Community of Christ Enduring Principles Spotlight:
Hey! What happened to the statements about whose lives matter? Glad you asked. Glad you noticed!
Repeated messages often begin to be ignored after a certain amount of repetition. Sometimes a change helps reinforce intended messages.
Watch this space over the next few weeks for an emphasis on issues related to Enduring Principles and their application to Christ’s Mission, Our Mission.
In last week’s “moment,” I presented some thoughts on the Post-Pandemic Church that were generated by a workshop sponsored by Canada West Mission Centre in January. The workshop challenged us to consider how the experience of living with COVID might affect our expectations of church after the pandemic.
This week, I want to be sure you take a few minutes to watch a video prepared by Apostle Art Smith on the topic, “All Voices Discerning Across Canada.”
Through the video Art is inviting all of us to participate with him in a conversation about discerning the future of Community of Christ in Canada. Art’s challenge is similar to that presented by the January workshop which, in turn, is consistent with the challenge of “Metamorphosis” that was presented by President Stephen Veazey in an article printed in the “Herald” magazine a year ago.
The point of all three of these “challenges” is that Community of Christ is anticipating a period of significant change over the next few years. “What!?,” you might exclaim, “Has the church not changed enough over the last few decades? Can’t we just stay the way we are for a while and catch our breath?” The realistic answer to that question is, “No.”
Church leadership must continue to look to the future to be sure we are financially secure. (Aside: See the very encouraging most recent Contributions Update that show: first, that we are now over $80 million towards the goal of $120 million for the “Bridge of Hope” campaign; and, second, that, despite the congregational and church facility closures of 2020, contributions to World Church Mission Tithes were within the budget goal range for the year!) Thank you to all who made or continued their generous gifts to the church! Adjustments to programming and staff must always be considered against the expected generosity of contributors from year to year.
Further, church leadership at all levels must continue to look to the future just to stay ahead of where church members are taking the church by their various levels and kinds of participation. Church members (and friends) strongly influence the direction of the church through their participation (or lack of it) at the local and mission centre level.
In the video Art mentions the efforts of the World Church Leadership Council to discern elements of the future for the church. Such discernment is only possible through prayerful consideration of the leadings of the Holy Spirit AND through direct involvement with, and understanding of, the priorities that are being expressed by members at local levels through the kinds of mission activities they are supporting (or not supporting).
These conversations all support each other and are intended to support both church members and leaders as we all try to discern Christ’s Mission in our communities and in today’s world. I invite your active participation in such conversations with your congregation, your mission centre, and your apostle!
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
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