Category Archives: Messages from the MCP

In Person Congregational Gathering – documents

Here are the 4 Supporting Documents to assist in planning for in-person congregational gathering.

The only one which needs to be sent to MC President (Vern) is the four page Congregational Plan for Reopening.

Vern will also need to know who is responsible for keeping copies of the Cleaning and Sanitizing checklists and the Attendance/Participant Tracking rosters if not  the Facility Health Officer. These are to be kept on file as previously discussed.

Implementation Checklist Final

Cleaning Checklist Final

Participant Tracking Final

Plan for Reopening Final– send to Vern upon completion

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SPEC 2020 Cancelled

ANNOUNCEMENT

SPECTACULAR 2020

 

After much discussion and review of current public health data, the SPEC leadership team made the difficult decision to cancel SPECTACULAR 2020. Our SPEC community draws people of different ages and varying degrees of immuno-security from all over North America. As we thought about the SPEC experience—the way we live, eat, learn, play, and worship together—our ability to maintain the recommended physical distance of 6-10 feet and a coronavirus-free environment would be nearly impossible.

Questions about some kind of online experience for 2020 and allowing current seniors an additional year of eligibility in 2021 are still under discussion and more information will be shared when it is available.

We are heartbroken about not being able to gather this summer and will deeply miss this week of forming sacred community together. While we ache alongside all our campers and staff at the loss this means in all of our lives, we are confident that this is the most responsible choice for this time.

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CB Camps 2020 Cancelled

It is with regret that we have decided to cancel all Community of Christ summer camps at Camp Bountiful. This includes Junior Camp, Junior High Camp, Senior High Camp and Family Camp/Reunion.

The heart of our camping is gathering in community.  We gather at the shelter house, for classes, for meals and fellowship, around the Peace Patio, at the pool and an assortment of other activities. We are not able to have such gatherings and maintain any semblance of distancing and we have no way of making sleeping accommodations safe for everyone. 

We look forward to a vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to gather with joy and safety in 2021.  

Anyone who has already sent a deposit for any of these camps will receive a refund.

Bountiful Blessings,

Connie Altman, Bountiful Mission Center

Vern Foster, Western Ohio Mission Center

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IYF 2021 postponed to 2023

Update: Our Continued Response to COVID-19 Virus Pandemic
The First Presidency has continued to monitor recommendations from professional health organizations about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Many nations continue to recommend the suspension of group gatherings. Based on our review, the First Presidency is advising congregations and mission centers to continue suspending church gatherings. Read more.

COVID19 IYF Update Letter

IYF Announcement
The International Youth Forum (IYF) originally scheduled for July 2021 will be postponed until 2023. On the recommendation from the IYF 2021 Directors Team, the Council of Twelve made this difficult decision for several reasons. For many participants and their families, the first payments for travel reservations are due soon. That would not be possible for many people who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation. The team also recognizes the budget impact this pandemic may have on the church’s finances and its ability to fund an event like IYF in the coming months. IYF Le Buena Fe, in Honduras has also been postponed to a future date. More details will be shared as they are available.

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Online Easter Worship

Living Hope – Easter Worship

As we continue to find new ways of being together when physical distancing guidelines prevent our gatherings, you’re invited to join us for “Living Hope,” a unique online Easter worship experience this year.

On Sunday, April 12 we will be hosting two online gatherings to share in Easter celebration and worship together.

Gathering 1 — 4 a.m. (CDT) Time zone calculator

Gathering 2 — 2 p.m. (CDT) Time zone calculator

By having two gatherings we hope to increase participation around the world and allow people to join in at a reasonable time of their day. Pick the time that best fits your day and worship with us through music, prayers, reflections from members around the world, and a homily by President Steve Veazey.

To provide opportunities for interaction as we all watch from home, we’ll be broadcasting the worship on the church’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram feeds. Viewers will be invited to share in the comments on Facebook and Instagram or by using #CofChristEaster on Twitter at several points during the worship. The broadcast will also be available at www.CofChrist.org/live-webcast and the church’s YouTube channel.

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Jr High Retreat May 1-3 – cancelled

Given the uncertainty of the current situation, we have decided to
cancel Jr Hi retreat.  For those who have already paid, you have the
option to have your money refunded or you may use it as a credit for Jr
Hi Camp, which is scheduled for July 5-11. Whichever you choose, please
advise Michelle Howard (5296howard@att.net).

We are still proceeding on the assumption that all summer camps will be
held as scheduled, but we  realize that is not entirely in our hands to
decide.

The CB Board is looking at  alternative financial plans in case the
summer season is cancelled, either in part or entirely. We do have
sufficient funds to weather the storm if it comes to that, but it would
certainly be a blow. We will keep you apprised as we get nearer.

Blessings,

Vern

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First Presidency Updated Statement

First Presidency Updated Statement
Response to COVID‐19 Virus

20 March 2020

The First Presidency is extending the recommended suspension of church gatherings around the world through at least
Friday, 1 May 2020. Church gatherings are worship services, meals, conferences, funerals, and other group activities. The
Presidency continues to monitor guidance from government and public health agencies around the globe related to the
estimated spread and duration of the COVID‐19 pandemic. However, if local government and public health guidance is
more restrictive than the Presidency’s recommendation, follow local guidance. As new information is available it will be
released and posted at www.CofChrist.org/covid‐19.
As a reminder, the Presidency bases its recommendation on the following principles:
1. The church’s response should emphasize preventative, rather than reactive, strategies to keep the COVID‐19 virus from
spreading as quickly as many infection‐rate models indicate.
2. A primary prevention strategy is “social distancing.” The World Health Organization advises: “Maintain at least 1 metre (3
feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.” According to the USA Centers for Disease
Control, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregant settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining
distance” between people whenever possible. Social distancing is especially challenging for people in church settings.
3. The church’s response should emphasize “protecting the most vulnerable” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:6a) in our
congregations, cities, towns, and villages. This includes our senior members and those already affected by other health
challenges.
Historic sites will remain closed to the public through at least Friday, 1 May 2020. Based on guidance provided by the
Independence, Missouri, USA mayor, the Temple Complex, including the Peace Pavilion, will remain closed to the public
with all events canceled through at least Friday, 15 May 2020. Headquarters staff at all sites continue to support
operations, but staff presence in the offices is limited to maximize social distancing. Reopening all sites to the public will
continue to be evaluated as the situation unfolds.
Social distancing can cause us to feel isolated from each other and God. We are grateful for the many ways people are
staying “connected” and supporting each other in living Christ’s mission while upholding the strategy of social
distancing. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? …neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things
present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38 NRSV).
As you connect and support each other through the Lenten journey into Holy week and then the Easter season, we ask
you to remember that your congregation, mission center, campgrounds, and World Church have financial
responsibilities even though we are not physically gathering. Please use online giving (www.CofChrist.org/give) or mail in
contributions to support Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes.
The First Presidency

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First Presidency Letter

March 13, 2020

Dear friends,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Uncertainty around how the coronavirus COVID‐19 will impact our lives in the days ahead is causing
anxiety and fear for many. Times such as this renew our awareness and deep gratitude for the strength
and comfort resident in the rich connections of our faith community. None of us walk alone.
We are working closely with mission center officers to monitor the situation and provide the best
support and guidance we can as things unfold. We will continue to direct members and leaders to
reputable sources that provide accurate, up‐to‐date information (see Community of Christ official
statement: COVID‐19 and the Church). Additionally, it is important to consult local and state authorities
as area‐specific directives can change daily.
As the current health situation unfolds across the United States, we realize that local leaders will need to
take action that limits opportunities to gather together in community. Even as we experience this as a
loss, it opens a sacred opportunity to explore new ways of being the church together in the face of what
can seem an overwhelming and isolating reality. Members are already identifying ways to connect that
will protect the health and well‐being of those most vulnerable among us.
We will be collaborating with mission center leaders to identify and create additional opportunities to
connect with one another through the multiple avenues of technology available. This is the time to
explore “all the surprising ways that Christ‐inspired community weaves diverse people together as
expressions of the gospel of peace.” (Stephen M. Veazey, World Conference Closing Sermon, April 13,
2019)
We know the coming weeks will be challenging. We invite you to join us in holding one another and our
neighbors across the globe in prayer. Let us trust in the Spirit that provides assurance for today and
hope for tomorrow.
In the peace of Jesus Christ,
USA Apostles

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COVID-19 Update

WOMC Pastors and CFO’s:

Some of you have asked about church closings, gatherings, etc., regarding the church position. In case you didn’t already receive the message below I’m forwarding it on.  Essentially, in Ohio, we are under no restrictions as none of our congregations fall into the sizes mentioned; however, I know Grove City is closing next Sunday and we cancelled Jr Hi retreat for this weekend.
Given many of our members, at least in some congregations, fall into the high risk category for COVID, you may want to be informed by that consideration.
Please keep me advised if your congregation will be closed.  CFO’s, please consider advising members how they might continue to tithe in times such as these.
Blessings,
Vern
——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: eNews – 12 March ⛪
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2020 22:22:09 +0000
From: Community of Christ <communications@CofChrist.org>
Reply-To: Community of Christ <communications@CofChrist.org>
To: Vern <vcf@fuse.net>

COVID-19 and the Church

World church leaders continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19, now officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. We want to ensure Community of Christ leaders worldwide are taking measures to keep people safe when the church gathers.

Protocols for Gathering

  • If your local government has given instructions about social gathering or canceling worship, please follow those guidelines.
  • If no specific instructions have been given in your community, use available sources to monitor the situation in your area to make appropriate decisions about gathering or canceling where the risk of infection may be high.
    • Congregational leaders should consult with their Mission Center President and Field Apostle in making decisions.

Credible Information Sources

Information about the COVID-19 pandemic is everywhere. It is important to use official health department sources when making decisions. Several key websites are listed below.

World church leaders will continue to monitor the situation and how it may impact operations in the future. Ongoing updates will continue for Community of Christ staff regarding travel and operations at International Headquarters and historic sites.

Leaders are also considering how the outbreak may affect various large events that will occur in the coming months such as camps, reunions, Eurotribe, and Spectacular. Additional information will be shared if cancellation decisions are made.

UPDATE

The Kirtland Temple historic site will be closed for 3 weeks in coordination with local school district closures. The situation will be reevaluated at that time.

This information and further updates will be available at www.CofChrist.org/announcements.

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History Class: Journey of a People

Please note below.  The cost is $30 for the class and $40 if you want Temple School credit.  Fee includes meals.  If anyone wants to spend the night  at camp please let Connie know.

Blessings,

Vern

 

Note here the syllabus for the next class taught by Mark Scherer on Journey of a People. We will be studying the 2nd half of the first volume. The dates are April 3-4th at Camp Bountiful. Times of the classes are on the syllabus. We look forward to having you with us. If you can come, please send a note to me at caltman@cofchrist.org. We would love to have our Western Ohio neighbors with us once again. Feel free to share this with anyone else you know who may be interested. I have sent it to the BMC pastors.

Bountiful Blessings,

Connie Altman

Bountiful MC President

740-988-2373

caltman@cofchrist.org

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