California congregation receives CCF honor
First Christian Church of North Hollywood, CA, has been named the 2011 recipient of the James P. Johnson Stewardship Award by the Board of Directors of the Christian Church Foundation.
The award was presented during the 2011 General Assembly in July in Nashville, TN.
“First Christian Church, with an outstanding record of outreach-focused mission, is a worthy recipient of the Johnson Stewardship Award because of its leadership, creativity and integrity in responding to God’s call for faithful stewardship,” said the Rev. Gary Kidwell, Foundation president. “This award recognizes this congregation’s commitment to overall stewardship, including planned giving, and demonstrated support for churchwide and local outreach ministries.”
The award is named in honor of Foundation President Emeritus James P. Johnson and recognizes his commitment to funding the witness and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in all of its manifestations.
View the following video interview with its senior minister, the Rev. Bob Bock.
Criteria for this award includes:
- Overall commitment to financial stewardship
- Innovative approaches to stewardship
- Support of local, regional and general ministries
- Proponent of planned giving and permanent fund policies
- Advocate of general mission funding
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to congratulate First Christian on this significant honor, and thank the congregation for its incredible efforts to be the hands of Christ,” Kidwell said.
The congregation takes seriously its outreach giving by striving to give away a significant percentage of its offerings for local and worldwide mission. Even as the congregation dealt with earthquake recovery and other tumultuous events, a tithe of offerings went to Disciples Mission Fund and its general mission fund predecessors. It continually ranks among the top 10% outreach givers within the denomination and the Pacific Southwest Region.
Under the leadership of its senior minister, the Rev. Bob Bock, First Christian Church has strengthened partnerships with All Peoples Christian Center and ecumenical and interfaith neighbors. It provides tutoring programs, a food pantry and holiday toy distributions. Specific fund drives—such as the Christmas Tree lot—supplement their outreach giving.
Recognizing changing demographics within the Disciples of Christ, First Christian has intentionally partnered with Disciples congregations in decline to help perpetuate their ministries in some way, welcoming members into their fold and embracing the witnesses of those congregations. Practicing hospitality, for First Christian, is a form of stewardship, too.
First Christian’s outreach and vision of stewardship also includes guiding individuals into ministry vocations. Since 2008, five persons have participated in seminary or certificate of ministry programs in cooperation with the Disciples Seminary Foundation, and a sixth person is discerning participation.
The Foundation, with offices in Indianapolis, is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) aimed at undergirding church ministries through permanent funds and investment of permanent funds owned by church institutions and ministries.