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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
- Luke 4:18-19

At the time of this writing, the 2013 World Conference of Community of Christ is just 5 ½ months away. Of course that will be 5 ½ months of winter, but lets not think about that just yet, okay?  

Still, time passes quickly, something I am becoming increasingly aware of the older I get. Like previous conference, the 2013 event will be held at the Church's international headquarters in Independence, Missouri.   Before we know it, conference time will be here.  Those who are willing and able to attend are already putting their names on the CEM delegate list.  If you are a member of Community of Christ and would like to represent Canada East Mission at the 2013 World Conference, you should let Cheryl Campbell know if you have not already done so.  There are still some vacancies available, but the sooner you reserve your place, the better.  

In preparation for the conference, the First Presidency has asked each of us to take the time to make some personal preparation by spending time in study and prayer using Peter Judd’s new book, Christ’s Mission is Our Mission.  This compact but thorough resource calls us to explore deeply the meaning and ministry of Luke 4:16-30.  

To help accomplish this, the book is divided into six chapters, each dwelling on one aspect of the scripture cited above.  Each chapter is further divided by a series of questions for reflection.  These are conveniently embedded into the text at regular intervals, with plenty of material for at least a week spent on each chapter.   Following this method, we might expect to make this resource a daily companion for approximately six weeks.  It will be time well spent, especially in those coming (shiver) winter months.

Christ's Mission is Our Mission is available by mail order from Herald House.  A supply has also been ordered to be available at the CEM office in Guelph for your convenience.

Hmm... now, I wonder why that snow shovel is hanging there right by the garage door!

Posted by Carman

Sunday, October 28, 2012


What does it mean to believe in peace?  To work for Peace?  To pray for Peace?  Is peace even possible in our world?  Can we really make a difference?  How can we do that?  This dilemma is caught up in the words of one my favorite songs;
 There are plenty of people who pray for peace,
But if praying were enough it would have come to be.
-Jewel, Life Uncommon, from her Spirit Album
 How can we make a difference?  That question must have weighted heavily on the mind of Evangelist Lu Mountenay when a nuclear weapons plant was being built in Kansas City, Missouri.  What could she do?  Could she have any impact?  She would never know if she didn't try.

Before writing further, I should tell you that I have a lot of admiration for this gentle but determined lady.  Lu is a cancer survivor.  She and her husband Tom are also the parents of several children and grandchildren, including a son who lost his battle with the same disease.  During the summer of 2004, Joan and I were on a house hunting trip in Lamoni, IA because I was being reassigned to Graceland University as Campus Minister.  Lu and Tom were being reassigned to Independence.  By happy coincidence, we spent a half hour with Lu in the basement of her home when tornado sirens sounded their ominous warning.  That was enough to convince us that a basement was a very good thing to have when you live in "tornado alley", even though most people there don't have one.  We bought their home. 

That now seems a long time ago.  And the threat of tornadoes, while always potentially devastating, pales in comparison to the larger threat of nuclear weapons.  What could one Evangelist do?

Lu's story about this is best told in her own words, which you can find by clicking here.  I hope you enjoy it.

Of course Lu's story raises one more question: What can you and I do to help bring about peace?

Of course I am pretty good at identifying the questions, but I'm not so good at acting upon the answers!

Questions (but not answers) posted by Carman

Monday, October 22, 2012


And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you.  (Doctrine and Covenants 85:18a)

There is a candle that sits on the coffee table in our study.  When the candle was new and the flame was first lit, it burned brightly and the flame was easily visible on top.  As time has passed, however, the flame has burned its way deeper into the wick and wax of the candle.  The flame is no longer readily visible, and yet it burns just as hot as ever but at a much deeper level.  The candle now has a soft, warm glow as the irrepressible flame shines through it.  If one sits in the dark with the candle glowing, it produces a peaceful presence of gentle warmth.  

In some ways, this candle reminds me of what often happens to people.  When we are young, we often burn hot and bright with great energy and intensity.  Our flame of passion is on the surface and very visible, but subject to every wind or breeze and may be easily blown out.  As we age and gain more life experience, our flame burns deeper with a softer glow and a more gentle presence.  It becomes more resistant to every breeze and harder to extinguish.  It is lovely to be in the presence of people whose life experience has produced a deep faith which gives off a gentle and peaceful light.

May the gift of God's gentle and gracious Presence glow deeply in our lives.

Posted by Carman

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Small Church (School)

The following link leads to an interesting article from Leading Ideas on the strengths and benefits of small congregations and their often smaller church school.  In fact, the concept draws on the old "one-room (church) school".  Since I attended such a school and Sunday school for the first eight years of my academic learning, this idea resonates with me.  (In fact, the picture above looks remarkably similar to both S. S. # 2 Eastnor School, and the Stokes Bay church!)

What is your Sunday school up to these days?  Are you seeing and maximizing the benefits of smaller, more close knit relationships between students and teachers?

Enjoy The One Room (Church) School House.