What’s New in New Church - By Rev. Bill Robey, NWRCC New Church Coordinator

Thanks to a gracious gift from Bellevue Christian Church, the Northwest Regional Christian Church received funding to hire a part-time New Church Coordinator to help the Region’s New Church Team initiate and support the planting of new Disciples congregations in the Region. I was blessed to be called and to begin as the Regional New Church Coordinator on September 1, 2013.

One of the responsibilities of this new position is to “be proactive and responsive in communication within all working relationships.” Thus “What’s New in New Church” has been born! Here is a quick overview of the status of current and planned new church activities. In the following months I will highlight one of these activities in greater detail and encourage you to consider opportunities for starting new Disciples congregations in your own neck of the woods. I will also write about the importance of the Pentecost Special Offering in the Region’s
overall church planting efforts.

Currently, there are four active church-planting efforts underway. Korean Crystal Christian Church is a Korean-speaking congregation located in Everett. Led by Pastor Youn Su Nam, Korean Crystal has been a “church-in-formation” for several years now and, hopefully, will transition to “chartered” status in 2014.

“Open Gathering” is a new church start located in Bellevue. Another product of the Bellevue Christian Church gift legacy, Bellevue CC called J.C. Mitchell to be their “parallel” church planter, devoting 25% of his time to pastoral care for the Bellevue congregation while spending 75% of his time planting a new Disciples congregation in Bellevue. J.C. began his ministry in July of 2012 and is progressing nicely toward the establishment of a unique worshipping community in the Bellevue area.

The third new church effort underway is currently called the “Snohomish County Project.” When Edmonds Christian Church disbanded as a congregation and sold their church property, they designated part of the proceeds of that sale as a gift to the Region specifically for the planting of a new Disciples congregation somewhere in Snohomish County. The Snohomish County Leadership Team is presently in conversation with several trained church planters with hopes of calling one to lead the Snohomish County Project beginning in the first quarter of 2014.

Finally, Central Christian Church in Walla Walla has resolved to start a new Disciples congregation in the greater Walla Walla area. They created the Walla Walla Disciples Witness fund and developed a gift agreement between Central Christian Church, The Northwest Regional Christian Church and the HOPE Partnership to provide funding for the planting of this new congregation. The “Walla Walla Empowerment Team” will be trained in the first quarter of 2014 to begin the search for a church planter to lead this project.

The Regional New Church Team is tasked with oversight of these new church projects and with the development of additional new church opportunities. I also will highlight the membership and the responsibilities of the Regional
New Church Team in an upcoming issue of The Northwest Passage.

If you have questions for, comments about or suggestions to share with the Regional New Church Team don’t hesitate to contact Karen Nye, the New Church Team Chairperson at nyeki@comcast.net, or me at the email address shown below.

Blessings for a Happy New Year!
Rev. Bill Robey, NWRCC New Church Coordinator
brobey@disciplesnw.org.