Community of Christ

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Human Resource Ministries Director Named

5/10/2018

Community of Christ and Graceland University have announced a new Community of Christ director of Human Resource Ministries, Matthew J. Frizzell.

Jan Kraybill Expands Music Ministry

5/7/2018

As of 1 August, Jan Kraybill will move into independent, full-time music performance and ministry. Jan has been serving for the past year as executive director of The Hymn Society, with offices in the Temple in Independence.

Jan combined her three-quarter-time Hymn Society position with other roles, including organist-in-residence for Community of Christ. The Hymn Society has grown to the point that a full-time executive director is needed; simultaneously, Jan’s performance career has grown to the point that it demands more than a quarter of her time. By mutual agreement, The Hymn Society has begun a search for a new executive director who can serve full time.

Because of her strong calling to public music ministry, Jan will devote the majority of her attention to this while continuing to serve as conservator for the pipe organs at International Headquarters and at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. In February, Jan will, as organist-in-residence, offer the 20th Super Bowl recital at Community of Christ Temple and will serve as principal organist for the 2019 World Conference.

Jan contributes vibrant music ministry, workshops, hymnfests, and preaching to various events. To inquire about dates and fees, contact her directly at jankraybill@gmail.com.

Take Steps Together for Peace at Community of Christ Temple on World Labyrinth Day

5/1/2018

Community of Christ will participate in an ancient form of spiritual contemplation on Saturday, May 5 — World Labyrinth Day. 

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide observance at the Community of Christ Temple’s labyrinth at the corner of River Boulevard and Walnut Street in Independence, Missouri, USA. 

At 12:45 p.m., Charmaine Chvala-Smith will welcome visitors and then offer prayers on the labyrinth, part of the 1 p.m. worldwide Take Steps Together for Peace event. Chvala-Smith is a member of the Community of Christ Spiritual Formation Team. 

At the Temple, follow the ramp to the rooftop terrace outside the building. If you can't join us at the Temple, use this Labyrinth Locator to see if there is one near you. 

Suggested labyrinth practices: 

  •         Pause before entering the labyrinth to center thoughts and intention. Find a pace that is comfortable and simply walk the path to the center and back out.
  •         During the walk, be aware of the possible purposes and patterns symbolized in the journey.
  •         The walk from the entrance of the labyrinth to the center represents a time for releasing, emptying, and quieting. Let go of things that block communication with God. Relinquish things you attempt to control.
  •         The second stage of the labyrinth walk is found in the center, the stage of illumination. Here is the place for meditation and prayer. Enter with an open heart and mind and receive whatever clarity and wisdom is available.
  •         The stage of union begins as the walker leaves the center. It allows for integration of the insight or clarity received. It is for communion with God, for gratitude, for empowerment in living God’s call.
  •         Pause along the way or stay in the center as long as needed. More than one person may walk at a time and enter the center, standing, kneeling, or sitting, as they feel led. Pass slower walkers by simply stepping around them.
  •         Be mindful of thoughts and feelings; pay attention to all that happens along the way.
  •        Once you have completed your labyrinth walk, continue a prayerful walk around the outside or, if others are still walking, stand, sit, or kneel and hold them in prayer as they continue along the path.
Last year more than 5,000 people walked labyrinths, part of World Labyrinth Society events in 20 countries and 45 US states.

Our Conversation About Giving Needs Your Input

4/15/2018

Community of Christ has begun an effort to realign the way the we think about giving. Conversations about a Generosity Cycle are beginning now.

We invite you to be part of the bigger conversation that is evolving across the church as we explore and journey together with this new approach.

Please take a few minutes to learn more by watching this video and then take a brief survey linked below the video player. You will also find links to the video script and FAQs.

Here’s More On the President’s Challenge

4/13/2018

After the questions arrived during the live webcast of President Steve Veazey’s address on 8 April, translators, transcribers, and video personnel were busy making that information available for all to see and read. 

Videos of the president’s statement were available before the 8 April event. Now we have videos of the question-and-answer period in English, French, and Spanish. 

We thank the church for its interest and participation in the President’s Challenge address.

Five Years—A Retrospective Survey of Community of Christ Sings

4/12/2018

Can you believe it has been five years since the introduction of the hymnal, Community of Christ Sings?

We’re requesting feedback and stories about the use of the hymnal by congregations and other communities. Please reply to a survey  (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HWGTMQZ) before 20 May to have your voice included in this look at the past five years.

According to Jane Gardner, leader of the Hymnal Steering Team, the survey will provide information that can be shared with interested groups like the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and with the church in the form of a Herald article.

In addition, future hymnal committees might find the responses helpful.

Questions in the survey cover everything from the practical to the theological. We especially want to hear your stories. How has Community of Christ Sings impacted your life, your ministry, your congregation, your community?

The survey takes only a few minutes to complete. We really would appreciate your participation.  

More information about the hymnal and associated products is available on the church website (http://www.cofchrist.org/community-of-christ-sings) and through HeraldHouse.org(https://www.heraldhouse.org/search?q=Community+of+Christ+Sings).

Earth Day, April 22, Reminds Us of the Sacredness of Creation

4/10/2018

April 22 is Earth Day around the world. This day we pause to celebrate the planet we call home, its resources, and how to protect our environment.  

The World Church Earth Stewardship Committee reminds individuals, families, and congregations to extend some love: 

  •          Ride a bike, walk,  or use public transportation to church, school, and work; 
  •          Carpool or share a ride; take along reusable bags instead of accepting paper or plastic;
  •          Use refillable water bottles;
  •          Turn off lights or appliances when they’re not needed;
  •          Evaluate home and church energy costs for heating, electricity, and water use to determine if efficiency would be increased with insulation and repair of leaky pipes and faucets;
  •          Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle.

What more can be done to make a difference? Add your own ideas to the list. Please help recognize the sacredness of the creation we all celebrate.

More resources are available at www.CofChrist.org, including worship resources. And don’t forget to send us photos for possible use in the church’s social media channels. Send them right after your event to Communications@cofchrist.org.

Here Comes Reunion 2018!

4/9/2018

Reunion is a time for spiritual growth, personal discernment, renewed relationships—and fun. “Breathe New Life” is the theme of this year’s materials. Each is designed to be modified for your reunion location and the makeup of the community you serve. The materials are flexible enough to use for Sunday school or individual study. 

Adult Lessons, a book in printed form, will be available through www.HeraldHouse.org in April for $15.95. 

All others are available through www.CofChrist.org now as PDFs to download and print locally. Look for: 

  • Children’s Activity Guide
  • Sharing Services
  • Worship Resources
  • Youth Lessons 

For more information, email Communications@CofChrist.org

You're Invited to Write for Daily Bread

4/6/2018

Do you have an experience, poem, or reflection that you would like to share with the church community in Daily Bread?

We are looking for submissions that are approximately 300 words. Remember to write for a global audience and in your own voice.

Some possible writing prompts:

  • Where does God show up in your daily life?
  • How are we invited to notice and tend the sacred in the ordinary?
  • How has the Spirit been forming and transforming you over time?

More Daily Bread writing guidelines and a submission form are online. Thank you for considering sharing in this ministry!

An Easter Message to the Church

3/27/2018

President Steve Veazey offers this message on the meaning of Easter.

Sacred Space Resources Available for Small-Group Worship

3/23/2018


Sacred Space: A Small-group Resource is for informal Community of Christ gatherings. The new resource is designed to share a conversation about faith and build relationships. The PDF materials are available free on www.HeraldHouse.org under the Worship and Pastors & Leaders categories and at www.CofChrist.org.

Each outline includes readings and scriptures for Prayer for Peace, Sharing Around the Table, and Generosity Statement. These readings appear in the body of each service outline. Additions for Communion and Thoughts for Children are included. The series also introduces Community of Christ and invites Christ’s followers to be shaped and formed in his image. The materials are available in English only. 

This resource also can be used to support weekly worship in small congregations or in large congregations using a small-group break-out approach. 

Very little preparation time is required, and the resource is created to be printer friendly. 

Sacred Space features two series. 

The Enduring Principles Series follows the Christian calendar. Themes and scriptures explore a deep understanding of Jesus Christ. Each week offers tangible ways people can live Christ’s mission in the context of their lives. 

Forty-eight outlines—four per month—bring a focus theme and related weekly topics. Outlines for church holidays can be used according to where the event or season falls on the calendar in any given year. 

Four additional outlines cover months with a fifth meeting day. The outlines provide an alternative small-group experience. 

The Lectionary Series uses the Revised Common Lectionary, which begins with the first Sunday of Advent. The lectionary moves through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time (Sundays after Pentecost). A spiritual practice is included in each week’s outline.              

A Sacred Space outline is available for each Sunday of the three-year cycle (Years A, B, and C). Outlines also are included for the major holidays that don’t fall on Sundays.

HeraldHouse.org will sell color versions printed for use in three-ring binders.

Presiding Bishopric Financial Update for March 2018

3/16/2018

In the March financial update — the first of three in 2018 — the Presiding Bishopric expresses its gratitude to church mission centers, congregations, and members for their generosity as 2017 closed. Sixty-two congregations and mission centers made one-time contributions that brought the church within reach of its year-end goal.

The Bishopric has shared other details about the church’s current economic situation and recommendations that were made at the 22 February teleconference meeting of the World Church Finance Board. 

Learn more at http://www.CofChrist.org/financial-updates.

IYF Plans Underway

3/7/2018

The cheerful buzz of many languages will echo this summer in Independence, Missouri, as International Youth Forum USA participants arrive at the Community of Christ campus.

This special event, 19-20 July, focuses on international friendships and understanding, an extension of the church’s ongoing mission of invitation, compassionate ministries, and the pursuit of Christ’s peace. International Games are new on the IYF schedule this year. Information on www.CofChrist.org explains more about IYF in English and French.

IYF leads into the annual youth event Spectacular, held in Lamoni, Iowa, USA on the  Graceland University campus. Hundreds of teenagers participate in the two Community of Christ events.  

New Witness the Word Resources Available

3/7/2018

From a child’s natural impulse to share to the holy meaning of Communion, Witness the Word sermons recently released have an inspirational message for every individual and congregation.

Field Support Minister Moana Faana, Graceland University Campus Minister Mike Hoffman, Field Bishop Mark Euritt, Apostle Linda Booth, Mission Center President Zac Harmon-McLaughlin, and Stassi Cramm of the First Presidency/Presiding Bishopric are the featured speakers in the March release.

Their messages can be watched on the church website (search for Witness the Word) on a computer or smartphone, or downloaded to a computer. DVDs of the messages are mailed to pastors in Canada and the USA.

The series is among the most popular resources from Community of Christ and has been offered since 2011. New videos/DVDs are released three times a year.

Congregations Receive Historical Records Request

3/5/2018

A letter seeking historical information is being distributed by the Community of Christ Church History and Sacred Story Team to USA and international congregations. Read either the USA or international version, based on your location. Check with your church historian before sending any of the requested materials.

Every Congregation's History Matters

2/13/2018

Congregational historians are needed to help share our sacred story! To appoint a historian:

  • Choose someone in your congregation to represent your history. Make sure this person is willing and available to serve.
  • The congregation's pastor or mission center president then contacts the World Church librarian-archivist at rkillebrew@cofchrist.org, supplying the name and address of the nominee.
  • An official appointment letter and writing guidelines will be sent to the new historian.

Historic Sites Volunteers Needed

2/7/2018

Interested in being at the forefront of mission? Consider the volunteer opportunities at historic sites in Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois. Training and on-site housing are provided. For more information contact Apostle Lachlan Mackay at LMackay@CofChrist.org.

Key Points and Ways to Help - Time to Act!

10/24/2017

NEW: This document includes key points from President Veazey's message and lists a few tangible ways you can help as we move together into the future. 

Also available: 

Letter Regarding Political Climate

11/21/2016

The First Presidency and USA Apostles released a letter about the political climate in the USA:   

If you are a congregational leader, we invite you to share this letter with your congregation. 

Thank you for everything you do to support Christ’s mission!

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