As “Giving Tuesday” fast approaches, we offer up this reflection on generosity from our Bishop of Canada, Dar Shepherdson. Watch your email the next few days for invitations to share generously!
Tithing: God’s Grace in todays world
When I was 8 years old, in our pre-baptismal class we were told that tithing was 10% of our income, this thinking has long been the traditional thinking within Christianity and one I accepted without question – and I meticulously recorded my dimes and quarters as income and faithfully gave 10%.
A few years later the Church’s position on tithing had morphed from 10% of income to 10% of “increase”, again without much question I meticulously categorized my expenses as necessities or increase and paid my 10% accordingly. In looking back, it was interesting that most of the deep discussions we were having about tithing was not that the premise of giving had changed but “what constituted a necessary expense”.
Little did I realize that even these accounting discussions were my early introduction to the discernment process and into what it meant for us to become a prophetic people.
You have been given the principles of generosity, rightly interpreted for a new time. These principles call every disciple to tithe faithfully in accordance with means and capacity.
—Doctrine and Covenants 162:7c
The giving of our tithing from our generosity or capacity is not an end to our responsibility but the beginning of our becoming the embodiment of Jesus the Peaceful One in extending his Grace to a world in need through our generously giving.
The tithing dollars we generously give should support all the jurisdictions of the Church equally – Local, Mission Centres, and Worldwide Mission, and it is our responsibility not only to use these funds wisely within our own congregations but to faithfully support others who are also bringing hope and peace in areas throughout the world where we cannot.
In a recent Daily Bread article Michele McGrath introduced me to a book “A Bigger Table” where the author John Pavlovitz suggests there are two kinds of Christians: those who see sin and those who see suffering. When we begin to recognize and see suffering, our tithing truly becomes an act of generosity, an extension of God’s Grace – fulfilling God’s call to be a prophetic people.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Giving Tuesday is a worldwide effort to support causes, programs, and organizations we love, and it’s taking place next week on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. This annual event benefits Worldwide Mission Tithes, and we hope you’ll pass these important messages along to your fellow congregants, friends, and loved ones.
A generous matching contribution of $250,000 has been pledged this year. When $25 is contributed to Worldwide Mission Tithes, it becomes $50! Any donation helps!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
129-335 Elmira Rd. N.,
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5.
NOTE: If donating by mail cheque or e-transfer, email Heather Huffman or call 888-411-7537 ext. 23 at Community of Christ Canada Headquarters to ensure your gift is included in Giving Tuesday totals.
The purpose of the Finance Committee is to ensure that Harmony is operating in a financially sustainable manner in accordance with its mission. Harmony currently has no paid staff, so the Board of Directors is a working board. Likewise, the Finance Committee is a working committee tasked with:
To accomplish this, the Finance Committee meets regularly (currently, one hour per month via Zoom) and may communicate and take on specific actions and responsibilities between meetings. It is expected that Finance Committee members attend at least 75% of meetings and advise the Treasurer in advance when they are unable to attend. We collaborate and archive files via Google Docs.
If you have a heart for the LGBTQ2+ community within Community of Christ and are interested in serving on the Finance Committee, we are looking for YOU!
Click the button below to read the full position description and application details.
All are welcome!
Community of Christ Chilliwack is having a Nativity display on Saturday, November 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Add to your holiday spirit with a walk through a display of Nativity sets. From the large to the small, on a table, on a wall, please join us with masks on and socially distanced. Your QR code will be required to enter the building.
This is free but if you would like to make a donation, funds will go to the Chilliwack Supportive Housing Society, receipts will be sent out for donations over $10.00, an envelope will be available.
When: Saturday, November 20th at 9am PST/ 10am MST/ 11am CST/ Noon EST
Where: On Zoom (more details and schedule below)
All Voices Conference
Apostle Art Smith invites you to gather for a Canada-wide Zoom conference to envision together the path ahead. Please share your vision and voice with us. In this second conference, we will share what we’ve been hearing and learning from the many diverse and passionate individuals who share Community of Christ identity across Canada. We will once again break into groups to build on what we’ve learned and to consider the opportunities and challenges past the lockdowns. Finally, we will present the Celebrate Mission program, a new way to amplify your voice. To learn more visit the All Voices-Testimony Tapestry website.
Discerning Across Canada
People's passion for mission finds expression in a diversity of ways across Canada. As voices have been shared in our conferences, discussion groups, and testimonies, we have been listening. Some themes are already emerging. We will share these results and invite everyone to ponder what other voices need to be heard.
We will introduce the #celebrateMission program. You are living out Christ’s mission in unique and exciting ways. As a church family, we want to be able to hear the good news and celebrate with you. When you celebrate mission, your voice resonates across Canada and inspires others.
Envision the Path Ahead
As we glimpse the future after the lockdowns, we will envision the path ahead together. Is your congregation going back to in-person meetings? Will your online events continue? Do you plan on a hybrid experience where remote participants can still join with those gathering physically? We will share ideas and best practices in breakout discussions.
Click on the buttons below to know how to join the conference and view schedule.
Last night, a friend of mine wryly commented that we’ve been hearing warnings in the West this year, with pandemic restrictions to start us off and then the heat dome, drought, massive wildfires, and now unprecedented rainfall and flooding. This weekend we have watched roads and train tracks in BC wash away, and we have all heard stories of families stranded, homes lost, and movement of people and goods brought to a standstill. If you are affected by these events, please reach out to us at the Mission Centre! We are here for you.
As people of faith, we react to these events not just with fear and pragmatism, but also with the spiritual vision of our hearts. We believe in the Sacredness of Creation, so we groan along with creation when the balance gets upset. We believe that God cares deeply about the condition of all creatures, and so we care as well. It is becoming clear that our lifestyles affect this loss of balance with creation. How do we respond?
To paraphrase Thomas Merton, when we care passionately about an issue, our first responsibility is not to preach on street corners and try to change other people’s minds. He says, “Just take the time to become what you profess to be. Then you will know what to do.” Our inner work reveals the natural outflow of our heart’s commitments.
As we enter this season anchored around giving, let us remember our hearts’ pull toward the Sacredness of Creation. Let us listen to our hearts and to the still, small voice that teaches us how to walk lightly on the earth. Let us not walk in fear, but have reason for the hope that is within us.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Where does your mind go when you see the Poppy? Do you wear a poppy on your jacket in November?
Remembrance Day is commemorated on November 11th each year and marks the end of World War I in 1918. The armistice took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."
November is the month that we honour the military personnel who have defended both our borders and other international borders. I know some who have been part of both Canadian and US military and I want to thank them for their service.
How do we align our mission initiative “Pursue Peace on Earth” with the need to have a military that is here in Canada and operates through the world when asked? Canada has been known to participate with the UN in peacekeeping operations. The Canadian military has been called upon in the last 2 years to assist the health care teams “fighting” COVID - 19. They have gone into care homes and hospitals. They have established care places in school gyms and warehouses and helped the health care system any way they could.
Many people have benefited with getting education paid through the military and all they have to give is time as an active military member.
Approximately 118 Canadians were serving in peace operations as of 31 August 2021 (58 in UN missions).
Pause for a moment when you see a Poppy and remember that we have our freedom of religion and speech and live a more peaceful existence than most.
Lest We Forget
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
Our First Weekly Wire column!
Hello from your new Mission Centre President Team! We are so excited to share our first Weekly Wire column. We want to start by saying thank you for the notes and greetings of support we have already received. We are so happy to hear from you.
The three of us would like to take this opportunity to give a warm thanks to Steve Thompson on behalf of the entire Canada West Mission Centre. Steve has modeled servant ministry in his seven-year tenure as Mission Centre President and has helped us be sustainable by serving as both Mission Centre President and Chief Financial Officer for a time, and by taking us into the territory of volunteer leadership even through the difficulties that COVID have presented us. His connections throughout the Mission Centre are strong, and he has shown by example how to strengthen the body of Christ in Western Canada. We wish Steve well, we're glad he's not disappearing, and we offer our sincere thanks!
We would also like to share an update with you on how we are moving forward with some aspects of our new MCP role. This is a “work in process” as we discern how best to serve in this shared leadership model. One of the metaphors we’ve been using to describe ourselves is Kat being the heart, Gwyn the hands, and Shannon the head! But you will often find us cc’ing one another on emails so we can all stay in the loop on what’s going on. When in doubt, email all three of us.
Here is how we are beginning to share out the work:
We are keen to mobilize as many volunteers as we can to support the mission centre, so we humbly ask you to share with us what aspects of Christ’s mission in Canada West speak to your heart and calling. Financial stewardship? Camping? Spiritual formation? Innovative new ministry ideas? Leadership development? Diversity and inclusion? Truth and reconciliation? Care for creation?
As we reflect on what a Mission Centre is, perhaps we may sometimes think of it as a president and staff, or as a once-a-year conference gathering, or perhaps gathering at camp, but really, the Canada West Mission Centre is you! And it’s us, and it’s a large, interconnected group of diverse disciples who are moving toward the Peaceful One together.
Our email inboxes are ready and waiting for those of you who feel the call to serve, and to those who have questions and wonderings.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
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