10 Benefits From Engaging Your High School Students in Reach

The crisp and cool weather means fall has arrived, the school year has started and youth ministries have kicked off. That means it is time to start thinking about retreats!  Has your church sent high schoolers to Reach?  Reach is our annual high school gathering in central Oregon and is an awesome event where we come together as an Alliance family of over 260 students and leaders.  If you still need more convincing - here are 10 reasons your church should engage in Reach!

  1. Youth workers are invested in and supported!

    We have designed Reach to be a time where both youth pastors and volunteer leaders are poured into. We have set time aside to encourage and support them.

  2. Students hear the Gospel!

    The theme is “Can I ask you something?!” We are going to dive in to 4 questions that we see Jesus ask in Scripture - What do you want me to do? Who do you say I am? Do you believe I can do this? Do you love me? It will be a powerful time!

  3. We work together!

    We have a team of 4 youth pastors who plan the event with our Alliance NW Next Gen department. Josh Mann (Fox Island Alliance) and Tina Combs (Hood River Alliance) will be our speakers. Sean O’Connor (Salem Alliance) is leading worship.

    We are recruiting some of you for seminars and if you are interested in serving we are looking for 25 folks to join the kitchen crew to serve the meals to teens, volunteer leaders and youth pastors. You are invited!!

  4. Space for God.

    The weekend gives space for students to slow down and hear from the Lord. We intentionally create space for quiet times and free time so students can take what they are learning and ask God what he may be saying to them.

  5. Long Term Work.

    We have strategically designed the weekend to create impact for the long term work that God may be calling your students to. We end the weekend with a call to deeper faith and service and we emphasize missions by focusing on our greater international Alliance family.

  6. Enjoy God’s beauty!

    Reach is held in central Oregon at Washington Family Ranch. This camp is absolutely beautiful! It has comfortable lodging, tons of room to explore and has no outside distractions like cell service or internet. It provides an opportunity for students to unplug!

  7. Make new friends!

    We intentionally mix things up with times where students gather by grade or gender to expand their worldview and see that God is working in the lives of students all over the Northwest.

  8. Relevant seminars.

    Students get to attend biblically based seminars that are about things they care about - some of the past topics have been: Anxiety/Depression, Worship, Healing, Sexuality, Their Testimony, and Life after High School.

  9. We are better together!

    Reach is an opportunity to gather as an Alliance family. We get to anticipate what God is going to do in and through our students and our leaders.

  10. And last but not least: It is fun!

    We play games, we laugh, we entertain, we eat good food and we are silly! These types of activities help students to open up and allow God to move in their lives.

Reach is February 14-17, 2020.  For more information about Reach head HERE.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact Amber at amber@alliancenw.org.  See you there!

Pure Desire Counseling Special for Leaders

Have you ever wondered how a counselor could help you? 

As a Pure Desire Leaders (PDL) partner, you qualify for 50% OFF a 2-hour evaluation session with a trained Pure Desire clinician. A $300 SAVINGS! 

This 2-hour evaluation gives you a clear look at the state of your current sexual health and gives you a recommended treatment plan for healing. If you move onto our clinical program, the initial cost of the evaluation will be applied to your program package.

What do you get in your 2-hour evaluation?

·  Discuss results from 3 online assessments that evaluate areas of sexual struggle, effects of past trauma, and how 18 personality attributes factor into relational dynamics. 

·  Receive expert evaluation of current sexual health.

·  Receive a customized 12-month Recommended Treatment Plan. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

·  Did you know that 85% of our clients never visit our offices in person, but receive all their care through secure video conferencing? 

·  Did you know that 93% of our clients say this program helped them find healing and they would recommend this program to others?

 

Regardless of where you live, the Pure Desire Clinical Program is accessible through secured online video conferencing.

We have limited availability for this discounted 2-hour evaluation and this offer is only valid through October 31, 2019.

If you would like to receive this 2-hour evaluation at 50% OFF:

·  Couples Evaluation: CLICK HERE and enter the CODE: PDLEVAL at checkout

·  Individual Evaluation: CLICK HERE and enter the CODE: PDLEVAL at checkout

If you have additional questions, call executive director, Nick Stumbo, at 503-489-0237.

VBS Kids Give to West Africa Missions Project!

Thank you Mountain View kids!

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This past spring, Mountain View Community Church in Snohomish, Washington contacted us at Alliance Northwest for help finding an Alliance Missions project. They hoped to have it correlate in some way to the year’s theme of “Jungle“. We were able to connect them with an Alliance worker in West Africa (where Kevin and Bonnie Oberg lived and worked for so long).

Here is the thank you note from West Africa!

"We’d like to thank you, Mountain View Community church, and the children at VBS for the generous gift to our ministry here in West Africa. There will be many blessed by your giving as we intend to help with school scholarships.  We are so blessed to have you supporting our ministry. The timing of your gift is perfect as many schools begin on October 1st.

 It was just last week that a village pastor called me asking for prayer about finding finances to send his children to school.  This is truly an answer to many prayers. 

 Blessings in Jesus!

 Toby and Kiersten"

We love seeing our kids get connected to what God is doing around the world through the Alliance and are working now to come up with Alliance Missions projects that fit with next year’s VBS themes. This spring we’ll publish that information in our monthly newsletter and email it to all of the children’s pastors/directors.

Keep an eye on your inboxes!

New Lead Pastors in the field

Jack Klose (Lead Pastor)
Richland Alliance Church, Richland, WA

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Jack is married to his wife Kami. They have 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys) ranging in ages from 7-22 years old. He enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, coaching and playing soccer, playing the guitar and reading. Most recently he was the senior pastor at Evangelical Free Church of Keokuk.



Pastors in Print

Congratulations to the following pastors from the field that are publishing books!

Release date: August 18, 2019  Get your copy  here !

Release date: August 18, 2019
Get your copy here!

Extraordinary Love: Live every moment with God, Reflections on the first letter of John
by Pieter Theron

In a world filled with anger, outrage, fear, and anxiety is it really possible to overcome the hatred, contempt, divisions, and conflicts ripping apart our relationships and communities? Is it possible to live with love, joy, peace, confidence, and contentment in the midst of all the pain and suffer? Yes! It is possible. And the way is through extraordinary love.

Dr. Pieter F. Theron is a South African currently living in Tiller, Oregon where he is the pastor at South Umpqua Community Church. He served as a missionary for twenty-six years in Zambia, the Philippines, and Mongolia. During these years of intercultural ministries, he was involved in theological education, leadership development, and church ministries, serving in various capacities from faculty to interim president. Following his missionary service, Pieter served for one year as a professor of Missiology (Missions) at Simpson University in Redding before moving to Tiller.

Pieter is married to Haniki, and they have two daughters, Anri and Sonja, who live in South Africa. Pieter is a graduate from the North-West University and the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

For more information click here!


Release date: November 5, 2019 Pre-order your copy  here !

Release date: November 5, 2019
Pre-order your copy here!

The Heart of Recovery
by Deborah and David Beddoe


Drawn from the personal experience of the authors and current research, The Heart of Recovery calls us to set aside judgment and mend recovering addicts and their families with the stuff God uses to heal: compassion and community. It's a call to serve the ones who cannot repay, to forgive 70 times 7, to fling the door wide-open to the prodigal, and to remember the purpose of grace. A supportive community--family, friends, the church, and more--encourages and sustains long-term recovery. Through compassion, we bring hope for healing.

David Beddoe, now a pastor, has worked in recovery ministry for nearly a decade following his own fifteen-year battle with prescription drug addiction. Deborah Beddoe has been a writer for numerous nonprofit recovery ministries including rescue missions and Prison Fellowship. Their story has been featured in Guideposts and Christianity Today. The Beddoes have four grown and nearly grown children and live in Poulsbo, Washington, across the Puget Sound from Seattle.

New Lead Pastors in the field

Andrew Wilson (Lead Pastor)
CrossPoint Alliance Church, Lewiston, ID

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Prior to accepting the lead role at CrossPoint Andrew served in various roles in the church and education. Most recently he served as the worship and communication pastor at CrossPoint Alliance Church. Andrew, his wife Anna, and two kids are excited for what’s to come in this new season.



Brad Pust (Lead Pastor)
Green Community Church, Roseburg, OR

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Born in Roseburg, OR Brad has lived in the Pacific Northwest his whole life.  After serving at Hiddencreek Community Church as the youth pastor he, his wife Sandra and two daughters will moving back to his hometown and serve as lead pastor at Green Community Church.


Steve Ganz (Lead Pastor)
Clover Pass Community Church, Ketchikan, AK

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Steve and his wife Malana have been married for 45 years. They have 6 grown children and a few grandchildren. They moved to Clover Pass in May as the interim at Clover Pass and have been asked to stay as the full time lead pastor.

Children's Disciplemaking Leadership Certificate (CDLC) Scholarship

The CMAlliance Kids ministry of The Alliance offers a 12-month certificate program designed to help leaders grow in the area of children’s disciplemaking and leadership. The program focuses on theology of ministry to children, philosophy of ministry to children, and tools of ministry to children. Click here to learn more!

The Alliance Northwest is offering a limited number of scholarships to those who are interested. To find out more about the scholarship contact Hannah Cockerham.

Dream Incentive Grant

If you have specific dream to introduce people in your community to Jesus but lack the cash to get it rolling The Alliance national office is offering financial grants to help fuel outreach in your neighborhood. Click here to fill out the online application and or download the frequently asked questions here.

  • Application deadline - September 13, 2019

  • Grant decision - December 13, 2019

  • Public announcement and funds distributed - January 15, 2020

New Lead Pastors in the field

Jeremiah Porter (Lead Pastor)
Christ’s Community Church, Granite Falls, WA

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Jeremiah most recently served as the lead pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in The Dalles, OR. He and his wife Kimberly have four children, ages 8-12. 



Trent Siverson (Lead Pastor)
North Seattle Church, Seattle, WA

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Trent has been on staff at North Seattle Church since 2012 and interned years prior. Both him and his wife heather were born and raised in Seattle and married in 2012.



Will Crawford (Lead Pastor)
Island Church of Whidbey, Langley, WA

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Will Crawford grew up in the Alliance in Canada and served at many Alliance Churches in Canada before his most recent role as the Executive Pastor of Missions at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR. Will and his wife, Jennifer, have four daughters ages 12-22. 




Edmond Cheung (Lead Pastor)
Portland Chinese Alliance Church

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Edmond immigrated to Portland from Hong Kong when he was 18 and came to faith through the ministry of the Portland Chinese Alliance Church. He has served as the lead pastor of several Chinese churches in Ohio and Texas. Edmond and his wife Grace have two sons.

Good News from the Field, Easter Edition 2019

We asked churches from around the Alliance Northwest about their Easter celebrations and here are some of their responses:

Compass Church
Brian Kilde, Lead Pastor

Celebrating Easter at Compass was filled with friendship and enthusiasm! Our Good Friday family service had us contemplating forgiveness through the wisdom of our children! 

Click here to watch a video from Compass Church

An egg hunt and photo opp added fun to our front steps as we invited our neighborhood to discover God! We maxed out our space with family and guests while we worshiped and declared the message of the one true King! Everyone left with assurance that there is room for them in the Kingdom of Heaven! 

Garland Church
Rod Cosgrove, Lead Pastor

We had a really great worship gathering.  Each participant was given some cloth strips that they wrapped around their wrist on the way into worship. These cloths signified the “death wrappings” that we’re so often obsessed with and continually peering back into the tomb, looking for life, which isn’t to be found in tombs.  Instead, look to Jesus, and he’s moving on and we’re to meet him. 

One written testimony stands out: “Easter sure helped me. It was spot on. I thought, how can this message apply to everyone when surely it only applies to strugglers like me who keep visiting a foul, dead situation?  I was astounded to see the response.  We all have something to let go of, and we probably don't speak of it much because it makes us feel like losers.  The letting go process provided was a real and tangible way to face it.  I’m thankful.”

Richland Alliance Church
Randy Christie, Lead Pastor

Six weeks of praying, planning, and inviting people to our Easter breakfast and worship was greatly blessed by God at Richland Alliance Church.  Our congregation of about 60 hosted a dozen or more visitors from the community:  one a recent departure from Mormonism, one works at our local Burger King (mother of 5), and one attracted by the advertising in our neighborhood.  One visitor made a decision to become a follower of Jesus.  Needless to say, our congregation is rejoicing!

Living Room Church
Dan Gregory, Lead Pastor

We had 105 in attendance, 3 baptisms and 2 child dedications on Easter Sunday!

 

Dallas Alliance
Gerad Neely, Lead Pastor

We talked about the freedom found only in the Resurrected King. Had around 200 people at church, 3 baptisms, and one new salvation. One of the baptisms was the new salvation.  Overall a great Resurrection Sunday.

  

New Hope Church
Endre Norem, Lead Pastor

We baptized two men and influenced a lot of people that are first-time visitors and families or friends that occasionally come. We had a wonderful brunch beforehand. Now the work of follow up begins. My message was "apologetic" in style pointing to the ancient evidence for Christ and His resurrection.

 

Salem Alliance Church
Steve Fowler, Lead Pastor

7000 people came to Salem Alliance for Good Friday and Easter services.  87 individuals came forward during our worship services on Easter to begin a new friendship with Jesus.  We were thrilled to be able to extend a personal invitation to attend an Alpha dinner and group this next week as well as invite others who may have spiritual questions.

 

East Park Church
David Lawson, Lead Pastor

We had a great Easter—3 services with 600 people (100 more than last year).  Lots of new families and guests—including a 20% increase in our children’s ministry, from the effort we made to invite the non-church families from last year’s Kids Camp (VBS).  We shared a gospel message and two adults made professions of faith.  Easter was the last of a three week series called, “Hope, The Resurrection Changes Everything.” Two other adults made clear first time professions of faith during the first couple weeks of that series.

  

Chico Alliance Church
John Gee, Interim Lead Pastor

Many families reunited! We opened our nursery for the first time in 5 years! Also had a great altar call! 

 

Alliance Christian Fellowship
Brian Cook, Lead Pastor

It was a big week for ACF. We met at Eagle River High which will be our new location this Summer as we remodel our building and repair earthquake damage. We saw 43 first time commitments to Jesus and had 2,302 people in attendance. (Alaska problems) We were also able to share a great story of a man who overcame some huge challenges including a bear mauling. While watching the video our life and safety team informed me that a bear had been spotted in the parking lot. You can’t make this stuff up.

Video of Blake’s story here

 

Arbor Heights Community Church
John Lindow, Lead Pastor

We did a cardboard testimony this year as part of the service with about 15-20 people silently sharing on cardboard how Christ, through the resurrection, took their wounds and transformed them into beautiful scars. It was one of the most moving things we have ever done as a church.

 

Mercer Creek Church
Todd King, Lead Pastor

Our win: 5% of our entire county joined us for Easter!

 

East Hills Alliance
Steve Diehl, Lead Pastor

I think the most exciting thing for us at East Hills and The Grove was the number of guests who showed up.  We encouraged people to invite neighbors and friends and that happened.  In fact, one couple must have been invited directly by God.  They said they lived in the neighborhood of East Hills for years and had never been in a church before, but decided to show up Easter morning.  We are praying that the resurrection life message, in worship and word, was clear and compelling!

 

Lighthouse Christian Center
Brandon Sales, Lead Pastor

We are praising God for his faithfulness in using us as vessels to share His glory!

 (1) We had over 2500 attendees this weekend, which is the largest crowd we’ve had in 5 years

We count this as a blessing, not because numbers are the “end goal”, but because numbers reveal the confidence our congregants have in what God is doing at LCC in the midst of a 1st year pastoral transition.  Also, this number encourages us that our city's community is also excited about what is happening at LCC.

(2) We had 22 baptisms this weekend!

22 congregants declaring their love and surrender to God’s Kingdom publicly! We ended each service this weekend with 5-9 baptisms, and did so as our worship teams led us into praise.

Shouts, applause, and music welcomed each person as they came up from the water and into new life!

Confessions of a Seasoned KidMin Worker

Originally published in Children’s Ministry Magazine, March/April 2019.
Alliance Northwest highly recommends youth ministry workers
sign up for a free subscription to Children’s Ministry Magazine at this link.

12 hard-won pieces of wisdom from a veteran leader’s heart to yours

By Debbie Mecca

(Debbie has worked with children and youth for 31 years in churches in New York and Connecticut. She’s currently the director of children and youth ministries at Saugerties United Methodist Church in Saugerties, New York

Not long ago, someone asked me to think back to when I first started in children’s ministry…over 30 years ago.  The person asked me to share all the things I thought I needed to be effective—and what I learned I actually needed instead.  I began to think about all the discoveries I’d made over the years—some happy, some uncomfortable, but all important.  The result is this list, which is part confession and part advice column.  It might save you a bit of wasted effort or ease a frustration you’re dealing with.  It may even nudge along your own discovery.  So here goes: the shortlist of lessons learned along my 30-year journey in children’s ministry. 

  1. I thought I needed to develop my own vision for the children’s programming.
    What I really needed was to develop a shared vision with our church.

  2. I thought I needed the approval of the pastor and church leadership.
    What I really needed was the active support and involvement of the pastor and church leadership.

  3. I thought I needed “bodies” filling Sunday school rooms each week.
    What I really needed was adults who cared about children and sharing God’s Word with them.

  4. I thought I needed flashy Sunday school curriculum. 
    What I really needed was to learn how to provide effective teacher training.

  5. I thought I needed a big budget.
    What I really needed was to learn how to be creative.

  6. I thought everyone was fit to teach Sunday school and be involved in Children’s Ministry.
    What I really needed to know is children’s safety comes first, and we must choose all volunteers wisely after completing background checks.

  7. I thought I needed to simply put out the word and volunteers would flock to Children’s Ministry.
    What I really needed was help promoting and advertising the joys of our children’s programs.

  8. I thought I only needed to provide the programs and the children would come.
    What I really needed was to involve entire families in various programs and activities throughout the year.

  9. I thought it didn’t matter what space we used or how it looked.
    What I really needed to know is appropriate and clean spaces project an image of caring, not just for the children but also for the space where we worship our God.

  10. I thought I needed lots of meetings and planning sessions.
    What I really needed was time spent in prayer and discernment.

  11. I thought I knew all I needed to know at the time.
    What I really needed to know is consistent study and continuing education were important to keep me up to date in the ever changing and evolving area of Children’s Ministry.

  12. I thought I could do the job alone.
    What I really needed was a mentor or coach and a group of other children’s ministers to help me, to laugh and cry with me, to share with me, to pray for me, to guide me, to keep me centered, and to let me know I wasn’t alone on this journey.

 

Reach Didn't Get Canceled, It Just Got Remixed

Although weather forced a cancelation of the actual Reach retreat for Alliance Northwest high schoolers, many youth groups still took advantage of the weekend and saw God at work:

  • Mercer Creek (Ellensburg, WA): “We took the opportunity that the extra snow brought and did a sledding event. We had a good amount of students show up and were able to create a fun environment for students to connect with each other and leaders. We are looking for something in the coming months to contribute to the spiritual transformation that comes with Reach.” – Nick Faucett

  • Snoqualmie Valley Alliance (Snoqualmie, WA): “The crew from SVA Church had a great weekend together and God absolutely moved! On Saturday, our students and leaders shopped at local retailers and grocery stores for supplies to make care packages for people who are living outside in this cold weather in Seattle. We packaged them intentionally and wrote out notes that we prayed over and included in each care package. We then prayerfully hit the streets of Seattle with these packages and went where the Lord led! We worked on breaking through the barriers and comfortability of speaking to homeless people. We knocked on tents and asked about peoples lives and stories and got to pray for many people who were honored at our efforts to make them known and loved!  We then went to a fun dinner in the city and did an escape room challenge all together that evening! Both the students and their parents were amazed at the day and how God used us to tangibly love our community. Though the decision to cancel reach was a tough one, know that our students grew in compassion and living like Christ this weekend because of it! :)” – Baly Botten

Both the students and their parents were amazed at the day and how God used us to tangibly love our community.
  • Compass (Vancouver, WA): “We took our students to Great Wolf Lodge! It was a fun time of community and care.” – Annie Banceu

  • Moses Lake Alliance Church (Moses Lake, WA): “We kept it simple and went to see a movie together. Afterword we got Frosties at Wendy’s and connected over the movie and life in general. I was encouraged by this because these were 3 very different guys at very different places in maturity. But to see them interacting with each other (and dare I say actually getting to some Biblical truth from a secular movie) was a win.” – Tyler Ellis

  • Journey (Tacoma, WA): “The snow has melted up in Tacoma, and while we were bummed to miss Reach, we still enjoyed a great weekend together. One of our Elders hosted us at their family home for movies and pizza on Saturday night. Sunday morning Josh Mann came over from Fox Island and shared the message he prepared for the retreat weekend over breakfast with our high school group. We had a small turnout, but it was just the right group to hear Josh's message, and I was so grateful for the small setting. Monday afternoon we got together to play some archery tag and an escape room. Not what we planned—but still great time together!” – Joel Johnson 

  • Dallas Alliance Church (Dallas, OR): "We did end up doing something that weekend which was really good for the students. We were super sad to not get to be with everyone else, but it was still a blessing to get away for the weekend.  We were able to find a beach house in Lincoln City and took Saturday to Monday to relax and do our own little series on “Recalibrating Our Compass to True North”….Our retreat was by no means perfect and we really missed those small group huddles and tribe times, but overall it was a great weekend." - Miriam Lawson

  • Union Hill (Redmond, WA): "We took our students and went up to Bellingham, where we stayed at a hotel and had fun in the pool, walked around Fairhaven and some parks, and did an escape room together!  We also talked through the first two questions in the list of questions to guide Reach - "What do you want?" and "Who do you say that I am?" We leaders agree it was a really fruitful time." - Lauren Dudugjian

National Office News Updates


From Gary Friesen/C&MA General Counsel:

Clergy Housing Allowance 

Attached is the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, upholding the clergy housing allowance. This ends the latest—and certainly not the last—attempt to overturn this tax benefit. Since this is a frequent question from our licensed workers, you may want to consider distributing this information in some way. 

Older (but still relevant) stories from The Alliance:

From Mike Sohm, President of CAMA Services:

Dear Friends,

More than 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2014—about 10 percent of the country’s population. Thousands continue to flee every day. Why? In a word, desperation. Inflation is out of control, families are going hungry, and medicine is hard to find. In response to this crisis, Colombia has opened its borders and now hosts more than 2 million Venezuelans. That’s where we first heard Neidis’s story.

A Desperate Job Search

Neidis arrived in Armenia, Colombia, with her husband, 16-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old son in December 2017. They had just $16 in their pockets. The first week the family settled into their new city, Neidis sent out dozens of résumés. She hoped her former job as an agricultural engineer would help her find a new job. But after continuing to hear she was overqualified, Neidis decided to remove her education and 14 years of experience from her résumé.

Neidis was desperate. Her husband suffers from chronic pain in his hands and can’t work. Unable to give up, she finally managed to land jobs as a store clerk and domestic worker. One day while she was paying her rent, Neidis was invited to visit the Alliance El Encuentro de Vida church. Neidis, who had come to know Jesus when she was a child, decided to go. At church she was welcomed, loved, and invited to attend an event for Venezuelans sponsored by another Alliance church in her city.

Relief At Last

Upon arriving, Neidis, her family and friends, and nearly 400 other Venezuelans were surprised to see all that was available to them: medical, dental, and chiropractic care; counseling, eye exams, legal advice; and even haircuts. More than 150 qualified volunteers from various churches across the city joined together to provide these professional services. Neidis was able to have her vision checked and received a free pair of glasses. There were also programs available for children and teens, and families received clothing, medicine, and dinner.

Can you imagine what a relief this was for a woman carrying the full weight of her family’s needs?

The Colombian Alliance wants to continue supporting refugees like Neidis. Will you consider joining them?
Give Today

Your gifts will help support hundreds of displaced Venezuelans living in the city of Armenia. Many families are living together in a cluster of apartment buildings, just getting by day-to-day. You can help sponsor more events like the one Neidis and her family attended as well as provide food, shelter, and job training.

Some predict nearly 4 million Venezuelans will reside in Colombia by 2021. Through your gifts, we can partner with the local church to give hope and practical help to Venezuelan families.

EquippingU LIVE: Pre-Council and Podcast

Previous sessions: November and March webinars available to view.

November’s theme was “Outward Focused Church”, broadcasted from Crown College.

March’s theme was “Dealing with Sexual Sin and Pornography”. Nick Stumbo from Pure Desire is presenting. Nick shared his journey from addiction to forgiveness and healing and provide practical steps and resources to help our churches become places of healing.

EquippingU Podcast:  Season 1 is ready! Alan Rathbun and Terry Smith dialogue with leaders on topics ranging from worship, soul care, and prayer, to church multiplication and revitalization, and racial reconciliation. These are more than good conversations—each have application points to help pastors grow as leaders and establish a healthy growing church.           
 
EquippingU Pre-Council:  EquippingU will have three morning tracks: “Developing Multi-Cultural Churches,” led by Bryan Loritts; “Leading Revitalization in the Local Church,” led by Dr. Thom Rainer; and “Establishing a Church Multiplication DNA,” led by Matt Hannan. There will also be a catered lunch and afternoon session on “Racial Reconciliation,” led by Bryan Loritts.

Alliance Life Magazine Receives 10 Awards for its Journalism

At its annual convention April 4–6, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, the Evangelical Press Association presented Alliance Life, the official magazine of The Alliance, with the following awards:

  • Award of Excellence (first place), Denominational Magazine category

  • Second Place, Candid Photo category for “Baptism in a Bucketloader” by Herbert Shao

  • Fourth Place, Evangelism Article category for “Everyday Evangelism” by Martha Renaud

In addition, at its annual convention April 18-20 in Chicago, Illinois, the Associated Church Press presented Alliance Life with the following awards:

  • Award of Merit (second place), Denominational Magazine category

  • Award of Excellence (first place), Magazine/Journal Design, Spread, or Story category for “My Husband Shot John Lennon” by Gloria Chapman; design by Kenny Crane

  • Award of Merit (second place), Magazine/Journal Design Entire Issue category for November/December 2017 issue, design by Kenny Crane/Stephanie Reindel

  • Award of Merit (second place), Illustration with Article or Cutline category for “My Husband Shot John Lennon”; illustration by Kenny Crane

  • Award of Merit (second place), Feature Article category forFreely Forgiven” by Emmy Houk

  • Award of Merit (second place), Convention or Meeting Coverage category for the “Council 2017 Special Issue”; photography by Stephanie Reindel

  • Honorable Mention (third place), Biblical Interpretation category for “True Confession” by Russell Huizing

Alliance Life currently reaches 50,000 households, encouraging its readers to celebrate the joyous life that can be found in Jesus Christ and reporting the forward momentum of His Church through the worldwide ministries of The Alliance.

Free ChurchEXCEL subscription to Alliance Northwest churches

From Ken Baldes/Vice President for Operations/Treasurer
As a former church treasurer and leader in my local Alliance church, I know the various challenges church leaders face serving their local church, including  finances and administration.

The Alliance has been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 1988, and we continue to enjoy a growing relationship with this organization. I am excited to tell you that ECFA is now providing a FREE ChurchEXCEL subscription to Alliance church leaders to help equip you in your church’s  financial administration. This resource offers eBooks, webinars-on-demand, electronic tax guides, and so much more.

Sign up for ChurchEXCEL today!

 

New International Ministry Opportunities for 2019 Deployment

IM would like to announce that new postings of international ministry opportunities for 2019 deployment will be added to its website during January.  The top twenty opportunities will be viewable from January 1, with others being added during the course of the month. 

The full total of more than 60 new opportunities for service as Alliance international workers will be posted for viewing and application by January 31. 

 

Save with Alliance Purchasing Program

The National Office has negotiated special group pricing with several companies that may benefit your church—including Dell, Microsoft, Staples, T-Mobile, Xerox, and Stewardship Payroll Service. Two new partnerships with Arria Live Media and Sennheiser Electronic GmBH & Co. (Sennheiser) provide churches with low-cost, high-quality products for their audio needs. 

For more information on these special rates, contact Kris Rickert.

Field Forum 2019 Recap and Session Audio

This week at Field Forum, Alliance Northwest went Deeper. For three days at the Red Lion in Portland, we came together to reunite and realign under our common mission as family. We ate together, communed together, worshipped together. Our keynote speaker Sunder Krishnan brought four Spirit-filled messages on cultivating the mind of Christ in our work, our relationships, our emotions, and the way we bless others. And we ate donuts!

Thanks to Travis Vice and the worship team for ushering us into God’s presence each session. Thanks to Thomas Terry for his spoken word on Monday night. Thanks to all our breakout leaders and how they shared their expertise with us. And thanks to the Red Lion hotel and staff for caring for us.

Below, you can find audio from each of the sessions, as well as some pictures from the event.

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Renew 2019 Talks Available to Stream

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Another Renew at the Oregon Coast is in the books; a time for rest, contemplation, and reconnecting with Alliance Northwest family (despite the storms outside).

Matt Hannan brought wise counsel with his series on Preserving Your Soul in the Midst of Crisis and Calamity, beginning with the prayer: “Lord, I want you to do in me everything you need to do, in order to do through me everything you want to do.” All four sessions are available for streaming and/or download below.

Thanks once again to everyone who came to the coast and shared their time with the Alliance Northwest family. Next up, Field Forum (March 18-20)!

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New Tax Laws Affecting Your Church in 2019

Your personal tax withholdings, your church parking lot, and a family medical leave tax (if you live in Washington) represent legal developments that will affect you this year. Check out these new laws to ensure you don’t get caught unaware. 

  1. Determining if Your Church Needs to Pay the New Parking Tax:  In 2017, the federal government implemented a new tax that could affect your church if you provided parking to your employees in 2018. Although the guidance from the government has been minimal, we now have some basic guidelines to follow to help you determine if your church will have to pay.  The attached link will provide you with some of the basics: Church Parking Lot Tax. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Julie at the Field Office.

  2.  NEW Oregon 2019 W-4: Federal tax law changes, including how withholding allowances are calculated, mean that some Oregonians haven’t been withholding enough from their paychecks to cover their state personal income tax liabilities. Oregon now has its own W-4 for state income tax withholding. Form OR-W-4 will allow employees to determine their correct Oregon withholding. You can download and print the form at www.oregon.gov/dor/forms.

  3. NEW Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave Tax: Beginning January 1st, 2019, all churches with employees in Washington must begin withholding and/or paying taxes to the Washington Employment Security Department to cover a new Family & Medical Leave program. This program will allow employees who have worked 820 hours or more in Washington to receive benefits if they end up on family and medical leave (beginning in 2020). In order to cover this program, the new tax begins with paychecks given to Washington employees as of January 1st, 2019. Information on this can be found at https://www.paidleave.wa.gov/employers. If you have further questions, feel free to contact Julie at the field office.

How Was Your 2018? Annual Reports Due Feb 22

It’s that time again: Time to fill out the 2018 Local Alliance Church Annual Report.

Last year, Alliance Northwest had a 94.6% completion rate. Other districts in The Alliance reached 100%. Are we really going to let them show us up like that this year?

Starting January 8, 2019, the 2018 version of the Annual Report will be available for churches to complete. Lead pastors and editors will receive an instructional email on that date from Terry Smith, vice president for Church Ministries. The deadline to finish the Annual Report is February 22, 2019.

Lead Pastors can visit the MyCMA Website to download and complete the report.

For problems accessing the report, email lisac@alliancenw.org or call Lisa at 503-685-9160.