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The Northern Lights Region was formed in 2020 by the proudly diverse congregations in Alaska, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Montana. Our 50 churches include two Korean congregations, two Samoan congregations, and several blended congregations of Disciples and other faith traditions. Even as a pandemic swept the globe, God continued to create a new thing, challenging us to innovate and learn new ways to connect and build community.

We value ministries of justice and compassion. At the first in-person Regional Assembly of our newly formed region, we unanimously affirmed our partnership with Colombian organizations JUSTAPAZ and the peace and justice commission of CEDECOL (Evangelical or Protestant Council of Churches in Colombia) as part of our commitment to Global Ministries. During the breakout sessions, we also explored beginning the Open & Affirming process at the regional level.

Northern Lights Disciples, like most mainline denominational churches, are experiencing dramatic changes that include aging, decreased participation and offerings, and increased operational expenses. (Brian McLaren refers to this phenomenon in Christianity as “shrinkling” – shrinking + wrinkling.)

While faced with these challenges, we likewise see a pivotal moment for transformation as people seek renewed purpose and community following the pandemic. The strong networks within our region can be used to move us forward together in ministry and help us define and live into our identity as The Northern Lights Region.

Despite spanning four states, three time zones, and 800,000 square miles, and having endured two-plus years of pandemic isolation, we long to be together to worship, do mission, and have fun!


Has a dynamic understanding of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and can connect congregations with appropriate resources.

Will travel throughout the region to connect and develop relationships with clergy, congregations, camps, and ecumenical partners.

Will seek to understand the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains.

Will learn and adapt to the unique church culture of the Northern Lights Region.

Will facilitate relationships and unity among conservative and progressive points of view among and within churches.

Will intentionally develop relationships with all ages, including Pre-K to college-aged youth and “shrinklings.”

Will have a vision for God’s church, understanding that many ways of doing and being church no longer serve us.

Will listen deeply and provide calming and empathic support to the ministers and congregations across the region.

Will be tech savvy and communicate through multiple platforms.

Will model self-care and boundary-setting – and support clergy in doing likewise.

Has training, experience, and gifts in congregational ministry and pastoral care, including administration, conflict resolution, and walking with churches in transition/transformation.

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The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Northern Lights Region (Northern Lights Region) began January 1, 2020 with the coming together of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Montana and the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The region lives out its ministry through congregations in Alaska, Montana, Northern Idaho, and Washington.

The Regional Minister and President, as both pastor and administrator, will guide the continuing process of creating a new regional culture and living into the vision and mission to which God is calling the Northern Lights Region.

The Regional Minister shall have, at minimum, a Master of Divinity degree, be an ordained minister with standing, or eligible to receive standing, in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and have served a minimum of 5 years in congregational and/or regional ministry.

The Regional Minister and President is called to:

I. Pastoral Duties

A. The Care and Nurture of Clergy by maintaining regular contact with the individual ministers of congregations and Disciples institutions and by seeking to minister to the clergy and their families as counselor, friend, and confidant.

B. The Care and Nurture of Congregations by visiting and fellowshipping with congregations and participating in significant events as time and schedule permits. Giving special attention to congregations undergoing strained relationships between minister and people; problems that threaten the peace and unity of the congregation; or matters adversely affecting the congregation’s relationship to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

II. Program Oversight

A. Serve as ex-officio member to provide advice and counsel with all commissions, boards, ethnic constituencies, and committees.

B. Meet with, give leadership to, and serve as a voting member of the Regional Board and Executive Committee.

C. Give direction and counsel for Camps and Retreats.

III. Search and Call

A. Receive and respond to congregational requests by:

1. Making the services of the Regional Office available to the congregations, advising them on the search and call process to follow in securing pastoral leadership.

2. Meeting with local search committees whenever appropriate and helping a congregation identify the qualities needed or desired in a minister.

3. Maintain regular contact with each congregation involved in the search and call process.

B. Receive and respond to requests from clergy by:

1. Providing information about the search and call process.

2. Giving counsel to ministers concerning search and call as requested.

3. Encouraging ministers to relocate to the Northern Lights Region when appropriate.

IV. Administrative Responsibilities

A. Office Administration

1. Oversee the work of ministry, office, and staff of the Northern Lights Region.

2. Write and respond to letters, questionnaires, reports, requests.

3. Provide guidance for regional organizations and ministry teams.

4. Supervise the preparation of reports for the Yearbook; report the names of General Assembly delegates, etc.

5. Oversee the publication of regional communications.

B. Legal Matters

1. Hold fiduciary responsibility, along with the Regional Board, for the Regional Church’s finances.

2. Receive, review and file legal documents.

3. Sign official documents as the representative of the Northern Lights Region.

4. File State and Federal reports as required by law.

C. Regional Board and Budget

1. Supervise the notification of members of meetings and the mailing of minutes after meetings.

2. Work with and inform the Regional Moderator and other regional leaders on matters affecting the life and work of the church in the region and denomination.

3. Guide the preparation of the Regional Budget.

4. Supervise the expenditures within the approved budget.

V. Denominational and Ecumenical representation

A. To make visible the unity of the Church, the Regional Minister and President (or designee) shall serve as the primary ecumenical representative.

B. Serve as chief liaison with the general manifestation of the church, including the Conference of Regional Ministers and Moderators, College of Regional Ministers, General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

C. Will maintain contact with and appoint designee to state or area ecumenical associations as appropriate.

VI. Keeper of the Vision

A. The Regional Minister, along with the Regional Moderator, will promote and keep before the region the vision, mission, values, and goals of our life together.

B. The Regional Minister, in partnership with regional leaders, will encourage regular evaluation of the region’s vision and progress towards living into that vision.

It is recognized that given the geographic expanse of the Northern Lights Region and other exigencies the personal presence of the Regional Minister and President will not always be possible. Much of the pastoral and administrative presence will be virtual through Zoom and other electronic means.

It is also recognized that job descriptions cannot cover every specific situation that may arise. This job description should be understood as fluid and flexible. The Regional Minister and President will remain flexible, tolerant, and supportive in the development of program and in the carrying out of the work of the region.