The Regional Minister position in the Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) is a unique position, situated “in the middle” of our church structure, between the local congregation and the General Church (denomination). Some liken the Regional Minister to a “Bishop” in the more ecclesiastically ordered tradition, and while there certainly are similarities, it is still a unique institution in our congregationally-based polity. There are 32 Regions of the Disciples Of Christ, and even though new models of leadership are being developed to address the new possibilities and challenges of the 21st century church, all of them have, in one way shape or form, a Regional Minister.
When I was considering the call to be the Regional Minister for the Christian Church Capital Area I spoke with former Regional Minister and General Minister and President, the Rev. Dick Hamm, about what he thought about this unique ministry. One of the most profound things he offered was to encourage me not to think of the Regional Minister as “pastor to the pastors,” as is often said. He invited me to think of the Regional Minister as “pastor to the *relationship* between pastor and congregation.” I would broaden that to also include “pastor to the relationship between clergy and the institution they serve” for our non-congregationally based clergy. This rings of deep truth, both to me as a local church pastor and now as a Regional Minister. The word “relationship” in this construct underscores the multitude of tasks, roles, and perspectives a Regional Minister brings to the position.
The Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) Capital Area (www.cccadisciples.org) called me as its Regional Minister in March of 2015 and I began serving in June of that year. I stand in a long line of Regional Ministers and Interim Regional Ministers, such as Rev. Dr. Robert Perry, Rev. Lari Grubbs, and the Rev. Dr. Chris Hobgood, and many before them. I have chosen to celebrate my ordination Anniversary – May 19, 1991 – by inviting persons from my own life – family, friends, members and leaders from my previous ministries – as well as from the Capital Area Region and Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) to donate to the Capital Area Region’s Regional Minister Position Endowment Fund. This Fund helps to undergird the Regional Minister position regardless of who serves in it, but certainly it is a critical resource at this time of financial insecurity in the life of the Capital Area.
The Fund was created by action of the CCCA Regional Board and Regional Assembly and is invested with the Christian Church Foundation. It is a restricted fund and 5% of corpus distributed each Dec. 31st to support the next year’s budget. At the end of March 2018, the fund totaled $40,768. Clearly this means the fund needs to grow for it to use only interest/dividends and not diminish the principal.
I invite you to give to this fund, in memory of those Regional Ministers who are no longer living and/or in honor of those who are still alive today. Please note that you can give two ways: by sending a check to the Regional Office:
Christian Church Capital Area 8814 Kensington Pkwy., Ste. 208 Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6743 Or you can give via credit card at: https://docgeneralassembly.givingfuel.com/capital-area
Every gift – large, medium, or small – is deeply appreciated and will help support this important ministry in the life of our church. And thank you for your prayers, your words and actions of support and love, and for your financial gift.