Written by Apostle Art Smith
Council of Twelve
I Arthur, one of you, just like you, called to serve Jesus Christ,
grace and peace to all of you, not just for you, but flowing through you as a blessing to others, to all communities.
As I write, at the start of this new year, I remember all of you fondly, thinking of times we’ve shared and picturing places you are and situations you face.
My prayer, for you, at the start of this year, with all the joys and promises ahead, is that the Holy Spirit will do what I’ve always known it to do, meeting each of us and all of us and everyone mysteriously as needed.
In the middle of exile,
In a time of despair,
May the Spirit of hope shine through
So we see ways out of hopelessness with hope our beacon and our proclamation.
In a time of joy and celebration,
When all our needs seem met,
May the Spirit illumine and remind us of those in need on the margins
So we hear voices and understand the perspectives of others.
May we lift up and care.
Outside forces and our own weaknesses,
Lead so many to see the church as irrelevant
Or as an instrument of hate and harm, exclusion and injustice.
But the mission of Jesus Christ remains.
It’s not just some external promise of things that God will do,
as if by magic in some future, decades away.
YOU are a gift.
YOU are to be a light to the world.
YOU are to open the eyes of the blind, to release the prisoners.
See through the fog of fear and hate.
The mission of the church is not irrelevant, hateful or harmful.
Your mission, this year, where you are, is to participate in
Release from demonization, marginalization, poverty and all sorts of captivity.
Everyone is invited in,
To participate in this purposeful project.
How it happens will be as diverse and varied as the two or three of you who gather to support each other,
to dream and to plan.
No person abandoned.
All invited to participate.
No matter if you live in uncertainty, decline of your community, or despair.
May this be our mission, their liberation and our liberation. All at once.
Apostle Art Smith
Council of Twelve
Canada, Caribbean, Mexico/Texas Fields
Written by Kat Goheen
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
I have always been captivated by the story of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25. They all wanted to go to the wedding, they all showed up at the right place, but only half of them had enough oil to get them through the night when the call came. The others were sympathetic, but firm: the foolish ones needed to go find another supply! They ended up missing the big event, even with the best of intentions!
Discernment and action are two key ways of not being a foolish one – being aware of what’s needed and then following that knowing into right action. Right now there are some wonderful opportunities: the Nurturing Spirit retreat in Chilliwack, BC, the Discernment Facilitator course through Graceland Seminary, being a delegate at World Conference for Canada West, zoom and congregational discussions of resolutions for World Conference. But the clock is ticking! This is a good moment to count the cost and stop long enough to sense into what God might be calling you into right now in the midst of your daily life. Let’s have enough oil so that our wick doesn’t burn out. Let’s move fluently into God’s preferred future.
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537