by Revs. Don Dewey and Susan Gonzales Dewey, Co-Regional Ministers
Think on these things…
In the midst of these hot, dog days of summer, we hope you are all finding time to relax, rest, and perhaps get away or enjoy time with family and friends.
Therefore, we want to invite you to take a break from all the bad news that seems to at times be overwhelming and let us offer up a little bit of good news in what’s happening around your Region.
For the PSWR, as with most Regions, summer means camp! We are nearing the end of our summer camp season and they have each been a great success. We did have to cancel our Mini camp because of the fire up near Big Bear. Camps are good news because they provide, year after year, opportunities for faith formation that often lasts a lifetime for our children and young people. They are good news because dedicated Directors and Counselors take a week out of their busy lives to guide, teach, encourage and love our young people in their Christian faith.
In addition, our Loch Leven camp hosts young people from two of our ministry Units, All Peoples Community Center and Project IMPACT. Both of these amazing ministries connect with families and children who need assistance, support, and opportunities to build better lives. We are grateful to be partners in ministry with them.
Our youth and young adults have also had another busy summer with a Spring retreat in May, still others traveled to Israel-Palestine, while others traveled on an educational tour to the East Coast while another team traveled to Hawaii for a service project of leading a Vacation Bible school! Each of these opportunities is building leaders for our church today and tomorrow!
We also celebrate the good news that through our Regions New Church Development Committee, we have launched four (4) brand new ministries in our Region!
• Beloved Christian Church, San Diego – Rev. Dale Suggs
• Life Ministries Christian Church, Los Angeles – Pastor Ronnie Taylor
• Missiongathering Christian Church, Pasadena – Rev. Rich McCullen
• Casa de Fe, Baldwin Park – Angeles Coronado, Jr.
Through the work of our new ACTS 2 Program and generous support of our Regional Board, we have been able to support 8 growing ministries in our Region:
Young Jae Kim, South Bay Korean Christian Church
Ernesto Ramirez, Iglesia de Valle Christian Church
Heather Robertson, Wahiawa Christian Church
Courtney Stanton, E. 105thStreet Christian Church
Eddie Anderson, McCarty Memorial Christian Church
Gabriel Lopez, E. Whittier Christian Church
Sung Wan Cha, Wilshire Korean Christian Church
Nasario Orozco, Iglesia Encuentro con Dios Christian Church
More good news! The Region is committed to also working with congregations who’s Regionally owned facilities needed some renovation work so that new and growing ministries could flourish:
• Temple City Christian Church, El Monte
• Casa de Refugio, Covina
• Casa de Fe, Baldwin Park
• Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel, Rialto
• FCC & Iglesia Seguidores de Cristo, Lynwood
• Rivera Christian Church, Pico Rivera
• Community Worship Center, Gardena
• LA Korean Christian Church, La Crescenta
This summer we celebrated two more classes in DSF’s CMS (Certificate of Ministry) program. We have now had over 100 pastors and laity who have participated in this educational program graduate!
We have been blessed to have a number of our pastors and laity involved and actively engaged in the Poor Peoples Campaign led by Disciple leader The Rev. Dr. William Barber! Even now, our Region is hosting an Immigration Immersion Project involving youth and young adults from across our Denomination as well as those right here in the PSWR with the purpose of understanding, educating, and seeking responses to the issues of immigration and the impact on our brothers and sisters of color.
The PSWR was well represented at both our National Hispanic Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona and our National Convocation in Birmingham, Alabama. The PSWR was involved in both leadership positions and program participants! Our National NAPAD Convocation is coming up in August and again we will be well represented by staff, pastors and laity from the PSWR!
There is lots more good news around our Region including several Installations, Ordinations, and FCC San Bernardino celebrating their 150th Anniversary.
This is just a glimpse of some of the good news happening here in your Region and the way in which together we are answering the call of our General Church’s 20/20 vision for being a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.
We continue to seek ways to live into the four priorities of our General Church:
• Formation of 1,000 new congregations by 2020
• Transformation of 1,000 current congregations by 2020
• Leadership development necessary to realize these new and renewed congregations
• Becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist Church
As well as our Regions goals:
· To be One Church
· To be a Missional Church
· To develop vital, healthy, growing congregations
· To be a well organized and administered Region
So we invite you hold onto these words from the Apostle Paul:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”~ Philippians 4:8-9
Together on the journey,
Don and Susan
Your Regional Ministers