Nature and Nurture Retreat at Samish Island
Work Weekend at Hills of Peace
Creating Connection Book Club-Online
Spiritual Retreat "Descent into the Heart"
SPECTACULAR 2022 at Graceland University
Click here to view full Canada West Events Calendar
Dates are subject to change.
We know many have been eagerly anticipating the return of in-person camping for Canada West, and we are excited to share that, barring any dramatic changes in the state of Covid-19, we are moving forward with in-person camping this year.
In light of our enduring principles around the worth of all persons, unity in diversity, and personal responsibility, we are offering some guidance. We do this because of our gospel call to offer welcome to the least and most vulnerable among us.
First of all, our corporate responsibility as a mission centre is to always, at a minimum, follow local Covid guidelines for safe gatherings. Individual camp directors may decide that additional restrictions are necessary to keep campers safe, including things such as no in-out privileges during camp. At a minimum, directors will be responsible for ensuring camps follow all local guidelines for communicable illness, and to stay updated as those change.
Second, each of us has a personal responsibility to consider what we can do to protect one another. Personal responsibility can look like:
Our guiding question for you is: How will you protect the precious neighbour that sits beside you at camp?
We also encourage everyone to respect one another’s choices in how they have responded to Covid. Regardless of our individual views on vaccinations or public health mandates, we come together as one community who find unity in diversity. Some people will feel more comfortable wearing a mask and keeping their distance, others will be ready to embrace everyone. Please respect the speed and space of each person’s engagement at camp.
We can’t wait to raise our voices to sing “We’re all together again, we’re here, we’re here” in the sacred spaces we find ourselves gathering in this summer, and to also sing the words together “We are one in the Spirit”.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Self-care is such a big topic right now; do you feel it too? It hasn’t always been so – in times of war, service is forefront. In times of hardship, survival is. In this moment there is a yearning for a fullness of life that brings self-care to the fore.
What do we know about self-care? It involves:
I hope that we look to Jesus as an example when we need discernment. What about the area of self care? So many times he went away to be by himself, even when it mystified and irritated his followers. He spoke his mind and was assertive even with those he loved. When he was tired, he slept, even in the midst of a storm! He did not seem to be caught up in ego concerns at all but embodied each moment as it came. ‘Worried’ is not a word that describes him, although he did grieve in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is true that he emptied himself even to the point of death, but he was a participant in that process, not a victim.
My big takeaway from looking at Jesus through the lens of self-care is his relationship with his Abba, God. That tender and constant thread relieved many of the pressures that we experience that fall under the category of “needless suffering”. Jesus shows me that sometimes my self-care is found in caring for others. So what should capture our precious attention? Ruminating about the past, fretting about the future, the thoughts and judgments of others? I would like to share more of my precious attention with God and look to God’s will. I hope you will join me!
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
2 Days left to Register!
Registration deadline is this Friday, May 20th!
We hope you’ll join us for the Nature and Nurture Retreat June 3-5, 2022 at Samish Island. Click on the button below to register and learn more.
It’s time to get back to in-person experiences and there’s no better place to do that than at Samish Island Retreat Centre. Join us for a Nurturing weekend with lots of outdoor Nature time, and plenty of time for socializing. For those of you who have attended our retreats in the past, you'll notice something different this time. We've hired people to do the end of camp cleanup so you'll only be responsible for cleaning your own cabin when the camp ends.
Register today to reserve your E-Cabin. Two ‘E-cabins’ are still available!
For those of you who are concerned about crossing the border, we can tell you that several Canadians crossed the border to help at Samish Work Week ,and had no issues at the border.
The cost is $250 CAD per person, one person or family per cabin.
Should you have any questions, please contact Debra Donohue firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for volunteers that would like to spend a day or a weekend outdoors, enjoying the sun, the trees and the magnificent sunset over the lake!
You will have time to reconnect with friends and family. Hills of Peace (HOP) needs help with cleaning cabins, dorms, bathrooms, main chapel and the kitchen. Enjoy conversation over a 5 star lunch, dinner and breakfast. There will be a lot of support and assistance and all cleaning products (eco friendly) provided.
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 7pm (BC), 8pm (AB/SK), 9pm (MB). Our next meetup is on June 13!
Our book for this session is: "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness" by Susannah Cahalan
An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.
When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?
In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.
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!
Join us in person for "Descent into the Heart" a spiritual retreat with Kat Goheen. A journey through scripture and spiritual practice toward intimacy with God.
When: Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26, 2022
Where: Hills of Peace
Registration fee: $125 CAD (subsidies available)
Registration deadline: Sunday, June 12
Director: Brenda Senga
Register online at www.cwm.events and see more information.
Registration for SPEC 2022 is open! This incredible event for teens who have completed grades 9-12 will be held on the Graceland University campus July 16-23. After two years of cancellations, the leadership team is thrilled to be back! Specific COVID-19 protocols and limits are in place this year as a precaution.
World Accord Office has officially moved. With two full time staff now in the Ottawa region, they have relocated their office to Ottawa. World Accord's new address is:
c/o Heartwood House
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to World Accord new Executive Director, Kristin Douglas at email@example.com
NOTE: Due to low registration, this course will now be offered at a later date this fall. Watch Developmetrics for further information.
"Living Grace and Generosity"
When: Dates to be confirmed
7:30pm ET/ 6:30pm CT/ 5:30pm MT/ 4:30pm PT
Where: Live on ZOOM with Instructor Lew Shepherdson
Cost is $30, please send cheque to:
Unfortunately, there are many scammers looking for opportunities to take advantage of non-suspecting individuals in many different ways, especially on this holidays season!
We want to warn you about one such scheme that may be circulating among or from Community of Christ members, friends and Mission Centre Leadership right now.
If you should receive an email that appears to be from someone you know or trust such as CWM leadership, or congregation leadership, other close friends or relatives, etc., stating something like, “Can you do me a favour?”, be extremely cautious. These messages are likely a “phishing” email.
If you reply, the next email asks you to purchase a gift card on their behalf. The message may say they need the card immediately, but they are too busy to do it, and they will pay you back as soon as possible. These emails are not legitimate. They are being sent by malicious entities who are impersonating people in your contacts list to gain your trust and exploit you. These kinds of fraudulent emails attempt to gain your trust in order to access your personal and/or credit card information, or to get money (in the form of gift cards).
DO NOT click any links or reply to such messages. Delete these emails immediately!
What to do next:
If you believe you have received this type of phishing email:
Be very suspicious regarding online communication, especially when being requested to purchase gift cards or transfer funds. Remember, scams come in many forms. Click here to see a list of other possible scams published by the Government of Canada.
Note: This notice was originally published by Canada East Mission Centre in April 2021. Canada West acknowledges with appreciation their original drafting. This is being re-published by Canada West due to a series of “phishing” emails that have circulated recently.
The Hills of Peace Campground Association is seeking a Campground Caretaker. This position will be of interest to someone who:
This is a paid position. Contract terms will be negotiated with the successful candidate. A more detailed position description is available here. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found.
Expressions of interest should be directed to:
Noela Inions, President, Board of Directors
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 9am PT/ 10am MT/ 11am CT/ Noon ET.
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 PT/ 8pm MT/ 9pm CT. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group. For details about the next session click here.
Virtual Visiting Fellowship
Tuesday mornings at 11am CST/ 10am MST/ 9am PST. To participate please contact Gloria Stanton. 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.
Oasis Meditative Experience
(sessions will resume in November)
Wednesdays from 6:40 to 7:00pm Pacific Time. Click here to learn more! To receive a weekly Zoom invitation, please send an email to Kat Goheen.
Creating Connection presents: Coffee and Conversation
Thursdays from 10:30am to noon Pacific Time. To join please visit the Creating Connection Meetup group.
For a list of Online Ministries please click here.
A survey offered to Community of Christ members and friends 18-50 years old soon will close. Responses to the survey will help church leaders understand this age group’s spiritual needs and desires for our faith community. The survey closes on May 13. Click on the button below to answer it.
Please share this link with those who might be willing to participate in the survey and urge them to respond soon. Church leaders are particularly interested in feedback from people connected to Community of Christ as children and youth but who no longer regularly attend Community of Christ activities as adults.
I love stories like Narnia where there’s a magical, fantastic world that touches ours! This happens in our world too: it’s called thin places, where everything feels holy and you feel more like yourself than you ever have before. In a thin place we experience a reality that extends beyond what we can see or touch – the reality that we are surrounded by the movement of Spirit and the love of God. Thin places may be called Lummi Island or Samish Island (or Jasper National Park or Hills of Peace!). These are places that call to our soul, where we long to be.
Baptism is a thin place too. We place ourselves in the water, allow ourselves to be immersed, and encounter God in a new way. God doesn’t love us more after baptism because that’s impossible! God already loves us 120%. We do become partners with God in a new way, though, finding consolation in one another and spending time together.
So while I may never talk with Aslan, I can continue to treat this life like a sacred pilgrimage. I can look to the sacraments for those moments of union with the divine that grow my soul. I can spend time with my beloved creator and learn how to participate in life fully rather than sleepwalking through it. I can be invested in the lives of those around me, seeing God’s presence and fingerprints in each one. Where is your thin place? How will you dwell with God? Let the still, small voice call you into a new corner of your world, where something fantastic is waiting to be revealed!
*Adapted from the Vancouver congregation’s baptism service
May 8, 2022
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Join us on tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. MDT via Zoom as Caitlin Ball (Calgary Congregation) and Aymie Neudorf (Regina Congregation) host an information session about Canada West Mission Centre Youth Camp this year. There will be a time for questions and answers as well. Click on the button below for Zoom login details.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with you through these messages. It’s becoming apparent over the months that the feeling tone of the ones I write is more like our Disciple’s Generous Response rather than our Daily Bread! Part of my spiritual journey is to keep close tabs on the health of my heart (both physically and spiritually) and generosity is a great metric for heart health. Where my treasure is, there my heart is also. Just like my sermons, I’m ‘speaking to the mirror’ with these messages, reminding myself of what I already know leads to life.
Two aspects of heart-healthy stewardship come to mind right now. The first is our camping season! This year we move back into a fee-based camp experience where we know exactly how much camp costs in advance and what we are expected to contribute. Our directors are assembling registration information right now to make this clear. This is an opportunity to let our values influence our budgets in the next few months, allowing us to respond generously to the opportunity to gather again. What if you are not able to go and experience camping in person? I wonder if this is also an invitation to extend grace to others in the form of donations so that they can experience one of our most wonderful offerings as a church.
The other part of heart-healthy stewardship addresses the news cycle. I was in airports a lot this weekend, journeying to our friends in Saskatoon, and was struck by the numbing that watching loops of news can bring. It’s heart-breaking, but the situation in Ukraine is not improving! I can keep my heart open and respond by once again donating to those helpers who are on the ground doing their best to end suffering. I can light my light in the face of darkness and tend the flame, partnering with the Holy Spirit in divine work.
May our faithful God bless and keep our hearts!
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Samish Island Work Week
Join us on from Monday, April 25 through Friday, April 29 for the Work Week. Three meals a day, free cabins and all the work anyone wants! No charge for workers, of course.
Ken Barrows spoke at the closing service of the Lethbridge congregation building in March, having been their administrator in the 1990’s. He shared about a transitional time when some key families had moved away and there was not enough spark left in those remaining to organize worship services. He counseled them to leave off from having services for a few months and then to check in with him. For those months, the chapel was open for meditation on Sunday morning, but nothing else was done. After that time, when Ken checked in with the congregational leadership, one dear Saint offered to bring cheese and crackers every Sunday, for some social time after the meditation. After several months of that, another dear one wished to offer a hymn service, and that began a re-emergence of corporate worship. What would have happened without the offering of those cheese and crackers?
I carry that story close to my heart. There are times when we don’t have to force ourselves to do everything. If we cannot do everything, what is the something – the cheese and crackers - that we can offer? We know that God can bless even the last measure of flour and oil we have, and we’ve heard about what Jesus did with loaves and fishes. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, it may be time to offer and make sacred what we are capable of offering. Listen for the Holy. Tend the Holy.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
What is SPEC all about? Do you have questions about SPEC? Join us for an informal info session on Thursday, April 28, from 5-6pm Pacific Time. RSVP to email@example.com
This year CWM youth will travel with the Greater Pacific Northwest Mission Centre (GPNW) – known as the “Northwest” team. They do require youth in their delegation to participate in additional team-building events in Independence prior to Spec, to ensure everyone has a great experience. How travel to meet up with GPNW will work for youth from outside BC has yet to be finalized, and may be the responsibility of families to arrange, depending on how many registrations there are.
We're happy to share that GPNW is quite well-known in Spec circles for being hospitable and welcoming to youth who join in their team. The youth in their mission centre are quite spread out geographically, stretching from Oregon to Alaska and this year the Hawaii group will travel with us.
More information about SPEC 2022, and a registration page can be found at: https://speccofchrist.wordpress.com
Debra Donohue will be the local contact for youth to learn more about SPEC and about traveling with GPNW.
When is IYF/SPEC held?
SPEC Trip: July 13-23, 2022
Who Can Attend?
Any high school student who is CURRENTLY in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 may attend. Invite your friends!
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