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The Disciples Together Express

   August 2018 - News from the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest (Disciples of Christ)                                                                                         

You Are


Bill Spangler-Dunning,

Regional Minister

It is what we all need to hear and more to the point it is what we all need to believe deep in our souls.  Disciples at our best believe in the Body of Christ and that all parts are needed, welcomed, and affirmed.  Small church, large church, rural church, urban church, chaplain, counselor, or other ministry location, we all are needed.  As I travel around or read your newsletters I get excited about the many different ways Disciples are spreading love and good news of the God we follow.


I need you!  It’s not magic but it is a sacred thing we do when we gather together for our annual All Congregational Gathering.  I need you to come and share that one thing your church or ministry location is doing because I know that someone else needs to hear about what you are doing so they can implement it in their community.  PLEASE mark your calendars for August 24-25 and bring a ministry to share and plan to take something home as well.  This is how we continue to gain strength together as church.



Now’s our chance to show the whole Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) what incredible hospitality the Upper Midwest Region can provide!  There are opportunities to be involved for just about any gifts or passions.  Find yours and sign up today!  To make this easier, we’ve put together a Sign-Up Genius page.  Follow the SignUp Genius link for a list of Local Arrangements Committees that are looking for partners in service.

2018 Regional Calendar

 Things We Do Together

Below, @CCC = held at the Christian Conference Center

July 22 Regional Operations Council online

Aug 9-19 Iowa State Fair Hymn Sing

Aug 13 Disciples History and Polity Online Course Begins

Aug 13-16 CCC Office Closed

Aug 24-25 All Congregational Gathering

Aug 26 Regional Operations Council online

Sept 28-30 CCUM Fall Women’s Retreat

Sept 29 Regional Property Committee @ CCC

Sept 29 Regional Committee on Ministry



Help fight hunger!

Sunday, October 14, 1:30 PM

Hike begins at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates Building, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines.

Hikers are invited to tour the Laureates Building

Sponsor sheets can be obtained by asking Jerry Sawyer or Chuck Fausch.

To learn more, visit:

All Congregational Gathering

August 24-25, 2018

Christian Conference Center

Newton, Iowa

When we gather in the same place for


            Fun and fellowship…

            Learning and sharing with one another…

When we ABIDE in the same place with our God and each other, we become stronger and better equipped to change the world.

Come, abide together!


Come to the Conference Center on Friday and enjoy the grounds by spending the night or just come for the day on Saturday.  Lodging and Saturday’s lunch are provided free of charge.  Saturday’s activities will include worship, mission, educational workshops, fun, and fellowship. 


SAVE THE DATE NOW! and Watch for more information and to register your spot for this free event!

Share Your



Has your church...

...accomplished something of which you are proud?

...found a creative way to address the needs of your community?

...tackled a financial challenge?

….used your building in a non-traditional way?

...put the unique talents of your members to use doing ministry?

All of our churches have a story to share!!!!

Your partner congregations across the Region need to hear your story.  Please consider displaying your ministry in the Varied Ministries Hall at the 2018 All Congregational Gathering. 


As we ABIDE together and share our fruit, the bounty grows!  Come share your fruit!  Contact the Regional Office at to sign your church up for a table.

CCUM Fall Women’s Retreat

September 28-30, 2018

Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds, Paynesville, MN


Keynote Speaker: Mary Lenard, Giving Voice Chorus

Chaplain: Rev. Tammy Rottschaefer, Lake Harriett Christian Church


Music connects us in so many ways—to our history, our memories, our loved ones, to each other.  Join us as we make a joyful noise—break forth into joyous song and sign praises.


Watch for registration information Summer 2018. 

Invite a friend!  Scholarships available.

Interested in helping? Have a gift to share?


Contact Retreat Coordinators: Anna Bliss and Terri Jones

Motorcyle Retreat

Would you have any interest

in taking part in an adult

motorcycle retreat.  This

weekend event would be for

adult riders and take place at and around the Christian Conference Center.  Participants would gather at the CCC for fellowship, ride around the Newton area, and stay in one of the camp cabins.  We are currently trying to gauge interest for such an event.  If you would like to serve on the planning team for the motorcycle retreat, please email Tiff Williams at or call Tiff at the Conference Center office at 641-792-1266.


                                Chi Rho Building                          Update

The Chi Rho building continues to make progress.  We offer a great big thank you to the many volunteers who have already helped to move the building forward.  As church camp season has begun, these volunteers even include some of the very Chi Rho campers who hope to used the building for their camping experience next year!  Volunteers will continue to be needed throughout the next many months as the building is closed in.  Contact the Christian Conference Center to volunteer.  Here are the latest pictures:

Regional Grants in Action!

Mission Work in Peru


Donna Gustafson of Park Avenue Christian Church is currently serving in mission with the Yahua Community in Peru, teaching English at a boy’s school.  One of your Regional Ministry Grants is currently supporting part of her work as she strives to provide Sunday School for local churches and Bibles and devotions for local tribes.  Here’s an excerpt from her latest newsletter giving a snapshot of her daily challenges.

When I think back on this last month I think “what have I accomplished?” It seems like so much energy is put into daily life that there is nothing left to accomplish! Life without clean running water is difficult, it is not the same as your average weekend camping 

out, or the week at rustic camp or even that month of vacation where you go out and “rough it” in the camp ground. We don’t have a home to go back to where we can take a hot shower and throw the dirty laundry into the washer and dryer. Life in the jungle is hard yet God provides so richly. We still don’t have running water, but God provides daily rain, so we can have fresh water. We have a large tank where we collect the run off from the buildings and it supplies our daily needs. We have had so much rain it sank our large boat and now we have to wait for the river to go down to get the boat out but, we still have the smaller boat and we can get all twelve boys in the boat at once, so they can get to school. The small boat is about the size of a 6 person row boat but of course we have a motor on the back! (God provides!)

Upcoming Opportunities

Iowa State Fair Hymn Sing:  August 9-19.  Volunteer to help by contacting JoAnn by email at; by phone at First Christian Church, Spencer 712-262-2945; or by mail at First Christian Church  701 East 18th, PO Box 1440, Spencer, IA 51301.

Disciples History and Polity Online Course: Fall 2018 online, led by Rev. Deibel.

Learn more about the program here!

Our Path Together

The dream we set forth as a Region when we began Our Path Together has been moving steadily forward.  

There is still time to donate to Our Path Together.  Your gift will help to ensure that the final phases come to fruition as well.  You may also choose to designate an engraving on a brick in the new outdoor chapel. 


Bell Chapel is located directly in front of the Main Lodge and easily accessible.  Bricks are $250 for a 4X8 and $1000 for an 8X8.  There is also a Clergy brick for $500.  


For details contact the Regional Office/website:

515-255-3168 or

We want your news!

Does your church have an article, story or event for the DT Express?

The Region wants to know!

Please email your editor Lori Krase Cayton

or call the Regional Office at 515-255-3168

or mail an article to CCUMW,

5064  Lincoln Street, Newton, IA 50208. for more information. 

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