Good News from the Field: May 2017 Edition



Island Church of Whidbey Sends Support to Naukati Bay

In what will become a more regular partnership, Island Church of Whidbey sent their first team of 8 people to Naukati Bay. They will help with building projects connected to the church, including the Eagles Wings recovery ministry. Two more trips are planned for May and July.

Additionally, Jon Platt, a student from RTI, will be interning at Naukati Bay as their youth pastor for the next few months. Wish him luck as he hones his Alaskan survival techniques!

Kitchen Crew Worker Experiences God at Reach

Joseph Zysk from Crosspoint Alliance Church had been carrying some heavy emotional pain when he came to Reach as part of the kitchen team. Invited to evening worship by a fellow kitchen worker, Joseph broke down in prayer and gave his burdens to God. “Until the day I die I will always remember this trip to Reach,” Joseph says. “I went to serve and bless others, but I was the one truly blessed.”

Madison Community Church Reaches ESL Community with Talk Time

Madison’s heart for their neighbors is making an impact on immigrants looking to improve their English through a program called Talk Time. Margie Snodgrass, who helped establish Talk Time at North Seattle Alliance, and Madison Community Church were recently written up in the local paper. In related news, Madison is positioning to move into their new building soon, after a long season of construction.

Celebrate the One Year Anniversary of International Christian Church, a multi-ethnic, multi-site church plant

International Christian Church, under Romualdo “Doods” Sente, began as Filipino-America Worship Center in Arlington, WA last year. Here they are, after this year’s Easter service:

International Christian Church group photo

 

Good News from the Field: March 2017



Reach 2017

300 high schoolers and youth leaders descended onto Washington Family Ranch for this year’s Reach retreat. They emerged with lives changed. Click the video to hear some Mercer Creek students’ experiences.

And that’s just one of the 18 churches that sent students to Reach! Overall, there were 15 first-time decisions to follow Jesus (including one from our kitchen crew), and 25 students chose to recommit their lives to Christ. In addition, we’re hearing of baptisms firming up these commitments: there were seven students baptized after the event at Mercer Creek alone.

A big thank you to the 50+ volunteers who helped make Reach 2017 such a success!

 

East Side Network Partners to Support New Plant

Last month, Rod Cosgrove of Garland Avenue Alliance Church, Terry Gugger of Orofino Community Church, and Paul Smith of CrossPoint Alliance Church started a new network. After an afternoon of punishing targets at a shooting range, the three pastors processed and agreed upon a network covenant. The next morning, they took on their first church plant. The newly formed network has agreed to send and support Bill Creutzberg to start New Ground Church in Clarkston, WA.

 

Other news you need to know…

Tacoma Alliance (Tacoma, WA): Following an extensive health assessment and intentional interim pastor, Tacoma Alliance Church has recognized that its ministry life is coming to a close. Sunday April 30th, the church will be celebrating its history and heritage over many fruitful and productive years. An emerging network of Alliance churches in the Tacoma area and Northwest Church Planting are actively talking with a potential planter to start a new congregation in the facility.

Clover Pass Community Church (Ketchikan, AK): For a number of reasons, the Field Leadership Team of the Alliance NW unanimously voted to move Clover Pass from Accredited status to Redeveloping status, following the departure of their last pastor. Mick Ewing from Juneau, AK has been appointed interim pastor.

When the Nations Move In Next Door



I wonder if God is expediting the completion of the Great Commission by having people from all the nations move in next door to people like you and me. I love that our family of churches started when one man left a stuck-in-the mud church to plant among the needy refugees pouring in from Europe.  How much of A.B. Simpson’s commitment to love his neighbors still resides in us?

By now you probably know that there are currently 65 million people displaced globally. It represents the worst humanitarian crisis in the world since WWII, and yet it seems like the news cycle is growing weary of the story. Sadly, when it comes to refugees, most evangelicals support banning them from the U.S. altogether. Increasingly, it seems, we can quickly suspect anyone who’s not “one of us.” Consider what happens in your own heart when someone gets in your space that is totally different from you.

A religious leader asked Jesus to unpack the theological idea behind the word “neighbor” (the guy had decided there were certain kinds of people he didn’t have to have anything to do with).  In response, Jesus told a story.  The story made a hero out of a despised foreigner with a heretical religion – a Samaritan.  The hero’s love-in-action lifestyle to a person in serious need of help is portrayed against the non-action and disdain of local congregation leadership.  The point of the story?  Be like the Samaritan.

It made me stop and think about my life. It also made me stop and think about the state of the Church in the U.S.

God’s stated plan for you and me (and the congregations we lead) is to love those unlike us but living near us by meeting tangible needs in the name of Jesus. How does his desire to love others “not like you” find practical expression in your life, and in the life of your church?

I love pursuing the Acts 1:8 mission with you!
Randy Shaw
Field Director, Alliance NW

P.S. Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) is our “boots on the ground” in caring for displaced people worldwide. You can trust CAMA with your financial resources that are set aside to help the current global refugee crisis. Donate here to provide tangible help for the global refugee crisis in the name of Jesus.

National News: The Missionary Tour System is Changing



Throughout the 20th Century, the tour system for Alliance Global Staff fueled our international movement by communicating how God was working globally through the US churches of the C&MA in the most spiritually impoverished corners of the world. Today, there’s agreement that the system is broken. John Stumbo has asked Global Link, the office in charge of promoting global missions, to fix it.

For a couple of years, Global Link processed with regional and local church leadership to determine the problems, and what needs to change. Everyone agreed: It’s about relationship.

The first step in fixing the tour system will be an electronic calendar, which will allow for direct interaction between churches and Global Staff. Expect the rollout to begin in summer 2018. If you have additional questions about the e-calendar, contact the Global Link team at Globallink@cmalliance.org.

In the meantime, The Alliance Northwest Field Office will continue to model, support and catalyze global engagement with Alliance work internationally. Here’s a list of our core convitions about international missions:

1. Alliance Northwest Networks and churches are ripe for Global Partnerships.

2. Investing more resources in fewer places as Alliance Northwest churches will better engage our people and create greater ownership, and pave a new path ensuring long-term impact for Alliance Northwest people globally.

3. We also believe in the benefit of individual churches maintaining their current relationships with international missions work (what we call Alliance Global Connections) while designating a portion of their GCF (or other missions giving) to an Alliance Northwest Global Partner.

4. Global Partnerships will flourish best when churches are investing spiritual, relational, and financial capital together with other churches, rather than on their own.

If you would like more information on Church Global Partnership or how to develop deeper relationships with Global staff, contact Kendra at kendra@alliancenw.org

On Controlling Our Borders: A Prayer



By Walter Brueggemann

Jesus – crucified and risen – draws us into his presence again,
the one who had nowhere to lay his head,
no safe place,
no secure home,
no passport or visa,
no certified citizenship.

We gather around him in our safety, security, and well-being,
and fret about “illegal immigrants.”
We fret because they are not like us
and refuse our language.
We worry that there are so many of them
and their crossings do not stop.
We are unsettled because it is our tax
dollars that sustain them and provide services.
We feel the hype about closing borders and heavy fines,
because we imagine that our life is under threat.

And yet, as you know very well,
we, all of us – early or late – are immigrants
from elsewhere;
we are glad for cheap labor
and seasonal workers
who do tomatoes and apples and oranges
to our savoring delight.

And beyond that, even while we are beset by fears
and aware of pragmatic costs,
we know very well that you are the God
who welcomes strangers,
who loves aliens and protects sojourners.

As always, we feel the tension and the slippage
between the deep truth of our faith
and the easier settlements of our society.

We do not ask for an easy way out,
but for courage and honesty and faithfulness.
Give us ease in the presence of those unlike us;
give us generosity amid demands of those in need,
help us to honor those who trespass
as you forgive our trespasses.

You are the God of all forgiveness.
By your gracious forgiveness transpose us
into agents of your will,
that our habits and inclinations may more closely
follow your majestic lead, that our lives may
joyously conform to your vision of a new world.

We pray in the name of your holy Son, even Jesus.

Good News from the Field, February 2017



CATHLAMET. Last year was an encouraging year of renewal at Cathlamet Christian Fellowship, now called The Bridge Church. The church was up against the wall and facing closure when Kenny Evans agreed to step in and to serve the Cathlamet community. Today the church is experiencing new growth, a broadening leadership base, new volunteers, and five recent baptisms. Yay God!

KETCHIKAN. Members of South Tongass Alliance Church are in the middle of a large building project that stalled due to finances.  Incredibly, a big crew of sheetrockers happened to be in town and ended up with unexpected space in their schedule. The crew jumped in and rocked the building! The church plans to finish the project with cash and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today, the church is writing their “God stories” and publishing the books to sell via Amazon – where 100% of proceeds are going toward the church’s building fund. While it may not bring in huge money, the church is being totally encouraged with everyone reflecting and writing about how God is breaking in and transforming lives. The first book has just been published; more information can be found here.

KOSOVO. Responding to a dream about Jesus, a Kosovar man recently sought out a national pastor to process his dream. Soon after, the man’s large family gave their lives to Jesus. The family is being joined by neighbors and friends and is now considered an emerging church. The church plant has been dreaming of building a place of worship. Miraculously, just a couple of months ago, the municipal government offered the group a free 99-year lease on the piece of land they desired.  What’s incredible about this is that no Kosovar city has ever given property to an evangelical church.  Note: A number of Alliance NW churches are deeply invested in Kosovo and have sent Global Staff, funds, support, and ongoing prayer.

US Alliance: February Focus on Church Planting



The Alliance has planted 20,000 churches that account for more than 6 million people who follow Jesus worldwide. This phenomenon can only happen if there is a Kingdom value at work. One sure way to spot this Kingdom value is to find a leader who is willing to partner with others, across tribal lines, to complete the mission Jesus entrusted to us. Knowing that this value drives much of the Alliance’s global strategy helps assure me the resources we invest are being used strategically.

You also see this Kingdom value at work in our own field. The following pastors are non-Alliance and leading their churches to support Alliance Northwest church-planters: CJ Coffee from The Well in Portland, Dean Curry from Life Center in Tacoma, Andy Mahoney from Grace Community Church in Oak Harbor, and Matt Hannan – who’s invested in my church planting dreams for over two decades – from New Heights in Vancouver. These Kingdom leaders have invested significantly in the efforts of our church-planting missionaries.

Across the US, the Alliance is focusing on Church Planting during February. Now is the perfect time for you to jump in and personally engage those entrusted to you in the “Judea & Samaria” portion of our Acts 1:8 mission. Would you focus on and bless a church planter near you (or known to you) this month through your congregation, youth group, or whatever ministry you oversee?

Below you’ll find simple and specific way’s to bless a church planting couple. You’ll also see a list Alliance Northwest church planting missionaries to get you started. From there, let me encourage you to include a non-Alliance church planter too.

All for Jesus!

Randy Shaw

Field Director, Alliance Northwest

Annual Reports Due Feb 22



2016 Local Alliance Church Annual Report
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PASTOR

  1. Register or sign in to your MyCMA account. Be sure to use «pastor’s e-mail address» to access this account. You can download the Quick Start Guide for information about creating a MyCMA account.
  2. Click “Start” or “Continue Your Report” to access your 2016 Annual Reportinformation.
  3. If you wish to allow others to edit your report, click the “Add” button in “Your Annual Report Editors” box. This individual (for example, your church treasurer or ministry assistant) will receive an e-mail granting permission to access the Annual Report for your church. Please do not give your log-in information to others; instruct the editors to set up their own MyCMA accounts.
  4. You will receive an e-mail confirmation once your report is completed.
  5. The deadline for submitting your 2016 Annual Report is Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

If you have any questions, contact Julie at the Field Office.

Volunteer Disaster Relief Coordinator Position Open



Our churches are often deeply engaged with first response, coordination, and assistance to those impacted by natural disasters. With this in mind, we’re looking for someone who would be willing to volunteer as a Relief Coordinator for disasters that strike the Northwest.

There are a few places in the Alliance where this position has recently been helpful and active in disaster response. A Coordinator in the South has been busy working with the National Office to assist Edgewater Alliance Church, who are involved in relief help for people in a nearby mobile home park damaged by Hurricane Matthew.  The second instance happened earlier this past spring when there was a flood in West Virginia and the Disaster Coordinator of the Central District was able to partner with local organizations for the relief effort. This resulted in, amongst other things, 12 C&MA churches (and one non-Alliance church) providing over 400 shoes for local schoolchildren affected by the flood. 

If someone in your community comes to mind as a good fit for this, please contact Gary Fairchild at CAMA for more information. The first Coordinator training was recently held in Alabama, with more to follow elsewhere. Below, a list of some roles and responsibilities of the Coordinator:

Candidates must:

  • Be an experienced Christ follower
  • Attend a C&MA Church
  • Preferably have some experience in Disaster Relief, Emergency Management, Police or Fire Department, EMA, FEMA etc.

Responsibilities could include:

  • Coordinate the Field’s Disaster Response(s)
  • Attend the CAMA Disaster Management Trainings
  • Participate in the National CAMA District Disaster Coordinators Group
  • Encourage local church leadership to appoint a Church Disaster Coordinator (CDC)
  • Train local Church Coordinators with materials from CAMA trainings
  • Guide local church towards partnership with local EMAs
  • Work with local churches to develop a Local Church Disaster Management Plan
  • Advise Church Disaster Coordinators in local disasters

Develop your church planting green thumb



Two important church planting events will be taking place back to back this August, and are guaranteed to give attendees the tools and support needed to take the next step in planting, wherever they may be in the process:

Bootcamps are designed to prepare those interested in church planting and also provides a great opportunity for planting teams to be exposed to strategic training. The next Church Planting Bootcamp will be August 24; click the link above for more information and registration.

Greenhouse Trainings are 24-hour interactive events designed to help a church of any size, budget, age, culture, or context design their own unique pathway for developing leaders for mission and church planting.  This event will look at the training pathway that all leaders must walk through and then help each church contextualize that pathway according to their own situation. Register at the link above.