Still Time to Register! – YOUNG ADULT LEADERS’ RETREAT – MARCH 6-8, 2015

WhYoungAdultPostcardFrontPRo: This event is for anyone interested in young adult leadership or young adult ministries within the Community of Christ church (you do not have to hold a specific leadership role or be a certain age to attend (but 18+ please).

When and Where: March 6-8, 2015 at Bluewater Community of Christ Campgrounds in Lexington, MI (Flint, MI or Sarnia, ON are the nearest airports). Event will start approximately 6pm on Friday and end before noon on Sunday.

Cost: $45.00 We want this to be affordable, so the registration cost will cover food and accommodation. We encourage you to travel with friends to limit transportation costs to the campgrounds!

Registration forms can be completed here

 PLEASE RSVP to Noelle Gaffka at ngaffka@cofchrist.org to let us know you are planning to attend! 

GROW. Learn more about yourself, your gifts, your calling. Discover how to transfer your passions into your ministry leadership.

LEAD. Develop your skills and learn new ones. Receive valuable tools and resources that will help you be a better leader.

SERVE. Transfer skills to your local area. Find out how you can use these tools to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Deepen your spiritual connections and discern the ways your community needs you!

CONNECT. Build a community of supportive leaders working towards a common goal! Network, share ideas, build relationships that are intentional, meaningful, and helpful to you in your ministry with young adults!

This is a rare opportunity and has unlimited benefits to you and your communities – so don’t miss out! 

We encourage interested participants to partner with their congregations and Mission Centres. Talk to your leadership about your interest in attending, seek financial support, and offer to bring back what you’ve learned to your local area. The outcomes of this event are only as beneficial as the people you share them with! If you need help connecting with your local leadership, try these sources or contact us at yaministries@cofchrist.org:

Contact Noelle Gaffka at ngaffka@cofchrist.org or yaministries@cofchrist.org with any questions

This event is sponsored by Community of Christ Young Adult Ministries

Hope For a Hopeless Church

By Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

Reblogged from missionalleaders.org

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Every time I log onto Facebook or Twitter or any social media outlet, my news feed will undoubtedly show an article or two. I get articles such as, “10 Reasons Millennials Are Leaving Your Church” or “Why I Left Church” or “Brunch is My New Worship.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you experienced this?

If this weren’t enough reason to cause fear or anxiety about the state of faith, many churches are struggling financially. This includes my own, Community of Christ. I know that for most of us declining numbers cause fear and concern about our future. When we see a decline of people in the pews and a decline of contributors, somehow we think the “church” is dying.

I want to tell you why this is not true. I want to tell you how I am seeing faith explode in the everyday. I want to tell you that numbers do not dictate God’s wonderful and profound movement. I want to share with you HOPE. I want to share with you the vision and shifting identity of the missional church.

A few weeks ago I sat with a friend for lunch. We had met a few months earlier when he first walked into our congregation. We shared about our passions and faith. He told me he wanted to be baptized! I was amazed and excited. See, I was in doubt, worrying whether my faith was relevant. But in that moment I understood that my faith is not controlled by Sunday morning traditions or experiences. My faith is enlivened by the tangible development of relationships that create and empower an authentic Community of Christ. The church is not dying—it is growing! It is moving through vulnerability and courage to share and extend a hand of extravagant hospitality.

I am humbled by the presence of spirit and vision in a congregation I am working with. This is a congregation, perhaps like yours, that has few in the pews on Sunday morning. Month after month, they host a dinner for people who may not be able to afford dinner out. They gather a community of over 100 to break bread with one another. As I watch this event unfolding I see the reality of Christ being present. There is hugging, smiling, sharing of stories, laughing, and handshakes. Most important, they are forming community. Church is happening before my eyes. There are no hymns or sermons, but there are prayers and the breaking of bread.

They also host a biweekly gathering for youth from the neighborhood to explore the sacredness of creation. This ministry culminates with a week long camp in the summer. Over 100 youth and 30 youth volunteers celebrate God’s creation. This is where mission begins. Right here with encounter!

Another congregation I serve offers a monthly food pantry for their small rural community. I share with them in this experience. It took two days of work to make it happen. I heard from person after person the importance of Community of Christ for them and their community. They shared how the Community of Christ was a blessing for them in their life. Person after person shared how they look forward to seeing one another. They don’t use these words but: they are creating a community where Christ thrives! This is what Community of Christ enduring principles and mission initiatives look like!

When did we stop believing in the scripture from Matthew 18:20? – “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” When did the success or spiritual capacity of a congregation become tied to the number of people attending on Sunday morning or budget?

Being missional is responding to our discipleship not with an agenda for creating mega churches or extravagant programs, but rather living into the movements of God around and through us in our communities and contexts. The missional church is not a church concerned with numbers or budget. The missional church, courageously, moves forward with a powerful stubborn hope in a culture full of doubt, anxiety, and fear communicated in articles on our news feed. We are reminded, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Henri Nouwen reminds us in his book, Reaching Out, “Therefore, as the people of God, we are called ekklesia (from the Greek kaleo=call; andek=out), the community called out of the old world into the new.” I could go on and on with story after story, experience after experience, of the church growing and becoming. The truth is I don’t need to. When we pay attention and open our eyes, we have our own stories of hope and possibility. The church is not without hope and the church is not dying. The church is shifting, which is an indication that we are becoming.

May we become ekklesia. May we go into a world groaning with suffering, division, hunger, and fear and proclaim a movement that promotes communities of joy, hope, love and peace. May we become who Christ has called us to be and embrace the mission of Jesus Christ in a world challenged by apathy and a loss of hope. May we have stubborn hope and passionately, courageously, and vulnerably respond through everyday encounters with the living God. I certainly understand the complexities and difficulties, but I am not concerned with numbers or budget. I am empowered and inspired by Christ’s mission and encouraged by HOPE.

“The most important question for a missional church is not about long-term survival. It is about how we passionately pursue Christ’s mission in a suffering world that groans for the liberating truths of the gospel (Doctrine and Covenants 155: 7).” – Steve Veazey – April 2011

GROW. LEAD. SERVE. CONNECT. – YOUNG ADULT LEADERS’ RETREAT – MARCH 6-8, 2015

GROW. Learn more about yourself, your gifts, your calling. Discover how to transfer your passions into your ministry leadership.

LEAD. Develop your skills and learn new ones. Receive valuable tools and resources that will help you be a better leader.

SERVE. Transfer skills to your local area. Find out how you can use these tools to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Deepen your spiritual connections and discern the ways your community needs you!

CONNECT. Build a community of supportive leaders working towards a common goal! Network, share ideas, build relationships that are intentional, meaningful, and helpful to you in your ministry with young adults!

This is a rare opportunity and has unlimited benefits to you and your communities – so don’t miss out! 

We encourage interested participants to partner with their congregations and Mission Centres. Talk to your leadership about your interest in attending, seek financial support, and offer to bring back what you’ve learned to your local area. The outcomes of this event are only as beneficial as the people you share them with! If you need help connecting with your local leadership, try these sources or contact us at yaministries@cofchrist.org:

WhYoungAdultPostcardFrontPRo: This event is for anyone interested in young adult leadership or young adult ministries within the Community of Christ church (you do not have to hold a specific leadership role to attend).

When and Where: March 6-8, 2015 at Bluewater Community of Christ Campgrounds in Lexington, MI (Flint, MI or Sarnia, ON are the nearest airports). Event will start approximately 6pm on Friday and end before noon on Sunday.

Cost: $45.00 We want this to be affordable, so the registration cost will cover food and accommodation. We encourage you to travel with friends to limit transportation costs to the campgrounds!

Registration forms can be completed here

PLEASE RSVP on the Facebook event or to Noelle Gaffka at ngaffka@cofchrist.org

Contact Noelle Gaffka at ngaffka@cofchrist.org or yaministries@cofchrist.org with any questions

This event is sponsored by Community of Christ Young Adult Ministries

WANTED: JOURNEY HOUSE CAMPUS MINISTER

logo_sized_downThe Journey House Campus Ministry Center in East Lansing, Michigan is looking to hire a part-time campus minister.

The Journey House Board of Directors is looking for a person who is passionate about ministry and interested in promoting mission, building relationships, and forming community with college students in the Lansing area. Employment could begin as soon as January 2015.

Read the full job description here

DON’T FORGET! LEADER INSTITUTE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS COMING UP!

Leader Institute LOGO -JPEGGET YOUR FORMS IN BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!
(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 yaministries@cofchrist.org.

YOUNG ADULT MINISTERS’ GATHERING 2.0

YoungAdultPostcardFrontPRYOUNG ADULT MINISTERS’ GATHERING 2.0

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!

THERE IS NO COST TO ATTEND! 

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 @ yaministries@cofchrist.org for more info AND to RSVP!

Sponsored and facilitated by the Young Adult Ministries Team

Mission is … Disruptive

disruptive

Reblogged from: Missional Conversations

Philip was walking down the road (Acts 8: 26 – 39). David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16: 5 – 13). Mary, a young teenager, was minding her own business (Luke 1: 26 – 36). Peter and Andrew were fishing (Matthew 4: 18 – 22). In the midst of our lives, we are confronted with the call and invitation of the Holy Spirit. It intrudes upon our routines. It throws off our norms and unsettles our logic. Through the witness of scripture and the ongoing story of the church, we find one example after another, story after story, lives and backgrounds and skills as different as we can imagine, being disrupted by the missio Dei, the mission of God. Engaging in Christ’s mission means opening ourselves up to the probability of change, both within us, and on our plans and actions.

The other day I had raced home to gather some things, grab a bite to eat, and pause for a moment between meetings. As I pulled into the parking lot at my apartment complex, I noticed a guy anxiously looking under the open hood of his car. Since he was on the phone, I justified to myself that he had plenty of help available. I quickly grabbed my things and headed quickly inside. After all, I had important things to do. As the minutes passed, I couldn’t get the words of the Mission Prayer out of my head, the words I had offered to God that morning: “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.” Was I willing to respond? Was I willing to let God disrupt my life and agenda?

We often get caught up in worthy things. It is too easy for me to become consumed in my To-Do list and to convince myself that my list matter most. But as I read about Mary, as I immerse myself in the story of Andrew and Peter, as I walk the road with Philip, I find God calling me to leave behind my places of comfort and familiarity. I was allowing an adventure with Christ to disrupt me. We don’t plan for mission: we plan to be open to what God is already doing so we might change direction. The expectation of missional ministry is to discern every day, “God, where will your Spirit lead?” I am asked to let God stir up my life so something new can bubble up. The words of Isaiah have God say, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43: 19)

Did God want to do a new thing in my life, and perhaps I didn’t perceive it? The Spirit quickened me. I left my air conditioned apartment. I went down the stairs and into the 90-degree heat and asked if he needed help. Neither Jordan nor I knew much about cars and how to fix them. For 20 minutes, we tossed out some options, read through his manual and shared about his grandmother and our mutual love for working out and how he really didn’t mind the heat because the sun was out, happily assisting his efforts to tan. For 20 minutes, God was doing a new thing. Christ’s mission was disrupting our lives and we were being blessed by the stirring.

I saw Jordan the next morning, back out at his car which we hadn’t been able to fix. But this time, it was him, my neighbor on the second floor, who waved and asked how I was doing. “Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.”

May God disrupt your best-laid plans. May God stir the pot in your congregation to let something new bubble up. May God call you anew from your hillside and road and nets to nudge your heart into the holy adventure of mission. May we stop simply minding our own business to follow Christ out of the comfortable air-conditioning of our buildings to the “Jordans” of the world. May we be confident that in the midst of God’s disruption lies a deep and profound invitation to transformational mission. The eunuch was baptized. The Israelites got a new king. A Son was born. Seekers found One worth following. A neighbor was met. Mission was lived as lives were disrupted. And we have been forever changed.