Community of Christ

You Can Help Us Reach Our Year-End Worldwide Mission Tithes Goal

12/11/2017

The holidays are busy with activity and celebration. We invite you to slow down, breathe, and reflect on God’s blessings in 2017.

As we review the year and look to 2018, we are grateful for the many mission experiences that were made possible by the generosity of the church. We are also mindful of the many opportunities that still exist to share Christ’s mission and make a difference around the world.

May each of us prayerfully consider how our generosity can help make that possible.

Making a contribution to Worldwide Mission Tithes is as simple as a few clicks through eTithing or by giving through Mission Tithes envelopes. 

Together, we can reach our $3.5 million goal for November and December and look expectantly to the future.

Temple Advent Service Will Be a First

11/30/2017

10 December will mark the first time the Independence Messiah Choir performs the Handel classic in the Community of Christ Temple, 201 S. River Blvd. The public is invited to sing along at the 7 p.m. Advent service.

The event includes choruses sung by the choir as well as some in which the congregation will be invited to participate. Former director Jack Ergo will return to conduct the choir. Organist Jan Kraybill will perform. A goodwill offering will be accepted.

Those attending are encouraged to enter the Temple from the circle drive on the east side of the building.

Ushers needed for Advent service

Can you serve as an usher for the 10 December service? You would need to arrive at 5:45 p.m. to hand out programs, assist visitors, and collect offertory. You would not need to stay after the program ends. If interested, please contact David Bolton or (816) 833-1000, ext. 2353.

Additional Contributions Put Giving Tuesday Over $390,000

11/29/2017

Although Giving Tuesday is primarily a social media event that functions through electronic gifts, checks are welcome, too. Several designated for the campaign have arrived in the mail, putting the total received at $397,448. The campaign total in 2016 was $312,500.

Michele McGrath, director of finance, reported that the number of contributions through eTithing was three times what it was last year.

Thank you so much for your generosity! Your contributions make a difference in the lives of people in many nations. We especially thank the generous families who provided matching funds for our Giving Tuesday campaign.

Support Community of Christ Through AmazonSmile

11/24/2017

As many of you prepare to purchase gifts for the holidays, please remember that Community of Christ is registered as a charitable organization through AmazonSmile. 

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Community of Christ whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is 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 sales. Simply click this link to smile.amazon.com (for our Canadian members and friends, please use this link for a similar option at Amazon.ca) and Community of Christ will automatically become the charitable organization of your choice. You can change it at anytime. If you search for us, please search "Community of Christ Independence" in order have us show up on the first page of results. 

Presiding Bishopric Financial Update November 2017

11/16/2017

Stassi Cramm, presiding bishop and counselor to the president, had two items of good news 16 November when she offered the third of three promised messages on the financial condition of the church. 

Community of Christ ended fiscal year 2017 on 30 June with a surplus of just more than $600,000. Although total income was a bit below budget, expenses were held within the available income for the fiscal year, Cramm said. 

In September, the Presiding Bishopric paid off a line of credit with Bank of Kansas City, using the $600,000 surplus and other funds. Cramm explained the financial position of the church, the valuation of its assets and plans for a way to make income more predictable and sustainable in materials available to view and read online.

New Videos Explain eTithing

11/9/2017

A series of short videos show how to use the USA eTithing function on www.CofChrist.org.

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:

For questions about your eTithing account not covered in the videos, contact FiscalServices@CofChrist.org or (816) 833-1000, ext. 1391. More information is available on the eTithing FAQ page


You're Invited to Write for Daily Bread 2018

11/8/2017

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!

Prayers for Texas Sisters, Brothers

11/6/2017

We unite in prayer for those families and the communities affected by the senseless killing of children, women, and men in the First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Their loss is heart-rending.

We join other faith organizations, including the National Council of Churches, and communities who grieve for those families who lost loved ones. 

This tragedy reminds us of our call to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” (Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a)

It also points us to World Conference Resolution 1270 (page 57), on personal use and ownership of firearms. 

With Your Help, We Can Meet Our Year-end Goal

11/3/2017

For the past two months, contributions to Worldwide Mission Tithes have met monthly targets. This is good news. The World Church has set a goal of $3.5 million in Worldwide Mission Tithes for November and December. And, it’s  attainable!

As we look to the future, it is important to achieve a stable and sustainable budget. The key is consistent giving for Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes. Here are ways to help meet the year-end goal and create a sustainable level of giving for the future:

  • Sign up for eTithing. It provides an easy, ongoing method to support Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes in a sustainable way.
  • Collectively, we can make our $3.5 million year-end goal if all current contributors give $5.50 per day between 1 November and 31 December.  That’s just $165 per month or $330 total.
  • Congregations, mission centers, families, and individuals can make a multiyear pledge in response to Time to Act! Pledge using the form here.
  • Consider increasing mission tithing by 2 percent each year.

Together, we can make a difference as we live Christ’s mission locally and support mission globally through Mission Tithes.

Key Points and Ways to Help - Time to Act!

10/24/2017

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. 

Also available: 

Plan Now to Enlist Graceland Students for Internships

10/19/2017

Church-affiliated organizations, mission centers, campgrounds, and congregations with interest in interns are encouraged to contact Mike Hoffman, campus minister at Graceland University.

Hoffman said recently that some students already are being placed for summer of 2018.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations outside the church also are encouraged to take on interns, providing them experience related to majors or a career. Jan Gray handles those inquiries at the college.

Internships are an integral part of Graceland’s experience for students, Hoffman said. Positions related to a major or career help them prepare for employment. An internship related to the Community of Christ's mission can help prepare students for bi-vocational ministry.

Most students would benefit from paid internships. Transportation, housing, and meals might also be considered for internship plans. Resources to help plan an internship are available.

For more information, contact Hoffman at mhoffman@graceland.edu or Gray at elliott@graceland.edu

Submission of 2019 World Conference Resolutions

10/17/2017

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 of New Business, adopted in June 2016, states:

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.

World Service Corps Alumnus on Winning Nobel Team

10/11/2017

Matthew Bolton is living Christ's call to Pursue Peace.

The Graceland University alumnus and former World Service Corps volunteer was part of an effort that led to a Nobel Peace Prize win for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The prize was announced 6 October.

Bolton graduated from Graceland University in 2001 with a degree in history and religion. He earned a master’s degree in development studies and a doctorate in government from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He and his spouse, Emily Welty, who also has been working with ICAN, are professors at Pace University in New York City.

Bolton was part of a team that successfully advocated for the inclusion of victim assistance and environmental remediation provisions, and international cooperation and assistance provided to countries affected by use and testing of nuclear weapons.

Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program Deadline Is 26 January

9/28/2017

A new group of Spiritual Formation and Companioning participants is gathering, with applications due by 26 January.

For three years, participants have learned to listen more deeply to their longings and callings. They also learned to listen more skillfully and attentively to others, discovering a depth in relationships that the soul craves.

Now a new Cohort of students will form to begin their classes. The training provides opportunities to grow in spiritual community, discover new forms of worship and practice, and learn from gifted ecumenical presenters. The first year focuses on personal spiritual formation and transformation with an option of continuing for the second and third years to receive a Spiritual Companioning and Leadership certificate.

A more complete article about the courses appears in the November/December Herald. For more information, contact Katie Harmon-McLaughlin at khmclaughlin@CofChrist.org, (816) 833-1000, ext. 2393; or administrative support at (816) 833-1000, ext. 3038.

Social Media Resources Available

9/13/2017

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:

The Website Toolkit has instructions for building a congregational website, including a sample (http://CofChristsample.weebly.com).

Use Social Media Profile Images to reflect Community of Christ’s visual standards. Congregations and mission centers also are welcome to use cover images if needed.

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.

Redesigned Icons Illustrate Enduring Principles

7/24/2017

Icons Promote a Unified Understanding of Christ’s Message

To better communicate the foundations of Community of Christ, new symbols have been created to describe the Enduring Principles. Congregations and mission centers are urged to use these in their printed materials, social media, and websites to help the church promote its message.

"For several years, members have requested icons for our nine Enduring Principles, which express who God calls us to be," said Apostle Linda Booth, director of Communications. "The Communications Team worked with John Hamer from Toronto, taking his original designs to create icons that complement our Mission Initiatives icons, which represent what God calls us to do. I hope the church uses these new icons in ways to inspire and instill the church’s core values."  

Grace and Generosity is a palm-up hand profile below a heart.

Sacredness of Creation is a sprouting plant.

Continuing Revelation is a curling flame.

Worth of All Persons is trio of silhouettes.

All Are Called is a globe.

Responsible Choices is two arrows in a circular design.

Pursuit of Peace is a dove in flight.

Unity in Diversity is three outlined shapes that interconnect to form a circle.

Blessings of Community is an outline of a house with a heart inside.

Updated Mission Initiative icons also are available.

The new Enduring Principles icons are attached. All the icons can be downloaded at www.CofChrist.org/graphics.       

Download Community of Christ App

6/14/2017

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!

International Youth Forum-USA Plans Underway

5/30/2017

Plans are underway for 2018 International Youth Forum-USA (IYF USA). This is an international gathering where youth from around the world come together to celebrate and claim their place in Community of Christ. The event, held once every four years, is an awesome experience at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA that each youth has one chance to attend.

This special event will be July 19-20, 2018, for youth who have finished grades 9-12 (ages 15-19). Learn more.

Commentary on Principles From the First Presidency

4/28/2017

The First Presidency has released commentary regarding priesthood morality in response to a referral from the 2016 World Conference.
The commentary is based in the Enduring Principles, which help define the character and identity of our church. They arise from our response to the foundation of our faith—God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit—and our sacred story as a people. The presidency encourages the church to become familiar with these principles and explanations in anticipation of coming responses to particular issues.

Priesthood Status Categories Update Arrives

4/28/2017

Priesthood Status Categories is the second recent document supplied by church officials. It describes the Community of Christ ministry structure, which encourages faithfulness and is responsive to changing personal circumstances. Similar information can be found in the July/August Herald.

Community of Christ World Conference Resolutions

2/22/2017

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. 

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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