Watch the President’s Recorded Challenge
President Steve Veazey will bring a challenge to the church in a webcast at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday 2 April 2017. His inspiring message will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.
President Veazey’s recorded challenge is 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 2 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.
Child/Youth Worker Registration Required for Camp Staff
Mission center officers, youth ministers, and camp directors: Ensure 2017 camp staff members complete youth worker training and registration as soon as possible.
Registered Child and Youth Worker applications submitted well in advance of a camp’s start date will help avoid potential staff shortages or registration delays caused by a flurry of last-minute submissions. Applications are available at www.CofChrist.org/children-and-youth-worker-registration. Use rcywapps@CofChrist.org to submit completed RCYW applications for approval and registration.
The Office of General Counsel recently began offering the Child Protection – Quick Review for camp counselors and staff. This training was developed to provide a brief review of critical child protection issues that can be used as part of camp staff preparation and orientation. The Quick Review supplements, but does not replace, Child Protection Core Training. Many mission centers have received a copy of the Quick Review training from their field support minister. For more information, contact your FSM or legalservices@CofChrist.org.
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 youth worker Core training and has been registered as a youth worker on Shelby, the church’s membership database.
Presiding Bishopric Financial Update
The Presiding Bishopric expresses its gratitude to church members for their generosity and recounts where the church stands in the first of three financial updates this year.
The update, promised at the 2016 World Conference, details the church’s economic situation and plans since taking steps to improve its financial footing. To view a video summary, read the full report and check frequently asked questions, visit www.CofChrist.org/financial-updates.
President’s Challenge: Awaken to God’s Invitation
President Steve Veazey will bring a challenge to the church on a webcast at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday, 2 April. His inspiring message 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 Friday, 24 March. The video will be available online in English, French, and Spanish with closed captions/subtitles in the corresponding language.
We hope this will give people added flexibility to gather and view the challenge in the week ahead and send questions before the live webcast on 2 April. Worship suggestions for small groups or congregations will also be available.
The webcast on 2 April will begin with the broadcast of President Veazey’s challenge followed by the live Q&A session. Questions can be sent beginning 24 March to AskSteveVeazey@CofChrist.org or tag your questions with #AskSteveVeazey on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
More information and the video invitation at www.CofChrist.org/presidents-challenge.
January Contributions Exceed Goal
The calendar year Worldwide Mission Tithes goal for 2017 is $14.3 million. This reflects commitments made through the grassroots efforts early in 2016. Thank you for your faithful response as we seek to sustain Christ’s mission around the world.
Jan Kraybill Named Executive Director of Hymn Society of US, Canada
Dr. Jan Kraybill is the new executive director for The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. She will continue a connection with Community of Christ as organist in residence. Her office will still be located within the temple complex in Independence, Missouri.
For 18 years, Dr. Kraybill served as principal organist for the church and has shared her passion for the power of hymns to form disciples for Christ’s mission.
“We were blessed to have Jan on the hymnal steering team and are excited to support her move into this new responsibility,” said Jane Gardner, presiding evangelist.
Haiti Hurricane Aid Hits $80,000
Haitians, seeking to recover from October’s Hurricane Matthew, are expressing gratitude for the generosity of Community of Christ.
Shortly after the storm, which killed more than 300 people and displaced 60,000 more, the church sent $10,000 from its budget through Abolish Poverty, End Suffering. Then members contributed $70,000 more.
As a result, many families received help with supplies such as roofing materials. The church is able to respond to disasters through the generosity of members, who can give online.
Community of Christ World Conference Resolutions
The 2016 World Conference authorized the First Presidency to make a selection of the resolutions that have current force and effect for the management of the church and further authorized the Presidency to make necessary editorial changes to bring the language into current usage.
The World Conference Resolutions are presented to give church leaders easy reference to them and for those who might be investigating Community of Christ to see the actions of our highest legislative body and know what the church stands for. A log of all World Conference enactments with copies are maintained in the church’s archives for the use of historians and researchers. The document will be housed in the Resource database on the church's website.
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.
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.
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.
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!