities for the rest of the church to learn from their experience.

The grant application is available at, and all applications will be due to the Grant Committee by September 8, 2017. Awardees will be notified by mid-November, and funds will be distributed by early December for use in the 2018 calendar year. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their proposals, including reasons for the decision should a project not receive funding.

Grantees will be required to complete an impact report and share a story about their project and the impact it has in their setting. The NBA always looks to foster learning for the whole church about effective health and social service ministries, and NBA will work with grantees to help amplify the success and impact of the work they are doing. 

Find frequently asked questions, the online application, and more information about the NBA Mission and Ministry Grant Program at For additional questions, please email