The Indiana e-Christian

News and information from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana

Special Day Offering Envelopes

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In past years, offering envelopes for each of the four Special Day Offerings—Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving and Christmas—were mailed to congregations along with the promotional materials for that particular offering.

As an effort to trim costs associated with the special day offerings, Disciples Mission Fund is using the same envelope for all four offerings this year. The envelope features the chalice and St. Andrew’s cross, with the Special Day Offerings named in each of the four corners. A checkbox allows either the congregation or the contributor to indicate the Special Day Offering to receive the gift.

It is important to note that the envelopes received with the Easter Offering materials are the congregation’s envelope supply for the entire year. Additional envelopes will not be mailed with the Pentecost, Thanksgiving and Christmas Offering materials.

The change will result in a savings of approximately $60,000 for the Office of General Minister and President.

If a congregation needs additional envelopes, they can request them from Gerri Lynn Reeves at or 317-713-2444.


Written by ccindiananews

February 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Churches, News

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Chi Rho Jam 2011 – Piece of the Puzzle

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Piece of the Puzzle

Chi Rho Jam 2011 is March 5 and 6 at Allisonville Christian Church, Indianapolis.  This is for all youth in the Region who are currently in grades 6 – 8 and their adult sponsors.  

Jammers will figure out how they’re a “Piece of the Puzzle” while exploring their faith.  Chi Rho Jam promises to be a time of meeting new friends, sharing in important discussions, and enjoying great food! 

Registration is now open, and you can download a registration form and promotional materials by clicking here.

Written by ccindiananews

January 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Christian Church in Indiana News Feed for 2010

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The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Thank you so much for sharing news and information from your congregation in 2010. Please continue to send stories about your congregation in mission that we can share with sisters and brothers across Indiana!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 93 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 223 posts. There were 39 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 12th with 212 views. The most popular post that day was First Christian of South Bend Shares Sale Proceeds.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for camp barbee indiana, african children, camp barbee, emmaus christian church indianapolis, and nicole green.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


First Christian of South Bend Shares Sale Proceeds January 2010


Central Christian, Seymour, to Host African Children’s Choir July 2009


Threads of Healing Ministry Creates Prayer Shawls November 2009


The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana October 2008


Church World Service Needs 40,000 Hygiene Kits February 2010

Written by ccindiananews

January 3, 2011 at 11:58 am

Posted in News

Mission focus puts New Light Christian Church back on track

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INDIANAPOLIS – Homeowners aren’t the only mortgage holders who have to make difficult choices when money is tight.  Congregational borrowers also find themselves challenged to make loan payments when income isn’t keeping up with expenses.  That was the case with New Light Christian Church, Indianapolis.  They had fallen behind in making payments on loans with Church Extension, and needed a plan to catch up.

For a number of years, New Light’s daycare ministry had operated with a balanced budget.  However, following flood damage in 2008 and declining enrollment due to the sluggish economy, the program became more difficult to fund. The church found itself paying daycare salaries with income from its other ministries, including the popular and solvent summer camp program. As they continued to juggle to meet expenses, loan payments were sometimes delayed and payments that were made were going to interest only.  

Churches who borrow from Church Extension of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have the advantage of working with a lender that understands the financial challenges – the business – of being church. To New Light’s credit, they recognized that advantage and took to heart Church Extension’s offer to help them develop a plan that allowed them to reduce their debt, catch up on payments and, most importantly, continue to live out the ministry their community needed most from them.

First and foremost, Church Extension consultants Maribeth Westerfield and Bill Bass helped New Light leadership address the critical question of priorities.  While they understood that the church wanted to continue every one of its ministries, Maribeth and Bill encouraged the congregation to focus on the ministries it could sustain and/or partner with to provide. They also encouraged the congregation to step up its stewardship and capital fundraising efforts. Finally, they helped the church establish a plan for regular payments that would get them back on track.

Working the plan, New Light closed its daycare center, deciding to focus its energy and resources primarily on ministries that serve older children and youth in their neighborhood. In addition to the summer camp, those ministries include a high school mentoring ministry (with a local McDonald’s as a partner) and a Friday night “A Place to Hang” activity center for older youth. 

With the center closure, they substantially reduced operating expenses. Any surplus from the summer camp ministry now is used for other purposes, as is part of the weekly offerings.  In addition, they organize quarterly concerts and a “Parents’ Night Out in the Hood” overnight childcare service as fundraisers for the building fund.  They’re also well on their way to the completion of a successful capital campaign.

The result?  Drumroll, please!  New Light Christian Church is back on a regular schedule of loan payments.  In fact, the church often makes payments more frequently than required in order to reduce debt more quickly.  Most importantly, their ministry focus and their willingness to be creative and sacrificial in funding these ministries has enabled New Light to make a true difference in the lives of the young people they feel called to serve in their community.

New Light Christian Church is one of several new congregations of the Christian Church in Indiana.  The Region has supported this congregation through financial support provided by the Pentecost offering, and by serving as a co-signer on their building loans.  Rev. Michael Scaife is the founding pastor.

*Reprinted with permission by Church Extension

Written by ccindiananews

December 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Conversation on Regional Youth Ministry to Happen in January

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If you keep doing the same things, you can expect the same results!

In that spirit, Carolyn Reed, Associate Regional Minister, has been wondering how the Christian Church in Indiana might make regional youth ministry more effective for all of Indiana’s Disciples youth. A conversation a few months ago led to a call for a region-wide conversation on regional youth ministries and its direction. Reed believes that the region may be under-serving populations of youth in Disciples’ congregations in Indiana.

The conversations will take place on Saturday, January 8 from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. at Westview Christian Church, 5925 W. 34th St., Indianapolis.

Those currently active in regional youth ministry intend to make this an open conversation, as well as an inclusive conversation. Carolyn and the Indiana Youth Commission would like to hear from both those currently invested in regional youth ministry and those who are not. Carolyn has been on staff in the region leading Indiana’s youth ministry for almost 12 years, and this is the first for this kind of conversation in that time.

It is time!

The invitation to attend and participate in this conversation is open to all. The table is open to help discover future direction for regional youth ministry. To help with planning and to insure adequate setup, please email Carolyn at if you are able to attend.

If your calendar does not permit your attendance, join in prayer for the this conversation. If you would like to offer any thoughts in writing, please send those to Carolyn and they will be taken into account.

Written by ccindiananews

December 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Events, News

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Vistula Christian Church Concludes Worship Life

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Paul Koepke, right, pastor of Vistula Christian Church for 16 years, talks with a youth of the congregation.

Vistula Christian Church sits right on the border between Indiana and Michigan in Bristol. After 148 years of ministry, the congregation closed its life as a worshipping congregation on Sunday, November 28.

The church was organized at Motville, Michigan in 1862. In June 1873, the congregation relocated to Middlebury Station (now Vistula) in Indiana.

At the end of October, the remaining members of the congregation voted to close and decided that the celebration of their congregation’s life and ministry would take place on Sunday, November 28.

Participating in the service of remembrance, thanksgiving and deconsecration were Paul Koepke (pastor), Carolyn Reed (Associate Regional Minister) and Carl Kline (elder). Members shared memories during the closing circle that concluded the service of worship. Paul Koepke was also thanked for his 16 years of service to the congregation as pastor.

Present for the service was Blanche Kline, who at 101 years of age, is the oldest living member of the congregation. A carry-in lunch was shared by the 30 persons in attendance for this final celebration.

The congregation is in the process of selling the church building and making decisions about the distribution of remaining assets.

The Christian Church in Indiana gives thanks for the years of mission and ministry accomplished by this congregation. Their faithful witness will continue in the many lives touched through the life of this church.

Written by ccindiananews

November 30, 2010 at 11:59 am

DisciplesNet Emerging as a Church without Walls

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Is it possible to find God on Facebook? Can you really “Tweet” spiritual truths? Could Myspace turn into a sacred space?

Deb Phelps, the founder and senior pastor of DisciplesNet Church, believes in the largely untapped potential of the internet as a way to share God’s love with a global community too often left unreached by traditional brick-and-mortar churches.

Planted with a vision of tending, mending and extending the nets of Jesus Christ, DisciplesNet is an emerging church within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana. It has the unique distinction to be the first Disciples of Christ congregation with a primary vision of existing as a web-based congregation offering global outreach, a 24/7 prayer network, streaming and recorded worship services, small group ministries, daily devotions, an arts ministry and much more.

While this may sound like a grand vision for an emerging congregation, it’s a vision Phelps believes in strongly with an experienced pastoral leadership team already called into place to assist in the planting, development and the everyday management of DisciplesNet.

Phelps envisioned DisciplesNet while still a student at CTS and quickly grew a heart for individuals with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities. Realizing that these individuals are often under-served, even ostracized, by traditional churches, she began to explore ways in which the internet could be used to reach out to individuals who may not be able to access a physical congregation due to disabilities, geographical locations, traumatic experiences within churches or because their personal or professional lives make it difficult to attend traditional worship services.

As a new model for ministry within the Christian Church, DisciplesNet is faced with many of the challenges and obstacles encountered by other more traditional emerging congregations. The congregation, like its brick-and-mortar counterparts, must work to build community, develop a congregational identity, fulfill the requirements of emerging congregations and grow into a fully self-supporting ministry.

Being primarily web-based also presents challenges such as overcoming language barriers, building community-based activities without face-to-face encounters, intangibly expressing the sacredness and ritual of church life and creating a congregation that is involved, interactive and relational through the use of chat, video, instant messaging, message boards and more.

Currently nesting within Southport Christian Church in Indianapolis, the DisciplesNet leadership team is meeting weekly to work, worship and pray with one another while building several small groups on Facebook to encourage fellowship among Christians in the United States, Canada, Pakistan, Congo, Italy and other nations.

Phelps is quick to express that she believes DisciplesNet will complement the existence of traditional churches, offering a way for all Christians to more easily reach out locally and globally. While DisciplesNet is envisioned as a web-based congregation, the church plans to expand its weekly worship services within Central Indiana and hopes to build relationships with churches globally so that DisciplesNet members will have the opportunity to grow into community if and when they are able to and desire to do so.

Interested persons can visit the DisciplesNet site at Phelps and her team are working fervently to complete remaining components of the web-based congregation in the very near future.

Written by ccindiananews

November 19, 2010 at 10:03 am