Community of Christ

Support Community of Christ Through AmazonSmile

10/17/2017

As many of you prepare to purchase gifts for the holidays, please remember that Community of Christ is 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" in order have us show up on the first page of results. 

Submission of 2019 World Conference Resolutions

10/17/2017

Deadline for mission centers to submit items for 2019 World Conference consideration is 6 April. 

Resolutions to be considered by the 2019 World Conference should address significant issues that would concern the entire church. Resolutions should propose actions that are clearly defined, capable of being readily implemented, and aligned to directly address the concerns raised. 

Resolutions submitted early in the inter-Conference period will benefit from having ample time for translation, collaborative review by church leaders and mission centers, and more thorough church-wide discernment. 

World Conference Resolution 1308 “Time for Introduction of New Business, adopted in June 2016, states:

Resolved, That for legislation to come before World Conference, such legislation must be submitted to the First Presidency no later than one year before the opening of each World Conference.

Submissions should be sent to Susan Sloan, World Church secretary, at Community of Christ International Headquarters or to ssloan@CofChrist.org.

Plan Now to Enlist Graceland Students for Internships

10/17/2017

Church-affiliated organizations, mission centers, campgrounds, and congregations with interest in interns are encouraged to contact Mike Hoffman, campus minister at Graceland University.

Hoffman said recently that some students already are being placed for summer of 2018.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations outside the church also are encouraged to take on interns, providing them experience related to majors or a career. Jan Gray handles those inquiries at the college.

Internships are an integral part of Graceland’s experience for students, Hoffman said. Positions related to a major or career help them prepare for employment. An internship related to the Community of Christ's mission can help prepare students for bi-vocational ministry.

Most students would benefit from paid internships. Transportation, housing, and meals might also be considered for internship plans. Resources to help plan an internship are available.

For more information, contact Hoffman at mhoffman@graceland.edu or Gray at elliott@graceland.edu

World Service Corps Alumnus on Winning Nobel Team

10/11/2017

Matthew Bolton is living Christ's call to Pursue Peace.

The Graceland University alumnus and former World Service Corps volunteer was part of an effort that led to a Nobel Peace Prize win for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The prize was announced 6 October.

Bolton graduated from Graceland University in 2001 with a degree in history and religion. He earned a master’s degree in development studies and a doctorate in government from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He and his spouse, Emily Welty, who also has been working with ICAN, are professors at Pace University in New York City.

Bolton was part of a team that successfully advocated for the inclusion of victim assistance and environmental remediation provisions, and international cooperation and assistance provided to countries affected by use and testing of nuclear weapons.

Community of Christ Lessons

10/10/2017

Community of Christ lessons are available for children (ages 6–11), youth (ages 12–18), and adults. Weekly lessons connect the lectionary text with Community of Christ identity, mission, message, and beliefs. The next set of lessons for 22 October through 26 November 2017 are now available for download. Visit the Lessons page today!

Key Points and Ways to Help - Time to Act!

10/4/2017

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: 

Statement on Las Vegas Shooting Tragedy

10/4/2017

  

The USA Team of Apostles has offered this statement on the  1 October shootings in Las Vegas:

As Community of Christ, we share the peace of Jesus Christ in a troubled world. This calling is grounded in our belief in Unity in Diversity, Blessings of Community, the Worth of All Persons, and Responsible Choices. 

We join with other faith organizations, including the National Council of Churches (statement), and communities who grieve for those families who lost loved ones. We unite in prayer for them and others affected by the mass shooting on 1 October in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

We also denounce needless violence that ends and shatters lives. We pray for wisdom as we consider our individual response as disciples in dialogue and action. We affirm World Conference Resolution 1270 urging firearms be used for sporting and professional purposes only. 

Doctrine and Covenants 163:2a reminds all to “strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.”

Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program Deadline Is 26 January

9/28/2017

A new group of Spiritual Formation and Companioning participants is gathering, with applications due by 26 January.

For three years, participants have learned to listen more deeply to their longings and callings. They also learned to listen more skillfully and attentively to others, discovering a depth in relationships that the soul craves.

Now a new Cohort of students will form to begin their classes. The training provides opportunities to grow in spiritual community, discover new forms of worship and practice, and learn from gifted ecumenical presenters. The first year focuses on personal spiritual formation and transformation with an option of continuing for the second and third years to receive a Spiritual Companioning and Leadership certificate.

A more complete article about the courses appears in the November/December Herald. For more information, contact Katie Harmon-McLaughlin at khmclaughlin@CofChrist.org, (816) 833-1000, ext. 2393; or administrative support at (816) 833-1000, ext. 3038.

Joint Statement on Sale of Printer’s Manuscript

9/20/2017

On September 18, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon from Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri. The sale price of $35 million was provided by generous donors.  The manuscript has been owned by Community of Christ since 1903.

The manuscript now will be housed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ international headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Plans are underway to display the manuscript to the public at the Church History Library in the coming months.


To learn more, see the Questions and Answers 

Contributions Help During the Wait on FEMA, Insurance

9/14/2017

The first financial assistance from Harvey Relief has been distributed to storm victims in the Houston area. 

The contributions have provided food, transportation, and housing as families and individuals wait for information from their insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Some in need might not receive any help from FEMA, according to church officials in Texas. 

Jim Seeley, mission center financial officer team member for Coastal Bend Mission Center, said Harvey Relief contributions are ensuring storm victims' safety and enabling them to get back to work.

He offered this list of recent concerns: 

  • Two homes that have insurance will need major repairs and replacement of furniture and appliances; and two homes that don’t have insurance will need much the same.
  • One home was blown off its foundation and likely will need to be demolished and replaced (insurance status unknown).  
  • Three homes have minor damage and will need some items replaced (insurance status unknown).
  • One family lost everything in a rental home. The family had no insurance and will need furniture, appliances, and clothes.

This list is incomplete and changes as new information is available. Church member volunteers continue to help with cleanup and demolition at homes that were damaged. 

Thank you for your generous contributions to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, which have exceeded the $25,000 goal. We continue to monitor the situation in Texas and surrounding areas and are releasing funds as needed. We’re also gathering preliminary information about needs related to Hurricane Irma. 

You may continue to support both hurricane relief efforts through eTithing (Disaster Relief button, then Hurricane Relief) or by sending checks to the Presiding Bishopric with “Hurricane relief” on the check’s memo line. Mail checks to Community of Christ International Headquarters, 1001 W. Walnut St., Independence, MO 64050-3562.

Contributions received in excess of those needed for aid related to these storms will go to Worldwide Mission Tithes, where funds will be drawn for future disaster relief efforts.

Social Media Resources Available

9/13/2017

The Communications team, with Latter-day Seeker Ministries and the help of volunteers, has developed five resources outlining ways to use the internet to reach people looking for a spiritual home and members hoping to build sustaining relationships:

The Website Toolkit has instructions for building a congregational website, including a sample (http://CofChristsample.weebly.com).

Use Social Media Profile Images to reflect Community of Christ’s visual standards. Congregations and mission centers also are welcome to use cover images if needed.

Facebook 101 Best Practices outlines basic information, including how to create a Facebook page and group.

Google My Business Account explains how to edit congregation information on Google.

Social Media Guidelines defines how mission centers and congregations should respond to negative comments and handle copyright rules and privacy concerns. Contact Communications (Communications@CofChrist.org) with questions.

Irma's Destruction Delays Information from Florida

9/12/2017

Communication with church members and leaders most affected by Hurricane Irma is difficult because power is out in many places and cellphone service is spotty.

According to Barbara Carter, apostle for the Southeast USA Mission Field, many residents left as the storm approached, so it could be a few days before they return and complete information is available. 

The Fort Meyers, Florida, church building had no damage, but some members in that area had minor damage to their homes, Carter said. Initial reports are that New Port Richey members are doing fine. Also, reports from members in the Orlando area indicate little storm damage. Cleanup has begun in areas where storm damage was minor.

Debbie Bartlett said at Deerhaven Campgrounds near Paisley, Florida, power lines and several trees were down, plus shingles were torn off roofs.  The campground manager and his family were unhurt.

Instructions regarding gifts to support Hurricane Irma relief will follow shortly.

Nepal Update; Hurricane Harvey Announcement

8/29/2017

Thank you for your generous response to the flood relief efforts in Nepal. The initial $15,000 goal has been exceeded. We will continue to monitor the needs in Nepal and aid will be provided as necessary. 

Hurricane Harvey, which hit the United States over the weekend, continues to cause devastating conditions. The church is committed to providing relief for members in Houston and surrounding areas. An initial goal of $25,000 has been identified and will be reassessed as specific needs are made known. 

Coastal Bend USA Mission Center President Cheryl Saur said at least five Community of Christ families are affected. The Pasadena congregation likely will be hardest hit, Saur said. Most members’ homes have taken on water, but everyone is safe in shelters. One family from the Bay Area congregation was evacuated. Efforts to contact members continue.

If you wish to support the relief efforts in Texas and surrounding areas, you can give now through eTithing.

  • Log in or select Give Without an Account.
  • Choose Disaster Relief in the dropdown menu.
  • Click Next and Texas Flood Relief appears.
  • Enter the amount you wish to give.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your payment information.
  • Click Submit. 

To contribute by check, write Texas Flood Relief on the right side of your tithing envelope.  

Checks also can be made to the Presiding Bishopric with “Harvey flood relief” on the memo line and mailed directly to Community of Christ International Headquarters, 1001 W. Walnut St., Independence, MO 64050-3562.  

The church has committed an initial $25,000 from the Worldwide Mission Tithes budget for immediate Texas Flood Relief aid. We are hoping to receive an additional $25,000 from contributions, to be used as needs are identified. This is an initial estimate and may change in coming days.

Contributions received in excess of $25,000 will either be used for Texas Flood Relief efforts or will go to Worldwide Mission Tithes where aid will be drawn for any future disaster relief efforts. For more information, email HarveyRelief@CofChrist.org.

Please continue to uphold the people in the path of Hurricane Harvey in your prayers.

President's Message Urges Giving

8/16/2017

A video statement released today on www.CofChrist.org and as a DVD explains the urgent need for giving, specifically to Worldwide Mission Tithes. President Steve Veazey reminds Community of Christ members that "sharing for the common good is the spirit of Zion."

He emphasizes that $14.9 million in tithing is needed by the end of 2017 to meet the Worldwide Mission budget. Without that amount, ministries and staff could be cut.

Veazey points to eTithing, which enables recurring electronic payments. "I invite you to experience the joy the spiritual practice of generosity," he says. His video message is accompanied by others, including messages from individuals who have benefited from Worldwide Mission Tithes. More videos can be viewed on YouTube. The DVD is available from pastors and mission center presidents. 

Congregations are urged to support Worldwide Mission tithing with a service dedicated to the subject and with investment income.

Herald House Has a New Internet Home

8/1/2017

The publishing arm of Community of Christ has a fresh, new face at www.HeraldHouse.org, with everything from lessons to apparel.

The new website has a clean, easy-to-use design and secure checkout. The site is well organized and customers can create accounts, rate products, and add comments. It is designed to view on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Responding to a frequent request, one component will provide access to free resources created by members for worship, education, reunions, and other activities. To share materials, click the Member Created link on the top menu. Instructions there tell how to upload resources for consideration.

“This will be a fantastic way to give the church greater access to resources that might not otherwise be seen or used outside the congregation that created them,” said Apostle Janné Grover, team leader for Disciple and Priesthood Formation.

The new website will have shipping and handling fees based on shipping costswhere the former site’s fees in most cases were based on total order amounts. Missouri congregations that set up an account on the new website must contact sales@heraldhouse.org prior to placing their first order so that merchandise can be tax exempt.

Visit www.HeraldHouse.org today! 

Redesigned Icons Illustrate Enduring Principles

7/24/2017

Icons Promote a Unified Understanding of Christ’s Message

To better communicate the foundations of Community of Christ, new symbols have been created to describe the Enduring Principles. Congregations and mission centers are urged to use these in their printed materials, social media, and websites to help the church promote its message.

"For several years, members have requested icons for our nine Enduring Principles, which express who God calls us to be," said Apostle Linda Booth, director of Communications. "The Communications Team worked with John Hamer from Toronto, taking his original designs to create icons that complement our Mission Initiatives icons, which represent what God calls us to do. I hope the church uses these new icons in ways to inspire and instill the church’s core values."  

Grace and Generosity is a palm-up hand profile below a heart.

Sacredness of Creation is a sprouting plant.

Continuing Revelation is a curling flame.

Worth of All Persons is trio of silhouettes.

All Are Called is a globe.

Responsible Choices is two arrows in a circular design.

Pursuit of Peace is a dove in flight.

Unity in Diversity is three outlined shapes that interconnect to form a circle.

Blessings of Community is an outline of a house with a heart inside.

Updated Mission Initiative icons also are available.

The new Enduring Principles icons are attached. All the icons can be downloaded at www.CofChrist.org/graphics.       

Download Community of Christ App

6/14/2017

Download the Community of Christ app for Android and iOS devices from Google Play and the App Store on iTunes. 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!

Scripture Resources Page Updated

6/13/2017

Tony and Charmaine Chvala-Smith have revised an extensive list of study tools on www.CofChrist.org.

Several new titles were added to a collection of others that have proved their usefulness. Perhaps most important, the materials are aligned with "Scripture in Community of Christ.”

The list, Reliable Tools for Serious Scripture Study, is one of the many resources on the site. The volumes described are for personal or congregational use and include Bibles, commentaries and lectionary-based resources. Links to websites offer sermon helps and study series recommendations, including series for young adults.

Tony Chvala-Smith is a Community of Christ Seminary professor and Charmaine Chvala-Smith is the seminary chaplain. Both are scripture and theology consultants at International Headquarters.

International Youth Forum-USA Plans Underway

5/30/2017

Plans are underway for 2018 International Youth Forum-USA (IYF USA). This is an international gathering where youth from around the world come together to celebrate and claim their place in Community of Christ. The event, held once every four years, is an awesome experience at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA that each youth has one chance to attend.

This special event will be July 19-20, 2018, for youth who have finished grades 9-12 (ages 15-19). Learn more.

Updated Congregation Pages Available

5/5/2017

Expanded congregation pages on www.CofChrist.org/find-a-congregation are available. This provides an opportunity for congregations to share more information about themselves with website visitors. 

New sections of the congregation page: 

  • Welcome — a statement welcoming visitors and seekers to their congregation 
  • Share with us — a list of worship and gathering times 
  • Our ministries — youth group, English as a Second Language courses, etc. 
  • Social media links — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram 

Current sections of the congregation page: 

  • Photo 
  • Address 
  • Congregation contact information (phone, e-mail) 
  • Website link 
  • Leadership contact information 
  • Google map 
  • Mission center association 

Visit the Liberty Congregation page for an example of an expanded congregation page. 

Congregations must complete this form to update their page. Email web@CofChrist.org with questions. 

Commentary on Principles From the First Presidency

4/28/2017

The First Presidency has released commentary regarding priesthood morality in response to a referral from the 2016 World Conference.
The commentary is based in the Enduring Principles, which help define the character and identity of our church. They arise from our response to the foundation of our faith—God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit—and our sacred story as a people. The presidency encourages the church to become familiar with these principles and explanations in anticipation of coming responses to particular issues.

Priesthood Status Categories Update Arrives

4/28/2017

Priesthood Status Categories is the second recent document supplied by church officials. It describes the Community of Christ ministry structure, which encourages faithfulness and is responsive to changing personal circumstances. Similar information can be found in the July/August Herald.

Community of Christ World Conference Resolutions

2/22/2017

The 2016 World Conference authorized the First Presidency to make a selection of the resolutions that have current force and effect for the management of the church and further authorized the Presidency to make necessary editorial changes to bring the language into current usage.  

The World Conference Resolutions are presented to give church leaders easy reference to them and for those who might be investigating Community of Christ to see the actions of our highest legislative body and know what the church stands for. A log of all World Conference enactments with copies are maintained in the church’s archives for the use of historians and researchers. The document will be housed in the Resource database on the church's website. 

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!