Community Of Christ - New England Mission Center

From World Church: 

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? www.cofchrist.org/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.

www.cofchrist.org/daily-bread-writers-guide 

Thank you for considering sharing in this ministry!

By President Steve Veazey

I was glad when they said, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!

 

—Psalm 122:1 NRSV

During the opening weekend of World Conference (April 5–13, 2019), we will recognize the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Temple. And you are invited!

What is planned is not so much a “looking back” as an exploration of how the vision, symbolism, and ministries of the Temple have inspired and shaped the church throughout the world. During the weekend, attendees will be spiritually moved by a video presentation of testimonies from members and leaders of the international church, telling why the Temple matters to them and the congregations where they live.

Events will begin Friday, April 5, with a “Service of Honor and Recognition” followed by a First Presidency reception. The Presidency looks forward to personally meeting and warmly greeting all participants.

On Saturday, April 6, Temple 25th-anniversary activities will include an exciting Temple community “block party” (10 a.m. to noon); a special Daily Prayer for Peace; an inspiring flag ceremony on the Temple World Plaza; international music performances; and the dedication of a newly sculpted “Peace Pillar” near the World Plaza.

Additional activities will include opportunities to interact with “storytellers” who were involved in the vision, design, construction, and dedication of the Temple. There also will be opportunities to interact with the 2019 International Peace Award recipients and take part in educational workshops or a community-service project.

Worship and presentation of the Community of Christ International Peace Award will highlight Saturday evening. This year’s recipients are Sister Andrea Kantner of the Franciscan Mission Warehouse and Gary White of Water.org, two organizations devoted to meeting basic human needs as an essential aspect of the pursuit of justice and peace on Earth.

Sunday, April 7, will begin with the gathering of members and friends of the worldwide church for an inspiring Communion service. For many, the opportunity to share in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with sisters and brothers from many nations creates lifelong spiritual connections and new insights into the nature and scope of the gospel.

One purpose of the Temple, stated in Section 156:5d, is “leadership education for priesthood and member.” Sunday afternoon the First Presidency will lead a session titled “Exploring Priesthood Ministry” in the Temple Sanctuary. While the session will focus on priesthood ministry, all will be welcome to attend.

Sunday evening we will share in worship led by the First Presidency. During that service, I will address the whole church regarding how God is calling us to respond to the significant needs and opportunities resident in this pivotal time in church and human history. Much of what I say will prepare us for serious conversations we will have and decisions we will make as a prophetic faith community during the remainder of World Conference.

When I think about all that is planned for the 25th Temple dedication anniversary, I feel the joy of anticipation of being with you as we write the next chapter of our sacred story. Come and “…let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Learn more at www.CofChrist.org/2019-world-conference

Midweek Thots #23 – God calls you & me! God chooses you & me! –

Thurs., 8.20.20 – by  Jerry Stone                      

Personally speaking.

   I don’t believe in luck or chance or coincidence, really, though I dismissively use such words. Over 40+ years as minister, my activity in mission has been for Christ & His church. Over these 4 decades of study, devotion, & humble service, I’ve grown a “Center” / “centering” relationship with Jesus. I have come to understand & believe that God, Jesus, & the Holy Presence are fully involved & overflowingly engaged in all aspects of my life, that of Bette & that of each & everyone as well as all creation. All this is absolutely well beyond me, well beyond you, well beyond our inspired imaginations. 

   Get this. With us, & in so many ways without us, God brings forth promise, potential, & possibilities in Bette & me, in you, in ALL. Through the Trinity family, God helps & supports each & ALL of us to be more, to be more than we are, & to be yet more, all part of our Christian journey! I firmly believe God has hopes for you & for me & for ALL others … in what you & I yet can be. 

   One of God’s greatest prophets, Isaiah, says (42:10) “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” The “right hand of God” is metaphor for divine approval & guidance & incremental growth & development in ALL of us … during storm & pandemic, sacrifice & loss, & struggle & suffering as well as during joy & gladness, & resulting support & blessing. God’s sheer grace is fully generous & unconditionally loving to each & ALL of us. 

   Paul the great apostle says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) And, presumably Paul says in Heb. 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in our time of need.” Grace is everything! Nothing of value, vision, & purpose takes place without God’s grace!

Here are some of my ramblings after 42 years in this Church.

   That we are here on this God’s Earth in this our Father’s world is possible ONLY by the sheer grace of God. It’s amazing to me how Jesus tripped into non-Jewish territories, when He dwelled among us in mission & purpose … to those Samaritans & others seemingly not “chosen” … yet! God called & God chose His Beloved Son Jesus to reach out to Jews & a number of others! Furthermore, it totally amazes me to read the NT scriptures & to see how it is God calls & God chooses. God raised up Saul to trip on the Road to Damascus from Jerusalem to Syria (“to dutifully answer the mandate of the High Priests to seek & find & arrest Jesus’ followers”), but, on this same transformational road Saul became Paul, for God called & chose Paul. Soon after, Apostles Peter & Paul boldly bring Gentiles … to the House of the Lord, … to the promised vision of the beloved community of Christ, … to the peaceable kingdom, … to heaven & all its grace-filled imagery! Wow! So, now, God calls & chooses Gentiles! That’s you & me & so, so many others!

   And so, we’re included, as are ALL included, by God’s purpose & design … no accident, no stroke of luck or perchance or coincidence here! We each & ALL have God-designed purpose! God planned deliberately beyond ALL time & forever … that you & me & ALL others are created for calledness! We are ALL chosen to be uniquely & personally part of this peaceable kingdom evolving in our midst. God intentionally includes ALL, each of us, everyone, … to be alert, “awake & ready” & fully animated by the Holy Spirit to be God’s hands, feet, heart, mind, & soul. And so, there’s good reason & purpose for me & for you to be baptized … to build upon Christ’s mission, to seek the interest of neighbors, to go out into the whole world to share our love stories & testimonies of Jesus. “ALL those who humble themselves before God & desire to be baptized … & are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end … shall be received by baptism into His church.” (D. & C. 17:7) We are privileged to be baptized, to be singled out in this sacramental way, so as to appreciate our call to mission, to be missionaries to the whole world. Our identity is based upon Jesus & His mission “to go into ALL the world’. (Mark 16:15, NIV) My own Patriarchal Blessing (now Evangelist’s Blessing) makes this truth primary & clear: “You, my son Jerry, have been richly endowed. This endowment, however, is for the welfare of ALL the children of God the Father, & is given to you that it might be used for them.” For me, for you, for others, for ALL! We’re called & blessed to be a blessing by calling others.

 

My Next Midweek Thots will be pretty special, I feel.                                                             

   Thank you for reading & listening over the last 23 weeks. In my next Midweek Thots, #24, I want to encourage you with something of my own concept & imagery related to Pres. Steve Veazey’s serious challenge to Community of Christ. He’s calling for “change & innovation” that will help us better respond to our financial struggle in the church.

   I can’t wait to share with you in 3 ways my own hopes & my own aspirations for Community of Christ:  1) to make some significant, change-worthy structural makeovers in the church,  2) to responsibly fund the pastoral & missionary work of our church, &  3) for the Gospel to travel far & wide, most notably for me in Community of Christ … because we in Community of Christ have known for quite a number of years now … that many, many wait for you & me to animate the Mission Prayer by sharing our love stories, our rich & powerful testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ active in Community of Christ. Being fully engaged in Christ’s mission must be fundamental & foremost, must be everything to you & to me & to other brothers & sisters & friends, I most sincerely feel. “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48, adapted)

With great hope & abiding love, because Jesus is everything & because we are ALL called & chosen,

Jerry

Priest Lynn Alley, Pianist