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The Christian Courier The Christian
Vol. 67, No. 6Courier The Christian
FirstCourier The Christian Courier The C
Christian Church
An Open andCourier
Affirming Congregation
The Christian Courier The June 2017

Longest Day Dinner and Worship
Tuesday, June 20
5:30 p.m.
Bring your picnic dinner and maybe a favorite item to share.
Maybe we should have…
✴a Potato Salad Cook-Off?
✴a Coleslaw Shred-a-Thon?
Whatever food you decide to bring, be sure to remember a
blanket or lawn chair to make yourself comfy, your sun hat,
and your favorite lawn games. Yes, we’re planning for a
nice, sunny evening and we’re going to welcome summer
with gusto and great joy.
Come join us for a time of fun, feasting, and worship, as we
gather together to give God thanks for the changing of the season, the gifts of God’s good earth,
and all the reasons we love living in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the summertime.
And, yes. There will be a Plan B, just in case Mother Nature brings us “surprise” showers.

Summer Schedule Begins
Sunday, June 4
10:20 a.m. Gathering Time
10:30 a.m. Worship
11:45 a.m. Fellowship Time

On hiatus until after Labor Day:
• Sunday School • Chancel Choir • Bell Choir
• Tuesday Bible Study • Pub Theology

In other news:
• Checking in Group will meet in June and take a break July and August
Shoe’s News

First Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)
Shoe’s News
“Another Project”
495 East Bakerview Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
360.734.6820 I didn’t know how last Sunday’s [ed. note: Sunday, May 7] vote was going to go. I had heard some very legitimate
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concerns about becoming a Host Church for Family
Promise. I think the biggest concern was the fact that our
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
A movement for wholeness in a fragmented little church is experiencing a bit of service fatigue. Of all
world. As part of the one body of Christ, we the churches that I’ve served, this one has taken on more
welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God projects for the good of others than any of them. Truth be
welcomed us.
told, I don’t know of any churches that have taken on more
All of Us outwardly focused projects than this one. But there’s a limit
to how much one little church can do. And I think we’re
Rev. Gary Shoemaker
reaching that point.
Having said that, let me also say how darned proud I am of
Rev. Tamalyn Kralman
Director of Education & Community Outreach
you people. If you want to see a church that follows Jesus
Courier Editor by caring for our brothers and sisters who are going through bad times, here it is!
Amelia Nye
Accompanist I never imagined, 18 years ago, that we would have come
Katie Ramstead, Aneesa Ahad as far as we’ve come! And let me be the first to say that it’s
Childcare Providers not because of me. I think that there is a new spirit in this
Rev. Sandy Messick place, and that spirit has lead us to look and love beyond
Regional Minister our walls. Jesus set the theme and you folks are following
Rev. Sharon Watkins it. Way to go!
General Minister and President
Summer Sunday Schedule Now, I think it might be time to just keep up what we’re
10:20 a.m. Gathering Time doing and not try to take on too many more projects. If we
10:30 a.m. Worship all become fatigued, we’re not going to be much good to
11:45 a.m. Fellowship Time
12:30 p.m. Out-to-Lunch Bunch (4th Sunday)
anyone. Besides, just look around at what we’re doing!
2 p.m. Someone Cares! Community Meal Disciples House, Raices Culturales garden (it’s big and
(2nd Sunday) beautiful, and it teaches migrant workers’ children to be
Office Hours proud of what they can accomplish for themselves and
Tuesday - Friday
9 a.m. - noon
their community), Jesus Has Left the Building projects,
Our staff are in and out of the office throughout the CAST teams serving downtown, Family Promise (both as a
week. Please feel free to stop by during their office host church and maybe having the Day Center at Disciples
hours or make an appointment that fits your schedule. House), the probability of Affordable Housing Apartments
Officers being built on our property, Community Meal where our
Renee Hoemann, Moderator guests sit down to a lovely meal and are served with
Don Hoffman, Vice Moderator
Cheryl Perry, Treasurer respect and love. And even though I’m pretty sure I’m
Melissa Henderson, Secretary forgetting something, let me end by saying, “Well done,
To unsubscribe: thou good and faithful servants!”
Contact 360.734.6820, 495 East Bakerview
Road, Bellingham, WA 98226, or I’m proud of you. I’m proud to be your pastor.
Pastor Gary

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Money & Stuff

Stewardship Report
Checkbook Balance

Offerings Expenses at End of Month
December $27,673.18
January $9,958.92 $14,109.81 $24,155.42
February $10,726.99 $14,747.92 $21,104.77
March $9,538.25 $16,720.63 $14,226.40
April $12,899.69 $10,257.04 $17,772.55
The Income and Expenses shown reflect the figures for the Annual Budget passed earlier this year, which, as always, is
a "faith" budget that we would bring in $13,126 per month to cover basic expenses (heat/lights/kitchen & office
supplies/Staff salaries & benefits/etc.). If you do the math, the Income and Expenses will not equal the Checkbook
Balance. This is because our "Ministries" funds (Mission/Worship/Evangelism/etc.), which are not a part of our Annual
Budget, are also currently coming out of the General Fund. In addition, there are designated contributions to Building
Maintenance, the Nursery, Week of Compassion, that are not reported above. If you have any questions, please contact
Bekki Weston, Darlene Page, or Cheryl Perry.

An Update from Fred Meyer Donations and Tax Deductions
Did you know that if you make in-kind donations
Fred Meyer has reported that five households who are (stuff that’s not money) to the church, they are tax
enrolled in our Rewards Program shopped at Freddie’s deductible? The In-Kind Contribution form pictured
between 1-1-2017 and 3-31-2017 (Cycle 2017, Qtr 1). below is a sample of the form available for your use.
The church will receive a check in the amount of $27.59 as Pick one up in the church office to use when figuring
a donation. your taxes each year. (Or give it to your accountant.)
If you have not already done so, remember to name First Please contact the office for more info or copies of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bellingham, WA as In-Kind Contribution Form.
the non-profit of your choice on your Fred Meyer Rewards
card account. (Link to our church using our name or our
non-profit number — NPO number 88006.)

How Can I Make Donations?
Making financial donations to the church has never been
easier. If you’re confused about some of these newfangled,
modern ways, here’s a glossary on 21st century tithing.
E-Payment Check with your bank or credit union for online bill
paying capabilities. Set up a payment with the church as your
“Payee.” You can do this as a one-time or an ongoing payment.
PayPal Use the PayPal donate button on the church
website or log in to your own PayPal account and donate to
Collection/Offering Plate An oldie, but a goodie, it is still
possible to place your coins, dollar bills and, GASP!, checks, in
the offering plate as it is passed down your pew on a Sunday
morning. Yes, people do still write checks. Or, so we hear.
Credit/Debit Card Payments Would this be something you
would use? Let us know and we’ll explore the possibilities.

June 2017 — Note: Summer schedule begins June 4 — 3
News from the General Church

Meet the General Minister and President Nominee
The General Board voted to forward the name of Rev. Teresa
(Terri) Hord Owens to the 2017 General Assembly as the nominee
for General Minister and President of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ).
A Disciple since young adulthood, Hord Owens is currently dean of
students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of
First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL.
Search Committee Chair Jackie Bunch reviewed the process for the
General Board before the members of the board had the
opportunity to meet Hord Owens in small groups and in the
plenary. Of more than 40 people recommended last summer, nine
were screened in accordance with the executive search process.
Four were then interviewed in person in October by the search
committee. Just prior to the General Board meeting, three
candidates were interviewed by the Administrative Committee to
determine which candidate to recommend to the board.
Rev. Teresa “Terri”
Rev. Owens is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and
Hord Owens workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include
a theology of reconciliation, cultural intelligence, developing
What the search committee inclusive and multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring of
youth and young adults. She is married to Walter Owens, Jr., with
saw in the nominee
whom she will soon celebrate 30 years of marriage. They are the
“We saw in Terri that unique proud parents of an adult son, W. Mitchell Owens, III.
combination of pastoral, leadership,
active presence in all expressions of
the Church and administrative 2017 General Assembly
experience that the search committee July 8 - 12, 2017
believed was most needed,” said Indianapolis, IN
Search Committee Chair Jackie Be a witness for
Bunch. “She has experience as a ONEness!
local pastor, theologian and leader.
One of the last things
“The committee particularly noted her Jesus did with his
skills in discernment, spiritual disciples was to bless
discipline and proclamation of the them with the priestly
Word, but also as a listener.” prayer that appears in
John 17. He prayed that,
Bunch continued, “The search “I’m praying not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me
committee recognized that leading the because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them
Church in this day and age requires a to become one heart and mind.” (The Message)
certain business acumen as well as a In July we will gather as ONE for the 2017 General Assembly in
heart for ministry. We see that Terri Indianapolis. Thousands of Disciples gather from across the United
brings that special mix of academic, States and Canada to demonstrate our unity in service to the Christ. We
executive and pastoral qualities that will hear inspiring messages, elect a new General Minister and President,
are required for leading the Disciples hear about the results from Mission First! and learn together.
through this time in our North
Bible studies on the theme text (John 17:20-21a) from scholars at
American culture. She has a Disciple-related seminaries are available online so you can go deeper into
background of bringing together the scripture.
diverse groups for dialogue that will
serve the Church well.” Contact the office or visit for registration info.

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Meet Alliance Q

Forty years ago at the 1977 Kansas City
General Assembly, Carol Blakely, a
woman from Caldwell, Idaho, stood at
the speak-out microphone of the General
Friday Saturday
Assembly and read her son’s coming out
letter to the entire church. She used her
allotted time without finishing and the
person behind her in line gave up his
time so she could continue. Carol said
that it was time for the church to open
its eyes to the fact that gay and lesbian
people are sons, daughters, brothers,
sisters, parents, congregants, pastors
and staff in our church.
Sparked by this moment, a small group
of gay and lesbian Disciples, already
starting to find each other before this
moment, began to coalesce, meeting quietly, building relationship, and making plans.
The first – secret – meeting of this group was held at the St. Louis General Assembly in 1979. The meeting was held
away from the Assembly site and only first names were used by those gathered. Over the next eight years meetings
continued, relationships grew, and plans formed.
In January of 1987 the first issue of Crossbeams was published and at the 1987 Louisville Assembly a Pre-Assembly
Event was held. Meeting at a More Light Presbyterian Church, those gathered named the organization Gay, Lesbian, and
Affirming Disciples Alliance.
It has been thirty years since that 1987 gathering and the GLAD Alliance has grown from a small organization that
gathered in secret to a vital if still at times controversial part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Throughout
those years not only has GLAD called the church to greater inclusiveness, but we ourselves have worked to grow in our
own understanding of who we are and what we stand for. It was in 1999 that the GLAD Council officially recognized that
our mission includes the affirmation of bisexual and transgender people. We continue to increase our understanding of
the anti- racism/pro-reconciliation work of the church, we grow in our grasp of intersectional justice issues, and we
continue to grow in our understanding justice as we pursue the mission to build a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
where all are welcome at the table.
And since then, we have realized that the Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples Alliance has outgrown its own name.
Yes, our name, so bold and daring in 1987, is now narrower and less inclusive than the mission and ministry we pursue.
Realizing this several years ago, we began making more use of our acronym, GLAD, and less use of our full name.
Today this has brought us to the place where many of our members and supporters no longer know what GLAD literally
stands for.
So, for almost a year and a half the GLAD Council along with several GLAD members have worked to find a new name
for GLAD. We have dreamed large and bold, we have dreamed in color and imagery, we have sought perfection. Yes,
you’ve guessed it. Finding a new name is difficult, and pursuing perfection can lead us down impossible avenues.
Back in November 2015, a call for suggestions was published in Crossbeams. Suggestions came in. We considered them
all and tested many.
We considered using the word “Rainbow” to be all inclusive, and learned that while some LGBT people don’t find the
rainbow image compelling, others saw that the rainbow didn’t clearly communicate our LGBTQ mission.
We considered names such as “Disciples Welcome Table” or “Welcoming Ministries,” and quickly realized that within a
church that strives to open the table to all, these names were arrogant at best.
We thought about the word Alliance and wondered if Network or Coalition was a better claim to who we are. A look at
the dictionary and a desire to maintain continuity led us to clarity.
The dictionary speaks of “Coalition” as an alliance of factions, which sounded to us, well, too factional.

continued on page 6

June 2017 — Note: Summer schedule begins June 4 — 5
Meet Alliance Q, cont’d from p. 5

A “Network,” formed to provide mutual assistance, just didn’t sound big enough to include our mission.
An Alliance? “A merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations.” Yes! We gather in both our
interests for inclusive justice and in the effort seeking inclusion and justice. We ally as people, families, and
organizations. We welcome our relationships within the Christian Church, striving to work ever closer with Disciples
Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, and Reconciliation We seek to grow our relationships with The
Biennial Convocation, La Obra Hispana, and North American Pacific Asian Disciples and their work for inclusive justice.
We cherish our relationships with our ecumenical partners in this work through the Welcoming Church Program Leaders.
Yes, an Alliance is what we are and thus an Alliance we will remain.
Although perfection, and the coming of the final reign of God, will do away with the need for the alphabet soups that
our communities use to name ourselves, we realized that in this world we need to name clearly the margins from which
we minister. And even as we saw that in yet another 30 years any name we choose will look as small and constrained as
GLAD looks to us today, we sought to choose a name that we are proud of and a name that leaves room for growth.
Thus, you will find in our new name LGBTQ+.
We intentionally include the four aspects of our community that have historically joined together, L, G, B, and T.
We intentionally claim a Q which reminds us of our pride in the face of our oppression and a Q which includes those
who do not claim the binaries and boxes of L, G, B, and T.
And yes, we include a +.
We include a + to remind us that there will always be yet another neighbor around the corner to include.
We include a + to remind us that we cannot do this ministry alone, to remind us that we work alongside our affirming
friends and allies.
And we include a + to remind us that we cannot do this ministry without reaching out to others in the margin who
struggle along with us, those who also struggle for the justice based affirmation and inclusion of all God’s people in the
full life and leadership of the church.
And then, we sought to express our love for the Christian Church (Disciple of Christ), sharing our affirmation that “We
are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ we welcome
all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.” We knew that it was imperative that our name reflect our love for this
Disciples identity.
Oh, and we also wanted to have a little fun with the name.

So, without further fanfare, the Alliance formerly known as GLAD will be known as:
The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance

and will in shorthand be known among friends and family as Alliance Q.
The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance will roll out this new identity at the General Assembly in Indianapolis this July. Come find
us at our Assembly exhibit hall booth (shared with Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, and
Reconciliation) and join us at our Assembly Banquet as we celebrate this step towards becoming the justice seeking
people we strive to be.

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Who’s on First?! New Members

FCC Welcomes New
Laura Char transferred her
membership to First Christian
Church of Bellingham on Sunday,
March 26, 2017. The following Sunday, April 4, Laura’s
husband, Orrin, and their daughter, Jennifer, also transferred
Sunday, June 4 their membership.
Elders: Jane Kletka (O), Melody Hoffman (C)
Lock-Up: Don Hoffman The Char Family comes to us from Brookhaven Christian
In Home Communion: Melody Hoffman Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Laura works for VOYA Financial
Joe Plancich Advisors serving all the teachers in Northern Washington.
Deacons: Kathy Wheeler, Bentley Becker Jennifer works her executive assistant. Orrin is a Principal
Reader: Kris Ann Lewis Engineer with Oracle Corp.
Flowers:TBD Welcome, Laura, Orrin, and Jennifer! We are delighted to
Fellowship Time: Brenda & John Riseland, welcome you to the FCC family.
honoring June birthdays
Sunday, June 11
Elders: Gregg Heyne (O), John Riseland (C) Connie Page 12
Deacons: James Becker, Linda Heyne Alexis Pinkston 13
Reader: Bruce Radtke Happy Birthday Gregg Heyne 15
Flowers: TBD Paul Van Dyke 1 Nicole Herrera 25
Fellowship Time: TBD Virginia Haldeman 5 Helen Blaney 30
James Becker 8
Sunday, June 18 Happy Anniversary
Jim Blaney 9
Elders: Kelvin Smith (O), Joe Plancich (C) Linda & Allan Botts 15
Briella Rose Stanbro 10
Deacons: Ardythe Hannah, Renee Hoemann, Judy & Walter Bayless 19
Celia Obrecht
Reader: Melody Hoffman
Flowers: TBD Joys and Concerns
Fellowship Time: TBD
Please submit written requests to update this list.
Sunday, June 25 Medical concerns:
Elders: John Riseland (O), Gregg Heyne C) • Lois Oswalt
Deacons Pat Whitney, Kris Ann Lewis • Jayne Witman
Reader: James Becker • Daisy Shoemaker, Pastor Gary’s mom
Flowers: Esther Group • Sharon Kralman, Tamalyn’s stepmom
Fellowship Time: Esther Group • Kathy Wheeler
• Matt Nelson
Sign up in the fellowship hall to help in these • Harmon Woodworth
important ministries: • Mary Ann Teeters
• Chloe Gibson
• Read scripture during Sunday morning worship • Donna Fairchild
• Bring flowers for Sunday worship • Nathan Klemann
• Gary Schwebel, Diana Findley’s son
• Provide goodies for fellowship time following
Life’s challenges:
Sunday worship
• Katie, Bob Fisher’s daughter
Please contact the office for more info. • Matthew, Kris Ann Lewis’s nephew
Please contact the office to see the full list.

Visit to read the
recent issue of the Regional Church Newsletter

June 2017 — Note: Summer schedule begins June 4 — 7
First Christian Church, Christian Holidays, Holidays in United States
June 2017 Jun 2017 (Pacific Time)
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

9 : 3 0 a m - Sunday School Memorial Day 5 : 3 0 p m - Spanish Class Bulletin deadline 7pm - [4H] 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Breakfast,
1 0 : 2 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 1 a m - Worship

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship Time

1 p m - Out-to-Lunch Bunch

2 p m - [Iglesia - fell hall]
June 2017 calendar

7 p m - Book Group

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Pentecost Whit Monday 5 : 3 0 p m - Spanish Class Bulletin deadline 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Breakfast,
1 0 : 2 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 0 : 3 0 a m - Worship

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship Time

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Trinity Sunday 6 : 3 0 p m - Stewardship Mtg 5 : 3 0 p m - Spanish Class Bulletin deadline Corpus Christi 8 a m - [Iglesia parking lot sale] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Breakfast,
1 0 : 2 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers] Courier deadline 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 0 : 3 0 a m - Worship 7 p m - [4H fair prep]

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship Time

2 p m - Community Meal

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Father's Day 1 1 : 3 0 a m - Esther Grp Lunch 5 : 3 0 p m - Spanish Class Bulletin deadline 5 p m - Checking in Group, 6 : 3 0 p m - [Iglesia de Dios] 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Breakfast,
location TBD Denny's

— Note: Summer schedule begins June 4 —
1 0 : 2 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 5 : 3 0 p m - Longest Day Worship 6 : 4 5 p m - [Guide Dogs] 9 a m - [Iglesia de Dios]

1 0 : 3 0 a m - Worship 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers]

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship Time

25 26 27 28 29 30 1

1 0 : 2 0 a m - Gathering Time 6 : 4 5 p m - [Boy Scouts] 5 : 3 0 p m - Spanish Class Bulletin deadline 7 : 3 0 a m - Men's Breakfast,
1 0 : 3 0 a m - Worship 6 : 3 0 p m - [Toppers]

1 2 : 1 5 p m - Fellowship Time

7 p m - Book Group

June 2017