TODAY! YA MINISTERS’ GATHERING 2.0 – Join us in person or online!

 Join us TODAY @ 1pm CST in person (Peacemakers Room in the Temple) or
online (live stream sponsored by Community Place+)

Use #cofcya to join the conversation/follow on Facebook and Twitter!



Sunday, October 26 from 1pm-3:30pm @ Community of Christ Temple (Peacemakers Room)

 ANYONE interested in YA Ministries is invited!
 Even if you can’t stay the whole time – feel free to drop in!



Sponsored and facilitated by the Young Adult Ministries Team

Important Update on the Leader Institute

Leader Institute LOGO -JPEGHi Everyone,

Unfortunately, I am the bearer of bad news.

We are needing to post-pone the Leader Institute program for awhile so will not be taking applications or starting a program in January as we had hoped. This is simply because there is not enough funds in World Church Ministries to run this program at this time. It is a high quality program and so the cost, to offer the program at the calibre necessary, just isn’t possible at this time.

I really hope that this program will be able to continue at some point in the near future. I think it is a great opportunity for emerging leaders of our church to be involved in (and it looks good on a resume too!).

If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to contact me at We will definitely make you aware when the program is able to run in the future!


needed_map_smIf you want to help our church community be able to continue offering
awesome programs like this: PLEASE GIVE! The Leader Institute is funded out of ministries supported by Develop Disciples to Serve.

The ministries of the church that benefit us, as individuals and as a community; and benefit others in what we can offer to the world – are only possible with the generosity of each of us!

Thank you for your understanding and for any support you can offer OUR church!

With hope,

Young Adult Ministries Specialist
Community of Christ

2 Piñatas + 6 Games of Ping-Pong + 8 Meals = Un Buen Día – Emily & Andrew’s Peace Corps Adventures

by Andrew Nilsen
Re-blogged from: May We Suggest

I’ve never seen such gigantic pots in my life.  In fact, I’ve only seen one pot comes close, which is at my father in-law’s cabin down in Cave in Rock, IL.  Today I witnessed two enormous pots full of food for fiestas with familia.  What a way to be welcomed into the family!

img_35291Today was my first full day living at my training site.  As TEFL teacher trainers, Emily and I are placed in separate small towns (pueblos) approximately 15 minutes away from each other in the Masaya department.  Peace Corps Nicaragua assigns married couples to separate training families primarily to help with language acquisition, which makes a lot of sense in our situation given that I have much more Spanish experience than Emily.  We will meet up twice this week for all-staff trainings, and will be able to spend the following weekends together, but for the time being we are focused on bonding with our host families.

Doña Juana has adopted me for the next twelve weeks of training, which means I now have older siblings!  My brother Osman (40 y/o) and sister Taniana (31 y/o) both are living at home.  They are very kind, welcoming, generous people.  In fact, I think Osman is sleeping in front of the TV in the living room, because I think they gave me his room.  I look forward to posting more updates about them in the following weeks.

This morning, after a light breakfast of bread and coffee, I hopped in Osman’s car to go to the finca para comer.  To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what he meant by finca, but since we were going there to eat I was pretty stoked.  We drove about 10 minutes out of town, and turned right down a dirt driveway lined with plantain trees.  Turns out that was Osman meant by “Vamos a la finca para comer” was that we were going to his (our?) cousin Ricardo’s beautiful piece of land out in the country for an all-day food and family fest to celebrate the birthday of another one of our cousins.  Over the next six hours I ate a bowl of pork sopa consumido, received a botany/fruits of Nicargua taste-testing tour of la finca from Ricardo, ate freshly fried pork chicharrones with corn tortillas, won five out of six hotly contested ping-pong matches against Ricardo and his son, ate a gigantic plate of Nicaraguan style chop suey with pork, watched little cousins destroy a bunny piñata, and ate birthday cake.

If you were sensing a pork theme, that is because the family purchased and prepared two whole pigs to feed the birthday bunch.  We were a big crew, and even the biggest pot I’ve seen in my life only barely contained enough chop suey to feed us all.  The wonderful afternoon of family and conversation ended with me promising Ricardo and his wife that I would bring Emily to visit la finca before we finish our training.  I think our chances are good, since they throw a party there every time there is a birthday in the family.

After la finca, Osman drove Doña Juana and I to a one-year-old birthday party for a family friend.  Although the setting for this was much more humble, there was still the same immense pot full of food to feed the 30+ people who gathered around the dirt yard of the corrugated steel hut/house.  We were fed vigoron, a national dish of Nicaragua with (you guessed it) pork served over a bed of yucca, topped with a cabbage slaw.  While we were eating cake outside and watched more small Nicaraguan children obliterate pretty cardboard animals, Doña Juana, my new mom, turned to me and said “See, we don’t just eat gallo pinto for every meal.  We ate all day, and didn’t have rice or beans once!”

It’s only been one day, and already Doña Juana is exhibiting maternal psychic abilities by assuaging my unvoiced foodie fears.  However, I’d gladly trade gastronomic monotony any day for the feeling that I am a part of a family.  After today I get the feeling that I may not have to make that choice.



(Limited space available – so let us know if you’re interested!)

Please share this application form with anyone you think might be interested or benefit from this opportunity!

The APPLICATION FORM is due November 1, 2014.

 The retreats will be held in Independence, Missouri on these dates:
January 8-11, 2015
May 21-24, 2015
Nov 12-15, 2015

Please visit the Leader Institute page for more information about the program.



Here’s some important info you need to know:

  • This program is NOT JUST FOR YOUNG ADULTS. The material is created with young adults in mind, but is more than applicable for anyone (18 or over) wanting to improve their leadership skills!! This is a great program for:
    • new and/or aspiring church leaders (employees, pastors, congregational leaders)
    • youth/camp leaders
    • university student leaders
    • World Service Corps alumni
    • anyone wanting leadership training that can benefit them in personal or professional settings! (Looks great on a resume!)
  • Participants are required to attend the three in-person retreat dates throughout the year(from our experience, this is the best part of the program anyways!)
  • Participants can apply to complete an individual project or a team project with other participants
  • This is a partnership program. Funding for facilitation, assessments, and materials will be funded by Community of Christ. Participants must provide funding for their travel, accommodation and food costs. (We recommend talking to your local congregation/Mission Centre about financial support.)

Don’t miss out. This is a great program and an awesome opportunity for any leader!!

If you have any questions, please email

From this Side of the Room

perspective1I have grown up going to Camp Bountiful; this fall will start my 25th year. Throughout the years many people have come and gone. There have also been wide arrays of experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

This summers’ experiences stick out for a number of reasons, mostly because I got to experience a different perspective of camp.

Since I started working full-time nearly seven years ago, I have dedicated nearly every minute of allotted vacation time to attending camps. In some years I commuted an hour each way from the camp to my job, just so I could take part in the evening activities of that particular camp. When I commuted I did not mind the two hour drive because I knew I was a trip or a mile closer to going back.

Over the years I have been privileged enough to form friendships with some of the campers and staff that will last a life time. With some of my friends living four hours away and some only minutes. Some of those friendships have been with people that live close to me in southern Ohio. So I started picking up and taking them to some of the events we both intended to attend. Most of those rides included trips to Camp Bountiful.

I would take two campers from my area and we would play music and talk the entire way up and back. This year one of those campers got to be on staff at a camp I was not attending. This person does not have a driver’s license so they asked if I would take them to and from the camp.

I agreed to the trip knowing it would be difficult because I could not stay.

There have been many camps and many unique experiences that I could write volumes on. But this was a perspective I had not experienced prior to this year – dropping someone off for camp and going back home on the same day.

I got him to camp unloaded his stuff and hung around for a while greeting and hanging out with old friends. Throughout the following week I texted a few times to make sure they were having a good time at camp. All indications showed that they were.

The following Saturday came and I went to camp early so I could have time to fellowship with some friends. When I got to camp they were in the midst of breakfast and cleanup of the camp before everyone went their separate ways.

During that brief time it dawned on me, these people have spent the last week together, the last thing they wanted to see or pay attention was someone like me. I represented something none wanted to face. Their time as a community was coming to an end.

After realizing this, I went outside and sat at a table until it was time to pack up and leave. It was a different perspective because prior to that, I had not been the outsider of a camp looking in.

Earlier this month (September), I was asked to help out in the kitchen at Women’s Retreat. It’s a tradition at Bountiful that men cook during Women’s Retreat and women cook at Men’s Retreat. I agreed and was assigned dishwashing for the weekend. I had only seen this perspective of camp once or twice and failed both times. Cleaning the dishes for the cooks and participants was certainly an adventure. Every time I would finish with a meal I would go to the sleeping quarters and nap until it was time to do it again.

Although the work of the weekend was rough, it was worth it knowing I could be of service.

Though this summer was unique in its own right, I would not have traded it for the world and would do it again and again. I am looking forward to the next 25 years at Camp Bountiful.



Sunday, October 26 from 1pm-3:30pm @ Community of Christ Temple

We had a great turn out after the Peace Colloquy last year! Let’s have an even better one this year! You do not have to be a YA Minister to attend – just interested and supportive of YA Ministries! ANYONE interested in YA Ministries is invited!
Join us for a YA Ministers Gathering at the Temple (in the PeaceMakers Room) following the Peace Colloquy! (Even if you can’t stay the whole time – feel free to drop in) We will have time for networking with other YA Ministers, sharing helpful #YAMinistryResources, and connecting with each other!


We will also share lots of info and news about a YA Ministers of Community of Christ Weekend we are planning for the Spring 2015 (March-ish)!!!Contact Rachelle @ for more info AND to RSVP!

Sponsored and facilitated by the Young Adult Ministries Team


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