Community of Christ

Remember to 'Smile' on Amazon Prime Day

7/11/2019

If you plan to make a purchase on Amazon Prime Day, 15-16 July, please remember that Community of Christ is registered as a charitable organization in AmazonSmile

Through that program, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to Community of Christ whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. It’s 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 purchases. Click this link to smile.amazon.com and Community of Christ will automatically become the charitable organization of your choice. You can change it at any time. For our Canadian members and friends, use this link

Oblation Aid

7/11/2019

This week Community of Christ made two Oblation donations of $5,000 each to Save the Children and International Rescue Committee. The church’s Statement on Immigration is aligned with the work of these groups who advocate for immigrants and provide compassionate relief to children separated from their parents in U.S. detention centers.

Our Mission Initiative Abolish Poverty, End Suffering challenges the church to embody Christ’s mission---to breathe life into our statements by taking action on behalf of the most vulnerable in our midst. As we live into what it means to be people of the Temple, we are reminded to “undertake compassionate and just actions to abolish poverty and end needless suffering.” (Doctrine and Covenants 165:1d).

Thank you for your ongoing contributions to Worldwide Mission Tithes that make this tangible expression of mission possible. 

Come Learn the Practice of Contemplative Prayer

7/10/2019

The spacious solitude of the Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA, will be the setting 17 August for a one-day retreat.

Participants in Fully Awake: A Day of Prayer and Spiritual Renewal will explore the contemplative prayer tradition and why it matters in today’s world. Time will be allotted for reflection and meditation in locations around the Temple. 

Group spiritual practices, walking the labyrinth, fellowship, and sharing also are on the schedule.

Facilitators include:

  • Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, a spiritual director, spiritual formation specialist for Community of Christ, and faculty for the Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program.
  • Charmaine Chvala-Smith, a spiritual director, member of the Community of Christ Spiritual Formation Team, and faculty for the Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program. Chvala-Smith is chaplain for the Community of Christ Seminary.
  • Donna Sperry, a spiritual director, member of the Spiritual Formation Team, and faculty for the Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program.
  • Jane Gardner, Community of Christ presiding evangelist, a member of the Spiritual Formation Team, and faculty for the Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program.

The retreat runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Temple, 201 W. River Blvd., Independence, Missouri, USA. Registration is $30, and lunch is included. For more information, contact Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, (816) 833-1000, Ext. 2393.

May Contribution Update

6/27/2019

Estimated contributions to Worldwide Mission Tithes in May were $1,350,000. Our thanks to those who continue to generously support local and worldwide mission. We remain approximately $625,000 behind goal for the year. Don’t forget to sign up for eTithing as a way to ensure your contributions continue to sustain mission no matter where you are.

Auditorium a Favorite for Graduation Ceremonies

6/11/2019

    

More than 62,000 people participated in graduation ceremonies during May at the landmark Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, USA.

That total includes graduates, their families and friends from 14 high schools and three universities. Lee’s Summit West brought the largest group of graduates — 540. Guadalupe Centers Alta Vista High School graduated 100, the smallest group.

Schools from across the Kansas City metropolitan area use the Auditorium for graduation, from Raymore-Peculiar to Staley High School and Oak Grove to Park Hill South.

In all, from May 6-25, the Auditorium was the site of 15 graduations with crowds ranging from 1,000 to more than 5,000. The Auditorium, an affordable resource, seats 5,800.

For more information about graduation ceremonies at the Auditorium, 1001 W. Walnut St. in Independence, contact Cara Casey at ccasey@cofchrist.org or (816) 833-1000, Ext. 3071.

Two Recent Sell-Out Books Back In Stock

6/11/2019

Herald House has reprinted two popular recent publications.

  • God All Around! Linda Booth, a member of the First Presidency Team and longtime Community of Christ minister, collected stories of God’s interaction with ordinary folks, showing how God continues to reach out to his people. Each story engages, inspires, forms, and has the power to send forth disciples who see God all around us. Booth’s book is $14.95.
  • Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants, Volume 1 This reference work by former Apostle Dale E. Luffman is intended for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the scripture. It’s especially useful for preachers, teachers, individuals, and church groups. The first volume of this ambitious work focuses on the Joseph Smith Jr. era and covers the first 113 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. First introduced at 2019 World Conference, the commentary is $44.95.

Contact Herald Publishing House for more information. 

A New Way to Tour the Temple in Kirtland

6/5/2019

View the Temple in Kirtland, Ohio, from the comfort of home by taking a 3D virtual tour online.

While exploring the Temple using the recently produced 3D virtual tour isn’t quite the same as walking the board floors of the structure dedicated in 1836, the online version has distinct advantages.

By manipulating the video made in spring of 2018, viewers can check out nearly every aspect of the Temple. For example, viewers can see the interior of all the pulpits, something Seth Bryant, director of the Kirtland site, says even he rarely does.

View the video 

  • Go to the Temple website, create an account and contribute $7, which goes toward preservation efforts. The individual donation is good for 24 hours of viewing.
  • Click the circles in the video images to “walk” through the Temple.
  • A different button specifically for groups requests a $25 donation.
  • The lower court, with two sets of pulpits that face each other, was used primarily for congregational worship. The second floor, which looks much the same, was intended for priesthood training.
  • The third floor’s rooms were used for academic classes during the day, quorum meetings, other church functions in the evenings, and offices — including that of Joseph Smith Jr.
  • Icons in the lower left and right corners direct use of the 3D tour. The dollhouse view shows the building’s floors in layers, and clicking on a location in the layers takes the viewer to that spot.
  • The floor selector function does much the same, but the user’s first view is that specific area. This function indicates five floors, but only three are floors are visible. The other two “floors” are the pulpits and the space immediately around them. To thoroughly understand layout of the building, use dollhouse and floor selector together.
  • View the 3D virtual tour with a standard monitor and keyboard, or with a virtual reality headset such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
  • Buttons in the lower right corner of the screen toggle between the monitor and VR headset option.

Donors helped pay for the initial costs of the video by contributing to the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation. The foundation’s board also provided a substantial contribution.The Temple, owned and operated by Community of Christ, is a National Historic Landmark where visitors still come to pray and worship. 

The historic site is open March through December. Operating hours during its main season, May through October, are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. To tour the Temple in person, a preservation fee of $7 applies to each person 8 and older. Off-season hours and more information is available at www.kirtlandtemple.org.


View Financial Update Videos and Audit Document

5/29/2019

The Presiding Bishopric is grateful to church members for their continued generosity.

To keep the church informed, a new series of videos from the 2019 World Conference recounts where we stand, financially, and recent decisions made. This series has been posted online, as have documents regarding the recent audit of the church.

Visit www.CofChrist.org/financial-updates to view the videos and read the documents.


Official Minutes of 2019 World Conference Available

5/21/2019

The final official minutes of the 2019 World Conference business sessions are available at CofChrist.org/2019-world-conference. Once there, select the Official Actions box and choose the date you want to read. 

The minutes are reviewed by church officials and parliamentarians.

“Choose Generosity” Explains the Role of Stewardship as a Whole-Life Response

5/20/2019

“All of giving begins and ends with God.” 

When President Steve Veazey made this remark, he pinpointed Community of Christ’s vision of generosity. 

A new publication, Choose Generosity: Discovering Whole-Life Stewardship, explains how stewardship includes our generous response on Sunday morning but, more importantly, is embraced through our actions and responses in all aspects of our lives. 

This 120-page resource provides insights about the importance of embracing generosity—receiving and giving—and deepening our discipleship with Christ. Through this easily understood book, individuals, families and groups can learn how stewardship means choosing to live our lives generously each and every day. 

The Six Principles of a Disciple’s Generous Response, from Receive God’s Gifts to Share Generously and Spend Responsibly, are explored. Each section includes questions for reflection. 

Choose Generosity, in English, is $10.95 at Herald House.

"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. It's also available as an e-book.

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

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.

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.

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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