March 5-7 CWM Winter Retreat (Junior & Senior High)-Online
March 7 Climate Change Colloquy Series-Online
March 11 Upcoming eLearning Classes-Online
March 15 Creating Connection Book Club-Online
March 20-21 CWM Women's Retreat-Online
March 27 Satsang: Singing into Silence-Online
April 10, 17, 24 Nurturing Justice Retreat-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 email@example.com for Zoom links.
Hosted by the Toronto Congregation and Beyond the Walls Community
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com to participate. For more details click here.
For a list of Online Ministries 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!
All Voices is both a commitment and a process of discernment for the future of Community of Christ in Canada. As the name implies, All Voices takes a collaborative approach, ensuring all members, friends, and supporters of Community of Christ in Canada feel heard and affirmed as we collectively work toward a better and brighter future.
Apostle Art Smith welcomes you to the process in the short video below.
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” (“SPEC”) this summer. As of this date we have not received any announcement about whether SPEC 2021 will happen or not.
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
Winter Retreat will be held the weekend of March 5-7, 2021 for both Junior High and Senior High youth. The retreat scheduled for February 26-28 is not proceeding.
There is still time to register: www.cwm.events
Join Bryan Tidwell for Winter Retreat where we will focus on our new steps forward. We will have fun, play games, and chat about what can be next for us all. Let’s be that Something New!
Registration fee: $20.00
Through Crises Toward Transformation: Biodiversity Loss and Why it Matters
When: Sunday, March 7 at 2pm PT, 3pm MT, 4pm CT, 5pm ET
Where: Online Ministry through Zoom
Join this webinar where University of WA Climate Scientist Dr. Phoebe Barnard will explore specie biodiversity and the tipping points due to climate-based loss of species.
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.
Participatory discussions about Dr. Barnard’s topic will be available on:
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.
Jan Kraybill's twenty-second Super Bowl Sunday Organ Concert will be online through March 7. Kraybill used multiple organ consoles at the Community of Christ Auditorium and Temple for this event dedicated to the many people who have faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Virtual Virtuosity: A tribute to all virtuosos of the COVID digital era" first aired on February 7. The free recording is on the church's YouTube channel.
Viewers also will learn about seldom-seen parts of the headquarters complex.
Our "Green Session" of e-learning classes will open for Canadian enrollment starting on March 11 and continues until the class fills up or the start date of the class (whichever comes first).
The following credit classes are:
eLearning Classes cost $7.50 each, MEADS class costs $30 and should be paid before class via eTransfer to: Sam Smalldon firstname.lastname@example.org
To enroll, go to developmetrics.org and click on the "Canadian Registration Form" when registration opens on March 11.
Should you have any questions, please contact David Lloyd.
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 month at 7 PM (BC), 8PM (AB-SK), 9PM (MB). Our next meetup is on March 15!
Our book for this session is:
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
At the start of the 20th century, James Piper sets fire to his dead mother’s piano and heads out across Cape Breton Island to find a new place to live, eventually eloping with 13-year-old Materia Mahmoud, the daughter of wealthy, traditional Lebanese parents. And so, from early on, Ann-Marie MacDonald establishes some major themes: racial tension, isolation, passion and forbidden love, which will gradually lead to incest, death in childbirth, and even murder.
At the centre of this epic story is the nature of family love, beginning with the Piper sisters who depend on one another for survival. Their development as characters - beautiful Kathleen, the promising diva; saintly Mercedes; Frances, the mischievous bad girl, who tries to bear the family’s burden; and disabled Lily, everyone’s favourite - forms the heart of the novel. And then there is James, their flawed father.
“Moving from Cape Breton Island to the battlefields of World War I, to Harlem in New York’s Jazz Age and the Depression, the tense and enthralling plot of Fall on Your Knees contains love, pain, death, joy, and triumph. The structure of the narrative is multi-faceted, richly layered, and shifts back and forth through time as it approaches the story from different angles, "giving it a mythic quality that allows dark, half buried secrets to be gracefully and chillingly revealed" (The New York Times Book Review). As the details of the labyrinthine plot are pulled together, the question of whether it is possible to escape one’s family history gradually raises itself.
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!
A Women's Retreat with Susan Oxley
March 20 with a worship service on March 21.
For more information and online registration: www.cwm.events
Registration fee: $20.00
Director: Amanda Senga
When: The fourth Saturday of each month.
Our next session is on Saturday, March 27 5:30 p.m. BC/ 6:30 p.m. AB /7:30 p.m. MB-SK.
Click on the button above to RSVP and receive the Zoom link or contact email@example.com
This month's special guest is:
“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. We welcome all voices, all cultures and all traditions.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 last year, please click here.
Community of Christ Enduring Principles Spotlight
Sacredness of Creation
Elsewhere in this week’s news and events columns you will see my announcement about the cancellation of Canada West Mission Centre in-person events until at least the end of August. This provides an opportunity for some reflections on the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Community of Christ. I will offer a bit more of a retrospective on the whole year of COVID in the third week of March when we are at the one-year anniversary of the shut-down of local church services.
We find ourselves at a promising time in the pandemic. The vaccine roll-out, after a discouragingly slow and inconsistent start, now appears to be on track. All four provinces in Canada West Mission Centre are now reporting significant numbers of vaccinations, particularly among residents of long-term care facilities and now moving to some health care workers, senior citizens outside of facilities and some first responders. In Alberta (where I live) it is being projected that all persons of any age or occupation who desires a vaccination will be able to receive it by about the end of July. A recent article in the Edmonton Journal described the very positive and promising effect of vaccinations in long-term care facilities in Alberta.
Meanwhile we are all still dealing with at least some level of the restrictions which have become common in recent months. Travel is discouraged, except for necessary purposes. Indoor and outdoor gatherings are still restricted. The basic measures of masks, distancing and hand washing/sanitizing now seem ever-present and almost just a natural part of what we do each day.
The continuing impact of the pandemic on Community of Christ operations is obvious. Most congregations in Canada West are still not gathering in-person in any way. Many congregations are encouraging participation in some kind of regular online gatherings to maintain some sense of connection among members. These gatherings may be for worship purposes, “Sunday School” purposes, or just plain social visiting purposes. Some have instituted or increased telephone ministry. Only one congregation has returned to in-person services since October. They report significant efforts to abide by health authority requirements but report positive impacts of gathering together – despite masks and distancing – after the previous months of no services.
In the fall of 2020 Community of Christ leadership released procedures for conducting the sacraments of the church in situations where personal contact was not possible. Procedures for all sacraments except baptism were provided.
On February 6 over 130 members and friends were able to join in a service of ordination for two individuals where the ordinands were in different cities and the person offering the ordination prayers was in another country (the U.S.A.). It was an excellent worship experience in which the significance of the sacrament was truly felt and the presence of the Holy Spirit was evident. I am aware of inquiries concerning offering the sacrament of laying on of hands for the sick (“administration”) using electronic means. I have yet to hear of such prayers actually being offered.
It feels like we may be at a turning point in the pandemic. The authorities continue to warn us to not let our guard down lest the virus re-emerge, or its new variants take on a greater hold. Still, it seems that there is hope that we may see the end of the pandemic by late summer or sometime in the fall. We have come this far, we can deal with it for another few months.
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
(All times are in Pacific Time)
Friday February 26
5:00 PM Community Dinner - Join when you can!
Saturday February 27
7:45 AM Zoom opens, log in now
8:00 AM Welcoming meditation – Vickie MacArthur
8:10 AM Welcome and Introductions to your team – Debra Donohue
8:20 AM Five Rhythms Spiritual Practice and Guided Meditation - Kat Goheen
9:20 AM Break
9:30 AM Journaling – Jeri Mortimore
10:30 AM Listening for the Soul – Shannon McAdam
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM Wonder and Mental Health: Immediate Practices with Powerful Impact – Lana Cullis
1:30 PM Yoga Nidra – Vickie MacArthur
3:00 PM Break
3:30 PM Listening for the Soul – Shannon McAdam
4:00 PM Q&A with Facilitators – Jeri Mortimore
4:30 PM Dinner
5:30 PM Satsang: Singing into Silence – Vickie and Doug MacArthur with Drumming Guest Mary Jean Belrose
7:00 PM Goodnight
Sunday February 28
10:00 AM Closing Gathering – Shannon McAdam
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