Monday, May 30, 2016

Stay Tuned for More to Come

     After finishing my first year of Medical School, I have finally been able to refocus my energy on updating this blog.  Over the past few months I have been preparing to go to an exciting event.   Thanks to my twin brother, we will be attending the weekend sessions of the Community of Christ World Conference in Independence, Missouri this coming Friday through Monday.

     I am curious in seeing for myself how this conference differs from the LDS general conferences that I have witnessed in the past.  From what I have read and learned, Community of Christ conferences are very different compared to LDS General Conferences.  A big difference is that the members who attend the conference are mainly elected delegates from congregations and Mission Centers (Stakes) all around the world.  The conference is run like a legislative session where common consent or dissent is practiced in regards to new revelation and church policy.  There are also opportunities for friends of the Community of Christ who are not members, members of the Community of Christ, and people who are interested to attend and listen without being a delegate.

     Along with the legislative sessions there is also a planned First Nations Eagle Staff Ceremony, Celebration Village, and other performances, events, socials, and opportunities to network with service oriented non-profits.  The conference lasts for about a week and a half.  If you are interested in learning more about the schedule and events see the event app here.  There will also be a live screening of the events here and the world conference website here for more information on resolutions and agenda items.

     After attending the conference I am planning on writing a few blog posts on my impressions, thoughts, and experiences of the conference with you all.  I want to do this for those who may have an academic interest, general curiosity, or an interest in spiritual exploration of the conference.

                                                           Auditorium Independence

     Moving away from the subject of future blog posts, I wanted to share the experience I had at the
Washington DC Community of Christ congregation last weekend.  At this service there were two baptisms, confirmations, and an ordination performed.  One of the baptisms was of my twin brother who made the decision to join the Community of Christ after attending services and events for about a year and a half.  As I spoke to the individuals and families who attended, I could definitely sense a spirit of community and support.  Many of the people who were present traveled from previous congregations that my brother first attended when he left the LDS church.  Along with the outpouring of support from the members, beautiful and inspiring hymns were sung including the old Irish Hymn Be Thou my Vision at the beginning and the more contemporary hymn For Everyone Born at the end.  The spirit of community also reached across the Atlantic to my brother's boyfriend who was skyping into the service from Italy.

     As I have continued to attend this small church community I have been both inspired and humbled by the gracious members and the spirit of a group of people who have felt a call to develop Zion-like communities.  I was truly honored to have attended a beautiful service and to be in the company of people who have truly embraced me and my family with open arms during the heartache of the past several months.  I am definitely looking forward to the world conference and the new opportunities for me to experience something new and exciting in the restoration movement.

I posted two of the hymns that were sung at the service below.

Be Thou My Vision

For Everyone Born