MEET YOUR TEAM: The Innovative Ministries Team

Team Meeting @ Farmhousewritten by: The Innovative Ministries Team

What if we could engage with the wider body of the church in a way that we never thought was possible? What if we, the prophetic people, took advantage of our ability to work with the Spirit, moving forward as a people of faith into the unknown, to face the challenges of our time?

Well, we can!

The Community of Christ is in a unique place right now. Autumn and spring are happening simultaneously. As we speak, the World Church (International Headquarters) is dealing with an issue where our income is not matching our intended mission plan. Consequently, we are bunkering down to weather the storm with cuts to staffing and intentional missional work. However, at the same time, we are seeing God work in amazing ways through new and exciting opportunities. We do not feel that one needs to be fixed before the other taken care of. We believe that spring can happen (and does happen!) whilst parts of the church take care of financial matters.

Traditions, culture, our global nature and ideological differences all lead us to different places. Does this mean change should not occur? No. This just means we need to work harder to ensure we move forward together.

Innovative Ministries Team retreatOver the coming weeks and months, the Innovative Ministries Team (formally the Young Adult Ministries Team) is moving forward in spring. Moving for change. We are working hard to ensure that new and exciting endeavours are seen as ways we can accelerate growth. Growth not only in discipleship and faith, but also in providing further opportunities to give. We know that if young adults are not intentionally engaged, we will not always respond. Our lives are complex and multi-faceted. We need to prioritise more than ever before where our 24hrs in a day goes. Unfortunately, this includes our spiritual lives.

So, what does this mean for us?

We, the Innovative Ministries Team, believe that there is a way to engage the church in missional and relational change that can “move the church forward to a place of significance” (priority) in the lives of young adults. This change requires us to risk. However we believe that inaction (or being focused solely on the autumn stage) is a bigger risk to the life of the church. We want to engage with the wider body! We want to ensure that we do not leave tradition and history behind, rather using it as our platform for faithful action.

Our team has developed a purpose statement that we believe will drive us (and you) towards positive, creative action:

By providing a resource of support and creative thought, we aim to inspire new expressions of meaningful communities.

We create opportunities for positive change that move the church forward to a place of significance while acknowledging our tradition and community identity.

We advocate for young adults and for opportunities that empower their visions and passions, resulting in a broader dialogue between diverse populations and church leadership; critical to the success of the Community of Christ.

With leadership development as a core value, we will provide experiences that develop individuals to serve through skills training and personal growth opportunities.

– Innovative Ministries Team (2014)

This is who we are. This is the change we want to see. This is the spring we are experiencing and the hope for the future, the summer, we are anticipating! We hope this reflects what you want to see in your community, too. We want to do this WITH YOU.

Come with us on this journey.

Follow what we’re up to, share posts, thoughts, comments, and ideas – and most definitely contribute your own.

This is OUR initiative. This is OUR community!


Peace Colloquy Prayer Retreat


POVERTY: GOD WEEPS #godweeps #PC2014

  • Learn how our inner lives impact our actions in the world
  • A deep spiritual life gives us courage to face issues of injustice
  • Discover what it means to draw closer to a God who weeps over needless suffering

This year’s Peace Colloquy Prayer Retreat will be an opportunity for those who have a passion for justice and a desire to grow deeper in God’s Spirit. It will be a day of spiritual practice and renewal. We will be focusing on how global poverty and our own spiritual lives are intricately connected as humans living on an interconnected planet. You are invited to join us as we prepare for a weekend of formation about what matters most to the God who weeps. If cost is an issue, please contact Katie Harmon-McLaughlin.

What:             Prepare to experience “Poverty: God Weeps” with this pre-event prayer retreat to focus on the importance of connecting our spiritual formation with justice and peacemaking.

When:             pre-event from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 24

Where:           Community of Christ Walnut Gardens Congregation, 19201 R. D. Mize Road, Independence, Missouri  64057

Registration:  Pre-registration is required and opens in August. Cost will be $45 if you register by September 24, $60 after September 24.

Join the Facebook event here

For more information, contact:

Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formation Ministries,

YA Ministry Resource: Me to We

Me_to_We_LogoHave you heard of Me to We?

Me to We is an organization started by two Canadian brothers that work to empower youth to make a positive difference. (One of these brothers was awarded the Community of Christ International Peace Award in 2005). Their organization Free the Children is focused on addressing child labour issues around the world.

Check out these sites for their videos, lesson plans, and other resources that discuss issues centered around Abolishing Poverty and Ending Suffering and Developing Disciples (and Leaders) to Serve in their communities.

These resources and ideas would be great for those of you that lead youth camps or young adult retreats. (Some of the activities might just need to be altered for an older audience. But the ideas are there!)

What the Cross Means to Me

By Dan Nowiski, Michigan USA/Canada Mission Center
Re-blogged from: Connect-Engage-Inspire

danandabbyThe cross calls me to live Christ’s mission. It serves as a reminder that Jesus’ ministry to the marginalized involved challenging structures that devalue human beings and separate people from living in community.
Crucifixion by the Roman government was reserved for those who threatened the stability and control of the empire. Jesus’ death on the cross teaches me that his ministry with the poor, the sick, and the captive disrupted the normal flow of life for those who exercised power and dominance in first-century Palestine.

To be a disciple of Christ in ministries of evangelism, compassion, justice, and peacemaking requires one to encounter and challenge the forces of empire.

Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b

Unrestrained consumption destroys creation, families, and communities in places around the world. It is my responsibility as a disciple to challenge those structures by making Responsible Choices in my own life, advocating for legal reforms, and engaging with neighbors in my community to withdraw from mindless consumerism in the material economy.

Ignoring those who toil in sweatshops or seeing their land destroyed so I can benefit from lower prices and disposable products designed only for convenience is no longer an option when I look at the cross.

Jesus’ bold action to live with and speak for the excluded and forgotten set him apart as a troublemaker. I expect the path of discipleship likewise will bring me into conflict with many who choose to pursue comfort and convenience at the expense of impoverished persons around the world.

I was born into a position of privilege. I could use my standing as a means for selfish advancement, or I could choose to follow the model of Christ and give voice to the abused and neglected.

Many days I fall short and take in more than my fair share of energy and resources from our environment. The symbol of the cross pushes me to continual repentance for my role in the abuse of my brothers and sisters around the world.

Christ transformed the Roman crucifix from a symbol of dominance and oppression to one of humility and freedom. The image of the cross drives me to personal transformation and sends me into the world as a witness of the coming reign of God.

If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.
—Doctrine and Covenants 164:9d

Upcoming Peace & Justice Events you won’t want to miss!

john dear

Shalom Place at the Temple to Host Peace Activist John Dear
Join the Noon-hour Conversation April 3rd

Internationally-renown peace activist, John Dear, will be at Shalom Place, Thursday, April 3rd, for a noon-hour conversation on his latest book, The Nonviolent Life. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee for his peace witness over the past three decades, Dear is a Catholic priest who has authored or edited more than 30 books expressing his conviction that

“my vocation is to follow the nonviolent Jesus by teaching and preaching the Sermon on the Mount, resisting the culture of war and injustice, and proclaiming and welcoming God’s reign of peace and nonviolence.”

Check out the Facebook Event



Sponsored by the World Church Peace & Justice Team, the event is open to all without charge.

Round-the-world Bike for Peace Tour Includes stop at Temple World Plaza
Public are Invited to Welcome Norwegian Cyclists May 1st at 3pm

Bike for Peace is a Norwegian-based not-for-profit dedicated to promoting peace, disarmament, and democracy. On May 1st a four-rider team will arrive for ceremonies on the World Plaza at 3pm, accompanied by local riders as they cycle from Kansas City to St. Louis. Speaker will be Bike for Peace president, Tore Naerland, who has organized peace and friendship rides in more than 110 countries since 1978.

If you’d like to participate in cycling from KC to Independence, or for more information, please email Lu Mountenay at Part-way riders meet at Graceland University campus, 1401 W Truman Rd. (less than 1 mile from the Temple). All are welcome, with or without bikes, to gather under the international flags and rally for peace.

• Speeches:
New mayor of Independence
Nicki Cardwell, Emmanuel Cleaver’s community rep
Cathi Cackler Veazy, post Hiroshima visit
• Group singing and live music
• Have your photo taken with Hazmat Harry
• Contests: oldest and youngest riders
Best “peace” bike decorations (all ages)
• Handouts, and much more.

See you at the World Plaza, River and Lexington on May 1.