New Community of Christ Team Includes Three World Church Historians
History is alive and well, valued, and continues to play a critical role in the life of the church, said Apostle Lachlan Mackay, leader of a newly formed history team. The Church History and Sacred Story Team, chartered by Community of Christ President Stephen M. Veazey, has three volunteer historians. They are David Howlett of Saratoga Springs, New York; Barbara Walden of Hartford, Connecticut; and Ron Romig of Independence, Missouri.The goal of the team will be to engage the church in exploring its sacred story in responsible ways that inform and encourage its mission, Mackay said.
Walden holds a master of arts in museum studies and is executive director of the church Historic Sites Foundation. Romig is past president of both the John Whitmer and Mormon History associations. Howlett has a religious studies doctorate from the University of Iowa. Other members of the team include Peter Judd of Kansas City, Missouri; Rachel Killebrew of Independence; and John-Charles Duffy of Oxford, Ohio.
The team will write articles for the Herald magazine and the international church website, encourage exploration of international history, and produce reports for the First Presidency. The team can be reached at historian@CofChrist.org.
2016 World Conference Minutes
The 2016 World Conference minutes were reviewed and approved by the Standing High Council Minutes Review Team. The review and approval procedure was included in the Standing Rules for the 2016 World Conference and approved by World Conference delegates.
Dome and Spire Supported through Worldwide Mission Budget
The recently approved Worldwide Mission Budget for fiscal year 2017 (beginning July 1, 2016) funds the principal organist position, organ maintenance, and organ recitals. As the church faced recent financial challenges, Dome and Spire Organ Foundation was also impacted. Foundation assets, a separate fund within the Temple Endowment, were not earning income or generating sufficient liquid assets to support a spending rate at this time because church investments are now primarily real estate.
The Dome and Spire Organ Foundation Board of Directors decided to dissolve the foundation at its May 2016 quarterly meeting, because there are limited liquid assets to manage. The Dome and Spire Organ Foundation website and Facebook page will be removed by the end of August. Find frequently asked questions about the foundation on the church’s Dome and Spire page.
The church believes in the mission of the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation and hopes maintaining and showcasing the church’s two renowned organs will be carried on through support of the Worldwide Mission Budget. You can support this purpose by sending Worldwide Mission tithes to International Headquarters, indicating it is a Dome and Spire contribution or write Dome and Spire on the World Ministries side of your offering envelope.
2016 World Conference Official Actions
Please read and share the Official Actions of the 2016 World Conference. Complete daily minutes from the Conference are being reviewed. They will be e-mailed to staff and published on CofChrist.org in English, French, and Spanish as soon as they are available.
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.
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.
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. Read the full update from the Acting Presiding Bishopric.
As another step toward greater transparency, and in response to requests received, the Presiding Bishopric will post the Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Report (our most recent) and future audit reports on the website. Previously these reports were published in the World Conference booklet, however to cut down on printing, people will be directed to the website resource instead.
Acting Presiding Bishop Stassi Cramm shares more details about the church’s financial situation. (text)
“What Would It Take?” Dialogue in a concerned social media group started a grassroots effort to encourage increased generosity and support current staffing levels for the worldwide church. They asked leaders what it would take to avoid layoffs in March and beyond.
First Presidency Shares Financial Update
The First Presidency and World Church leaders want to share the following financial updates and related information with the church:
- Steve Veazey interviewed by Linda Booth
- World Church leadership transitions announcement and statements to the church by Steve Veazey and Stassi Cramm
- Letter about World Church Leadership transitions and statements to the church by Stassi Cramm and Steve Veazey
- “The Way Forward” statement by Scott Murphy
- Financial Update Questions and Answers
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. Read their official statement.
Fiscal Year 2016 Budget
The Presiding Bishopric released the Fiscal Year 2016 summarized budget.
Statement on Syrian Refugee Crisis
The First Presidency released a statement on the Syrian refugee crisis.
World Church Leadership Transitions
President Steve Veazey released important information about World Church leadership transitions.
Calls for Presidents of Seventy
The First Presidency outlined who will fill vacancies to serve as presidents of seventy and members of the Council of Presidents of Seventy.
Ecumenical Interfaith Officer
The First Presidency released information about the Ecumenical and Interfaith officer for Community of Christ.
World Conference Resolution (WCR) 1304 Baptismal Prayers
The First Presidency released information in response to World Conference Resolution 1304 Baptismal Prayers.
Next Peace Award at 2016 Conference
The First Presidency released information about the next Community of Christ International Peace Award.
Letter of Counsel
The First Presidency released a letter of counsel regarding the Presiding Quorums.