Community of Christ

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Your Chair Is Waiting

5/14/2019

Breathe new life into your ministerial talents by seeking a master of arts in religion from the Community of Christ Seminary.  Admission applications for fall 2019 will be accepted through 31 May.

Not interested in a degree program? There are options to take courses as continuing education units or audit a few classes that particularly interest you.

Visit the Graceland University website or email Seminary@Graceland.edu for more information.

"Way of Life" Is a Straightforward Guide to Understanding Our Faith

5/10/2019

Amid the global challenges of the 21st century, Community of Christ members and seekers want more than ever to make sense of the church’s deepest convictions.
  
A Way of Life: Understanding Our Christian Faith, a book by theologian and teacher Anthony Chvala-Smith, investigates in direct, easily understood language what it means to follow Jesus Christ in today’s world.
 
At 141 pages this work of theology speaks passionately from both Community of Christ’s transforming vision and the rich resources of the wider Christian tradition.
  
A Way of Life is a revised and much-expanded version of Understanding the Way. Addressing new topics such as “The Reasonableness of Faith,” “Faith and Science,” and “The Embodied Life,” this book, even more than its predecessor, brings the church’s faith into creative conversation with some of the urgent social and spiritual needs of the present.

“I am convinced,” Chvala-Smith wrote in the preface, “that Community of Christ has glimpsed something breathtaking, restorative, and transforming: a vision of Christian faith that not only critiques shallow distortions, but offers a luminous way of life shaped by an ongoing encounter with the Living Christ.” 

A Way of Life: Understanding Our Christian Faith is $8.95, in English, from Herald House.

March Contribution Update

4/30/2019

Estimated contributions to Worldwide Mission Tithes in March were $950,000. This compares to a budget of $1,140,000, about 20 percent below our goal to date.   

The Worldwide Mission Tithes goal for 2019 is $14.7 million. May we each continue to explore our true capacity to support mission and sustain the church into the future.

Vacation? Illness? Using etithing allows you to support mission even when you can’t be in church. Sign up today!


Sharing 2019 World Conference

4/26/2019

Throughout the church’s history, World Conference has been a formational experience and the 2019 event was no different. To share this amazing experience, use these highlights from the celebration, worship, and business of the week.
These items also can be found at www.CofChrist.org/2019-world-conference

Becoming a People of the Temple
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Temple and what it means for the future
"Discover Your Future"
President Stephen Veazey’s closing sermon and words of counsel
Official Actions of the 2019 World Conference
Summary of the legislative actions taken by the conference
"Exploring Priesthood Ministry"
First Presidency’s presentation (in slide show format, three languages) on priesthood ministry and recommitment 
Financial Update – 2019 World Conference 
The Presiding Bishopric shared information and held discussions about church finances and the New Way Forward.
Presiding Bishopric Report (D-1)
Meeting the Retirement-responsibility Goal (J-2)
FAQ about the Bridge of Hope – Retirement Responsibility
Statement about Termination of General Operating Endowment
“Discover Living Water”
President Veazey’s Sunday evening sermon

Find more video from events and worship at the Community of Christ YouTube channel; select 2019 World Conference playlist. Images by our volunteer photographers are on Flickr, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Materials for 2019 Reunions

4/22/2019

Reunion is a time for spiritual growth, personal discernment, renewed relationships—and fun. “Following the Spirit” is the theme of this year’s materials. Each publication 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, is available through www.HeraldHouse.org. 

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

Final eTithing Changes Coming 23 April

4/19/2019

Members and friends contributing through eTithing saw major changes in the electronic giving platform in 2018. SecureGive, the eTithing platform host, will release a final update on 23 April 2019.

Changes To Occur

Congregations and mission centers participating in eTithing are subscribed to a free plan or a $5-per-month per congregation plan. Those who contribute to a congregation participating in the free eTithing plan will experience these changes starting 23 April 23 2019:

  • Your congregation name will not be listed on eTithing.
  • Members and friends will give through the new My Home Congregation listing.
  • Members and friends can contribute to two options:
    • Congregational Ministries (100)
    • Worldwide Mission Tithes (901)
  • Contributions will be sent to and receipted by the congregation where one’s membership record is located.
  • Recurring contributions to giving options not listed on eTithing will be discontinued.

Example: John is a member of a congregation that participates in the free plan. John’s recurring contributions to Worldwide Mission Tithes (901) and Congregational Ministries (100) will remain unchanged after the transition. His recurring contribution to Campership Fund (105) will end after the upgrade.

More Giving Options

Members and friends can now contribute to any congregation on eTithing and contribute to more than one eTithing congregation. Previously, contributors could only give to the congregation where one’s membership record was located.

Contributions will be sent to and receipted by the congregation that receives the donation. Contributors will receive a receipt from each congregation they give to on eTithing.

Questions

Contact your congregational financial officer for more information or contact Fiscal Services by email or (816) 833-1000 ext. 1397.

Copyright Information Updated for Congregations, Leaders

3/6/2019

Updated information and guidance regarding copyright and trademarks is available at CofChrist.org.

In response to suggestions and frequently asked questions from Community of Christ members and leaders, the Office of General Counsel has added copyright information about streaming or podcasting worship services, using online content, posting online, and the use of YouTube videos in church.

 
Expanded information about copyright exemptions, licenses, and permissions is included in the online update. The subject of trademarks is covered, including specifics about the use of Community of Christ trademarks.

Congregations and mission centers are encouraged to review this information. Copyright questions also can be answered by email.

 
Thank you to all members, priesthood, and leaders for your continued efforts to remain compliant with copyright and trademark law, and ensure any copyrighted material is used responsibly in your congregation and mission center worship services, online presence, resources, and other ministries.

 
Please remember that, even when living exciting expressions of our faith and mission, we have a legal and a moral obligation to respect the rights of those who have created copyrighted materials.

Letter of Counsel

1/24/2019

Please read the letter of counsel from President Stephen M. Veazey regarding changes in World Church leadership.

Request a Graceland Representative

1/18/2019

Graceland University's summer representatives are selected every year to travel to Community of Christ camps and reunions across North America.

A GU representative will add ministry to your event and share their Graceland experience. These students, some of Graceland’s best and brightest, are trained to use their gifts and talents to help make your camp or reunion a memorable experience.

Camp and reunion directors can request a Graceland representative to be part of your youth camp or reunion staff by visiting the Graceland website. Requests are due March 15. For more information contact Emily Munter, Graceland University’s Community of Christ outreach and marketing specialist.   

Please Send Your Advent, Christmas Photos

12/12/2018

As you enjoy Advent and Christmas this year, we’d like you to capture your memories in photos and send them to us for possible use in next year’s Herald and on www.CofChrist.org. Photos should be a least 1 megabyte, though bigger is better. Please include caption information: the photographer’s name, the event, and the location. Send photos to Herald@CofChrist.org. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

RSS Capability Added to Website

10/3/2018


The Communications Team has announced the release of four free RSS feeds at www.CofChrist.org/rss. These include Daily Bread, Daily Prayer for Peace, Announcements, and Mission Stories.

Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication is a way to bring digital content to a user automatically. It also provides a way for web designers and managers to embed content from these sections of CofChrist.org on a web page. The embedded area then updates when new content is added on CofChrist.org

The request to add this feature came from several people in the field. We hope other congregational and mission center website managers will find it useful to embed or subscribe to RSS feeds to get updated content from CofChrist.org. Individuals who use RSS readers also may subscribe to this service. 

Send questions about these RSS feeds to the Online Media Team at web@CofChrist.org

Sacrament Videos Available Online

8/16/2018

 The simple beauty of Community of Christ’s sacraments is featured in a series of videos available for viewing on www.CofChrist.org. 

The series was designed for training priesthood members, but the brief, inspirational videos will appeal to anyone with an interest in the church. We thank all involved in producing these videos. They are available in English, French, and Spanish. 

The sacraments portrayed are baptism, confirmation, The Lord’s Supper (communion), marriage, blessing of children, laying on of hands for the sick, and ordination. The sacrament of evangelist blessing has a series of five videos that continue to be available from the Order of Evangelists. 

Community of Christ affirms God sanctifies common elements of creation — reflected in the sacraments — to bless human life and to renew and form the church to seek the peaceful kingdom of God. The videos: 

Discernment Guide, Videos Free on CofChrist.org

8/1/2018

A new resource is available for individuals and communities seeking to engage in discernment, the practice of seeking and following the movement of the Spirit.  

Personal and Communal Discernment Guide includes four videos and an accompanying PDF file with tools, practices, and reflections. 

This resource is intended for individuals and communities discerning Christ’s mission as they ask questions about vocation, identity, leadership, and the future. The guide and videos are available in English.

 

USA Apostles Affirm Veazey Statement on Refugee Families

6/19/2018

The USA Apostles of Community of Christ join President Stephen Veazey (announcement below) in contacting United States government officials to end the current policy of separating children from their refugee immigrant parents.

One of our Enduring Principles, Worth of All Persons, calls us to "challenge unjust systems that diminish human worth."

We also urge members and friends of the church who share this concern to communicate their views to government officials and legislators. 

In Christ’s peace,

Linda Booth
Barbara Carter
Janné Grover
Ron Harmon
Robin Linkhart
Lachlan Mackay

Statement from President Veazey Regarding Immigrant Families

6/18/2018

On Friday, June 15, I contacted the United States Attorney General by email and voicemail to express my grave concern about the policy of separating children from their refugee immigrant parents.

I stated that such a practice is ungodly, unchristian, and contrary to scriptural teachings about how to treat the most vulnerable in our midst, especially children.

I called on the attorney general to immediately end the current policy because it is unjust and unacceptable. I urge other members and friends of the church who share this concern to communicate your views to governmental officials.

We must join our voices and efforts with others who are working daily to liberate the children and reunite them with their families.

— President Stephen M. Veazey

Updated Youth Worker Application Available

6/7/2018


Updated Registered Child and Youth Worker applications are available for mission center officers, youth ministers, and camp directors in North America at www.cofchrist.org/children-and-youth-worker-registration. New versions of the Application Guidance Notes and Mission Center Checklist also are available. 

Please direct youth worker applicants to use this updated RCYW form when they apply.

In response to many requests, the RCYW application is being made available as a fillable PDF document.  

This should make it easier to submit completed applications electronically. Submit completed RCYW applications to rcywapps@cofchrist.org for approval and registration.  

Applications that are submitted electronically are preferred because they require less time and effort to process. If necessary paper applications can still be mailed or faxed to the Office of General Counsel. 

Thank you to all mission center, congregational and camping staff for your continued efforts ensuring that any person working with children and youth at Community of Christ events has received the necessary youth worker training and has been registered as a youth worker.

Free Member-Submitted Lessons, Music Available

6/5/2018

More than 50 examples of lessons and music created by Community of Christ members are now available on www.HeraldHouse.org for download to members and congregations. 

All materials in the Member Created area on the website are free. On the site are lessons, song lyrics, and sheet music for worship—including small-group lessons for youth. 

Additional materials are welcome. To submit a resource for possible inclusion on www.HeraldHouse.org, see the Member Created area for instructions.

Two Kansas City-area Organizations Named 2019 International Peace Award Winners

5/31/2018

For the first time in its history, the Community of Christ International Peace Award will be given to organizations in Kansas City and Independence, Missouri, USA.

The two recipients were chosen to highlight the 25th anniversary of the Independence Temple.  

Water.org and the Franciscan Mission Warehouse each will receive an award, placing those groups among the ranks of Dr. Jane Goodall (1999) and Bread for the World (2014). The efforts of the award winners uphold Community of Christ Mission Initiatives, including Abolish Poverty, End Suffering and Pursue Peace on Earth.

Water.org is in Kansas City, Missouri. It has provided millions of people with water and sanitation, helping to break the cycle of poverty and expanding opportunities in the world’s poorest communities. 

Franciscan Mission Warehouse is in Independence, Missouri. The group collects surplus equipment and supplies from US medical facilities and sends them to hospitals and clinics in the poorest parts of the world.

The International Peace Award includes a financial gift to be donated to the charitable peace, justice, or environmental organization of the recipient’s choice. Honorees also receive an original sculpture by Wyoming artist Gail Sundell that depicts two hands holding a crystal globe of the Earth.

The International Peace Award presentation will be at 7:00 p.m. on 6 April, during the 2019 World Conference. The event marks the 26th year of the award and the presentation is scheduled to be webcast from the Auditorium conference chamber. A wider public announcement will be made closer to the presentation date.


Every Congregation's History Matters

2/13/2018

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 rkillebrew@cofchrist.org, supplying the name and address of the nominee.
  • An official appointment letter and writing guidelines will be sent to the new historian.

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!

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