Northwest Passage October 2017

Northwest Passage

Reflections on the Journey…

Sandy Messick, Regional Minister

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Have you said “thank you” to your pastor lately? As I move throughout the region I am always aware and repeatedly reminded of the wonderful colleagues with whom I get to share this journey. It seems good and right to say thank you to and for these faithful servants:

  • For those who have been in ministry for many years and radiate wisdom and insight.
  • For those who are just starting their ministerial journeys and already are changing the church for the better.
  • For bi-vocational pastors who balance full-time jobs with what always turns out to be full-time ministry regardless of the contract or paycheck.
  • For retired pastors who continue to be engaged in service to the church in a multitude of ways
  • For our students who are honestly and faithfully discerning God’s call for their ministry.
  • For the members of the Commission on Ministry who are supporting students and walking alongside them in in-care committees and ordination interviews.
  • For congregations who willingly receive students in internships and teach them how to be pastors
  • For congregational pastors, new church pastors, chaplains, specialized ministries, regional and general church ministers, and on and on and on.

Within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) we celebrate the priesthood of all believers, recognizing that all of us are called to ministry. And yet, we also recognize that some are called to particular forms of ministry, set apart by the church for ministry. During this month, especially we lift up those ministries and give thanks. If you are a pastor, know that your ministry is valued and appreciated. If you have a pastor, take a moment to say “thanks!”

Blessed to share this journey with you,



Our Office Manager, Amber Saladino, has returned from maternity leave and is now back in the office full-time.  Amber shares, “I have so appreciated the time and space to get to know our daughter, Robin, during my recent maternity leave.  The ability to focus our attention on her, 100%, for the time allotted, was a gift.  Thank you, Region, for that allowance and for the many cards, gifts, and well-wishes we received.”


The Northwest Regional Christian Church is now receiving applications for a part-time ministry position. The New Church Ministry Coordinator will work with the New Church Team to provide support and oversight to our new and emerging congregations in formation. Funding is available through a grant from Bellevue Christian Church. A full job description and requirements can be downloaded at:

Interested applicants should apply by emailing the following to the Regional Minister: smessick@disciplesnw.orgApplication deadline has been extended and will remain open until filled.

Please provide:

1. Cover letter
2. Resume including names/contact info for 3 references.
3. Statements of Interest that include:
     a) Understanding of this position in light of the vision/mission statement of the NW region  (
     b) In light of the job description, describe particular gifts and skills in relation to the position.
     c) Describe history of involvement working with pastors and volunteers in a church setting, and in particular, working with new congregations or congregations in formation and/or non
​         English speaking congregations.


As mentioned in previous regional communications, Stephen Gumber is completing his tenure as Youth and Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the Northwest Region on Oct. 18. We are grateful for his ministry and look forward to continued friendship as he and his family remain in the region. The Youth Ministries Team is working on revising the job description and in coordination with Bill Jennison, Personnel Chair, will soon be posting that position.

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). Watch this space for more information each month!


As reported in the last NW Passage, conversations have begun with the Montana Region about a possible merging of our ministries. A draft proposal will be presented to the Regional Board at the end of October for feedback and then revised. It will then be shared widely to the region. Early in 2018 there will be two Area Lunch Gatherings for all who are interested to come, learn, and share your thoughts and opinions. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend one of these events:

· Saturday, January 20, 11-1:30 – West side, place to be determined. Lunch provided

· Saturday, February 10, 11-1:30 – Englewood Christian, Yakima. Lunch provided.

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


We are reaching out to you because it is time for the Gwinwood Annual General Board Meeting!

Exciting things are happening at our Camp and Conference Center.  At the annual meeting you will:

  • Come and meet the new staff
  • Hear how we are moving forward as we wrap up the first year of our 3 year plan
  • See the improvements that have been made to the grounds and buildings since your last visit
  • Take a look at the new Back Porch (formerly known as "the Old Craft Cabin) restored after generous gifts from Disciples congregations and hours of loving labor from  camping alumni
  • Discuss with us the things we have learned by our C.P.A. lead external Financial Systems Review, and give your feedback on the Trustees plans for new policies and procedures around fiscal management
  • Give us your ideas about growing Disciples-focused programing at Gwinwood
  • Fellowship as we dream together of the future of the Gwinwood Ministry

The Gwinwood General Board meets every year to make decisions that only the General Board can make - and it is always our effort to make sure that every congregation have up to three representatives at this meeting/on this Board to make sure that their hopes, dreams and expectations about their camp can be heard and incorporated into the next year's work. 


Please join us!   Please let us know that your congregation is bringing representatives by RSVPing to Kathy Coggins at  or by contacting the Gwinwood main office at (360) 491-0195.

We gather in the Main Lodge at 10 am on Saturday morning, and conclude at 3 p.m. (Lunch will be provided). We will have a free will offering for Gwinwood during our lunch together.

Free overnight accommodations are available on Friday evening if needed and reserved by Wednesday.  Please contact Kathy Coggins at  or the Gwinwood main office at (360) 491-0195 to make arrangements.



Missy Trull has been named the  Bossey Ecumenical Institute student for autumn semester with support from the Bossy Fund, inspired by the vision and ecumenical example of The Rev. Dr. Loren Arnett.

We are pleased that Missy Trull will be enrolled at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, Switzerland in the autumn quarter to earn her Complimentary Certificate in Ecumenical Studies, a three month course.

At the conclusion of her course work she will receive a diploma and 30 course credits jointly awarded by ecumenical Institute and the Autonomous Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Geneva.

Missy grew up in Spokane, WA. After course work in literature and creative writing at Seattle Pacific University her quest led her to continue studies at the School of Theology and Ministry. For six years she attended and served as Lay Pastor for Children Formation at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Seattle. She has been a chaplain at Harborview Medical Center.

Missy is the second STM student to travel for ecumenical study at Bossey. Linda Gasparovic was the first Bossey student in 2013. She is of the United Church of Christ tradition. The Bossey Scholarship was the vision of Loren Arnett. His commitment to ecumenical scholarship and justice is part of the Loren Arnett Endowed Scholarship at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University.

LOVE AT THE CROSSROADS: Climate & Social Justice

The Faith Action Climate Team (FACT) announces it’s second annual conference, Love at the Crossroads.  Asking, how does climate change cause social injustice and how does social injustice cause climate change; what can we do about it and what does faith have to say about it.  FACT will welcome participants on October 28, 2017 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 9am-5pm, to hear keynote speaker Deborah Parker, a Tulalip activist, and take in workshops and an interfaith panel.  For more information, see or buy tickets at

GLOBAL MINISTRIES Committee- Campaign for Signatures, Korea Peace Treaty Petition

Ed Evans, co-chair of the Global Ministries Committee of the NWRCC and Pacific NW Conference of the UCC, shares this appeal: As tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula, our global ministries partners with the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) are asking for continued prayers for peace and that we stand in solidarity with them as they live through this emotional time of intense concern.  The Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Northwest Region of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ has had a long relationship and partnership with the churches of the Seoul East Presbytery of the PROK since 1993.  We have a history of worshipping together, praying together and being in fellowship together.  The PROK along with the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) feel the most effective method toward achieving lasting peace on the Peninsula is to replace the Korean Armistice that ended active hostilities more than 70 years ago, with a lasting Peace Treaty. To that end, the PROK and the NCCK are seeking support for their international campaign for a Korea Peace Treaty. They are encouraging people across the world to sign their online petition at


Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria devastate Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico.  Wildfires are ripping across California. Earthquakes in Mexico unsettle nerves…  In these disasters, in our own back yard, Week of Compassion is there, and across the globe. Recent reports and reflections from Week of Compassion (WOC) share the depth of their connection and impact in these places.

In Florida, WOC is working closely with  the Volusia (county) Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster (VND) to assist more than 200 homeowners either displaced or living in dangerous conditions. In  California, WOC is in close contact with affiliated schools and congregations like First Christian of Orange  and Chapman University to assess support needs of the communities they are part of.

Week of Compassion shares these stories regularly, to give voice to the mission you support in your giving. Visit to read the complete reports and sign up to receive them directly to your inbox.


A new program offered by Reconciliation Ministries offers people the chance to build relationships through conversations. The idea is simple: Invite someone you don’t know to sit down for conversation over a cup of tea. Reconciliation Ministries has specially printed tea bags with questions for conversation. Some of the questions might be: What motivates you in life? What is the biggest challenge you see facing the church? What might we do about it? For more information:


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.

Thousands of students have attended the Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church receiving both a quality education and the opportunity to remain within our Disciple’s heritage. Your financial gift provides scholarships and support for spiritual life offices. By giving to the Thanksgiving Offering you are investing in our students and helping keep education costs down.

The Thanksgiving Offering also provides scholarship and support for those pursuing theological education at one of 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.

Attending a Disciples College or Theological School is possible through the scholarships and grants that are made available by generous individuals, the Disciples Mission Fund and your gifts to the Thanksgiving Offering.

Visit for worship  materials, graphics and more.


Opportunity Christian Church, Spokane – is hosting the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 3pm. The group will sing and share information about their orphanage in Africa.

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

Lake Washington Christian Church, Kirkland – will celebrate the Ordination of Annie Grogan on Nov. 11 at 2pm. Annie is a Priscilla from that congregation and is the daughter of Kerry Kesey, pastor of Englewood Christian, and Mike Grogan, former pastor at Lake Washington and Bellevue Christian and now pastor at the United Church of Christ in Lincoln City, OR. Annie is a recent graduate of Brite Divinity School and is now serving as a chaplain in Colorado. You are cordially invited to attend this celebration! Lake Washington Christian Church is at 343 15th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033.  A reception at the church will follow the service.  Attending clergy are invited to vest and wear red stoles.

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!