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2023 All Congregational Gathering

October 21, 2023

Christian Conference Center, Newton, IA

Come be Disciples Together at the Christian Conference Center in Newton for the 2023 All Congregational Gathering.  Spend the day with Disciples from across the Upper Midwest in fellowship, worship, and learning as we explore ideas about how to be the church in the world today!

Schedule for the Day

9:00-10:00 a.m. Arrival/Check-in

10:00 a.m. Opening Welcome and Worship

11:00 a.m. AM Learning Sessions

12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Fun and Fellowship Fair

1:30 p.m.  PM Learning Sessions

2:45 p.m. Business Session

3:15 p.m. Closing Worship


Worshipping together is one of the most important things we do as the people of God.  At the All Congregational Gathering, we will open and close our day with worship together. 

Guest Preacher:

Rev. Ashley Dargai

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Guest Musicians:

The Guitarras ATM

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Guest Choir Director:

Composer Ben Allaway


Fun and Fellowship Fair

Lunch will be provided free of charge as we enjoy games and activities on the grounds of the CCC.  Activities for all ages and interests will be available as well as space for fellowship with your Disciples friends from across the region.


Child Care and Children's Program

Child Care will be provided during the opening worship, learning sessions, and business session.  Nursery care for children up to age 6 will be provided as well as a school-age children's program.  Closing worship will include activities for all ages.  

Learning Sessions

AM Workshop 1:  Speaking Fruitfully

Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few."  Too often churches ignore the plentiful harvest because they are so focused on the labor shortage!  In this workshop, participants will be invited to think about what gifts and resources their churches have instead of what they lack.  Through tools like asset mapping and social media, churches can learn to tell live-giving narratives about themselves and their ministries.  Presenters:  Ed Taylor & Ashley Dargai

AM Workshop 2:  Pruning the Branches

Jesus said, "I am the true vine and my father is the vine grower...every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make bear more fruit."  Perhaps you've experienced a church that keeps a ministry going long after it has fulfilled its purpose.  Or perhaps you've experienced a church that is busy, but burned out.  In this workshop, we'll explore how "pruning" can lead to healthier churches.  Topics will include how to end a ministry well and church-wide sabbath practices.  Presenters:  Heather Santi-Brown, Whitney Waller (recorded), and Erin Dickey (recorded)

AM Workshop 3:  Known By Our Fruits

Jesus said, "God is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."  In a culture focused on making consumers, the church stands apart for its focus on making disciples.  Join this workshop to talk about creating churches that are mission-focused and disciple-driven.  Presenters:  Hope Partnership & Leslie Dalstra

PM Workshops:  Let's Practice!

The afternoon sessions have been designed to help participants apply what they learned in the morning sessions to their own churches and ministries. 


All Congregational Gathering Choir:

Participants may also choose to participate in the All-Congregational Gathering Choir, which will rehearse in the afternoon.  Special Guest Director Ben Allaway will be preparing singers to share a choral performance in the afternoon worship.  Composer and Music Director Ben Allaway's compositions have been featured on programs with spiritual and world leaders like Maya Angelou, the Dalai Lama, and more.


Regional Business

A brief business session will take place immediately before the closing worship service.  Business will include:

  • Announcement of the 2023-2024 Operations Council members.

The Operations Council is composed of 22 members.  Eight (8) of these are clergy representatives and 14 are lay leaders representing the geographic areas of the Upper Midwest.


  • A Presentation and vote on the revised 2023 Regional Working Budget and the proposed 2024 Regional Budget.

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