Greetings, Disciples of Arizona!
Happy New Year! I begin by offering my prayers for your health and well-being in 2023 – may it be a year filled with peace, joy, and beauty in each of our lives!
In Regional ministry, the new year begins with anticipation of many things, including our first post-pandemic clergy retreat next week, our first ever Tri-Regional Youth Event on February 18, and an event for children at Foothills Christian Church on February 25. As the year goes on, we’ll enjoy events for Arizona Disciples Women, summer camp for youth and children, and culminate by celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Arizona Convención.
But the beginning of the year in Regional ministry is also a time of accountability, as congregations file annual “ALEX” reports and ministers are required to “renew their standing.” Have you ever wondered what exactly it means to be a minister? One can answer that question in many ways, of course. At some level, we are ALL ministers – the “priesthood of all believers” — as we all are called by God to serve each other. But we also use the term to refer to people who serve the church in a professional manner.
Like teachers, doctors, and lawyers have requirements to be licensed each year, professional ministers have a set of standards that must be met to be granted “standing” each year. In Arizona, the requirements for “standing” include a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education every year, at least 2 of which must be in the area of Anti-Racism or Cross-Cultural education. In addition, all ministers must have attended at least one Level 1 Anti-Racism training through the denomination and must attend a ”Healthy Boundaries” training at least every 4 years. Your Regional Commission on Ministry (RCOM) reviews all ministers every January to ensure that professional standards are met.
We all benefit from the high quality of Disciples ministers in Arizona, and I applaud the work of the RCOM to continually promote and encourage high standards for ministry.
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Minister and President, Christian Church in Arizona
Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers
29 – First Christian Church in Mesa led by Pastor Liz DeWeese
5 – First Christian Church in Scottsdale led by Pastor Jenny Wynn
12 – East Mesa Christian Church led by Pastor Charles Dubbs
19 – Refugees and Week of Compassion Special Offering
26 – Refugees and Week of Compassion Special Offering