Graceland President to Retire in 2017
Graceland University Board of Trustees Chair Harry Ashenhurst, PhD, announced on May 2 on behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, that President John Sellars, PhD, CPA, will retire July 15, 2017. Sellars has served as Graceland University’s president since 2007. Read more.
Your Generosity Makes a Difference
Check out the 2015 Generosity Annual Report and reflect on the difference you made on mission as we live out the five Mission Initiatives.
Pledges and One-time Gifts Raise Tithing Goal
The original goal for Worldwide Mission Tithes in calendar year 2016 was $13 million. Through the blessings of the grassroots effort of one-time gifts and first-year commitments to sustainable gifts in 2016, there is an additional goal of $2,100,000. This makes the new 2016 calendar-year goal $15,100,000.
In a tremendous outpouring of generosity, members and friends gave an estimated $2,250,000 in March, making the total contributions to date $4,425,000. This puts us 15 percent ahead of goal. Your amazing, generous response shows that if we continue to work together through this difficult period we can rebuild a solid financial foundation for the church.
Additional financial questions sent during the 3 April President's Address and Q&A webcast are answered by the First Presidency and Acting Presiding Bishopric.
Event App for World Conference
An Event App to Help Navigate World Conference
The World Conference Planning Team is excited to launch the 2016 World Conference event app for smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers. It’s free and available in English, French, and Spanish. Great for attendees and for staying connected to the event remotely.
App features include: schedule, registration, preparation materials, important documents and resolutions, info booth, and more. You will have the option to log in so you can create personalized schedules and mark documents as favorites.
If you registered to receive electronic materials, they will be delivered through the Documents link on the app. Once downloaded, the app functions offline and will not require WIFI access. Daily bulletins will be posted each evening, so you can update your app at night or in the morning to have the most current material.
This app is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry devices. It can also be viewed through any Internet browser at www.eventmobi.com/wc2016
Download the event app today!
World Conference Special Offering
On Sunday, 10 April, we have the opportunity to financially support World Conference!
Funds from the special offering will help members and friends worldwide take part in World Conference through live webcasts, photo logs, social-media interaction, materials published during and after Conference, and more. Find Disciples Generous Response helps for the special offering in this week's Worship Resources.
You can give in a variety of ways!
- Give online at https://www.cofchrist.org/give-now
- Use the Give button on the CofChrist mobile app
- Use your World Conference special offering envelope at your local congreation
- Mail a check to International Headquarters and write World Conference on the memo line
Words of Counsel
See the final version of the words of counsel to be considered for inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants during the 2016 World Conference.
Still Time to Request a Graceland Rep
There is still time to request a Graceland rep for camps and reunions this summer!! Graceland Summer Representatives are some of Graceland’s best and brightest students! These students are well-trained to use their unique gifts and talents to help make your camp or reunion a memorable experience.
Request a Rep to be part of your youth camp or reunion staff by visiting Graceland’s website. The site has more information about the students, how the program works, and the request form. Contact Greg Sutherland if you have specific questions that are not addressed in the program website.
Leadership and Field Changes
President Veazey shared a letter of counsel today about World Church leadership changes and another letter about changes in the USA Mission Field structure. Read these letters in Official.
Update on the Grassroots Effort from the Acting Presiding Bishopric
In February, a social media group asked Community of Christ leaders what it would take to avoid layoffs in March and beyond. The leadership responded, saying the church would need an increase in world mission tithes that is timely, reliable, and sustainable and encouraging members to submit world mission tithing plans to the Presiding Bishopric.
During that time, the church received just over $1M in one-time contributions and $1.2M in sustaining commitments for 2016, 2017, and 2018. Thank you to each person, family, congregation, and friend who responded! Read the full update from the Acting Presiding Bishopric.
Impending Budget Cuts Inspire Generosity
President Steve Veazey talked with Apostle Linda Booth about the church’s difficult financial situation, as well as the grassroots effort that has released a growing spirit of generosity throughout the world. Watch the video or read the transcript.
Thank you for making Christ’s mission real in the world!
Historic Sites Bus Tour 2016
“For Everyone Born: A Place in the Story” is back by popular demand! After last year’s bus tour, Barbara Walden and Peter Smith agreed to repeat the 14-day tour 3-16 October 2016. Explore the diverse people and experiences within the Community of Christ story, witnessing our 185-year history of practicing Unity in Diversity and the Worth of All Persons. Worship in the Kirtland Temple and Palmyra’s Sacred Grove. Learn about the history of Nauvoo, Plano, and Lamoni. Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Women’s Rights National Historical Park; Gettysburg; Washington, DC; Colonial Williamsburg; and much more!
Tour price is $1,799 per person for double-occupancy, $2,599 per person single occupancy. Price includes luxury bus transportation (from Independence, Missouri, area), lodging, tour fees, and most meals. Reservation forms and a full tour itinerary are available on the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation website, or contact Linda Etchison at (217) 453-2246. Seating is limited. Reserve your place today!
Financial Update - 4 March
Acting Presiding Bishop Stassi Cramm shares more details about the church’s financial situation.
First Presidency Shares Financial Update
The First Presidency and World Church leaders want to share financial updates and related information with the church.
2016 World Conference Resolutions
These resolutions have been submitted to the World Conference after approval by mission center conferences, World Church quorums, or World Church teams that support the World Conference. The resolutions will be considered according to parliamentary procedures as defined in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition and the standing rules of the 2016 World Conference.
Please share this information with delegates and members in your area. The PDF of these resolutions can also be found online at www.CofChrist.org/2016-world-conference in the Resources widget on the right-hand side of the page.
Youth Service Corps at World Conference
Do you know a young person who has completed grades 6–12 and is coming to World Conference in June? We invite them to apply for the volunteer Youth Service Corps. Corps members work various shifts and perform a variety of official services that help keep World Conference running smoothly. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet youth from around the world and make memories to last a lifetime. Apply today!
2016 Reunion Themes and Resources
Themes and resources are now available for 2016 reunion planning. This includes resources for Sharing Services, All-Ages Devotions and Activities, Adults, Youth, Children, and Young Children. Of Water and Spirit and Of Water and Spirit for Children will be used for Adult, Youth, and Children lessons.
2016 International Peace Award Recipient
The First Presidency announced Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee (pronounced beau we) as the 2016 Community of Christ International Peace Award recipient. Ms. Gbowee will receive the award during World Conference at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2016, in the Auditorium Conference Chamber in Independence, Missouri. Read the First Presidency's official statement.
Common Consent Process for I-1 Mission, Tithing, and Priesthood Response
An enhanced common consent process will be used for one proposal at the 2016 World Conference, “Mission, Tithing, and Priesthood Response.” In preparation, the First Presidency invites the church to engage in prayerful reflection about this proposal.
In the Common Consent document you will find:
- an article by Steve Veazey, "Common Consent: Being a Prophetic People"
- the proposal, "I-1 Mission, Tithing, and Priesthood Response"
- a "Discernment and Dialogue Guide" with recommendations for individuals, small groups, congregations, and mission centers
The First Presidency encourage you to give feedback through comments, questions, and suggestions.
Community of Christ Releases an App
With the Community of Christ app, you can read daily spiritual devotions, watch inspiring videos, stay in touch with mission happening around the world, and much more.
The app development was funded through the generous offerings received during the USA National Conference after event expenses were met.
Support Community of Christ Through AmazonSmile
Community of Christ is now registered as a charitable organization through AmazonSmile.
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Community of Christ whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
If you are an Amazon shopper, please consider making Community of Christ the recipient of a portion of your eligible sales. Simply click this link to smile.amazon.com (for our Canadian members and friends, please use this link for a similar option at Amazon.ca) and Community of Christ will automatically become the charitable organization of your choice. You can change it at anytime. If you search for us, please search "Community of Christ Independence MO" in order have us show up on the first page of results.
New Ministry and Priesthood Courses
The full line of new Ministry and Priesthood courses from Temple School will be available at World Conference 2016. As courses become available, you will be able to purchase them from Herald House.
These classes emphasize spiritual formation, justice and peacemaking, modeling generosity, and providing ministry consistent with the church’s identity, mission, message, and beliefs.
Each lesson incorporates different styles of learning and focuses on what the participants need to know, how they are to be, and what they are to do as disciples and priesthood members.
TS-SS400 Introduction to Scripture by Tony and Charmaine Chvala-Smith
This course is taught by Tony and Charmaine Chvala-Smith on the Introduction to Scripture USB drive. Course facilitators will need this resource so everyone who takes the class can experience these excellent teachers. Each session has built-in places where students are assigned tasks or instructed to share in conversation along with the class in the video.
The Introduction to Scripture book is the resource that each student needs for the eight-session course. It is written by Tony and Charmaine Chvala-Smith and defines and explores the nature of scripture in the life of the church. It helps students understand genre, literary context, and historical and cultural context. The lessons also provide guides in the responsible use of the Old Testament and dealing with difficult texts; provides a sample small-group Bible study; and explores the function of the Lectionary in sacraments, preaching, and teaching. Students practice an eight-step exegesis process.
TS-MP301 Ministry of the Disciple
These 10 lessons engage disciples in spiritual practices and active learning focusing on what is important to know, be, and do as disciples and ministers of Jesus Christ. The lessons work well in various learning and small-group settings.