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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, March 31, 2014

The Never Ending Story

Judging a book by its cover…..Few books have impacted my life as greatly as “Community of Christ Sings”, and I have literally read thousands. When my kids were young, a movie, The Never ending Story, captured them with the idea that opening the pages of a book launched them into a storyland where they lived a character within its pages and determined the path and plot of the epic story. Such has been my experience with the songs we lived within the pages of our new hymnal this weekend. Words such as sacred, sacramental, consecrated, sanctified, naturally depict our mutual walk together in the rapture of whole person communion with God as we collectively sang together. Song after song opened our lives to a journey of new realities of human need, new awareness of our inclusive global identity, of Christ’s mission calling us in personal heart lifting visions that empowered our gathering.  What soaring joy captured so intimately our emotions, which lived on the edge, erupting, as the intersection of profound words, exhilarating melodies, blending harmonies, gifted musicians, endowed understandings and Spirit pronouncements merged. We were truly filled with the essence of sacred.

We looked in each others eyes with knowing. We had worshiped. With one another we were sacred community. We sensed the opening words of D&C 163 proclaiming that “Community of Christ, your name given as a divine blessing, is your identity and calling.” The songs we lived imprinted this theme upon our hearts. We know whose we are and who we are.

Those who live in the marginalized shadows of invisibility in our world became ever so real as we envisioned and personalized their reality in our communities and our part to play. "Here we are Lord, use us". We dramatized the insightful words of truth contained within these pages so expressively that they reverberated throughout the chapel causing the surface of the African drum to vibrate. We walked the Worshiper’s path as singing, reflecting, discerning disciples in musical video. The cost of grace became a reality as we sang and lived the Easter story. We learned of the writers and creators of the songs, words and developers of this book; a living expression of revelation. Blessed are we for being part of each others lives through this rich experience of retreat.

As one quoted during our benedictory worship, “our worship has ended and now the service begins”; we covenant to be a blessing in the congregations and communities to where we each live. May we be open and vulnerable to the Spirit that accompanies us. May we journey within the pages of this living songbook and become contributing authors of the never-ending story of Christ risen. Join us in song, in life!

Submitted by Kerry

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What if...?


We are now one week into our pre-Easter reflection period known as Lent.  I trust this is a season of meaning and blessing for you as you reflect on our approach to Holy Week, 2014.

As we consider Jesus’ intention to undertake the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, it is interesting to reflect on what he might have decided to let go of or leave behind.  We know he was a thoughtful planner, so it is unlikely he would have undertaken this trip without deliberate preparation.  What did he decide he would need for the journey ahead, and what could he do without?  Matthew tells us he made his home in Capernaum by the sea (Matt 4:13).  Did he cancel the lease on his residence?  Did he give away his household goods? 

In our personal spiritual journeys, we look to Christ as our model.  During the Lenten season, we consider what habits or elements we too should lay down and do without.  What if congregations were to do the same?  What if our worshiping, fellowshipping communities also undertook a Lenten season of reflection about how we will be faithful together in our calling to be about the Mission of Jesus?  What should we lay down?  What could we do without?  How would that help us be more on task?

Please note that I am not talking about cleaning out the back classroom where 30 years of old lesson books and craft supplies have accumulated, now all yellow with age. Rather, I am wondering what “programs” we might do without in order to be  more faithful. 

What if the program we needed to let go of was (deep breathe) the Sunday morning service?  What if the congregation met together on Sunday morning, not to sit in a sanctuary but to walk the neighbourhood, sit in the coffee shop, or meet the neighbours?  What if we did that prayerfully asking God to let us really see and understand what is going on in the area where the church is planted?  What if we prayed and fasted as we went so we could learn what God’s children who live on our block are going through?  What if we found there were homeless people living behind that apartment building?  What if we learned that the neighbourhood had become multiracial, multicultural, multireligious, how could we open our doors to that community?  What if we learned that our traditional programming was not what the people we are called to serve even needed, would we be willing to set it aside? 

Just a few questions for reflection on our Lenten journey in 2014.  

Posted by Carman