“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:39

Location: Vicksburg Convention Center

1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd, Vicksburg, MS 39180

Early Bird discounted registration fee available until September 1. (In-person only)

Schedule
Youth
Hotel/Lodging
Pre-Assembly Seminar for Clergy
Regional Assembly Worship
Workshops
Livestream Info
Docket - Program Book
Promotional Materials

Friday, October 28

9:00 AM-3:00 PM       Pre-Assembly Seminar —Facilitators — Rev. Dr. Megan Alleman and Rev. Odette Woods

3:00 PM-6:30 PM       Regional Assembly Registration/Exhibits Open

3:30 PM                        All Assembly Choir Rehearsal

5:00 PM-6:30 PM       Drop-In Style Dinner at FCC Vicksburg

7:00 PM                        Regional Assembly Opening Worship — Keynote Preacher — Rev. Orlando Richmond


Saturday, October 29

8:30 AM                        Music and Opening Worship

9:00 AM                        All Assembly Bible Lecturer — Rev. Dr. Don Morrow

10:00 AM                      Regional Assembly Business Meeting

11:00 AM                       Break

11:10 AM                        Regional Assembly Business Meeting continued

12:00 PM                      Luncheons — Disciples Women, Disciples Men, Worship Planners, Regional Elders, Chaplains

1:30 PM-2:45 PM        Workshops — Round 1

2:45 PM-3:00 PM       Break

3:00 PM-4:15 PM       Workshops — Round 2

4:30 PM                       Closing Circle of Prayer

 

No Youth activity is scheduled for the weekend. 

Child care services may be available.

Hotel Information - Be sure to mention Great River Region / Regional Assembly to qualify for the group rate

A block of rooms is reserved at Courtyard by Marriott - 1 Underwood Drive Vicksburg, MS 39180 - Call 601-636-8788

Attending board members and facilitators do not have to make hotel reservations. Instead, please contact the Regional Office at 501-562-6053 for more information.

There are a limited number of rooms blocked.
Hotel Block Expires: September 26, 2022

GROUP DISCOUNTED RATES

Single: (1 person) - 124.00 + 10% tax |  Triple: (3 person) - 134.00 + 10% tax

Double: (2 people) - 124.00 + 10% tax | Quad: (4 people) 144.00 + 10% tax

Rates are based on the number of adults in each room. There is no additional charge for children under 17.

The Bistro, Courtyard’s on-site restaurant and lounge, features cooked to order breakfast, dinner, cocktails, and Starbuck’s coffee.

Check-in: October 28 ~ anytime after 3:00 pm

Check-out: October 29 ~ before 12:00 pm

Please let the hotel know if you plan to stay extra days.

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More Options

For more hotel options - Hotels near Vicksburg Convention Center

 

Pre-Assembly Seminar for Clergy

*Sponsored by Pinnacle Outreach Ministry

Navigating Amidst the Land Mines: Healthy v. Unhealthy Boundaries

Description: There are so many land mines that we might step on in today’s environment. This interactive session will provide a safe space for clergy to reflect upon our healthy and unhealthy boundaries with God, ourselves, and others as we navigate through our specific ministry contexts.

Facilitators

Rev. Odette Woods, Assistant Pastor, Mount Sinai Christian Church, North Little Rock, AR

Rev. Odette Woods, JD, M.Div. is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where she serves as an assistant pastor at Mt. Sinai Christian Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Rev. Woods received her Master of Divinity Degree, magna cum laude, from Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas. She has served in various areas of ministry including discipleship, evangelism, outreach, mission, pastoral care, chaplaincy, and children. Rev. Woods has served as a short-term missionary several times and has preached internationally in Haiti and Uganda.

Rev. Woods maintains a part-time private law practice, Law Office of Odette Woods, PLLC, where she specializes in family law. She received her Juris Doctorate from UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, where she graduated with honors. She also serves as the senior director for staff diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Rev. Woods is the proud mother of three children and the extremely proud grandmother of six grandchildren.

Rev. Dr. Megan Alleman, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA

Rev. Dr. Megan Alleman is an ACPE Certified Educator and Board-Certified Chaplain currently living in New Orleans, LA as of December 2021. Megan’s ministry began in 2011 and her calling as a chaplain has deepened into speaking truth to power at an institutional level in the healthcare field, educating on spiritual care and the intersection of spirituality with mental healthcare, and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ and disabled communities within ACPE. Prior to moving to New Orleans, Megan lived in Oklahoma City, OK for 5 years where she was a US Army Reserves Chaplain and staff chaplain at the VA Hospital, her ministry focus included providing spiritual care in multiple contexts like acute mental health, housing Veterans experiencing homelessness, palliative care, and the Veteran LGBTQIA+ community. While spiritual care and education in healthcare are the current major focus of her ministry, Megan sees this as an extension of the healing work of the Christian Church and regularly provides support to pastors through individual spiritual caregiving, peer relationship, pulpit supply, and providing coverage during emergencies.

Regional Assembly Opening Worship - Keynote Preacher

Rev. Orlando Richmond, Senior Minister, Northside Christian Church, West Point, MS

Reverend Richmond has been the Senior Pastor of Northside Christian Church since 1997, growing the membership of the church to several hundred and recently completed construction of a new sanctuary and offices, where ministry is aided by a host of technological features. The church has a well-received weekly radio broadcast and a host of ministry and outreach functions.

In addition to being a successful litigation attorney, he has been an instructor at (and attended) Jacksonville Theological Seminary, teaching courses ranging from New Testament Studies to Church Administration. He serves on a number of boards and has been the recipient of many professional and social awards and recommendations.

Pastor Richmond has been married to Allison Turnage Richmond for over 32 years, and the couple, which has two adult sons, give generously of their time and resources to numerous causes.

 

All Assembly Bible Lecturer

Rev. Dr. Don Morrow, Senior Minister, First Christian Church & Waterway, Bentonville, AR

Rev. Dr. Don Morrow is the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Bentonville, AR. He’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (HOOK ’EM), received his MDiv from Brite Divinity School (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas and his Doctoral degree from the Pacific School of Religion at University of California, Berkeley.

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Music Director

Gina Anthon, First Christian Church, Hammond, LA

Gina Anthon is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University (BMEd Vocal Music), the University of Michigan (MM Vocal Performance), and LSU (DMA Vocal Performance). She has taught music fundamentals, voice and diction at the college level; talented music at the high school level, general music at the elementary level, parent/child Kindermusik classes, and church choirs of all ages. Gina has served on the board of the Red Stick Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association as president and workshop chair. She is the music director at FCC Hammond and has served on the Great River Regional Board of the DOC, and is currently on the council of the Association of Disciples Musicians. Gina loves to bring people together through music, volunteering weekly with a special needs adult choir, drum ensemble, and senior singers group.

There will be two rounds of workshops. Each workshop will be an hour and fifteen minutes.

Note: Make sure to select the workshops of your interest when registering.

A Future and Hope Through the Eyes of Faith — Rev. Dr. Christal Williams

Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Our faith may have been tested and even fractured through the Pandemic. Learning to deal with feelings of isolation and stress due to changes in work, childcare, and social gatherings along with worries about the health of ourselves and loved ones may leave us questioning. Add to this the social justice issues that still bring about questioning on how to do what is ‘right’ with a spirit of love. Our world is broken, and we see wars, inflation, climate change, and a host of issues that can cause many to doubt.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Join us as we discuss how belief in God and the fellowship of our Disciples brothers and sisters can strengthen our faith. Hebrews 11:6 urges us to have faith because it says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Rev. Dr. Christal Williams, Executive Regional Minister, Tennessee Region

Rev. Dr. Christal LaShawn Williams is a Twenty-First Century trendsetter, Pastoral Pioneer, and Bridge-Builder, and leading voice, echoing through the airways of time, with a soul-stirring message of God’s Love for all people. As an Inspirational Preacher, Rev. Christal Williams offers a grassroots way of asking one to dig deeper into their understanding of God, Faith and Life and Church. This is witnessed in her Life’s work as of Regional Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tennessee. As an influential leader and relationship cultivator, Christal takes to heart her personal mission to love, equip and encourage all persons toward a reconciling relationship with God. Her tenure in ministry has been widespread throughout Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana. Pastor Christal has engaged in ministry around the world; having traveled extensively to China, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Israel-Palestine, Egypt, West and South Africa, Asia, India and Europe for Ministry and Cross-cultural exchanges. Christal is committed to ecumenism, accompaniment, hospitality and nurturing global partnerships.


Covenantal Conversations — Rev. Alison Robuck

Why did we personally choose to become a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)? Were we raised in a D.O.C. congregation? Were we invited? Did we just show up one Sunday and like what we heard, saw or felt? And why do we stay - through difficult times of conflict, pain, and discernment, as well the times of joy & prosperity? We will explore what the word “COVENANT” means in relationship to our commitment to the missions and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We will be using curriculum developed by the Governance Committee of the General Board, which expands our understanding of the covenant written within the Preamble to the Design. Don’t know what that is? Come find out…and join in the conversation of what it means to be in COVENANT as a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.)

Rev. Alison Robuck, Interim Minister, First Christian Church, Sherwood, AR

Alison is a life-long Disciple from Enid, OK. Since her ordination in 1996, she has served congregations in Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, and Iowa. Inspired by her mother’s health crisis a few years ago, Alison earned her C.N.H.P. (Certified Natural Health Professional) and enjoys leading workshops on the mind, body, spirit connection. Alison’s ministry passions include preaching, pastoral care, stewardship of wellness, and guiding others to discover their own spiritual gifts. Rev. Robuck serves on our Regional Board as our Great River Region representative on the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Alison resides in North Little Rock with her daughter, Katelyn.


General Unit Conversation and Dialogue — Nothing Can Separate Us

Where are we in the program life in our congregations? What is our post-pandemic context, lessons and/or learnings for ministries? Do we catch up, let go, or begin from where we are? Let’s discuss trends happening that will better equip us for sustained and effective ministry to our communities. We will explore resources helpful for congregations as you assess your needs and plans for the future to rebuild in-person and hybrid capacity worship experiences, for giving, long-term stewardship legacies and programs. Hear from our denomination experts from DCEF and DHM, as we open up the dialogue into current and future program ministries of the church. Bring your concerns and questions as an opportunity to delve into a healthy conversation about the realities of church life and community in the Great River Region and beyond.

Rev. Dr. Gilberto Collazo, Vice President of Disciples Church Extension Fund

Vice President of Disciples Church Extension Fund, Gilberto Collazo, is deeply committed to church planting and leader development. Following 17 years of pastoral ministry in Puerto Rico, where he started eight new churches and served as loan officer and liaison between the Christian Church in Puerto Rico and Disciples Church Extension Fund, Gilberto moved his family to Indianapolis in 2001 to help lead out on the Disciples priority of planting 1,000 new churches by the year 2020. Gilberto brings his experience and expertise in serving new and renewing congregations and his deep understanding of the needs of churches in the context of their cultural and ethnic realities to the work of Disciples Church Extension Fund.

Gilberto earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Business Administration Studies from the University of Florida, a Master of Divinity from the Evangelical Seminary in Puerto Rico, and his Doctorate of Ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Dagmar, have four children and attend Casa del Alfarero Christian Church in Indianapolis.

Rev. Monique Crain Spells, Executive for the Office of Christian Education/Faith Formation

Rev. Monique Crain Spells is an ordained minister in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. She currently serves as Director of Christian Education and Faith Formation for Disciples Home Missions and the National Convocation of the Christian Church. Prior to this call, Monique served eight years in theological education administration at Christian Theological Seminary and Brite Divinity School. She has actively engaged the wider Indianapolis community as an advocate, educator, playwright, preacher, and past moderator for the Christian Church in Indiana. It has also been her privilege to serve as a church planter, Hope Partnership clergy coach, and Past President of the Fellowship of Black Disciples Clergywomen. Monique received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a focus on Public Relations from Purdue University and a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary. In 2023, she will complete her Doctor of Ministry coursework around the power of rituals in worship.


Church in Action: Mental Health ­Rev. Dr. Joanne Flowers

According to Dr. Matthew Stanford, author of Madness and Grace: A Practical Guide for Pastoral Care and Serious Mental Illness, “…one in five adults and also one in five children and adolescents will suffer with a mental health problem.”  Sadly, the majority of these children and adults will never receive treatment. With a projected increase in the number of cases of mental illness for years to come in this post-pandemic season, how can the church help? Further, researchers have reported individuals experiencing mental health problems are likely to contact a clergy member before a mental health professional or physician. Are you prepared? Is your congregation prepared?

In this gathering, we will discuss mental health awareness in the church.

  • Examine and explore opportunities to destigmatize mental illness.
  • Equip clergy, laity, and volunteers to identify and respond to different types of mental illness.
  • Recognize when a referral to a health care professional is necessary.
  • Identify examples of support and other resources in your community.

Rev. Dr. Joanne Flowers, Senior Minister, First Christian Church, Harrison, AR

Rev. Dr. Joanne Walker Flowers is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She is married to Virgil Flowers and currently the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Harrison, Arkansas. With the heart to help others, Rev. Joanne Flowers has served on short-term mission teams to Turkey, Kenya, Portugal, Haiti, China, and Cuba, with plans to resume her mission work in public health education in Kenya next year. Prior to her call into ministry, she worked as an environmental epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, university professor, and researcher. In her military career, she served in the Army and Navy, retiring from the Navy at the rank of commander.

Rev. Joanne Flowers received her undergraduate degree, a bachelor of science in biology, at Central State University (Wilberforce, Ohio). Her graduate studies include: master of science from East Tennessee State University; master of public health from the University of Pittsburgh; master of divinity from Emmanuel Christian Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas in community health sciences. Currently, Rev. Joanne Flowers is working on her memoir in which she describes growing up in a household with two people with schizophrenia entitled: Smoketown.


Active Shooter Planning and Preparedness — Max Fenn

Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. DHS aims to enhance preparedness through a "whole community" approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident.

Building and providing a safe and secure environment for faith-based communities is no different than typical security planning, but with nuances that are respective of a congregation’s desire for openness and access, engagement with their congregants, visitors, and the rituals that may be impacted by heightened security.
No matter what the final secure environment looks like, there are several factors that must be considered when making security decisions related to planning and security enhancements. These factors influence the risk associated with your facility which in turn provide you with focus areas to begin lowering risk and as a result create a more safe and secure environment.

Facilitator: Max Fenn

Max Fenn serves as Protective Security Advisor, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Protection Agency, US Department of Homeland Security, covering the state of Mississippi. In this capacity, he executes the National Infrastructure Protection Plan thru the delivery of voluntary security-related programs, resources, and training to help private sector owner-operators enhance enterprise security and resilience.

He retired from the armed forces in 1998, having served in the US Marines, Marine Reserve, and MS Army National Guard in special operations units. He served as an Intelligence Specialist at the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Mississippi, from 2002-2006 until transitioning to the Dept. of Homeland Security. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Mississippi, and the ASIS Certified Protection Professional certification. He is the ASIS Chapter 80 Chapter Chair.

 

We will live-stream the Regional Assembly Opening Worship(Friday) and the All Assembly Bible Lecture via the YouTube platform. The link to watch will be available as we get closer to the Assembly.

The Pre-Assembly Seminar and workshops will be recorded and uploaded to the website.

Coming Soon!

Promotional Materials

Regional Assembly Graphic (1920 x 600) -  Click here

Regional Assembly Graphic (800 x 600) - Click here

Regional Assembly Logo Transparent - Click here

Promotional video - Click here

 

Sponsors

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