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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weekly Wire for January 21, 2015



Upcoming Events at a glance


Jan 30-31 All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Vancouver

February 13-16 CWM Winter Youth Camp Calgary

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!

Message from Apostle Susan Oxley

Announcements from World Church and Darrell Belrose

Ministry Workshop Vancouver

Hyun Jin Kim visits Seoul, Korea

Young Adult Leaders Retreat

World Accord Expeditions need YOU

CWM Winter Youth Camp Calgary

Nurturing Spirit Weekend Samish Island

What’s Up…In the CWM online link

Community of Christ Career Networking Program


January Message to the Community of Christ in Canada


Apostle Susan Oxley

Dear Friends:

January is the month of endings and beginnings.  The old year fades into the past and a new year arrives, laden with promise and possibilities.  It will be a year of changes and transitions.  Some established church leaders are retiring; some mission officers are new and just getting settled into their roles.  Goals set in the past are being fulfilled, and new goals for mission will be announced and implemented.  There is hope in the air, and we look toward a time of expansion and blossoming for Community of Christ across Canada.

Financially, several major influences are coming together to change the way we fund the church in Canada and provide for staffing.  One of those influences is the state of the global economy, the stock market performance, and the contributions to the World Church.  In a time of uncertainty, we have been blessed by those who continue to give generously and consistently to World Mission Tithes.  The contributions that support our global staff have continued to hover around the ten million dollar average during the last five years.  That’s good.  But expenses have increased, not only in personnel costs, but also in retirement and insurance payouts.  On the World Church level, we have been consistently spending more than our income, and we have used up some assets and investments to make up the difference. We can no longer do that. 

Consequently, we will have to decrease the World Church budget in Fiscal Year 2016 (which runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).  Most of the World Church budget is used to support staff in mission, administration and support services.  So a major decrease in the budget means a major decrease in the staff we can support.  Most of those around the world who are retiring (and it is a large group) will not be replaced.  Some will be.  Others will lose their jobs in the downsizing of staff to meet the new budget target.  Such actions cause pain, disorientation, and anxiety for everyone: among those who lose their jobs, among those who see them leave, and among all of us who must adjust to fewer services and paid ministry around the world.  Throughout most of the global church, it will be more difficult to accomplish mission, administration, and support.  It will be a time of endings and grieving.  In many places where the World Church can no longer fund full-time staff members, we will need capable, dedicated volunteers to provide the ministry. 

How will it affect Canada?  The Mission Centre Presidents, Financial Officers and I have talked for several years about the possibility of Canada becoming totally self-supporting financially.  We have been planning for that goal for two years, and have established a reasonable timeframe to accomplish it gradually.  We have been lining up other funding sources to fund staff positions, and identified which of those positions would be the first ones funded.  Kerry Richards’ position as Director of Mission for Canada is one of the visions that came out of our strategic planning discussions.  He is now in place in his new role: excited, passionate about mission, and moving forward in making the contacts and initiating the training that is needed to expand the church in Canada.  This year, his funding shifts away from World Church sources to mission centre funding.  It is a beginning.

A major influence that has increased in importance in the last few years is the governmental regulations of Revenue Canada.  Strict guidelines and prohibitions limit the amount of money that non-profits can export to the USA.  Therefore, World Mission Tithes collected in Canada must be spent in Canada, or go to specific missional efforts in countries other than the USA.  We understand and celebrate that guideline, and have been finding ways to meet those expectations.   It pushes us toward the intended goal of becoming self-sustaining financially.  The Canadian Corporation of Community of Christ and the Bishop of Canada will play increasingly more important roles as liaison between Revenue Canada and the Canadian contributions to support mission. 

As a result of these influences, Community of Christ in Canada will move aggressively toward total self-sufficiency in funding.  In collaboration with your mission centre executives, we will accelerate our plans to reach that goal.  Staff positions will begin to shift from World Church funding to mission centre funding as quickly as possible.  The two Mission Centre Financial Officers have created a funding plan to allow that to happen.  In some cases it means spending down some reserves on a temporary basis, but future sources of income will relieve that burden in the near future and provide for further expansion of the church and revitalization of existing congregations.  There will be opportunities for dialogue about this strategy, and appropriate MC conference action will take place with the Canadian church this year.  Watch for more information from your Financial Officer.

Canadians are a generous people, with the capacity to carry out the vision of self-sufficiency.  Each of you will assist in reaching this goal, as you continue faithfully to give to World Mission Tithes through your donations and PAT (Pre-authorized Automated Transfers from your bank accounts).  Consider the “Power of Ten” approach.  If 10,000 North America members gave an additional $10.00/month to World Mission Tithes, it would create $1.2 million per year.  That would go a long way toward easing the budget problems.  I encourage any of you who have the capacity to give more to begin doing so.  Take this matter to God in prayer, and ask:  “What are You calling me to give to the Canadian mission?”  Be patient, and listen for what God prompts you to do.  Make it a spiritual discipline that will bless you and all of Canada. 

Your mission centre financial officers will keep you informed about the exciting progress and potential for self-sufficiency, as plans develop this year.  Catch the vision of what can be, and offer your assistance and support.  It is a brand new beginning for the church in Canada!  It is the start of a stronger, more influential movement of Community of Christ across your nation!  May God bless the vision with inspired leadership, staunch grass roots support, and empowered members living out their discipleship in witness and mission. 

Apostle Susan Oxley                      Susan Oxley2012

January 15, 2015



On Oct. 30th, President Veazey shared with the staff that World Church is implementing steps to reduce expenses to achieve a balanced budget in fiscal year 2016. These steps are being taken due to a decline in world mission tithes, lower projections for endowment income and increasing World Church expenses. To reach this goal, the church will continue to reduce non-staff-related expenses where possible. Additionally the church will not fill some vacant positions. The church will offer early retirement to staff members over the age of 61, effective Feb. 28th. Finally, the church will reduce the number of world ministries staff at International Headquarters and in the field by eliminating positions in July ’15.

I find that I am not only over this age bracket (less than age 65), but am the oldest staff member in the Canadian field! I was in a unique position that I not only loved working full time for the church but was planning to retire at around 70 years of age. Not wanting to take the risk of being laid off in July due to continued cutbacks to the Staff, I have decided to take early retirement. I initially struggled with this decision but am now at peace knowing that whatever decision I made, that God would continue to call me and use me and support myself and my family in this new developing chapter in my life.

There is much wisdom that the church has continually encouraged us the membership and friends of the church to do in being vigilant in our stewardship opportunities. Be Generous, Be Dependable, Manage Your Money, Share Joyfully, Share Wisely and Spend Carefully for we never know when life circumstances may cause upheavals in our lives. Mary Jean and I are grateful for the opportunity to strive to be the type of stewards that have emulated this counsel. With this sudden shift in our life’s circumstances there is some regret that we haven’t honoured this as best we could for the length of time we anticipated in being able to do so. We do however celebrate that there have been numerous years in which we went from striving to contribute 10% of our increase in tithes to giving 15% of our combined gross income in tithes and experiencing a great deal of joy in our hearts by being able to sense God’s bountiful blessings in not only our financial contributions but our ministry of participation. One of my favourite modern scriptures is:

There are many lives waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel, or to be lifted from hopelessness by the hands of loving servants. But they will be lost to you without the generous response of disciples who share from their own bounty that others may know the joys of the kingdom. —Doctrine and Covenants 162:7a

It has been a wonderful journey that I have been on in my life thus far. I spent 22 years as an elementary school teacher, grades 3-6 and now 20 years working full time for the church in both Canada East and Canada West. I have had the unique privilege of speaking and sharing in 90 Canadian Congregations over the past 46 years as a Priesthood member. I can’t think of a more exciting time to be alive and in service to my God then now. Whether it be in full time ministry or self-sustained ministry in my retirement years, once again I value the wisdom that our Prophets and Presidents of the church have given us the membership and friends of Community of Christ. Each of us are called to “proclaim Jesus Christ” from our own personal stories of connecting with the living Christ. We are called to “promote communities of joy, hope, love and peace” as we take Sacred Sabbath moments to discover where God is leading us and calling us into servanthood ministry. Luke 4:18-19 is a brilliant scripture that calls each of us into action, calls us into why we as a church exist. Community of Christ exists because there is a mission to do! “Invite people to Christ”, “End Poverty and Reduce Suffering”, “Pursue Peace”, “Develop our Discipleship” and become part of a congregation that “experiences God’s Mission”, our Mission. This will continue to be my calling in the future not because I have to but because God has blessed my life and my family’s life so abundantly, I want to express back my great love to God in following these opportunities and calling into retirement. For myself, Mission is not primarily an activity of the church but an attribute of God and Jesus Christ, which I want to emulate always. I must admit that I greatly appreciate our Enduring Principles but find them difficult to live by, 24/7. They challenge me, they haunt me, they bless me. I encourage each of you in whatever station/stage in life you are at, to join me in not just memorizing these Enduring Principles but to actually live them out, so that God is honoured and revered through our life styles. Striving to become a “gracious and generous” person, honouring the “sacredness of creation”, anticipating “continued revelation” and guidance from God, “valuing the worth of persons”, knowing that “all are called” by God, “making responsible choices”, “pursuing peace” (shalom), honouring “unity in our diversity” and “receiving the blessings of God” always … what a challenge … what a privilege to be entrusted with knowing that God walks before us, with us and will always strengthen us for the journey ahead.

This brings me great peace for my journey ahead. I have had the privilege in serving in the West for the past 11 years, 7 of which were as Mission Centre President and 4 in the role as an invitational minister working with several congregations for an extended period of time. I have come into the Mission knowing hardly anyone and retiring within the mission having a large loving family. What greater gift can anyone have then knowing that God has blessed my life so abundantly that I have a huge extended family.

My dear friends, THANK YOU for the journey. I look forward to our paths continuing to meet in the future. Don’t hesitate to challenge me as to my commitment to respond to God’s loving invitation to all of us, as I will you, to be faithful until our last breath. May each of you be abundantly blessed by God’s precious Spirit as you also live a life of integrity and through humble participation.

With Appreciation and Love Always,

Darrell Belrose


 Susan Oxley2012           KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA





Nurturing Spirit Weekend Samish Island

Pray Always, Pray All Ways

We have a few E Cabins left, Register Today!


Nurturing Spirit Class Descriptions 2015

St. Teresa of Avila and The Inner Journey

Journey to the 16th century to discover the fiery passion molded by the contemplative heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, one of Christianity’s most inspiring saints. Enduring illness, hardship, and persecution, Teresa had a mystical vision of the soul as a beautiful crystal castle with God, the Beloved at the center. This vision gives contemporary seekers a map for navigating the journey inwards to “an inner sanctuary of beauty and light where no darkness can touch us”. Learn about Teresa’s inspiring life and explore the seven “inner castles” of spiritual development.

If you want to make progress on the spiritual path and ascend to the places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens you to love. If you fall sometimes, do no lose heart. Keep striving to walk your path with integrity. God will draw out the good even from your fall.” St. Teresa of Avila

Yoga for “The Dark Night of the Soul”: Healing Our Pain

Yoga is a practice of falling in love with our true self, not our perfect self or our “perfect” body, but a radical acceptance of our body, our mind, and our self exactly as God created us. Spirituality is not about certainty, but the longing of the heart for wholeness. Spiritual growth is not “avoiding” bad feelings, but understanding these emotions, and how they are expressed in the body. It is said “we carry our issues in our tissues”. Learn yogic practices for healing and moving through both physical and emotional pain.

Yoga Nidra: Resting in God

Yoga Nidra is a practice of letting go, of surrendering all of your “doing”, all of your thoughts, all of who you think you are, so you can rest in your essential “beingness”, in Spirit’s gentle embrace. It is a practice that not only produces a profound state of relaxation in the mind/body, but at a deeper level is a meditative practice of subtly transforming the beliefs and feelings that keep us stuck in negative patterns of self-doubt, anxiety, and fear. Come apart and rest awhile. Discover a deep sense of quiet and inner stillness in which to rest and soothe your soul.

Meditation/Contemplative Prayer

Meditation is not about “not thinking” or emptying the mind of thought. Rather, it’s about being present in the moment, to “what is”, and allowing a spaciousness to open around your thoughts and feelings so you can be open to the leadings of Spirit in every moment. It is the ability to bear witness to both your inner and outer experience and not get stuck in your thoughts. Throughout the retreat we will weave various forms of meditation and prayer into our daily activities while sitting, while walking, while eating, while sleeping as we learn to “pray always, pray all ways”.

Soul Companionship/Listening for the Soul

We will explore what it means to be soul companions for one another's spiritual journeys; those who will listen, support, challenge, and reflect.


Guest Ministry

Vickie McArthur Lethbridge AB,  Shannon McAdam Vancouver BC and Kat Goheen Vancouver BC

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


Grow Lead Serve Connect – Young Adult Leader’s Retreat

Community of Christ Bluewater Campground, Michigan

March 6-8, 2015

Grow Lead Serve Connect - YA Leaders Retreat

All young adults are invited to attend this Retreat which will provide opportunities for young adult leaders to develop skills, network with others and receive resources and ideas to benefit their ministry. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with leaders from other areas. Young Adults will be able to network in the church’s international community, gain ideas, insight and support from congregations outside Canada West Mission. The sessions will include:

§ Leadership skills for starting and leading small groups;

§ Team work including team building, working with a team and leading teams

§ Spiritual practices

§ Working with congregations

§ Event planning

In an effort to support our emerging young adult leaders Canada West Mission has committed to assist any Community of Christ young adults with their registration and travel expenses related to this retreat.

If you are a young adult in Canada West Mission and want to attend, please contact Lisa Neudorf at or 1-877-411-2632, ext 5.


Vancouver’s Hyun Jin Kim visits

Community of Christ Seoul, Korea


Church Service January 18th


Pastor Elizabeth Emesle


Lunch - Mixed Rice Korean Style


World Accord

World Accord Construction Expeditions

Spaces are still open for the New Year!

Have you ever thought that you might like to participate in a World Accord Construction Expedition, but just have never got around to it? Or – have you perhaps never even heard about such a thing, but the idea sounds interesting to you? Have you been on one in the past and have thought you would love to go again and catch up with Al Wigood and all his friends? Well, here is your chance to not “think” about it for long, but rather to just dive in and do it!

Honduras Expedition

Three expeditions are planned to the Central American country of Honduras in the next three months:

· January 10 to 24

· February 7 to 21

· March 7 to 21

Typically, expeditions include 10 to 12 volunteers. All three expeditions are currently NOT fully subscribed, and the January trip in particular is very short of participants. If you think you want to go – just GO! Contact World Accord as soon as you possibly can.

The expeditions are certainly not “free,” but a substantial portion of the fees (not including airfare) are eligible for charitable tax deduction.

For more details about the expeditions, check the following page

 World Accord Expeditions

For one person’s experience on one of last year’s expeditions

To make your interest directly known to World Accord contact Richard Kirsch at


Canada West Mission Youth Camp


There will be a Winter Youth Camp in Calgary from February 13 7:30 pm to February 16 noon. The camp is open to all youth eligible to attend CWM Youth camp this summer (entering grades 7-12 in the Fall 2015). More details including the schedule will be provided in January.

Chaperones and drivers are needed to provide transportation for the youth from the Regina, Edmonton and Lethbridge congregations (Saskatoon is covered). If you are willing to help, please contact Lisa Neudorf at                          or 1-877-411-2632, ext 5.


Ministry Workshop Vancouver

Everyone is welcome on Saturday January 31st.

Lunch and Dinner are provided so please RSVP soon.


All Are Called: Ministry Workshop Vancouver

 All Priesthood and members of the congregation are invited to participate in the upcoming Ministry Workshop the weekend of January 30-31, 2015. This workshop is one of six being offered within Canada West Mission Centre and will be led by Steve Thompson and Lisa Neudorf. Priesthood are strongly encouraged to attend in Vancouver or one of the upcoming workshops over the next six months.

To Register Click Here

Contact Lisa Neudorf

or 1-877-411-2632, ext 5, to register or for more information.


What’s Up…In the CWM

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



Community of Christ Career Networking

Looking for work? Looking to hire?

Want to be open to new possibilities?

Connect on Net Connect.



Canada West Camping and Event Calendar


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

February 13-16 CWM Winter Youth Camp Calgary

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 8-10 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


Good Luck with your new beginnings

Susan, Jim and Darrell.

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