Our Conversation About Giving Needs Your Input
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.
Here’s More On the President’s Challenge
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.
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
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
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!
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
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!
Watch President Veazey's Recorded Challenge
President Steve Veazey will bring a challenge to the church in a webcast at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday 8 April. His inspiring message will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.
President Veazey’s recorded challenge is now available online in English, French, and Spanish with captions/subtitles. We hope this gives viewers a chance to gather, see the challenge, and send questions before the live webcast 8 April.
Small groups or congregations are invited to use prepared materials for their gatherings.
Send questions to AskSteveVeazey@CofChrist.org or tag questions with #AskSteveVeazey on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The annual address is delivered near the anniversary of the church's founding on 6
An Easter Message to the Church
President Steve Veazey offers this message on the meaning of Easter.
Sacred Space Resources Available for Small-Group Worship
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
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.
Congratulations to the Yellowjackets!
Congratulations to Graceland University's men's basketball team on winning the NAIA National Championship! It was the university's first NAIA basketball championship in its first tournament trip, as Justin Harley’s buzzer-beating overtime 3-pointer sent the Yellowjackets to an 83-80 triumph over LSU-Alexandria at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City MO USA. Graceland was established by and is affiliated with the Community of Christ.
Canada Mission Centers Launch Website
The site provides services to Canada West and Canada East mission centers, including 53 Community of Christ congregations. The website also serves as an entry point for the Canadian public. New functionality ensures information will adjust to the size of visitors’ screens.
The launch signals a larger commitment to improve communication, marketing, and public relations. Visitors to the website will notice more up-to-date content focused on seekers from all backgrounds with links to entry points that may interest them.
Visitors are encouraged to provide feedback to email@example.com.
Presiding Bishopric Financial Update for March 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.
April 1 Deadline Approaches for Spiritual Retreat In Independence
Risk and Renewal, an April spiritual retreat at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, will invite participants to discern response through faith amid uncertainty.
The event is inspired by Doctrine and Covenants 164:9e, “Will you remain hesitant in the shadows of your fears, insecurities, and competing loyalties? Or will you move forward in the light of your divinely instilled call and vision?”
The retreat will be 13-15 April, with a $75.00 fee that includes meals. The retreat opens at 7:00 p.m. and ends at noon on Sunday. The registration deadline is April 1.
Organizer Katie Harmon-McLaughlin said participants will encounter wisdom from Christian spiritual heritage that addresses injustice and change. The focus of the weekend is: How do we respond authentically, courageously, and compassionately to the pressing issues in our world today?
“We will engage in practices, share in contemplative dialogue, and discover how to meaningfully engage with the world when we are rooted in the Spirit as the source of our action,” Harmon-McLaughlin said.
Housing is not provided. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Invitation to the President's Challenge
President Steve Veazey will bring a challenge to the church during a webcast at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday, 8 April. His inspiring message, "Hope Rising," will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.
To provide easier access for members and friends around the world, we will release President Veazey’s challenge as a video on Monday, 2 April. The video will be available online in English, French, and Spanish with closed captions/subtitles in the corresponding language.
This will offer added flexibility to gather and view the challenge in the week ahead and send questions before the live webcast on 8 April. Worship suggestions for small groups or congregations also will be available.
The webcast on 8 April will begin with the broadcast of President Veazey’s challenge followed by the live Q&A session. Questions can be sent beginning 2 April to AskSteveVeazey@CofChrist.org, or tag your questions with #AskSteveVeazey on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
More information and the video invitation are at www.CofChrist.org/presidents-challenge.
IYF Plans Underway
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,
New Witness the Word Resources Available
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
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
A letter seeking historical information is being distributed by the Community of Christ Church History and Sacred Story Team to
Prayers for Those Affected By Florida School Shooting
Our hearts are heavy today as we process the news of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We pray for the people affected by this tragedy and ask God to open our hearts to opportunities to pursue peace in our communities.
Every Congregation's History Matters
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 email@example.com, supplying the name and address of the nominee.
- An official appointment letter and writing guidelines will be sent to the new historian.
Download Community of Christ App
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!
Save the Date!
Historic Sites Volunteers Needed
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.
Year-End Generosity Exceeds 2017 Goal
Year-end contributions surpassed the $3.5 million Worldwide Mission Tithes goal set for November and December. We are so grateful for the response of members and friends around the world. In addition, the expressions of generosity by congregations and mission centers have been remarkable and made reaching the $3.5 million-dollar goal possible.
Many testimonies and stories have emerged as these jurisdictions have explored how they can help with the financial challenges facing the church. The following was shared by Steve Pomeroy, financial officer for the Greater Pacific Northwest Mission Center:
“The resolution to send money to the World Church passed without a negative comment or a dissenting vote. It is a true expression of the spirit of unity and oneness that was present at a recent conference.”
We look to 2018 with growing hope. That hope arises from the generosity of so many who passionately support the mission of the church.
Total contributions in 2017 are estimated to be just under $14.7 million and based on this, the Presiding Bishopric will be recommending a 2018 goal of $14.7 million for Worldwide Mission Tithes to the World Church Finance Board in February. We are blessed by the faithfulness and generosity of all those who boldly believe we can make a difference in the world.
Letter Upholds Worth of All Persons
A letter sent from the First Presidency on 17 January upholds the Worth of All Persons and serves as a reminder that God's will is that we love our neighbors and live together in peace.
New Videos Explain eTithing
A series of short videos show how to use the USA
Bishop Michele McGrath hosts the series and walks viewers through several of the most common tasks.
The videos explain how to select your home congregation and direct your contribution to Local Mission Tithes and Worldwide Mission Tithes. Once your account is set up, changing personal or billing information in the account is much like the functions seen on retail sites. And, contributors receive a mailed statement.
Pick the video that applies to you:
eTithing101: First-time eGiver eTithing101: Recurring Gifts eTithing101: Tips for PAT Givers eTithing101: Managing Your Account eTithing101: CFOs in the Know
Key Points and Ways to Help - Time to Act!
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.
Submission of 2019 World Conference Resolutions
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
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.
Social Media Resources Available
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:
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.
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!