Please help us share far and wide by inviting your friends and loved ones to these events. To see this as a list, click on 'Read in Browser'.
April 24 - 26 Nurturing Justice Retreat Samish Island - Postponed
April 28 - May 4 Samish Island Work Week - Postponed
May 2 - 3 Creating Connection Facilitators Retreat Chilliwack - Postponed
May 15 - 18 Jan Kraybill Music Weekend - Vancouver
May 31 - Jun 2 Friends and Family Weekend Samish Islad
June 12 - 14 Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace
Jun 30 - July 3 Jr. Camp Hills of Peace
I hope that you are continuing to stay safe and remain well in whatever social-distancing or confined-to-home situation you may find yourself. It is a challenging time for all of us.
I have a few things to share with you this week.
First, as I mentioned last week, some Mission Centre events in April have been affected by the church’s suspension of services and programs as well as by governmental recommendations. The Nurturing Justice Retreat at Samish has been postponed with the hope of rescheduling to a later time. The Samish Campground work week has been cancelled.
In addition, events in May have now also been affected. The Creating Connection Facilitators training scheduled for the first weekend in May at Chilliwack has been postponed, also hoping to find an alternative date later in the year. Watch for announcements about the Jan Kraybill weekend in Vancouver and the Nurturing Friends and Family Retreat. Neither event will be able to proceed as intended, but alternative arrangements may be able to be made.
Moving into June please also watch for an announcement about the Spiritual Retreat at Hills of Peace for alternative plans.
We know there is much concern about our summer schedule of camps and reunions. The mission centre staff have set a mid-May deadline to make decisions for those events. We feel that at least six weeks’ notice for those events is necessary for those planning the events as well as those planning to attend.
Here is a good question: What are you planning to do with your Sunday mornings once our suspension of services is over? Will you return to your congregation’s activities as you did before? What do you think you might like to see change about how your congregation “does church” in the aftermath of this period of self-isolation? Maybe call your Pastor if you have some ideas. Just something to think about while you have time to think about it!
In closing, let me encourage you to make that phone call to a friend or relative that you have been putting off. That bit of connection may do as much for your well-being as it will for the person you are calling!
Stay safe! Be well! God bless!
Canada West Mission Centre President
I am pleased to introduce to you Sandra Rodriguez as our new Administrative Assistant for the Canada West Mission Centre.
Sandra has been attending the Calgary Community of Christ for the past several months. Sandra brings with her a degree in Communications, with training in advertising, marketing, social networks, and graphic design. She has experience in a variety of positions related to customer service and social media, digital, print, and video communications. I am looking forward to working with Sandra in her new role supporting many functions and services of the mission centre.
Sandra has a newly-minted email address: email@example.com. She can also be reached at: 1-877-411-2632, ext. 6.
She is beginning to exercise some of her new duties. Debra and I are now working with Sandra to orient her to her new position and responsibilities.
Please join me in welcoming Sandra Rodriguez to Canada West Mission Centre!
Canada West Mission President
Virtual Visiting Fellowship - A Twice-Weekly Online Opportunity to Connect across the Mission Centre
Have you missed your congregational gatherings the last couple of weeks?
Are you yearning for a bit of worship and a bit of fellowship?
Here is a new opportunity for you.
You are invited to Canada West Mission Centre’s “Virtual Visiting Fellowship.”
It will be offered twice each week at different times to enable different people to participate each time. The schedule will be:
Steve Thompson, Mission Centre President, will plan and facilitate these sessions. We will share in some opening comments to set up our time together. Participants will be invited to share to provide support to each other in our “social distancing” environment. We will conclude with a prayer for peace, for each other, and for others who need our support. Each session should last no more than an hour. We hope this will be an upbeat, positive opportunity to help make up for not being able to visit “live and in person” with our congregation on Sunday.
How to participate:
Mark one (or both!) of these virtual gatherings on your calendar and plan to attend. We look forward to your participation in our “Virtual Visiting Fellowship” experiment.
Cost: $150 CAD for the entire weekend
Registration Deadline: April 10th
Registration Link: www.cwm.events (You need to set up an account if you haven't already.)
Last chance to register!
Enrollment Information for eLearning Classes.
The following credit classes will open for limited enrollment March 13 - April 3:
Class cost is $7.50 and should be paid before class via e-transfer to: Sam Smalldon firstname.lastname@example.org
To enroll, go to developmetrics.org and click on the "Canadian Registration Form."
Online registration: www.cwm.events
Registration deadline: May 29, 2020
Canada West Mission is in need of two co-directors for Junior Camp (ages 8 to 11). Junior Camp is our most popular youth camp. Without at least one director we will not be able to offer this event.
More information about responsibilities available below or by contacting Lisa Neudorf (email@example.com).
We will reschedule this as soon as we are able.
Participate in a weekend workshop to learn more about organizing and facilitating connection groups OR come out and learn about new expressions of mission. With guest minister Kerry Richards. May 2-3, 2020 in Chilliwack.
Please note that we will issue you a refund if we need to cancel your event due to Covid-19 restrictions. Please continue to register for any event you may be interested in. Full refunds will be available if you cancel 14 days prior to the event.
To see this calendar as a list, click on 'Read in Browser'
April 24-26 Nurturing Justice Retreat Samish Island - Postponed
April 28-May 4 Samish Island Work Week - Postponed
May 2-3 Creating Connection Facilitators Weekend Chilliwack - Postponed
May 15-18 Jan Kraybill Music Weekend - Vancouver
May 31-Jun 2 Nurturing Friends and Family Weekend Samish Island
June 12-14 Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace
Jun 30-Jul 3 Junior Camp Camp Hills of Peace
July 4-9 Family Camp Hills of Peace
July 11-15 Junior High and Senior Camps Hills of Peace
July 18-25 Spectacular Graceland University
July 19-25 Camp Atsaken (12-14 yrs) Samish Island
July 25-Aug 1 Nurturing Community Camp Samish Island
August 2-8 Camp Kimtah (15-18 yrs) Samish Island
August 9-13 Camp Mungai (8-11 yrs) Samish Island
Aug 16-21 Adult Reunion Samish Island
Sept 4-6 Canada West Mission Conference Chilliwack
September 7 Workshop with Joey Williams
Sept 25-27 Men’s Retreat Hills of Peace
October BC Women's Retreat (tbc)
Oct 9-11 Climate Change Colloquy Samish Island
Oct 25-27 Nurturing Silence Retreat Samish Island
Dates are subject to change.
Please register early to avoid cancellation of your event on Reggie
Join us for a full weekend of music and fun from Jammin' with Jan, Jan Kraybill in concert, workshops and more! Save the Date May 15-17.
Join us for a weekend of fun activities, play and a picnic at the lake May 29-31, 2020 at Samish Island.
March 25, 2020
Canada West Mission Centre Statement #4
On Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19)
I hope that all of you are staying safe and being well. It is amazing to me how quickly any variation on that greeting has become so common to us. Yet it is an expression of that which is most important to us as we find our way through this COVID-19 environment.
The most important update since last Wednesday is that our Community of Christ leadership sent word late last week to extend the suspension of services and other church activities through to Friday, May 1. This means we are really settling into an unfamiliar routine of NOT going to church on Sunday. It also means that we have had some mission centre activities affected for the first time, specifically with the postponement of the Nurturing Justice Retreat at Samish Campground, the Creating Connection Facilitators Retreat in Chilliwack, Samish Island work week, and the intended meeting of the Hills of Peace Campground Board of Directors converted from an in-person meeting to a Zoom video meeting.
I hope you are finding alternate ways to connect with each other in place of our weekly services and activities. I have heard from different people how they have felt good about making phone calls to people they were missing from church, and I have also heard from others how much they have appreciated receiving such phone calls. This is not a difficult thing to do! Please feel free to pick up a phone and make a call – or two or three. I know that the number of viewers for Edmonton congregation’s worship service was way up last Sunday. I also understand that Vancouver experimented with an online Bible Study followed by a worship experience. At least one other congregation has told me they are investigating an online option for Sunday mornings to include their members and keep them connected.
This week was the first attempt at what we have called the Canada West Mission Centre “Virtual Visiting Fellowship.” Our first session went very well and included people from BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. You will see a notice about this elsewhere. If you are interested in being involved in this, see the notice and then email me to be included: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are two good links for you to explore. First is a video of President Steve Veazey and a "Spiritual Check-In". Second is a resource that he refers to, a "A Spiritual Check-In for You and for Your Community". Check them both out.
I have gotten away from the pattern I set in the first couple of these updates to reinforce things that were happening at our government levels that were affecting us. I believe that most of you are keeping up on those things without me telling you. If you really need an update, email me or call me and we can talk.
My continuing prayer is that you are doing your best to stay safe and be well. May I also suggest that we look after each other to the extent we possibly can.
Mission Centre President
Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the Canada West Mission Centre.
Today I am going to trust that you are getting your fill of information from the media about the COVID-19 situation in your province and across the country and, indeed, around the world. Today alone (Wednesday) we have had further economic situations occur and a closing of the Canada-U.S. border to discretionary visitors in both directions. I am not going to deal with specific details of the situation in this statement.
Instead, I wish to talk to you as the human and spiritual beings that all of us are. How are you doing? No, really, how are you doing? How have you been affected by the governmental responses to the COVID-19 situation so far? Are you working from home? Are your children home from school? Are you missing direct contact with friends and neighbours – perhaps even visits with loved ones living in care-homes with restrictions on visitors now? Are you sick? Are you self-isolating? Are you keeping your spirits up? Or are your spirits a bit low as you consider your own situation or the situations of those around you?
Thank you to the Pastors, and their congregations, who responded to the direction of Community of Christ leadership late last week and suspended worship services and other activities at our congregational buildings across the mission centre for the next three weeks. This was not an easy thing to do. We are still the “chatter-day saints” and we love to gather – to visit, to share testimonies and stories and prayer needs, to catch up, to shake hands and to hug, to celebrate and to comfort. We love to gather because we love each other and it is hard to not gather. But let me be clear: at this time we must not gather in our congregations or our social times or our service groups. It is for our own health and for the health of those around us that we must not gather. Not for now. Hopefully not for long. But, certainly, not for now.
Please find other ways to connect and share with each other. Phone each other. Email each other. Text each other or use social media. Find ways to ensure that those who we know depend on Sunday mornings for their social “fix” hear from friends through the week. This may well be your seniors, but don’t forget those who live alone, maybe your young adults, and even those who may be feeling confined to their house, especially those with children home from school. Congregations are experimenting with “virtual” services online – not just Toronto and Edmonton. This can help everyone still feel connected. Please join in. (Let me know if your congregation is giving this a try.)
Let me leave you with two things to consider: First, an entertaining reminder to “don’t be a spreader”: Mel Brooks and Social Distancing (scroll down to find the video and make sure you make it full-screen. Second, some tips on Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble.
Finally, if you want to tell me “how you’re doing” – please email me! We’ll talk! (email@example.com)
Grace and Peace,
Mission Centre President
Creating Connection Facilitator Weekend is coming to Chilliwack BC
Register today at www.cwm.events. Space is limited.
Canada West Mission Centre President Steve Thompson has issued an update concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as it pertains to the church in Western Canada.
Click the button below to view the full statement.
Rooted – Connected - Growing Feb 28- March 1, Samish Island
High winds and rain blew as we began our time of exploration on how we are connected, using the metaphor of trees. A comforting dinner of burritos and vegan pea soup warmed us from the chill. In the evening we greeted, shared expectations for the weekend, meditated and closed the evening watching ‘The Secret Life of Trees’ (available on youtube and vimeo).
Mother Nature smiled on us Saturday, as we awoke to a glorious sunny day. We meditated indoors and out, learned about the science of trees, sat with trees, talked with trees and learned how trees roots connect them as families beneath the earth. We practiced four types of yoga. Growing together as trees, Yoga Nidra, Hatha Yoga and Goat Yoga. Samish Island has four Nigerian pygmy goats who voraciously eat the invasive ivy. Our meals were a sensory overload of tastes and textures. Vespers quieted our souls and prepared us for tea and sharing in the evening.
Sunday morning brought with it the sad realization that our time together would soon come to an end. We meditated, nourished ourselves with food and conversation, cleaned and then held our closing circle.
With our roots watered and fed, and our hands outstretched to the world like leaves on branches, 34 of us returned home happy and fulfilled.
Below is a poem written by Lindsay Brown.
We are over halfway to our goal and there is one week left in our fundraising campaign. Your donations will directly help reduce the registration fee for all Canada West campers attending Camp Spectacular. The more we raise, the lower the registration fee.
In an effort to make attendance at SPEC (Camp Spectacular) a possibility for as many youth as possible, Canada West Mission will be running a GoFundMe campaign from February 14 to March 14, 2020. The purpose of this fundraiser is to support eligible Canada West campers with the registration costs associated with attending SPEC.
How You Can Help
Due to the high cost of travel plus SPEC registration fees (payable in USD), the cost per camper is C$2000. Canada West Mission has provided a subsidy which reduces the registration fee to C$1000 per camper. This registration fee can be cost prohibitive for some campers. With your generous support, we hope to further reduce the registration fee to give all youth the opportunity to attend SPEC.
All funds raised will be split 50/50 with half supporting 2020 campers and the remainder being saved for future years of SPEC costs.
Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Anything helps. We are asking you to share the GoFundMe link with your friends and family to generate support for our youth. Thank you for your support!
All donations are income tax deductible with receipts for charitable purposes being issued directly by GoFundMe.
What Is SPEC?
To learn more about SPEC visit www.spec-cofchrist.org. Check out the SPEC 2019 highlight video.
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