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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?"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Community Place+

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new kid in town. Community Place+, the evolution of the notion of a camping congregation, is the brain child of about a dozen people, mostly young adults, who have been meeting at least weekly for the past nine months. Inspired by the Sr. High Camp community, sparked by a young adult spiritual formation retreat at Kirtland Temple, Community Place+ is powered by this group’s mutual conviction that something needs to change, has needed to change for a long time. Our successful camping program gives youth the experience of a lifetime spiritually, emotionally and socially. The sense of community, of belonging, of being a part of something big and important and exciting is inspiring, life-changing; our youth leave camp with a real sense of hope but the majority of them soon disappear. This has been true for generations.

 We’ve been talking, as a church, for a long time about having the young adults take leadership in our congregations, reunions and activities. We’ve been talking about it. We’d like to see it happen. We’re ready! We’ve even let them try some new things from time to time, even made them pastors. It’s become clear  to me that what most of us really want is to have a new generation of well trained copies of ourselves take over the church as it is and keep things as they are. We talk a good game about accepting change but, when it comes right down to it, we are, like the generations before us, scared to death of it. We wonder why our youth and young adults don’t come to church. We think, if we just do a better job of making our worship engaging and relevant, we’ll win them back.

I don’t know, any more than you do, what will become of Community Place+. I know I’d like to see it thrive. I’d like to see it positively affect many lives in ways that I cannot now even imagine. I’d like to see Community Place take a fresh look at the church and at Jesus and find a way forward, find life.

One of the things Community Place+ struggles with is to make our language inclusive. I’m sure you realize that, both as Christians and as members of our particular denomination, we have our own language. It’s filled with words describing holy concepts like Zion, Faith, Repentance, Christ’s Peace, Sacraments, Eternal Life; words which hold special meaning for our people like prayer life, thee and thou, brothers and sisters, restoration, gospel, prophet, only begotten, blessing, sin, prayer and Holy Ghost.  This language is comfortable and familiar to those of us for whom this community has been a home for generations; it is foreign and exclusive to the rest of the world.

Community Place+ wishes to be radically inclusive in everything we do. This won’t be easy; it will take a concerted effort on our part to avoid the pitfalls of familiarity and comfort, both of which can unintentionally create walls of exclusiveness. We welcome all to be a part of Community Place+; no barriers, no expectations, just loving welcome in the hope that together we can BE community.

Community Place+ will intentionally avoid competing with the Sunday morning service. Care will be taken to allow the participants of this outgrowth of the camping community to remain an active part of an existing congregation. We understand the concern of congregations that they can ill afford to lose members to a new program. We wish to partner with interested congregations to share resources, new understandings and programs in a supportive, mutually beneficial relationship. The Community Place+ program is currently sponsored by the Willow, (Willowdale) congregation of Community of Christ and it is our intention to bring to the table a solution to the dwindling numbers and falling revenues affecting our church at congregational as well as at corporate levels.

We have been considering for at least 10 years the idea of a Camping Congregation and now we’ve taken the next step in the exploration of that notion. Community Place+ programming is an outgrowth of our successful camping program and much of what we do will be taken from the camp experience: small group activities, camp worship styles, community meals, sports activities, music and video presentations, talking together about the important things, all these and more find their way into our programs. Sermons will be in short supply. Community Place+ is the dream of Young Adults but is a ministry for all ages. All are welcome regardless of age to connect, spend time in community and perhaps to find a spiritual home.

Prepared by John Morgan
on behalf of
Community Place+

Thursday, July 25, 2013



    Community of Christ, a divine vision is set before you. Presented over the years through various inspired phrases and symbols, it is expressed now through initiatives in harmony with Jesus Christ’s mission.

    As a spiritual venture, boldly follow the initiatives into the heart of God’s vision for the church and creation. Then, in response to growing insight about God’s nature and will, continue to shape communities that live Christ’s love and mission.
- Words of Counsel presented at the 2013 World Conference

I am thinking about the adverb, boldly.  It is familiar to us, of course, and has a nice ring to it, especially for Star Trek fans, many of whom may have grown up hearing the introduction to the TV show day after day.

    Space: The final frontier
    These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise
    Its 5 year mission
    To explore strange new worlds
    To seek out new life and new civilizations
    To boldly go where no man has gone before

According to, the following are the possible definitions of the root word, “bold.”

1. not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.  
2. not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent: He apologized for being so bold as to speak to the emperor.
3. necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.
4. beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative: Einstein was a bold mathematician. a difficult problem needing a bold answer.
5. striking or conspicuous to the eye; flashy; showy: a bold pattern.

All of these definitions may be helpful, but what does it mean for the church to boldly follow the initiatives into the heart of God’s vision for the church and creation?  How do we do that?  What is suggested by the imperative, boldly follow?

While I don’t have the answers to all these questions, I do have a couple of observations.  First let me suggest that this a call to group action and not an individual or solo venture.  If we are to boldly follow, we need to do it together, whether in families, congregations, households or groups of people.  Second, following suggests that the divine Presence is already moving, and it is our job to identify that initiative, get up off our duffs and ask how we can help.  Without hesitation, perhaps being forward, with courage and daring, we are called to move beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action.

Okay, I think I'm starting to get the message.  It  feels a little scary and intimidating, but that is why we need to boldly follow, and do so together.

Boldly, let's have a conversation, shall we?  What does this word suggest to you in this context?

Posted by Carman

Monday, July 22, 2013

What If.... what I envisioned.....happened!

One of the Christian resources I read daily struck home to me with a retelling of the OT Abraham & Sarah story. God had promised Abraham when he went to the land of Canaan that he would make of him a great nation. However, both Abraham and Sarah were elderly. The description of Sarah was that she was barren, unable to have children. Yet the promise had been made. Years later they received visitors, messengers of God, who reminded them of the old forgotten promise of God. Sarah actually laughed thinking this was absurd. They have seen their time. They were people of the past and not of the future. Not so, says God. Not in the least.

This is a similar discussion to what we hear about many congregations that are struggling with numbers, leaders and finances…. Old. Outdated. Barren. It has seen its day. Let it go. Not so, says God! I'm not done with you yet. I still have grace to give, Mission to be lived out in your midst. Make room. There are children coming. People will respond too numerous to count. Listen for the promise! Listen to the messengers!

Do not yearn for times that are past, but recognize that you have been given a foundation of faithful service, even as you build a foundation for what is yet to be.
—Doctrine and Covenants162:2b

In my new role, I am challenged to be one the messengers in the life of your congregation. Let us see with new eyes the glass half full perspective of promise in our midst.

In my previous business experience, outside of my typical marketing/sales management roles, I found the most effective place to grow sales was on the front lines of customer interaction, mentoring reps and engaging directly with customers that evidenced potential and promise. The primary reason we became successfully engaged with many healthcare clinics directly was to accelerate their sales of our own company’s products. I discovered numerous clinics were weak in their ability to envision the specifics of change and what those outcomes would look like and the operational and marketing mechanics required. It seemed, the ability to arrive at workable change was too difficult to contemplate or undertake even when the potential was apparent. Helping the owners create an envisioned perceptible outcome of their clinic in a detailed narrative-like story allowed us to break down the processes and personalize the steps/needs/skills/budget to actualize that reality. Our mentoring, hands-on coaching and resource tools facilitated the process onward to stellar sales results.

What does this mean for your congregation? I believe envisionment models are the catalyst to motivation. Let’s start with this “what if” portrayal of your congregation below……

"Now, this is the one year outcome story of our people, members and friends of the (insert name) congregation; of our faith and life changing community covenant to engage in and fulfill the vision we created to be a congregation in mission.

For the glass half full view, our first step was to create our congregational narrative envisionment story depicting our congregation with optimal growth 1 year from today. If we were to view our congregation from a glass half full perspective what would we see, being as realistically positive as possible. This narrative provides our congregation with a template to start from. This vision feeds the hopes of our congregants acting as a catalyst for change. So, once our story is created, pondered, dwelt upon, felt, experienced in our collective mind's eye and very soul, it is time for us to proceed. Our congregational leaders/members were encouraged to personalize their participation in the congregational envisionment by scripting their lives and their ministries into the story of our congregation through their own personal writings. We incorporated this collection of our desires into a Vision binder as our expectations for our 1 Year anniversary; to be read and reread and remind us of the journey and mission we were fulfilling in our individual and collective lives. We can say together “This is my life and my mission coupled with yours in sacred community, inspired and empowered by the Spirit which goes before us. By our outcome envisionment we are truly a “prophetic people”. Is not a prophetic people those who envision a potential missional future and strive to fulfill that in their midst?"

This is not farfetched, I promise you. Let's talk about the possibilities. Let's talk about the ideas, (they exist) resources, (they exist) the technology, (it exists) the mentors, (they exist) the programs (they exist) to fulfill these promises God has for your congregation. If this direction appeals to you let's start the conversation. You can text, email, phone, Skype or knock on our door.

Kerry Richards
ker.richards (Skype)


It was a long weekend and there was every reason to believe our numbers would be small. But it was a big day for a certain eight-year-old, ready to be baptized. Guests were coming and the presider had announced the week before that the font would be filled if others wanted to join. As Sunday approached, the person in charge had a restless sense that something might happen and we should be prepared.

Sunday dawned and Martina arrived for worship. Martina was a new member, having been baptized just eighteen months earlier. She came to be with her church family, to ask for their loving support in the recent loss of her own dear daughter to cancer. Those present surrounded her with love and care and no one minded delaying the start of the service. A second delay for a special Canada Day dedication meant that the service had still not begun when a second near neighbour lady arrived. She was not unknown to us for she had attended several times before and had, in fact, taken pre-baptismal classes with Martina just last year. But for whatever reason, she had not gone ahead at that time.

Now, here she was, drawn into the sanctuary with the font prepared in anticipation of another baptism. Approaching two of the elders who'd been with her in those earlier classes she asked if she might now be baptized. She had a strong sense of being called into the church that morning and felt confirmed by what she found there. Could she be baptized too?

Time seemed to stand still as necessary conversations took place. She would need a change of clothes. White choir robes were found to facilitate the immersion. Messages passed between ministers and worshipers. The priest who had come to baptize the child  agreed to perform the second baptism. The two baptisms happened amidst great rejoicing. The child delighted to share the sacrament and invited her new sister to be confirmed with her as well. That too was arranged.

The Spirit was present in the service in great abundance. There were seventy-five people in attendance. In this congregation that prides itself in "finishing on time" no one left the extra long service and most remained to share in the BBQ lunch and fellowship that followed. The spirit of celebration extended into the afternoon and only two or three did not stay until three o'clock basking in the glow shared by our two newest members.

Since that day I have shared with Bonnie, the woman who felt called to come in, who felt so welcomed and embraced by the Spirit and by the community. She will continue her studies with those whose concern and influence she knew before. She joined the group supporting her friend Martina in her loss. Those of us who shared this experience thank God for offering so many ways to be blessed if we are just open to them. 

by Paul Fitzgeorge
Brydges Street Congregation
London, ON

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This week on our journey to participate in each Ontario reunion, we attended the CCM gathering (Contemporary Christian Ministries) at the Erie Beach grounds. We were greeted with worshipful music upon arrival as we proceeded to the chapel. Music within CCM is a connecting pathway of expression towards and with God. You have heard the phrase that “an individual wears their heart on their sleeve.” So it is with the worshipful and personal praise, sensitivity and spontaneity of both song and prayer within the CCM sacred community. The presence of God is sensed and cannot be contained. Raised hands, a hand laid upon another’s shoulder, smiles, clapping and perhaps as was seen in the afternoon music concert even dancing openly personifies the feelings of joy within. The comfort level for some would be challenged in this setting, however, personal preference is a privilege and freedom we all enjoy.

Devotion to the Lord is expressed in the testimonies shared whether in worship events, the lineup for lunch or a walk on the grounds. Scripture is well known and daily lives of prayer characterizes the comings and goings of all. I met families from other church affiliations sharing within this community for the week. I shared with families from several US states contributing to the spirit of the reunion. There is a compelling draw of fellowship that permeates the spirit of this gathering.

Scriptural imagery from the context of Paul’s writings used in the themes for the week portrayed the need to take upon oneself the armour of God exemplifying the enduring traits of the Divine. On the opening Sunday Apostle Susan Oxley brought rich testimony of the blessing of God’s peace in her life amidst even in the most fragile and seemingly hopeless moments of life. A mother shared how Susan’s personal witness had vividly touched the life of her 12 yr old son. Evangelist Bev Moor shared his envisioned imagery of Christ walking amongst us and the multitude of ways each individual might respond to his presence. There were touching moments when Kleenex was passed around the chapel.

Within the diversity of Community of Christ are people of faith, each encountering the Divine in fulfilling yet different ways that blesses our lives with grace and meaning and impels us to mission in Christ. Unity in diversity is recognizing the face of God in one another and celebrating the breadth and spectrum of our collective uniqueness. We are one in Christ bringing who we are; differently, what we believe; differently, the models of our worship; differently, the blessing and freedom of self-expression; differently……. together in community when we affirm the worth of one another. Nurturing mutuality, reconciling divergent perspectives, building reciprocity, facilitating meaningful dialogue, opening ourselves and entering into each other’s lives in humility and willingness to be sacred community, is the heart of our identity, even portrayed in the name of our church.

My prayer from visiting with and amongst so many is that we look beyond the wrappings, the package, the avatars of our humanity and strive to encounter ourselves and the Divine in each other.  

Posted by Kerry Richards

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cycle for Sustainability

On August 18, 2013 World Accord invites you to ride with us for the second annual Cycle for Sustainability. The ride is designed to raise awareness about World Accord’s work and sustainability both locally and globally.

This year’s event will take cyclists on 10, 25 and 50 km routes that feature stops at local businesses and organizations with a focus on sustainability. It will begin at 10 a.m. on August 18, 2013 at the Brewmeister Green in Waterloo at the corner of King and William.

At the end of the ride participants will be invited to a street party in World Accord’s Green Zone at Open Streets between the railroad tracks and Erb St. on King St. S. The Green Zone will feature local businesses and organizations with a focus on sustainability, entertainment, prizes and more!

All cyclists will be asked pay an initial registration fee of $25. Cyclists who raise over $150 will have their registration fee reimbursed. All funds raised through the Cycle for Sustainability will directly support World Accord’s partner organizations in Central America and South Asia.
To register please visit: cycle4sustainability.  Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a pledge form and fundraising tips.

All cyclists will have the opportunity to enter a draw for one of several prizes including an opportunity to participate in one of World Accord’s Construction Expeditions valued at $3000.00.
For more information please visit our website at  You can follow us on Facebook at: or on twitter: @WorldAccordC4S.
If you have any questions contact:
Kirsten Van Houten
Event Manager
World Accord
1-C 185 Frobisher Dr.
Waterloo, Ont.

Posted by Emily Whitworth

Monday, July 15, 2013


On Sunday I picked Rod McLean up just after 5am and we embarked on out 4 hr drive to McGowan’s Lake for the opening Sunday of reunion. From one perspective if I was to look back and say, I drove 8 hrs and it poured rain the entire day I would think this might have been a wasted day. But in hindsight this one day blessed me in innumerable ways. In my upcoming CEM role which brings me into relationship with all CEM congregations, I am consciously most observant, most sensitive, most prayerful as I am present with and interact within our sacred community gatherings. You individually touch my life. From the very moment of arrival when the gracious McCurdy’s immediately invited us for dinner with them that evening we were embraced by a people living the spirit of reunion, mindful of “being” community, affirming within their relationships this experienced sacredness.

There was within my consciousness a powerful epiphany that I became aware of in one moment of heartfelt song that our collective mutuality was raised as an unspoken prayer and at the same time there was a receiving of the Spirit confirming the rightness and unification of our hearts, minds and souls. Would you not drive 8 hours for such an affirmation that God is entering our lives and sacramental realities of community are ours to experience.

I have more reunions to visit this summer and so can you. Please decide to attend reunion at least one day, to have faith that this will be a life changing experience in your life. Go with expectation; recognize this community experience is a safe place to both offer yourself in prayerful friendship and willingly receive the offered prayerful friendship of another. Your children, your grandchildren will forever remember one day at reunion and the fun times, the shared meals, the songs, sports and presence of joy. One day is easy to make happen. It just takes a decisive moment to say why not! Invite another to bless their life, to provide comfort in your initial moments of insecurity upon arrival. Reunion is a place of hospitality, a place of expectant welcoming. You won’t want to leave and the following day I invite you to write as I, the feelings and blessings of that one day which brought new awareness into your life. God Bless and see you at Reunion!    

Posted by Kerry Richards

Thursday, July 11, 2013


The following is a copy of my “Rule of Life” which I worked on during the recent staff spiritual retreat.

FIASCO Rule of Life

By the power of God, I will strive to keep the following FIASCO Rule of Life from this day forward:

Uphold good nutrition & well-being as my new spiritual practice. Eat one meal a day prayerfully, as if it was my last meal. Plan to share a meal with a friends each week.
Create a moment for prayer for people & concerns every day involving my own developed ritual. With Irina, schedule a time weekly to pray and reflect with each other about our concerns together.
Explore new disciplines regularly, strive to deepen existing ones, and do both of these with creativity & joy.
Hang out a little time each day to read from Scripture.
Seek out companions & mentors who are dedicated to spiritual practice to share with and learn from.
Take regular retreats into nature to meet the divine with all my senses.

Fiasco: a complete and ignominious failure.

Matthew Swain
Church Planter/Pastor

Monday, July 8, 2013

Returning Home

I have not been to a reunion in 15 yrs. If this might be your story or if you know of another that would relate to this scenario please read on. Within the depths of our life experiences are events that connect us to our earlier years, our earlier friends, our earlier feelings and body, mind and soul memory of the inter-twining of those elements. Contrasted from the typical school reunion experience; our Community of Christ reunion experience is a nurturing blessing of affirmation.

As our car approached the Ziontario grounds and familiar landmarks became visible, I physically sensed the anticipation and hope of our arrival. The meandering approach road to the heart of the reunion gathering places stirred my soul with glimpses of past moments of worship, community, laughter, learning and joy. And then, at the brow of the hill opened the vista of people living the moments of reunion life.

Apprehensions that typically run through one’s mind after a 15 yr absence anywhere, quickly dissipate in the warmth, enfolding hugs and graciousness of regular people opening themselves to others, to us. I sensed the, “Come as you are, be who you are, enter within the safe and loving presence of our sacred community environment.” In our own lives we may encounter the Prodigal experience of returning home without fear of rejection, judgment or questioning. You are one of us, amongst us and welcomed by us. How powerful is this reality which is counter culture to a world that measures worth by what you have, are, or will bring to benefit me.

Reunion also enables us to feel safe, to give of ourselves, to enter the spirit of becoming a blessing one with another. To enact within our own lives the powerfully joyful role of the parents of the prodigal in welcoming with every fibre of our being, the returning child we have yearned to embrace.

Within our Community of Christ faith community, reunions nurture what we talk about and make flesh the goodness we each want and yearn to express in our lives. We come together with expectations and intentions to encounter sacredness in our midst enhanced by the presence of one another.

I renewed friendships with folks who like me were difficult to recognize, whose eyes and voices revealed the secret of their identity but who within moments of shared memories were instantly that dear friend of old surpassing time and change. How wondrous is that renewal, how mutually life affirming is that experience multiplied many times over within our reunion community. People emerged from almost every decade of my life with memories that deeply and meaningfully touched me.

I am visiting every CEM reunion for a day to reacquaint with you and meet new folks. As I approach my new role as the new CEM Financial Officer I hope our lives will become intertwined with the vision of what can be as our community is renewed in the nurturing and fulfilling experience of reunion.

From someone who has been apart from the fellowship of Community of Christ since it was RLDS, I invite you to return home, as I, to the roots of your youth, the joy of fellowship, the journey of a people in mission. Learn more about and experience the transformation of our Community of Christ faith community bringing relevance to today’s needs and challenges.

See you at Reunion!  

Kerry Richards

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I wrote about Reunions or Family camps here and here, and promised to say more about youth camps later.  I guess today had better be that later, since the first camp starts this Sunday!

I am a graduate of the church’s youth camp program, as is my wife and all four of my children.  In fact, camp is the place where I first met my wife (but that is another story).  These days it is my grandchildren who look forward to going to camp, and are all very excited about it.  This year we have three attending Kids Camp, one in Junior High, and one in Senior High.  It is a little hard on Grandma and Grandpa’s pocketbook, but well worth every penny.  In fact, I suspect it may well be one of the best things we ever do for them.

Why are kids so excited about camp?  Well, the reasons are many.  I suspect the first time they go, it is because their parents encourage them.  “Try it, you’ll like it,” and they do!  After that, there is generally little coaxing or persuading required.  Kids are excited to go back, see their friends, reconnect with the counselors and others who cared for them last year, and generally have a good time.  But beyond that, there is a certain feeling at camp.  There is a closeness that grows as kids have the opportunity, in a close to nature setting, to get more comfortable with God, others, themselves and the earth.  We try our best to make camp a safe, secure environment and provide effective, trained leaders so they can do exactly that.  

Canada East Mission of Community of Christ sponsors three camps specifically for kids.

Kids Camp is held at Ziontario campgrounds for girls and boys age 8 to 11.  The dates this year are July 7 – 11.

Junior High Camp is also at Ziontario this year, and is for girls and boys from age 12 to 14.  The dates this year are July 14 – 20.

Senior High Camp is held at Noronto Campgrounds and is for youth aged 15 to 18.  This year’s dates are August 17 to 24. 

But dates and locations don’t tell the real story.  The stories are to be found in the joy, hope, love and peace the kids experience at camp.  It is witnessed in their smiles and laughter while there, and sometimes in their hugs and tears when they must say good-bye and leave to go home.  I wish for every child, that kind or rich experience.

Is there someone you know who should be at camp this summer?  Is there a child or youth who would benefit from this kind of experience?  For more information on any of our camps and reunions, click on cemcamping.  

Whether your child goes to camp or not, we wish each of them a safe and happy summer.

Posted by Carman

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reunion...An Affirmation

After posting Reunion on What’s the Good Word yesterday morning, my 14 year old grandson and I traveled to Ziontario to spend the day at Loaves and Fishes reunion.  He is a graduate of Kid’s Camp, (more on youth camps another day) and now attends Jr. High, also held this year at Ziontario. 

It was a wonderful day.  The weather was cool but warmed up nicely in the afternoon and it didn’t rain!  About 225 people appeared to be having a great and relaxing time visiting, sharing food, enjoying guest minister Dale Luffman’s class, singing old and new hymns during worship, playing games and swimming in the campground’s pool.  All ages were well represented, from infants in arms to people in their 90s.  

In an afternoon discussion group under the canopy, I listened as some folks shared their stories of faith, and others shared their doubts or questions.  I thought, isn’t this a wonderful thing that the community feels safe enough so that people are comfortable giving voice to the questions or doubts we probably all have at time!  It means they trust that no one will judge them or think less of them for sometimes wondering if God is really there.

I watched children swinging on the swings, sliding on the slide, and playing on the climbing apparatus.  I saw young folks playing volleyball or throwing a Frisbee.  I noticed that people of all ages were really enjoying the pool, fully and properly staffed by our three appropriately observant lifeguards.

I met a friend who is no longer active in church but had “dropped in” the day before, returned yesterday, and now planned to come back twice more later in the week bringing some others whom she felt could be blessed by this experience. There must be something to this camping experience, don’t you think?

Yes, as usually happens when I attend such events, several people asked, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”  So we sat on a bench under the trees while they aired their concerns.  Generally these were leaders wondering how to handle some kind of puzzle or problem, or perhaps just needing someone else to “bounce ideas off.”  Even this is a very good thing, as it means those leaders have found the time and space to work through some of their struggles while the reunion goes happily on around them.

By now you are wondering what the point of this post might be.  Perhaps I just wanted to share the sense of peace and happiness I observed yesterday as a further affirmation of the value of the family camp experience.  It is confirmation that personal and interpersonal peace really is possible, and a family camp is a lovely place to share it.

Is reunion always perfect; the peaceable kingdom come at last?  No, probably that would be just too much to expect, but yesterday, I thought it was close!

May you be blessed with a great reunion experience this summer.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Community of Christ has a and wonderful tradition of summer reunions at our various campgrounds.  The idea of coming together to camp in a safe and happy, family-friendly environment to relax, play, swim and worship is a proven blessing to countless people and our community.  Generation after generation of people have participated, often first as children, then as young adults, parents and grandparents.  It is a wonderful time that draws us back again and again. 

In recent years, while those with camping equipment still look forward to using it as a cost-effective way to draw close to nature and participate in the reunion, many campgrounds have also developed facilities for people who cannot or do not wish to sleep in a tent or trailer.  Dormitory facilities are often available and indoor cooking conveniences have also been provided.  Most reunions also provide full-meals in the dining hall once, twice or three times a day.

While sharing in a family camp environment is fun and relaxing, it is not just about camping or a reasonably priced summer holiday.  What draws people back again and again is the opportunity for spiritual renewal.  Inside each of us is a perpetual longing for God, and reunion has proven to be a wonderful place to address that longing.  At reunion we have the chance to meet and get to know guest ministers, many of whom have wide experience accumulated around the world.  It is often sharing with these ministers that speaks to us, renewing and refreshing our souls.  

Canada East Mission is blessed with an abundance of reunions or “family camps” you can attend.    The following is a list of dates and locations.

Reunion Name
June 29 – July 5
Loaves and Fishes Reunion
Ziontario Campground
July 6 - 12
McGowan’s Lake Family Camp
McGowan’s Lake Campground
July 13-20
Contemporary Christian Ministries (CCM) Family Camp
Erie Beach Campground
July 27 - Aug. 2
Healing and Freeing the Spirit Family Camp
Ziontario Campgrounds
July 27 – Aug. 4
Erie Beach Family Camp
Erie Beach Campground
Aug. 10 - 17
Noronto Family Camp
Noronto Reunion Grounds

For more information on any or all of these reunion opportunities, please contact the Canada East Mission office.  The office can be reached via email at or by phone at 519-822-4150.

So here’s to fun and relaxation in a safe, family-friendly environment.  Why not join new or old friends there?

 Have a great summer.

Posted by Carman