Who Loves Camp and Reunion? Graceland Reps!
Graceland University's Summer Reps are selected to travel to Community of Christ camps and reunions across North America to share about their unique Graceland experience. These students, some of Graceland’s best and brightest, are well-trained to use their unique gifts and talents to help make your camp or reunion a memorable experience.
Camp and reunion directors can request a Rep to be part of your youth camp or reunion staff by visiting the Graceland website. Please make your request by March 15! If you have additional questions, please contact Kevin Brown, Graceland's Director of Admissions.
Graceland University Announces New President
Dr. Patricia H. Draves will become the 18th president of Graceland University. Dr. Harry J. Ashenhurst, chairman of the university Board of Trustees, made the announcement after an intensive search process that lasted eight months. Draves is currently Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Draves will replace Dr. John Sellars, who will retire after ten years as Graceland president.
Draves earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas-Austin. She began her teaching career at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, where she became Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. In 2002, she accepted a teaching position at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, and later served as director of its biochemistry program. In 2006, she assumed her current position as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Union.
The search for a new president began last spring with the announcement of Sellars’ retirement plans. Ashenhurst appointed Dr. Kay Mussell, retired Dean of Liberal Arts at American University, to head a search committee. The university hired the firm of AGB Search to assist in the process.
The committee reviewed the resumes from a strong field of around 30 applicants. They selected six for further consideration in private off-campus interviews, to protect applicants’ privacy. From that smaller group, they brought three finalists to campus.
Draves will visit the campus in the spring and orient herself to Lamoni and Independence and university administration before assuming her presidential duties on June 15. Dr. Sellars will continue with Graceland until July 15.
USA Tax Receipt Question
Will I get a tax receipt for my e-Tithing contributions?
Yes. If you are a member of a USA congregation, your e-Tithing contributions will be included on the Contributor’s Statement that you receive from your Congregational Financial Officer. If you are not a member of a congregation, you will receive a Contributor’s Statement in the mail from International Headquarters.
Statement on Recent Immigration Order
The First Presidency released a statement on the recent immigration executive order.
What an amazingly generous response to end the year! Together we met our December contribution goal of $2,000,000 which helped us exceed our annual Worldwide Mission Tithes goal. We are so grateful to all those who through whole-life generosity are helping to make mission possible.
The calendar year goal for 2017 is $14.3 million. This includes commitments made through the grassroots efforts in 2016. Our prayer is that together we continue to explore our true capacity to give in order to sustain and grow Christ’s mission.
Submission of 2019 World Conference Resolutions
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
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.
The deadline for mission centers to submit items for 2019 World Conference consideration is April 6, 2018. Submissions should be sent to Susan Sloan, World Church secretary, at Community of Christ International Headquarters or to ssloan@CofChrist.org.
New Community of Christ Team Includes Three World Church Historians
The Church History and Sacred Story Team, chartered by President Stephen M. Veazey, was announced today. The team has three volunteer historians - David Howlett, Barbara Walden, and Ron Romig. Learn more.
Apply for World Service Corps
World Service Corps is an international volunteer ministry of Community of Christ, committed to offering volunteer opportunities for leadership development, disciple formation, and cultural immersion. Applications are being accepted through 31 January for anyone interested in serving as a volunteer in 2017. Apply and get more information about World Service Corps. If you have questions, e-mail wsc@CofChrist.org, or call (816) 833-1000 ext. 2241.
Family-friendly Spiritual Retreat in April
Join in a family-friendly spiritual retreat, Encountering God at Home, at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, 7-9 April 2017. This retreat will focus on nurturing household spirituality for families, children, and youth. There will be tracks for adults, youth, and children, with childcare available for children under 3. Though this retreat is designed for young families who are seeking ways to have meaningful spiritual experience in their homes, everyone who feels the call to work with children and families is encouraged to attend! Information and the retreat flier are on the Spiritual Formation Center website. Contact Katie with any questions.
Offering Envelopes and e-Tithing Focus Us on Holistic Mission
President Veazey has called our Mission Initiatives "foundational and essential to the church’s life!" Beginning January 1, USA offering envelopes will reflect this holistic emphasis. You will enter a single amount on the Worldwide Ministries side of the envelope to be used across all five initiatives to support Christ’s mission—our mission—holistically, around the world. Envelopes in other countries will be updated as stock is depleted. E-Tithing categories will change by the end of March.
To honor World Conference Resolution (WCR) 773, envelopes for the first Sunday of each month will have space for a contribution to Abolish Poverty, End Suffering, allowing for oblation giving. This will be in addition to the opportunity to give an amount to Worldwide Mission Tithes.
Since Mission Initiatives debuted in 2011, 74 percent or more of all contributions have been given to Use Where Needed Most. In fiscal year 2016, it was 85.6 percent. Read more in the article, “Focus on Holistic Giving,” see the fiscal-year 2017 Worldwide Mission Budget, and get answers to frequently asked questions.
Help Us Reach Our December Worldwide Mission Tithes Target
Contributions to date are now just 1.2% behind our annual goal. By meeting our December target of $2,000,000, we can reach our 2016 Worldwide Mission Tithes goal. Your generosity is what makes mission possible. It’s easy to give through E-tithing in Australia, Canada, or the USA. Thank you for continuing to answer the call.
Support Christ's Mission Through GoFundMission.org
The church recently launched www.GoFundMission.org for members and friends in the USA. GoFundMission is a community-funding pilot website of the USA mission fields where you can give directly to a mission project.
How to Give
Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes are a disciple’s top priority as we pursue Christ’s mission. Giving through www.GoFundMission.org is an opportunity for when you have extra and see a project you want to be part of; plus it’s an invitation to everyone in the community to get involved and see the impact of their generosity. This month, you can help the Children's Peace Pavilion add technology to their new site.
You can give to Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes through e-Tithing and offering envelopes.
Letter Regarding Political Climate
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!
When Is Reunion?
Reunions and family camps are important events in the life of the church. These inter-generational gatherings allow us to tangibly experience the blessings of community as we live, love, and share together and grow in our understandings of the mission of Jesus Christ. Make sure your reunion or family camp is listed on the CofChrist web calendar. Please send the following information to web@CofChrist.org:
- Mission center
- Reunion name
- Reunion location
- Contact information
Year A Lessons Available
Community of Christ lessons for children (ages 6-11), youth (ages 12-18), and adults will continue with Year A, beginning 27 November 2017. The first 14 lessons for children and youth are available for download. Adult lessons through Advent 2016 (27 November 2016 to 1 January 2017) are available for download. Additional lessons will be posted quarterly. When accessing lessons, you will find a brief form to provide useful information and the opportunity to support these lessons by giving to Worldwide Mission Tithes. A donation of $20 USD per quarter, or $80 USD per year, for each age is suggested.
Presiding Bishopric Provides Grassroots Effort Update
Thank you to those who responded to the church’s financial situation at the beginning of 2016.
This week, the Presiding Bishopric provided an update on where we are with these generous commitments.
- Of the 253 one-time gifts committed, we have received 95 percent.
- Of the 627 sustaining commitments, we have received about 76 percent for 2016.*
As we look to the new year, we ask for your continued prayers and support. The ongoing fulfillment of annual commitments over the next several years is essential in sustaining ministries. If you made a one-time gift in 2016 and are in a position to respond again in 2017, your generosity will shape our ability to respond to missional opportunities going forward.
Thank to those who have responded. Our ability to sustain vital, life-changing ministries around the world depends on these ongoing expressions of our true capacity to give.