On April 7-9, 2016, nearly 200 Disciples gathered in Sacramento for the 162nd Annual Gathering of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada, hosted by Arden Christian Church. Pastor Jeff and Pastor Brenda attended and served as delegates for Niles Discovery Church.
The Gathering began with a panel discussion for the Region’s clergy at First Christian Church, Sacramento. Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, the immediate past General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ, led the panel in discussing the challenges faced by the church in a society that is increasingly interfaith, secular, and fearful. Pastors Brenda and Jeff also participated in a pre-Gathering workshop to gather input for the Disciples’ national “Mission First” initiative. Uplifting and inspiring sermons were offered by Rev. Kinnamon on Friday evening, followed by CCNC-N Regional Minister, Rev. Dr. LaTaunya Bynum on Saturday morning, and Rev. Bruce Barkhauer, Minister for Faith and Giving for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Saturday evening.
On Saturday, individual workshops and Circles of Healing and Advocacy dealt with important issues in our Region such as Muslim relationships, welcoming LGBT people openly in our congregations, creating a culture of generosity in the church, and a workshop led by the youth on Technology and the Church, a tutorial on everything from sending texts, understanding social media, and navigating your smart phone.
During the Gathering’s Business Session (renamed the “Worshipful Work Session’), reports from the various committees and ministries of the region were received, new staff and leaders were introduced, a new Executive Committee was elected, and the budget was approved for the coming fiscal year. The Region has a projected deficit of $2,536.00, which is much improved over the budgeted deficit last year.
In 2017, the 163rd Annual Gathering of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada will be held closer to home, at First Christian Church of Concord. If you are interested in serving as a delegate for the Gathering, please speak with Pastor Jeff or Pastor Brenda.