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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weekly Wire for May 8, 2013

Upcoming Events at a Glance

May 12-13 Hills of Peace Camp Opening – Cancelled

May 24-26 Arts on the Lake Hills of Peace – Cancelled

May 31-June 2 Camp Genesis (entering grades 3 & 4) Samish Island

May 31-June 2 Adult Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace

June 7-9 College Age Young Adult Retreat Hills of Peace

Jun-08 Samish Island Work Day

June 8-14 Adult Reunion Samish Island

June 30-July 6 Camp Mungai (entering grades 5 & 6) Samish Island



Dear Sisters and Brothers:


You will find below the link to a number of documents that have been created to assist with understanding the Interim Policy Changes for Canada regarding 1) Ordination of Priesthood of Same-Sex/Gender Orientation and 2) Authorizing and Officiating at Same-Sex/Gender Marriages.


The Interim Policies will be implemented in Canada only, June 1, 2013.


You will find the following documents at this link Interim Policy

-          Canada Cover Letter from the Apostle

-          Final Edited Canada Same-Gender Policies

-          Interim Policies Canada Q&A

-          Faithful Disagreement


Please review all documents, particularly the Interim Policy changes. If you have questions regarding the implementation please contact me.






Gregory R. Goheen, Bishop

CWM President & Financial Officer


Adult Spiritual Retreat – Hills of Peace!


Register Today!


2013 Online Camping Brochure

It’s time to register for summer camps, retreats and reunions.  Get all the details here!New-Picture-14_thumb2_thumb1_thumb


Clarification on camping program donations for Canadians attending

US run Samish Island camps.


In the Canada West Mission Centre, our camps are paid for by ‘donation’.  We use this term in all of our advertising and promotion for two reasons:


1) we want everyone to be able to attend camps and pay what they can afford.

2) our 'donations' for camps become charitable donations and we receive tax receipts for those donations.


Now the part everyone seems to be confused about:


When you attend a Canadian run camp or Reunion at Samish Island:  pay as usual, your 'donation' will automatically be sent to the Canada West Mission Centre, and you will receive a tax receipt at the end of the year.  Those of you using the Pre-Authorized Transfer (PAT) for all of your donations need not change anything.

When you attend a US run camp at Samish Island:  For example Mungai, Kimtah or The Fine Arts Retreat.  Samish Island Campground bills your fee for the camp to Greg Goheen CWM CFO and he pays Samish Island Campground.  You send your 'donation' cheque for that camp to Greg Goheen CWM CFO.  This way you will receive a charitable donation tax receipt at the end of the year.  For those of you who donate extra to help cover others camping costs, this will be even more beneficial at tax time.  Those of you using the Pre-Authorized Transfer (PAT) for all of your donations need not change anything.


Don and Sydney Brady, Campground Managers, are aware of this and we're making every effort to educate all business managers at Samish.


Please feel free to contact Greg or myself with any questions.





Arts on the Lake

Due to lack of registrations, Arts on the Lake has been cancelled this year.  If this is something you’d like to see happen next year, please offer to help and remember to register early!



Live at Hills of Peace!

Caretaker Job Opportunity

May 1, 2013


The Caretaker of the Hills of Peace Campground is responsible for maintaining the grounds, buildings, and services of the Hills of Peace Campground in a safe and attractive condition for the benefit of all users. For a complete list of duties, go to Caretaker Job Opportunity. Accommodations, utilities and a small remuneration are included.

Please send your application to Courtney Znak at


Head Cook and Assistant Cooks for HOP

Temporary Positions June 29 to July 16, 2013

One Head cook and 2 assistant cooks are required for 17 days at Hills of Peace Campground in Alberta. There is the possibility of additional days added to this and the opportunity to cook for one or two weekend retreats. Your own transportation is ideal but for the right candidate(s) other arrangements could be made. Please forward your application to Courtney Znak, HOP Board Director at or mail to Box 143 Hughenden,  Alberta, Canada T0B-2E0


Click here for Job Description and more


July 20-27, 2013

Camper Information Package

Please let Greg Goheen know (by phone, text or email) if you are planning to attend
SPECTACULAR with our delegation as soon as possible - even before sending forms.
This will help immensely with booking flights and planning.
BC Youth please contact Rocio Cabrera


Register Today for Mission Conference in Edmonton!


Registration Form here 

or email



May 2013
Keeping the church connected

Prophet-President Stephen M. Veazey shared words of counsel to the church on Sunday, April 14, at the 2013 World Conference. The counsel is enclosed, online, and published in the May Herald. Study and discussion resources will be developed to assist the worldwide church in its exploration of the words of counsel during the inter-conference period. Go to video of his message from the worship service.


The 2013 World Conference brought people from around the world together in Independence and through the web. Go to to read official minutes from business sessions, look at photos, and watch and share videos including President Veazey’s sending forth, songs from the International Hymn Festival, “Peace through All People” music video, a message from Presiding Evangelist David Brock, ordinations, the opening ceremonies, and much more. Also, read more and enjoy a full-color photo section in the June Herald.


The USA National Conference recommended policy changes for the USA at its April 19–21 conference. The First Presidency and Council of Twelve will have to approve before implementation. Visit to read the recommendations and watch the “A Journey of Faith” video about the conference and its outcomes. Recommendations will also be published in the July Herald.          

Connecting College Students with Congregations: Do you know of a Community of Christ high school senior that will be starting college this fall or a college student who will be returning to college? If so, please share the student’s name and contact information with the pastor of the congregation closest to the campus the student will attend. If you are not sure how to contact the pastor, please work with your mission center president. Many congregations would like to provide support to Community of Christ students in their area but don’t always know who is there or how to make contact. Thank you for any help you can provide.


A Statement on Immigration was released by the First Presidency in consultation with the Human Rights Team and the World Church Leadership Council in April. To read the statement, visit the Immigrant Ministries website at


A Statement on HIV/AIDS was released by the Human Rights Team in April. To read the statement, visit


The entire suite of Community of Christ Sings products is available to pre-order through Herald House. Read more about the following products at and place your order.

Pew Edition: $23
Musicians / Large Print Edition: $50
Audio Recordings: $159
Digital Rich Text Files: $65

Get your reunion 2013 resources for the Live Christ’s Peace theme. Resources explore the invitation to live Christ’s peace and take part in what God is doing in the world through scripture passages from the Bible, including the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer, and Doctrine and Covenants. Worship resources; lessons for children, youth, and all ages together; and campfire ministry are on the website at The adult resource can be ordered from Herald House for $12.95 plus postage and handling:, 1-800-767-8181.


New books are available from Community of Christ Seminary Press. The Seminary Press publishes scholarly works of particular interest to the serious student. Always in support of the church’s mission and the pursuit of truth, authors explore a wide range of issues. Their writings evidence and encourage creative thinking and inquiry in the tradition of academic freedom, which welcomes public scrutiny. Authors’ methods and conclusions do not necessarily reflect official positions held by the church, the seminary, or any other church-related institution. Note the healthy tension between serious independent inquiry and a determination to faithfully serve the mission of the church. Every book issued by this press will demonstrate that these impulses don’t contradict each other!

Community of Christ Seminary Press books are available through Herald House:; 1-800-767-8181; (816) 521-3015.

  • The Journey of a People (2-book set) by Mark A. Scherer draws on research and writing of the best scholars of Mormon history. Follow the life and times of founder Joseph Smith Jr. and explore the Reorganization and its leaders, the search for identity, and the growing of a faith movement into a viable denomination.    9780830915729    $59.95
  • The Book of Mormons Witness to Its First Readers by Dale Luffman invites readers to hear how the Book of Mormon spoke to its first audience of seekers, who found in this work a witness that changed their lives, and to hear how its witness may be heard and understood today.    9780830915668    $19.95
  • Millions Call It Scripture is designed to stimulate interest in and a discussion of the Book of Mormon’s place in religious life and history. Explore its Christian witness and what kind of scriptural values it holds that are relevant today.    9780830915651    $19.95


Register now for MEADS (Ministerial Education and Discipleship Studies). August 5–9 courses: Community of Christ Scriptures with Dale Luffman 8:30 a.m.–noon, and Pastoral Care with Jeri Lauren Lambert 1:30–5:00 p.m. Fee is $88 per class or $175 for both. Visit for more information and syllab. Register by July 26 with Michelle Booth: ext. 1459,


Sing the Sacred Story! Historic Sites Bus Tour will be October 8–17. Calling all music lovers to explore Community of Christ’s historic hymnody. Travel to Community of Christ historic sites to see the places where your favorite hymns were written. Hear the stories behind the authors and learn about what inspired them to create the music we treasure today. Tour will conclude with the debut of the new Community of Christ Sings hymnal at the Peace Colloquy in Independence, Missouri.

Highlights of the trip will include evening worship in the Kirtland Temple and Plano Stone Church, a walk through the sacred grove at the peak of fall foliage season, hymn festival at the Red Brick Store, and a visit to Joseph Smith III’s Liberty Hall. In addition to Community of Christ music, guests will discover Shaker music and dance at Hancock Shaker Village, hear baseball anthems at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and experience the beautiful sounds of rushing waters at Niagara Falls.

Tour price is $1,350 per person for a double-occupancy room and $1,850 per person for a single-occupancy room. Price includes luxury bus transportation (from Independence), hotel room each night, tour fees, and most meals. For more details contact Barbara Walden:, (440) 477-9562.

To reserve your seat, send a tour reservation form and $100 deposit to (: Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation, Attn: October 2013 Tour, P.O. Box 338, Nauvoo, IL 62354. Get the form at



May 6–9: Council of Twelve Apostles meet
May 13–16 World Church Leadership Council
May 19: Pentecost/Endowment Day
May 27: International Headquarters offices closed—Memorial Day
May 27–31: Community of Christ Seminary focus session

June 1–2: World Church Finance Board

July 4: International Headquarters offices closed—Independence Day USA
July 20-27: Spectacular


Daily Prayer for Peace
A brief worship service is held daily at 1:00 p.m. central time at the Temple. Join us in prayer from wherever you are. For details and the text of each day’s prayer, visit



 Contribution Update


Peace and Justice  --  Human Rights

April 29, 2013


The overall situation in Darfur has not changed significantly.  While a recent Doha Conference resulted in over $3 billion pledged for Darfur reconstruction, it is partly a charade given Sudan itself pledged over $2 billion while bombing Darfur citizens.  Apart from that, little can be done until peace and stability exists, something that is no closer.  On the broader scene the Nuba region of Sudan continues to be bombarded and starved.  And within the last couple of days a new rebel offensive has started in a previously relatively untouched area of Northern Kordofan, and also closer to Khartoum.  For more details see Darfur Current Status (UntilAll).

There are two actions in this newsletter.  The first one calls on the U.S. to fill the position of Special Envoy for Sudan which has been vacant since the end of 2012.  As noted in a background article, some groups are critical of the rumored front runner, on the basis that his policies are likely to resemble too closely perceived past failed policies.  While the eventual solution for Sudan must be a political solution embraced by all of Sudan’s stakeholders, and while some feel U.S. involvement primarily skews results in U.S. favour, the stance of this newsletter is that a Special Envoy under Sudan’s current dynamics is a better option than not having one, at least if the second action below (Sudan Peace and Accountability Act), becomes more clearly some of the guiding principles (this newsletter and the above link have previously outlined some of the complexities and conflicting U.S. priorities).

Tell Obama to Fill Position for Special Envoy to Sudan (open to all):

Genocide scholars’ questions go unanswered; then Envoy resigns
Front Runner for Envoy Position Criticized



The second Darfur / Sudan action involves U.S. citizens, who can tell their members of Congress to support the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act, introduced with bipartisan support.

Take action (U.S citizens only):

Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013



The Boston Marathon bombings were a terrible tragedy.  And while it did bring out wonderful acts of courage and humanity, it also brought out a repulsive act.  Fox News commentator Erik Rush tweeted the words "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all." In his tweet, “them” referred to Muslims, and it was tweeted to his nearly 40,000 followers.  If you find this going well beyond the line of any journalist licence, then please consider taking the following action:

Tell FOX News to Drop Erik Rush: (You can edit the message depending on your TV habits):



One of the disturbing but largely hidden trends being tested over the last few years relates to companies trying to obtain patents, oversimplified, to what are in essence life building blocks, whether genes or seeds.  It is yet another area where ethics and laws are struggling to catch-up to technology, and more importantly to the influence that such large multi-nationals can exert on politics.  In this instance companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds (such as everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons).  Such loopholes need to be shut before they set a dangerous global precedent.

The action below is from Avaaz, and is close to reaching 2 million signatures. Such broad implication issues like this one require a giant outcry to help support the needed outcomes.  So please consider signing the petition and try to get it over 2 million:

Tell the EU Patent Organization to Fix Patent Laws:


UN (and US) Approves Arms Trade Treaty; Plus Further on NRA Dialogue

On April 2, the US joined 153 other nations in approving the Global Arms Trade Treaty. That said, for the U.S. to ratify it, it must be passed by its Senate by a super majority.   This is deemed unlikely due to the influence the NRA has on the Senate.  So for US citizens, stay tuned for the rhetoric to heat up again.

You may recall my attempt in a previous newsletter to try to understand the opposition of the NRA to the Treaty (see:  I did it primarily out of my core principle of dialogue (bumbling as I am at it) – to truly attempt to engage with the stance that seemed so utterly foreign.  And I did find a thin “sliver” of contact - that a person could genuinely connect the dots in a moral way according to all their underlying framings, that would indicate that signing the Treaty was wrong.  It centered around the need to track items.

And before going farther, I would love to continue the personal exploration with anyone via the blog link at the top, unwieldy as blogs are.

But as it currently stands for me, I find that the NRA has shut off dialogue.  It has entered a harmful world of self-righteousness, where its answers and framing are the only true ones, and under no circumstances can it yield even one inch.  Every counter view is a slippery slope, which is part of cascading slippery slopes which always lead to a single family left defenceless in the face of an armed crazed person, or armed tyrannical government or oppressive UN world force.  I find that logic incredulous.  Again I do remain open to mistaken perceptions on my part, but until persuaded otherwise I must be clear the danger and harm I see in the current NRA dynamics.

Somewhat  aside, the following link shows 12 NRA ads over time, showing it going from a government-friendly organization primarily for hunters (actually simply suggesting that belonging to a rifle club is a good way to gain a skill and have fun), to a complete fear-based stance – a fear not only of who lurks in society but to a government and its institutions (FBI, etc.) who you leave open to coming after you if the NRA is not supported, for only it is the true guardian of the Second Amendment.  Now I did find a bit of a sleight of hand going on – for instance from 1920 until now there is a higher proportion of people who lock their doors.  That is, times do change and there is more fear than before at that level.  Plus the rapid changes of today are very loosely linked to a rise in fear.  But neither of those examples fully explains the dramatic shift of the ads.
NRA Ads from 1920 to the present

Tunisia: Latest Trend in country that started Arab Spring

Michael Ayari talks to RTCI about the rise of Salafism in the country and the "challenges of the new Tunisia".
ICG Report: Salafism in Tunisia (YouTube clip)


Guatemala Genocide Trial a Landmark . . . And Then Was Scrapped

The trial of former de facto head of Guatemala, Efraín Ríos Montt, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, is a landmark achievement in the fight for justice in Guatemala and is a testament to the courage and tenacity of Guatemala’s victims and human rights groups.

However, the trial had been in process for a month when on April 18, a separate court annulled the entire case.  Seen as “beyond logic and due process” one can only hope that for the sake of all those who testified and all for whom they represent, as well as for any sense of justice, that a successful appeal will occur.  Here is a short and longer version of the current situation:
Amnesty International article
LA Times more in-depth article


In appreciation and support,
  Rod Downing


2013 Camping/Event Calendar

May 12-13 Hills of Peace Camp Opening – Cancelled

May 24-26 Arts on the Lake Hills of Peace – Cancelled

May 31-June 2 Camp Genesis (8-9 yrs) Samish Island

May 31-June 2 Adult Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace

June 7-9 College Age Young Adult Retreat Hills of Peace

Jun-08 Samish Island Work Day

June 8-14 Adult Reunion Samish Island

June 30-July 6 Camp Mungai (10-11 yrs) Samish Island

July 1-6 Canada West Youth Camp

July 6-12 Family Reunion Hills of Peace

July 12-16 Junior Camp (8-11 yrs) Hills of Peace

July 13-20 Family Reunion Samish Island

July 20-27 Spectacular Graceland University

July 22-28 Camp Planning Retreat - Hills of Peace

July 21-27 Camp Kluane (girls 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

July 28-Aug 3 Camp Chimacum (boys 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

August 9-11 Young Family Weekend Hills of Peace

August 4-10 Camp Kimtah (15-18 yrs) Samish Island

August 11-17 Singles’ Reunion Samish Island- Cancelled

Aug 30-Sept 1 Canada West Mission Conference Edmonton AB

September 27-29 Men’s Retreat Hills of Peace

September 27-29 Singles’ Retreat Samish Island

October 4-6 Young Adult Retreat Samish Island

October 4-6 Women’s Retreat Chilliwack


Coming together is a beginning;

keeping together is progress;

working together is success.

~Henry Ford~


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