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2014 Annual Conference - Omaha, Nebraska

 “ God is doing a new thing…”
 64th Annual Conference
July 14-17, 2014 - Omaha, NE

 “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”


            You’ve heard that before. It comes with a picture of a young man carrying another young man on his shoulders.  It’s origin is from Boy’s Town in Omaha, Nebraska where this coming July we gather for a power filled shoulder carrying Annual Conference.

            Omaha has so much to offer not withstanding the incredible hotel facilities of the Downtown Double Tree. In terms of food there is much to pick from in walking distance from the Hotel.

            Actually to the amazement of many it is a destination vacation area. You will be pleased with our middle of America venue.

            Yet we know it is not about Omaha or any other city we find ourselves in. It is about God and

God’s mission and call to the Community Churches to meet in Annual Conference.  We renew friendships and make new ones. We worship and we study the Word. We meet in workshops that inspire and “train us in the way we should go.” We offer continuing education for our ICCC clergy and oh yes we eat and we eat and we eat.

            This year is no different we will be inspired by great preaching and powerful Bible Studies.

Our entertainment will come from world class performers that you will be talking about for a long time to come.

            But you know the best part? The best part is God and the Holy Spirit of God will be there! It just does not get any better than that. God and you and me in Omaha.  It is a foretaste of the Kingdom Place.


See you in Omaha!!!

Harry Foockle, Antioch Community Church, Conference Chair


Bible Study Leader

 Tex Sample Returns for Bible Study!

We are pleased to welcome back Tex Sample as our Bible Study Leader at the 2014 Annual Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.  He is a specialist in church and society, a storyteller, author, and the Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society at the St. Paul School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary in Kansas City, MO where he taught from 1967–1999. One of his specialties is working-class people and he has published four books in this field.

Born in Brookhaven, MS, Sample received a BA from Millsaps College, an MDiv and PhD from Boston University, and a DD from Coe College. A former cab driver, laborer, and oil field roustabout, he is currently a freelance speaker and consultant and lives in Goodyear, AZ. A much sought-after lecturer, storyteller, workshop leader and consultant, Tex is a contributor to many of the DVD programs in the Living the Questions series.[1] His two most recent books are Earthy Mysticism (2008) and The Future of John Wesley's Theology (2012).

 Keynote Speaker and Preacher

                Rev. Dr. Emanuel Cleaver, III is the oldest of four children born to Dianne and Reverend Emanuel Cleaver, II. The accomplished graduate of Philander Smith College received his B.A. in political science; accepted his calling into the ministry in 1995; and is now an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in May of 1999, which school recently recognized him with its highest alumni award. Cleaver served as pastor of Longview for three years and was then appointed to St. Andrew, both United Methodist Churches in Kansas City. In 2004 Dr. Cleaver became the pastor of Centennial United Methodist Church. During his tenure at this congregation, he received his doctorate of ministry from Saint Paul School of Theology. Under his leadership this church, located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City, Missouri, made renovations to its facility, and started a weekly Saturday evening hip hop worship celebration. On July 1, 2008 Dr. Cleaver joined his father as the co-pastor of the 2,500 member St. James UMC in Kansas City.
            The dynamic clergyman is involved in several organizations and has served on numerous boards in Kansas City including the Concerned Clergy Coalition where he currently serves as vice-president. Dr. Cleaver is a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church, serves on the Philander Smith College Board of Trustees, and is an adjunct professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to frequent preaching, teaching, and lecturing engagements he has also had several works published. Dr. Cleaver is married; he and wife Sharon and are the parents of two boys and one girl, Emanuel IV, Isaac and Alayna.

2014 Annual Conference Monday Night Entertainment
by the Beach Nuts of Kansas City, MO

Group members Rod Fleeman, Jurgen Welge and Walter Bryant are world class musicians and entertainers.  The three have been working together for the last decade and a half, performing songs from the late ’50s-mid ’70s, mostly instrumentals that include songs recorded by The Ventures, Dick Dale, Cannonball Adderly, Mason Williams, Ramsey Lewis, The Beach Boys, Fats Domino, Santo and Johnny, The Monkees, The Surfaris, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Booker T and the MGs, Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini.

Fleeman, one of Kansas City's most noted jazz guitarists, is in constant demand. He currently records and tours the world with jazz vocalists Karrin Allyson and Diane Schuur. He also serves as an adjunct educator for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Kansas City Kansas Community College.

German-born drummer Welge graduated in 1989 from the Hilversum Jazz Conservatory in the Netherlands before he came to Kansas City on an invitation from KC's late blues and jazz singer Richard Ross in 1992. He quickly became a well-respected member of the Kansas City jazz community and currently performs with Dave Stephens, The Wild Women, Lynn Zimmer, Tim Whitmer, Bram Wijnands, Don Accurso Orchestrina and Beach Nuts. Welge also teaches applied percussion and band classes at KCK Community College.

Bryant, keyboards, is a graduate of the UMKC Conservatory of Music. He composes and produces music for TV and radio commercials and has served as musical director for Worlds of Fun in Kansas City since 1976  He plays a number of different instruments with a variety of ensembles in musical styles ranging from classical to rock.

You want to make plans to share a delightful evening on Monday!

 Laughter..... another Gift of God

Life in Christ Circus, a clown ministry troupe founded and led by Dr. Dick Hardel “Dr. H.,” will lead worship and share the Gospel on Wednesday, July 16th.  Life in Christ Circus has performing units is Minnesota, Florida, Nebraska, and Poland. They spread the Gospel of Christ through laughter and joy.

Traditional circus clowns, at their best, serve up generous portions of the foibles of our own human nature for our amusement. Christ Clowns add a new dimension to the circus clown. They are “fools for Christ” in the best sense of those words of St. Paul (1 Cor 4:8-13). With their colorful antics they reveal our human frailties and allow us to laugh at ourselves.

Life in Christ Omaha clowns have performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. We have shared the art of Christian Clown ministry with the world, teaching and performing in homes, clown alleys, conventions, parties, picnics, family gatherings and schools.

Most importantly, we are Servants, not stars! Our ministry of love and giggles is contagious!

For more information, visit their website: http://www.faithwellmt.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59:clown-ministry-and-wellness&catid=36:living-well-in-christ&Itemid=59

 2014 Workshops:
Leading into Unchartered Territory
Besides preaching at 2 of the worship services, Dr. Emanuel Cleaver will also lead a Clergy Continuing Education Workshop on Monday, July 14th. He will discuss the importance of leading congregations to reach new people.  Together, he and participants will examine why it is necessary for the well-being of the congregation, the risks involved, and how to lead the congregation to reach new people.

Evaluating Vision 2020
Rev. Carla Dietz, Pastor of Greendale People's Church Worcester, MA and Council Minister Don Ashmall will facilitate a discussion on “Vision 2020,” adopted as a Council emphasis at last year’s Annual Conference. What’s working and why? What isn’t working and why? Will Vision 2020 need a mid-course correction, and if so in what way? Don will explain the intent of each part of Vision 2020; Carla will be “devil’s advocate” as we take a look at what’s happening, what’s possible and what are our next steps in advancing the community church movement.

AGAPE and You!
Rev. Michael Donahue, Regional Trustee Nanci Harris and Immediate Past President Saundra Nelson will lead a workshop on how AGAPE can be implemented into the local church or organization.

Reaching the Next Generations
What makes the X, Y and Millenial Generations want to be involved or uninvolved with churches? What’s behind the growth in the “nones” (younger folk who answer the religious preference question with “none”)? What kinds of attitudes and agendas help or hinder local congregations as they reach out to the young families? You’ll explore these questions and more with Ms. Wendy Groll, VP of Operations and Director of Training for Handley & Associates: business woman, mother and creative leader.

Pastoral Financial Wellness
This workshop, conducted by Rev. Dr. Perry J. Hopper from MMBB, will focus on a discussion of clergy financial wellness in the context of today's economy, issues facing clergy relative to the housing allowance, and the fundamentals of fair compensation.  The discussion will have direct relevance not only to clergy but to those in decision making roles in the local church. 

Planting a New Community Church
What can you and your congregation do to plant a new community church in an area that is under-churched?  What steps are necessary?  What succeeds and what doesn't?  Find out as three servant leaders who have planted churches share their experiences in this workshop.

Capital Improvement Strategies
This workshop will focus on strategy for making capital improvements, bring to mind funding opportunities, and suggest how to develop relationships and partnerships that nurture and benefit your church and its projects.  

Invigorate your Mind, Body and Soul

Start your day bright and early with something new this year at conference!  Tues-Thurs mornings, we will offer a fitness program called “Fit Group.”  The Christian life is a holistic one, encompassing body, mind and spirit.  Join Jennifer Layte, Greendale People’s church, as she leads others in an invigorating half-hour workout to keep the body healthy and the mind alert for a day of feeding the spirit.  Aerobic, strength and flexibility training are all part of these Team Beachbody workouts.  Workouts may be challenging.  Modifications are available.  A signed waiver will be required.

The Children's Program Director Returns for the 2014 Conference!

            At this year’s conference in Omaha Nebraska, Sister Shyreece Pompey, Children’s Coordinator for ICCC conference, has created meaningful learning experiences and projects that encourage children to live their faith in Christ. Children, K-6th grade, will be structurally engaged from 9 AM to Noon Tues, Wed & Thurs during the life of the conference.  Lessons will be age appropriate and centered on the conference theme.  Worship, praise, make it/take it activities and field trip opportunities will ensure practical application of the Bible lessons and conference theme.  Furthermore, children’s work/dioramas will be displayed in a gallery walk.  
Shyreece Pompey is a passionate educator.  She has served and taught in the Covert Public Schools for the past 12 years.   She has implemented several student-centered programs which have brought joy and academic interest to the learning environment on her job and in her church.   She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western University Michigan in Education and plans to complete her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and become a certified K-12 Principal in April 2014.   Shyreece (Also Known As: Sister Pompey) has been using her gift of teaching in the  youth ministry at Emmanuel Community Church in South Haven, Michigan for the past eight years. She currently serves as Sunday School Superintendent at the church.  
            If you would like more information regarding these hands-on / minds-on activities for your grandchild or children to participate in during the conference, please contact Sister Pompey on her cell phone at (269) 849-6419 or at her work number (269) 764-3730.   

            As we all prepare for our conference participation, let us remember the words of Jesus “whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5) 

 Attention Young  Adults! (18+)

Come and join us as we build God’s Kingdom!


at the ICCC 64th Annual Conference

 July 14-17, 2014  ?  Omaha, NE

“God is doing a new thing...”   


Habitat for Humanity Young Adult Mission
This conference will include an opportunity for young adults to participate in a
comprehensive program of study and service with Habitat for Humanity.

What will you build?

The theology of the hammer

embraces wholeheartedly the idea that the love of God and love of man must be blended. The word and the deed must come together. One without the other is devoid of meaning … As the deed gets closer to the word, God gets closer to us. The results are always wonderful — and sometimes spectacular!” — Millard Fuller, founder, Habitat for Humanity International


For more information, contact Doris Marcisak at mist8993@gmail.com 


 ICCC Bucket List - Omaha

We've heard the rumors...... Nebraska's boring!  Nebraska's flat!  Who WANTS to go to Nebraska? Well, WE DO! 
Omaha, NE is the site for the 2014 Annual Conference.  The Doubletree Hotel is located near the Omaha Old Market.  Check out their website www.omahaoldmarket.com.  But better yet, click on the link below and see what beautiful country you will be missing if you don't attend.


Watch upcoming Christian Community Newsletters and updates to the website for conference information. 
Mark your calendar: July 14-17, 2014!

2014 Annual Conference Sponsorships
An Opportunity For You!

Your business, professional association, labor union or service group may invest in the cause of furthering Christian unity by investing in a sponsorship of an ICCC annual conference.  By sponsoring an event you will participate in building the community church movement, which seeks Christian unity without uniformity, and models diversity without division.  In an era of conflict and suspicion, the community church movement demonstrates that though we may differ in practice and organization, cooperation and service to human need and aspiration is not only possible; it is happening now.  To find out how you can sponsor an Annual Conference Event, click here.

 Smarter Sentencing Act
The smarter Sentencing Act S. 1410 will improve fairness, limit racial disparity, protect public safety and help victims of crime.  The International Council of Community Churches has sought reconciliation and justice for all since 1950 and still continues.  It is of our core values that we support the Smarter Sentencing Act.  To view a letter from Council Minister, Donald Ashmall that will go to Capitol Hill on Monday, April 7th, click here. 


National Joint Powers Alliance

            National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) is a public agency that serves as a member-focused cooperative for over 50,000 member agencies nationally.  NJPA offers a multitude of cooperatively contracted products, equipment and service opportunities to education and government entities throughout the country.  NJPA offers their members contract purchasing solutions that are leveraged nationally to enable contracted suppliers and member agencies to work smarter and more efficient as they do business with each other. NJPA does this by establishing a business and service alliance between member buyers and contracted suppliers ensuring a valued and successful national cooperative contract program.
            The ICCC Board of Trustees decided at the July board meeting to join the NJPA so that all the ICCC active member churches can take advantage of this program.  To learn more, visit their website www.njpacoop.org.  Contact the Council Office for account information.


The following resolution was endorsed by the ICCC Board of Trustees at the Summer Board Meeting during the 2013 Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan:




JULY 2013


     The International Council of Community Churches is an international, an intercultural, an interracial, and an inclusive fellowship of churches and ministry centers which seeks to realize Christian unity in local, national and world relations. The Annual Conference of the Council is pained and saddened by the death of Trayvon Martin. We are likewise pained and saddened by the violent deaths of so many others whose presence and potential have been cut short.


     We give witness to the gospel truth that all human beings are God’s beloved children. We proclaim our conviction that it is only through reconciliation that we will discover God’s justice and mercy in human society.

     We call upon those in positions of governmental leadership to re-examine laws that may fail to lead us toward equal justice, to take steps to encourage open communication among human beings, and by legislative action to reduce the possibility of both planned and random violence, so that justice may “roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

     We encourage our churches and ministry centers to nurture their ministries of Christian compassion, and to witness by deed and word the reconciling power of God’s love. In and through these ministries the dividing walls of hostility will be broken down and we will move forward toward God’s eternal realm of forgiveness and grace.

     We invite all people of good will to work with us in creating and walking in paths of peace, following God’s guidance and wisdom so that together we may continue the quest for dignity, respect and justice for all of God’s people.






            Criminal violence is a scourge affecting urban areas across the United States , endangering all of our citizens and especially our children. We give thanks to God for the creative efforts generated within our own member churches and ministry centers, and within the larger faith community, seeking to address this tragic situation through cooperative action.


            We urge the servant leaders of our own churches and ministry centers, businesses, civic and community service organizations and government, and to all who are in positions of influence and authority to participated in practical efforts to reduce violence as a first step in building that which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the beloved community.” We pledge our own participation in these proactive efforts by prayer and by action.


Resolved this second day of March in the year of our Lord 2013.


The Board of Trustees of the International Council of Community Churches






International Council of Community Churches
21116 Washington Parkway     Frankfort, Illinois  60423
815.464.5690    Fax: 815.464.5692