Written by Becky Middleton
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
From October 26 - November 14, 2013, I was privileged to volunteer at the Joseph Smith Historical Site in Nauvoo, Illinois. My first "official" assignment was to help carve Jack 'O' Lanterns for the town of Nauvoo's Pumpkin Walk - how fun is that!
After some tutelage and practice with Lach MacKay I was ready to take my turns leading the guided tour of the historic sites which include: Nauvoo House, the Homestead cabin, the Mansion House, and the Red Brick Store. I really enjoyed sharing the history and stories surrounding Nauvoo and the early church with the many visitors who came to experience the Joseph Smith Historical Site. There were many insightful and interesting questions that people appreciated candid answers for.
When I was not leading tours, I was able to help around the visitor center with decorating for Christmas and a few other tasks as well as visiting and getting to know my fellow volunteers.
On my days "off " I visited the Latter-Day Saint sites and enjoyed interacting with the folks there too. I was very interested in the heritage of the era and the lovely old buildings. Many asked me interesting questions about my faith with the Community of Christ, being a woman with priesthood and a pastor in Canada. It was an enlightening time for many.
I also visited the surrounding area either on foot or being chauffeured by some of the other wonderful volunteer/friends. These included the state park, present town of Nauvoo, Carthage jail and the Community of Christ congregation and campgrounds located at Nauvoo.
My accommodation was a lovely heritage home overlooking the Mississippi river. Beautiful! All in all, it was a wonderful experience that I would love to do again and hope to!
For additional information about becoming a volunteer, click on the button below or email email@example.com
A tour of Italy with the Historic Sites team is being planned for 2024!
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, Becky and Shannon
Written by Gwyn Beer
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
Rolling Reunion - Last day on the bus!
I want to thank you all for rolling along with us. We left Nauvoo and spent our last night in a hotel. Denyse loaded our luggage on to the bus for the last time and we headed down the road. Our goal was Iowa and then Missouri.
We arrived in Lamoni, Iowa and our first stop was Liberty Hall, the home of Joseph Smith III and family. The house is a little outside of the town. Our group was divided into 5 smaller groups to be able to tour through the home. We also toured through the one room school house that has been moved onto the property. This was the school that the Smith children did attend but it was not that close when they went to the school! I loved seeing inside the home. It has been lovingly restored and many pieces were original to the home.
"The Liberty Hall Story", built in 1881, was the home of Joseph Smith III till 1905. Joseph Smith said "Liberty Hall throbbed with life, teeming with the bustling activities of a large and growing family. Birth, death, and marriage occurred within its walls. Joys and sorrows succeeded each other as the day the night."
"Liberty Hall is a premier restoration site listed on the Iowa and National Registers of historic homes that gives visitors a glimpse into a middle-class family, an era of late Midwestern Victorian culture, and the story of a significant religious movement in American History."
Back on the bus, we went to Graceland University. Things have changes since I went to Graceland College. We were treated to lunch in the Commons dining room of the University. The food was very good! We had some free time to walk around the campus and then we returned to the bus.
We were in for a treat that was NOT on our agenda! We were taken to the local Lamoni Community of Christ church. The Mite society of Lamoni, Iowa had put on a special display of quilts and quilt tops, some of which dated back to the Mite Society beginning in 1872! The Mite Society (Luke 21:2-4 for the story of the widow’s mite) contributed sewing of clothes and quilts for the needy in the community. They formally organized in 1883 and in 1983 were recognized for this long-term service association.
Currently the Mites quilt every Thursday and sell the quilts with the proceeds contributing to community projects such as the library, medical center, walking trails and swimming pool. The Mites set up quilts throughout the chapel and were set up working on a quilt while we were there. There was a large collection of quilts from Liberty Hall and new quilts made by the local Mite Society members. They also advertised locally so community members could also come and see these beautiful quilts. Wow! What an end to our tour! We left Lamoni sent on our way by these amazing quilters!
As the bus rolled along, we sang and shared and had our final devotion. The bus rolled to our final stop, the parking lot of the Temple in Independence, Missouri. “A Story to Tell: Women in Community of Christ” bus tour officially ended.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, Becky and Shannon
The Diversity and Inclusion Team is excited to offer three workshops beginning in September of this year. We hope to see many of you as participants and fellow learners as we continue on the path of inclusion as a faith community.
Workshops are free and all are welcome. Currently the plan is to offer the workshops on a scheduled basis. Registration is required.
To register: Send your name, email address, contact phone number, and title of the workshop you wish to attend to Heather Frey at firstname.lastname@example.org. A Zoom link will be sent to you a week or more prior to the workshop.
If a group of 20 or more, a congregation, or a mission center would like to have a presentation on different dates than those announced, please contact Gwendolyn Hawks-Blue (email@example.com) or Cathi Cackler Veazey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Written by Stephen Thompson
Canada West Mission Centre Historian
Vol. 1 | No. 5
In my first column in this space several months ago I said that it would often be “frustratingly short” because I may try to present a significant story but be forced by the limits of reasonable length to leave out many details. Well – this will be a perfect example of that.
In March of 2021, as Mission Centre President, I had the task of cleaning out the Porcupine Plain, SK, church building before it was turned over to the purchaser. As a natural “hoarder” of sorts, I had a very difficult day (or two, as the case may be) of throwing things in the dumpster that, if there had been any option, I might have tried to retain. But there was no option. I did retain as many historical documents and books as I could identify. One of those things was a file box full of issues of “The District Leader,” dating from 1961 and continuing into the early 2000’s.
I recently reached into the box and brought a handful of early issues home with me, hoping that I could find a thing or two to share with you. Well – there are considerably more than “a thing or two” that I would like to share with you. Having taken so many words to set this up, I now have even less space to share with you. I need a “part 2” to do this justice.
The earliest issue of “The District Leader” in the box is dated January 1961. It is noted as “Volume 15, Number 10” suggesting that the newsletter’s origins may go back to 1946. If anyone has any earlier issues in their homes or their congregations, I would be delighted to have a look at them! Please let me know.
The front cover states its purpose as: “Published monthly in the interest of all members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan.” Then “page 1” says: “Published by the Districts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.” The names of contributors and their home congregations suggest a far greater influence than those three districts.
Here is that list: the Editor, Mrs. M.A. Hanna of Calgary; the Children’s Corner Editor, Mrs. K. Fisher, Torrington, Wyoming; Women’s Page Editor, Mrs. Robt. Allish, Vancouver, B.C.; Business Manager, Mrs. C.B. Gibson, Calgary; District President Column (AB) by Seventy David K. Larmour; Editorial by Lottie C. Diggle (Saskatoon); articles by Elder E. Roy Glomstead; John Lucas; Evangelist Wm. Osler of Edmonton; J.W. Mountenay; Howard and Virginia Fisher, of Covina, California; Calgary Branch report by Vida L. Diaper; Mrs. M. Cornish of Senlac, SK; Roger Yarrington, Pastor, Courtney Rd. Congregation (city?); Ken and Isabella Fisher and family, Torrington, Wyoming; Elder Newton Ward, Pastor, East Alton Congregation, Independence, MO; C.V. Graham, Stake President (Seattle?); Saskatoon Branch News by Lottie Diggle; Fort William (Ontario) Branch Report, Lorena Henderson (for those too young to remember, Fort William was a twin city of Port Arthur and they amalgamated in 1970 to become Thunder Bay).
With that I have exceeded my length. I will come back with a Part 2 next month (or the month after) to share some of the interesting content of this 62-year-old newsletter.
Giving Tuesday 2023 is November 28. Join the generosity movement: let’s make a real, lasting difference in lives around the world.
This year a generous matching contribution of $250,000 USD has been pledged for this event. So, a $25.00 contribution to Worldwide Mission Tithes becomes $50.00. We will share Giving Tuesday contribution updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on November 28 and 29.
In 2022, you contributed over $1 million USD in 48 Hours! Gifts to Worldwide Mission Tithes total $1,035,167 USD. This includes $510,000 USD in matching funds, and $45,315.50 CAD from Canadian donors.
Your contribution, regardless of its size, makes a significant impact! It sustains essential programs, supports outreach efforts, and provides vital resources to those in need.
Thank you for your generosity! #GivingTuesdayCA
How to Participate
Canadian donors can use any of the following options:
Community of Christ
355 Elmira Rd. N., Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5
NOTE: Please email Heather Huffman or call the Community of Christ Canada Headquarters at 888-411-7537 Ext. 23 to ensure your gift is included in Giving Tuesday totals.
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