Mission Center President David Ettinger designed the program, which seeks to prepare young adults to accept leadership positions at all levels. Over three years, they meet in eight retreat settings. Most are at Guthrie Grove Retreat Center, the mission center campground. Others are in Independence, Missouri; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Kirtland, Ohio.
Classes taught by World Church ministers have covered: discernment-visioning, missionary-hospitality, scriptural literacy, priesthood faithfulness, leadership development, issues of today, spouse and family issues, Sabbath, church history, Christian history, and theology.
Other retreats will focus on children and youth programs, young-adult ministry, congregational finances, spirituality, spiritual gifts, sacraments, conflict resolution, and pastoral care.
Presenters include Larry McGuire, Tony and Charmaine Chvala-Smith, Kelly Phipps, Stassi Cramm, David Brock, Tom Mountenay, Lachlan Mackay, Don Compier, Carol McLaughlin, Jim Poirier, Bruce Crockett, and more.
Kathi Angeroth has especially enjoyed the guest ministry. “What a privilege it is to learn from the top experts in the church. Each one has inspired me to pursue further study. Because of these retreats I have grown so much spiritually and have experienced an increased desire to be used in ministry.”
An added benefit has been the close bond the young adults have developed. They’re already looking forward to sharing ways they can fellowship and support each other.
Megan Harding aptly describes her participation. “As a new member to this church I have had the opportunity to learn about Community of Christ on a much deeper level. We have begun developing some amazing relationships that will aid us as we take more active roles in our congregations, mission centers, and the World Church.”
The spiritual and financial support of the mission center is making a positive and visible difference in the life of the church through this program. Several participants already have stepped into congregational and mission center leadership positions.
Angeroth echoed the feelings of many participants: “It will be exciting to see how God will use each of the young adults in the future!”