June 5 Friends & Family Campfire-POSTPONED
June 12 Satsang: Singing into Silence-Online
June 12 Spiritual Retreat "The Grace of the Dark Night of the Soul"-Online
June 13, 24, 27 Climate Change Colloquy Series-Online
June 21 Creating Connection Book Club-Online
July 11-15 A Taste of Hills of Peace "Let Peace Dwell Here"-Online
July 20, 27 and August 3, 10 Hang Out...-Online
July 29-August 1 A Taste of Samish "Toward the Peaceful One"-Online
August 16-19 Junior Camp "Discover Peace"-Online
September 9-12 Mission Conference-Online
View full Canada West Events Calendar
Dates are subject to change. Please register early to avoid cancellation of your event on Reggie.
BC Community of Christ Online Gathering
Hosted by the Vancouver Congregation
9:30am Pacific Time - Visiting and gathering
10am Pacific Time - Service
Contact Chris Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom links.
Hosted by Beyond the Walls Community and Toronto Congregation
Sundays at 12pm (EDT), 11am (CDT), 10am (MDT), 9am (PDT). For more information please visit their website, Facebook page and YouTube channel to watch the service.
Creating Connection Book Club
Third Monday of every other month at 7PM (BC), 8PM (AB-SK), 9PM (MB). To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group. For details about the next session click here.
Virtual Visiting Fellowship
Tuesday mornings at 11am CDT (Manitoba), 10am MDT (Alberta and Saskatchewan), 9am PDT (BC). Please send an email to email@example.com to participate. For more details click here.
Creating Connection presents: An Afternoon of Nurturing Spirit
Wednesdays from 3pm to 4:30pm Pacific Time. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group.
Creating Connection presents: Coffee and Conversation
Thursdays from 10:30am to noon Pacific Time. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group.
Virtual Visiting Fellowship
Thursday evenings at 9pm CDT (Manitoba), 8pm MDT (Alberta and Saskatchewan), 7pm PDT (BC). Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate. For more details click here.
For a list of Online Ministries please click here.
So Many Topics, So Little Space
Quite often as I sit down to write this weekly blurb I have difficulty knowing what to talk with you about. This week there are three topics that need mentioning. I can really only do justice to them one at a time. I will discuss one today and discuss the other two in the next two weeks.
Topic 1: June is “Pride Month.” There is too much to discuss in a paragraph. But rather than let the month slip away too far, please consult Harmony’s “Pride Month 2021 Activities” page. Pick a couple of activities that catch your interest and log on. And be sure to check out the “Resilient” t-shirt offer! I will come back to this topic in 2 weeks.
Topic 2: Muslim family run down in apparent hate crime in London, Ontario. Check your local newspapers for coverage of this horrific story. I will come back to this story next week.
Topic 3: Remains of 215 children found in unmarked and undocumented graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Here we go…
Indigenous lives matter. Just before the weekend of May 29, Canadians were shocked to learn that the lives of 215 children did not matter at the time they died while attending an Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC. The remains were found in unmarked graves on the grounds of the former school. For just one of many media stories about this tragedy see: Remains of 215 children found (story includes text and short videos from CTV News). The school was operated by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969.
The discovery, while distressing to most Canadians, was sad confirmation to most First Nations persons of the family and community stories that had been shared among them over the past many decades. Stories that told of children taken away to residential schools but who never returned. Parents and other family members may not even have been told exactly what had happened to the children.
As members and friends of Community of Christ, what are we to do in response to this news? It is as difficult a question for us as it is for most Canadians. This adds another layer of complexity to the processes of reconciliation which, at some level, have been under way since the conclusion of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. As in most uncomfortable human situations, the first step is compassion, communication, and education, all of which can lead to greater understanding.
Let me suggest these actions as reasonable options:
For a bit of inspiration, I further recommend to you the story and the recording of how the First Nations country and folk singer, Don Amero, approached his task of singing “O Canada” before the Jets-Canadiens hockey game on Wednesday, June 2 in Winnipeg. In addition to singing a “stunning, mournful anti-anthem” rendition of the song, he was flanked by an elder holding tobacco and an eagle feather, and a woman cradling a pair of baby moccasins. Powerful stuff! If a professional hockey team can enable a touching and meaningful recognition of this tragic event, surely we can afford at least a moment of silence at a church service this weekend (if you have not already had one).
Reconciliation is one of those things that requires some large enabling actions on the part of national and First Nations governments. But the most meaningful part of reconciliation must occur “on the ground” between individuals and communities. I commend to you the challenge to find your way to contribute to this incredible national imperative.
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
When: Our next session is on Saturday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m. BC / 6:30 p.m. AB-SK / 7:30 p.m. MB.
Click on the button above to RSVP and receive the Zoom link or contact email@example.com
“Everybody with a voice can sing, and everyone with a breath in their body can experience their divinity.” Deva Premal
Satsang is a sanskrit word that describes a way of coming together in community to experience the pure truth and love that is beyond religion or culture. During these lonely and isolating times, it is so important to find creative ways of coming together to do this.
Doug and Vickie will share simple songs and chants from various spiritual traditions you can sing in your own space, from the silence of “Om” to a joyful “Alleluia”. Clap your hands with lively rhythms and the beat of a drum, and let soulful melodies guide you into the silence that connects our hearts as one united voice. Together we will create a vibration of peace to fill the world.
We welcome all voices, all cultures and all traditions.
”Through Crises Toward Transformation: Systemic Solutions - Transforming to a Circular Economy"
Join us on Sunday, June 13 2:00 pm-3:30 pm PDT (3pm MDT, 4pm CDT, 5pm EDT) via online.
In this session we start examining the pervasive structural issues that shape our world, in this case the basic economic model (Note: consumerism will be a separate session). Our current practice is a Create-Use-Discard economy that results in ravaged mountains, toxic tailing ponds, abusive child labour, abandoned oil wells, and mountains of trash. The old model generally considers resources to be endless, waste to be of no consequence, and the implications for Nature to be negligible.
Lugano Kapembwa will share an alternative model: The Circular Economy. From the ground up, once new resources enter this modular system, the model tracks resources and keeps re-using and replacing them as long as possible. In addition, Lugano will briefly share his insights from working on 100,000-person “city within a city,” where flexibility and change can occur more nimbly.
Lugano Kapembwa is co-founder and CEO of Loopcycle, a circular technology platform embedding lasting traceability that redefines how customers manage, recover and resell their used products. Prior to this role, Lugano worked on a $5 billion project, delivering sustainability and resource efficiency programs as Energy and Environment Lead for Canary Wharf Management, the landlord arm of Canary Wharf Group—owners of the 128 acre estate and mini-city district in London, UK. Lugano holds a M.Sc. in Law and Environmental Science and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science.
Join follow-up conversations on these dates:
Invite your friends to join as well. All sessions are free and participation in previous webinars and conversations is not necessary to join in this opportunity.
Please note that you only need to register once for the entire series. To register please click on the button above.
For more information about the series please visit the Climate Change Colloquy website.
Yes! Be forewarned!
This is an appeal for financial donations in support of the
Hills of Peace Campground!
The pandemic and its related restrictions have resulted in two years of programs being cancelled at Hills of Peace. No programs means no revenues. It is as simple as that. Although there have been no programs, many expenses continue. We still need a Camp Caretaker to visit the camp regularly to monitor for damage or repairs and to perform regular maintenance. We are still faced with the expenses of power, insurance and for occasional repairs as required.
As a result of decreased expenses, plus the covering of our annual insurance premium by an allocation by the Bishop of Canada from the funds from the sale of the Meadow Ridge property, the original 2021 operating budget of $60,000 has been reduced significantly. The target of this fundraising initiative is $25,000 – the estimated revision to our annual budget.
Please consider making a donation to the Hills of Peace Campground. This is especially directed to members and friends in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In addition, residents of other areas may also have memories of good experiences here. We welcome whatever you might wish to donate in support of Hills of Peace. Please be generous! Note that a request has also been made to each of the Alberta and Saskatchewan congregations to support this initiative.
We wish you a good summer. We look forward to welcoming all friends of Hills of Peace back to the campground next summer.
When you are ready to send donations to Hills of Peace, use one of the following methods:
Thank you for your support!
This year, Harmony is selling Pride 2021 t-shirts to commemorate not only the Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ Rights Movement but most recently our community's tenacity, courage, and resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These are tough times, and the marginalized have disproportionately struggled.
Click on the button below to see more details about the shirt sale (including where proceeds will go, how to order, purpose of the campaign, etc.)
This is a limited-time campaign ending on June 13, so orders must be placed before then. Shirts are shipped directly from the vendor anywhere in the world at the end of the campaign.
Pride Month is about belonging.
Harmony, (formerly GALA), has compiled a list of Community of Christ-affiliated Pride Month events scheduled throughout the month of June 2021. This list will continue to be updated as new events are included. Please contact Harmony President, Parker Johnson, to share any events within your areas and get them added to the list.
Experience this sense of belonging by clicking the button below and check out the Pride month content/events for this year!
Come join us for a monthly “get together” for casual discussion of books from a wide range of genres. Open to all book lovers (some books may not be suitable for younger readers).
When: Third Monday of every other month at 7 PM (BC), 8PM (AB/SK), 9PM (MB). Our next meetup is on June 21.
Our book for this session is:
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, David and Goliath, and What the Dog Saw, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers---and why they often go wrong.
How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?
“Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland---throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. In his first book since his #1 bestseller, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.”
Meet our host:
Kelly Duff has loved reading from an early age. In recent years, she has especially loved the opportunities she's had to read stories by brand new authors through her volunteer work with Filidh Publishing; where she assists with preliminary edits of new manuscripts, as well as helps with planning/running book launches and open mic events. She enjoys reading books from many genres, and she looks forward to exploring the worlds of fiction and non-fiction with other avid readers!
Are you interested in learning more about the history and current situation of the Indigenous peoples of Canada?
“Indigenous Canada” is an online course offered by the University of Alberta that “explores the Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.”
The course consists of 12 lessons that take approximately 2 hours each to work through. The materials are a combination of videos to watch and articles to read. There is also a quiz at the end of each lesson for you to evaluate your understanding. You can sign up for the course for free and the quizzes become “just for fun.” Or you can pay a fee of $60 that will get you a certificate from the University of Alberta – and then the quizzes actually mean something!
So here’s the pitch: Steve Thompson is inviting you to register for the program to start in the first week of July. Steve will set up a Zoom discussion meeting about the materials late in each week (in consultation with those who sign up). Although you must register as an individual, Steve’s intent is to enable an opportunity to review and discuss what we have seen and read which hopefully will reinforce the materials and encourage better understanding. To be clear: Steve is NOT an instructor for this course. He will be a student along with those also taking the course.
Here is where you can find all the information about the course: “Indigenous Canada”, you will have to register first in the Coursera system that manages these kinds of public, academic, online programs. After you register with Coursera, THEN you register for “Indigenous Canada” – and it will be up to you whether you pay the fee or opt to “audit” the course strictly for your interest and enjoyment without paying the fee.
Please let Steve know if you register for the program (whether paying a fee or not). Email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a text at 780-904-4389. He can also assist you with the processes of registering with Coursera and then for the program if you need any such help. Please register before June 30 so we can plan accordingly.
Steve is looking forward to sharing this unique and valuable experience with as many others as possible!
This occasional feature is intended to ensure that people across the mission centre are aware of the passing of persons in other congregations in a timely manner.
Information provided here is restricted to the name of the deceased person, the city where they lived (or congregation they attended), and the date of death (if it is provided). If an online version of a detailed obituary is available, the name of the person will be underlined indicating that it is a link to that source of information.
If you are aware of other church members who have passed away and whose names do not appear here or in our archive, please advise email@example.com.
Please support in thought and prayer the family and friends of the following persons who passed away this year:
For a list of persons who have passed away in previous years, please click here.
Have you checked out Canada West Mission Centre’s “Virtual Visiting Fellowship”?
This is a “program” that has truly become a “community;” actually, two communities! Participants have become real friends in these online communities that include people from across the mission centre and beyond.
Two sessions are offered each week. At least one of them will surely fit into your schedule:
Our Mission Centre President, Steve Thompson, plans and facilitates these sessions. We share in some introductions and opening comments to set up our time together. Then we engage in a general discussion with reference to topics that have included current events, articles in various periodicals, as well as hymns or scriptures. We conclude with a prayer for peace, for each other, and for others who need our support. Each session lasts about an hour. This has proven to be an upbeat, positive opportunity to help make up for not being able to visit “live and in person” with our congregation on Sundays.
How to participate:
Mark one (or both) of these virtual gatherings on your calendar and plan to attend. We look forward to your participation!
While gathering in person is not possible in many locations, these lessons offer resources for online gatherings, sunday school, study groups, or even for personal or family reflection.
Community of Christ lessons are available for children (ages 6–11), youth (ages 12–18), and adults. Weekly lessons connect the Lectionary text with Community of Christ identity, mission, message, and beliefs.
Lessons through November 2021 are now available for download. Visit the Lessons page for more information.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reduce opportunities for the church to provide in-person pastoral-care ministries and to gather physically for fellowship, worship, and community formation. After extended consideration, the Presidency is providing principles and guidelines for offering the sacraments through online means during the pandemic. These principles and guidelines may be refined in the future as the church lives into its experiences with online ministries.
It is our hope that providing for the sacraments to be shared through online experiences will continue the pastoral-care ministries the church is called to extend into human life, even during this time of physical distancing. It also will provide the church learnings for how to share the sacraments in a world that is becoming more borderless through online connections. May blessings abound as you offer these gifts.
Harmony, a non-profit advocating for full participation of Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ individuals in Community of Christ, is compiling a current list of ordained Community of Christ
ministers willing and excited to officiate Queer/LGBTQIA2S+ wedding ceremonies.
Harmony is committed to providing its members with current, reliable contact information in order that they might be connected with affirming, kind, and inclusive individuals in their area wherever they are on their journey. This has historically been managed organically, but as they continue to grow, they are seeking out more formal ways of maintaining such records.
In this case, Harmony hopes this database will be viewed as a valuable resource to its membership around the world as they plan one of the most important events of their lives: their wedding ceremony.
IS THIS YOU?
If so, please add your name to their database by clicking the button below. As always, Harmony pledges to safeguard your details and will only share them with interested individuals pursuing marriage.
After careful consideration of global pandemic recovery trends and consultations with field leaders and health professionals, the Community of Christ First Presidency has decided to delay 2022 World Conference until 2023.
Upholding our Enduring Principles in light of the collective information we have at this given time, it was wise to delay the next World Conference until delegates from around the world can safely travel, enter the USA, meet together, and return without contributing to community spread of COVID-19 or its emerging variants.
Read the full statement and Questions and Answers.
Canada West Mission Centre has determined that in-person events will not be planned at least through the end of August of 2021.
To be clear, this decision means that for the second year in a row there will not be a Canada West Mission Centre reunion/family camp at Samish Island, and there will be no reunion/family camp or youth camps or retreats at Hills of Peace. Official notice of this decision has been provided to both the Samish Island Campground Association Board and the Hills of Peace Campground Board.
In addition, it has been determined that Canada West will not be supporting delegations of youth attending “Graceland Spectacular” this summer, since SPEC 2021 has been cancelled.
A number of factors were considered by the Mission Centre staff to arrive at this difficult decision:
The decision to cancel the programs through to the end of August leaves a “faint hope” opportunity that we might still be able to hold an in-person Mission Conference on Labour Day weekend. Discussions are underway about the Hills of Peace Men’s Retreat in September that are leaning towards a “virtual” event. Watch for further information about these events over the next few months.
Plans for alternative ways to facilitate our retreats, camps, and reunions are still under discussion and we cannot make definite announcements at this time. Please watch for program announcements over the next few months in our news and updates and events calendar sections on our webpage and in the events calendar in the “Reggie” registration system.
Thank you for your attention. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Canada West Mission Centre President
Twenty years ago the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints changed its name to Community of Christ.
To mark this anniversary, two podcasts from Project Zion offer a look at the past, the name-change decision, and what has grown out of that change.
Visit the Project Zion Podcast website to learn more.
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