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“A place that’s right and in the right place.”

Since 1883, Disciples Church Extension Fund has helped Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations plan and finance Holy Places to be used for ministry, for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ from our doorsteps to the end of the Earth. Our primary sources of funds are from Christian people who faithfully entrust dollars to us for the work of God’s Church.

Disciples Church Extension Fund and Hope Partnership boards approve 2019 budgets, recognize directors and host Terri Hord Owens

The boards of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF), Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation (Hope Partnership), and Church Extension Financial and Missional Resources (CEFMR) gathered in mid-November for their semi-annual meeting. Monday morning’s session opened with a prayer and scriptural reflection. After a brief review of the meeting agenda, Disciples General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens spoke on relationship-building and feeling connected. “People give to what they’re connected to,” she said, “and Disciples feel connected to God, to their church, and to each other.”

This was Terri’s first opportunity to attend the CEFMR/DCEF/Hope gathering since taking office in mid-2017. Following her remarks, the remainder of the morning was dedicated to a group discussion of how best to position Hope Partnership for future growth given the enthusiastic collaboration it has enjoyed this year with a growing list of ecumenical partners.

After lunch, CEFMR CFO Jennifer Gallagher presented a review of the 2019 financial plans of DCEF, Hope Partnership and New Church Ministry. Then, the DCEF and Hope boards broke into separate sessions where both approved their 2019 budgets as proposed. DCEF President Rick Reisinger also made a presentation on the Glendale Mission & Ministry Center of Glendale, AZ. “This center is a collaboration of the former First Christian Church of Glendale, the Christian Church in Arizona, and DCEF, and proves that holy places can nurture new churches and serve as community non-profit hubs,” he noted.

At Monday night’s dinner, Hope Partnership President Gilberto Collazo honored departing Director Marvin Owens (D.C.) for five years of service to the board, presenting him with both a certificate and chalice. Newly elected Hope Partnership directors include Patrick Duggan (NY), John Mobley (AL) and Scott Wheatley (TX). Marta Harms and John Powell will return as Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Newly elected DCEF directors include current Chair Sheri Jackson (KY), Tony Rodriguez (FL), Laurie Feille (MN) and Andres Morgado (PR). Laurie Feille and Jeff Champeau (OK) were elected Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.

An executive session of all directors and both ministry presidents began Tuesday’s meetings. Separate DCEF and Hope Partnership sessions followed. The meeting of the CEFMR board took place after lunch, focusing on approval of its 2019 Consolidated Financial Plan and election of directors, including Greg Kuhn (IN), John Mobley, Laurie Feille and Andres Morgado. The afternoon ended with a closing communion presided over by John Powell.

The CEFMR, DCEF and Hope Partnership boards will meet next on March 10 – 12, 2019.

Glendale Mission & Ministry Center serves, celebrates

Located northwest of Phoenix, west of I-17 and north of I-10, is Glendale, Arizona – home to four Disciples of Christ congregations and the Glendale Mission & Ministry Center (GMMC). Formerly the First Christian Church, Glendale (FCCG), this center now provides much needed ministry to the people of Glendale, including a food pantry, child care, clothing, and more.

“We’re very happy to have found a number of ways to meet the needs of our community,” says Program Director Kega Nasios. “That’s what ‘mission’ is all about, and we’re very committed to ours as a successor ministry of First Christian Church, Glendale – to do God’s work by caring for His people.”

On May 21, 2017, the people of First Christian Church, Glendale gathered and voted to cease their visible ministry in the Fall of 2017. The congregation named the Christian Church in Arizona as its successor and empowered its Chair of Trustees to negotiate its final desires, one of which was “to promote an outreach center at this location.”

Since that time the Glendale Mission & Ministry Center, a collaborative vision of First Christian Church Glendale, the Arizona Region, and Disciples Church Extension Fund, has worked creatively to help those in the Glendale community by enhancing established ministries and starting new ones. From its three-acre, five-building campus, GMMC now serves more than 820 free lunches a month, while distributing 110 emergency food bags and almost 60 hygiene kits, plus clothing, to the area’s poor and homeless. The center also supports various local non-profits with meeting and office space, and provides a holy place of worship to three congregations who nest there, including Iglesia de Cristo Sion, which has used the space at 6242 N. 59th Ave. for 20 years.

To build awareness of its various services, and to thank its many volunteers, donors and partners, GMMC held a Grand Opening on Saturday, November 17. Area residents were invited to come and learn more about the vision for the Center and how they can come together in its ministry.

“We have long believed that the good work of dedicated Disciples can continue to benefit their community even if their congregations cannot,” said Disciples Church Extension Fund President Rick Reisinger. “Glendale Mission & Ministry Center is an exceptional example of innovation, dedication and collaboration paying off in human dividends, of making a mission-driven investment in a community for the good of its people. And, DCEF is proud to be a partner in this effort.”

Celebrating 135 years of “a little timely help”

It was at the 34th annual meeting of the American Christian Missionary Society, called the 1883 General Christian Missionary Convention, that Convention Secretary Robert Moffett raised the issue of material aid to new churches.

“Many calls have come to us for aid to build houses of worship,” he said. “To all these we have given one answer, namely, that we cannot use regular missionary funds to build houses of worship . . . (However), in many places, the want of a suitable (house) of worship is the chief hindrance to success,” Moffett noted. “In view of this fact, your Board thinks it advisable to begin the creation of a fund, the principal of which shall be loaned on easy terms to such weak churches and mission stations as may stand in need of such aid.”

Thus, the Church Extension Fund became a topic under active consideration. The committee appointed by the convention to study the loan fund proposal was comprised of five prominent and practical businessmen, including General F. M. Drake, founder of Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. They reported back to the convention “their conviction (for) the pressing need of such a fund.”

“In many cases, a little timely help would enable (struggling) churches not only to become self-sustaining, but in time become helpful to others,” they said.

The convention concurred, and accepted the committee’s recommendation of five men from Kentucky and Ohio to oversee management of the loans. So began both the Church Extension Fund and its Board of Church Extension.

Since that time, there have been many shifts in the religious and cultural climate of North America, contributing both bright and dark days for Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) and its predecessor organizations. But, through them all, our mission has remained clear as has the commitment to it of our donors, investors and friends.

Read on to learn more about the best in all of us – fascinating facts that celebrate Disciples helping Disciples!

Ask us about a Green Loan for your church today!

Thinking about adding energy-efficient windows in the education wing? Is it time to update an old HVAC system in your church building? Ready to make environmentally-friendly improvements to your facilities?

A Green Loan from Disciples Church Extension Fund can help your church save money while helping the environment!

Green Loans are available to Disciples of Christ churches up to $150,000 for qualifying facilities projects. 

Holy Place Stories

Shawnee Park Community Park Christian Church understands that Holy Places are meant to help, not hinder, ministry. Here’s their story about how leasing their Holy Place freed them up to focus on ministry, inside and outside their walls:

 

Treasurer'sHandbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disciples Church Extension Fund offers attractive and competitive rates on loans to congregations and investments for individuals and Church organizations.  
Holy Places Grants for New Church Ministries – Thanks to generous donors, the Holy Places Fund helps new Disciples congregations like yours acquire a home.  Read more.
Save July 12, 2017, for DCEF’s General Assembly dinner. 

 

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