Month: September 2020

Engage in the Generosity Cycle

Engage in the Generosity Cycle

The Generosity Cycle
Originally published in Community of Christ Announcements Sept 28, 2020

We would like to invite your congregation or mission center to participate in the Generosity Cycle
October 11, 2020 -November 15, 2020
The Church celebrates various seasons, such as Advent and Lent, where our gaze is focused in a certain direction and we spend time in meaningful reflection and preparation.
For six weeks, the Generosity Cycle provides an annual opportunity to intentionally move together through a season of generosity. The four phases of the Generosity Cycle: Invite, Discover, Respond and Reflect encourage us to remember God’s extravagant grace and generosity, to discover a deeper joy in living Christ’s mission, and to respond through whole-life stewardship as we reflect on our lives as generous disciples.
Disciples’ Generous Response moments focused on the four phases of the Generosity Cycle starting October 11th can be found here.
Additional resources including a video and study guides are available here.
If you have questions or need more information about how your congregation or mission center can participate, please contact, 1-800-884-7526
Hope and Gratitude

Hope and Gratitude

I had a moment of weakness yesterday.  Despair.  We’re in a pandemic.  Jayne, my daughter, was emotional because her mom was in the hospital (but not with the virus).  We started home-school . . . something I never, ever wanted to do.  It was the 6th day of choking smoke from the nearby fires.  I’m asthmatic.  My sister evacuated her home.  We had one of Lukas’ friends over for dinner (two days earlier).  He tested positive for COVID, so we started a brand-new quarantine.  And, oh yeah, he’s an at-risk kid and can’t come over for shelter now.

I reached out the way any insane person looking for help might.  I posted on Facebook.  “Well that didn’t help much,” I thought as I read some of the early responses from people who thought I was joking.  But that’s my own fault; I joke more on social media than anything else because everything else starts a fight.  Then I caught myself getting bitter when I saw that some people were responding in what I thought were platitudes.  I went to bed dark and brooding with little hope for the world.

I woke the next morning realizing my sense of existential doom was a bit dramatic.  It might be true, but I really need to focus on what I can control instead of stewing about what I cannot.  Be a force for good, Donald!  So I took a look at my friends’ responses from my post the day before, and one stood out above the others:  “Hope always arises with the practice of gratitude.”  The day before I understood this comment as a platitude, but the a good night of sleep behind me and realizing that this comment came from a person I respect a lot I decided to look a little deeper at it.

Gratitude asks of us to look at the world through the lens of status.  It asks us, “what do you have,” not “what have you lost”.  It asks us, “how can I use what I have to make things better,” not “how can I get what I’ve lost back to make things like they were when they were better”.  The former of those two sets of questions is actually useful and the latter of those two sets of questions is not.  Why?  Because time doesn’t move backward.  So if you are like me and you have periods where you lose hope, look backward, and try to reclaim what you have lost, I think my friend on Facebook actually has it right.  Let’s try to be more grateful.

No . . . it’s not a platitude.  Lets see how it could work.  What do I have to be grateful for and how can I use it for good?

  1. I have a job and an income.  I can use that to help a buddy of mine buy a truck to start his own business in the midst of his own employment struggles.
  2. I have a smart phone.  I can use it to call (but mostly text because I’m not a great telephone guy) and check on my friends who are divorcing.  And their kids.
  3. I can write.  I can write this article yes.  But I can also write cards to those to whom I am grateful.  Some people I’m just glad have run in and out of my life.
  4. I have a voice.  I can use it to tell others how we must change as a species so we do not destroy our own ecology.
  5. I have a vote.  I can use it to affect change.
  6. I have a God.  We can talk.

Shift your thinking friends.  Let’s not try to capture the past anymore.  Let’s move on and do the very best we can with what we have.

Sacredness of Creation: Join the Conversation

Sacredness of Creation: Join the Conversation

Notice, Gaze, Cherish, Bless:  Holy Attention to Awaken Our Hearts

Come join us in the third conversation about the Sacredness of Creation as we practice noticing and cherishing nature in its beauty, and as we acknowledge the evidence of creation increasingly out of balance.   Share your story of intentional moments you have noticed and gazed upon the sacredness of creation.  Share your awareness of the need to courageously “gaze even here,” at the devastation humans have caused to the planet.  Invite your friends to join as well.  All sessions are free.  Participation in previous conversations in the series is not necessary to join in this opportunity.

Further conversations in our Phase one series will include “Hope for a New Creation,” during the month of October.   In addition, President Steve Veazey will join us for worship on October 11, to share a special message about the climate crises we face and our response as a faith community.

During the winter of 2020 and 2021, there will be six more conversations/presentations, which will constitute Phase Two.   We will explore the unraveling of God’s sacred creation, the re-weaving of the web of life, climate change and the Community of Christ, and lifestyle practices that foster hope.  Dates for these subsequent conversations will be publicized in your mission center news briefs and on the website below.  Watch for them!

When: Sunday, September 20, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm PDT and Thursday, September 24, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm PDT

Where: Online Ministry

To connect to “Notice, Gaze, Cherish, Bless:  Holy Attention to Awaken Our Hearts,” please register at

Once registered, you will be sent a Zoom link a few days before each session of the series.

Download our Flyer.

Sacredness of Creation is an online ministry sponsored by the Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center for Community of Christ.  The North American Climate Justice Team includes members from GPNWMC, Canada East, Canada West, Inland West, Sierra Pacific Mission Center, and Southwest Pacific International Mission Center. 

You’re Invited to two Video Premiers with Jan Kraybill

You’re Invited to two Video Premiers with Jan Kraybill

Originally published in Community of Christ Announcements Sept 1, 2020

Jan Kraybill, Community of Christ organist-in-residence, is all ears. And hands, and feet.

The Grammy-nominated performer often enjoys hearing and answering her audience’s questions, especially if she’s playing a demonstration concert at the Temple or Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, USA. But because the world is dealing with a pandemic, her next performances — hands and feet dancing across the massive instruments — are for online audiences.

The good news: Questions are still welcome!

More good news: Kraybill will take video viewers behind the scenes, inside these massive instruments, to view aspects never seen by live audiences.

During free internet premiers at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time on both 13 September at the Temple organ and at the Auditorium organ 14 September, Kraybill will be online to take queries about the instruments or the music she played. The videos were recorded in Independence, but Kraybill’s responses will be live.

Watch her concerts on the Community of Christ Facebook page or the Community of Christ YouTube channelViewers can ask questions in the comments areas during the premieres. The videos will remain on the church’s YouTube channel for later viewing.

Watching the videos is free.

Here’s the music Kraybill plays.

On the Temple Casavant organ in Independence (13 September):

  • Prelude in B Major, Op. 7, No. 1 by Marcel Dupré
  • Adagio e dolce (second movement) from Trio Sonata No. 3, BWV 527 by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Berceuse by Louis Vierne
  • Grand-Choeur Dialogué by Eugène Gigout
  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach
  • Toccata from Symphony No. 5 by Charles-Marie Widor

On the Aeolian-Skinner organ in the Auditorium (14 September):

  • Fanfare in C Major by Henry Purcell
  • Chorale Prelude on Ein Feste Burg by Johann Pachelbel
  • Allegro (first movement) from Concerto in F, Op. 4, No. 4 by Georg Frederic Händel
  • Intermezzo on an Irish Air, Op. 189, No. 4 by Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Fantasy on Ein Feste Burg, Op. 65, No. 47 by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Faith & Formation Videos: August 2020

Faith & Formation Videos: August 2020

Faith and Formation (which meets online on Wednesday evenings) has been viewing presentations by religious leaders, scholars and philosophers of various faiths and denominations to expand our personal and communal theological understandings. At the end of every week, we ask the important question: “What about this presentation was compatible or incompatible with Community of Christ theology?” Unfortunately, I cannot share with you the amazing discussions we had after watching the videos. But maybe you could also glean important lessons from these videos.

The videos we viewed in August 2020:

August 12: Balpreet Kaur “The Power of Kindness

August 19: Kwame Appiah “Is Religion Good or Bad

August 26: Alain de Botton “Atheism 2.0

Join us Wednesdays* at 7pm (PT).

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*The first Wednesday of the month is prayer service.

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