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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weekly Wire for December 3, 2014



Upcoming Events at a glance


January 18 – Child Protection Training Meadow Ridge

Jan 30 - Feb 1 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Vancouver

February 21 Samish Island Kitchen and Cabin Work Day

Feb 27 - Mar 1 Nurturing Spirit Weekend Samish Island

March 13-15 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Regina

March 27-29 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Calgary

April 19 – Child Protection Training Vancouver

April 23-26 Fine Arts Retreat Samish Island

April 25-26 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Ribstone

Apr 27-May 2 Samish Island Work Week

*dates subject to change, always check online or here for the most up to date information


This Week…in the Weekly Wire!

New ‘World Church Website’

Peace and Justice

Ministry Workshop Vancouver

Samish Island News

Nurturing Spirit Weekend Samish Island

Christmas in Review Newsletter

What’s Up…In the CWM is here!

Women’s Christmas Breakfast in Vancouver

Community of Christ Career Networking Program

Quote of the week


There will be a memorial service for Bill Levitt on

Sunday November 30th at 2pm

at the Calgary Community of Christ. 



World Church Website


Click here to see the new Community of Christ

World Church Website


Women’s Christmas Breakfast in Vancouver

We’re shopping Thursday RSVP today!



Ministry Workshop Vancouver



Pray Always, Pray All Ways


Guest Ministry

Vickie McArthur Lethbridge AB, and Shannon McAdam Vancouver BC

Please register early if you would like an ‘E’ Cabin.



INDEPENDENCE CAMPUS: - February 2-6, 2015

Register online at:

By January 16, 2015

· Introduction to Spirituality — Katie Harmon-McLaughlin  — 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

o Participants in this course will explore spiritual types and disciplines. In addition, participants will examine the writings and insights of persons who have developed mature Christian faith.

· Mission and Evangelism — Ron Harmon  — 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

o Mission and Evangelism will introduce learners to the foundational basis for mission in the Community of Christ. The course provides missionary skill-building experiences designed to equip participants for effective personal witness. Various missionary models connected to the church's contemporary missional goals will be explored.

CANADA EAST CAMPUS: - April 20 to 24, 2015

(At the Community of Christ church, 414 Fischer-Hallman Rd., Kitchener, Ontario.)

Register with Douglas Bolger, Coordinator & Registrar - by March 31st, 2015

· Public Ministry – Danny Belrose - 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

o This course is designed to increase the theological understanding and technical competency of the field minister in the performance of public ministry. The topics to be covered include worship planning, presiding skills, public prayer, exegetical preaching, and the eight sacraments of the Community of Christ. Emphasis will be on the preaching and sacraments units of the course. Students will be expected to read assigned texts as well as to deliver one sermon, plan one worship service, and create public readings and prayers. The course will be primarily lecture and discussion in format.

· Hebrew Scriptures – Susan Oxley - 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

o An overview of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, with emphasis on how the canon was developed, the different modes of interpreting the writings, and the exegetical skills needed for teaching and preaching out of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Note: A syllabus for each course is posted on the World Church Website (when available) and also provided upon registration.


It’s here! The fall edition of

What’s Up…In the CWM

click above to see it on line and in full color.


We’ll be publishing our annual ‘Christmas in Review’ newsletter in January. 

Please take lots of photos of your Christmas events and services, and send Debra your articles, or blurbs by January 15th!


Samish Island News!


From Board President Mark Chapman:

Be a caretaker at Samish! Live and serve in one of the most spectacular places on earth! We are now recruiting for the Manager of Food Service position. Interested? For details, contact: Mark Chapman, 360-420-6369.

Samish Island Campground Association Board votes to relocate proposed sport court. We heard loud and clear from those who were concerned that the proposed site would impose on the open and natural feel of the campground. After a thorough Board review of options, consensus formed around a placement to the southwest of the Christian Fellowship Centre. A $20,000 challenge grant has already been made to jump start funding. We need to raise an addition $50,000 by January 31 in order to break ground this spring. Send contributions to Dave Skoor, Samish Island Campground  Association Treasurer, 425-446-0019.

Thank you for sharing!
View a summary of the Strategic Planning Survey results. Over 100 event directors, cooks, participants and neighbors shared their ideas and feedback. This will be a valued source of data to inform the Samish Island Campground  Association Board as we work towards a refreshed strategic plan to assure a strong future for Camp Samish.


Community of Christ Career Networking




Peace and Justice  --  Human Rights

November 29, 2014

Welcome to this issue from the “In The Forefront” mailing list.  To alter your profile, follow the steps at the end, where your profile is listed. 

Given that this is a human right’s newsletter, the primary action is to take part in Amnesty International’s global Write-for-Rights campaign.  In addition there is an action related to Darfur and the UN’s mishandling of the situation, and an action to raise again the hope that the U.S. will ratify the Convention on Child Rights.

In addition are a couple of follow-up and other articles of note.

The blog associated with this newsletter is at:  Feel free to comment on any topic.

Pour la traduction française: cliqueter ici; et cliqueter alors le bouton de traduction sur la page Web.
Para la traducción española: clic aquí; y entonces hace clic en el botón de traducción en la página web.



Consider joining the annual Write-For-Rights campaign, where hundreds of thousands of people around the world write letters or take other actions on behalf of those unjustly detained, tortured, imprisoned!  It takes place during the first 2-3 weeks of December, coinciding with Human Rights Day, December 10.  You can join a group, take web actions, or better yet create your own group (they can supply you with all necessary material)!

Take Action:



On October 31 Sudanese forces entered the town of Tabit, reportedly beating the men and then raping 200 women, many of them girls.  The UN peacekeeping force (UNAMID) was 30 miles away.  They sent a team to investigate three days later but soon after arriving and reportedly getting a little corroborating evidence, the Sudanese forces kept them out for a week.  When UNAMID came back they could not get anyone to confirm the atrocity.  Their eventual report denied any rape had taken place. Given other corroborating testimony, this has shed light not only on this incident but has confirmed the suspicions of many about UNAMID’s compromised reporting in general.  Apart from creating a furor at the UN, it has now frayed relations with Sudan who has verbally asked UNAMID for an exit path.

The following petition by Waging Peace (UK) demands an immediate investigation into the mass rape, that the UN provide immediate medical and psychological treatment for the victims and that the government soldiers be held accountable for their brutal crimes, including compensation for the victims.

The event is sickening.  And on a revealing ironic note, the town – Tabit – was one of five towns that were designated in June as one of Darfur’s “model villages”, that is, suitable for the voluntary return of displaced persons.  It demonstrates what most people knew – the effort by the government to paint the conflict as over, is an utter farce (for fuller overall details of conditions of Darfur and Sudan see: Current Status  [UntilAll]).

Take Action:

UNAMID Covers Up Darfur Atrocity [Foreign Policy]
Initial Report of Rape [Radio Dabanga]
Actual UNAMID Internal Report [Sudan Tribune; Eric Reeves]



The US and Somalia (and newly created South Sudan) are the only countries who have not ratified the Convention on The Rights of the Child.  November 20 was Universal Children’s Day.  The action below was to tell U.S. President Obama to announce on that day that he will submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification.

It may seem stunning to some to think that the US, who helped shape the Convention, has not ratified it.  As the background articles indicate, US failure to ratify it stems largely from concern over the possibility of it undermining parental authority. Many countries include formal reservations and declarations of interpretations, so that the Convention won’t override national interpretations of their laws and customs.  Given that all other Western countries with the same basic standards on issues of concern have not been affected by ratifying the treaty, such concerns do not seem to be grounded in reality, but rather agendas.

US-ONLY: Tell President Obama to Sign:
Tell Obama to Ratify Treaty

Why is US Against Children's Rights?  [TIME]
Why Won't US Ratify Child Rights Convention?  [The Economist]
Actual Convention on Rights of the Child



The emergence of a new, well-funded, tech- and media-savvy terrorist group that uses grotesque acts and images as one of its chief vehicle for spreading fear and gaining recruits, has caught the Western world scrambling to react.  Analysis of this truly despicable group abound; there is little to add.  Short-term actions have already been implemented. Such actions at best can only contain the immediate situation and by their fast-reaction nature contain terribly compromised elements that easily spark other sometimes worse results.

This newsletter would be remiss not to note this new repugnant dynamic.  Specifically, how do we dissipate ISIS, so that it is only known as a footnote in history? Bombs and bullets (and intelligence gathering and other tactics) may reduce some immediate threat, but they cannot dispel an idea that has gained such deadly traction. For that one needs the long-term classic nonviolent strategy of strengthening the reasonable voices on all sides.  This will be explored more in the next newsletter.  One role is to use Islam itself to combat the horrible distortions (and yet that somehow have appeal) and provide a more solid and compelling alternative vision.  Given that 85% of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims [Sanders: The Myth of the Muslim Tide], no one has a greater stake in this than Muslims.  The following is a sample:
Using Islam To Combat ISIS [Huffington Post;  MPAC]

Stay tuned for more on how this seemingly hyper-idealistic strategy can actually contain much grip.


Bee Decline Now Evidence Of Bird Decline

A decline in bee populations due to a new pesticide (neonicotinoid family) has previously been highlighted in this newsletter.  Now a Dutch study has linked it to a decline in the bird population, though it need further work.


Is Selection Process for UN Peacekeepers Flawed?

Reports coming from some of the top UN troop-contributing countries indicate that many troops are not adequately educated regarding basic human right.  Often they come from areas which have poor human right records.  Examples were given where UN troops, when previously in their country, were part of serious rights violations.  For others, it is a “reward” thus reducing any motivation to take seriously the UN mandate.  In 2012 the UN set up guidelines for this overall issue but the vetting  process thus far seem unable to address basic flaws.

Is U.S. Public TV Dominated by the One-Percent?

In a world where traditional meda is continually squeezed thereby diminishing the range of voices heard and in-depth journalism, one presumes that atleast in the public broadcast sphere there is a better range.  Yet a study by FAIR has found that most U.S. public broadcasting stations have governing boards dominated by the corporate sector.  Even billionaire David Koch sits as a trustee. 

While recognizing the value of business people to ensure sound fiscal policies, the point raised here is one of dominance.  On the one hand those from the corporate world constitute 84% of the governing bodies and most are drawn from elite entities.  On the other hand there is a dearth of other areas – few academics, and almost no journalists, educators, artists and leaders of nonprofit groups.

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Missed an action email?  An archive is kept at:
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In appreciation and support,
  Rod Downing


Canada West Camping and Event Calendar


Jan 30 - Feb 1 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Vancouver

February 21 Samish Island Kitchen and Cabin Work Day

Feb 27 - Mar 1 Nurturing Spirit Weekend Samish Island

March 13-15 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Regina

March 27-29 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Calgary

April 23-26 Fine Arts Retreat Samish Island

April 25-26 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Ribstone

Apr 27-May 2 Samish Island Work Week

May 1-3 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Chilliwack

May 9-10 Hills of Peace Camp Opening

May 23-24 Ribstone Enrichment Weekend

June 5-7 Camp Genesis (8-9 yrs) Samish Island

June 5-7 Spiritual Retreat Hills of Peace

June 13 Samish Island Work Day

June 13-19 Adult Reunion Samish Island

June 19-21 Young Adult Retreat Hills of Peace

June 28-July 3 Canada West Youth Camp Hills of Peace

July 4-9 Family Reunion Hills of Peace

July 10-14 Junior Camp (8-11 yrs) Hills of Peace

July 11-18 Family Reunion Samish Island

July 18-25 Spectacular Graceland University tentative dates

July 19-25 Camp Kluane (girls 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

July 26-Aug 1 Camp Chimacum (boys 12-14 yrs) Samish Island

August 2-8 Camp Kimtah (15-18 yrs) Samish Island

August 7-9 Nurturing Spirit Weekend Hills of Peace

August 9-15 Camp Mungai (10-11 yrs) Samish Island

August 16-22 NW Singles Retreat Samish Island

September 4-6 Canada West Mission Conference – Saskatoon, SK

Sept 25-27 Men’s Retreat Hills of Peace

October 2-4 Women’s Retreat Chilliwack

October 2-4 Young Adult Retreat Samish Island

October 23-25 Peace Colloquy Independence, Missouri tentative dates


Christmas is coming!

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