Hope in the Dark Edge of the Alliance Northwest 

Pastor Steve and Myrn McCord of Naukati Bay, AK, along with Naukati community members, are in the midst of an ark-sized project: bringing the first residential addiction rehabilitation center, named Eagles Wings, to their remote corner of Southeast Alaska.

If you are feeling called to help, Eagles Wings is looking for assistance in four areas:

  1. Work teams comprised of Alliance Northwest church volunteers
  2. Barnabas volunteers to live in the residential recovery setting with “Seekers”
  3. Regular financial support of operating costs
  4. Prayer support

Take time to train this Summer at a conference

Summer. It’s hardwired into us to expect a break from learning, but as the inevitable Summer slowdown begins, it’s actually a prime time to seek out additional opportunities for growth. Here are four conferences coming up this Summer and early Autumn–each one has a different focus, but all have the potential to teach and inspire us:

For worship leaders, artists, and creative spirits

Canvas Conference / August 12-13 / Portland, OR

*Partial scholarships available through the Field Office, contact us if you’re interested in learning more


For those exploring living missionally in the world

Verge West / October 6-7 / Seattle, WA


For those wanting a dialogue about following Christ in the Northwest

Christ and Cascadia / October 14-15 / Seattle, WA


For those seeking additional expertise in conflict resolution

Conflict Coaching Certification / October 20-21 / Cordova Neighborhood Church, Rancho Cordova, CA

For registration materials, send Sunshine Her an email.


For those curious about an interim pastoral ministry

‘An Introduction to Interim Ministry’ Training Event / October 24-25 / East Park Church, Vancouver, WA

Leadership Question #1: Do You Know God?

When the early church began to get traction there was a shortage of leaders. In response, the church chose some men to help out who were known to be wise and full of the Spirit. Once selected, hands were placed, prayers were prayed, and responsibilities were passed. The text says from here “the word of God spread.” Ever since, we have been raising up leaders to guide the church to follow Jesus’ final instructions as recorded in Acts 1:8.

Today, we’re asking four questions to serve in the development of our leadership base to address the same need for spiritual leaders that the early church had. Those guiding questions are: (1) Do I know God (including bible and theology)? (2) Do I know how to make a disciple? (3) Do I know how to develop a disciple making culture in my church? And, (4) How can we work together as churches to do what we could never do alone?

Over the next couple of months I’d like to briefly outline where these questions are leading us. The first question really sets up the other three. The first question we’re asking in developing spiritual leaders is: Do you know God?

The answer to this question includes issues of character, calling, and the ability to hear and respond to the Spirit of Jesus. That said, we also recognize the essential need for a leader’s biblical and theological understanding to be well formed prior to being turned loose as a “pastor” with a license.

To enter into formal leadership in the Alliance Northwest, a person must go through a doorway called an “Accreditation Interview.” This interview (sometimes referred to as a licensing interview) involves an extensive conversation between mature leaders and someone seeking to serve in a pastoral role.  The interview is designed to help discern a person’s readiness to be formally recognized or “licensed” as a pastoral leader.

The Accreditation Interview isn’t new – but how it works is.  Following tons of processing with the Licensing, Ordination and Consecration Leadership (LOC), Field Office staff, and in consultation with the National Office, we’ve altered and moved much of what was required for Ordination and Consecration to now be done in preparation for the Accreditation Interview. (Ordination and Consecration is being reconfigured as well, but to address a different question – stay tuned for next month’s news.)

The Accreditation Interview is now the primary place where we ask leaders the question: “Do you know God?” Issues of character and spiritual maturity are all vetted, but ensuring a biblical understanding of God and his unfolding story is primary before we  “place hands, pray prayers, and pass authority.”

Dennis Pust (supported by Lisa Casper) oversees the LOC Leadership. Lisa is a wealth of information. You can contact her here.

Courageously following Jesus…

Randy Shaw
Field Director, Alliance Northwest

Next Gen News

6d6c4df0-16f4-4dd9-8367-f54b343deb62Next Gen is the student ministry arm of the Alliance Northwest. It’s our goal to support and catalyze leaders of student ministries in churches across the region through the two large events that we run each year. Dave Oldenkamp has stepped into Field leadership by accepting the the role of Quest Team Leader. He serves as the Youth Pastor at Yakima Alliance Church and he and his wife, Kami, have three boys. For Quest 2015, later this month, he’ll be serving alongside Hannah Greene so he’s ready to lead the team as they plan and prepare for Quest 2016.

Quest is a 2-day retreat for Middle School students that is held annually in mid-October at Black Lake Bible Camp in Olympia, WA. For more information on Next Gen contact Hannah.

Good News from the Field: July 2017 Edition

Two New Lead Pastors at Alliance NW Churches 

Friendship Alliance Church in Winthrop, WA and Moses Lake Alliance Church in Moses Lake, WA have extended the call to new Lead Pastors, and their candidates have accepted. Let’s welcome Dave and J’lene Dechape to Moses Lake, and Jason and Katie Suter to Friendship Alliance!

Washington Church Plants New Ground and Anchor See Early Growth

New Ground Alliance Church, under Lead Planter Bill Creutzberg, were thrilled to have over 70 people attend their preview gathering in Clarkston, Washington. Many of those attending were new and from the surrounding neighborhood.

Anchor Church, planted by Bryan Halferty in the old Tacoma Alliance building, hosted a “vision and info” night and had 28 people come to consider joining the core team.

Seven Pastoral Ordinations in the Alliance NW This Spring

Washington: Thomas Clapper, Fox Island Alliance Church; John Gee, Chico Alliance Church

Oregon: Adam Harvey, Mosaic; Tim Skelly, Green Community Church; Lance Baker, Dallas Alliance Church; Gerad Neely, Salem Alliance Church; Paul Boehlke, One Life Church

Good News from the Field: June 2017 Edition

34 Leaders Attend Foundations and Assessment Events in May

Men and women from churches across the Alliance NW gathered in Canby, OR in late May for Foundations, a key component along the path of Licensing, Ordination, or Consecration that introduces attendees to the history of the Alliance movement, as well as Assessment, which prepares leaders for church planting and local ministry.

Thank you to Canby Alliance Church for so generously providing facilities and volunteers throughout the week for both Foundations and Assessment!

New Lead Pastors at East Hills Alliance and Green Community Church

Steve Diehl comes to East Hills in Kelso, WA from Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he pastored Sherwood Community Church and founded Forgiveness Ministries, which helps individuals develop a lifestyle of authentic, Biblical forgiveness. Steve will be installed mid-July.

In Southern Oregon, Tim Skelly has accepted Green Community Church’s call to become their Lead Pastor. Previously, Tim was Lead Pastor at Gateway Faith Center in Roseburg for fifteen years, as well as an instructor at Umpqua Valley Christian School and a hospital chaplain. He and his wife Kathy have three daughters and one grandchild.

Anchor Church Plant to Begin in Tacoma, WA

Bryan Halferty, fresh from his role at Mercer Creek Church, will be moving to Tacoma with a team of 20 to plant Anchor Church in the former Tacoma Alliance building. Fox Island Alliance will be serving as a Greenhouse supporting church while they prepare to plant.

Southern Oregon Network Planting Two New Churches

Churches line the streets in most Northwestern towns, yet many people who need Christ wouldn’t dream of stepping inside; kept away by their negative experiences, fears, and preconceptions. Alliance Northwest pastors and churches in Southern Oregon are banding together to do something about this. Through their partnership in the Southern Oregon Network, these churches have pooled resources to cultivate the first church plants that the region has seen in decades. These new plants aim to reach those people who might otherwise stay away from church, primarily through creating approachable communities in which those with long-standing faith – and those with none – can be comfortable.

Journey Roseburg‘s vision is to connect people who have no connection to church, and build a community where people share life with one another. It’s in this context, says Jeff Paschall, lead pastor and planter for Journey, where people are transformed. At the base of their strategy is a call for all to “Come as you are”.

Journey had their debut Sunday gathering on September 11, drawing 180 people and requiring extra chairs to be brought in. But Jeff and launch team members had been meeting since last November, using this time to work on, as Jeff puts it, “removing religious pretense from their lives, so they can find people who are lost and far from God.”


This spread out into the community in various “vision projects”: planned activities where they would go out and connect with the community in simple ways. One vision project took place at shuttle pick up and drop off locations for the Douglas County Fair. Team members, armed with Journey-branded water bottles and an iPad questionnaire, got 100 people to take a five-question “God Test” that covered topics like one’s spiritual beliefs. One of the closing questions was, “Would you be interested in a new church starting this Fall?” Many said, “Yes.”

Now, a few weeks after their grand opening, Journey Roseburg is off to a great start. And while they are blessed with a great location, it does need some immediate transformation in the form of important things like bathrooms and classrooms. Please pray for the resources so that they can make that happen. Also, pray for Journey’s fledgling, young, wide-eyed ministry staff as they begin to see some success from the people that have begun to call Journey home. You can follow their progress on their website

* * *

When Dan Gregory returned to Medford after helping to plant Lux with Micah Dodson in Seattle, he knew he wanted to plant a church but didn’t have a particular vision, until God gave Dan and his wife the call to plant in earnest this past January. That’s how the concept of The Living Room came to be.

It occurred to Dan that the best ministry that they had been a part of took place in the context of their home, in their living room. Conversations. Meals. And changed lives, too. The image of a living room communicates that this will be a safe place for people, no matter their background, to feel like family. Dan recently met a tattoo artist who felt judged walking into church because of her tattoos. Dan asked her, “What if it felt like walking into a living room, instead?” Without hesitation, she replied, “Man, I’d stay for that!”


The Living Room is currently developing their core team and holding gatherings once a month for people to experience what the church is really all about.  In the Summer, these gatherings took the form of Saturday Evenings in the Park, where they would cook hot dogs, spend time together, and talk about Jesus. One evening, Dan invited a young couple to eat with them, and the man told him, “Don’t want to freak you out, but I’m a Satanist.” Dan replied, “I’m not freaked out–you just need to stay and hear about Jesus.” They returned the next week, and he asked Dan, “I felt the darkness leaving me last week. How do I have more of that?” A week later, he and his girlfriend had accepted Christ.

Currently, The Living Room is continuing to ramp up and would appreciate the Alliance Northwest family joining with them in praying for a resident planter who can also fill an associate pastor role at the church, that more people would join their core team, and that a location would eventually be found. It will be exciting to see what God has in store for them.

* * *

Both Jeff and Dan have found a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from being a part of the Southern Oregon Network. A greater, more tangible sense of partnership has come from banding these regional Alliance churches together through the common goal of seeing new plants materialize. As Dan puts it, “That ‘living room’ vibe is happening in our network. We already feel like family.”

Jason Simmonds joins Alliance NW Field Office

The Field Office is thrilled to welcome Jason Simmonds to the team, beginning August 1.

Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jason has been a part of Alliance churches since he was two years old. He most recently served as Senior Associate Pastor and Church Planter with Mosaic in Portland, Oregon. He and his wife Kathy have been married 21 years, and have four children: Maisy, Joe, Levi, and Nora. His hobbies include fishing, the outdoors, and yard work (preferably with power tools).

Jason will be overseeing Leadership Development across the Alliance NW; this includes guiding Licensing, Ordination, and Consecration efforts, as well as oversight of Alliance NW Networks.

Annual Reports Due Feb 22

2016 Local Alliance Church Annual Report

  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.