An estimated 300 members and friends of Community of Christ gathered on March 27 in Kirtland, Ohio for the 175th anniversary of dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Pres. Steve Veazey gave the keynote address. He spoke about the importance of paying attention to our denomination’s past.
“In today’s increasingly skeptical, secular world,” Veazey said, “the Kirtland Temple story calls us to deeper communion and experience with the Spirit – a communion which our souls desperately need. “Most of us are not aware how spiritually famished we are, because of the nature and fast pace of our lives. We easily become isolated and distracted from the spiritual dimensions and forward possibilities of the Spirit in our lives. If we could just help ourselves and others to pause long enough, in sacred spaces like this, our souls will awaken and stir and seek a deeper spiritual connection with God.”
The story of the Kirtland Temple continues to tell the church that, “we need to stop, and pay more attention to our spiritual lives as individuals and as a faith community.” Genuine discipleship and effective ministry comes out of the overflow of a spiritual life that is attuned to the Living God. “That’s where the energy and vision for mission comes from. That’s when ministry and mission is no longer a task – it’s a joy! Because it’s coming from an overflow of the Spirit in our lives!”
Veazey then shared that a number of the church’s current functions have roots at the Kirtland Temple. Many of our first overseas missionaries were sent from Kirtland. “I yearn for the church today to regain a since of mission and calling that will inspire such commitment and generous giving. Community of Christ needs to recover that sense of the Gospel, and establish the Gospel in our lives as the one cause that is greater than life itself,” Veazey said. “This is how the story of the Kirtland Temple continues to shape the life of the church today.”
President Veazey challenged us: “In response to the history and spirit of this place, let us go forth into a world of great need to tell the story of Jesus and his love as we have come to know. Let our witness be fueled by the power of God’s Spirit which burns in our hearts and souls!”
Wayne Allen is Editor of the YA e-Newsletter and a resident of West Portsmouth, Ohio in Bountiful Mission Center. He is the editor of the Portsmouth, Ohio Community Common and the Chief Photographer for the Portsmouth Daily Times.
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