Northwest Passage November 2017

Northwest Passage


Sandy Messick, Regional Minister

I saw a video awhile back that has stayed with me, “Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion.”

The video is of a little girl named Hannah playing in front of her home when one of her friends walks past all dressed in white lace finery. “It’s the best day ever,” says the friend, “Today is my first communion.” “What’s so great about that?” asks Hannah.  “Well, you get presents and get to dress like a princess and later we will have a party.”

The friend and her mother went off down the street but Hannah couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful it sounded. She went in to ask her mother when she could have first communion. Her mother tried to explain that since she was Jewish, they wouldn’t be having first communion. Hannah was undaunted. She crept up to her room and using her mother’s fine clothes and some things from her dress up box tried to re-create the beautiful princess dress her friend was wearing. Then, grabbing a cookie off the counter and sneaking out of the house, she made her way down the block to the Catholic church just in time to join the line of little girls as they made the way to the alter and knelt at the rail. Her mother came in, having run to catch up with her, and stood at the back, uncertain whether to interrupt and cause a scene or remain silent. As the priest made his way down the line, the Hannah looked at the other girls beside her.  Each one had a beautiful necklace of a cross around her neck. Hannah reached up and touched the beautiful Star of David that she wore around her neck. It seemed at that moment she realized that this was not her story and maybe she shouldn’t be there, but it was too late. The priest was already standing before her. Rather than hold out her hands to receive communion, Hannah decided to offer it instead. Reaching into her little purse, she pulled out the cookie and gave it to the priest. Confused, he looked at her, and at the cookie, and then noticed Hannah’s mother standing just inside the church. Understanding dawned in his eyes and without missing a beat, he took a bite of the cookie. “Good cookie,” he declared and offered her a blessing. Hannah walked back up the aisle to her mother, and holding hands, they went home.

A wise word once shared with me is simply this: “When in doubt, err on the side of grace.”

Blessed to share this journey with you,


The Northwest Regional Christian Church is now receiving applications for a part-time position: Youth/Children's Ministry Coordinator. The Youth/Children's Ministry Coordinator will provide leadership to coordinate and support youth and children’s ministries in the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A full job description and requirements can be downloaded at:

Interested applicants should prepare and send the following items, via email, to Amber Saladino, Office Manager, NWRCC:

Application deadline is November 30, 2017.

  • Cover letter.
  • One page resume including names/contact info for 2-3 references.
  • Statement of Interest that addresses the following 4 areas:
    • In light of the Vision/Mission statement for the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), how do you see your gifts as they align with the role of Youth/Children’s Ministry Coordinator as helping the region live out its mission and vision? (view Vision/Mission statement here:
    • In light of the attached job description, describe your particular gifts in relation to this ministry and why you are interested in the position.
    • Describe your history of involvement working with children or youth, pastors, parents and other volunteers in a church setting.
    • Describe or highlight your gifts and abilities as they relate to project management, event planning and budget management.


Hey, NWRCC we are going to Alaska!

The Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) invites youth and their sponsors to participate in a mission trip to Anchorage, AK from Saturday, June 23, 2018-Saturday, June 30 , 2018.  Work days will be Monday-Thursday and Friday will be a day of play.

First Christian Church, Anchorage, will be hosting our group and coordinating work with Alaska Child and Family.

AK Child & Family brings hope to troubled young lives through a broad range of mental health services. Their residential psychiatric treatment, community based programs and treatment foster homes offer the structure, care and expertise to help young people facing significant challenges build strong, positive, healthy lives and the organization is a historic mission partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

This adventure will be a meaningful work trip during which, our prayer is, a closer bond is formed between the participants and with God.

This trip is a major undertaking of time and financial resources for all those planning to attend so we ask that all participants review the financial commitment/timeline, and then complete, sign and return the contract and permission forms that can be downloaded at

Please don’t delay reviewing this information, the first deadline is January 1, 2018!


God Help Me!
Camp Koinonia - February 23-25, 2018 -Cle Elum, WA

Please mark your calendars and share with the youth in your life that the next annual Youth Winter Retreat is set for February 23-25 at Camp Koinonia inn Cle Elum! Through the theme “God Help Me,” participants will be exploring and allowing God to help us see, move, go or stay, and help to do whatever God asks of us. Through this, we will learn and grow into better versions of ourselves among and alongside our family and friends.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” , Psalm 46:1

The Regional Youth Commission is hard at work developing this weekend of community and reflection.  Plan now to join them.  Registration forms will be mailed out and available through your church office soon!

With great generosity the Zephyr Heritage Fund Board shares they have again committed the Heritage Fund to provide 1/2 scholarships for ALL youth attending the 2018 Youth Winter Retreat and all Adult Sponsors who attend will receive a 100% scholarship.  You read that right!  Fees for youth to attend the weekend event will be $55 with the scholarship, and adult sponsors will not need to make any payment toward attending.

We hope the dramatically reduced cost to attend will encourage even more youth (6th-12th grades) to attend!


As we began reporting in September, conversations have begun with the Montana Region about a possible merging of our ministries. This proposal comes with a lot of questions around practical considerations like logistics, staffing, finances and timing, and theological questions, “Where might God be calling us in this conversation? How can we do together what we cannot do apart?” – The questions themselves raise new questions to ponder and explore together. Join with your wider Regional Family at an Area Gathering to gather information, hear the details, and listen to one another in this next step in the conversation.

  • Saturday, January 20, 11-1:30 – First Christian Church, Kent. Lunch provided.
  • Saturday, February 10, 11-1:30 – Englewood Christian, Yakima. Lunch provided.

Visit to RSVP online or to download a flyer.

Sandy will also be sharing the proposal and information with clergy groups early in 2018.

SAVE THE DATE! Regional Assembly is Coming May 18-20, 2018

Join us at First Christian Church, Sumner, WA next May for our bi-annual Regional Assembly. “Courageous Engagement: Hearing Each Other’s Stories” will be our theme. Come for a time of listening, sharing, and learning. Our keynote speaker will be Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Plans for interactive workshops and opportunities to tell our stories are being developed.  The team is deep into lodging option arrangements and logistics as well.  Keep watching for details to be settled and shared in the weeks ahead!



The Revive Conference is a progressive, inclusive, missional church conference dedicated to equipping and empowering pastors, church planters, and lay people alike to join with the Spirit in the renewal of the church.  Join our own Missiongathering congregations and leaders as they host this event in San Diego, CA from February 22nd-25th.

“We believe that the local church is called to be a hub of justice, social transformation, and spiritual nourishment, drawing people from diverse sexualities, gender identities, and ethnicities together to follow in the way of Jesus. The Revive Conference brings together leading pastors, activists, and theologians to offer practical direction and encouragement to individuals and communities seeking to lean in to the new thing God is doing both in and through the church.”

Disciples Seminary Foundation is offering Continuing Education Credits for those interested in attending and who could benefit from the offer.  NWRCC Clergy are also invited to request Lane-Salmon Fund grants ( to help them attend.

Registration can be found at


The Thanksgiving Offering benefits the Colleges, Universities, Seminaries, and Divinity Houses affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). These learning communities are an extension of the church, challenging students to understand and respond to God’s call to serve.

From the very beginnings of the movement, Disciples have founded institutions of higher learning, encouraging students in their intellectual pursuits. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is still committed to higher education. Your gift to the Thanksgiving Offering helps underwrite the education of students attending one of our fourteen undergraduate institutions and our seven seminaries or divinity houses.

Consider the many generations of pastors, who, if not for the support of faithful congregations and individuals over the ages would not have flourished as our pastors, teachers and leaders. What impact has your pastor had in the life of your church, community or region? You can thank them by supporting the Thanksgiving Offering.

Visit for worship  materials, graphics and more.


Church Extension, October 27, 2017: Disciples Church Extension Fund Approves Interest-Free Line of Credit to Christian Church in Puerto Rico for Immediate Church Rebuilding

On October 19, 2017, the Board Loan Committee of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) voted to immediately provide a line of credit to the Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico upon a request for rebuilding assistance from Miguel Morales, general pastor. The $1,000,000 line of credit is interest-free and fee-free. “Aid is not coming fast enough after Hurricane Maria,” said Rick Reisinger, president. “This will help bridge the gap between the urgent need and when the insurance payments start coming in.” The funds will help those Disciples churches with a total loss or extremely severe damage begin repairs so that their buildings can be safely used for gatherings and community service.

“The church is the place where we really develop community,” said Rosario Ibarra, zone advisor for Puerto Rico. “We sing together, pray together, listen to the Word together, become a family together. We use the church building every day, so it is very important to rebuild quickly.”

Funds will go directly to the Christian Church in Puerto Rico for emergency repairs and rebuilding projects it is overseeing. “This $1,000,000 is likely just the beginning of what will be needed to rebuild over the long term,” said Reisinger. “But we hope that this money can help give our partner church some relief now.”

DCEF staff will travel to Puerto Rico November 25-26, 2017 for an emergency “extra-ordinary” meeting of the Joint Commission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico and in the United States and Canada. During this meeting, leaders in both communions will discuss the ways general ministries, regions, and local churches in the United States and Canada can further support Puerto Rican Disciples in the midst of this humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria.


A unique career opportunity for an individual or couple of any age, with flexibility of job duties dependent on qualifications. On-site housing and utilities provided. Kaleo on the River (KOTR) is a 250 acre camp and retreat center three miles outside of Burwell, NE. KOTR seeks an Interim, on-site Camp Administrator to provide year-round leadership administering camp operations, including marketing to maximize facility utilization, and collaboration with main-line protestant church denominations to provide summer youth church camping experiences. The Interim Camp Administrator reports to the KOTR Board of Directors. Additional responsibilities include fiscal oversight and budgeting; selection and supervision of paid and volunteer staff; American Camping Association and other regulatory compliance; maintenance and scheduling of facility; preparation for and oversight of the summer camping season. Basic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree or applicable experience in camp administration or leadership. To express interest send a cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to: by November 30, 2017


Origin, Spokane – will celebrate the installation of pastor Scott Kinder-Pyle on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3pm. All are invited.

East Side, Tacoma – recently said “Farewell,” to their pastor, Phil Barclift as of the end of October. They will be working with Sandy to discern their next steps.

Chelan Christian – has called Mark Wilton to be their pastor. Mark is a Commissioned Minister from FCC, Vancouver.

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!